It appears the Yeti is alive and well and isn’t just the figment of Tibetan lore and the imagination of a few sherpas and intrepid members of the Royal Geographic Society.
Although found in many locations other than the Himalyan hinterlands, the story of Yeti Cycles is the stuff of legend and one of the guardians is Martin Kozaczek of Second Spin Cycles.
This is a Yeti FRO from 1988, three years after the company was founded by John Parker. ‘FRO’ stands for ‘For Racing Only’ and the looptail model is now considered a cult classic among restorers, collectors and riders old enough to remember the anodized glory days of mountain biking.
Martin has achieved something very special with this restoration, which showcases Yeti’s ‘Desert Turquoise’ paint on one half of the bike and black on the other — although he does inform me the scheme was inspired by an original Yeti with a black and white palette in the same layout.
Second Spin specializes in authentic and rideable restorations of iconic mountain bikes from the 80s and early 90s, such as Klein, Steve Potts, Merlin, Grove Innovations, Cunningham, Mantis and Kestrel — and each specimen is a step back in time to an exciting period of American off-road cycling.
Meticulous attention to detail and respect is paid to each frame that is built up, with Martin sourcing the parts from his own personal inventory and the network of fellow aficionados. Needless to say, each component is considered, from the foam grips to the Bullseye cranks.
For this example, the frame was painted in the half-and-half colorway, along with the stem, brake calipers and cranks. It must have taken a while to decide whether the calipers and cranks were going to match each frame’s side or contrast with it — but it looks like the right choice was made.
This FRO is one of the early frames, featuring a round top tube, and was in a sorry state when Martin found it. Today, it’s a credit to Martin’s passion for the brand, culture and the sport. Pretty smart, really: two Yetis for the price of one.
See more of Martin’s incredible work on the Second Spin Cycles website.