Wednesday, October 26, 2016

1987 WTB Team Trek

The Bike:
A Trek is not usually on the list of bikes I want to own. This one would be an exception.
The first time I saw this frame, was ten years ago on a lucky visit with Mark Slate.  It was a surplus Team frame along with a few others, languishing under a house...dirty, dusty, but otherwise NOS.
Fast forward a decade and I was fortunate to be connected with one of these frames through a mutual friend. In addition to the frame (this particular one painted by Steve Potts), was an ex-Team Trek Potts/Cunningham Type II fork (a fork that saw actual race duty back in the day).  Sourcing the exact parts for this kind of bike can be exceedingly difficult and/or cost prohibitive. I had to make some concessions on the build spec in order to make this a running, usable bike. Early 'Swiss Cheese' Roller Cams and a FASP are tall orders, so reasonable replacements were used.
I'm excited with the final product. A classic mountain bike whose purpose might go unnoticed without closer inspection. 

As initially unearthed ten years ago (2nd frame back).

As received (just needed a wipe down).

Steve Potts paint fade.

Type II detail.


The finished product.

Type II & WTB Speedmaster Roller Cams

The Build: 
Frame: Trek Aluminum
Fork: Potts/Cunningham Type II
Rims: Araya RM-20
Hubs: Shimano 7400 Dura Ace
Quick Release: Shimano Dura Ace
Tires: Specialized Ground Control
Pedals: Suntour XC Compe
Crank: Specialized Flag (the good ones)
Chain: Sedis
Rear Cogs: Shimano Dura Ace
Bottom Bracket: Press Fit
Front Derailleur: Shimano M730 XT
Rear Derailleur: Shimano 600
Shifters: Shimano M730 XT
Handlebars: Salsa Moto
Grips: WTB
Stem: Steve Potts fillet brazed
Headset: Specialized
Brake set: WTB Speedmaster Roller Cam
Brake levers: Shimano M730 XT 4-Finger
Saddle: Selle Italia Turbo
Seat Post: Suntour XC
Paint: White/Blue Fade (painted by Steve Potts)
Size: 19"
Serial #:
Place of Origin: Waterloo, WI
Other: 26.6 lbs, Surplus NOS WTB/Team Trek issue frame.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

1991 Breezer Lightning Flash

The Bike:
One of my more recent builds is a 1991 Breezer Lightning Flash.  Serial number JB0094.
1991 was the first year Breezer went (back) to steel frames since the original Series bikes.  The Lightning was the top of the line bike with the Lightning Flash being a limited edition Fillet Brazed version made by Shitamori. Based on the info out there, approx 100 of these were made, one year only. If that S/N isn't random, that would make this one of the last of the batch.

For someone as important to mountain biking as Joe is, he's entirely humble, approachable, and appreciates these old bikes.  Having chased (and been chased) by Joe on a few downhills, I relate to his riding style. I'm a fan of Joe and his work and really wanted to have a Breezer because of him. The American Breezer project I did looked killer, but I just didn't care for how the bike rode. This bike checks the boxes of a bike I want to own. Fillet brazed steel, NorCal roots, limited production.

I found this 19" Flash in an old thread on the MTBR VRC and randomly PM'ed the owner who'd posted it several years back.  It was pretty beat and missing the fork/stem but he was open to selling it. At the same time, another VRC lurker had a 16" version with matching brazed stem and fork. you're already guessing...I had to buy both frames so I could pirate the fork and stem from the small frame and pair it up with the bigger frame.  This also required me to extend the steerer to fit the larger size frame. Ah the things we do to make a project come together.  The end result is 85% catalog spec with a few tasteful period correct deviations and 100% rider.

As found.

As Received.

91 Breezer Catalog Shot:


The finished product.

The Build:
Build spec:
Frame: Breezer
Fork: Breezer
Rims: Ritchey Logic
Hubs: WTB Classic
Quick Release: Salsa No Logo
Tires: Ritchey Z-Max 2.1
Pedals: Shimano XT M737
Crank: Ritchey Logic
Chain: Sram
Rear Cogs: Shimano Dura Ace
Bottom Bracket: Shimano UN71 XT
Front Derailleur: Shimano M735 XT
Rear Derailleur: Shimano M735 XT
Shifters: Shimano M732 XT
Handlebars: Ritchey Prolite
Grips: Ritchey True Grip
Stem: Breezer
Headset: Shimano M735 XT
Brake set: Ritchey Logic
Brake levers: Ritchey Logic
Saddle: Selle Italia Turbo
Seat Post: American Classic
Paint: Bright Blue/Moonglow Pearl
Size: 19"
Serial #: JB094
Place of Origin: Fairfax, CA
Other: 24.5 lbs, one of aprox 100 made.

The Ride:
It's hard not to compare this bike to others in the same category and I would say it rides most similar to my Salsa Ala Carte. Which is to say, it does everything really well and no stand out negative trait.  It's a comfortable bike to manage and not as much of a handful at speed as, say, a Ritchey P-Series or Bontrager.  Overall I've been enjoying it a great deal and will continue to rack up miles in the foreseeable future.

1991 Yeti (Pro) FRO

The Bike:
I traded frames with a fellow vintage mtb buddy.  He bought this Yeti new in 1991, rode it hard.  My original intention was to build it back up and continue to ride it as is.
It had a seriously bad case of stuck bb with an extraction attempt somewhere along the line that was unsuccessful. 
Ultimately it required a frame builder and some heat to get it out.  The paint was already on the tail end of acceptable, yellow was faded.
The Tange decal and integrated seat binder make it a Pro FRO, but it has the hand machined 'team' drop outs and pre-Pro FRO decals.  As with a lot of Yeti bikes, its some quasi-transitional FRO/Pro FRO quirk.
But it was in my size and classic team colors made it worth while restoring.  I think I found a happy medium of classic Yeti, 'Team Racer', and a hint of Tomac in a rider friendly package.
It ended up cleaner than I'd originally designed in my head, but will still serve as a rider and won't be babied. Thanks to M.A. for the opportunity to make this bike whole again, and M.K./Second Spin Cycles for hooking me up with the stem, decals, and ferrules.

As I got the frame. Hard to see, but what's left of a Shimano UN BB is still in there. 

After the shell was pulled.  You can see where the previous attempt cut the threads a bit. The threads were chased and it was determined to be otherwise safe/usable, no rust or compromised tubing.

Back from paint and the start of decaling.

Mock with T-Disk.

And finally the end result.

Team cut drop outs.

Team cut stem.

This decal can also be seen on John Tomac's actual Yeti FRO.  Not sure how I ended up with one, but it seemed an appropriate use for it.

The Build:
Frame: Yeti FRO
Fork: AccuTrax
Rims: Mavic M261CD
Hubs: Shimano M732 XT
Quick Release: Ringle
Tires: OnZa Porc/Panaracer Smoke
Pedals: Shimano XT M737
Crank: Cook Bros RSR
Chain: Sram
Rear Cogs: Shimano HG90 XT
Bottom Bracket: Shimano UN71 XT
Front Derailleur: Shimano M735 XT
Rear Derailleur: Shimano M735 XT
Shifters: Shimano M732 XT
Handlebars: Answer Hyperlite
Grips: ODI Tomac Attack
Stem: Answer ATAC Team Cut
Headset: Chris King No Logo
Brake set: Shimano M732 XT
Brake levers: Shimano M733 XT
Saddle: Selle Italia Turbo
Seat Post: IRD
Paint: Team Desert Turq/Bright Yellow
Size: 17.5"
Serial #:
Place of Origin: Durango, CO
Other: 25.5 lbs.

The Ride:
Having owned just about every version of a Yeti, this FRO is distinctly...well, Yeti. It's not a great climber and it's not all that forgiving.  But the faster you go, the better it works. It needs man handling through tight terrain.  It's predictable in the air and over rough sections of trail. It's a classic NORBA style race bike and probably ideal under a power rider with DH bias in mind.