Once upon a time, downhill bikes didn't have disc brakes. There wasn't tubeless. Forks had pinner stanchions. Chainrings were huge. This was 1997.
In 1997, WTB and Ventana Bikes sponsored a DH team based out of Montana that tore up the nation, subjecting courses to the fury of a whole host of hot tempered Raptor tires. VelociRaptors, Primal Raptors, and Desert Raptors made their presence known along with tough 25mm wide PowerBeam rims, New Paradigm hubs, and several varieties of the SST saddle. Times were good.
Enjoy the following photos, they're from the Squaw Valley downhill course in Olympic Valley, CA. Two years later, in 1999, Steve Peat battled hard for 2nd place against Nico Vouilloz, a serious showdown. Enjoy the following pics, they definitely show 1997 in all its glamour.