Mountain bike race is a cycling sport held on mountains where there are hardly any roads and is one of the toughest sports out there. It was recognized in 1990 by UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) after it approved the world champion ship in Durango, Colorado. First world cup was held in 1991, with 9 race circuit and covered North America and Europe. There are various types of races like cross-country, short track cross-country, Downhill, Super D, Free ride etc. These type of races require special bikes due to its locations where they are held.
These are light weight bikes made of special type of fibers and are very smooth in riding. They are expensive and sometimes custom made as well. So here is a list of some high-end bikes used specially for such races.
10. Merida Bikes
Merida Industry Company Ltd is a company of Taiwan and is into manufacture, design and sale of bicycles. It was founded by Ike Tseng in the year 1972. He was a very skilful engineer and the company earned a very good name in a short period of time. Ike died in 2012 and since then his son Michael Tseng is the owner of the company. They sell their cycles globally and have a yearly production of 2.2 million.
There are in total 5 factories: Germany-1, China-3 and Taiwan-1. The company is also listed on Taiwan’s stock exchange with approx 350 million pounds and makes it one of the largest companies of Taiwan. In 2001, the company bought 49 percent of Specialized at a price of US$30 million, however the founder and CEO of the company kept the majority share and remained the owner.
Yeti bikes were established by John Parker in the year 1985, in California. The company came into existence when mountain bikes were starting to get popular. John was a welder and use to built sets in Hollywood. Later, he became a racer and bike designer. He was also a sport’s guardian and was made a part of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in 1995 and board of director of NORBA for 5 years.
The company manufactures mountain bikes but were known for their FRO (for racing only) model, turquoise color. In 2001, Chris Conroy and Steve Hoogendoorn, employees of Yeti, bought the company. The factory is in Golden, Colorado. In 2014, a new technology Switch Infinity was introduced as a refinement to it Switch technology. This design was used on its models including: SB4.5c, SB5.5c, SB5c and SB6c.
It’s a bike company situated in Pacific Northwest. It was established by Jacob Heilbron and Dan Gerhard in 1988. There headquarters are in Ferndale in Washington and distribution offices in Geneva and Vancouver. The duo initially worked with Joe Murray, a rider in Mountain Bike Hall of Fame, to design range of steel hardtails. It was the first company to introduce mountain bicycle frames with top tube in slanting position.
Their collection of Freeride bikes are known for their performance in downhill terrain and durability. They use material like titanium, steel, aluminum and carbon fiber and are sold in more than 60 countries. The Kona team takes part in National and International events and riders from Canada, UK, France, US and France compete in it.
It is an American branch of Canadian amalgamation Dorel Industries that supply bicycles. Its headquarters are in Wilton, Connecticut and assembling and manufacturing units in Taiwan and China. Cannondale was established in 1971 by Ron Davis, Jim Cartrambone and Joe Montgomery. In 1990s, they decide to expand in the motorsports business but were unsuccessful. In 2003, Cannondale was bought by Pegasus Capital Advisor and then by Dorel industries in February, 2008 for about $200 million.
All the production of the company was shifted to Taiwan in 2009. Presently, they manufacture a range of expensive and high class bikes and are pioneer in producing carbon fiber and aluminum frames. Initially, it was a private company, but became public in 1995 with an IPO of $22 million.
6. GT bikes
It manufactures and designs mountain, road and bmx bikes- manufacturing is done in US and after its amalgamation with a Canadian Company Dorel Industries, which also does marketing for Schwinn, RoadMaster, Cannondale, Dyno, IronHorse and Mongoose bicycle brand; all produced in Asia.
GT Bicycles was formed in 1972, by Richard Long and Gary Turner in California and was noticed for formation of BMX bicycles and for development of a range of “triple triangle” design bicycles. In 1998, the company became public and amalgamated with Schwinn. In 2001 the company went bankrupt and was subsequently acquired by Dorel Industries in 2004.
Scott, is a Swiss company, manufactures winter equipments, bicycles, sportswear and motorsports gear. In 1958, Ed Scott, a skier and engineer from Idaho, innovated a ski pole of aluminum and were compared to the once made of steel and bamboo. On this successful innovation, company started sports goods production. There headquarters are located in Fribourg, Switzerland. In 1989, it introduced a clip-on aerodynamic handlebar, which was hugely appreciated and was considered historic.
This technology was hugely used in Race Across America and triathlon. In 1991, they manufactured “Unishock” a suspension fork and later, their full suspension mountain bikes. In 2001, they introduced CR1, a bike frame of 895 grams and are one of the lightest frames.
Specialized Bicycle Component, Inc. is an American company that produces bikes, bike components and some related products. The products are marketed under the name Specialized. It was established in 1974 by Mike Sinyard, a cycling lover, funded a Europe cycling tour by selling his bus for $1,500. He started with importing parts from Italy which were not available in US and then moved to producing it themselves by 1976 with its range of tires. In 2001, Merida bikes purchased 49% of its stakes for US$30 million.
There was a recall in 2012 of its products sold from 2007 until July 2012 due to some fault. The models recalled include: Globe Sport, Globe Elite, Globe Sport disc, Globe city disc etc. As of now, it is one of the best cycling brand in the US with Trex and Giant.
Trek Bicycle Corp. is the main cycling and bicycle product producer and distributor under names Electra Bicycle Co., Trek, Bontrager, Gary Fisher, Diamant Bikes etc. The headquarters are located in waterloo, Wisconsin and has over 1700 dealers in America and branches in Asia and Europe, with distributors in over 90 countries. In 2010, they came up with eco-friendly products which include low cost bikes made of steel.
The company was founded in 1976 by Bevil Hogg and Richard Burke as a subsidiary of Roth Corp. The very first year, it produced 900 hand brazed frames and sold it for less than $200. At present, it has about 1800 employees and earned revenue of US $900,000,000 in 2013.
2. Santa Cruz
It is a producer of high quality mountain bikes located in Santa Cruz, California. They sponsor races like Santa Cruz Syndicate a racing team. It was established by Rob Roskopp, Rich Novak and Mike Marquez in 1993. Rob Roskopp was a skateboarder professionally and Santa Cruz Skateboard Company came up with a Roskopp board before they met. Later they became partners with Mike Marquez, who was a bike engineer.
The frist bike of their company was launched in the year 1994, named Tazmon. It was a full suspension bike with 76mm travel single pivot design and was first of its kind. A 4 inch one was launched a year later and was called Heckler. On 3rd July, 2015 the company was purchased by Pon Holding, a Dutch amalgamate a branch of brands like Focus, Royal Dutch Gazelle and Cervelo.
It is a Taiwan based company and is world’s biggest producers of bicycles. It has its factories in china, Taiwan and Netherlands. It was formed in 1972 in Dajia, Taichung County, by king Liu and his friends. In 1977, the chief of the company cracked a deal with a company named Schwinn and began producing bike as OEM.
The bike sales increased in US and at the same time workers of Schwinn went on strike and Giant became the main supplier. In 1984, it had a joint venture with Andries Gaastra named “Giant Europe”. Later he sold his stakes and Giant became the sole owner of the joint venture. By the year 2014, the company was selling its bicycles in over 50 countries on more 12000 outlets. According to a report in 2007, it had a global sale of 5 million cycles and US$820 million of revenue and by 2012 it reached the mark of 6.3 million cycles and US$1.8 million of revenue.
Top 10 Most Popular Mountain Bikes Brand
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Recently, I read a quote which said “Job fills your pocket, but adventure fills your Soul”. Adventure sports like mountain racing can definitely content our souls and make our lives worth living. Go out there and try some sport like that and now you also have a list of best bikes which can always come handy.