Throwback Thursdays: 1993 WTB/Blackburn Bomber
06 February, 2014
To water bottle, to backpack? The inevitable question seems to surface every time I start rummaging for tools, spare tube, CO2s, and other odds and ends I deem necessary for a ride. At what length ride should I rock a pack? What quantity of things, jammed into jersey pockets, is no longer cool? What do you mean it's not cool to look like you have a second butt on your back? And why do all my jerseys now have blown out pockets? I feel like a mountain bike adaptation of The Things They Carried. Not funny, that's a serious book.
Well, in late 1992, WTB set out to alleviate my First World, cycling fashion faux pas problem. Simple, make a bigger water bottle cage actually designed to properly fondle one of those big, 1.5L convenience store water bottles. How many times have you witnessed a tourist, rattling down the fire road, eyes near closed, face puckered in grimace, with some sort of too large, 7Eleven purchased, water receptacle somehow still in the normal water bottle cage of his or her rented bike, hoping all things go according to plan? Haven't seen it? Guess it's just me. Regardless, it was a great idea. Yet another argument for stuffing too many things in my stretched, pouty pockets. It even used a normal water bottle cage bolt pattern. A stretchy top strap made sure the bottle didn't get any big ideas.
Well, it all went great until some weight weenie mounted it to a lovely, very lightweight, thin walled steel frame. The Crystal Geyser contents vowed to rejoin their family in the creek at the bottom of the drainage the weight weenie was schralping, ripping clean off the bike frame. Along with the 1.5L water bottle went the bottle cage and a large hunk of lightweight steel it was still mounted to. This was quickly remedied on WTB frames by installing a third mounting bracket to better disperse the load. It definitely warranted a full disclosure discussion when selling the cages to those who may not be equipped with the third bracket. Always room for improvement, but a stellar idea none-the-less. Here's the 1993 catalog text from the Bomber's introduction:
And the '93 Catalog Cover: