Monday, November 12, 2018

1987 Steve Potts Deluxe

Unless you've been living in an ice cave or under a rock there is a very good chance that if you're into mountain bikes you've heard of Steve Potts. Steve is among the few of the early mountain bike pioneers who never stopped building and will still deliver you an amazing mountain bike to this day. This 1987 Deluxe is an amazing example of Steve's fillet brazing and one of the nicer fades I've seen on his bikes. All in all it's a really sublime bike with flowing and graceful lines, a true work of art that looks equally good in a gallery and on the trail, as long as it's a mellow trail!

The matching Potts stem is one of the nicest steel stems ever made. These stems fit over a brazed on stub on the fork steerer so the end result is sort of a hybrid threaded / threadless setup.

One of the cooler pieces on this bike is the Fixed Angle Seat Post (FASP) which was a custom option on WTB related bikes. Commonly found on Cunninghams it's a far less common sight on other bikes as it was custom made for each frame to match it's geometry exactly, as you couldn't adjust the angle of the seat once it was made.

A fillet brazed Type 2 forks fitted with a WTB Speedmaster Roller Cam brake rounds out the front end.

I really love this paintjob, it reminds me of classic American cars with the long, drawn out pool cue style fade. The choice of white, blue and gray gives the effect a degree of subtlety while still really standing out.

For some reason the combination of the slim tubing, narrow tires and lack of a seat stay mounted brake doesn't really look good on this bike. Maybe it's the extra large frame that results in the extra length of seat stays above the tire line, but it's just a bit drawn out for my taste.

Wide spacing with a huge bail out rear gear. Good odds the freewheel was custom built to achieve the spread, especially given the attention to detail on the rest of the build and the shop that originally sold the bike.

This bike has stays for days!

The detail of the fillet brazed Type 2 crown is really amazing, really one of the nicest fork designs ever made. Not the lightest, especially in full bling mode, but it simply oozes style.

I find it sort of funny that a bike with so much attention to detail just runs the cables directly over the BB shell. I never really understood this. Not only does it result in excess friction but every shift and brake actuation wears away at the frame. At least CC added a plate to his bikes...

Now, where can I find some 30 year old electrical tape to seal up that grease port???

In the end bikes like these are just a bit too elegant for my taste. I love looking at them, studying the details, and I suppose it would be fun to ride on a smooth fire road on a cool crisp fall day wearing old hiking boots, jeans, flannel shirt and a bandana. However once the looking and admiring is done my cup runs fulls. If I can't find constant joy in exploring a new trail or just having fun ride without worrying about damaging the bike then my interest is diminished. That being said this is a refined bike for a connoisseur to appreciate and take out on nice, leisurely days to hang out at a get together and discuss with other like minded folks, which is something I just don't do that often.


  1. Making big bikes look good is an artform that not all builders were adept at. This does look a tad awkward.

  2. I appreciate your candor. Beautiful build and great write-up.