So the story goes, my Dad owned a Klein Attitude before I was born... he had to sell it to pay for my birth.
My Dad has always loved bikes, thats why he named me Grafton, after Grafton Components. (They made cool anodized parts in the early 90s.) I've always had my eye out for one to replace what he had to sell for me and this year I finally found one. When I found this bike it was rough to say the least. When I got the bike, it smelled like it had smoked 2 packs a day for the entirety of its life, you could hardly see the beautiful paint behind the black sludge, had a spray painted white fork (including stanchions), and a wonderfully heavy, smelly, and crumbly solid rubber tire up front. I offered the craigslist owner $100 of his $400 asking price and he accepted after telling me about how he had been towing scrap steel with the bike to try and make some money. After the exchange happened he got into the back of a Chrysler mini-van and told us to "watch out for the Grant County cops". Feeling a bit like I should've filmed that entire interaction I tossed the bike in the back of my van and went about the rest of the day wrestling over what to do with the bike.
Originally the thought was that I would keep the bike and make myself an awesome townie... like a need another. "The frame is a large... why did I buy that" that was my second thought. Then I started scheming on how to flip it. The hard part about Klein is that the history bounces all over. If you can find one that was built in Chehalis, WA before Trek bought them then you struck gold. This one is seemingly in a bit of a grey zone. It still came oe with a sticker that said built in Chehalis but it is also an "Attitude Race" which insinuates that it was built after Trek had bought Klein. I've come to the conclusion that it is a 1999 frame which definitely puts it post trek owned but also before the factory in Chehalis had shut down. After a bit more research I decided that it had to be a project I'd take on for my Dad. The more I thought about the idea the more excited I got.
Upon getting the bike home I stripped it to the frame and donated most of the parts to a local charity bike shop. I decided that if I was really going to run with the build then using the ano blue parts on my Surly only made sense. Right then and there the Chris King hubs and headset came off the surly and were set aside for the Klein. In searching around for what else to buy I decided that some good ol Paul brushed silver brake levers and the Simworks Little Nick Bar were necessary. I had the parts for a 1x9 drivetrain laying around so thats what ended up on the bike in addition to me building up the King hubs on some "de-badged" Velocity Aero-Heat hoops. Schwalbe nobby nic tires round off the wheels to make capable of just about anything the bike may come across. They might not shine on tarmac but thats not what this urban single-track commuter build is about. The manitou fork that's on the bike I came across from a customer who wanted to donate a bike to me. It couldn't have been a better color match.
All in all, I'm stoked about how the bike turned out. Building it was quite the fun process and in gifting the bike to my Pops earlier this month it all came full circle. Now I just hope to see him out riding it!