Category Archives: vintage
One Cool Ritchey P-23 MTB

Cool as in color. As in how pristine this bike is. As in how rad is it that this Ritchey 1990 P-23 is still being ridden in Southern California? Cool as in look at all the Ritchey Logic parts, or those uber rare PAUL skewers. Cool as in those skewers were the first component PAUL made. Cool as in, yeah this bike is cool.

Carmella has a cool bike with an even cooler backstory, which I won’t even go into here because it’ll turn into a cool mess. Or hot mess. Ok, whatever. Here ya go.

So, apparently this bike was a custom order from a Santa Barbara native who raced the national circuit, which is where he met John Parker, the founder of Yeti. As the old owner tells the tale, Parker had already formed Yeti in 1985, but the whole teal color wasn’t a “Yeti thing” quite yet. After Parker saw this bike, however, he complimented the color and began using it on his own frames.

Now, a quick bit of fact-checking might shoot holes in this local lore. For instance, the P-series MTBs didn’t come out officially until 1990 and Yeti was formed in 1985. I’m pretty certain that Yeti used their iconic teal color prior to 1990. Which, as Mombat shows, was featured in a 1989 ad. However, as numerous sources recall, Ritchey apparently worked on the P-23 in 1988 and even seeded out a few frames to select racers… BUT the racing frames were fillet brazed and made by Tom, not tig welded. Unless a small batch of production frames went out to select racers beforehand. Which, if that’s the case, or even if there’s some slight wiggle room in the dates, it might actually be a legit story, not just local lore.

At any rate. This is a cool bike with a cool bit of lore attached to it and some sick skewers. It’s easy on the eyes and during its heyday the P-23 was one of the lightest chromoly frames on the market. Weighing in at only 23 pounds! Hence the name.

May 2, 2016 16 comments
The Pro’s Closet Interviews Greg Herbold

The Pro’s Closet always brings such great interviews. This time with two-time National Downhill Champion Greg Herbold, who takes us through the technical aspects of his race winning bike as well as the the challenges downhill racers faced in the early 90’s…like hard-tails, tension disks, and peddling uphill!

Apr 8, 2016 1 comment
Trackside ’85 is Now Online

Those classic black and white photos from the 1985 Berliner Sechstagesrennen Sid Day Race are now online for free. Not familiar with Trackside ’85? Here’s a synopsis, or you can just head over and check it out!

“17th of October, 1985, West Berlin, four days before the wall fell. The city is still an isolated island deep in East German territory. The cold war is more tangible here than anywhere in Europe although Glasnost will very soon spark the change that most Berliners are openly or secretly dreaming of. Trackside ‘85 is the work of Swedish photographer Staffan Jofjell and has been made public with the support of Ass Savers. The previously unpublished pictures were brought to life through a photo exhibition in 2014 that has been on show in Berlin, London, Barcelona, Oslo and Manchester. We are proud to finally bring this piece of cycling history to the internet. Enjoy.”

Feb 17, 2016 2 comments
Johnny O’ Mara’s Yeti ARC

This bike has a rich history and for vintage MTB collectors like Martin of Second Spin Cycles, it was a must-have for his extensive catalog. You see, Martin is a curator of sorts. Up until recently, he was commissioned by other collectors and hobbyists to build their dream bike. Whether it was a Yeti or a Yo Eddy, Martin had a knack for finding even the rarest components or accessories to top off a vintage build. Now Martin’s life is too busy to spend time for other people and has began focusing on his own bikes, which he actually rides quite frequently, whereas most collectors just display.

Now, back to this special Yeti ARC. A little while ago this frame popped up on eBay. It had a Johnny O’Mara decal on the toptube, signature hand-machined cable ferrels, FTW welds and a serial tag of number 90. All the signs pointed to this being an actual Johnny O’Mara bike, but there was one thing that threw Martin off: the bike was in Germany. The vintage MTB world is a strange one. Collectors scour the internet all over and if someone really wants a bike, they’ll pay top dollar for it. That said, Martin wasn’t too surprised to see the frame overseas. Who knows, maybe the owner was a Johnny fan?

After acquiring it, he began looking at some of O’Mara’s signature build details. With this particular pedigree of Yeti, Johnny was known to mis-match the hubs and cantilever brakes. So Martin did just that. One black Shimano XT hub on the front, one silver Shimano XT hub on the rear. He also had a penchant for purple, so on went the ever-so-classy Cook Brothers cranks, ODI grips and Ringlé skewers. Onza tires and a Manitou fork finished off the build, resulting in one pristine Yeti ARC. So pristine that the heads at Yeti want this bike for their home office, which is where it’s heading next week…

Martin was kind enough to bring this bike to the Cub House in South Pasadena yesterday for me to photograph and if vintage MTBs are you thing, I’d suggest giving him a follow at @SecondSpin.

Jan 29, 2016 27 comments