Saturday, April 30, 2016

1992 Klein Adroit in Sunburst Linear Fade

With approximately 1,500 built from 1991 to 1993 the MC1 Adroit is not the rarest bike in the world, but it's also no Stumpjumper. So, it's kind of ironic to have had two of these in my stand for the past few weeks, while 3 more hang in the background. This Subnurst painted Adroit really stands out, especially among the sea of Gator fade Adroits we're used to seeing... The only problem with it is the difficulty in capturing the vibrant colors!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

1985 Steve Potts Limited Edition

As I said before, there are elegant bikes and then there are 'elegant bikes'. This one is the latter. The bike in question is a 1985 Potts Limited Edition or Signature. It represents the best of the best offered from both Steve Potts and WTB back in those days. The frame is a fillet brazed version of Steve's traditional design and is a jewel to behold. It's really more art than machine and definitely makes you feel a little bit more special when holding it. The transition from tube to tube is flawless and the way the paint accentuates the curves is nothing short of sublime. The fork and stem are also fillet brazed and really set the bike off from other fillet brazed bikes of that time. The regular Type 2 looks amazing and is simply stunning with the additional fillets.

The bike is outfitted with all of the best components from WTB, including the famous Roller Cam brakes, modified hi-E hubs (before grease guard) and custom Suntour shifters modified to mount onto Magura brake levers (front shifter action is backwards). About the only component missing from this build is a Fixed Angle Seat Post and maybe a WTB or Potts bar. However the Suntour XC post and wide Salsa bar with a custom made shim fit in perfectly.

This bike was a pretty lucky barn find here in the LA area. It was a one owner bike that underwent some unfortunate upgrades over the years shedding a few of the original parts. Fortunately all of the important bits were left in place and so completing it wasn't too challenging.

This shifter brake combo is a really interesting approach to getting the controls to exactly where you need them. The shifters are normal suntour units that had their mounting clamps ground off and are attached to the lever arms using custom made and indexed interface block. The same shifter is used for both front and rear, consequently resulting in reverse motion on the front derailleur which is interesting. Keeping these shifters performing well requires a well oiled system as the short arms coupled with a not very effective ratchet system result in significant effort required to move the gears and keep them in place.

The early WTB made Cunningham roller cam brakes are beautiful to behold and look amazing against the metallic blue of the fork. The combination makes for a very bespoke front end.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

1993 Klein Attitude in Graffiti

Just when I was getting bored of building cookie cutter M900 XTR equipped Kleins this bike came along... Such an unusual paintjob making for a striking bike which was more much fun to photograph than it was to build!! Not much I can say about it, so I'll just let the photos do the talking!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

1991 Juli Furtado Prototype Yeti ARC

The Yeti ARC ranks high among my list of all time favorite bikes. Not only because it's such a fun bike to ride, but also because so many victories were earned on one by some of the most influential racers in the early days of the sport. The evolution of the bike is fairly well known to those who care about such things, and most of the early development bikes are fairly well documented. One bike however, a missing link if you will was never seen and only depicted in one magazine article. The bike was presumed broken and trashed since it was replaced fairly early in the 1991 racing season. However and unlikely set of circumstances led to its discovery sitting in a shed in Colorado a couple months ago. 

The bike in question was the first Yeti ARC given to Juli Furtado for the 1991 season after winning the World Championships onboard a C-26 in 1990. For a thorough history of Juli racing the Yeti ARC in 1991 check out Rideavintagemtb's blog post.

The bike represents a significant evolutionary milestone in the development of the ARC. The front end is made from the then new Easton 7005 series alloy, which the rear end is made out of 6061 as Easton hadn't yet developed the ability to shape the 7005 tubing to match the loop stay shape that Yeti wanted. Remember the very early prototypes had straight rear stays with traditional dropouts. So, this bike was the first Aluminum Yeti to showcase the tried and true loop stay design that was a stape of Yeti bikes since their inception in 1985.

It looks as though the bike was refinished at some point after Juli stopped racing it. Most of the sponsor and race decals are gone and the bike looks a bit too fresh to have been raced on. Hard to know for sure though as Yeti commonly switched decals on their race bikes from one venue to another.

Unique cable stops were made to accommodate the round top tube which preceded the oval design. This is fairly similar to how the early FROs evolved. First ones had round top tubes before Yeti was able to figure out the tooling to make the oval sections they wanted. The cable stops underwent a small change before settling on the design we all know. The #90 O'Mara ARC had a slightly refined version as seen in the photo below.


The middle version of cable stops was a bit more angular than the final, slightly curvy version that adorns nearly all ARCs

The turquoise on this bike also seems a bit brighter than what I've seen on production bikes. Vinyl cut letters instead of die cut decals were used on this and other early ARCs.

A fairly simple cockpit consisting of an ATAC stem, Hyperlite bars, XT controls (still running thumbies) and Bradbury made Manitou fork rounding out the package.

Undoubtedly one of the coolest features of this bike is the FRO like rear end. Not seen on any other ARC the use of it here highlights the thinking that took place at Yeti when building the ARC. They went with what worked (wishbone with gusset) since that's the design that evolved on the beloved FRO.

A common feature of the early Yetis is the relatively short stub of seat tube above the top tube. The #90 ARC race bike of Johnny O'Mara had a similar design with only an inch or so of the seat tube extending above the top tube.

This is the only Yeti I've ever seen with pressed in bearings. Not exactly sure why they did this, it certainly adds to the uniqueness of this frame.

St. Henri bike shop in Malibu was a big supporter of Yeti in the early days. I've seen this sticker on some ex-Yeti Tioga Tension Disk Drives as well as a few other team frames.

There is no mistaking who this bike was built for...

A closeup shot of the reinforced gusset connecting the wishbone to the loop stays. Seems sturdy!

The plan is to rebuild the bike as close to as Juli would have raced on, combining it with a Steel Yeti stem and mostly shimano XT parts as seen in the photo spread at the beginning of this post. Stay tuned to see this race machine returned to life!