Bridgestone used to make excellent steel mountain and road bikes. They still do in Japan, but they gave up on North America in 1997 or so. They had their day in the sun though, former product manager Grant Pederson was really good at getting press with his hardcore retro-grouch stance. There are still a group of veterans out there (myself included) who would be very happy to get their hands on a 1990 MB-Zip.

MB-Zip - The MB-Zip was a very special bike. The parts were hand-picked from several different companies - Mavic, Shimano, SunTour, Ritchey. At the time, 1990, that was simply not done. The frame was hand-welded in Taiwan, and only 823 copies made in the first year.

This bike appears to be totally stock apart from the pedals and the bar-ends. I love seeing good old bikes taken care of like this one.

MB-1 - One of the last Bridgestone to make it to North America, this is a very nice MB-1. Why is it that I find so many pics of Bridgestones with slicks? Doesn't anybody ever take these bikes off-road?

MB-1 - Eventually, the MB-1 became the MB-Zip, and that's what this bike is. It's also nearly original, with v-brakes and big flat pedals.

MB-1 - A 1990 or 91 MB-1 with Rock Shox Mag 21. It would have been sacreligious to put a suspension fork on a Bridgestone back in the day...

MB-2 - I loved this bike when I first saw it in a shop in Calgary in 1992. I wanted it bad. Unfortunately, I succumbed to the dark side and now I ride a fully suspended, oversized aluminum bike.

Oh well...

MB-3 - This a really old MB-3. I know for sure because I nearly bought a 1990 MB-3, and it was black. It's Hard to tell because Bridgestone never used biopace rings or chainstay brakes, which are good age indicators. Anyway, that Accu-Trax fork is a little out of place here, it's way beefier than any of the frame tubes. Great fork though, one of the best rigid forks ever.

XO-1 - This is Bridgestone's vision of the 'one' bike. A mountain frame with 26 inch wheels (for offroad), but with a flattened-out road bar and road brake hood/levers (for onroad). This type of bike seemed to be something that Grant Pederson is obsessed with. They never really caught on in the market place though.

I'd much rather have an MB-2 and a nice RB-1.

Black Sheep

I know only what their website tells me, and that's that they're a full custom bike builder. And you gotta like that. I like that they use steel so often.

DH - This is a rare beast indeed - a steel DH bike. It looks very capable though - a Stratos fork is always a good choice.


Paul Brodie started out working for Rocky Mountain, and he's since turned his own business into one of Canada's better mountain bike lines. He's got a solid line of shore-type bikes of course, but I miss the old hand-made frames.

Spark - The Spark is Brodie's top-end XC bike. This one looks very good with the Marzocchi fork and discs. And call me a corporate whore, but I like that big Easton logo on there.

Electro - I'm not sure that Brodie even makes a hardtail that doesn't use the RAD tubeset - but that's OK, because this looks like an excellent bike.


Joe Breeze is one of the guys that usually gets credit for inventing mountain bikes. I don't think I've ever seen one of his old bikes, but the current ones are simple, light-weight steel frames. I couldn't tell you if he's still in business though.

Lightning - This is a race bike - Crossmax wheels, flat bars with barends, and a SID are sure signs. A SID always means racing, Rock Shox has succesfully brainwashed the masses to believe that.

The funny thing is, if you ever see world class racers doing their thing, their forks do nothing. You can see they're getting an inch of travel, at the most. What's the point? Why not just get a nice Ti rigid fork. Just as much travel, and way lighter.


Breezer - This is something special - an original NorCal Breezer mountain bike. If mountain bikes were cars, this would be worth a small fortune. But I don't know that there's much of a market for collector mountain bikes. Anyway, we've come a long way, and I'm sooooo glad!


Boulder was one of the first companies to make half-decent full suspension bikes back in the early 90's. I thought the shock in the tup tube was pretty cool, though not very practical. They did look good though, and they didn't miss on the ideal location for a single pivot by that much...

Defiant - The neat thing about old bikes is that you can make them ride better by putting a good fork on them. The bad thing about this old suspension bike is you can't really do anything about the shock embedded in the top tube.


Bontrager is one of the (almost) originals from Northern California. He built steel race bikes that were very highly regarded and sought after by the racer types. He got swallowed up by Trek in their great frenzy of buying, and now Bontrager frames are no more, but you can find his fine components on Treks, Fishers, and Kleins.

Racelite - This is one of the pre-Trek buyout Bontragers. Very nicely updated with new brakes, nine speed stuff, and a SID, unfortunately, one of the only newer forks made with a 1 inch steerer.

I guess this rider doesn't own a hacksaw...

Racelite - Old-skool alert!! This pre-buyout Bontrager has all the old stuff on it - right down to the 3D Violet headset and front hub.

Wait a minute though - that looks like a threadless headset...

Racelite - This may actually be a BonTrekger. I think the black crown on the Rock Shox is the clue, but Keith may have scored a few of those before he sold out, I can't remember.

Privateer - I'm officially naming Bontragers as TeamCow's "Bike Most Likely to Have a Lot of Old-Skool Parts on Them." This one has an original Bontrager triple-clamp fork on it, and Onza clipless pedals.

This could be the overall champion too, you see very few of those Allsop Frankenstem's on today's mountainbikes (thankfully).

Cyclocross - Now that TeamCow has experienced a cyclo-cross bike, we've become very interested in these versatile and fast machines. This is a particularly nice , pre-BonTrekger bike. I can't tell road parts just from a pic like this, so I'll just assume this bike is well outfitted.

Titanium - Right before they became BonTrekger, Bontrager started making a Titanium frame. I'm sure these were highly sought after because of the reputation that Bontragers already had for great handling bikes. Throw some magic metal into the mix, and most XC-type riders would be salivating something fierce.

Road - What's kinda ironic about this is how some newbies inital reaction is probably; "oh great, another mountain bike guy that thinks he can make a road bike." When in reality, guys like Bontrager, Ross Shafer of Salsa, and Tom Ritchey made road bikes before they made mountain bikes.

Brooklyn Machine Works

I admit that I laughed the first time I saw a Brooklyn bike. It was the SuperTrucker show bike of 1998. I have more respect for them now, but I still can't figure out how you ride these things. I can't figure why they need to be so big and heavy. Most of the World Cup stars seem to go pretty fast on BoXXers and XVert Carbons. I doubt the frighteningly massive Avalanche fork has ever won a WC DH race.

According to their website, English riders like to set up the TMX with a BoXXer or other lighter DH fork, and end up with a 45-55 lb fun bike, as opposed to, say, the 70 lb "Rubber Duck."

- This is pretty much a 26" wheel BMX bike with a Marzocchi on it. This type of dirt-jumping bike is very popular in England, but I don't know how big it is here.

- This is the bike that put BMW in the spotlight. Over 9 inches of rear wheel travel, overbuilt to a frightening degree, and just plain huge. I can't imagine what it's like riding a bike that weighs more than twice what mine does, but I'd sure like to try.


Bianchi probably has more history than all of the other companies put together. Their Celeste Green bikes have been ridden by legendary European road racers and have won every major road race. But, like most Euro bike makers, they came late to mountain bikes. Unlike most Euro mountain bike makers, Bianchi's bikes actually look good.

B.A.S.S. - Bianchi was one of the first big companies to sell a complete single speed bike. And one of the first to make one out of aluminum. I really don't know what this bike is called though - I've seen bass, boss, buss, and others.

This bike is a little different - notice the derailleur - this is actually a nine-speed.

B.u.S.S. - OK, this one looks like it says B.u.S.S., whatever that means. It's got great parts on it - I've never seen a gold RaceFace crank before.

Check out the other sool stuff in this picture. I want a Sofa King. And I wonder if you get to wear that crown when you ride a Sofa King.

Cyclocross - This is the classic Bianchi. That green, called Celeste, is revered in Europe, where Bianchi's win the Tour De France with the fabulous Pantani on board.

Here, they're pretty much just another road bike...


Battle joined the fray back in 1994 or so with an AMP rear end attached to an aluminum front triangle. I believe they're still in business, still making strut bikes.

FS - This is strange looking bike - maybe it's just the big frame. I was pretty surprised to read that this is a 1998. I thought Battle had finished up long ago.



Barracuda, like Balance, was a company that sprung up from nowhere, sold a bunch of Easton Elite hardtails (with teardrop-profile downtubes), then went away quietly. The difference being that they stuck around long enough, until say 1997, to market a suspension bike ripping off every major design style of the time.

A2M - More or less a quality hardtail here, but we're not sold on those Spinergy wheels. They disappeared from the market pretty quickly after the Spox wheels came out.

A2BS - OK, there has to be a better name for this bike.... Anyway, you can see that this bike comes from right after the Age of Anodyzing. You can see here that there were a few holdouts, but they didn't last much longer than this bike, which I'd date at 1995.

XX Team - Yellow and silver usually go pretty good, but when you throw in a lot of red, and those goofball green Michelins - well that's a recipe for an unattractive bike. By the way, the XX is a nod to sponsor Dos Equis - my favorite beer of all-time.

** TeamCow JokeBike **

XXFX - Alright, looks like a beefy DH bike here. It looks a little too much like the new Norco Shore bikes - it has the same depressions in the monocoque front section.

We've got a beefy White Brothers inverted fork, 8 inch Hayes rotor out front... wait a minute...

Bar ends? A Cane Creek air shock!!!!!

Help me - I don't understand. [edit] This is the first occurance of the TeamCow JokeBike - a bike so crappy or so poorly or stupidly set up, it just begged for biting, cynical comments pointing that out.


Balfa is a Canadian company following the current trend for new mountainbike companies, which is making DH bikes and heavy-duty hardtails. That's about all I know about them. [edit] I believe that Balfa is a much-missed company. There's a couple of them running around town and they look pretty cool. Also, I believe the Balfa guys are back at it, but I don't remember what the new company is called.

BB-7 - The BB-7 is a fairly simple looking DH bike with 7 inches of rear wheel travel. [edit] 'fairly simple'?!?! Yeah, well, I was never a DH guy. A Santa Cruz Super 8 is 'fairly simple' - this bike was complex - and cool.

Bobonum - I just can't believe how crappy this bike looks. It's as if CCM decided to make a DH bike. Now that "Krusher" fork looks extraordinarly beefy, but the frame and swingarm look like it they would snap coming off a 2' drop.

If there's anybody out there who can dispute my take on the quality of this bike, please do. [edit] This email is of course dead - please leave comments right on this post.


Balance sprung up from nowhere with a line of very nice aluminum and titanium bikes. I especially like the painted/polished fade they used.

If I had money and I was looking for an old resoration project, I would for sure snap up a Balance.

AL-450 - This bike is like a time machine back to 1997. It's totally stock right down to the toe-clips. Pretty cool really...

AL-750 - Anton sent me this pic of his beauty AL750 after he noticed our little 450 all by itself. His bike looks great - I always liked that anodized fade-to-polished finish on that bike. It looks like a good bike to go fast on. Thanks Anton!


Azonic started out as a moto-cross company. Or they were an off-shoot of O'Neal, and they were a moto-cross compnay. Something like that. Anyway, right now they seem to be most well known for some slalom oriented, aluminum HT frames.

DS-1 - This one is more XC oriented. Which I think is really cool. Being the beefcake I am, I like the idea of a frame that's made for XC, but is a bit stronger than the average 3lb (or wannabe 3lb) frame.

Eliminator - I think this is brand new, and I sense the hand of Frank the Welder, because this bike looks a lot like the Spooky Motorhead.


Alpinestars is most famous for making really good motorcycle boots, but in the early days of mountainbiking, they jumped in with both feet. They started with a very unusual elevated chainstay, curved seat-tube frame, and very slowly evolved their designs to be just like everybody else's.

Then they stopped making bikes. Oh well...

Al-Mega - This frame has been custom painted much like the Klein "approaching storm" bikes. Yeah it's odd, but you should see the original paint it had. [edit] They made this frame in steel, aluminum, and titanium. The upper end alloy frames were made from the best Easton had to offer and were real hot rods in their day. This bike is #2 on my Wanted List for pics - if you've got a pic, get it in!

T-26 - This is a rare animal. The T-26 was Alpinestars' solution to the problems involved in making extra-small frames. It probably wasn't too successful, because it went away pretty fast. (If you're really paying attention to the site, this bike is one of the answers to the trivia question posed on the Trimble page.) [edit] The Trimble post will of course be some time off. It's a long long way to the letter 'T'...


AMP was started by Horst Leitner - a name virtually every full suspension bike rider should know. Leitner's patented rear suspension - the Horst Link - was purchased by Specialized, and is now featured on Specialized and others like Norco and Intense.

AMP's were originally praised for their light weight and smooth, active suspension. Now, Mountain Bike magazine would have us believe they were one of the worst bikes ever.

How did that happen?

[edit] AMP Research now makes truck accessories like power running boards and bed extenders.

B2 - This one is all old-skool. Except for the brakes. And those were my favorite barends, but why do they look weird on this bike?

B5 - The B5 was the pinnacle of AMP's frame evolution. It was the first AMP to break from their strut-type tradition, and feature a four-bar setup. AMP made one of the earliest disc brakes too, a design bought by Rock Shox and promptly dumped after everybody realized how much better hydraulic Hayes, Hopes, Maguras, etc, were.

What I think is funny is that while magazines moaned about the overly heavy freeride trend of 1998, AMP bikes were right there, with more or less the same travel, but light weight, and nobody talked about them.


Airborne is the cheap way to get yourself a titanium bike. The bikes can only be purchased through their website, and they offer an extensive battery of questions to ensure you get the bike you want.

Of course, you might not find a local bike shop willing to help you with repairs for a bike you didn't buy there. I'd have to say from experience that wouldn't be too much of a problem in Edmonton. But I could be wrong. [edit] Local shops will fix it, but you'll pay. Oh how you'll pay!! HAHAHAHAAAAAA! Did I mention I'm a mechanic??

Lucky Strike - This bike has a very nice setup, I especially like seeing a SuperFly instead of a SID. It's cool to be different.

Corsair - The Corsair is Airborne's new, lower priced Ti frame. It lacks some of the fancy details of the Lucky Strike, like a fancy DeKerf-style wishbone on the seatstays, and swanky dropouts.


Think of Aeons as the low cost versions of Ellsworths. Sort of like Bentley and Rolls Royce. They're still very nice bikes, but they don't really show it until you get close up to them and scrutinize their details. [edit] What I now know about Aeons is that they break. A lot. Unless you're the smoothest rider in the world, or you just ride them down to the Starbucks and back. Even then, I'd be careful...

Joker - The Joker is the freeride/DH/Bullit fighter with 6 inches of rear wheel travel. The design is very similar to the Bullit actually. An excellent fork on this bike, but I gotta laugh at that Ellsworth sticker on the swingarm...

Action Tec

Action-Tec makes some of the best Titanium parts in the business. Most importantly, a Ti cogset that actually works. They also use a head-tube mounted shock just like Cannondale. The difference being that it serviceable and doesn't use Cannondale only parts.

What we have here is maybe the most unusual set-up of any bike I have a pic of. What looks like a single speed with a derailleur providing chain tension, is actually a 14 speed, thanks to the amazing Rohloff Speedhub 500/14. The Speedhub features 14 internal gears operated by a twist shifter. It's hella expensive, but it's mostly worth it, as it is sealed and aparently rolls pretty smoothly.

The shock provides 2.4 inches of travel and uses a 1 1/4" headtube with a standard size 1 1/8" stem. Why couldn't Cannondale engineer that?


Access are frames made for Supergo - a big-time US mail-order house. I'm not sure what kind of market these bikes have nowadays, it seems like it's not hard to get a cheap, good bike now. Supergo themselves are selling leftover bankruptcy GTs...

Alu - The beauty of the Access platform, is that you get a no-name frame, and load it up with good stuff, and end up with a way cheaper bike. Or, you get a really cheap bike with average stuff. Like this one.


3D Racing is a Colorado based company started by a former Yeti guy whose name escapes me. I remember them making this bike, the Rover, and that's about it.

Rover - This is a really nice bike; Marzocchi Superfly, Avid Arch brakes, Race Face cranks and Time pedals. And don't bikes look good in white? If only it had a RaceFace stem instead of a Kore.

The Guide is back!

Welcome to the grand re-opening of the TeamCow BikeGuide!

Back in the day, I used to pull down a lot of hits with my website www.teamcow.ca, in fact, I had the number one listing on Google if you searched for 'Teamcow.' I don't know how many people actually did that, but it was enough to know that we came up before those German dudes with the Ultima Online site.

Those guys were geeks...

Anyway, I had hundreds of bike pics that I grabbed from anywhere mountain bikes were sold. I thought it was cool to have a database of all these bikes; either to remember the old ones, or just to have the pic available to anyone that wanted to know what a Brodie Catalyst was, or a Fisher Paragon, or whatever.

I still have all the pics and I'm going to try and post them here as a blog. I don't know how this will work exactly, but I'm going to just do it and see what happens.

Please go ahead and post comments on any of the bikes, send me pics if you have them, or get mad because I've got a pic of your bike without your permission. Enjoy it on as many levels as you can.

I'm going to post both the original summary of each company that I wrote, and the comments for each pic. Some of the comments will be hopelessly dated, and if I feel the need to revise the comments, I'll add them in grey.