1993 Klein Rascal OTT 3DV and Rigid!


Bontrager Fan
OK, a few of you know I'm neither a dentist nor a Google employee, so it has come with great patience, perseverance, and careful budgeting over the past few years that I've been finally able to pull off a Klein build. Like many, never owned one, but salivated over many Klein's when I was a kid. So, when being unable to afford an Attitude or Adroit (nor able to find one [until recently....hint, hint, there will be another build thread or two coming...]), I came across a Rascal in pristine condition from the BikeRecyclery that I couldn't say no to. It was a color scheme I don't personally find attractive, but the price was right, and it was in unridden condition. It was, as told to me, a NOS 1993 Rascal that was bought by a collector in the Bay Area of California (the land of Google...."how did I miss that bus?"), and he had it repainted by Dave Wilkins in almost original Top Gun color scheme. I say, almost original, because the red was made a tad hot pink, almost like a Top Gun that fades into Dolomite pink. The collector wanted the hint of pink for his daughter. He apparently built the bike, but the daughter never took interest, and so he unloaded it to the BikeRecyclery. And I snatched it up. Its also great because it is my size (a 19") and it had the 0-degree rise MC1. Deore XT headset and v-brake adapter included. Here's how it looked from the BikeRecyclery ad (I edited it now as it showed the original astronomical price which I didn't pay):

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Now, after carefully storing this newly acquired gem in safe keeping in my shed, I slowly planned the build. Like I said, I'm not a fan of the Top Gun scheme. Of all the colorways you could paint a Klein, there are half a dozen others that I think are far more attractive and representative of the loud and unique options available from the talented painters that worked at Klein. So, I engaged none other than Dave Wilkins to inquire about a repaint. Yeah, I know, it was a pristine paint job already. But at the time, this was my option to build a loud Klein in one of the color schemes I used to drool over. Now, I have three favorites, and I was set on having Dave paint it Moonrise Linear Fade. It was a 1993, so Moonrise was a period correct option. Trouble was, at the time, Dave Wilkins had never painted one in Moonrise. Ever. Apparently, he was not one of the Klein painters who painted Moonrise. So Jon Rock, at the time, was the only one who had figured out how to do the purple in the Moonrise scheme. But Dave was working on it....figuring out the magic recipe for the purple in Moonrise. I waited for many months, saving for parts and slowly finding the desirable parts I wanted at prices I could afford. Dave finally had it figured out, so off my frame went up to Dave, to give it a whirl. As it turns out, mine was either the first or second Moonrise frame painted by Dave. Here's few pics Dave sent me while painting. Man, it was killing me not having my hands on it!

Like many Klein afficionados, I was enraptured with not just the Klein frames, but those fat box and unicrown forks! But alas, the Rascal only came with a Spinner. Not a bad fork, but not the look I had in mind. I had heard about a few creative retro nuts that had used Cannondale forks to emulate a fat fork for a Rascal or Pinnacle. So I set out to do the same. I sourced a rather pristine Cannondale Super Fatty fork with rim brake tabs. I think those that have used these types of forks on Kleins did so on later Pulses with the 1 1/8" headtube. Furthermore, the central "stanchion" on this Fatty was not completely cylindrical....it was partly cylindrical, with flat faces for the needle bearing cartridges. So instead of trying to somehow utilize part of the C-dale steerer assembly for my Rascal, it was necessary to remove the whole kit and kaboodle. I removed as much of the salvageable suspension components and either gave them away or sold them for dirt cheap to someone who needed them (can't remember which!). Next, I purchased a 8" long piece of 1" OD titanium tubing, with 0.090" wall thickness, from Race Tech Titanium. Then....approached my neighbor who owns a successful machine shop in San Jose, and told him what I needed: threading on the top inch or so, and some sort of tapered solution near the bottom so that it would accept a headset bearing seat ring. Here's the design I came up with, and which I supplied their machinists with:

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Now, in order to secure the new titanium steerer into the crown, this took a little trickery. The tubing from Race Tech was a uniform 1" OD, and so it wasn't possible to "enlarge" the diameter to press fit it into the crown, nor to create the 26.4mm OD necessary for the lowermost portion of the shaft for the bearing race ring. So instead of trying to mill a tapered steerer somehow, the machinist milled a separate aluminum sleeve to slide over the base of the steerer that gave the desired 26.4mm OD, and also allowed the steerer with sleeve to be loosely pressed into the crown orifice left from removal of the suspension and old c-dale steerer. To secure the loosely pressed steerer-sleeve assembly into the crown, I used a combination of Loctite 609 retaining compound and a star nut and stem cap from underneath. As it turns out, the c-dale steerer was also "glued" into the crown, and wasn't pressed in with a flared diameter steerer either. The Loctite has 3000 PSI shear strength, and based on discussion with the machinist and another I know separately, this strength combined with the star nut retaining the steerer from underneath, preventing "pull through", I was good to go. This was all "under the table", good neighborly favor, as my neighbor machinist, while a good friend, didn't want to be associated with any issues that came of this creation! But it is solid, and while I intend to ride this Klein, it won't be ridden so hard that I'll fear fork failure! So here are some pics of the final assembly of the fork and steerer, with headset bearing ring installed:



The C-Dale fork was clearly going to need to be painted to match the Moonrise. I also wanted to remove the disc tabs on the fork leg so as to make it look more period correct (and no intent to use discs ever on this bike). Here's the result of carefully angle grinding the sanding down the disc tab:

This build will be adorned with as much 3DV as anyone could possibly stand. Hence the OTT in the title! (Over The Top) First up is a NOS T-Gear crankset with NOS SRP crank bolts, NOS Kronos 3DV chainring bolts, Vuelta SE Plus (ramped and pinned) chainrings in black, with a NOS 3DV Girvin Rock Ring.