The Malverns Classic saw people unveiling some of the rarest and much coveted mountain bikes from the annals of history. Here’s our pick of the bunch.
>>> “They’re rubbish, but they’re iconic!” – explaining the retro bike obsession
If you haven’t heard about the Malverns Classic by now then where have you been? Britain’s premier mountain bike festival of the past came back with a bang to its spiritual home at Eastnor Deer Park. And for a few fleeting moments it was like being transported back twenty years with nineties music blaring out of the sound system, more than its fair share of retro race kits and of course the bikes…
WD40 Show and Shine
It seems like it wasn’t just us that lusted after these pin-up stars judging by the amount and variety of bikes on display. Owing to such a diverse fan base and huge variety of bikes everyone had their own favourites. But if you weren’t there, here’s a taste of just some of the most drool worthy bikes still going strong today in a bit of a monster gallery.
This Yeti A.R.C. was a particularly eye-catching build. Plenty of purple and colour matched RockShox Judy SL forks to top it off.
Single bottle cages were The cage to own. Grafton cranks and rings were pretty rare and expensive.
That’s a lot of purple…
This Rocky Mountain Edge was raced by Will Longden to a national champs downhill victory in 1995. Everyone’s favourite chain device, the DCD, helps keeps things running smoothly.
It couldn’t be the Malverns without a Jason McRoy signature Specialized Stumpjumper.
That fork was a collaboration between Specialized and RockShox and had a price that put it way beyond the reach of most of us.
Probably on of the most recognisable frames on the downhill circuit. The Foes LTS. Cook Bros Racing cranks were the cranks everyone lusted after.
Yep, it had a hole in the frame.
Check out the seat angle! Slack geometry isn’t a modern concept as shown by this Muddy Fox Rambler. One of the first off-road machines seen in the UK.
Now that’s a handlebar.
Whilst it’s mainly the wildly coloured Klein Attitudes that hog the limelight, this Arctic white example stands out for looking super clean and tidy.
For a long time Raleigh were at the top of the MTB game. It’s Dyna Tech division brought us beautiful titanium bikes such as this Torus FS.
A triple crown, fully rigid Trimnell fork was fitted as standard. This UK made fork came from X-Lite, a company that has now morphed into Muc Off.
That’s an aftermarket ACOR brace to deal with all the ‘power’ a V-brake brought.
X-Lite Spin Stix
Anything related to the absolute legend that is John Tomac is always going to garner admirers. Nothing at the show came closer than this bonkers Yeti C-26 with its carbon and aluminium frame, drop bars and Tioga Disk Drive.
Think Tioga Disk Drive and you automatically think of John Tomac.
Yep, drop bars…
….with a Manitou suspension fork? We told you it was bonkers.
Probably even more recognisable that the Foes, the Mountain Cycle San Andreas was the full suspension machine everyone wanted. Built in 1992 it was way ahead of its time.
That’s an upside down fork, bolt though axle and disc brake. In 1992.
Pro-Stop brakes were mega powerful (back in the day) but that calliper is the size of your fist.
Pace frames were easy to spot with their signature box section tubing. A touch rarer, well quite a bit, than their hardtail frames were the limited run full suspension machines.
It incorporated an elastomer sprung pull shock to provide the rear wheel travel. The different colour elastomers represent different stiffness rates so you could tune how you wanted the bike to ride. That’s pretty forward thinking from a bike more than twenty five years old.
This was properly used. And no, I didn’t want to touch those grips!
Super skinny 25.4mm diameter handlebars are mounted to the Pace triple clamp forks.
Bolt through back end and Pro-Stop brakes as well.
That’s a bolt on seat mast arrangement, so different sizes could be fitted.
The judges thought it was a winner too, taking home a cool £1000.
Of course, the Malverns wasn’t just a celebration of everything retro. A full program of entertaining racing and a party atmosphere meant that everyone was having a good time. With over four and a half thousand attendees plus racers it proved to be one of the mountain bike events of the year.
And the good news…
Next year’s event dates have already been announced. Make sure you block off 14-16th June 2019 and get yourself to the Malverns Classic 2019.