Saturday, June 28, 2014

Awesome customer's bike: AMP Reasearch full suspension MTB with White Industries LMDS derailleur system

     Most folks who read this blog may be scratching their head on this post. Trust me, this bike is unique. I recently posted an article about the CNC component craze of the 1990's in the mountain bike world, and this bike is a prime example of the innovations that were happening at the time.
     The frame and fork were designed and built by AMP Research, an American company based in Tustin, California. The company was started by Horst Leitner, who was a champion motor cross rider in Europe and came to America in the late 1970's. His focus was on improving motor cross bikes and engineered many cutting edge suspension designs and built custom machines under the famous ATK brand. Here is a link to the company's history and website AMP Research! He moved on to mountain bikes in the 1990's and engineered some of the first suspension mountain bikes that today are quite common place.He licensed and sold  many patents and designs to Specialized, thus creating the foundation for their FSR full suspension mountain bikes. Here is a link to their mountain bike designs with articles and history of his systems. AMP Research suspension mountain bikes! The company no longer makes these bikes and mostly innovates in car accessories and other endeavors.
     The bike also has some awesome componentry. Most notable is the White Industries LMDS rear derailleur system. LMDS stands for Linear Motion Derailleur System and is considered by some to be the epitome of derailleur design, and by others to be over designed crap. In my opinion, it is beautiful and intriguing. You be the judge as well. Here is a link to an explanation of how it functions and its history. White Industries LMDS Derailleur! 
     Yes, in case you were wondering it was brought in for repair, and our excellent mechanics were up to the task!
                                                        Check out the photos and enjoy!

Friday, June 27, 2014

For Sale: Late 1970's Soma Dura-Ace model

     This is a pretty cool bike I have not seen before. whenever I come across something new, I want to find out as much as possible about it. Information about this bike (model) is a bit elusive so far. If anyone can help, I am all ears.
     It is a Soma Dura-Ace equipped model. Made in Japan in the mid to late 1970's I believe. I date it mostly by the component group. It is out fitted with an early generation Shimano Dura-Ace  group. the black anodized group was first introduced in 1976 (that's the spirit!). The rear derailleur is a later year production because the first ones were still called Crane and had black anodized parts. I assume this was a nod to Campagnolo's Super Record group which was also in production at the time, and Shimano's main competition in the high end road market.
     The frame is very well constructed. All the lugs are nicely thinned and the brazing is very clean. The paint is relatively thin and as so reveals imperfections quite easily. It has a very nice fully sloping Cinelli style fork crown. The tubing is unknown because of a lack of decal, but it is double butted and very light. I am guessing Ishiwata, perhaps, or maybe Tange Prestige? Soma made a full line of bikes in the 1970's and there is not a whole lot of info about them out there. I am guessing this was their top of the line offering due to the fine construction, classic styling and high end component group. The Dura-Ace decal on the down tube appears to be original from the factory as well as the others. Nice orange paint shimmers in the sun. Serial number stamped on seat tube by the BB shell is: 77 1636.
     It currently is missing pedals. The rear wheel will need to be re-built because the rim has a couple cracks at the eyelets. Also, the brake levers are Suntour Superbe, not Dura-Ace. The measurements are as follows:
  • 57CM CTC seat tube
  • 55CM CTC top tube
  • 33" stand over height
The components are as follows:
  • Shimano Dura-Ace low flange 36 hole black anodized hubs laced to 700C Rigida eyeletted rims.
  • Shimano Dura-Ace rear derailleur, black anodized (later model)
  • Shimano Dura-Ace front derailleur, black anodized.
  • Shimano Dura-Ace crank set 52-42 ring combo 170mm arms "B H" date code, black anodized.
  • Shimano Dura-Ace bottom bracket.
  • Shimano Dura-Ace brake calipers with original pads and wheel guides, black anodized.
  • Shimano Dura-Ace head set, black anodized.
  • Shimano Dura-Ace brake cable guides.
  • SR bars and stem.
  • Suntour Superbe brake levers with nice gum hoods.
  • Vetta saddle with alloy pillar seat post.
  • Shimano Dura-Ace clamp on shifters, black anodized.
  • No pedals.
     Please email at for price and any questions you may have.