So much of WTB's history and product development is tied to racing. You can see WTB riders in white jerseys with SunTour across the chest (and WTB atop) in the right corner of this photo and the 1985 NORBA National Championships in Santa Barbara were great for WTB - 4 out of the top 10 riders were WTB racers. You can read more about this race and see some stunning color photos WTB has tucked away in the archives HERE. Racer feedback certainly happens today too - just take a look at TCS Tough High Grip and Fast Rolling tires for one quick example, a direct result of present day Team WTB.
One thing that's great to see from this period is that the mash up of styles and uncertainty of ultimate, superior product prevalent today was also certainly struggled with then, hopefully the first time. Peep the photo below for reference: Bottom right you've got a purple baggy shirt - to me, this must scream enduro though sadly he doesn't have goggles. Top right, a tightly fitting jersey that seems only befitting a true roadie. Far left, sleeveless... triathlete of 1985? Low and behold, these people appear to be cyclocross portaging their mountain bikes. And, no... but yes... there are drop bars on mountain bikes - were people adventurizing their mountain bikes and somehow caught within a race? It's all here, all of today seen then and I owe this beautiful photo's portrayal of the many types mountain bike to mountainbikeroots.com, always worth a peruse. Mountain biking will always be pushing in several directions, forever trying to figure itself out. What's certain is that we're ready for leopard print again. Un hunh, it's been long enough. Preferably in pink like the fit bottom left sleeveless racer. Long live mountain biking's irreconcilable differences.