Mountain biking has grown exponentially over the last 30 years—from technology and wheel sizes to the number of riders and access to trails. Mountain Bike
Action has been at the forefront of the sport the last 30 years,
watching as it has evolved into what it is today. There are a lot
more than 30 people who have helped guide the sport along
the way, but these are the ones we have seen as having the
biggest long-term impact in the past, present and future.
He is one of the founding fathers of mountain biking and arguably one of the first to manufacture them. Joe Breeze began making his frames from scratch in 1977 to suit the off-road needs of
riders in Marin, California, who were pioneering trails. The Breezer
was the first dirt-specific rig that kicked off mountain biking.
He is possibly the most recognizable face in mountain biking,
and rightfully so. Gary Fisher was one of the first to start mountain
biking and even introduced us to 29ers. Don’t be fooled, Mr. Fisher
is still an avid rider and probably puts in more miles than most.
He was one of the first to take cycling to dirt and is still a strong
rider. Tom Ritchey has an extensive background in frame building
and has really taken the market by storm with his line of components and accessories. The world’s fastest, Nino Schurter, has
been helped to the top step thanks to Ritchey’s designs.
It’s a name that is synonymous with “The Big Red S.” The
founder and CEO of Specialized has spent his fair share of time
sweating and stressing to build the company that gives so many
riders the opportunity to ride some of the best bikes on the planet.
There has never been any doubt of Mike Sinyard’s passion for
riding, as you’re equally likely to find him on the trail or road as you
are to find him in a boardroom.
He was the first rider to be inducted into the Mountain Bike
Hall of Fame, and with an illustrious career in racing and product
innovation, it’s no surprise he’s on our list. Joe helped introduce
titanium to the mountain and even has a handful of tire designs
under his belt.
Wilderness Trail Bikes (WTB) was one of the first component
and accessory companies dedicated to mountain biking. Charlie
Cunningham co-founded WTB, which has become a staple on the
trail. Along with WTB, he played with sloping top tubes in frame
geometries and designed specific treads for dirt.
Parker is the man who founded
Yeti Cycles and has been giving
mountain biking a certain cool
factor since the late ’80s. He
helped fund racers such as Missy
Giove, John Tomac, and Juliana
Furtado to name a few. He developed a cult following of riders
who have been drawn to the
brand that he developed.