What do you consider to be THE MTB Holy Grail?
Second question, what is YOUR holy grail.
The two aren't necessarily the same...
That's a great question, and something I've thought much about in recent months
On one hand I'd say the bike itself is somewhat irrelevant as it is just the tool I use to get out and enjoy life - views for tops of mountains, frosty mornings in the sun etc, but as there is a bike slant to it I'd better stick to the topic.
THE MTB Holy grail
- This is a real tough one. To be honest Repack means nothing to me. The bikes and racing there in my opinion is no different to the off road racing that my dad and his friends did back in the mid 60s on converted road touring bikes (i.e. fat tyres, some gears and curved flat bars). And I'm sure similar things were happening in other parts of the world including the US before then too. While the bikes from that era do have some wonderful adaptation and customising they really do nothing for me. When Repack is mentioned in current mags there seems to be more alpha male chest beating than anything else..
Similarly other than the paint job why would you want a Klein? Maybe the poor ride was a contibuting factor to the Trek buyout?
Fat's, the first Kestral FS bike, Pro Flex and maybe something more obscure like the Decender could all be considered potential candidates for the holy grail but their influence on overall mtb design and culture I'm unsure about.
Thus after a lot of thought I'd say that the
holy grail is the original Turner Burner. The fact that the basic suspension design has been copied by so many manufacturers now, is probably sign of how good it is.
My Holy Grail
- Other than the original Turner Burner (see 95 and 96 examples below), my personal holy grail is the 1997 Kona King Kahuna. Yes a Kona.... but this is my holy grail for the following reasons:
Titanium - likely to be around when I'm gone,
Marzocchi Bomber Z1 - The first real suspension fork, beautifully made, bullet proof in design and operation and makes everything prior just feel like spongy unreliable rubbish.
M950 XTR - A huge leap forward over M900/M910 and includes brakes that really work and are still among the best rim brakes today.
Its a Kona - geometry is totally sorted and being relatively common its means everyone has a reasonable chance of owning one in the right frame size.
As a complete package its got everything you want and it just works.