Throwback- Klein

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by cad11, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. cad11

    cad11 New Member

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    I'm checking out a bike that pre-dates my cycling days by a bit- a 1991 Klein Quantum. It's got a full campy chorus groupset, including the hubs, and is in pretty excellent condition- basically seems to have been sitting in a garage for a long time. My neighbor is selling it and said she'd let it go for 275.00, which seems to be a steal. The fit is surprisingly nice, and it everything is working quite smoothly, but I can't seem to wrangle up too much info on these bikes. From what I gather it was Klein's entry-level frame? Woman who's selling it it doesn't seem to know anything about it (it was her ex-husband's...) To save myself a little headache doing some research (probably due to my own laziness when it comes to these things) I figured I'd ask the board here if anyone knew much about these bikes, or perhaps had one of the same vintage.
    Was this the usual groupset for this frame?
    Did these frames hold up pretty well?
    Basically any sort of experiences people would like to share about this bike would be much appreciated!
     
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  2. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Klein frames were HIGH end ... very high end ... so, their least expensive frame was probably a better frame than most other frames from the same era ...

    Sight unseen, the price is a probably bargain at twice the price your neighbor is asking.
     
  3. cad11

    cad11 New Member

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    Thanks for the heads up, I actually have been doing a little looking myself, and it looks exactly like the one in this German ad:
    http://bp3.blogger.com/_hSZo5vjiPmQ/Rx-tuDz6AJI/AAAAAAAABl8/WYzIWjYP3w4/s1600-h/Klein+Quantum+1991-2+Advert.jpg

    Also here's the brochure on the Quantum from that time period:

    http://bp1.blogger.com/_hSZo5vjiPmQ/Rx-vhjz6AsI/AAAAAAAABqU/5UK4I2Bog3c/s1600-h/Klein+Catalogue+1990+p8.jpg

    This looks like this could be a pretty fun, quick bike, if I can handle the insane stiffness... I am riding an old steel Masi frame now, I wonder if my fillings will fall out?

    Along those lines, I know this was a high end frame about 20 years ago (scary to think 1991 was that long ago), would a frame this old (it's in nearly mint condition) be worth upgrading the fork and seat tube to carbon on if it's just too harsh?
     
  4. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW. My impressions on frames/forks may differ from that which other people have ... to simplify:

    • My impression is that frame GEOMETRY has a greater impact on how a bike rides than the material it is made with -- head tube angle & (secondarily) wheelbase.
    • beyond aesthetics, the only benefit in going to a CARBON FIBER fork from a good STEEL fork is a weight reduction ... the drawback is that 700x25 is usually the largest tire size which most CF forks can accommodate
    • There is SOME benefit in changing an aluminum ALLOY fork to a CF fork.

    When in doubt, use a 700x25 tire instead of a 700x23-or-smaller tire ...

    If they will fit in the Klein frame-and-fork, 700x28 tires at 90-to-95 PSI will give you the boulevard ride you are may be looking for.

    The ONLY drawback to the bike's drivetrain is the 8-speed cassette which it will have because the cogs will NOT be ramped ... ramping cogs didn't begin until about 1998 ... ramped cogs make up for any-if-not-all of the sins which may exist in the indexing's adjustment.

    IMO, a real benefit is that you will be introduced to Campagnolo's vastly superior ErgoPower shifters (when compared to Shimano's STI shifters).

    An 8-speed Shimano-compatible "wheel" can be used with 8-speed Campagnolo shifters & derailleurs ... that is, AS LONG AS you adjust the stops, accordingly, because the cog offset from the centerline will be slightly different ... you may-or-may-not need to subsequently adjust the indexing.

    • FYI. You can even (!?!) use a wheel with a 9-speed Shimano-compatible cassette with the proviso that you understand that only 8 of the cogs will be found by the shifter's indexing AS LONG AS you are using a 9-speed Shimano chain (or, equivalent).

    A CF seatpost will provide almost zero benefit, BTW, with regard to the how the bike feels ... it may-or-may-not be lighter than an alloy seatpost ... IMO, the greatest benefit of a CF seatpost would be if it satisfies your aesthetic sensibilities.


    BTW. I suppose that one of the reasons which early aluminum frames received their reputation for having a harsh ride may be attributable to the earliest Cannondales ... one of the reasons why Klein frames were so highly regarded was because the ride was not considered to be harsh ...

    While my preference is for a steel framed bike, that is as much an aesthetic choice as a practical one ... and, I have a pretty nice CF bike ...

    If you were really motivated, you could probably tune the ride of the Klein to mimic-or-almost-so the ride of your Masi (unless you have a 60s vintage Masi, I'm presuming that both have 73º head tube angles & approximately the same wheelbase).

    Regardless, if I lived in your neighborhood I would be knocking no your neighbor's door with a-fistful-of-dollars for here ex-husband's Klein!
     
  5. Steve_A

    Steve_A Member

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    Given that you say the fit is good, I'd echo Alfeng's thoughts. Kleins were very desirable when I first started becoming aware of road bikes. I would think that your neighbor would let you have enough of a test ride to see how you (initially) liked the ride. I'd be tempted.
     
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