01 April 2014

In Suspension, In The '90's

According to Justine's Law of Retrospectivity, you can't have nostalgia for a decade in the decade that immediately follows it.

So, for example, the mania for the Fifties had to wait until the early '70's--1973, to be exact--when American Graffiti showed up in theatres.

In the past year or so, I've seen '90's-themed concerts, dances and other events cropping up in local venues.  It's one thing to have a Lisa Loeb concert.  But, seriously, do you really want to see anyone do the macarena again?  For that matter, can you say the word "indie" without rolling up your eyes?

You've got to admit, though, there were some really good bikes and some really cool stuff being made for them.  I mean, a cyclist's life is not complete unless he or she has ridden something with elastomers in it.  And nothing will strengthen your legs more than detaching your foot from an Onza pedal on a sub-freezing day.

But my favorite '90's mountain bike part is one that I haven't seen in ages:  the Softride suspension stem.

Yes, believe it or not, there was a time when grown men and women actually believed that flexible stems were a better idea than telescopic forks.  They're certainly less expensive.  And, hey, if you get one today, you'll be the coolest kid on the block.

I hear that those stems are going to be made again.  In the old Murray bicycle factory.  By unionized American workers.


  1. My mountain bike is my oldest current bike, dating from 1993. It has one bit of tech I wish some of my other bikes did—a Shimono BioPace crankset. I often think it would be handy to have on my touring bike, which has (in '90s jargon) constant radius chainrings, what we'd call round these days. :)

  2. Ailish, No less than Sheldon Brown was a fan of BioPace!