Vintage KLEIN (or not)?

Ferry

Retro Guru
So yesterday on the Dutch marketplace I found this ad for a vintage KLEIN. The title got my attention so I opened the add and was dumbstruck....not a Klein









This was one of the pictures from the add:
image0.png

So after some messages I was quick to pick this up yesterday evening. Yes, you have seen it correctly, someone welded a disc brake tab to the Marzochi Starfork (on the drive side). There appear to be no cracks in the aluminium frame. However, it is covered in oil so it needs a good clean.
I need to gather some information as I know little of Mantis or XCR EC.
 

Ferry

Retro Guru
I think it is the other way round. Richard Cunningham developped the Mantis XCR EC and then Nishiki used the design for their bike. However, Nishiki used square aluminum tubes for the front triangle.

That’s what I have read however I am no expert at all. I am waiting for the collective Retrobike knowledge to school me…

This frame appears to have a 1 1/4 head tube and it looks like it has had some work done to the lower part of the head tube.
 

Dr Dremel

Fat Chance Fan
That looks close to a Mantis, but probably isn´t. I can see no gussets on top or downtube. Also never heard of an XCR with other than a 1" headtube. Google "Anlen Supermontare". Anlen (or Anlun) was a manufacturer in Taiwan which made frames for a whole lot of different brands, but also under their own name. From what I could gather they were part of the Derby Cycle Group in the 90ies, as was Nishiki. My speculation: As RC was on board with Nishiki for their bolted rear triangle design this looks like it was sold "out the backdoor".
 

Ferry

Retro Guru
Thanks for your input. The lack of gussets at the headtube had me wondering aswell.

I have seen another XCR EC with a 1 1/4” headtube, I believe it is also on Retrobike. I will try to find the topic.

I will try to get the serial number from the bottom bracket and see if this clarifies things.
 

Dr Dremel

Fat Chance Fan
You´re welcome! I would not have made the connection but for the fact there just surfaced another one on the German forum:


They are also talking about that they were originally decked out with Gary Fisher parts. Given there also was the GF CR 7 with the bolt on rear triangle this would make sense.

Looking at your pic again I see another difference to a Mantis: The cable stops on the frame were screwed in chrome steel jobbies, whereas yours seem to be welded aluminium.
 

Ferry

Retro Guru
The connection with Gary Fisher also clarifies the 1 1/4” headtube. I will reply in the German thread aswell, thanks for the tip.

It would be great if I can find a catalogue of Anlen online.
 

joglo

Retro Guru
I've seen your post at MTB-news, you may not get a lot of help as Anlen is also very exotic there too.

As i have seen still a few Anlen already (or at least pictures), i can confirm that almost all had parts obviously labeled with Gary Fisher, like Tires, but also Stem etc.,

Other than that, in the German forum are a bit shared opinions, some say that Anlen is a Taiwanese manufacturer, mostly done OEM bikes but also gave it a try with an own brand pushed to Europe by a few distributors.

Another user said in an older post that he has seen personally Anlen bikes being assembled finally at Messingschlager in Bavaria.
This company is still around
and does mostly import and distribute parts nowadays to retailers.

The adress of Messingschlager fits perfectly to the address of the German retailer mentioned in the market overview 1991 from the german Bike magazine
Anlen 1990 aus Marktübersicht Bike.jpg

This Anlen "Sabel" from 1990 was also sold as Centurion in Germany.
Centurion Anlen Sable 1990.jpg

And finally a question from myself, hopefully not making this even more complex:

I was always wondering of an relation between the HARO Extreme to Nishiki, Mantis and Anlen? At least all have this iconic screw-mounted rear steel tube rear construction / triangle.
Haro Extreme XTR Ad aus Bike 06 1992.jpg
 
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joglo

Retro Guru
Two more interesting post wrt the Gary Fisher relationship I would like to quote from this thread

Seler told me, that Anlen is brand from Italy People who create this brand had to be an Gary Fishers agents in Europe, but they only takes few bikes and copy their geometry... Is it a truth? I don't know...
The truth is my Anlen had a lot of GF parts - I don't remember well, for sure stem, bar, tyres...

You're having there STIs and Deore DX mechs, so I would say 90, maybe 91

Thanks for your info, I think it was Taiwanese, this is what Fisherbikes.com says:
Fisher sold his company in 1991 to Taiwan's Anlen, where it tumbled head-over-handlebars for the next two years. "I was basically a puppet president," Fisher says of his time with Anlen. Out of the decision-making loop, Fisher felt at odds with the management. "It was nuts. A lot of stuff went on unbeknownst to me." Fisher does not hide his disappointment with the events at Anlen, "It was totally frustrating watching something we built for all those years just get crushed in a lot of ways."

After two excruciating years with Anlen, Trek, the well-established American bicycle manufacturer located in Waterloo, Wisconsin, came to the rescue and bought the struggling company. Trek brought to the table an established nuts-and-bolts company with exacting manufacturing standards, while Fisher brought his groundbreaking designs, creativity and name. It was a match made in heaven.


Did yours have the same strange lacquer?
 
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