The First Mountain Bike?

Oct 23 2010

Here’s a controversial auction from Romrod in Missouri: Bikes are cool, they make people so mad and crazy.

Check out this wild, rambling,angry description, (please note the story about Romrod’s brother and Gary Fisher ).

Offering this rare and unique piece of mountain-bike history. For the complete story on this one-of-a-kind bike, logon to On the home page, click on the “Nominees” link on the left-hand side. In the Nominee categories, click on “Pioneers” and in the list of Pioneers, click on “Rodney Rom.” Copies of all the original documentation (shown on the shop wall in the picture) will be included.

Some Viewers question the Opening Bid Price. A recent Question, and my edited Reply, are as follows:
QUESTION from javiwood17 on 20100813: Can you enlighten me as to why this bike is worth almost 10K? It looks like an old 10-speed that’s really not worth much more than 100 bucks. Thanks.
ANSWER (edited): As the saying goes, “If you have to ask, you wouldn’t understand,” but I’ll try anyway. Start by reading — REALLY reading — the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame link, then realize that, even though the Californians invented the SPORT of mountain biking, THIS is the first modern U.S. mountain bike and it predated the Marin Countians’ bikes by almost a decade. What is Henry Ford’s first “quadricycle” worth? The Wright Brothers’ Flyer? A first-year Harley-Davidson? The first Mustang or Corvair? A 1953 Corvette? Would you question its worth if it were a Gary Fisher or Joe Breeze first-bike offering? Being a territorial Californian, maybe this small-but-significant piece of Midwest mountain bike history means nothing to you and, in fact, bothers you. Yes, this pioneering machine IS an “old 10-speed” (would it help if I re-chromed the frame?) but that’s where the similarity to a “100-buck” bike ends, especially since it cost 2-1/2 times that to build, in 1966 dollars, just in materials. You’re most welcome.
Another subsequent Questioner even wanted me to give it away: QUESTION on 20100829: I live in Crested Butte. You should donate that
to the mountain bike museum 🙂
ANSWER: Why? The Inductees and Left-Coast members won’t
even vote for me as a Pioneer when, except for John Finley Scott, I’m the oldest, most original Nominee in
that category and have been since I joined. Why donate it to people who
won’t appreciate it? If you want to buy it and donate it, be my guest. If
you want to get a bunch of your Crested-Butteers together and each chip in a
percentage, it would cost you even less. Add some of the plentiful Marinites and your
per-person cost goes down even more.
Speaking of unappreciative people: Gary Fisher is a Hall of Fame Inductee. A few years ago, Gary made a promotional appearance at a bike shop in Albuquerque, New Mexico. My younger brother lives in Albuquerque, so he went to the shop while Gary was there to get Gary’s autograph for me. (I live in rural Missouri and have never had the opportunity to meet Gary in person.) After introducing himself and politely asking for Gary’s autograph, Gary turned his back on my brother and completely ignored him. And this is supposed to make me want to donate my bike to the museum?
What about the Yahoo! Sports story from August 12th from Owenton, Kentucky? One Greg Estes buys a $5 mountain bike at a garage sale and discovers that it is the custom-built bike used by defrocked Tour-de-France winner Floyd Landis at a 2007 m-b race. He’s now asking $6,000.00 for it. This bike was used one time in recent history — my historic bike has been in use for over 40 years.
This recent comment from another contemptuous Californian who doesn’t appreciate true historical value:
QUESTION from drewbond4007 on 20100919: There’s an even better saying – “There’s a sucker born every minute”. For your sake, we’ll see if that’s true if someone bids on this.
ANSWER: Interesting comment. Are you of the “old $100 10-speed” or the “donate it for free” mindset?
I’m still waiting for a reply on this one.
And this recent comment from a time-waster who is ashamed of even letting other eBayers know which state he/she is from: QUESTION from en_liri on 20101001: Is that 99.95 or 9995? If 9995 then why are you selling for that price?
ANSWER: The price is quite clear in the ad, as are my reasons in the “Questions” paragraphs. Get back to me with your email address and I’ll try to explain further. As expected, no reply from this one, either.