Retro bikes from revived Malverns Classic MTB festival

Step back in time with this retro bikes gallery

At the weekend, and after 20 years, the Malverns Classic mountain biking festival returned to the Herefordshire countryside and the hills that bear the event’s name.

It was a packed weekend of demos, displays, entertainment and, of course, plenty of racing from balance bikes to Legends’ downhill. But in a nod to the event’s heritage, retro racing gear was on show too and we took a walk around the expo village to bring you some of the best.

Yeti C-26

John Tomac's Yeti C-26 complete with Tioga Disc Drive rear wheel and drop handlebar
John Tomac's Yeti C-26 complete with Tioga Disc Drive rear wheel and drop handlebar

There was plenty of retro loveliness at the Yeti stand, but this C-26 really stood out. With only an estimated 20 frames produced, the C-26 was ridden back in 1990 by Juli Furtado and John Tomac at the World Championships in Durango, Colorado.

A bike ahead of its time, it used Easton C-9 tubing, which combined aluminium core tubing with a wrap of unidirectional high-modulus carbon.

This bike was John Tomac’s and had Shimano Deore XT, a Manitou 1 fork and a Tioga Disk Drive fitted to 26-inch wheels. There’s some pretty funky bar tape and some classic nineties purple ano touches to boot.

Spooky Metal Head

This Spooky Metal Head belongs to Russ from White Mountain bike shop
This Spooky Metal Head belongs to Russ from White Mountain bike shop

Twenty years ago, the Spooky Metal Head was the bike sending huge jumps in the Malverns dirt jump contests.

This classic belongs to Russ from White Mountain bike shop on the Isle of White, and is fitted with Marzocchi Z1 forks, Kenda K-Rad tyres, 24-inch Rhyno Lite rims and Primo bar ends.

Spooky Cycles was resurrected back in 2016, building handmade, custom bikes again in the US.

Sintesi Bazooka

Kerry Bason's Sintesi Bazooka
Kerry Bason's Sintesi Bazooka

An original Malverns Classic classic, this Sintesi Bazooka was ridden by Kerry Bason back in 1996, and this year took second place on the Women’s Legends Downhill podium.

Fitted with a huge chainring, ahead-of-its-time chain device, Marzocchi suspension front and rear, and (now) dated geo. It was great to see so many riders return to race with their old bikes and race kit.

Take a look at the gallery above for more bikes from the Malverns.

The organisers have already said that the festival will return again next year, bigger and better, and we can’t wait for it to begin a regular fixture again for a whole new generation to enjoy.

For more nostalgia, check out MBUK’s 30 year anniversary issue which goes on sale 12 July.

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