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I recently got my hands on a blingy vintage mountain bike – a 1984 Ross Mt. Hood.  My love affair with classic hard-tail MTB’s has been documented here before, with articles on customized Univega Alpina Uno and Bridgestone MB-2‘s that I’ve built in the past.  But this one needed no work at all, except some careful hand polishing.  It’s 100% original, down to the tires!  Read on for more details…

Ross Bicycles Inc. manufactured over 15 million bicycles in the United States between 1946 and 1988, and was headquartered in one of my favorite places, Rockaway Beach, Queens.  Ross was an early entrant into the mountain bike craze that swept across America in the 80’s and 90’s, debuting their first MTB in 1982.  The Mt. Hood came along soon after in 1984, and was proudly made in the USA.


While Ross made the Mt. Hood for many years, this example is one of the first.  The Ross brand name is often associated with lower-end vintage bikes, but the Mt. Hood was near the top of their production line, second only to the Mt. Whitney.

What set the two apart was just the components; the Mt. Whitney featured Shimano’s M700 Deore “Deerhead” group while the Mt. Hood used the RD-AL11 and FD-AL11 derailleurs – functionally the same but with a simpler finish.

The cranks were Sakae CR and the brakes were Dia-Compe’s 980 series, which have a classic look reminiscent of the MAFAC cantilevers.  They provide plenty of climbing and stopping power, respectively.  It has a cool built-in shoulder pad that makes portaging the bike easier and a little less painful – it’s a beast made of tough 4130 chromoly tubing and not exactly “lightweight”.


The Ross Mt. Hood is a ton of fun to ride around the city.  It eats potholes for breakfast and jumps curbs easily.  The “bullmoose” style handlebars are ridiculously wide, but I won’t change a thing about this bike.  It will probably wind up on eBay sooner or later, because I know there’s a collector’s market for these bikes and this one is a near-perfect example.  But every time I ride it, I’m having too much fun to think about selling it just yet.  Check out the gallery of photos below!


7 Responses to “1984 chrome Ross Mt. Hood Mountain Bike”

  1. Lock says:

    Man, that was my first MB. It was a brute, but I got a lot of good years out of it. Enjoy!

  2. Jeff says:

    I’ve got two identical Mt. Hoods that I bought in 1984 for my bride and me. Still great bikes, but not quite in mint condition. We still ride them occasionally. Mechanically…. Very durable. I’m glad to see some appreciation, because in 1984, that was a BIG purchase for a poor boy like me.

  3. Mike says:

    That was my first mtb and still the only one I own.
    I Upgraded the rear rim and hub along with a few
    Other things over the years by choice,not due to
    Damage. Even though it weighs a ton I love it
    And wouldn’t trade it for anything else.

  4. Cliff Lindahl says:

    I am an original owner of a Ross Mt hood crome and looking to sell it because I am 65 now and I think I still have the original book that came with it. It is a cool bike and it is in good condition I can send photos it still has all the stickers and head badge the seat is gone. Thanks Cliff

  5. Scott says:

    The ’84 Ross Mt. Hood was my first mountain bike. I was 12, and it was part birthday gift, part savings, and part loan I had to work off with the parents. $300 if I remember right. I was the first person I knew to have a mountain bike. I rode it as a commuter for the next 10 years, through high school, and college, with daily winter riding in college. On icy days I’d air down the tires and lower the seat, and used it to get from my off campus apartment to class. I also regularly rode it on local forest hiking trails. A great bike! Very comfortable. Long after all the components had be replaced, the frame still looked great. I’d love to have a restored model.

  6. Chuck says:


    I need to learn to adjust the 1986 Mt. Hood RD-AL11 and FD-AL11 derailleurs – brakes & would like to see a DIY video on it or a copy of the pages from the manual. Can anyone help me out? Many thanks in advance!

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