MOST CUSTOMERS WHO WALK INTO Mountain Bike Specialists in Durango, Colorado, barely notice the relics dangling above the shop’s product-stocked walls. But atop the showroom of cutting-edge, carbon-fiber builds hangs a history of mountain bike evolution. And these are not simply anyone’s old bikes–they are legendary rides. Over the shoe backstock rests two ancient Schwinns belonging to Durango local Ned Overend. Raised over the tool section sit Greg Herbold and Juli Furtado’s downhill World Championship rides. Above the maps is Todd Wells’ Olympic XC whip. There is also a slew of other race paraphernalia from around the globe, such as jerseys from Missy Giove and Greg Lemond. “It’s a Durango-centric collection that began with our relationship with Ned Overend and grew to displaying numerous local riders’ gear,” says MBS owner John Glover. “What we have up there now is what we think is the most interesting, fun, compelling and notable.”

Before it was Mountain Bike Specialists it was Zink Co.’s The Outdoorsman. Zink Co., as in Ed Zink who later helped organize the first World Mountain Bike Championships in Durango in 1990. This ad was prime real estate in the local paper and essentially introduced the mountain bike to the masses.

Jeans, gardening gloves and helmets optional. Riders gathered for a race in the Horse Gulch area wearing some early mountain bike duds. From left: Grant Glover (John’s brother, who he claims stills rides in gardening gloves), the late Chris Hegstrom, Rob Mion, the late Derald Stewart, Lisa Muhich, Ned Overend and John Glover.

JULI FURTADO'S 1992 GT RTS-1 | Besides the obvious standout of purple glitter paint, this bike was sporting ceramic braking surfaces, a braking breakthrough at the time. The full-suspension frame is pretty fresh, with the rear shock feeding through a hole in the seat tube. Up front, the RockShox SL fork has a plush 63 millimeters of travel. This bike reflects an era when all GTs were U.S.-made, and of course it sports decade-appropriate anodizing and Onza accessories.

TODD WELLS' 2004 ATHENS OLYMPICS GT ZASKAR | Twelve years doesn’t seem like long ago, but in bike years that’s eons. The bike Wells took to the 2004 Olympics looks archaic by today’s standards, with its aluminum hardtail frame, 26-inch wheels, triple crankset, bar ends and integrated shifter brake levers. The RockShox SID has puny 28-millimeter stanchions and brake studs, as the disc brake movement still hadn’t taken hold. One of its more subtle details is the special ‘SID’ Greek lettering along the fork’s lowers.

NED OVEREND'S 1987-88 EDGEMONT CHAMPIONSHIP SCHWINNS | “Schwinn was not building mountain bikes at all,” says Glover of the late ’80s. “For Ned to race for them they had to build two mountain bikes in their Paramount factory. That was when they were still manufacturing bikes in the U.S. Paramount road bikes go way, way back. They were the American Masi or Cinelli or Colnago. There’s tons of tradition around them, hand-built by women in Chicago, Illinois. I’m sure these two are silver-soldered, lugged and steel. They’re fully rigid and not up to the rigors of mountain biking. These are early, early mountain bikes.”

GREG HERBOLD'S 1990 DOWNHILL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MIYATA | Winning the first downhill World Championship on a hardtail with skinny Onza Porcupine tires is something to talk about. H-Ball was an early adopter of suspension, and this bike debuted the RockShox RS1 fork with a whopping 49 millimeters of travel. Two other notable bits were the Onza clipless pedals and disc rear wheel–both cutting-edge pieces at the time. The bike still has its original number plate and stickers.

The son of a U.S. diplomat, Ned Overend was born in Taiwan and raised in Ethiopia and Iran before moving stateside for high school. One of the most decorated U.S. cross-country racers of all time, the 2001 XTerra Cup and his Competitor Magazine Legend Award shown here represent only a tiny fraction of his accolades. Even at the ripe young age of 60, Ned continues to give youngsters a run for their money in local and national races.

One of Ned’s old custom Schwinns hangs aside a classic mustachioed photo of him taken by Patty Mooney in Big Bear Lakes, California, in 1988.

GREG HERBOLD'S 1992 MIYATA | When it comes to rainbow schemes of anodized aluminum parts and frame add-ons, this classic has it going on. From full-length cable housing dangling off the back to a chain tensioner and CO2 kit slapped on, Herbold’s Miyata is a sight. It has a front brake booster and a hydraulic rim brake in the back. Plus the bolt-on rear suspension involves a number of materials mated together, running from the seat tube to the toptube. It almost looks like a pocket travel bike instead of a championship rig.

When it comes to mountain bike ads, they just don't make 'em like they used to.