Saturday, September 20, 2014

1986 Cunningham Racer - Kirby

The fact that it took me a year to get around to cleaning up a Cunningham is a testament to how busy I have been lately. Now, all things considered that's not that bad. Some people own so many that they've never even seen some of their bikes. 

This is how I got this bike in late 2013. Rather dumpy build and barely functional. To be perfectly honest it wasn't too difficult to get this bike looking good. Aside from removing all of the extras like bar ends, ancient computer, rack and some other junk the rest of the hardware was in pretty good shape. The frame required some deep cleaning to remove years of built up clay and mud as well as some surface corrosion. Two weekends of careful cleaning with a toothbrush and some light abrasive compound and the bike looked much-much better.

This is the final result. Unlike some of my other bikes I don't think the Ham really needs any sort of fancy background. In fact these shots were taken about an hour after I took it out for a ride, just rinsed it off and voila. 

It didn't take much, but I think the bike looks very much transformed into the machine it was made to be.

I did a little bit of maintenance after taking these photos, including adjusting the brakes and pads.

According to the letters between CC and the owner of this bike the steering angle limiter was designed by CC based off of sketches that Kirby sent to CC. I guess he had some issues with the brake arms hitting the frame and this was what he came up with. Pretty cool. The bike originally had a headset mounted cable stop which was included with the extras kit that came with the bike.

Maybe not quite as cool as the fixed angle post, but I like to be able to adjust my saddle and love the way CC made it work for this bike.

Although the bike was originally built in 86, in late 87 the original owner upgraded it to M730 XT. So, instead of trying to figure out how it was originally spec'd I decided to keep it that way. Everything works pretty damn well and the bike rides rather well.

One of the few Hams out there with a personalized serial number. I didn't know the man, but as far as a bike is concerned it's a pretty cool name. I suppose I should put some tape over the grease ports...

Off for a nice, long ride tomorrow. We'll see how he does on my favorite SoCal trail!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Tinker Juarez - 1993 World Cup Season on the Storm Klein Adroit

While researching the build for my Tinker replica Adroit I amassed a rather large collection of photos of Tinker racing racing the Adroit and a couple other Kleins. I thought this would be a good opportunity to post them up and try to establish a time line of that iconic bike.

This continues to be a work in progress as I find more pictures, videos and race results. Any info would be helpful!

Start of the 93 season - Preseason promotional pic

Full clouds on the MC1 and fork lowers. This is the only picture of this configuration for that bike. Very soon after he went to a black MC1, with only a touch of clouds on the bottom of the quill.

I only see one sponsor sticker on the drive side chainstay, looks like maybe the Sachs sticker.

Black Onza L-bend bar ends, which is interesting because he stopped using them for most of the season.

1993 Grundig World Cup - Llinars del Vallès, Barcelona (April 23, 1993) (Number plate 20)

Finish : UNK

Race video here (2:37, 2:58-3:02)

Tinker is sporting an unpainted Z-Leader helmet

1993 Grundig World Cup - Bassano del Grappa, Italy (Number plate 15)

Finish : UNK

This image is not confirmed to be from this race

1993 Grundig World Cup - Houffalize, Belgium (Number plate 19)

Finish : UNK

This image is not confirmed to be from this race

1993 Specialized Cactus Cup (Number plate 13)

Maybe the first race for the storm Z-Leader helmet, only one with a Powerbar sticker on it.

1993 Jeep NORBA National Circuit - Traverse City, Michigan (Number plate 12)

Still on cloud painted fork lowers, looks like black Onza bar ends, hard to pick up any other details.

1993 Grundig World Cup / Jeep NORBA National series - Mount Snow, VT

1993 Grundig World Cup - Mont St. Anne, Canada (Number plate 20)

Finish : 1st

Possibly the first time he switched to the new Mag-21 SL Ti.

Also now using Look pedals, 3DV Onza bar ends and Psycho front tire

Klein Jersey and gloves


1993 Grundig World Cup Race - Bromont, Canada (Number plate 11)

Finish : 2nd

Setup looks to be identical to the Mont St. Anne, only change I can see for sure is the Panaracer Dart front tire. Also one of the first pics with a new Z-Leader decal on the DS seat stay.

This seems to be the last race where he's running 3DV mounts for the Grafton Re-entry brake levers, he seems to have switched to black mounts in the following races.

1993 Grundig World Cup / Jeep National Series - Vail, Colorado

Finish : UNK

Same setup as before, Panaracer Dart and black mounts for the Grafton Re-entry brake levers.

1993 Grundig World Cup / Jeep NORBA National - Mammoth Mountain (Number plate 2)

Finish : 6th

Here is a video of the race

1993 Grundig World Cup - Plymouth, UK (Number plate 2)

Finish : UNK

Video of Tinker here (4:03 into video)

One of the few races in an actual Storm Jersey

1993 Grundig World Cup - Berlino, Germany (Number plate 3)

Finish : UNK

1993 World Championships - Metabief, France

Finish : 9th

As far as I can tell this is the final evolution of this bike. Tinker used a rigid fork @ Metabief because the mud was so thick and heavy, most people were running with their bikes, and he wanted the lightest bike possible.

Unknown Source

Unknown - Race

Gone is the cloud painted MC1 in lieu of a black one. Campy pedals, Tioga Psycho front tire, Sidi Dominator shoes, gone are Onza bar-ends, full race decal kit.

Tinker still wearing a 92 season jersey.

Unknown magazine writeup

Looks like painted Rock Shox lowers, Campy pedals, Psycho tire, Powerbar sticker in front of Grafton on top tube, no bar ends

Klein seatpost???

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

1989 Doug Bradbury Manitou trail review

I've owned this DBM for almost two years now and it's seem some solid trail duty. However, I never took the time to take any decent photos on the trail or really get into the ride characteristics. As I go through and formulate my collection strategy this bike continually serves as a benchmark for all new comers and has secured a permanent place on my ride rack.

The thing everyone asks me about this bike is "How is it compared to a Klein?" Before I answer that I'd like to point out that this design is over 2 years older than any comparable Klein (thinking 90 Attitude here) and so any comparison is somewhat flawed. However, with that in mind I'd say it's like comparing a saw with a scalpel. Both cut just fine, but one is a bit rougher. I think of Kleins as precision instruments that need to be treated with care, and if you do that they'll do exactly what you ask of them. The DBM is much more like a saw, your cut may not be as precise and you may make a mess, but you'll get it done and it requires a lot less thought and care.

When you ride this bike you care a bit less about your line, a bit less about rocks flying up, a bit less about going over that bigger rock or drop. You just know this bike can take it and won't miss a beat. It's just more of a bruiser. That being said it's not as light, it doesn't quite help you feel like you're in command of something special and unique. It's more utilitarian in nature and you get that feeling when you ride it. It's like a bit of that spring in your step was taken out and replaced with a steel toe which you use to crush any obstacles in your way rather than flying over them.

Does it climb well?? Yeah, it climbs well. I feel like I'm in better shape when on a Klein, but there is virtually no flex in this frame under heavy climbing loads and great out of the saddle traction coming out of stream beds.

Does it descend well?? Yeah, it's great when you point it down. Actually, it's more forgiving than a Klein.

This is the fork that every Switchblade, IRD or Bontrager fork dream they are when they are sleeping. It doesn't chatter, it's doesn't flex under braking, it's doesn't wonder, it's awesome! There is nothing more to be said about it.

I love this bike. I urger everyone who ever gets a chance to throw a leg over one to do so immediately. It not the lightest out there, at 25 and change lbs it's got a few pounds over an ARC or Adroit, but then again it's a few years older. But it's a bike I keep coming back to and it's always ready to hit the trail!!

To put it another way it's a bike I make sure always has air in the tires because I'm likely to pull it off the rack for a ride on any given day!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Riding legends - Klein Adroit Team Storm

Riding a bike like this is beyond privilege, it's really an honor. Everything about it screams "I'm here to race, put it in the big ring and turn and burn!" This bike is an amazing piece of history, I am thrilled that it's finally done and blown away by the final result.

I may not have Tinker's legendary ability to grind away the competition in the big ring, but I still had a blast riding it. The ride is not a whole hell of a lot different from a rigid Adroit. The Mag-21 was plenty stiff, with just a bit of give on the descent. It took the edge of and I can see how over the course of a long ride it would pay off. The Grafton brakes were mush, the Ti chainrings shifted like crap compared to the ramped and pinned M900 rings I'm used to, the tires were begging to be put out of their misery, but the shit eating grin never left my face.

I will definitely be converting these brakes to use eye bolts in lieu of the L brackets. This setup has way too much flex and is nearly impossible to keep in place.