Friday, February 28, 2014

Foes Racing DHS protype frame

Foes Racing has made and is making some of the most hardcore badass downhill framesets (and forks) in the industry. This is a 1999 prototype that is using a Curnutt shock that has stable platform damping. IIRC the shock came from a desert racing truck, so the whole frame was built around this unique shock.

Ted Wotjaik full suspension frameset

Ted Wotjaik is a custom builder from USA. This is an early full suspension frame from around 1995 probably. It has a rear end made by Battle (who also made complete frames). IIRC correctly, this frame in an earlier version had an AMP B3 rear end but the AMP rear end was always considered very flexy and had an unsophisticated rear shock. I guess the frame above was a huge step up from the flexy AMP B3 rear end.

AMP B3 full suspension frameset

The AMP frames got rave reviews some popular MTB magazines back in the day claiming it was the best bike on the planet. It was light, had active suspension and was designed by a suspension guru from the motorcycle world who you had to look up to if you where a MTB magazine editor back in 1993, Horst 'the horse' Leitner.

The rear link was even called the "Horst link" since it was on the AMP bike it was first used and AMP had the patent which was later on sold to Specialized. Last year the patent went out so now everyone can build their own Horst link bike. You would think it was Horst who invented the Horst link since his name graces it but apparently it was the founder of Nicolai frames who invented the Horst link when he worked at AMP. And he had to pay royalties to AMP to use his own invention.

When the freeriding fad came at the end of the 90'ies AMP bikes went out of style since nobody wanted lightweight XC bikes anymore, preferring 5 inch freeriding monsters. AMP bailed out, licensed the bikes to Mercedes, left the bicycle industry and invented some weird accessories for flat bed trucks and made millions.

Answer A-tac aluminium stem

The Answer A-tac stem is an interesting conversion piece. It was designed by FTW which stands for Frank The Welder, a famous welder who worked at Yeti during the companies early years. He is most famous for welding up the first Yeti ARC ever with a lightweight Easton aluminium tubeset. You would think that the A-tac is a lightweight stem, but it is not, even though it is almost full alu constructions (with heavy steel bolts). Answer was a motorcycle company that also made the Manitou fork and Yeti used both Manitou forks and Easton tubes for their stuff. As with most components from 1991-1993 it looks totally bad ass on any hardcore frame from those days and maybe thats all that matters.

Polished Klein Attitude

Klein is famous for their paint jobs so it hurts the eyes to see this polished Klein Attitude. But to be honest it hurts even more to see that ugly road carbon seatpost  LOL!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Bontrager prototype full suspension frame

I was reminded of Bontrager frames today at work. Bontrager frames are sophisticated steel hardtails with gussets and smart things added on to the frame to keep it working and holding up but keep the weight low.

But Bontrager did also experiment with different materials and setups even after shutting down the frame production at Trek. I don't know if this frame is pre or post Trek (I suspect post), but it is an interesting concept trying to reduce the amount of pivots by using a flexible board over the bottom bracket (same principle as in the Slingshot frame I think). Maybe there was a reason this frame never showed up with a Bontrager (or Trek or Gary Fisher label).

Klein prototype trials bike

This is someone named Aaron Faust, what is interesting in the picture is the trials bike he is riding. A custom Klein trials bike that share many things with the Adroid and Adept top of the line mountain bikes.
These days, Klein is no more and nobody competes in Trials anymore, how sad.

Ringle MK1 titanium quick releases

These are rare Ringle Components road bike quick release skewers. I think the mountain bike version looks cooler, but no doubt this is a lighter version of the original and you do not have to cut down the rear titanium axle to 130 mm. Nothing would look better on a vintage Yeti Road Project, good luck finding either one lol!

Wilderness Trail Bikes Bon Tempe

WTB is an old school manufacturer that is probably most known for its line of ugly (IMHO) saddles. But during its lifetime WTB has released all kind of components and even this suspension frame based on the URT philosophy of making suspension mountain bikes. That is, suspension locks out fully when not in the saddle. If you find a second hand Bon Tempe on Ebay, make sure you get the seatpost for it, I think it would be difficult finding a correct sized seatpost for the frame (looks like it is 40 mm large).

Morati Titanium mountainbike and components

Morati was a European titanium frame and component manufacturer. They where most famous for their titanium cranks that got a bad reputation for cracking. Even though the cranks are known for cracking in major ways they still fetch up to 1000 dollars on Ebay (in not cracked form). Bike above is a Morati extraordinarie build with Morati frame (that was also sold under the Sunn brand), cranks, forks stem/handlebar combo and seatpost. Also, notice that it has a Rohloff internal geared hub (that probably weights as much as the frame alone).

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Kooka cranks

Before you decide to run Kooka cranks on your bike, decide if your life is worth living. You will have a hard time finding more cracktastic cranks than some non forged CNC machined Kooka cranks!

Grafton Performance Speedcontroller II

Wow, what a nice set of Grafton Performance Speedbrakes with Aztec brake pads. Keep in mind there are many small parts in a Speedbrake if you are in the market for some cool brakes second hand.

Ellsworth Rogue

Ellsworth might not have the best customer support but they have made some badass frames through the years. The Rogue is a long travel freeride bike that has an x-tra long top tube geometry, so you should run it with a short stem. As you can see, nothing keeps you from running a front derailleur on it so you can climb up after your 5 min downhill run.

3D Racing Ultimate replica

This is a cool Yeti Ultimate replica (no loopstays tough) made by 3D Racing. Chris Herting invented the original Yeti Ultimate back in the day, so why not ask him at his own company if you have been lounging for a modern Ultimate all these years.

Lightweight Intense M1

This is an old style Intense M1 that was ridden as a cross-country bike since it was tuned to weight only 33 pounds!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Splatter anodized Ringle Zooka stem

This is a cool Ringle Zooka stem in a rare splatter anodized finish. Also notice front plate is cracked (not cool).

Arrow DS3

This is an Arrow DS3. It was made for dual slalom and uses 24" tires.

Mantis XCR

This is a rare Mantis XCR composite frame, front is aluminium and rear is cr-mo. The idea was to combine different material to use their properties in different areas, softer rear for 0.5mm suspension, and stiffer middle section for superior handling.

Vintage Grafton performance Speed Controllers

One pair of Grafton Speed Controllers in a rare anodized fade. Rumor on the internet (and TBH even before the Internet) was that Shimano copied the design of the SC-brakes for the 1991 season.

Look KG 196 frameset

Here is a very rare Look KG-196 frameset. It has an adjustable stem and a cool looking tripple clamp looking fork.

Nicolai Lambda

This is a Nicolai Lambda frameset. It is built like a tank.

Proto Grafton Performance Suspension bike

There was a Grafton hardtail released in europe, typical early 90ies Easton hardtail with 100% Grafton/Ringle group. This full suspension bike was probably never released since it has the ultra rare prototype Grafton disc brakes with carbon rotors that never got released. When I asked about the disc brakes, I got the reply his divorce happened. So maybe there is still hope for them being released lol.

Vintage Caloi road bike with Rock Shox

This is a vintage Caloi road bike from 1995 with a rare Rock Shox Paris Roubaix fork. Paris Roubaix is a hardcore road race on some cobble stone roads.


This is the gentleman who made the Bullseye cranks and the Bullseye pulleys and hubs. Rumor on the internet is that Shimano waited until patent went out then copied the design of the Bullseye cranks.

Cracktastic Yeti heritage

It is ironic that also modern, not only vintage Yeti frames are known for cracking, old aluminium gets brittle with time, but old Yeti Cr-Mo frames can also crack, most often around the seatpost collar. This is a modern Yeti framset with flexible carbon pivot that snapped (or he forgot it on the roof of his car when he backed in to his garage).

Cool mini velos from Asia

I learned a new phrase today, it is “Mini-velo”, that is any full size bike with 20 inch tires.
I also learned that in Asia people are running 20” wheels on full size, full suspension hi-end frames such as the Nicolais in the pic above. Why get a Moulton when you can just as well run 20 x 1.95” hookworms on your Yeti 303 lol?

24 Bicycles Le Toy 3

24 Bicycles Le Toy III (thats the third revision). This frame is compatible with both 24” and 26” wheels and you can also run 3” 26” tires on it. It is however not an XC-bike so it is a bit unusual to find such a tall seatpost on this classic hardcore hardtail. Also notice the rare Marzocchi fork with through axle dropouts, wow.

Rocky Mountain Suzy Q

Here is an obscure old Rocky Mountain frame from the early 90ies, the Rocky Mountain Suzi Q. I have a strange feeling this frame was popular in Germany. No doubt a collectors item today (that is an ugly collectors item IMHO). Take notice of Race Face cranks, off course you probably already know RaceFace was connected to Rocky Mountain not just in the matching colors in the pic, both are Canadian companies and have connections between them.

Richard Cunningham Mantis

This is scanned from an old MBA, it is Richard Cunningham who made the Mantis bike with his Mantis Valkyrie X frame, notice the N-logo on the shirt as he designed some bikes for Nishiki (which was sort of parent company to CyclePro).

Manitou 204 Magnum Downhill

Early Tomac 204 Magnum downhill bike with licenced Lawwill rear suspension system designed by Bradbury. Same rear suspension as used on Yeti DH bikes and vintage Gary Fisher full suspension bike. Next version did not have the Lawwill rear suspension, wonder why lol?

Bridgestone MB0

Bridgestone MB-0 race bike from 1991. Take notice of unique parts mix. Mavic crankset, Suntour XC pro drivetrain and Dia Compe 986 brakes.

Brooklyn Machine Works Mini Link

Brooklyn Machine Works Mini link (or was it FQ mini link?, FQ = for queen?) bike with  Marzocchi Shiver forks. 3 inch 24” wheels.

Did you know you can run the Mini link as a singlespeed?

Yeti ARC 14" small

Lets kick off this blog with a picture of an early old school Yeti Arc in small 14” size ridden by Nicole Kolb.