Sunday, May 3, 2015

Yeti Tree Frog trials bike

This little bike has caused me quite a few headaches over the past 2+ years. What seemed like a relatively straightforward project has ended up being one of the most complicated and involved builds I've ever attempted.

This is how the bike arrived

Relatively little is known about the Tree Frogs. According to some former Yeti employees maybe ten or so were made. Most were made for the team riders like Clint Knapp, but a few were built for paying customers. Although I don't know for sure, I feel that the number of custom modifications and the few parts that came with it indicate that it might have been a team bike, or at least an employee bike. It did come from a former Yeti employee, but I don't think he was the original owner.

Bike/frame details

No serial number
100/115mm hub spacing
Double wishbone reinforcement gusset
26.8mm seat tube
Front U-brake, rear cantilever mounts
Ovalized top tube, smaller than standard FRO
1 1/4" headtube
Round down tube, no braze ons
Rear wheel - Custom hub, unknown rim, 2.5" Pirelli tire on a 19" rim for an effective 20" wheel
Front wheel - Bullseye tandem hub, Monty trials 20" rim, Pirelli MT14 2" tire
Bullseye 135mm cranks with custom made spider
Shimano XT brakes and levers
FTW made stem and riser bars

I happen to have another Tree Frog here which I will show soon, but I just wanted to mention a few differences between the frames.

115 rear spacing on this vs 135 on the other
Double wishbone gussets vs none on the other
Rear cantis on this one vs U-brake on the other
No serial # on this vs T5 on the other (I know of T2 as well)
Rear stays appear to be two piece on this one vs. single on the other (perhaps to accommodate the wider 2.5" tire - I'll confirm)

Double reinforcing gussets. Only other bike like this is Chris Herting's personal FRO.

Reinforced brake bridge, not sure it really adds anything, but it looks cool.

Ovalized top tube like most Yetis, but this one is a bit shorter than the other TF I have, which is more like a FRO or Ultimate.

Custom rear hub appears to be a loose ball bearing hub that was converted to run cartridge bearings using a sleeve style adapter to fit 6001 series bearings into the shell.

This particular TF has taken some hits

Super cool brake setup allowing the use of a U-brake and increasing leverage

The stem is a replica of an actual Yeti trials stem

Super wide Pirelli tires were actually made for motorcyles

I'd like to find a more appropriate seat and maybe get some custom stiffener plates for the brakes, but for now this is pretty good!!!

Here are a few pics of another team bike in action back at the 1990 Worlds:

This is TF 2

This is the original prototype (no idea as to its current whereabouts)

Here is a Tree Frog that Yeti showed at the 89 Interbike

There are a couple more that I know of including two from Aaron Faust bikes and one more "production" bikes. I'm working on getting some pictures of those.

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!