Journalist, engineer and 'miserable northerner', Paul 'Smiff' Smith popularised Mountain Cycles frames in the UK after he bought a beefy, alu monocoque San Andreas, and duly got it featured in a multitude of magazine photoshoots.
The San Andreas was way ahead of its time. Mountain Cycle also offered disc brakes years before they became industry-standard, and also helped pioneer inverted motorcycle-style suspension forks.
However, in September 2001, the Californian micro-brand founded and run by Robert Reisinger, looked doomed after the loss of the lease on the building it had called gome for 12 years. Closure seemed imminent, with Reisinger looking set to becoming a consultant or moving to another industry.
Then, in December 2001, the top-end US frame builder Kinesis USA of Portland, Oregon, bought Mountain Cycle and kept Reisinger on the payroll.
Kinesis also bought Mountain Cycle's hydroforming manufacturing equipment.
Mountain Cycle's former UK distributor, Andrew Newsome, has since moved on to selling hot-tubs (as seen at the last Harrogate trade show)!
New appointee Windwave is currently distributor of Marzocchi and FSA.
The first shipment of 50 handmade-in-the-USA frames is arriving in the UK in February.
"Demand is likely to be high," said Windwave's marketing manager, John Styles.
"Prices are more competitive than before following extensive expansion and investment at the Portland, Oregon factory. Following the partnership with Kinesis USA, [Mountain Cycle] has a wealth of new technical, financial and human resources on hand. A major development has been the ability to increase volumes and supply more efficiently."
Tel: 02392 505323.
Existing models have been developed and new models added:-
* The Shockwave 9.5 is the all new flagship for DH racing and Extreme Freeride, designed to exceed the requirements of the fastest, most technical and fearless riders in the world. Windwave are currently negotiating with a top named rider to pilot the flagship Shockwave 9.5 DH model next season.
* Aimed squarely at serious XC racers and hardcore trail riders the Moho Slix combines a tube/monocoque main frame with a rocker-link rear suspension unit.
* If you require razor sharp handling then the Rumble hard tail is the frame for you. It is ideal for all forms of riding from dual slalom and XC to urban assaults and jumps.