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Rocky Mountain Overview

Rocky Mountain was founded in 1978 by Grayson Bain 1), Jacob Heilbron2), and Sam Mak 3).

In 1978, a couple of guys in a Vancouver bike store modified a few Nishiki road bikes with wide tires, straight bars and thumbshifters with gears. This was the first experience with “mountain bikes” for the soon-to-be Rocky Mountain founders. They needed a more durable frame with aggressive geometry to withstand the harsh trails of the West Coast. So, they called Tom Ritchey and began to import his version of the mountain bike. The founders accompanied Tom Ritchey to Japan to explore the world of durable components and frame tubing that could be fashioned into mountain bikes. And, in 1982, they created their first production model, and Canada's first homegrown fat-tire bike, the Sherpa. missoulabikesource 4) 5)

Rocky Mountain continues to build bikes in Canada:

Jacob Heilbron
Jacob Heilbron mmbhof

Grayson Bain
Grayson Bain

1982 Sherpa

The only pic of an authentic, un-“restored” Sherpa can be found in their 1982 catalog.

1982 Sherpa
1982 Sherpa bikeforums

1983 Sherpa Super Scooter

Also hard to find with all original parts, as most users understandably remove that top sticker 6)

1983 Scooter
1983 Scooter mtbr

Rocky Mountain Ritcheys

Rocky Mountain resold Ritcheys starting in 1983. They eventually arrived in three varieties: Japanese TIG welded, lugged and fillet brazed. The 1983 Rocky Mountain Ritchey was TIG welded by Toyo in Japan and is identical to the 1983 Montare Mountain Bikes sold in the US by Fisher.

The difference is in the decals. Note the uniquely weird faux-biplane forks.

Rocky Mountain Ritchey
1983 Rocky Mountain Ritchey bikeforums

Fisher Montare
1983 Fisher Montare mtbr

1984 Fat City Flyer

Is the name an homage to both Fat City Cycles and Fat Tire Flyer? 7)

1984 Fat City Flyer
1984 Fat City Flyer pinkbike

1985 Blizzard

A better name for the most northerly of all mountain bikes. 8)

1985 Blizzard
1985 Blizzard retrobike


This is what you get when you google “super scooter.”

Rocky Mountain went on to solidify their brand of bad names by releasing 9)

  • 1982 Super Scooter : drugs must have been involved
  • 1985 Transpo : for “light trail riding”
  • 1988 Hammer : for “pounding the hills”
  • 1990 Wedge : a Breezer Series I with an elevated chainstay
  • 1991 Équipe & Expérience : Accents required for the Québecois
  • 1993 Bolt : “Nail” would have worked better with “Hammer.”
  • 1996 Element : worked for Honda
  • 1997 Spice : in 1997, the Spice Girls ruled supreme
  • 2009 Element 50 : Also known as Tin.

And probably many more.

Luggie Super Scooter
Luggie Super Scooter luggie

Production Notes

[1]. no data

who later went on to found Race Face and JustTea
Who later went on to found Kona Mountain Bikes
Who ran the Bicycle Peddler Bike Shop in Vancouver
Also in Rocky Mountain's own web page: Rocky Mountain Bikes
Wow, Rocky Mountain owns!
Really, what were they thinking? There should be a page for worst_names.
“Fat city” is slang for the good life. wikipedia
Today, Pole Bicycles and Canyon, both from Finland, may win the northernmost prize.
rm/start.txt · Last modified: 2021/08/01 10:51 by gchandler