Monday, April 30, 2012

1990 & 1992 Klein Attitudes

Making some progress on these two builds. The 1990 team is getting full XT and the 92 Backfire is all M900 XTR. It's slow going, but getting there. Man, I need new backdrop for the photos.

Even after all these years these bikes still look amazing!!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

1991 / 92 Klein Adroit - Line forms to the rear

I have wanted to restore an proper Adroit for some time and finally put together a suitable fuselage for just such a project. When I agreed to buy this bike I thought it was just another run of the mill Adroit, if there is such a thing. However, upon receiving it and taking a closer look I realized that this is a pretty special bike.

The first thing I noticed is that unlike every other Adroit I've ever seen which uses a 31.6mm seatpost this bike uses a 27.2mm post. The seat tube necks down right above the junction with the top tube to accommodate the thinner post. I believe that the rest of the seat tube is the same as used on the later Adroits (34.9 OD) but I haven't measured it yet.

Most people know that one of the distinguishing features of an Adroit frame as compared to an Attitude is the Addition of Boron / Carbon Fiber epoxy onto the seat and chain stays to reinforce those areas. You can clearly see the exposed fibers on the chainstay in the next picture. According to the Klein painters all of the later production bikes had the boron strips covered in bondo and sanded to achieve a smooth surface for painting, this bike has paint applied just to the bare boron, no bondo.

This frame however is ever more special as I found more Boron / Carbon Fiber applied to the inside of the headtube, something I've never heard of before. This is definitely getting interesting.

A couple more interesting bits that make this a special bike are the serial number placement on the rear non-drive dropout (AD0D2) and the fact that the rear brake bosses were Titanium. Something that was predominantly done for special orders and team riders. The last thing is the color, if this is really a 1991 model then Gator Linear Fade is unusual as it should not have been available until 1992. But this bike is very different from the other 2 1992 bikes I have and different still from Tinker's old Storm bike which I used to own back in 2001. So what's the story?

Of course no Adroit is complete without a Strata and I just happen to have that fit this frame. There is still a lot of work to do. All of the cable housing ends were stuck inside the frame. I manged to get them out eventually with some penetrating fluid and a drill. Quick tip here, pulling on the housing caps with pliers often just tears them leaving you with nothing to grab. Using a drill with a slightly oversize bit and applying power slowly will spin the housing ends inside the frame freeing them up to extract them with some good pliers. Next I have to remove the two water bottle bolts on the underside of the downtube, they much like every other fastener appear to be fused to the frame.

More in the coming weeks.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

1992 Klein Attitude Backfire

Did a little bit of work on the 1992 Backfire Attitude today. Not as much progress as I wanted to make, but it getting there. It will need a shorter bottom bracket spindle to make the M900 XTR work as the bike was set up for 7-spd XT. Hopefully I can get it strung up tomorrow and get the BB spindle replaced later this week.

I know I always say this about all bikes, but the M900 XTR looks really-really good on the backfire, it's awesome!! This bike is in really amazing shape for being 20 years old, most of the scratches are on the chainstays, but there is nearly no chainsuck, just scratches on the end of the stays - odd... The rest of the frame is in excellent condition with only a few small scuffs and scratches here and there.

1996 Klein Attitude Nightstorm

Another wonderful Jon Rock restoration soon to be heading my way...

Bit of a quiet weekend

Well, it's been a fairly quiet weekend in terms of bikes. I fiddled around a bit with my ARC today trying to get those pesky Grafton brakes to work. I swear those things are more meddlesome than a 30 year old Alfa Romeo. The mounting nuts require these special infinitesimally thin washers under the bolt and it doesn't pinch the caliper making it stick and. Well, these washers are not the sort of thing you can find at the local ACE hardware, they are more like washer shavings really. Sounds like another order for McMaster Carr is brewing...

Aside from that the ARC is nearly done. It still needs the silver FTW modified ATAC stem, but the violet will do for now. I am going back and forth on the 3DV Grafton cranks. Sometimes I want them on there, other times I think it's a bit too much. Otherwise the bike is a peach; of course the true test will be in San Gabriel Mountains this week.

The Moots has stalled out a bit. I think the WTB Speedmaster rear brake is the wrong size for that frame. I may be able to mess around a bit with the settings on the moots mounts, but I fear it's a lost cause. Of course I don't have any other U-Brakes or Roller Cams lying around to slap on, so the bike is in limbo.

The purple Ultimate is also on hold. I can't get the wheels built due to a lack of a matching set of 32 hole rims. I have lots of mismatched pairs, so I guess I'll just have to wait. Maybe I'll replace the bearings in the old Ringle hubs in the mean time. The FTW stem went off to get powder coated to match the frame, I think it'll be cool to have that whole set complete!

As for project bikes, I sent the XL Yo Eddy off to paint and should be back in 3-4 weeks, hopefully enough time to accumulate all the necessary parts. Up in the queue are 2 1993 Klein Attitudes and one 1993 Adroit, all three will be in gator linear fade, a 1990 XL Attitude in white, 3 1990-91 Fat Chance Wickeds in Wild Kandy Cherry, another 1992 ARC in grey/turq and maybe another Yo Eddy... could be a busy summer.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Yeti ARC repaint update #3

A couple more shots of the nearly finished product!!!

Can't wait to start building this bike!!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Yeti ARC repaint update #2

Now that's what I call progress...

I have to say I am very impressed by the professionalism and promptness of the work at Spectrum Powderworks. Cheers Mark and the rest of the team!!

1993 Yeti ARC update

This is another one of my personal bikes and I am very excited about getting it done. Almost there, just waiting on the steerer cutting tool and the new Manitou 2 bumpers and I'll be able to take it out for a shakedown spin. I think I may ditch the Grafton brakes in the long run, they are nice and flashy, but very finnicky and quite mushy. Plus it's hard to beat the performance and reliability of Shimano M900.

The stem will be replaced by an  FTW modified Yeti team ATAC in silver and the cranks may be replaced by Graftons in 3DV. I test fitted them and the BB spindle is still too short, so for now the M900s will have to do, could be worse. I was just recently given a pair of mint NOS NIB Panaracer Smoke Compe Lite tires which look great on this frame, thanks Bob!

Yeti ARC repaint update #1

Both 19" ARCs are in paint at Spectrum Powderworks... might even be done this week!!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Grove Innovations Hard Core x2

Imagine it's 1991 and you just walked into the Bicycle Shop in State College, this is what you would have seen (maybe not in front of my garage door though.)

Growing up in State College (where Groves were made and sold) I remember going into the Bicycle Shop and drooling over the Hard Cores at leat 2-3 times a week after school. I always wanted one but could never make it happen. So, I built these two bikes just like they would have been built back in the 90s.

The larger one is a 1991 that I got on eBay last summer. It came with Hammerhead bar/stem combo and Rock Shox fork. I was able to find a Hothead bar/stem and a Hard Core fork to complete it. The paintjob is a Black/Wineberry Pearl to Wineberry fade. The front looks black, but under direct sunlight the red really shows up. This bike is built with mostly all NOS parts (since I'm going to ride this one most I felt it wasn't worth using all NOS parts) including; Shimano M735 XT drivetrain, Specialized Ground Control tires, Syncros Ti post, Chris King headset, Hugi hubs on Mavic 261 Ceramic rims with a Dura Ace 11-24 cassette, black Ringle skewers and a Flite Ti saddle. The bike will also get get a pair pf matching Hot Rod cranks with a Chris King bottom bracket to complete it. I'm tossing around the idea of putting black Grafton speed controller brakes on it, but might just keep it stock M735. This is one heavy bike at 28.5 lbs, a much different ride than my Adroit. One really cool thing about this larger frame is that it was built just three days after my birthday in 1991.

I actually bought the smaller of the two bikes first, back in State College during Christmas of 2010. It was painted in Wineberry and complete with Hotheads and Hard Core forks. Interesting bit about this frame, the top tube and down tube are 91/92 Hard Core stock, the seat tube is earlier 89 or so Assault or Hard Core stock and the rear triangle is from a 94/95, so it's one odd duck. No serial number to boot. This one is completely built with all NOS parts including; Shimano M735 XT, Specialzied Ground Control Extreme tires, IRD post and Turbo saddle. I think Bill did a fantastic job with this paint, it's even more amazing in person.