The history of Yeti Cycles is a colorful one. Least of all, the turquoise which has become it’s trademark. John Parker, the founder of Yeti Cycles, is a veritable bad boy of mountain biking. His welding and fabricating skills were actually picked up in juvenile halls, road camps and boy’s homes, after being incarcerated on his 13th birthday. After such a shady start, John evolved into one of the sport’s guardians, eventually being inducted as a trustee of NORBA Board of Directors for 5 years.
In 1989, Mountain Bike Action magazine collaborated with Yeti to produce the ‘Ultimate’ mountain bike, which was offered as a production model following the ensuing adulation. The Ultimate featured elevated ‘revolutionary’ chain stays and Patco tubing, the same as used on the FRO (For Racing Only) frames. Campagnolo sponsored Yeti in 1990, the same year the legendary John Tomac began riding as a factory rider.
This particular Ultimate has been restored by one of the almost-obsessive collectors of retro mountain bikes that reside in the United Kingdom. Geoff Waugh, a photographer who has been documenting the scene since it’s inception, shot this Ultimate, and the bikes of other collectors, for the latest issue of Privateer Magazine. If you weren’t aware, it’s the Rouleur of mountain bikes, and if you’ve a penchant for old-school dirt machines, it’s essential reading. Have a look, it’s well worth the subscription.