Friday, May 22, 2009

Klein as the advancement of the breed

This is Ritchey Mountain Bike number one. Ritchey was credited, along with a few other quirky, pot puffing weirdos, for creating the modern, purpose-built mountain bike.
-

-
Ritchey, simple, no frills, purposeful. Done, Done and Done. Ritchey was the model for 10 years of mass produced copy-cat steel-bike construction logic that churned out clones like the Specialized Stumpjumper, Fisher Hoo-Koo-E-Koo and Diamond Back Axis, shown below in 1990 garb... *yawn*
-


-

OK Pessimists...while Diamond Back, and many many other manufacturers were regurgitating the Ritchey molded copies, Klein was creating the Top Gun, later to be renamed Rascal, (after I guess Tom Cruise jumped up on a couch on "Oprah" and whined enough)... There were, of course, other companies making aluminum large tubed bikes, as Klein's failed lawsuit for patent infringement would prove, but to many, the Klein brand epitomized the lightweight hand built aluminum race frame.
-

-
Here's a good comparison to never, never forget, as you hover over your keyboards longing for a logical attack to project toward the Klein faithful, ultimately revealing your inability to recognize the continued value in the brand...
-
...At a time when Klein was making the Top Gun...second pic...Diamond Back was introducing this Axis, their top bike at the time, and by no means an inexpensive bike. These horizontal top tube steel frames were everywhere...Specialized, Ritchey, Salsa...etc. From custom to mass produced, this was the standard. Then there was Top Gun. There's a pretty obvious difference... I'm not saying it's better, that's up to you, and subject for another debate. What I am saying, is that Top Gun had more in common with modern bikes of today than any Axis or Stumpjumper, or even Ritchey of the time could ever claim.
-
When Klein came along the product was a very real and very progressive alternative; a bike that holds up well in performance even today.

2 comments:

Steve said...

The only Klein I know is Calvin, and I can't afford that either.

Utahdog! said...

HA! The Retrobike guys would complain that Calvin Klein is as overly styled and useless as Gary (bike) Klein.