2001 – Fox makes its “Forx”: Fox has
long been known for its dominance in the
suspension world. Its first Float and Vanilla
models sported a 32-millimeter chassis
that looked enormous at the time, but
ended up shaping suspension development for all the other makers.
2002 – The Red Bull Rampage hits the big time: It’s not a hard-part innovation, but
this is one of the most innovative events the mountain bike world will ever know. The first
Rampage was held in Virgin, Utah in October 2001, and our coverage appeared in the
February 2002 issue. It pitted riders against the mountain in an event that was decided by
style, fluidity, amplitude and difficulty of line choice rather than who was first to the finish
line. The 2002 event saw a huge surge in the number of spectators, and made its mark
on the mountain bike landscape. Last year’s event saw more controversy than ever, and
we would not be surprised to learn it has run its course. It was a heck of a run, though.
2003 – Specialized’s Epic: This bike
put an end to suspension bob with what
Specialized called its Brain technology.
This was one of the first tests we had on
one of these rockets, and we were not
disappointed. We actually put on the cover
“Best cross-country racer ever made.”
2004 – Honda’s Gearbox DH bike: These
things were the fastest downhill bikes of
the time, as proved by Greg Minnaar, who
won many titles aboard them. The internal
gearbox was thought to be the future of
mountain bikes, but Honda crushed the
prototypes before anyone could extract the
secrets behind them.
2005 – Dual-link suspension bikes: There
had been bikes like this in the past, but the
mid-2000s is when riders and companies
really started to embrace more complex
suspension designs, like the VPP featured
on this Santa Cruz V- 10.