The retro bike chronicles

5 July 2022

By Andy Wigmore

Andy Wigmore sits on chair in attic room with his 90s Klein bikes collection

Saddleback’s Founder, Andy Wigmore, tells the story behind his favourite retro bike, ‘the one’ that started an obsession for collecting 90s mountain bikes.

I have vivid memories of the day I did my first ever mountain bike race. It was the 14th of April, 1991, and I remember it being cold, grey and wet. The event was the Hell of the North Cotswolds, which was held each year on the same day as the famed Paris Roubaix. This was no coincidence, since the 100km ride, starting and finishing in Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, has a similarly rough, muddy and exposed course, full of brutal climbs and treacherous descents.

At 17, I had done a fair bit of road cycling but was totally unprepared for what lay ahead. I put in a big effort at the start but found myself going rapidly backwards once we hit the first off road climb. As I was struggling to combine breathing with turning the pedals, a rocket ship shot past. The bike, resplendent in neon green and pink, propelled its rider apparently effortlessly to the very top of the climb.

A pink, green and white 1991 Klein Attitude bike

He was going so quickly – or perhaps it was the lack of oxygen – that I missed the brand. But I couldn’t miss the wild paint job and the oversized alloy fork. When I eventually got to the finish I spotted the bike again, lovingly parked next to its owner, who was already enjoying a bacon roll and coffee, having finished some time earlier. Now I could clearly see that this incredible bike was a 1991 Klein Attitude.

Suddenly my faithful Shogun Prairie Breaker simply didn’t cut it. The next day I made enquiries as to how much it would cost to get my very own Klein Attitude and crushingly realised it was over a third of my annual salary as a Pensions Administrator. The dream was put on hold, but I never lost the desire to own a 1991 Klein Attitude in what I later learned was the Dolomiti paint scheme.

A retro Klein Attitude frame mounted on a plank
A closeup of the lower part of a Klein bike with Shimano pedals

Fast forward 27 years, and a friend mentioned that he knew of one for sale. I jumped at the chance to buy it, determined not to miss out a second time, even though the market value all these years on was more than it would have been new.

When it turned up, all the memories of that day in the Hell of the North Cotswolds came flooding back and I was a kid again. Ali at Fat Creations kindly sorted out the paint so that it was like new, and then I spent months on eBay sourcing the period correct Deore XT components in pristine condition. 

Three years on, the bike still excites me. Finally building it awakened a desire to continue sourcing amazing mountain bikes from the early 90s that I could never afford at the time. What started as a dream to own one particular Klein bike has turned into owning 18 Klein bikes, four Fat Chances and three Yetis. Am I done collecting yet? I don’t think so.

Saddleback CEO Andy Wigmore leans on his 1991 Klein Attitude bike in his attic
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet
Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet

Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS Helmet

£219.99
View Details

Read More From Saddleback

Gabba vs. Perfetto

Which is better: the Gabba RoS 2 or Perfetto RoS 2? We take a closer look at these two iconic pieces of cycling clothing to help you decide which one is best suited to your needs.

Castelli Winter Gloves

If you find selecting the right gloves to match the day’s forecast a chore, why not go for a pair that offers sufficient weather resistance, dexterity and warmth to see you through most eventualities?

Troy Lee Designs AW23 Jackets

We examine the full TLD Fall 2023 jacket range, which includes the Shuttle and Descent jackets and the all-new Crestline and Mathis jackets.

Castelli Alpha Jacket

Back in 2014, Castelli launched the first Alpha Jacket, which set a new benchmark in Winter jacket performance. Find out how the range has improved over the years.

More From The Saddleback Journal