Monday, February 6, 2017

1992 Klein Adroit Ultra Light

I still vividly remember the amount of work that went into building my first Ultra Light Adroit back in 2012. At the time it seemed like such an impossible task, many of the parts were obscure and hard to find or had to be modified somehow to work in the intended application. Well, as with most other things the first one is exponentially harder than the second and in this case third.

The starting point here is the lovely 1992 Adroit. This particular frame was found on Craigslist in Florida back in 2015 and has been waiting patiently ever since for all the parts to come together. The frame is a regular 1992 Adroit in Gator Linear fade and aside from somewhat larger downtube KLEIN decals it's the same as any other Adroit.  I don't know the story behind the larger decals, but the folks in the Klein marketing/art department were always trying new things and perhaps they were experimenting with larger decals to more fully fill up the larger 2" down tube on the Adroit.

Like the Ferrari F40 and other ultra high performance leight weight cars of the 80s the main goal of Klein's UL grouppo was to make a sub 20lbs bike, which back in the early 90s was the equivalent of running a 4 minute mile in the 1940s! Sadly in this case it didn't necessarily make for a very usable bike, so today the build is something cool to do for a show bike that represents the crazy times when weight savings were king and performance often times suffered as a consequence

Here is a quick shot of the Adroit as it was found back in 2015. The original build was full M900 XTR representing the cutting edge of technology in 1992. As far as I know only a handful of Ultra Light build kits were ever actually built at Klein and from what I can tell most were 1991. I did previously own another 1992 Adroit with a UL kit, but that was the only one I've ever seen.

Here is the final build with the Ultra Light grouppo. I really wish that I could go with larger tires, but sadly to be correct I had to run 1.9s which really make the bike look silly. But' that's how it is.

The one thing I really love about Kleins is the super clean look and only four piece of cable housing! There were no bikes like them on the market and to this day they are some of the more aesthetically pleasing bikes to behold!

Not sure how much lighter the first generation Grip Shift shifters were over a nice pair of Suntour XC-PRO thumbies, but no matter what the weight savings were the cost incurred to usability wasn't worth it.

Wheels on the UL group were comprised of Hi-e hubs (28h in front and 32h in the rear) paired to Campagnolo Atek rims (1991 used Contax rims) with radially laced 15/16g Wheelsmith spokes in the front and 3x drive side / radial non drive side in the rear. Tinker actually raced a lacing pattern like that on this bikes, though as far as I know never with that hub and rim combination.

The subtle flash of gold on this bike is an homage to the UL Gator Adroit pictured in the 1992 Klein catalog.

It's ironic that this bike would be sold in Santa Monica, travel to Florida, then back to Los Angeles and finally off to England... what a world we live in!

The early Grip Shift units didn't have any means to trim / adjust on the shift units so Klein neatly fitted these barrel adjusters on the down tube cable inlets.

The Klein seatpost is a rare sight these days. Although these were just rebranded Kalloy posts they are now quite collectable. In addition to machined out clamp halves on later production posts, some of the units given to racers were machined out and had a layer of carbon fiber bonded on the inside.

The mullet of bicycle paintjobs, wild neon yellow in the front and subtle blue in the back! Unlike the mullet though, it was all the rage in the 90s and it's still awesome today!

 This view just doesn't get old!

I could make a calendar that had nothing but this shot for all the different paint combinations of the Adroit for each month of the year and then use it for every year!

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