Who made the first modern 29'er?

GoldenEraMTB

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Came across a frame that might be a 1998 29'er, which got me to thinking, who made the first modern (yes, late 90's what we now know as the 29'er; not referring to klunkers)?

Anyone care to enlighten me, (maybe others), to the exact history of the modern day 29'er, and which makers played a key role in starting its popularity.

Thanks

(If this has been done already, please link me, as I was not able to find it, thanks again)
 

kaiser

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From my (sketchy) memory it was Wes Willets who pioneered the wheel size for MTB, I believe at some point he convinced Mark Slate at WTB to make a tyre and at some point Gary Fisher got involved and used his clout to give it a bigger push.....something like that anyway.


EDIT: Wes Williams not Willets.
 

jonnyboy666

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yeah, gary fisher was definitely the first manufacturer to go with it, and quite big at the time aswel, there were alot of "these will never sell" type remarks, now look at it, they're everywhere, and so is 650b . . . sigh . . . :LOL:
 

GoldenEraMTB

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I've heard a similar story to that, but was wondering if there are any alternate histories (as often is the case).

For example, there are some that said Gary Fisher's (Trek) introduction of the Rig (in single speed and geared) brought 29'ers to the mainstream, but that there were small handmade bike makers who had already put 29'er models on the market, from the Pacific Northwest. I don't want to propagate misinformation, so forgive me for not being more specific.

What year did wes williams and GF start producing 29'er frames?
 

kaiser

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No idea about the timeframe, WW had been a fan since the early nineties it seems. Surly claim to have introduced the first mainstream/production 29er.
 

Dead Rats

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I was going to mention Surly. Am I wrong in thinking all MTBs would have been 29ers if there had been the rims & tyres available BITD?
 

Ductape

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Don't know of any alternate history that happened here in the PacNW. The Tire. Wes Williams. Hybirds from the late 80's early 90's. Nokians.Bikes from the turn of the century. Draw your own line.

My vote goes to Wes Williams (Google Wes Williams Willits) Legendary.
 

patineto

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From a friend that was in the middle of it...

"Wes Williams, Willits Bicycles - 1998
Maybe earlier, but the WTB Nanoraptor didn't go into production until then"

Ps: we where selling this bikes at American Cyclery in San Francisco on that years, sadly I did not see the advantages back then..

PsII: sorry I did not read the other responses before I post..
 

patineto

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jonnyboy666":ohof5iwh said:
yeah, gary fisher was definitely the first manufacturer to go with it, and quite big at the time aswel, there were alot of "these will never sell" type remarks, now look at it, they're everywhere, and so is 650b . . . sigh . . . :LOL:

Gary Fisher got his first 29er build my Steve Potts, because Trek refuse to make one for him..
 

futuristicoldman

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Diamond back did something in the early nineties with a steel frame, xt and 700c panaracer smoke lites. It wasn't called a 29er back then and i'm not sure anybody bought them over here, they seem to have slipped out of cyclists collective memory.
 

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