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Video of the Week: Cairns Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup 1996

Yeah, we are a bit slow from the gate on this one but with the event now completed why not take a quick look back at the first Mountain Bike World Cup event to be held in Cairns, Australia.

This was the early heyday in the world of mountain biking. Dual suspension designs were finally starting to make sense and the sport was booming. How much has actually changed? From watching this footage you wouldn't be foolish for thinking "not much". These guys were riding as hard and fast as was possible on the early downhill mountain bike technology.

Specialized FSR
Shaun Palmer's 1998 Specialized FSR
Photo: Retro Bike

Check out this photo of a Shaun Palmer Specialized FSR from around 1998. The design is largely unchanged, which speaks volumes about the effectiveness of the FSR/Horst Link model. Nowadays you would see more carbon fibre, perhaps more complicated linkages and slightly different angles but when you see Palmer riding everything looks pretty similar to today.

Sit back and enjoy a trip back into the short history of downhill mountain biking and remember: It's never really been about the bike!




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