The Most Influential Gear of All Time: Specialized Stumpjumper

1981

The first Stumpjumper     Photo: Courtesy of Specialized

Specialized’s tig-welded Stumpjumper, designed by Tim Neenan, was the first mass-produced mountain bike. Before the Stumpjumper, mountain bikes were being hand built, or around-town bikes were being individually modified to make them trail ready. The process was expensive and there was a long wait time for a custom bike. The Stumpjumper was mass-produced in Japan based on the design for a custom-made bike originally marketed by Tom Ritchey, Gary Fisher and Charles Kelly. It sold for $750, and had French touring parts (brakes and cranks), Japanese parts (hubs, shifters/derailleurs), motorcycle-sourced brake levers, and a BMX stem and pedals. Despite the steep price, especially for the early ‘80s, once the box arrived, the bike had to be built almost from scratch.

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