Monday, May 29, 2017

1994 Yeti ARC Team Replica

When I first started Second Spin, the first restoration commission I took was to build an early Yeti ARC. It only seems fitting that as I wind down the first chapter in SSC's history (moving east) I wrap up my run in CA with another Yeti ARC.

There are two bikes that come to mind when people mention the ARC. For me it's always been the gray and turquoise bike with a splash of 3DV, but for most people the images that are conjured up are of the yellow and turquoise version dripping with turquoise components. Ive now built almost 10 ARCs and nearly all of them have been some subtle variation of the latter color scheme.

This particular bike is a former team frame of an Expert class rider and friend of JPs, Jeff Redman. I got the bike directly from Jeff after it had sat around for a couple decades losing much of its former luster. Nothing a visit to Frank the Welder and a fresh powder coat can't fix.

The end result screams of 90s era NORBA paddock. The build is a replica of a team bike that the Yeti team campaigned successfully with names like Rockwell, Giove and Deaton just to name a few. Though many now long gone and forgotten in most circles, then the best of the best from Ringle, Grafton, Answer and Chris King were a common sight on many pro's bikes. Bikes this ARC serve not only as examples of a different period of technology but also as a window into the racing world of the time. Bright colors and neon were all the rage back then and nobody did it better than Yeti!

Some call them flimsy, some call them ultra light weight. In my personal opinion the Grafton Decelerators can be some of the nicer feeling brake levers if paired with the right brakes and set up properly. While not right on most bikes they feel right at home on most Yetis or vintage Manitous.

So strong was the might of Yeti in the 90s that they ever had branded tires!!

If any Ringle hub is a time bomb, the Super Duper Bubbas definitely had the longest fuse. While it's still most likely a matter of time before they blow, you can expect a little more from them than their Super and ordinary Bubba brothers.

Adding turquoise, 3DV or any mix of colors to a build is a fine art in my opinion. I think the newer the bike the more you can get away with. To me this Yeti represents the theoretical limit on what can be considered the 'right' amount of anodizing. I could have done matching straddle cable hangers, but decided not to. I've seen bikes with matching chainrings, grips, bolts, pulleys and even chain pins; to me that's the equivalent of gold teeth when you've already got the chains and rings.

Though a Manitou 3 may be a better color match I like the light splash of violet of the Manitou 2. I suppose doing the team style conversion of the Manitou 2 lowers with the teflon coated stanchions of the M3 would be a bit cooler.

I know I always rage against the L-bracket style Graftons, but on the ARC with wide 261 Mavic rims they work quite well. It all boils down to how much of a gap the brakes have to make up. The L-bracket style arms are well suited for narrow gaps, while the eye bolt style arms are good across the board, and are a bit stiffer.

A time will come when I have to rebuild my personal ARC (it finally cracked last year) and looking at an ARC like this one has me second guessing whether I'll stick with the original gray-tuquoise scheme to opt for this flashier version.


  1. Superb, as always MK. As you said, maybe M3 (or their black stanchions mated to M2) would probably be a better fit, but that's probably all I could fault. Stunning. I wish you well with your move.

  2. where did you source all those matching blue vintage components? and those ceramic rims. to keep this business going I imagine you have a very large warehouse of NOS and you're frequently scouring ebay or scouring ships for more. have you ever written a post on the back end of secondspin and how you do it? I would be very interested in reading more. very cool.

    lastly, where did you relocate to back east? /josh

    1. Years of collecting and occasional refinishing of parts by re anodizing and so on. No secret warehouses here, sadly...