Monday, May 21, 2007
1999 Wilderness Trail Bikes Titanium 29er #1
This was built in August of '99 and was Steve's first 29er bearing his or WTB's name. The first two were made for Gary Fisher and were steel. This was put together to try out the fresh-out-of-the-mold 29" x 2.1 Nanoraptors. Before testing, the frame was first displayed at the 1999 Interbike Trade Show. At this time 29ers were virtually an unknown in the marketplace and only a couple were displayed at the show. The 26" Marzocchi fork was modified by Steve to accept the larger wheel. At the show Steve went to the Marzocchi guys and asked them for some fork decals for his 29er fork. Marzocchi replied with "we don't make a 29er fork". Steve told them that indeed they did and to come to their booth to see it on display. Looks like Steve got the decals he needed. The rims were custom rolled from an existing extrusion WTB already had for the 26" rims. The lower cup on the headset is also modified to give a little more extension for fork/downtube clearance. The man who talked these guys into riding these bigger wheels was Wes Williams, formerly of Ibis and now Willits bikes. The bikes were met with lots of skepticism by the big players in the industry for a number of years, but are finally starting to gain pretty widespread acceptance depending on the local terrain. Serial number is date (08/99) and then build sequence (#001).