Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Crestone SAS

I've seen pictures of these before but never actually got to inspect one personally. The front and rear suspension used big ole rubber bands for the suspension, one on back and two on the front. There are a few really interesting design features including a roller on the back of the seat tube for the swing arm, crazy. The pivot is also concentric with the rear axle: Trek ABP anyone?? Right now we are searching for some type or replacement rubber bands. I have a hard time believing these bands were made just for this bike so I am guessing they were adapted from another application. Anyway, not a real expensive bike but it would be neat to make it somewhat "functional". Let us know if you have any ideas on a source for the rubber bands. They measure right at 7" long, 1" wide and 1/4" thick. It also looks like the rubber was treated somehow on the ends to harden it where it would have worn on the bolts that held them in place.


  1. Freaky. Giant rubber band suspension. There were some wacky attempts at suspension during this mountain bike era. Then again, you could probably dig back to the early 1900s and probably find something similar to this.

    I've read a ton of bike magazines over the last 26 years or so - but don't remember seeing this bike anywhere.

    Thanks for posting all this cool old mountain bike history.

  2. Wow, this dredges up some memories. Back in 94-96, I worked at a shop in Colorado Springs that also served as the primary U.S. distributor of Crestone Peak Bikes. It was owned by Mike Lowe, who is one of the brothers in the Lowe Alpine family. I owned one of these SAS (Super Active Suspension) bikes for a couple of years during this period. I believe the design came from a man name Pierre Blanchard (if memory serves). At the time, it was a good sell to anyone just getting into mountain biking. The bike had 4.5 inches travel up front, and 3.5 in the rear, and you could buy one for $700. This was back in 1994 when you couldn't get that much travel on a bike at all (not on production bikes, anyway), let alone for so cheap. Of course it was heavy and there was no damping, but I didn't care.

    Now that I've been working for a major suspension manufacturer for almost 10 years, I get the folly in the design. But I can't shake the memory that despite the oddity of it all, it was a fun bike to ride.

    The bands came in three durometers for different spring rates, and they were the same for front and rear, so you'll need 3 to get the bike working again. If it were me, I'd just hang it on the wall as a memory of goofier times.

  3. We'd love to find some rubber bands to fit the bike (at least to hold the fork up!). The rear band is still attached but the fronts are shot. looked at some industrial rubber sources but didn't have any luck finding anything suitable. Maybe some day?!?!?

    1. I'd probably sell my complete bike - the one in the photo's on Flickr. Not sure what it would cost to ship from Australia?

  4. I am afraid shipping from Australia would be more than the bike would be worth. It would still be nice to find a good one.