Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Klein Performance - From VRB Community Member, Jim

Below you'll find Jim's fine-looking Klein Performance and his story. Thanks Jim!

If any of you have a story and pics to share - send them on in to me - VintageRacingBicycles [at] gmail dot com

Here are a few interesting features: Huret Jubilee Racing Final Type Rear Derailluer with SunTour Superbe Pro front derailleur and SunTour PowerShift Stem Shifter; Red Modolo Pro front and rear side pull calipers, Campagnolo Italy headset, Campagnolo 175 Strada Crank 53/42.  60 cm frame and frame # S556 stamped on left rear dropout.

Here's Jim's story - 

As a married man for 29 years with a wonderful wife and three great kids, we have always believed in enjoying the outdoors.  Over the years, I have purchased 5 mountain bikes for my family from a local bike shop in Overland Park, Ks.  Only in the past two years have I become interested in vintage road bikes.  At a bike swap meet in the fall of 2010, I purchased a 1987 Raleigh Technium 440 Aluminum road bike.  Over that winter I cleaned, polished, and replaced cables and housing.  Nothing major, but it was a lot of fun.  Last winter I talked to the owner of my   "lbs" to let him know that I was interested in another winter bike project.  This time, I told him, I was looking for something a bit more rare.  I happened into the shop on February 18, 2012, and the owner approached me with excitement that he found a perfect project for me.  He pointed to a bike frame leaning next to a couple of wheels next to the "back room".  It was set up with aero bars and looked to have been most recently used on a bike trainer.  I was not familiar with Klein bikes either as a MTB or road.  He gave me some brief history of Klein prior to the merger with Trek in 1995.  Although the bike was a bit rough and dirty, the uniqueness of the Huret rear derailleur and Campagnolo components certainly piqued my interest.  I was also very anxious to begin my research on Klein.  To my surprise I learned quickly that Gary Klein was a MIT graduate just like my great grandfather.

Over the next two months I devoted myself to research and reconditioning.  Red Modolo Pro calipers,  ultra-light Huret Jubilee Racing derailleur, Cinelli stem and bars, Campagnolo 175 Strada crank (53/42) and headset, and SunTour PowerShift Stem Shifter.  My knowledge of bicycle components of the '70s grew immensely.  By spring my reconditioning efforts were complete and it was time to ride!

What a pleasant surprise when I learned that my oldest daughter had decided to begin training for a triathlon.  This was a perfect opportunity for me to put the Klein Performance to the test.  My 6 foot frame fit on this 60 cm aluminum frame like a glove.  As I have not yet moved up to clipless pedals, I retained the SunTour Superbe Pedals.  We had some great training rides at Shawnee Mission Park where the triathlon is hosted.  As this bike is set up as a 10-speed, it was not to bad to deal with the stem shifters.  Since my Raleigh Technium is also aluminum, I really cannot compare the ride to a steel frame.  With these older Schwinn wheels, the bike still weighs in a 25 lbs.  I felt very comfortable riding fast down the hills, but fast for me is 37-39 mph.

Although I have done quite a bit of research, I have not been able to definitively determine the age of this bike.  Because of the use of stem shifters and no bracket for downtube shifters that are visible on Klein Performance versions from the late '80s, I think this frame could actually be from the early '80s.  The frame downtube has markings for "Patent Pending" and the red Modolo calipers were first introduced in 1978.  The last big piece of evidence that I have is the serial number of S556.  I have not been able to find any reference tables to link this to any specific year or year range.

I hope you enjoyed my story and I look forward to putting many more miles on this very special ride.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah! I have enjoy your story so much bicycle ride is good and your family with you so fun is more.


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