Monday, August 11, 2014

2001 Klein Quantum Pro (Sold)

2001 Klein Quantum Pro

I have officially crossed over to the road side. That's right, after many years of resistance, I finally succumbed to the temptation. It all started with the Marin Fairfax. Although it was not officially a road bike but a hybrid, it was close enough to feel the difference in speed between a MTB and road bike. The Marin has served me well and its time to move on. Having said that, a Klein Quantum Pro is not necessary an entry-level bike. For a start, it carries a big price tag even for a bike that is 13 years old.

So, was it worth the big chunk of cash I paid for it? Definitely. This is a one-of-a-kind type of bike. First of all, look at the paint scheme. Its call Plum Crazy Purple. Only Klein can do a chameleon paint scheme like this. Next is the weight of the bike. Actually, the question should be what weight? It hardly weighs anything. I was told it was sub 9 kg. As you would expect, besides the aluminum frame, everything else is made of carbon fibre.

Easton carbon fibre handle bar and Shimano Dura Ace brake/shifters. Easton carbon stem.

Aeros aluminum fork.

Internal routing for brake and shifters.

JBC seat with titanium rails.

9-speed Dura-Ace rear derailleur.

Easton carbon wheels with Vittoria 700 x 24 tires.

 Carbon hubs.

Shimano dual-sided SPD pedals. Minimalist design.

Easton carbon stem.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

2014 Alero

2014 Alero 

This is the called the anomaly bike. Its the only modern bike in the collection. I have always wondered how a modern bike feels like with all the high-tech components like wide riser handle bar, long travel suspension, disc brakes, etc. So, I had to build one to find out. Turns out that the bike is actually quite fun! The first thing you noticed is the upright sitting position. 

Not wanting to spend a bomb and realizing that its not what I expect, mid-level components from the Deore series were used. 

9 speed gears are more than sufficient. The bike is light even with the suspension fork, so it is quite effortless to move it along.

The handle bars are 740cm wide and the stem is 50cm. Hydraulic disc brakes are used instead of mechanical ones.

See how wide the bike is!

Handle bar and stem were from a Specialized bike.

The saddle is made of carbon fibre.

 Bike size is 15.5".

See the upright riding position?

Rear hydraulic disc brakes.

Front suspension shock is from Rock Shox with 100mm of travel.

1995 Giant Cadex CFM 3

1995 Giant Cadex CFM 3

The previous owner of this bike was a Major in the Army. A common friend told me that this bike would be well used as this fella was an adventure sort of person. Well, he was not wrong. When I first got the bike, it was in a really bad shape. The bottom bracket was seized up due to rust, muck everywhere and no wonder, nobody bought the bike even though it was rather exotic with carbon and kevlar body parts. Actually, that made it worse because you cannot see damage on carbon or kevlar until it falls apart.

I spoke to the Major to get some history about the bike. He seems honest and trustworthy and told me that the bike never had a serious crash and everything was in good condition except that it was dirty because he had no time (read as lazy!) to clean it. Anyway, one of the core value of an officer is honesty, so I believed him and bought the bike. 

It would be good to show you the 'before' pictures but strangely, I realized that I do not enjoy taking pictures of bikes in bad shape. Anyway, countless hours of cleaning, polishing and parts sourcing produced this bike in its present condition. Some of the blemish could not be removed e.g. clear coat chipped but whatever that can be done has been done.

The initial idea was to return it back to its original form; a lightweight racing MTB. But, that soon changed. With its lightweight frame, it would be perfect for the wife. Besides, I will not take a risk thrashing the bike on the trails because it might fall apart! So, on goes the slick tires, slight riser handle bar, a relatively upright stem and most importantly, a comfy seat.

I kept the 7-speed drivetrain because that is all you need for road rides. To add a modern touch to the bike, I added a front disc brake while keeping the rear caliper brakes.

Microshift components were used. This is about the only company that still produces 7 speed stuff.

The most comfy seat I know.

In spite of the exotic materials used to make the bike, it does not look stunning but rather subdued.

This is a great bike to own and though I will never know how much it went through, it will get the TLC it needs under my charge.

1999 Marin Palisades Trail (Sold)

1999 Marin Palisades Trail

This was the second bike I build following the Bridgestone MB-1. The uniqueness of the frame was the bare aluminum finish; termed by Marin as ball burnished. Essentially, each tube was placed in a big bowl of ball bearings and turned round and round until they are shiny. It is not an easy frame to maintain and I spent countless hours trying to make it shine like new. The bike was build from the ground up with mid range components.

To maintain its originality, a threaded Deore XT headset was used. The fork was bought on eBay and shipped here from USA. Its rather heavy and further down the road, it will be swapped for something lighter. Its still kept on the bike because the color combination looks good.

In the initial stage, it was build like a traditional MTB with straight handle bars and longish stem. But, after a few rides, a slight riser bar and shorter stem was added. It made quite a difference in the posture; certainly more comfortable for long rides.

Shimano Alivio components were used throughout the bike with some Deore parts here and there, The brakes are from Avid.

The knobby tires were swopped for city slick tires since the bike would be used more on the road than the trails.

The Alivio components are quite efficient. Once tuned properly, they shift nicely and never gave any problems.

The front derailleur is from the Deore series.

You can see the rise on the handle bar. Coupled with the comfy Ferrari leather seat, you can cycle for miles on this bike and not feel the strain. The only penalty is the weight of the bike.

Some pictures before the refurbishment.