Wednesday, March 13, 2013

1994 Klein Attitude Sea & Sky

Here is yet another upcoming project. This 1994 Attitude is a local find and based on its condition seems to have lived a relatively easy life. Much like all of the other Kleins I've found in LA. Seems most people here were after the brand and look rather than the ride.

Aside from a couple small chips, some minor chain suck and a few scratches on the down tube the frame is in really excellent condition. 

This Attitude is an early 1994 as evidenced by the black anodized MC2 cap, a rather rare feature.

Luckily I think I found a matching Sea & Sky fork for this bike and given that the MC2 already has a noodle this fuselage will hopefully be made whole again!

1991 Klein Attitude restoration - Phase 1

The only things I did since yesterday were:

1. Thoroughly cleaned the frame
2. Used rubbing and polishing compounds to clean off residue and work down the surface level scratches
3. Give the frame a quick coat of wax

I think the results are nothing short of spectacular given the simplicity of the work and the amount of time invested.

Obviously the work I performed did very little to fix the deeper scratches so those all still remain, but even they look a little bit better.

 Tomorrow I'm going to have some touch up paint mixed up and attempt to repair some of the deeper scratches. Stay tuned for more progress.

1991 Klein Attitude Backfire restoration

I bought this bike a couple months ago and based on the photos I received it looked like a lost cause and in need of repaint. However after receiving and inspecting the frame it turns out to be in pretty good condition and in my opinion just needs some touch up and restoration. I will try to do most of this work myself and document it here to show how in theory one can do some restorations at home and preserve the originality of these bikes.

The frame is a 1991 Attitude painted in the backfire color scheme. It's complete with an MC1 and box crown fork. Not too many box crown backfires out there, most of them were painted Team (Dolomite) scheme. The colors on the frame very nice and bright and there is minimal fading. The weakness here is the rather large amount of scratches and chips. This is what I will attempt to fix. 

Fortunately the vast majority of scratches are in areas of the frame that are painted in a single color and so easier to fix in theory.

Before I start applying any touch up paint and clear I'll first set off to clean the frame and try to polish out any small scratches to limit the number of repairs required. That update coming up pretty soon.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

1990 Klein Attitude Team Dolomite

This is the third and last in the series of vintage bikes I showed along with Spectrum at this year's NAHBS. This Attitude came to me from the Pacific Northwest, Portland to be specific. It was a sorry looking bike (originally painted in Dolomite) with a black uniklein fork and a beat up MC1. The bike definitely lived a tough life and the then current owner really didn't know what it was, much less where it came from.

I managed to source an original 1990 style box crown rigid fork and the frame got painted along with the Bruiser Attitude late last year. The colors are spectacular and the finish really couldn't be better. I have to give props to Spectrum for yet another fine job!

I decided to go with a fairly basic build on this bike and so I went with Shimano M732/735 XT. However, since this was a show bike it needed just a touch of flair. So, to spice it up a little bit I added Bullseye hubs and cranks, American Classic post and Quick Releases and a beautiful white perforated leather Turbo saddle. Tires are NOS Panaracer Smokes, 2.1 rear and 1.9 Comp in the front. In hindsight a matching 2.1 in the front would have  been better.

It's always a little bit interesting working with Bullseye parts. They are revered by many in the vintage community and always look the part, but man are they difficult to work with and then in the end don't really work all that well. The front hubs had brand new bearings and still had a fair amount of play in them, and that's after trying several different axle and bearing (brand) combinations. The first generation cranks were a nightmare and will be replaced by 3rd generation cranks shortly. The spider only mounts with  one bolt which means that keeping the chainrings in plane was not possible, this made setting the front derailleur a challenge as the chainline walked in/out during rotation. I won't even talk about the bearings...

Overall the bike was stunning and a huge hit. Hopefully it'll find a good home soon!