Tribute to my very first Mountainbike, a Wheeler 313


Klein Fan
It's been a while since I last did a build thread here on retrobike. I blame it on the language barrier... :D

So. This time round I had to scratch the itch and buy back some of my childhood memorys.
My first "proper" mountainbike that I bougt new around 1991. I think.
Here is my only picture of it in 1993. I stumbeled across that picture while clearing my mom's flat.

Of course it had a set of "horns" bolted to the bar. You can't see it in the picture, but I did a lot of weight reduction to those, buy drilling tens of holes into them.
Then again - completely forgetting about the weight - I had to fit these wheel covers to the back. Because I had seen some famous rider in the magazine riding them tensions disks...

[OT] If you are wondering what the hell is going on in that picture: It's a german custom that on the last day in school the class stays in the building over night and prepares some kind of prank for the teachers. In this case some concrete brickage and - of course - water baloons... [/OT]

I really loved that bike back then. I learned the ropes of repairing your own bike. It had a shimano 200GS. Didn't last long. I had to replace the hubs soon.
The rear derailleur was ripped off at some point. And it was quite the hassle to get a replacement. A used XT one that I found in the ad section of our newsletter. Remember these?
I had to ride 20km to the next town to get it. And I had to borow that puny 20" foldable bike from my dad for the trip. No fun, that.

Anyhow. I managed to get my hands on a very nice example of on of those bikes for cheap. Ah, the wonders of the internet.
This is the beauty, as I got it a few weeks back. Very mint condition. No rust. No fading in the paint.
Just a glorious neon paint with dark splatters.

I love it.

The plan is to strip it completely. Then use all the stuff on it, my 13 year old self used to drool over bitd.
That would be Manitou forks, lots of XT, maybe some anodized Aluminium. And Magura brakes. Because Magura brakes are the best. :D
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Klein Fan
The big advantage of beeing an adult as to compared to my teenage self is: Actually having some proper tools and knowing how to use them.
The big advantage of beeing a hoarder is having all the suff laying *somewhere* :D

So it didn't take long for me to dig out that fork, that I had seen in the magazine bitd. It is a glorious work of art. Lots of CNC and "lots of travel"... Compared to a steel fork, that is.

Well it had travel at some point in its life.

This particular fork - thow it still looks good - has no travel. At all. As suspected for 30 year old elatomeres.
But it looks good.

Did I ever mention that I really like the looks of that fork?

It has a 1 1/8" steerer. The Wheeler wants it to be 1". Duh!

Time to put that adult advantage to work.


Klein Fan
Enter: Pace 1" steerer from *somewhere*.

What goes in must come out...
With a little heat to help and my trusty old oak "opinion amplifier"

Fabricated on the lathe: a 1 1/8" to 1" press fit bushing.

Some more heat and hammering...

Aand its in.

It needs another bushing to accept the lower headset coup. So back to the lathe.

I even found a Klein LVE *somewhere* :D
It happens to have the right color. But it is rather short. I'll have to do something about that.


Klein Fan
Thinking about what parts to use.
These are the front derailleurs I have. None of them has the correct size.
And I think I'll be going with the thumbies...

And I did a quick mockup just to see what I'm working with.

Magura RS33 with the early style handles
XT thumbies
XT rear derailleur
XT Headset
XT Wheelset (I'll have to try silver rims at some point.)
RaceFace and BB-UN5x (still considering an XT crank instead)
Klein LVE

Still missing:
some nice skewers
seatpost (the frame needs some serious reaming prior to measuring the needed diameter)

Also I fired up my lathe again. Bar extensions in the making.

If you look closely at the picture above, there is a large gap where the bar and the extension are supposed to meet.
So before I can glue them in, I have to do something about the rough sawn ends.

I quickly cobbled up a custom bar end mitering tool. I don't have anything professional, obviously.
It is made from Aluminium scrap and a broken of and ground to fit drillbit as the blade.

The tool at work:


Next up: Heavy Manitou tuning.
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