1992 Trek 9500 Suspension Mountain Bike
As of today, mountain bikes have been around for only about thirty years. There has been quite a bit of progress in a short amount of time.
This Trek 9500 from 1992 shows us some great leaps forward as well as some serious stumbles in mountain bike evolution.
Highlights include Shimano’s first edition XTR mountain bike component group. The engineering was superb, the cold-forged components were built to last for decades, and this group included many fantastic features like rapid-fire trigger shifting that we still use today.
Trek’s DDS3 suspension fork had some nice touches too. It used a schraeder valve to fill the air chambers unlike Rock Shox’s needle valve of the time, and the adjustable air-sprung fork was closer to what we use now than the brief bike industry-wide foray into elastomer bumper forks.
The lowlight had to be the rear suspension design, which moved like an inch-worm, with little spring rebound control and no suspension isolation from pedaling forces.
This bike came from Reliable Cycle, our Classic Cycle satellite store in the Rolling Bay neighborhood on Bainbridge Island. This bike was part of the regular inventory, and it got folded into the museum collection when the store closed in 1998.