Today we’re pleased to showcase a build from our friend Martin at Second Spin Cycles. Martin works on restoring old mountain, road, and yes, track bikes for his clients by speccing the period-correct components and more.
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A Second Spin 1987 Mantis X-frame/Valkyrie
One of the things I love about our content here on the Radavist are features like this. Martin runs a hobby company called Second Spin Cycles, an outfit we did a Shop Visit on a few years ago, and this is his 1987 Mantis X-frame, aka a Valkyrie. Check it out in detail below with words by Martin…
A Look Inside Second Spin Cycles’ Vintage MTB Collection
To call Martin from Second Spin Cycles a “collector” doesn’t do his operation justice. When I think of bicycle collectors, I picture hoarders stacking NOS parts for the sake of their own enjoyment, often shutting off their acquisitions from the real world, while only allowing members of various online forums the sneak peek inside, via photos. Maybe that’s an exaggeration but personally, I feel a great amount of indifference to people who hoard bicycles and components. Unless they’re riding them…
Four Unique Second Spin Mountain Bikes
Yesterday we took a look inside Second Spin Cycles and Martin’s stock of vintage mountain frames and accessories. Today, we’re going to look at four of his bikes in detail, all of which I felt were very unique. I’ve done my best to include Martin’s synopsis for each bike, along with some details which surprised even me. As with everything in this gallery, you can head to Second Spin Cycles’ blog for more information.
Second Spin Cycles’ 1985 Yeti Built and Sold by John Parker
Second Spin Cycles’ 1985 Yeti Built and Sold by John Parker
Photos by John Watson and words by Martin Kozaczek
Unless you’ve lived in a cave for the past 30 years you’ve probably heard of Yeti Cycles. Not much has changed in that time. The bikes are still turquoise and still made to go fast. Yeti has always stuck to its foundation in racing, and the alumni roster reads like a list on the wall in the Hall of Fame, with names like Tomac, Furtado and Graves just to name a few. Yeti outlasted most of its competition during those years as their bikes have evolved only enough to ensure they are as fast as their racers. Unlike some bike companies that either don’t embrace their past and culture or don’t have one to really rally around, Yeti is all about their history and more importantly, their tribe. If you’ve been to their HQ or one of their annual Tribe gatherings you’re likely to see some of the more significant bikes from their past. That lineup is soon to be joined by the bike featured here, which is the first Yeti ever sold!!! The story goes a little something like this. John Parker bought out the tooling for 26” BMX “Motocruiser” stalwart Bicycle Bob Wilson and his Sweetheart Cycles brand, and welded up 3-5 bikes. Needing a new name to distinguish his new bike from a Motocruiser, he chose Yeti, named after a sleeping bag he liked. This is the first bike he sold under the Yeti name from the storefront window of Emily K’s bicycle clothing store in Santa Barbara, CA. It was purchased by a young woman who owned it until just a couple years ago when a chance encounter with John at a motorcycle show reunited the bike with its maker.
Second Spin Mantis Valkyrie MTB
Martin from Second Spin has quite the vintage MTB stable and at last weekend’s MWBA Pancake Breakfast, he brought out his grail. Growing up worshipping Klein, Yeti and Mantis, Martin was able to own various Yetis and Kleins, but never a Mantis in his size. When a trade presented itself, he jumped on the deal for this Valkyrie.
The build spec is period correct, down to the Campagnolo skewers, which many mountain bikers used on their builds. The Cook Brothers crank and Ti bottom bracket have Specialized chainrings bolted on. Martin went with a WTB theme on this particular build with WTB roller cams front and rear, with WTB classic Grease Guard hubs. A Cunningham stem with internal cable routing holds Cook Brothers bars, M730 shifters and four finger calipers.
Even with this nice mix of parts, nothing takes away from this bike’s stance. It’s confident in its funkiness yet still elegant in its form. Having never seen a Mantis in person before, I now understand why Martin was so attracted to these frames.
Vintage mountain bike collectors will swoon over this one, but that goes without saying.
Skidaway Special: Building and Racing a ‘54 Schwinn Klunker
Taylor‘s journey to rediscovering a love for bicycles included building a modern klunker from a 1954 Schwinn Hornet frameset. After plenty of experimentation with parts and modifications, an unlikely entry into a local race would prove fortuitous for Taylor and his vintage rig. Continue reading below for a detailed rundown of Taylor’s build project, racing his klunker at local events, and more from Skidway Island!
Fork Yeah: John’s 1991 Team Fat Chance Yo Eddy!
Before we jump in, let’s take a look back: This has been such a fun process to undertake over the course of the past nine months. For those who are just tuning in, I bought a frame from Martin, owner of Second Spin Cycles, last year after he had acquired a substantial Fat City Cycles collection. Among his lucky haul was this Yo Eddy! in the team lavender livery with rack mounts, a pump peg, and some frame damage.
While the bike was in Rick’s care at D&D for some repairs and a paint respray, I began collecting period-correct parts from various sources. After re-finishing some of them and getting the bike back, I just finished the build this week. Monday night was the maiden voyage of the new and improved Yo Eddy! and I took some glamour shots here in Santa Fe, so let’s check this beaut out below!
Restoring a Classic MTB Part 02: Tutorial – How to Remove Anodizing and Polish Bicycle Components the Easy Way
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be working on my Yo Eddy! restoration project I began last year. If you recall, I bought an early Yo Eddy! frame from my friend Martin at Second Spin Cycles and sent it off to Rick at D&D Cycles for a new paint job and a few minor repairs. Well, the frame is back in my hands, so it’s time to get crackin’ on this restoration project.
My vision for the build includes polishing a Syncros 29.4⌀ seatpost, as this build kit will have a mix of black and silver components. Most of these seat posts are pretty faded and scratched, so I thought polishing one up would be nice.
Back in 2009, I made a post on this website about polishing vintage seat posts. At the time, I was restoring various Merckx frames and had scored a few unique seat posts. But what if your seatpost, or other bike components, has a colored anodizing finish you’re just not into? Well, read on below for the full tutorial.
Restoring a Classic MTB Part 01: John’s 1991 Team Yo Eddy!
Vintage bikes have always had a home on The Radavist. From shooting Sky’s wonderful collection from Velo Cult, to showcasing stunners in Los Angeles, and basket bike/resto mod conversions in Austin, there’s something about these 26″ wheeled, friction shifting, hand-made beauts that have always caught my eye. Over the past year, there’s been an uptick in the number of vintage bikes we’ve showcased, in part because joining with The Pro’s Closet gave us access to TPC’s Museum bikes, a veritable treasure trove of exciting and influential builds to unpack. Each bike is an earmark in cycling history, each with its unique story to tell. Additionally, I have had the time and resources to work on such restoration projects for the first time in years.
This year, we’ve featured my 1982 Ritchey Tam and my 1984 Mountain Goat, representing what I love about the early 1980s mountain bike design. With flat top tubes, big tire clearance, friction shifting, and geometries still relevant today, the 1980s bikes were more geared toward exploration than the racing geometries the NORBA era brought about. I couldn’t buy one of these classics when I first started riding in the 90s (my first bike was a rigid Gary Fisher Tassajara), but I could always count of Mountain Bike Action and my local bike shop to keep the eye candy in steady supply. Since then, one elusive bike model has remained the apple of my eye: an early 90s Yo Eddy! When Mike Wilk wrote about TPC’s Grello Yo!, it made me nostalgic tailspin.
I casually reached out to Martin at Second Spin Cycles, who had just bought a big Fat Chance collection from out West. I asked if he had a Yo Eddy that would fit me and, as luck would have it, he did. But it needed some work…
John’s 1984 Mountain Goat Whiskeytown Racer: A Fillet Brazed Beauty with Lots of Patina
Last year, while building up a Ritchey frame, I reached out to Martin at Second Spin Cycles, asking if he had any early Ritchey-brazed bullmoose bars. He responded “no,” prompting me to ask if he had any large bikes he was looking to sell. He responded with “actually… yes.”
A Slice of Chico, California Framebuilding History: 1984 Fillet Brazed Mountain Goat WhiskeyTown Racer
I’m not sure what got into me this year but I’ve been on the hunt for some vintage bikes. A few months back we looked at an Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra I built up with Dura-Ace 7400, an arguably pretty bike yet it’s nothing special per se. Now this project will be even cooler. It’s a 1984 Mountain Goat Whiskeytown racer I just picked up from Second Spin Cycles…
Grove Gathering: Grove Innovations Prototype Hardcore – Jarrod Bunk
Grove Gathering: Grove Innovations Prototype Hardcore
Photos and words by Jarrod Bunk
Earlier this year, Martin from Second Spin and Justin from Freeze Thaw Cycles schemed about an event that would let them share their mutual love for Grove Innovations and get together some Grove owners for a ride and party or shred-n-show if you will, that event was the first Grove Innovations Gathering.
Grove Innovations might not be a household name if you live outside of Pennsylvania, but Bill Grove and his team were innovators that tried some new things that many others wouldn’t dare for the sake of creating a bombproof bike. The oversized 2″ 4130 downtube and straight blade fork made for an extremely precise steering bike with a stiff bottom bracket junction that allowed the pilot to put power into the ground and control it over all types of terrain. The hardcore, at its inception, was an east coast bike if there ever were one, playful, rugged and capable of hucking off a loading dock as well as ripping over log-laden single track. With a 13.5″ bottom bracket, and integrated bash guard that even protected all 44 teeth on the big ring, the hardcore could make short work of the rugged rocky terrain of which this bike was born. Most of the builds done on groves of this vintage ran durable parts in favor of early 90s anodized bling. Each frameset came with a set of Hammerhead bars as well, and bottle cages painted to match, albeit this proto isn’t running the latter. Proof of the concept in durability is that this prototype is still being ridden nearly 30 years later.
Follow Jarrod on Instagram and Second Spin on Instagram and Freeze Thaw Cycles on Instagram
Vintage Radness at the 30th Annual Keyesville Classic – Erik Hillard
Vintage Radness at the 30th Annual Keyesville Classic
Photos and words by Erik Hillard
This past weekend was the 30th annual Keyesville Classic, the longest running mountain bike race in the United States. Because of its Vintage Class races, Keyesville is also a gathering of mountain bike restoration artists from across the country. Each year, a group of enthusiasts meets for the weekend with a beautiful selection of historic mountain bikes.
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.