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.

1 comment:

  1. The reverse action of the front derailler was an intentional design feature, not a result of the shifter used. Also, it was a PITA.