Iron Horse

Another moutnain bike startup from the early 90's. Famous for the "a-frame", a little gimmick that was probably as functional as GT's "triple triangle." All I've seen from them around here is the $300 Sport Chek special - but I guess they still have a complete line in the States. [edit] iron horse is a weird one- Canada only gets awful department store bikes, the US gets some really decent DH and freeride bikes.

DH - It's ironic that the only Iron Horse pic I have is not really an Iron Horse. It's a Sintesi Verlicchi frame. Famous for being the bike that Dave Cullinan won the 19992 DH World Championships on in Mont St. Anne, Quebec. I remember reading that it was a terrible bike to ride up anything because of the very long chainstay length. Which makes it notable as one of the first DH only bikes.


Ionic is one of those little guys, based in Oregon. Nice looking bikes, and they make some really cool cranks.

E3 - Not a very good pic here. It's obviously an aluminum HT, but I can't tell what kind of forks are on there. Wait - I see now - they're Rock Shox.


I can't really tell you much about Intense. All I know is that when the M1 hit the market, it was one of the best DH bikes right from the start, and it's reputation is such that it's seemingly everybody's choice as a dreambike.

Uzzi - Here's the best that Shimano has to offer the DH world. Check out the Shimano Airlines shifters and derailleur. Good for one or two DH runs apparently. And it costs about US$1200.

Uzzi - This Uzzi was spotted at the Canmore World Cup event in 2000. I don't care for that stem much, but the rest of the bike is very nice.

Tracer - This is a pretty mean looking bike. I'd sure like to know if those Spox wheels are winners or not. They look cool, but they sound weak.

M1 SL - Maybe it's just the pic, but this bike looks like a toy. Maybe it's the colors.

Independant Fabrications

Independant is the product of some disgruntled former Fat City employees. So what you get when you buy an Independant is an Fat City with updated features, or in other words, a really good bike. [edit] i'm greatly understating the case here - having now seen one up close, i'd say that an IF Crown Jewel Ti is of the two best bikes in the world. the other being a Moots.

Deluxe - Is this the future of mountain bike forks right here? Probably not, but the rigid fork is making a comeback. The thing of it is, who is gonna spend US$200 on a Fat City rigid fork when that will also get you a very nice Manitou SX-R? Anyway, this bike looks really nice.

Deluxe - This bike just screams singletrack with that high-rise stem. Weird how 'Shore' bikes and 'East Coast' bikes are really quite similar. By the way, some people call them 'Indy Fabs' - I hate that.

Deluxe - The Deluxe in the team race colors. Looks fast.

Planet Cross - I like Independent, and this bike looks really fast, but, I don't care for the color at all. It's bad enough on the tires, I don't know why you would want to match your frame to that color...



Ibis is one of those really 'out-there' little companies. Mostly because company founder Scot Nicol is pretty 'out-there.' Where-ever he is, he's made some really exceptional bikes - Ibis frames are highly sought-after.

SS - All I can say about this bike, is that it's old. I had never even heard of the SS before I saw this.

Mojo - The original, steel Ibis Mojo. If you look closely, you can see the cantilever brake cable stop - it was called the 'Handjob' - because the cable stop was a little hand. The type of wacky little thing you found on Ibis' that set them apart.

Alibi - The aluminum Ibis - in this case very nicely built-up with RaceFace and Marzocchi. Just the way TeamCow likes it.

Mai Ti - This is a bit of a budget buil-up on this bike - which is fine, because a titanium Ibis frame is not cheap.


Haro is probably better known for BMX bikes than their mountain bike line, but they do have some pretty good bikes. I don't know much about them because nobody in Edmonton has ever sold their bikes. Weird how that works eh? [edit] starting about 4 years ago, haro was distributed in canada by norco, so now we finally get some.

Escape - This one's a little odd. Seemingly a XC bike - a short travel fork on an aluminum frame is a good indicator of that. But it's got DH-style pedals and a beefy looking slalom like stem. This is what I like about mountain biking - just use whatever parts you like...

Extreme - This is what you did in 1989 to make a name for yourself. Normally you would paint it bright yellow, pink, and white, or even make it really wild and use composite frame construction like the next Extreme.

Extreme - This bike was higher up in the line from the one above. It's hard to tell, but the rear triangle of the frame is bolted to the front. This was a technique used by Gary Fisher with his CR-7, and the Richard Cunnigham designed Nishiki Alien. A steel rear section - for it's compliance - bolted to an aluminum front - for it's low weight. I guess both metals have evolved considerably since 1990, nobody has built a bike like that since then.

MX-3 - One thing I like about Haro, is they have a couple of bikes that are very similar to really expensive ones, but are somewhat cheaper. Like this bike, which borrows a rear section from Intense.

Werks - This is probably a great bike - really light and fast and all that stuff. But it just looks weird. I don't like that reinforcement on the top tube. Doesn't look right on an XC bike.


JokeBike update

Well sports fans, it looks like early on in the race, GT is the runaway leader for JokeBike supremecy.

Seven of twelve GT's on the site are official TeamCow JokeBikes. That gives GT a %58 Joke rating!

Fisher comes in second at %33, Barracuda third at %25, and Giant fourth at %8.

Stay tuned, there are still some big players to come, like K2, Raleigh, and Specialized!

GT pt. 3

Lobos - Once again GT designs a suspension bike requiring a special shock. Bike companies should be reprimanded for doing that. Making it hard for you customers to upgrade their bikes is stupid.

** TeamCow JokeBike **

XCR 2000
- Why is it that GT's and crappy Rock Shox always seem to go together. Well, they were obviously made for each other. By the way, say goodbye to your Fox Float R when you bottom the rear suspension...

** TeamCow JokeBike **

XCR 4000
- Another GT with Spin's... and RaceFace cranks.

I will find you.

Know that.

** TeamCow JokeBike **

- Yet another GT with Spin wheels. What I really don't get is that if there's some way to make a bike look bad, whether it be with crappy color schemes or ugly parts, it's always the GT owner that will find it.

GT pt. 2

** TeamCow JokeBike **

LTS Spin
- What's wrong with this bike? Where do I start ?

1. Rock Shox DHO - a fork so bad even the mighty Rock Shox admitted it.

2. Spin wheels - they look dumb in black, and worse in blue.
3. Rear shock mount - I'm no suspension expert, but this is the only frame I've ever seen where the shock isn't mounted to the frame on one end. That can't be good. [edit] actually, that style of shock mount is now being used as a way to get a virtual pivot, so maybe it wasn't that terrible after all.

And finally,

4. Race Face cranks on a GT -
not allowed. As a Canadian I am officially requesting that those cranks be returned to their country of origin. Go get some Truvtivs or Bontrekgers or something like that.

LTS - Fox? What the hell is that? This bike has Rock Shox suspension components at both ends!

Wait - is that... Yes! A Rock Shox cable disc brake!! Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!! I bet that fork doesn't have any damping either!! Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!!

** TeamCow JokeBike **

I actually read the description of this bike because I needed to understand the stupidity behind it. Why did you get a custom Troy Lee paint job, and just get red. Why did you get him to put 'GT' on the one side, and 'Honda' on this side of the frame? It's not a Honda, Honda had nothing do to with it. Maybe if they had, it wouldn't suck so much...

** TeamCow JokeBike **

Another GT with a Spin wheels? Help me out here... Like I said before, I'll be taking back those cranks thankyouverymuch. And dude, seriously, go down to Target or wherever and buy a hacksaw - fix that steerer tube.



GT has a long history in the world of mountain bikes. And for some reason, a long history of making bikes I haven't liked. Also, they seem to be the bike company most likely to attract the newbie element. So you see more bizarre GTs than any other brand. [edit] ahh GT... the brand i love to hate. GT went bankrupt in 2000 or thereabouts. everybody that was a GT dealer dropped them like a, umm, like a brand that was being bought up by some crappy venture capital company. so some GTs went to department stores, and some remained in a bike line for independant retailers. as if any bike shop would try to sell a line that you could buy at your local box store for hundreds less. GT seems to still exist though.

** TeamCow JokeBike **

Zaskar -
Well, a Zaskar is bad enough - but when you slap a Cannondale Moto fork on it - that's recipe for a laughing-induced groin-pull. And then you see the Formula hydraulic on the front paired with an XT brake on the rear - and you prey that you still might be able to have kids one day. On the upside - GT's being so overbuilt - this is one hardtail/double-crown combination that might not get it's headtube ripped off after two months of riding.

Zaskar - Another Zaskar with a stupid fork - what is wrong with you people?

Zaskar LE - I'm pretty sure that the LE was intended for serious racing action. So why does this one have a super high-rise stem, riser bar and suspension seatpost?

RTS - The Rocker Tuned Suspenion, GT's first full suspension design. Pretty innovative really, but not too active, and the relentless forward progress forced GT to move on quickly to the LTS.

Grove Innovations

Grove was a custom bike builder of the month back in the early 90's. They had a very innovative design, but didn't last too long. I think they make racing wheelchairs now.

X-Frame - This is a state-of-the-art (for 1991), custom built bike. Using the 'boom tube' style that Trimble carbon bikes also featured. Although it always seemed odd to me that it had a conventional rear triangle, and not elevated chainstays. Still, it's a very cool bike, and this one has obviously been pampered. It's all the best that 1991 had to offer; Manitou fork, Cook Bros crank, a Salsa stem, and best of all, 3D violet Control Tech bar ends. No bike was complete without some 3D violet in 1991.

Giant pt. 3

ATX one - Giant has made one of the better DH bikes in the last few years, but not too any North American riders know about it. I could be wrong though. Anyway, the primary color paint scheme on this bike is a little weird, but I like it.

** TeamCow Joke Bike **

Warp -
I just can't see spending the huge amounts of cash that the MX-6 fork and Helix Pro rear shock cost, not to mention the Spin wheels and Magura hydraulics, on this crappy Giant. Some Giants are worth spending money on, but the Warp is not. If it comes stock with Altus components and a RS Jett, then chances are the frame is not that great either.

MCM Team - It's cool to go with one color for some parts on your bike. And it's cool when it's a contrast, but it is possible to go too far. And that fork is just not good...

AC Air - This looks like an excellent trail bike. Not too heavy, but sturdy enough for some punishment. Good colors too.

Giant pt. 2

MCM 990 - Is Giant a multi-national with a lot of money? You better believe it. How else could they engineer a sophisticated carbon full-suspension frame like this one, and only sell it for one year. They must have lost a ton on development costs.

ATX 890 - An old skool Giant with a few solid upgrades. Giants were cool back in the day too - but much better today.

XTC Team - This is one of the 'controversial' Giant NRS bikes. Controversial because Specialized had a court order to block the sale of the bike in the US for a while. They eventually backed off - which is good I guess, because it looks like a nice bike.

Warp DS1 - How does Giant require three suspension bike lines? This Warp, the XTC series, and the new long-travel AC frames.

And did you ever wonder where old forks went when people realized they weren't that good? Well, they go on brand new Giants.


Giant is exactly what they say they are. One of the biggest bike manufacturers in the world. Given that they make frame for a lot of other companies, chances are pretty good that you've ridden a Giant at some point. And I don't even know who you are. Anyway, lately Giant has really impressed me with their graphics and general parts spec.

XTC SE1 - This bike is for racing; lightweight Manitou fork, flat bar, XTR stuff. It looks fast.

MCM SE - Giant has been making carbon frames for a long time, and these new MCM hardtails look great. I especially like that they come with Hope discs.

MCM Team - You want to ride what the World Cup big shots ride? This is your bike right here. Of course, at 24 pounds, Mountain Bike Action will tell you that it's too heavy.

Cadex CFM 3 - A bonded carbon Giant from 1991. Updated with a Judy, V-brakes, and those crazy CODA cranks with one-piece chainrings. I really wonder why people sell bikes like this - they're so cool. [edit] i don't wonder anymore, i just snap them up off ebay and convert them to singlespeeds!


Free Fall is a custom builder from Vancouver. I guess... That's all I know about them.

Hardtail - I like that this bike is fully loaded - lights, fenders, crash pads, and it's pretty well used too. I personally would never buy a used bike from Vancouver, who knows what kind of North Shore hell it's been through. [edit] check out the crazy high bottom bracket on this bike!