Words and photos by Jeff Archer
Many of the early mountain bike pioneers cut their teeth building road bikes. When they started building in the mid 1970s, mountain bikes were still a good half decade away from being “invented.” Before Salsa, Ross Shafer built road bikes and tandems under the Red Bush moniker. Chris Chance was just Chris Chance before making Fat Chance mountain bikes. The road bike featured here predates Jeff Lindsay’s switch to focusing on the the Mountain Goat brand by about six years.
These builders, along with most others, were known to pull out all the stops when making bikes for loved ones. Take a look around the floor of NAHBS and you will see bikes like the Vanilla tricycle Sacha White built for his daughter or the titanium 20-inch wheel bike Jeremy Sycip built for his daughter. These Phil Wood, Brooks, XTR-equipped machines would likely run towards $10,000 if you bought them at retail. An earlier example would be the 24-inch wheel Salsa Ross Shafer built for his son around 1994. Not all examples were for children. Jeff Lindsay built this bike for his then-girlfriend, Pam, in 1975.
Lindsay spent quite a bit of extra time and care to carve up a set of Nervex lugs. The seat lug area has been cut down significantly and features an integrated bolt a little lower on the seat stays. Many of the builders of that era did their own paint, which wasn’t always perfect, so this one has a fair amount of paint loss but the gold lug outlines still glisten. The drivetrain is mostly Shimano Dura Ace with a Crane GS rear derailleur.
Many of the ancillary components are from Campagnolo including the hubs, headset, seat post and brakes. One interesting part would be the Phil Wood CHP pedals. The extrusion allowed reflectors to be built in which made it the first pedal to be formally certified by the California Highway Patrol. Better head out to the garage and make sure your pedals are certified. You don’t want Erik Estrada busting down your door.
This bike can be seen at the Museum of Mountain Bike Art & Technology which is housed at First Flight Bicycles in historic downtown Statesville, NC. If you can’t visit in person, check out the collection at www.mombat.org.