The early 90s may have been the heyday of American XC mountain bike racing, with legends like John Tomac, Ned Overend, and Tinker Juarez duking it out at the NORBA national races. Of the three, Tinker was probably the most striking figure. Though not big in stature, it was hard to miss the curly mess of dreadlocks flowing out from under his helmet, and the tanned skin stretched over his skinny sinewy legs. And with brilliant a nickname like Tinker, he was like a comic book character come to life. But he wasn’t all image. He was fast and skilled and he proved it on the race course.
It was during the early 90s that he rode a bike probably as iconic as himself: the Storm Klein Adroit. Like him, it was easy to pick out of a crowd with its custom purple cloud and lightning bolt paint job. Tinker raced this particular Adroit in 1993, his final year with Klein, and the year of his first UCI world cup win at Mont St. Anne. It has all the features that made Klein frames far ahead of their time: an integrated headset, press-fit bottom bracket, and internal cable routing. Though likely a nightmare for mechanics, these features gave the bike and its oversized aluminum tubing clean smooth lines that epitomized the pinnacle of race bikes for this era. Thanks to a collaboration between Ringle and Grafton, the bike has an abundance of components anodized in 3D Violet, the color that was all the rage at the time. The Ringle seatpost is a custom one-off made for racers like Tinker. Ringle took their oversized 31.8 posts made for Doug Bradbury and slimmed them down to 31.6mm for the Kleins and then pressed in their standard head. The fork on the bike is a Klein Strata, left on from the last race Tinker rode on this bike. The 1993 World Championships in Metabief, France were plagued with thick, heavy mud, which forced riders to run portions of the course. For this Tinker wanted the lightest bike possible and so had his Euro Distributor, MTB Cycletech, source a fork to replace the Klein’s RockShox Mag-21 SL Ti.