Throwback Thursday: The Day I Dropped The Olympic Champ
It took disc brakes and full-suspension to make happen
In addition to the hordes of mountain bikers, the Moab gathering was known to also attract a bevy of skinny tire celebrities like Andy Hampsten, Davis Phinney, Ron Kiefel, Connie Carpenter, and Dede Demet who made the drive from Boulder, Colorado. In 1991 Alexi showed-up in his Coors Light kit aboard a Colorado built Clark-Kent hardtail (with “Prototype” written on the top tube) and a Scott Uni-Shock fork (also developed by Clark-Kent) ready to ride.
Given the early state-of-play in mountain bike technology, most everyone on our group ride was riding fully rigid bikes, with only smattering of the then still new Rock Shox and Manitou forks to be found. As for me, I was aboard a super cool Gary Fisher RS-1 with front and rear Mert Lawwill designed suspension providing a whopping two-inches of rear wheel travel & three-inches up front. Helping to slow the 30 pound bike was a pair of first-run Mt. Cycles Pro Stop (mechanical) disc brakes.
I had actually first ridden the RS-1 at the 1990 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships when I “borrowed” Gary’s personal bike when it was left unattended over at the Campagnolo truck. Gary’s bike was running a Rock Shox fork and Phil Wood tandem rear disc brake and he would race it in the downhill that weekend (arguably making him the first person to ever race a full-suspension mountain bike).