“Don’t you know who I am” never comes across well and we always want to be more excited about the ‘now’ and the ‘next’, not the ‘then’. In a world of kickstarter upstarts and ‘crack open a box from China and stick your name on ‘brands’ we’re not shy about the tracks we’ve left in the history of mountain biking.
Back in the day the American mags might have downsized God’s own county with their “Now the town of Yorkshire is famous for more than just it’s puddings” headline but it proves our original RC100 bike put UK design on the global map in 1989. With it’s unique custom drawn externally machined square section aluminium frame it was truly revolutionary in a bike world dominated by small diameter steel road bike tubing. It’s dedicated Bullseye fixed arm cranks, direct fit Magura hydraulic brakes, integrated stem steerer and the first threadless headset also introduced innovations that are still fresh over 25 years later.
Within a few years we’d added carbon fibre legged, grease ported suspension forks and ground breaking triple crown DH specific, disc brake equipped format. Our asymmetric chain stay, bolt through axle suspension frames were years ahead of the curve and our patented hollow single piece carbon fibre fork sliders have never been matched since.
We pioneered long top tube, short stem geometry from the start, culminating in the extra long frame, direct mounted stem of the RC500 DH bike showing the way to radical riding control decades before modern equivalents. Our handlebar collaboration with motorbike legends Renthal even had “Forward Control” etched onto them. Our constant push for improvement added transmission components, stems and even lubes and our own uniquely practical and performance focused clothing line to the Pace catalogue.
Biking is more than just about bits though and over the years we’ve become increasingly involved in building places - not just things - to ride. Having helped organise some of the first mountain bike races in Dalby Forest we’ve since spent two decades help make the National Park a cycling destination in partnership with Forestry Commission and the North York Moors National Parks. Ribbons of natural sheep track and ancient drove roads are now integrated into a riding landscape that includes hours and hours of all weather purpose built trails, a globally renowned World Cup XC course skills areas and a long distance Moor to Sea epic.
With the riding sorted we worked on the pre and post part of biking life, opening first our Dalby Bike Barn Trail Centre store just across from our HQ. We then set up Sutton Bank Bikes working with the National Parks to create a network of Wildride man made and natural trails to encourage free range exploring whatever your skill and fitness level.
Now we’re back full circle starting with a steel bike frame that looks a lot like the ones we made obsolete 25 years ago. But as our T’shirts said back then, sometimes “It’s hip to be square.”