Monday, March 30, 2015

1991 Steve Potts CCR

The cult of WTB and all things NorCal has long touted the work of one Steve Potts and some of the best there is. Of course like most good things one of Steve's bikes is not easy to get a hold. I was quite lucky when a good friend who happens to be up at night pointed out this bike on eBay in a very attractively priced auction. The bike was being sold as local pickup only, and it just so happened I was travelling to that part of the country the following week. This is how I found the bike living in North Carolina, still with the original owner.

Although the build left a lot to be desired all the important parts were there (Potts Type II fork and stem, WTB roller cam brakes) and it's easy to see that this serious race machine was just waiting to be put back on the trail. I had been saving some WTB parts for just such an occasion and had visions of an all WTB equipped build. Seems like something that any fan of vintage mountain bikes should do at some point in time. In the end the only part I wasn't quite able to source was the WTB fixed angle seat post. The final build which I raced this past weekend at the Keyesville classic consisted of Suntour XC-PRO drivetrain, Specialized forged cranks, WTB classic hubs on Bontrager rolled down MA40 rims, WTB Chris King headset, WTB Titanium handlebar, Suntour XC-PRO post, WTB SST saddle and Ritchey Megabite Z-Max WCS 2.35 tires.

This bike really just looks the part of a vintage race bike. What it lacks in flair and panache it makes up for in spades with elegant lines and subtle finishing touches. I'm a bit backlogged with my more formal ride reports, but I'll try to do that pretty soon. In short summary though, this is a really well balanced bike that feels very at home on smoother trails. I for one feel rather uncomfortable on it when things get a bit technical.

The WTB Ti bar came in days before Keyesville and was really the icing on an already pretty tasty cake.

This is one of my first Suntour XC-PRO equipped bikes, and either I'm not really good at setting up that specific brand of drivetrain or there is a reason it went out of production. I did eventually get it running, but was never really impressed with the overall performance.

These brakes are really something to behold. I think more than 50% of my bikes are now equipped with Roller Cam brakes and I am starting to really like them. Getting them dialed in is still something of an art form that I have yet to master, but I think I'm getting there.

Monday, March 23, 2015

1994 Klein Adroit

I've spent quite a lot of time riding my old 92 Adroit and felt strongly that it was one of the best bikes ever made. I've never really ridden an MC2 era Klein, but have heard a lot of good things. So, when the opportunity to buy this bike came up I felt pretty confident that it was a good move to buy it. I've not been disappointed...

The bike here is a rather early one. I think that MC2 Attitudes didn't go into full production until April - May of 1994 and the Adroits a little bit later still. This is the 15th 21" Adroit made, and is dated from May of 1994. It's the earliest MC2 Adroit I have recorded in my database.

Full ride review and proper pics coming shortly

This bike is no beauty queen and has its share of battle scars. As such I've built it up as a full on rider and while I hope to preserve it as best as I can, it's quickly rising up the ranks of my small fleet and will no doubt be a frequent favorite for local rides!

Production stays still have a little of the MC1 square design left, but not quite as much as the original prototype.

Chainstays on the prototype MC2 Adroit, you can see a lot of the old MC1 design still there

Hugi hub lend a little splash of exotica to this bike, plus that sound is simply over the top.

Not a standard MC2 cap, but a later MC3 version. I actually quite like it!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

1985 Yeti - First Yeti ever sold!

I've shown this bike in a couple of various posts, but never actually managed to get it cleaned up and sorted out. So, here are some quick pics of the first Yeti ever sold, all cleaned up and dressed up. I'll try to do a formal photo shoot before sending it off for display at The Pro's Closet and then at the Yeti HQ in Colorado.

Well here it is. Lots of red here, I kinda wish the cranks were silver or maybe some chrome Bullseye, but this is how I got it after all these years, so this is how it's going to stay.

BMX style bars and stem were a short lived carry over from the Motocruiser days. You can see the foundation of the famous Yeti top tube cable routing, only here it's split across both sides of the top tube.

Famous loop stays, you can see the pronounced OD variation during the transition, I'm guessing JP hadn't quite gotten his sourcing of tubing all squared away.

Shimano 600EX (FC-6206) touring cranks powdercoated red by JP so that Shimano would not ask for them back.

Campagnolo Triomphe front derailleur adapted for Yeti cable routing

Campagnolo Triomphe touring rear derailleur with Bullseye sealed bearing derailleur pulleys.

It took a while to get the 1st generation Yetiman head tube badge redone, but I think it came out great!

Bullseye hubs, straight off of a BMX and adapted for 130mm rear spacing.

Magura brake levers with Simplex friction thumb shifters.

Badge of honor for any vintage mountain bike

The original Yeti decals had the frosted Yeti and the simple black and white ice axe. Later on some more color was added when Yeti used them again on early Ultimates in 89/90.

Weinmann brakes stop surprisingly well, but not that well.

IRC Racer X-1 tires really complete the aggressive look of this bike.

Lots of Campy here, a bit of foreshadowing of the short lived sponsorship of Yeti by Campy in the late 80s.

Bullseye rear hub with a Shimano 600EX 6-spd freewheel.

Trademark Yeti wishbone stay extension with front derailleur cable stop.

I'm very happy with this bike. Seems like a dumb thing to say as it is a very special bike. It's a neat look into the starting point of what has been one of the longest living mountain bike company and one that has really change the face of the sport many of us have grown to love. You can see John picking out many of the parts and hoping they would make the bike standout from the rest. While it's not the best performing bike I am looking forward to getting it out for a easy trail ride and see how it does. I have to imagine it's not going to be too different from a FRO, but maybe...

Monday, February 16, 2015

1991 Klein Adroit Ultra Light

I've built my share of Kleins over the past few years, but I have to say this one ranks up there among the all time greats in my book. Not only is a rather uncommon year, a very rare paint job but also built with a full factory (that is original Klein equipped) Ultra Light package. There is an emerging trend among Klein afficionados to build the elusive Ultra Light package and people scour the ends of the earth to find the unique, hand selected part to make it complete. I've only ever seen three factory built bikes, and this one will make four. All of the parts on this bike are NOS and were one of the leftover UL kits I bought a while back.


Frame : 1991 Klein Adroit (Titanium BB spindle & brake bosses)
Fork : Adroit fork (carbon wrapped)
Color : Pearl Black
Wheels : Hi-E hubs 28/32h on Campagnolo Contax with Wheelsmith 15/16 gauge spokes (radial front, radial/3x rear), Ringle Titanium quick releases
Freewheel : Campagnolo alloy, modified by Klein to fit 135mm spacing
Tire : Prototype Klein Deathgrip 2.1
Drivetrain : Suntour XC-PRO with Grip Shift shifters
Pedals : Suntour XC-PRO w/ Titanium spindles
Brakes : Dia Compe 986 cantilevers with SS5 levers 
Seatpost : Ritchey 27.2
Seat : Selle Italia Flite
Grips : Grab On MT-1

According to the original owner of this bike he first saw it at a bike show in Los Angeles in early 1991. For whatever reason the bike ended up at a local bike shop and he bought it. He owned it until 2013 at which point I bought it. It was built up with a mix of lightweight and eclectic parts from the era. The fuselage was in amazing condition, a feat mainly made possible the previou owner's use of electrical tape to shield areas prone to damage. It took hours to remove all of the tape and adhesive residue.

The finished bike weighs in a 19.9 lbs, no thanks to the 150mm Mission Control bar/stem combo (a 135mm would have helped).

The color on this bike is absolutely stunning. I've only ever seen two other pearl blacks and each one seems to be different. This particular one has a lot of plum/purple flakes added in, making for a truly amazing end result.

The crown of an Adroit fork is a thing of beauty, it looks as if the fork was blown out of some mysterious glass, the shape and smoothness of the curves is second to none.

One of the unique features of a 91 Adroit is the use of a seat tube reducer to accomodate a 27.2mm seat post. At the time the Adroit came out nobody made 31.6 seatposts, so to use the large diameter (34.9mm) for the seat tube Klein had to weld on a reducing top which allowed the smaller seat post to fit. Frankly I'm amazed these things lasted, but then I have to image there there is a lot of weld material there to reinforce the joint.

I love the outline Klein logo which highlights the paint by letting it show through the decal.

Another unique feature of this bike are the prototype Death Grip tires. There were only a few pairs of these amberwall tires ever made and so having these on the bike add to uniqueness and rarity of the overall build.

One of the identifying pieces of the build is the 28h, radially laced Hi-E front hub. Hi-E hubs were primarily made for road use, but also saw some limited use in mountain bike applications, especially when weight was an issue. Charlie Cunningham was well known to use modified Hi-E hubs on many of his early Cunningham mountain bikes.

Suntour XC-PRO cranks with the 1991 only bronze chainrings, Ti bolt and spindle were used as a part of the Ultra Light package.

This bike and the other factory ULs are the reason why people are always looking for Contax rims in 28/32h combinations...

One of the best quick release, drop-out and FW combinations one could imagine!!! You know there was only one thing on the mind of the manufacturer, weight!

I just can't get enough of this pairing... it's just perfect!

Admittedly this bike looks much worse equipped with 2.1 tires (rather than the 2.35s), but it had to be done in keeping with the spirit of the build.

One parting shot for the road. It's an amazing bike, really stands out above the rest. In my humble opinion this is what a Klein should look like. The frame is the highlight of bike and the parts just serve as supporting cast, no fancy anodized parts to draw your attention. I guess the only exception is Tinker's Storm Adroit (but I must admit that's a self serving exception).