Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Yeti C-26 - Post 2 of 3 - The Bikes

Chris Herting and John Parker don't agree on much, but they do both claim that very few C-26s were built at Yeti in California.  The number ten is generally agreed upon.  I have an infinite amount of respect for both of these guys and what they accomplished, but I've seen too many photos of completed C-26s to believe there were only ten frames made.  Here's how I categorize complete C-26 bikes:
  • The original bikes, including the prototype and team bikes.  Also, according to Herting, one bike was made for a customer and never seen again
  • The "kit" bikes.  All bikes assembled after the project was scrapped using complete C-26 kits
  • The rebirth "C-46" bikes made 2007-ongoing
This is a collection of photos I've gathered of all the bikes, starting with the factory built ones.

Prototype / Team Frames

The prototype frame took 3 weeks to complete.  This bike was previewed in May 1989 MBA and then tested in MBA in June 1989, photographed with Russ Worley riding it.  Worley raced the bike for a few months, and then the bike was re-decaled and sent to the Interbike trade show in September.  Worley says the frame broke at some point.

Construction outside the Agoura Hills factory

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Previewed in the May 89 MBA. "Stronger than Chromoly!" Note the Answer decal on the downtube. This was the only bike made with Simplex dropouts and a the front derailleur operated by the chainstay cable anchor

 photo 5-89YetiC26_zps36l4umho.jpg
The prototype and early team bikes featured cable stops glued onto the top tube instead of welded to the head and seattube junctions. This is the easiest way to ID the very early bikes. Also note the FTW stem clamped onto the nub welded into the steerer. A different stem than what was on the bike during the MBA test.  photo c26-headtubews_zps1ejrd487.jpg
Race duty under Russ Worley. Black Bullseye cranks and red Easton decals  photo yetifactoryagourabikews_zpskcxcgo5b.jpg
Photo shoot from the 1989 brochure  photo c26_zpsls2ebruf.jpg
Different version of the brochure shot  photo 89_brochure_zpsvdibkair.jpg
Great shot of Worley in the June 1989 MBA Test  photo proto_MBS_cover_zpstudph6wv.jpg

I'll try to put the entire MBA test scan together in order. Favorite quote: "B&W scan from the MBA feature.  "The bonding process enables the frame to be taken apart, fixed, and reassembled if the tubes or lugs happen to break."
This would be reassuring on a 50mph fireroad descent.  It also happens to be untrue.
 photo c26action_zpshaojaghw.jpg

 photo Yeti20B26W20pic_zpso9pp7wep.jpg
 photo Yeti20C26-1_zpscyvkt3tq.jpg
 photo Yeti20C26-2_zpswdfncoqs.jpg
 photo Yeti20C26-5_zpsgxlmztz0.jpg
 photo Yeti20C26-4b_zpscg0pgleo.jpg photo Yeti20C26-3_zps4qnybaup.jpg
 photo Yeti20C26-4a_zps4p17t1dv.jpg
 photo Yeti20C26-5_zpsgxlmztz0.jpg
 photo Yeti20C26-62028last29_zpspn1wwi0a.jpg
C-26 and Treefrog. Given these bikes are all spiffed (and the FRO with Landshark paint), I'm thinking this is from the Interbike show. Note the custom Chuck Texiera Easton carbon seatpost. He used an SR Laprade head.  photo show_zpsbtv1wicf.jpg
Another from the show?  photo proto_zps3qpna6p8.jpg
This may be the finest living example of an early C-26. It was a team frame and likely one of Joey Erwin's. It has the top tube cable pads, but the newer style dropouts and the Bullseye derailleur pulley.  photo ryan3_zpsk2tnm5dk.jpg
Another Joey Erwin frame. This was taken in May 1990 at the Georgia NORBA National. Erwin is standing next to the fan with everyone looking at his bike.  photo YETI_Atlanta1990_1ws_zpsfvaibnft.jpg
Likely the fate of this bike
 photo C26tubesws_zpsmrfeduhq.jpg
In flite  photo Yeti_erwin_zpsethpvo6r.jpg

This bike is a mystery to me. Herting traded it with Yeti Cycles for tooling. He says it's a team frame. The noticeable detail missing is the front derailleur pulley hole is missing, which is common with the kit bike frames. However, this is clearly not a kit bike as (1) it has no chainstay triangle fix and (2) it's obviously seen use. It hangs from the ceiling at Yeti. If anyone has any insight, let me know.
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Juli Furtado race bike. My holy grail. This bike won a world championship and none other compares in terms of collectability and overall awesomeness. Sadly sold in John Parker ebay auction in 2002 for $6,800, which was amazing money back then. Completely custom made for her and finished days before the Durango World Championships in September, 1990. Famously converted from Campagnolo to Shimano the day before the race. On a warmup lap likely a day or two before.  photo racepic1_zpshfr0nkcy.jpg
 photo juli_c26_zpsvf1g6dru.jpg
 photo juli_worlds_zpshuachpwz.jpg
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MBA Inside the Pros Bikes article. Note many things were changed for the article including the stem and seatpost.
 photo 796128722_64a9dbccfd_b_zpsqumeigix.jpg John Tomac Frame #1. Given to him summer of 1990. Sold on ebay in 2009 for $12,500
 photo C-26_auction103109_zpseb4857ec.jpg
 photo JohnTomacsFirstYetiC-26_zpszeo7fgxx.jpg
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John Tomac Frame #2 - Worlds XC Frame  photo Tomac-C26ws_zpsyvpx6uwt.jpg
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Now residing in Switzerland with a confused build
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John Tomac Frame #3. Worlds DH Bike.
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I took this photo in 2008. Chris Herting had the bike shipped to him so he could "copy" it for the Tomac DB-1 limited run C-26 tribute bikes. Amazing to throw a leg over this piece of history.
 photo tomac C-26.jpg_zpsrtvw8pnd.jpg Given to Zapata Espinoza as a wedding present
 photo zapc26ws_zpsxonxsm9r.jpg
Tested in some UK Magazine. They trashed it in the mud. Incredible.
 photo tomacc263_zpscqu60noj.png
Chuck Texeira complete bike. Chuck was an Easton engineer and the man responsible for the collaboration with Yeti. Features the only other carbon Accutrax I know of other than mine.
 photo chuck_old_new_zpstatje4sv.jpg
 photo texiera_C26_zpswumxki2q.jpg
Catalog bike? This was in the 1991 brochure. No idea where this ended up.
 photo yetic26groszlig_zpsoxruldzj.jpg

Kit Bikes

Various photos of kit bikes built after the move to Durango

 photo yetic26 001_zpsewyhkjhk.jpg
Tomac replica
 photo tuckertomac_yeti_final_1ws_139_zpszjazegta.jpg
Riveted one
 photo large_YETIC26__zpslquwyqdt.jpg
 photo c26rivit1_zps5gu1i6jk.jpg
Chris Herting personal frame
 photo Chris C-26_zps5zjfae6f.jpg
Wish I knew more about this one.
 photo c26_ifma_11092003_zpsxdnpmtul.jpg
 photo 140_4058_zpszchhpepb.jpg
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3rd Gen headbadge = Kit bike
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This one gets ridden
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Post 2008 Herting-Built Bikes


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Tomac replica in the UK

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French one

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German one

 photo MyYETI_C26-1_zpsp75gn3dz.jpg


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