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Steve Potts Overview

Steve Potts says it best himself:

Steve grew up at the base of Mount Tamalpais where his love of bicycles started at a very young age. As a kid, he would explore that mountain as if he were discovering the Wild West for the first time. The feeling of freedom that bicycles brought him would forever shape his future. This passion extended into his high school machine shop where he rebuilt old broken down bikes that he bought at the local junkyard.

In 1980, he and his friend Joe Breeze took their bicycles to New Zealand and rode around both islands. It was that trip that convinced him that building bikes was going to be his full-time vocation. When Steve returned home, he sold everything that he owned, bought a lathe and mill, and began building bikes from scratch., -Steve Potts

In 1982, Steve started Wilderness Trail Bikes with his friends Charlie Cunningham and Mark Slate.

Steve Potts
Steve Potts stevepottsbicycles

1981 Steve Potts

Frame #006. Mark Slate's personal bike. Cunningham fork crown,

1981 Steve Potts
1981 Steve Potts facebook

1982 Steve Potts

Frame #019.

1982 Steve Potts
1982 Steve Potts finveandaquarter

1983 Steve Potts

The parts are somewhat mixed: Shimano XT v2 rear derailleur (1985-86), XT v1 (1982-84) front. MAFAC brakes (⇐ 1984). Serial number: 12840 ? For now, I'll take the owner's word on dating.

1983 Steve Potts
1983 Steve Potts facebook

1984 Steve Potts

Rollercams finally make the spec sheet.

1984 Steve Potts
1984 Steve Potts mtbr

1985 Steve Potts

SunTour aRX (1981-85), RollerCams.

1985 Steve Potts
1985 Steve Potts flickr

1987 Steve Potts

This bike was later restored:

The bike was built with unused vintage parts to represent how the bike would have rolled off the showroom floor in 1987. Parts for which Steve was personally involved in developing, manufacturing, or marketing include the fixed angle seatpost, thumbshifter Multimounts, WTB Speedmaster Rollercam brakes, WTB Grease Guard hubs, WTB / Chris King headset, and the Specialized Ground Control tires. The bike was shown at Steve's booth during the 2013 North American Handmade Bicycle Show to remind attendees that he has a long history of building in steel before setting the standard for modern titanium frame construction. vintagemtbworkshop

1987 Steve Potts
1987 Steve Potts vintagemtbworkshop

1988 Steve Potts

WTB toggle cams, upgraded to XTR in 1992.

1988 Steve Potts
Toggle cam detail. velocult

1989 Expedition

Geometry based upon a Cunningham Expedition. Not quite a cyclocross. Fake lugs, WTB brakes, pressed in bearings, 700×38 tires. Originally came with WTB hubs & rims. S/N SP89219.


Steve Potts signature style often uses weirdly elongated stems. They're mostly to compensate for using flared drop bars. This is from a 1987 Steve Potts. For example, Charlie Cunningham's drop bar style also migrated from super aero to giraffe stems. Compare Cunningham's 1978 CCPROTO to a 1981 Cunningham Indian

1987 stem
1987 stem bikerader

Production Notes

[1]. Potts serial numbers are sequential and mostly dated. Correlating all of the frame numbers found in mtbr gives production numbers of {10,20,30,30,25,10,30} from 1981→1987.

potts/start.txt · Last modified: 2022/11/18 11:54 by mtbtimeline