Monday, October 6, 2008

Klein Rascal, the triumverate is complete!


I’ve been mountain biking since 1989, and I've had over 20 bikes over the years. Some were just awful (Purple GT Zaskar, Jamis Diablo 853) and some were mild let downs (Bridgestone MB-2, Rock Lobster Expert Taiwan POS) and some were just mass produced boring junk (Giant ATX-770, Stumpjumper M4).

Over the years I’ve had three bikes that really seemed to fit my style. I’m a guy that likes tight trails and I never, ever get air, unless it’s unintentional and closely followed by a trip into the weeds (last October, Left Loop, Gary calling out "What the hell were you trying to do?!?") For one reason or another, I’ve managed to sell off all three in a vain attempt at modernizing, or evolving, or maybe just as a means to exercise my urge to build new bikes up and sell off old stuff…who knows.

Well, I’ve managed to get all three of them back, in some form or another…The ’94 EWR back from Matt, My ’93 Viper Red Beast of the East M800 (although my old ’92 Beast was Orchid Blue), and Finally…my new Klein Rascal.

My old Rascal was a ’92, and the lettering was reverse taped into the paint, and the final color was a classic two color fade, charcoal to maroon, front to back. I wiped out on campus (getting air…I should have known better!) and badly damaged the seat stay on the drive side, and shortly thereafter traded the frame to Lou’s Bike Shop in St Pete (who would later sell me the Beast via ebay!...small world!) for a Manitou 4 for the white EWR. Then Trek came into the picture and I slit my wrists.

The Rascal was always the perfect Klein in my eyes, because it was the same frame as the Attitude with a 1" head tube and not the bizarre Klein MC stuff up front. Same big fat horizontal dropouts, oversized downtube and most importantly, the same geometry as both the Attitude and the Adroit! (which had very thin-walled tubes and was better suited to wall art duty) Rascal...different enough to be a Klein, but normal enough to get parts!

The new Rascal (which is actually used, but in better shape than even my Beast), a ’90 with the extended seat tube, is a one color paint job Klein, and the lettering is transfer decal under the clear, and a solid color, but the depth of the metallic finish is amazing. The bike has some chips around the rear drops, and the fork blades, and just a tiny amount of chain suck, but otherwise it’s perfect! Even has the internal cable guides in place…and as a final touch, I have someplace to put my Paul’s Blue Balls seat bolt! (I can hear you all sniggering...all 4 of you)

I've got a friend who is contemplating selling his first generation, Duralcan made, Specialized S-Works M2, a contemporary on many Bay Area rides to first my old Beast and then the Rascal. Gary, I still think you should keep your M2…and the 4 year search for a decent Rascal, in the right size for me, with something other that day-glow puke paint, is the reason. You have the means…keep it. If you want to sell it, then sell me the Cook Bros cranks first!


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