Sunday, June 29, 2014

1987-88 Yeti FRO in turquoise and black harlequin

It seems that lately my most challenging projects have all been Yetis. The ARC-AS kind of kicked off the trend and this FRO certainly fits the bill. For those of you that haven't been following along this is how it started nearly two years ago!!!

This is one of the original Augora Hills Yetis and it seems that it spent its life in LA... no RUST!! It appears to have been a two owner bike and the gentleman who I bought it from had owned it for some 17 odd years. Apparently the bike had been a victim of a couple theft attempts and so he had painted it over to look a little bit... umm... less like a Yeti??? Anyways, this is how I got it. I had originally thought about using it as a donor frame for my C-26 project, but being that it was in good mechanical shape and that it's one of the rare-er round top tube FROs I decided to try and make something of it. There were a few ideas along the way, but nothing seemed to pan out. Finally a project opportunity came up and along with it a design concept. I hope you'll all like it!

Cook Brothers hubs, stem and bars were chosen for this build as CBR was a major sponsor of the Yeti team back in the 80s. The axle end caps and bolts are all freshly Nickle plated, no piece too small!!

Drivetrain courtesy of Shimano. The M730 XT grouppo was the hottest things on the market at the time and this being a team inspired bike it seemed like the only way to go.

Sharkfin placement might need a little adjusting :)

There was a lot of discussion around whether the brakes and cranks should match each side of the bike or be opposite. In the end I settled on opposing, for better or worse. The brakes can always be switched, but the cranks are a bit more committed.

Cook Bros stem and bars finished off with NOS (of course) XT levers and shifters and some Grab-On grips.

Final photo shoot pics coming up tomorrow...

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

First ride on the Merlin

I have always wanted a Merlin. For as long as I can remember hearing and reading about Merlin, the one word that kept coming up when describing them was Magical. Titanium was slated to be the savior metal of the mountain bike industry, offering both a phenomenal ride and nearly infinite durability. Yeah, so it was expensive, and yeah there was good Ti and that cheap Russian crap, and yeah nobody sold them where you lived... but somewhere, someone was having a better time than you riding a Merlin. I had to have one... Lately though I had a few trusted friends who tend to ride hard tell me that it was all hype and that they got rid of their Merlins faster than a Katy Perry Playboy would fly off the newsstands. Well, for my part the old reviews were all right, this bike is freaking awesome and I love it!!

This brake kicks ass, that's just all there is to it. Great modularity, smooth delivery, and real stopping power when you need it. Really well balanced with the plain Jane XT cantis up front.

This Merlin has the thicker 1 3/8" downtube. It's perhaps the main reason why this bike felt plenty stiff yet supple, planted but easy to work through the technical stuff and in the end just a ton of fun to ride!

It's all it's cracked (or not) up to be!

 Welcome to the stable, stick around!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

1994 Klein Attitude Storm

This Attitude ended up being quite possibly the longest, and most drawn out restoration I ever did... two freaking years!!!! Most of that was due to the frame paintwork, but still... I originally got the frame as a trade for a Gossamer Attitude I had a few years ago. It was in pretty good shape, just pot marked with little chips and had one dent on the seat tube. I definitely wanted to preserve it and so I sough out the service of CyclArt who did some pretty good restoration work for me back in the late 90s. I won't dwell on this point too much, but let's just say they lost their will or ability to get stuff done in any sort of reasonable time... it took more than 18 months to get it done and I lost two buyers in the mean time... The final product was still great, but worth the wait??

Frame in original condition:

Frame during restoration:

For the final build I decided to let the frame shine and just went with straight forward M900, what else right?

Sorry for using the same background twice, I found that a B&W background was just best and I just really liked this one the first time around!