Posts Tagged ‘UYCC’

Retro bikes – Klein Attitude Comp

The Klein Attitude Comp, in its glory days.

My mate Andy Booth recently sold his Klein Attitude Comp 2000, and I feel the time is right to salute man and rig.

The details are hazy, but as I remember Andy bought the Klein in 2000 with some insurance money. He’d had his previous bike stolen on York University campus, but that wasn’t the source of the windfall – something to do with a traffic accident, a sore neck (I’m feeling in the dark here)?

Anyway, he bought the Klein. Andy’s a tall chap with a penchant for brightly coloured bikes – hence the crane geometry and lurid paint job. Yet the Klein was lean and fast, and over time, as is to be expected, the frame was adorned with all manner of trick upgrades, including Hope hubs in gun-metal grey, and – the jewel in the crown – a Chris King headset.

The Chris King headset, in silver - still as smooth as the day it was fitted, etc. etc.

This bike experienced a golden age in the early noughties, accompanying us on some memorable rides with the University of York Cycle Club (UYCC) in Yorkshire, the Lake District, and beyond.

Still going strong: riding the Klein in Borrowdale, August 2005.

Crag-top stunts - Helvellyn?

Crag-top stunts - Helvellyn?

Latterly though, the Klein fell from grace, and became rather a sad figure, its whale-like Serfas saddle in particular becoming the butt of many a trailside joke. In the end, the Klein was replaced by a younger, sleeker model, and its once glossy sheen became covered in the dust of neglect. That Andy eventually put it up for sale without even cleaning it was an indication of just how bad things had got.

End of an era.

Off-road social

Reliving the old times: me, Tom and Andy taking in the view from Holmbury Hill.

Reliving the old times: me, Tom and Andy taking in the view from Holmbury Hill.

On Saturday, on my last chilled weekend before the sportive season closes in, I did some laid-back off-roading with some old riding buddies from the University of York Cycle Club. It was the first time I’d turned a fat tyre in anger since my Kona Muni-Mula had a Captain Oates moment on a snowy ride in Edale in November 2007. 

Tom, Andy, Ross and I have ridden together many times since we first met at York in 1998-9, from the Yorkshire Dales and Moors to the Peaks and the Lake District, and abroad to France and Slovenia. When I joined UYCC Ross was club captain; I succeeded him the year after, and Tom took over the year after me. So the day was a nostalgic reunion one decade on, a muddy festival of banter on the trails of the North Downs. 

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While Andy was christening his new Trek Fuel EX 8, I took a trip back in time to ride Ross’s old Marin full-suspension. Now 10 years old, the Marin is in good nick but feels dull to ride. These days there are stiffer, lighter, more ‘XC’ full-suspension bikes available but I remain to be convinced that the way forward is anything other than hardtail. But then I’m a climber / endurance rider – I don’t need to go any faster on the downhills…

We picked a favourite route from Dorking station up through the vineyard, over Ranmore Common, down into the valley and up and over Holmbury Hill and Leith Hill before a final descent down Summer Lightning. These trails are among the best I’ve ever ridden in the UK, especially when bone dry in the summer. Tom binned it pretty badly coming down the berms from Holmbury Hill, then I stacked it first into a holly bush then into barbed wire on the singletrack further down.

 

Me and my shredded back.

Me and my shredded back.

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Tom's generally shredded body.

We followed up the ride in style with a curry at the Indian Moment on Northcote Road, which I am now convinced is the best Indian restaurant in London. And with that, it’s getting serious. The Prince’s Risborough sportive awaits.

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