My vintage race bikes.
Some of you may know me from Yetifan.com, for those who dont. I've loved Yeti's all my life, I set the site up in 2001, having owned Yeti's since 1992.
Unlike other owners clubs, I'm not paid to run it, its a hobby & a passion. I don't have a job in the bicycle industry, and never have, I have nothing to gain from running Yetifan. I just think they make the best bikes, with the most heritage, and some of the biggest characters.
I'd really appreciate to get some of your bikes over on the site, unlike MTBR, I don't have an advertising budget, I have broken links, and I can't offer such a vast forum, but I do get 1000-1500 views per day, so its all pretty good over there, and your bikes make it great!
I thought you guys might like to see what I've been working on my whole life. When I started, I never expected this to be the outcome. See those people who spend 20 years building a vintage car?
This is my vintage car moment & I thought you might appreciate it.
Before we start, Hats off to those folks who build the 'catalogue' bike of their dreams, its not easy. Equally not easy is to rebuild a race bike, Every picture you see of them, maybe one race run to the next, they have different parts! Then they change stuff per event, such as those big Paragon chainrings. Gravy the old mechanic tells me they used to junk King headsets every few races! The elastomers in the Manitous used to melt at the Kamikaze, and had to be replaced each run! So dont ask how many rims & mechs they destroyed! I have so much info and stories in my head about Yeti its just nuts, I dedicated my whole life to that bike brand, and its been repaid with this lil collection I'd like to share with you.
(1- Jimmy Deaton 1991 FRO) . I got this bike from Jimmy a few years back, I was lucky to meet him on a trip to Durango for a holiday, I wanted to see where Yeti called home for the 90's. I can see why they liked it there. They say dont meet your heros, but Jimmy is one hero I'm glad I met, one of the nicest guys ever. He won the Kamikaze more than anybody.
This is my most period perfect bike, it was put away at the end of 91.
Some things are changed from the pic, some are the same.
(2- Missy Giove 1992 ARCAS). I was so lucky to be in the right place at the right time when this frame showed up. Build spec for this bike started its life as Early XT, with Manitou 1's and then evolved to Manitou 2 and M900 XTR. They used critical brakes & Grafton cranks, with the full ringle set up. some parts are original, but mostly it was rebuild to as near team spec. The Team spec stem is a special thing to have. Thanks FTW ! The Disc Drive is gone, and replaced with a regular Ringle rear wheel. It should have blue cranks, but I thought they would not look right.
Early spec of the bike.
(3- Myles Rockwell 1993 AS LT) This frame was given to me by John Parker, the founder of Yeti. I was amazingly lucky to be gifted this amazing item. It was the 93 Eliminator (Not kamikaze, that was the week before) winning bike that beat the late great Jason McRoy. A big moment in DH back then, the event was televised all over the USA. Most parts are replaced. I met Myles at Fort William in 2012, and he described it as like the girlfriend you never get over. The spec took me 8 years to get right, and there are still details I need to fix. It does have 261 ceramics with bladed spokes thought :) . The Big ring is gone, Myles used a 56, not the Jimmy 66t as fitted here. There were details that you'd never guess. Like Myles used XT Brake levers, as the current Graftons were too tiny for his hands. the forks are special pre production Manitou 3 with 2 lower leg decals.
Why did they run bottles in DH? Because Ringle was a sponsor, and the bottle cages had to be run. Parker said they were like a cookie cutter, so the bottle is there to stop them getting shredded in a crash!
(4- Jimmy Deaton 1994 ARC AS LT)
This is Jimmys Kamikaze winning bike, seen here as is. This is the year that Missy & Myles left to Cannondale, and the awesome VDH4000. This Yeti was out classed, but still won the kamikaze. Jimmy was fired at the end of 94 as Parker did with a lot of racers so I am told (believe what you will). You can see in one of the pics, a different sponsors sticker over the YETI Logo, this was because Jimmy did not have his new bike in time, so used the old Yeti. This is the 2nd most period perfect bike in my collection. Jimmy was the Kamikaze King (its back in 2013!), and other racers used to ask him how many times he braked on the course. He told them 3. What he forgot to mention was one of those times was in the finish.
Thanks for taking the time to check these out, hope you enjoyed them.
I've been to your site many times just to gaze at the bikes, and even contacted you for some help building one of my AS-X's.
Thanks for the invaluable resource in the yetifan site...
Nice, love the old styles
I know nothing about vintage bikes but those things are all sweet! I love #3. Probably gonna catch it for asking this, but why is the chainring so large?
That chainring is specific for the kamikaze. Deaton used to run them bigger than the others on the team. The bikes used to top 60mph in that race.
It was early days of the sport and had not figured at that speed you could tuck, so they just pedalled to their top speed.
I've ridden that chainring once and one revolution really does cover a lot of ground!!
Nice pictures and stories. My college roommate in the 1990's was a huge Yeti fan. We were riding at South Mountain in Phoenix Arizona once and one of the female Yeti riders rode by, Sue Fish (?).
I've since joined the tribe, with a 575 and now a SB-66.
Where are the grafton brake levers ????? :D