Eli Tomac Mountain bike

drt410
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Boston, MA US
6/1/2018 3:50am Edited Date/Time 6/2/2018 10:57am
Did anyone know John Tomac had his own mountain bike brand.. Tomac bicycles and one of them was the Eli. Pretty cool he had his own mtb named after him.
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NATEP231
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Waterloo, IA US
6/1/2018 4:33am
He also started Salsa bike co and I believe sold his share not long ago
51xc
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DE
6/1/2018 7:38am
well as far as I know jt sold a license to the guy who is now gm of x-fusion and he didn't continue because it was pretty much a one man show and there wasn't much money for developments etc. to grow the brand.
phatfi20
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6/1/2018 7:39am
Blake Baggett doesn't have a famous father.

The Shop

hamncheeze
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6/1/2018 9:07am
NATEP231 wrote:
He also started Salsa bike co and I believe sold his share not long ago
Woah Nelly, he did not start Salsa Cycles. That honour goes to Ross Shafer, an icon in the bicycle industry.

After retiring John Tomac started Tomac cycles with the help of Doug Bradbury, the founder of Manitou suspension. JT was the first guy to use Manitou forks back in the 90s, I remember wanting them so bad....literally stalking my LBS to get the first pair that arrived. Tomac cycles was then sold to American Bicycle Group, the parent company of Litespeed at the time, who also had Merlin, Quintana Roo. Then ABG let Tomac bikes go, and a guy who was a former Answer brand manager took it over for a while. I forget his name....but then he had to shut it down. I think at this point John was full-on with Eli's career and really had no time or desire to be involved in the bike biz. Plus, the years 2000-2012 were super tumultuous for the bike industry, with companies moving operations to Asia left and right, brands being acquired and sold like wildfire, internet bike companies starting up, etc, etc. I think the Tomac brand could be resurrected....just needs someone to take it on. I'd start out building boutique customs....something like a Ti-carbon hardtail that would be a heritage to John's Ti Raleigh that he was racing in the 90s. There's only 2 ways to succeed in the bike industry now, either be a big dog like Trek, Specialized, Cannonade, or go boutique/custom low production. The middle ground is on its death bed.

peelout
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Ogden, UT US
6/1/2018 9:10am
phatfi20 wrote:
Blake Baggett doesn't have a famous father.
and because of that he also doesn't have a 450 outdoors title.

famous dads > not famous dads
burn1986
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bossier city, LA US
6/1/2018 9:17am
WCRider wrote:
Well, that was a cool video. Certainly a solid guy. Good find.
WarrenMX
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6/1/2018 9:38am
phatfi20 wrote:
Blake Baggett doesn't have a famous father.
Hahaha, that made me laugh out loud!
mx 219
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6/1/2018 9:53am
I just ran across one for sale on Craigslist now that you say that. It had white frame.
GuyB
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6/1/2018 9:54am
NATEP231 wrote:
He also started Salsa bike co and I believe sold his share not long ago
hamncheeze wrote:
Woah Nelly, he did not start Salsa Cycles. That honour goes to Ross Shafer, an icon in the bicycle industry. After retiring John Tomac started Tomac...
Woah Nelly, he did not start Salsa Cycles. That honour goes to Ross Shafer, an icon in the bicycle industry.

After retiring John Tomac started Tomac cycles with the help of Doug Bradbury, the founder of Manitou suspension. JT was the first guy to use Manitou forks back in the 90s, I remember wanting them so bad....literally stalking my LBS to get the first pair that arrived. Tomac cycles was then sold to American Bicycle Group, the parent company of Litespeed at the time, who also had Merlin, Quintana Roo. Then ABG let Tomac bikes go, and a guy who was a former Answer brand manager took it over for a while. I forget his name....but then he had to shut it down. I think at this point John was full-on with Eli's career and really had no time or desire to be involved in the bike biz. Plus, the years 2000-2012 were super tumultuous for the bike industry, with companies moving operations to Asia left and right, brands being acquired and sold like wildfire, internet bike companies starting up, etc, etc. I think the Tomac brand could be resurrected....just needs someone to take it on. I'd start out building boutique customs....something like a Ti-carbon hardtail that would be a heritage to John's Ti Raleigh that he was racing in the 90s. There's only 2 ways to succeed in the bike industry now, either be a big dog like Trek, Specialized, Cannonade, or go boutique/custom low production. The middle ground is on its death bed.

Thanks for straightening that out. I didn't think JT had any connection to Salsa.

I was lucky that I got to spend a bunch of time shooting photos of John back in the day. When he's on the bike, Eli's a lot like his dad was back then.
WarrenMX
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6/1/2018 10:03am
WCRider wrote:
Nice find, thanks for sharing!
ACBraap
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6/1/2018 10:09am
NATEP231 wrote:
He also started Salsa bike co and I believe sold his share not long ago
He did not start Salsa. Ross Shafer started Salsa bikes and sold the company a long time ago. It's been part of QBP (the bicycle industries Parts Unlimited) for years now.
AzMxr
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Grapevine, TX US
6/1/2018 10:16am
WCRider wrote:
I grew up riding mountain bikes in AZ, and Tomac was my hero. Him and Ned Overend were bad ass. Pure people no attitude. I met John at the Cactus Cup one year, and he could not have been nicer to us.
ACBraap
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6/1/2018 10:17am
hamncheeze wrote:
Woah Nelly, he did not start Salsa Cycles. That honour goes to Ross Shafer, an icon in the bicycle industry. After retiring John Tomac started Tomac...
Woah Nelly, he did not start Salsa Cycles. That honour goes to Ross Shafer, an icon in the bicycle industry.

After retiring John Tomac started Tomac cycles with the help of Doug Bradbury, the founder of Manitou suspension. JT was the first guy to use Manitou forks back in the 90s, I remember wanting them so bad....literally stalking my LBS to get the first pair that arrived. Tomac cycles was then sold to American Bicycle Group, the parent company of Litespeed at the time, who also had Merlin, Quintana Roo. Then ABG let Tomac bikes go, and a guy who was a former Answer brand manager took it over for a while. I forget his name....but then he had to shut it down. I think at this point John was full-on with Eli's career and really had no time or desire to be involved in the bike biz. Plus, the years 2000-2012 were super tumultuous for the bike industry, with companies moving operations to Asia left and right, brands being acquired and sold like wildfire, internet bike companies starting up, etc, etc. I think the Tomac brand could be resurrected....just needs someone to take it on. I'd start out building boutique customs....something like a Ti-carbon hardtail that would be a heritage to John's Ti Raleigh that he was racing in the 90s. There's only 2 ways to succeed in the bike industry now, either be a big dog like Trek, Specialized, Cannonade, or go boutique/custom low production. The middle ground is on its death bed.

I believe the guy you're thinking of that worked with JT on the Tomac Brand, and later took it over was Joel Smith - yep, son of Malcolm Smith.

I have a like new Manitou 3 in my garage for a period correct rebuild of a GT Zaskar that I've had since 1995. Started with a Manitou 2, then upgraded to the EFC with a whopping 3" of travel.
bvm111
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6/1/2018 10:25am

hamncheeze
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6/1/2018 10:47am
ACBraap wrote:
I believe the guy you're thinking of that worked with JT on the Tomac Brand, and later took it over was Joel Smith - yep, son...
I believe the guy you're thinking of that worked with JT on the Tomac Brand, and later took it over was Joel Smith - yep, son of Malcolm Smith.

I have a like new Manitou 3 in my garage for a period correct rebuild of a GT Zaskar that I've had since 1995. Started with a Manitou 2, then upgraded to the EFC with a whopping 3" of travel.
Yes, Joel Smith.

I had the Manitou 1, 2, and 3. Crazy how simple those forks were!
DA498
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Milliken, CO US
6/1/2018 11:05am
Still have my Fat Chance with Manitou 1s. Had to replace the elastomers with some springs out of a shower caddy! Works mint!
6/1/2018 11:09am
NATEP231 wrote:
He also started Salsa bike co and I believe sold his share not long ago
ACBraap wrote:
He did not start Salsa. Ross Shafer started Salsa bikes and sold the company a long time ago. It's been part of QBP (the bicycle industries...
He did not start Salsa. Ross Shafer started Salsa bikes and sold the company a long time ago. It's been part of QBP (the bicycle industries Parts Unlimited) for years now.
Qbp stands for quality bike parts

Pit Row

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FGR01
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6/1/2018 4:31pm

Bigfoot
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6/1/2018 4:36pm
FGR01 wrote:
[img]https://p.vitalmx.com/photos/forums/2018/06/01/265266/s1200_18216925_1418110701543417_1418898044_n.jpg[/img]

I remember Eli, a year or two after this pic, playing in the dirt with his toys at the Big Bear NORBA Nationals.
PRM31
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6/1/2018 5:20pm
WCRider wrote:
Nice video! Good people!
PRM31
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6/1/2018 5:21pm
What mountain bike(s) do John and Eli ride today?
wfopete
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Dover, AR US
6/1/2018 5:44pm
PRM31 wrote:
What mountain bike(s) do John and Eli ride today?
Any ones he wants to.
KYFHO699
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MT US
6/1/2018 6:19pm
peelout wrote:
and because of that he also doesn't have a 450 outdoors title.

famous dads > not famous dads
Best post on this thread! LOL...
Samuel
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6/1/2018 6:21pm
PRM31 wrote:
What mountain bike(s) do John and Eli ride today?
In the Bell video, i think John was riding a Specialized stumpjumper.
Samuel
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6/1/2018 6:28pm
NATEP231 wrote:
He also started Salsa bike co and I believe sold his share not long ago
hamncheeze wrote:
Woah Nelly, he did not start Salsa Cycles. That honour goes to Ross Shafer, an icon in the bicycle industry. After retiring John Tomac started Tomac...
Woah Nelly, he did not start Salsa Cycles. That honour goes to Ross Shafer, an icon in the bicycle industry.

After retiring John Tomac started Tomac cycles with the help of Doug Bradbury, the founder of Manitou suspension. JT was the first guy to use Manitou forks back in the 90s, I remember wanting them so bad....literally stalking my LBS to get the first pair that arrived. Tomac cycles was then sold to American Bicycle Group, the parent company of Litespeed at the time, who also had Merlin, Quintana Roo. Then ABG let Tomac bikes go, and a guy who was a former Answer brand manager took it over for a while. I forget his name....but then he had to shut it down. I think at this point John was full-on with Eli's career and really had no time or desire to be involved in the bike biz. Plus, the years 2000-2012 were super tumultuous for the bike industry, with companies moving operations to Asia left and right, brands being acquired and sold like wildfire, internet bike companies starting up, etc, etc. I think the Tomac brand could be resurrected....just needs someone to take it on. I'd start out building boutique customs....something like a Ti-carbon hardtail that would be a heritage to John's Ti Raleigh that he was racing in the 90s. There's only 2 ways to succeed in the bike industry now, either be a big dog like Trek, Specialized, Cannonade, or go boutique/custom low production. The middle ground is on its death bed.

I'm actually amazed at how many different brands I see when I go mountain biking. I'm not sure how road bikes are, but on any given Saturday, I'll see new and shiny Santa Cruz, commencal, yeti, yt, devinci, transition, evil, Kona, etc. What I don't see much of anymore is Cannondale. Maybe in xc the have a bigger presence, but in downhill and freeride, they are non existent.
ML512
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6/1/2018 6:43pm
PRM31 wrote:
What mountain bike(s) do John and Eli ride today?
Samuel wrote:
In the Bell video, i think John was riding a Specialized stumpjumper.
In the Bell video, i think John was riding a Specialized stumpjumper.
Yup, John and Eli have been riding Specialized from what I've seen. Clincher, the bikes weren't free/from Specialized....they were bought from a local shop (although, I'm sure they gave him a deal, ha).
NATEP231
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6/1/2018 9:28pm
Shit my bad...way outta line here haha. I just remember moving to the springs and not working far from manitou. I had a buddy I worked with that was into downhill and I started to get into it then moved back home to Iowa. Must’ve been the clouded times of back then that made me think JT had ownership in that
hamncheeze
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6/1/2018 11:00pm
NATEP231 wrote:
Shit my bad...way outta line here haha. I just remember moving to the springs and not working far from manitou. I had a buddy I worked...
Shit my bad...way outta line here haha. I just remember moving to the springs and not working far from manitou. I had a buddy I worked with that was into downhill and I started to get into it then moved back home to Iowa. Must’ve been the clouded times of back then that made me think JT had ownership in that
No worries man. I’m sort of a cycling history nerd, especially 90s MTB era.

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