This bike was as close to a barn find as you could get. My Uncle-in-law, Marty, was the original owner and remembers ordering it custom when he and his family lived closer to the Bay area. He rode the bike often when they lived in Modesto (flat) but it sat idle once they moved to Atascadero (hills). I saw tha bike hanging in his shop for over a year, then he asked if I could help him sell it, although I do not think he really wanted to part with it. We talked about it a bit and I ended up buying it from him.
Albert Eisentraut paved the way for generations of custom bicycle builders in the US. Many of todays top builders are now a second or even third generation product of the Classes Albert has tought over the years. This bike was built around 1973 or 74. Like most of the Model A custom frames of the era it is a beautiful shade of dark blue with yellow decals. Marty, recalls asking for a “Crit” style bike to fit his tall lanky dimensions. By my measure the bike comes in around:
- Seat Tube C -T: 64 cm
- Top Tube C-C: 60 cm
- ST angle 72 deg.
- HT angle: 74 deg.
- BB Drop: 67 mm
- Fork offset; 55mm
- Chain Stays: 425 mm
I put the bike back together mush the way it was originally built with the Phil/Avocet hubs and Suntour Cyclone era drive train, but updated the contact points with a berthoud saddle, Nitto stem and RM013 bars as well as some 27mm RoughyToughy tires. A little has changed here and there with some of the build over the last year, but it is pretty much as shown in the pictures. The bike is an absolute blast to ride, and is what led me down the path from my Surly CrossCheck to the Roadeo. Once I knew what a good road bike should feel like, a new benchmark had been set.
The Geometric trail calculates out around 41mm as built. Trail figures in this range generally result in a bicycle that handles better with a front load of at least a few pounds or so. This is interesting as the bike was not originally built with the intent of front loading. I have set up the bike with a HoBo style handlebar bag to carry my camera and extra water for long rides and the leap from great to excellent in the handling was astounding. This was my first taste of the low trail coolaide, and I like it.
Enjoy the pictures, there are not many of these masterfully built frames still around or in pictures on the web: