90s Mountain Biking – The Best Films
December 5th, 2016
By Andrew Dodd
90s Mountain Biking – the start of something big!
Although mountain biking dates back to the 80’s, it was really just simmering until the 90’s hit and everyone suddenly became interested in fat tyred bikes.
Big sponsorship deals flooded in from outside of the industry; bike designs were changing faster than anyone could keep up with and riding progression went through the roof.
Big named riders became stars away from the races with appearances in bike movies, and mountain biking started trying to find it’s identity.
Here are 5 essential MTB films that encapsulate 90s mountain biking – enjoy!
Chainsmoke | 1996
With Fox Racing as the title sponsor, this US production was loud and in your face from the start. With a metal sound track and a fast paced edit, it made all parts of mountain biking look so good – even XC!
Many big name riders appeared, but it’s Shaun Palmer that featured on the cover, and it was him that really stood out as the man of the moment.
Such a great flick – even now!
Chainspotting | 1997
Back in the UK, Rob Warner; Steve Peat; Martyn Ashton; Martin Hawyes and Will Longden appeared in the brilliant Chainspotting film – a classic 90s mountain biking film.
This movie really boosted the popularity of these guys as celebrity riders, and reflected the fun nature of Mountain Biking UK magazine and how it pushed riders in to the lime light as household names.
Brilliant sound track too!
Mud Cows 2 | 1998
Glenn Jacobs is a renowned mountain bike trail builder these days, but in the 90s mountain biking days he was a slalom and dual (4x predecessor) track builder.
When travelling the world for the mountain bike world cup he would document it on his video camera and put together the unmistakeable Mud Cows videos.
Mud Cows 2 is the third film in the series (the second was actually called Burning Calves) and it’s got a whole load of action with a huge dollop of Aussie humour. Also, Glenn Jacobs does one of the first cable cam shots – tracking Michael Ronning on his Gary Fisher downhill bike. Even through the quality of the uploads here is poor – the footage is ace!
Watch out for those nasty bits though!
Sprung 3 | 1999
The Sprung series was popular from the very start, but by Sprung 3 the series by Alex Rankin and Milan Spasic really found it’s feet and built momentum.
The US road trip content was in there with Steve Peat and friends, and there’s loads of great content and some classic humour.
The whole Sprung series is available on Youtube to watch – click play below and you’ll see the others pop up.
Probably the best and most diverse music selection from any 90s mountain biking videos too.
New World Disorder | 2000
Ok, so technically this is in noughties territory – but it marked the start of the Freeride era.
Massive drops; wooden North Shore style obstacles and a host of next generation riders willing to go higher and gnarlier than ever before.
Remember Bobby Root and his 65mph German manual? Or Josh Bender attempting the 60ft Jah Drop (and failing, badly)?
The New World Disorder series was amazing – and this one really marked the start of something big from the 90s mountain biking period. There’s also that mad old unicyclist Kris Holm, doing his best to push his balls back inside his body. Impressive, but painful to watch!
What’s your favourite 90s mountain biking moment from the videos above?
Were you inspired by any of these back in the day?
Let us know in the comments!