Monday, 4 April 2016

My bikes: 1992 Klein Attitude backfire

My Klein story starts back in 1994 when I was looking for a replacement bike for a M600 Cannondale, the Attitude was on the radar as one of the local lads in our local riding scene had a beautiful backfire model.

A candy red Attitude was for sale in Leisure Lakes bikes and the deal was done. Spec wise it was built at a price, so had a Sugino crank, Specialized tyres and a LX level group. Slowly it evolved and gained Campag rims and Hope hubs, X-Lite levers with Xtr brakes and XTR mechs, all in it was a crazy sub 20lb bike. I used the Klein for everything, commuting, XC, jumping and just mucking about on but as our riding evolved suspension was the only way forward and the Attitude had to go.

My original 1993 Attitude in Candy Red
My Attitude with my friends Backfire Rascal

I've always converted the Klein brand, Gary Klein pioneered many things that we now take for granted such as cartridge b/b's and headsets, oversized tubing and internal cable routing. The quality of the bikes was and still is second to none, the welding and finishing are amazing with the paint quality more akin to a prestige car than a bicycle. In 1995 the Trek Bicycle Corporation bought Klein  and slowly dismantled the brand until finally shutting it down completely in 2009. Maybe this last point is why the pre-Trek Kleins are now so desirable and able to command such strong resale prices?

Fast forward to 2016 and I've always had an eye on the market for a Klein but I did have a wish list. First of it had to be a 92 or 93 model for the smooth crown on the oversized fork rather than the welded crown of the 91 model. It had to be the 18" size. It had to have the original fork and mission control bar/stem. Lastly I really wanted the Backfire paint job, there are lots of amazing Klein paint schemes, but for me the Backfire was the one. 

The bike I found was for sale in the USA, it ticked all the boxes wish list wise but had a mix and match group, the deal was done and the bike delivered. The biggest problem was that the crank blinded on the anti suck plate and would hit the chain stay, so I had to do a bit of spec juggling between bikes to get the Klein somewhere near how I wanted it. 

My long term plan for the Attitude is to evolve the spec until I am completely happy with it, but moreover is to actually use it, this isn't going to be a garage wall decoration!

My bike has also just been featured on the Singletrack World website in a feature called 15 bikes we wished we owned, read the feature here:

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