Crotch Rocket Mountain Bikes (1985)

On the street I lived on as a kid, a friend of mine lived up the way, and across from him lived this older dude who assembled Crotch Rocket mountain bikes in his garage and sold us parts.

I always had BMX bikes up until that time, and the only other bicycles I remember being popular were ten speeds with skinny tires like pizza cutters and those curly handlebars. This is not to say mountain bikes were newly invented, but they were new to me and my experience.

The idea of a big bike made specially for riding trails and rough terrain was entirely new to me and utterly irresistible. I just had to have one.

The gleaming white of the Crotch Rockets the neighbor guy rode around must of matched the gleam of my moon eyes as I stared at the raddest bike I ever saw.

I desperately wanted the bike, but I was a bit hesitant and embarrassed about riding something called a Crotch Rocket to elementary school. I had already stirred up more attention than I ever cared for by wearing a Sex Wax t-shirt to school one day. Being a young boy, the name of the bike was also comical. Being an immature adult, it still is.

Jesusita and Tunnel were two of the first trails I ever rode a mountain bike down. I remember Tunnel being pretty brutal without suspension. I tried it once, as I recall, and then stuck to Jesusita.

I doubt many guys were rocketing down trails on those old bikes except for maybe smooth single tracks like Knapp’s Castle. Ball Buster Bicycles, Inc. would’ve been a more accurate brand name.

Here is a profile piece on Crotch Rocket mountain bikes published in a 1985 edition of Bicycle Guide magazine:


Museum of Mountain Bike Art and Technology

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6 Responses to Crotch Rocket Mountain Bikes (1985)

  1. Anonymous says:

    My dad’s shop did all of the tube bending for these, and now I work for one of the guys who started this company. I think these things have made it into the mountain biking hall of fame. It’s funny that the guy I work for isn’t mentioned in the article, but Terry is. They are still best buds.

  2. Jack Elliott says:

    Terry is actually the “older dude” I referenced in the post that lived across from my friend.

  3. stevenschlah says:

    Going back further, in 1961, while in high school, I, and a few of my friends, assembled “Desiree” bicycles for Robert “Bob” Alexander in his shop on the ground level of the Neal Hotel. At the time, they were the finest 10 and 15 speed bicycles in the world. He used parts, such as: Campagnolo hubs and deraileurs (in which he modified, with an extended arm, to allow for 68-51-21 front sprockets and 13-30 Regina free wheel), Mavic aluminum rims, Mafac aluminum brakes, TA aluminum sprockets, Stronglight cranks, Reynolds 501 chrome-moly frames, Brooks or Mansfield seats, and either ‘sow-up” or “clincher” tires and they weighed 22 lbs. The bikes, in 1961, sold for $125 for a 10 speed and $150 or a 15. Bob, though a bit of a strange dude, was an avid bike racer, with calves the size of my thighs. He also had time to design and build “Voo Doo” Congas and Bangos, some of the finest made at the time. Bob lived in the ‘log house’ at the top of Carrillo hill, where it met Meigs Road and where he would sit for hours playing his congas. Truly, his “Desiree” bikes were the finest bikes of that era and they are collectors items today (I wish I still had one) and would be worth in the thousands.

  4. Ian Maxwell says:

    This story cracks me up. It has been years since I’ve though about those bikes. How hard it was to ride a bike to elementary school with the word “crotch” on it. But, it was a nice bike. As a matter of fact, I believe one is still sitting in my parents garage with a layer of dust and rotted tires.

  5. paul says:

    I had one! I was living in Cape Cod Massachusetts in 1985 and 1986, and I remember seeing the ad for the Crotch Rocket in some mountain biking magazine. I got hold of the guy making them — Terry? — and got on the wait list, and I remember that he told me that he was doing an initial run of 200 or so, and they were actually being manufactured in China or Taiwan (I think). I waited and waited through various delays but then got it in about 1986. It was great, I loved it. I loved having one of the first mountain bikes, it rode great, it was a lot of fun.

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