Saturday, September 10, 2016

Restoring Tinker's 1993 Storm Adroit - Part 1

Without a doubt this at the same time one of the more exciting restorations I've done and one of the more sad ones. Exciting because this is a bike I've been searching for well over a decade and sad because had it turned up when I started looking for it we'd be admiring a different bike. In the interest of brevity the bike turned up earlier this year when Tinker finally (after several attempts to locate the bike) decided to dig it out of his brother in law's house, where it apparently had been sitting (outside!) for quite some time. I had originally approached Tinker about this bike back in 2002/2003 and several times over the years, and for whatever reason he didn't want to or couldn't get a hold of it. Instead the bike languished and deteriorated in neglect. This happens more often than not and is really a testament to what many of the people who owned, raced on or otherwise possessed these bikes back in the day though of them. To me and many of my friends they are things to be cherished and appreciated, while to them they were just a race bike, or I guess just a bike. Consequently it's rare to find a bike with any race pedigree that has survived the test of time after it was retired. Anyways, the bike has been found, it's been put back together and that chapter can now be closed.

Here is how the bike was found earlier this year.

Just makes you go, WTF??? When I was looking for this bike, I definitely imagined it looking very differently. In reality, frame and any anodized parts faded to hell, wheels exploded (OK - not surprising given they were Ringle), parts missing/rusted, etc... I mean sure a race bike takes hits, parts get swapped, etc etc... but we know how the bike looked in the last race of the season and I'd wager a pretty penny that the vast majority of the 'patina' was acquired later and not on the trail.

The guys at The Pros Closet picked up the bike at Keysville and dropped it off at my shop. We started looking for parts and after a couple months had everything needed to get the bike rebuild. Here are some in progress pics during the cleanup and restoration

Looks like the Rock Shox went back on after the world in France.

As a Klein fan and especially a fan of the history of the Storm paintjob it's neat to see the progression in the development of the paintjob. Tinker and Sara's bikes were actually the second two painted after my and Kai's Storm (based off of the serial numbers 72 for mine, 206 for Kai and 238 for Tinker). The clouds on my bike are clearly done by hand whereas the ones here (at least on the downtube) are done with a stencil of some sort. The head tube is still a bit free form unlike the later production bikes.

You can still see glimmers of the orange in the dropouts. This was one of the bigger differences between my/Kai's Storms and Tinker/Sara's Storms. The additional color was not retained for the production bikes.

Paint fades in different ways across the color bands,

Yeah, that's never been serviced since 1993. Interestingly the spindle is steel and Ti as previously thought, same goes for the brake bosses. Again a subtle and inconsequential difference between my bike which came with Ti bosses and spindle.

I always found it odd that the painter put the KLEIN logo so low on this and Sara's bike. On my and Kai's Storms it was well above the front derailleur. Hard to see, but there is a ping pong ball sized dent just at the elbow of the L in KLEIN, ouchie...

Here it is after some thorough cleaning.

Although the frame was a 93 it was one of the later ones (total of at least 418 made in 93) as evidenced by the 2 bolt CCD (rather than the 3 bolt used on earlier frames)

I do like the look of black right after the clouds, the earlier bikes had maroon and no black at all on the frame. The whole paintjob has a pearlescent clear which gives the colors a very rich depth.

Up until Sara's bike was uncovered a couple years ago we never knew if the EX designator was just a visual effect or real. While it doesn't really mean anything it's still kind of cool.

You can clearly see the 332 stamped on the frame (also on the rims) which was Tinker's number at the 1993 Worlds.

This is the only decal I've never been able to find for my Storm, nice to see what it actually looks like in case I ever wanted to recreate it.

Here you can clearly see the layer of boron/carbon fibers bonded to the frame. Looks like the chain control device hadn't done a great job of preventing chainsuck.

One of the other differences between my bike and the eventual race bikes is the lack of fender mounts on the down tube (pictured are seat tube bottle mounts). Another hint that my bike (which has the extra mounts) was originally designated to be Tinker's race bike, but the color scheme was updated and a new bike was painted.

The old worlds fork hadn't faired well after the race. Not only were the legs pretty bent but the bearing seats were damaged and needed some clean up before it go into the frame

A little detailed file work and all ready for installation...

Seems the fork has been in and out of this frame quite a few times as the bearings just slid in... There should be a pretty tight interference fit, so hopefully the loctite holds...

Frame cleanup complete and ready for assembly...

While the fork is a cool artifact of a specific race, I really would love to find the original painted to match Rock Shox lowers and Mission Control bar/stem combo...

Check back soon for the final write-up on the final assembly!


  1. Much of Tinker's Klein equipment ended up in the storage shed of the cabin he had in Big Bear, California. In the summer of 1995 Tinker wanted to thin down all that stuff and his mom Rose brough all of that stuff and more and sold it at the "Tinker Cleans Out His Garage Sale" held in the parking lot of Big Bear Bikes. The storm cloud forks and two of his storm cloud Leader helmets were sold at that sale.

    1. Thanks Vic, interesting info. I know one of those helmets is now with a friend in Europe, along with a set of wheels from the Storm Adroit. I got a set of Rock Shox forks which re are on my Storm Adroit. I've seen a few Kleins over the years sold on ebay that were reportedly once Tinker's but had been repainted and otherwise modified so there was no way of knowing.

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