Throwback Thursdays: WTB Velociraptor Rear Tire at the 1994 Reebok Eliminator (Kamikaze) at Mammoth Mountain
22 August, 2013
The Velociraptor is a tire that has stood the test of time. Paddle wheel belts of tread, hunks of incisor side knob rubber, and tall tread height make for a tire that lasts forever and loves to dig. It still sells exceptionally well to this day.
In 1993, the famous Mammoth Kamikaze race changed up its format. Reebok was the title sponsor and the race pitted riders against each other with two tracks and a series of heats determining the winner. Mammoth is an absolutely massive mountain, its name is apt and it is what made 50+ MPH downhills, skin suits, and humongous, over-sized custom chainrings famous. A helicopter dramatically lifted racers to the roof of the Sierra Nevada mountains as spectators and the press watched superhuman speeds in nervous awe.
Myles Rockwell, a Fairfax, CA native (WTB's backyard) won the 1993 Eliminator.
In 1994, WTB attended the event and the Velociraptor tire had just arrived. Only the rear tires were available and Gary Gleason (WTB's current Director of Sales) loaded up his VW van with bundles of the 127 tpi brand new, fresh rubber that had just arrived from Japan.
Jurgen Beneke, a German potential race favorite, suffered a mechanically-related misfortune leading up to race day. A young, smooth and fast talking Tom Delacy (WTB's former OEM Sales Manager and co-owner of awesome bike shop, Larkspur Bike-N-Bean) stepped in to save the day and before the dust had settled, Tom and Gary had a fresh Velociraptor rear tire on Jurgen Beneke's bike.
In a heroically dramatic showdown, Jurgen Beneke edged out former champ Myles Rockwell. Rockwell needed to win by 1.2 seconds and couldn't fend off Beneke's with his voracious Velociraptor rear tire. Not a bad first impression for a rear tire. Check out the following video from ESPN 2 to get a real taste of the action:
Here are some more shots of Jurgen Beneke's bike with the Velociraptor rear tire
See those Magura hydraulic rim brakes? I wanted those... sooo badly as a grom and finally,
I was handed down a pair once they were no longer cool while working at a local shop in
Your eyes are not deceiving you - fork on the front, fork on the back. Suspension has
changed a little over the years. Check out the size of that huge chainring. This was an
event dealing with serious speed.
So, want to win at 50 mph down a ridiculously long, doom-infested loose fireroad? Consider a Velociraptor 2.1 Rear, it still rules.