Invented in the early 1970's in Marin County, just north of San Francisco, mountain bikes were initially pre-war single speed cruisers.
The first mass produced MTB was the Specialized Stumpjumper, released in 1981. In 1988, the Kestrel Nitro was the first production mountain bike with a front suspension fork. Dual suspension bikes began appearing in 1992 from a number of manufacturers including Cannondale, Gary Fisher, Schwinn, Manitou and Litespeed.
In 1996, mountain biking came of age when it became an Olympic sport for the first time. Today mountain biking is the largest single sector of cycling as a sport and the largest industry sector, representing around 25% of the global market and continues to grow with increasing popularity of cross-country, trails and rail trail riding.