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John Parker started Yeti Cycles in 1985 in North Hollywood, CA, purchasing Sweetheart Cycles in 1984 from “Bicycle Bob Wilson” using the proceeds of selling his personal 1928 Indian motorcycle. Prior to Yeti, JP worked as a welder for both Hollywood movies, Lindwall Tool & Die and Sweetheart Cycles - and also making sleeping bags for a company called Yeti. JP acquired the Yeti name for a promise of a future t-shirt, changing the Sweetheart Cycles name to Yeti Cycles mostly to escape from Sweetheart's debts. Officially, Yeti's first bikes went on sale in 1985, but JP made a few in 1984 which he painted in Yeti colors.
One of Yeti's greatest accomplishments was putting together the most successful off road cycling team of all time, winning dozens of National and World Cup events. Yeti was bought by Schwinn in 1995, resold to Volant in 1999, and then Yeti employees brought it back to independence in 2001, maintaining its strong race program.
John Parker, The Pro's Closet
Screenshot from The Pro's Closet “Meet the Maker” series on JP
Yeti's early legendary racers.
Early prototype based upon a Motocruiser frame, now with decent cable routing, including their signature front derailleur routing…. JP welded this himself, and later relied upon Frank Wadelton to weld all further Yetis. JP's personal bike. Upgraded, non-original components.
Yeti #1, their official first bike. Yeti officially didn't start selling bikes until 1985. Campy G010-LG Victory rear (38T capacity), Simplex shifters, BMX bars, weird front derailleur cable routing.
John said he powdercoated the cranks that Shimano loaned him for testing or evaluation so that they would not ask for them back. secondspincycles
FRO stands for for racing only.
This was a factory face bike with many components replaced. 9th FRO built.
Yeti FRO secondspincycles
A FRO with racks.
Yeti Yak theproscloset
Full XT M730 throughout.
Yeti FRO vintagemtbworkshop
Carbon, aluminum and steel bonded bike, debuted by Juli Furtado and John Tomac at the World Championships. Yeti only made 10 in house and sold another 20 as kits.
Most of the original C-26s broke. The tolerances Easton claimed they were using just didn't work, and most of the glue Herting was told to use simply was squeezed out as the bond was made.
Parker is said to have thanked God the entire drive home [from the World's] that Juli’s bike didn’t fail during the race. Herting still is amazed at the risk they took by sending Tomac out on a bike that very likely could have broken at 40mph and injured or killed mountain biking's first million dollar man. ridevintagemtb
Yeti C-26 secondspincycles
Full XT M735 throughout.
Yeti FRO vintagemtbworkshop
Juliana Furtado's personal bike. ARC is an acronym for “Alloy Racing Composite”, Easton's 7000 series aluminum tubing.
Among all the greats, Jimmy Deaton, Myles, Missy, Tomac; Juli Furtado, pound for pound is the ultimate mountain bike racer. John Parker, theproscloset
Yeti ARC theproscloset
Yeti continue to show off their loop-tail BMX roots
Yeti ARC secondspincycles
1993 ARC ASLT
Missy “The Missile” Giove's personal weapon for the 1993 season, placing 3rd overall in the world. ALST := “active suspension - long travel”. Full XTR. One of the first fully suspended mtb placed into the timeline. 1)
Yeti ARC ASLT theproscloset