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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Picked this old Mantis up recently. It should be a fun one and will definitely need some new paint!

It's loaded wtih braze-ons (shoulder strap, rack, Mantis fender and what looks to be a full set up for some generator lights). I need to try and figure out if it was built with a specific system in mind. I've never used or really paid much attention to those old light setups, but it's even got internal wiring inlets down the top tube and a guide on the headtube. I'm gonna see if RC can maybe answer a few questions.

One thing that the photos didn't really pick up are the neat peaked or ridged fillets at most of the main frame junctions. You can see it best in the 3rd photo.

Oh, and the spokes as a protector on the right chainstay is kinda neat. I like how it uses the little Campy or Cinelli guides for the spoke nipples, looks like a perfect fit. Gotta be the earliest example I've seen of this and what the other guys later copied.

<a href="https://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y213/threadedtitanium/?action=view&current=IMG_7200-1.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y213/threadedtitanium/IMG_7200-1.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Oh, and I'll be on the hunt for one of those 3 bolt, Preying Mantis looking stems! If you know anyone that's got one...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey FB - can you educate me on what distinguishes this as a Mantis frame?
I think the first thing that caught my eye, knowing it was old, was the steeper headtube than was standard back then. But then upon closer inspection the stay ends, the seat cluster, the canti bosses, and the ridged fillets. Oh, and the braze ons for the fender under the downtube also indicate that it's a Mantis.
 

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Harmonius Wrench
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Very nice find. I happen to like that color scheme, but certainly, it can not be original, what with the spokes being sprayed and all.

Congrats, what a cool frame!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Very nice find. I happen to like that color scheme, but certainly, it can not be original, what with the spokes being sprayed and all.

Congrats, what a cool frame!
Thanks. Yeah, it's not bad, but it was poorly done. Had her in the stand today for a look around and sure is a neat one that RC spent a lot of time on. Hopefully I can get some sort of background on it.

FFB, those are some nice examples and I looked at those when I first found this. Unfortunately mine was not well taken care of. Sure don't seem to be many around. Anyone have a count on how many were made? If RC doesn't have the fender template I might need to get dimensions.

Anyone have any idea on what might be a cool old light system for this thing?
 

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Thanks. Yeah, it's not bad, but it was poorly done. Had her in the stand today for a look around and sure is a neat one that RC spent a lot of time on. Hopefully I can get some sort of background on it.

FFB, those are some nice examples and I looked at those when I first found this. Unfortunately mine was not well taken care of. Sure don't seem to be many around. Anyone have a count on how many were made? If RC doesn't have the fender template I might need to get dimensions.

Anyone have any idea on what might be a cool old light system for this thing?
I'm not really bottle dynamo-knowledgeable, but I've never seen the mount behind the fork, so it must be a rear-mount, put on the front to save from internalizing the wires. The only remote generators - maybe also partially what the braze-ons are about - I've seen have been mounted at the bottom bracket.

Rare beast. Look forward to seeing what you do with it.
 

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Those bikes are rad! Good scores.

We have two at the shop, they are on loan.
 

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Hey Trev. Great find.
Just checking in.
That is Ron Hartford's bike I'm pretty sure.
To my knowledge only 3 were made with those braze ons.
I ordered 3 of the exact same ones for Europa Bikes. There were just a few differences between the 3. Mine had fishing pole braze ons on the right side. John Durst was like Rons's but didn't have the chain protector spokes. RH was the only one to have the spoke chain guards to my knowledge. That was his custom touch. RC never did another internal guide or fork mount gen set. after I broke my fork.
I think that is dated at 81 or 82. It took us a year to get those bikes. We saw them at the show with no paint and clear coat. I think it was RC's first show. In order for me to get mine I had to order 3 so Europa could become a dealer.
Ron had both types of racks on the fork. A rear rack and low riders which was different than ours too.
Ron's original color was Blue.
Both mine and JD's bike were destroyed before our first ride when JD backed up into a parked car with our bikes on a rear rack. Both were repaired with new main triangles. These were based on my world tour bike design. They all had 72 deg parallels. When mine and JD's were repaired they got a 71 head at my request. Both mine and JD's were 23" frames and I believe Ron's was a 21" C/C. RC refused to put the internal guides back in though.
I have a set of Mantis crown plates, Reynolds tandem blades and one Yellow head tube sticker left from that era.
Oh yea. I almost forgot. Ron's did not come with a Mantis stem. He had Richey Bullmoose bars on his I'm pretty sure. I have pictures of these someplace before the first builds and of Ron's fully packed in the picture boxes someplace in my my rafters. I don't think I can post it though even if I scanned it as it is not a internet friendly picture. LOL
One of these day's I am going to have to get to them and do some scanning.
 

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Hey Trev. Great find.
Just checking in.
That is Ron Hartford's bike I'm pretty sure.
To my knowledge only 3 were made with those braze ons.
I ordered 3 of the exact same ones for Europa Bikes. There were just a few differences between the 3. Mine had fishing pole braze ons on the right side. John Durst was like Rons's but didn't have the chain protector spokes. RH was the only one to have the spoke chain guards to my knowledge. That was his custom touch. RC never did another internal guide or fork mount gen set. after I broke my fork.
I think that is dated at 81 or 82. It took us a year to get those bikes. We saw them at the show with no paint and clear coat. I think it was RC's first show. In order for me to get mine I had to order 3 so Europa could become a dealer.
Ron had both types of racks on the fork. A rear rack and low riders which was different than ours too.
Ron's original color was Blue.
Both mine and JD's bike were destroyed before our first ride when JD backed up into a parked car with our bikes on a rear rack. Both were repaired with new main triangles. These were based on my world tour bike design. They all had 72 deg parallels. When mine and JD's were repaired they got a 71 head at my request. Both mine and JD's were 23" frames and I believe Ron's was a 21" C/C. RC refused to put the internal guides back in though.
I have a set of Mantis crown plates, Reynolds tandem blades and one Yellow head tube sticker left from that era.
Oh yea. I almost forgot. Ron's did not come with a Mantis stem. He had Richey Bullmoose bars on his I'm pretty sure. I have pictures of these someplace before the first builds and of Ron's fully packed in the picture boxes someplace in my my rafters. I don't think I can post it though even if I scanned it as it is not a internet friendly picture. LOL
One of these day's I am going to have to get to them and do some scanning.

That is some invaluable awesome back story right there!

Jumps the cool factor of the frame even higher!

KB, if you can get Fillet brazed a pic of how the bike looked originally...I'm pretty confident he can get this bike back to exactly the way it was when brand new.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That is some invaluable awesome back story right there!

Jumps the cool factor of the frame even higher!

KB, if you can get Fillet brazed a pic of how the bike looked originally...I'm pretty confident he can get this bike back to exactly the way it was when brand new.
Yeah, thanks Ken! Great stuff. Would absolutely love to see pics and I've had a Ritchey bullmoose just waiting for the right frame (a Ritchey of course) but maybe it was meant to be for this one! :)

So what kind of lights and generators did you guys use? Maybe there were a few options on the market and I'd guess they more or less mounted up the same way? I know nothing about those things but do remember seeing them when I was a kid.

Might have to do a vintage night ride/camping/fishing trip once I get this baby back to spec. :thumbsup:

By the way I'm not Trev, that's "Fillet Brazed Forever".
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
I'm not really bottle dynamo-knowledgeable, but I've never seen the mount behind the fork, so it must be a rear-mount, put on the front to save from internalizing the wires. The only remote generators - maybe also partially what the braze-ons are about - I've seen have been mounted at the bottom bracket.

Rare beast. Look forward to seeing what you do with it.
Interesting. Once I find out what light this thing was designed around I can maybe start to figure out the way he had this configured.
 

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Interesting. Once I find out what light this thing was designed around I can maybe start to figure out the way he had this configured.
It looks pretty funky being on the inside of the fork. It's almost like the light projected between the fork blades. Maybe he was running a spokeless wheel? ;)
 

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It looks pretty funky being on the inside of the fork. It's almost like the light projected between the fork blades. Maybe he was running a spokeless wheel? ;)
That is just for the generator - the kind that rolls on the side of the tire. The light would have likely been bolted to the fork crown. I used to have a more ghetto version (clamped to the fork leg) of that on an old commuter bike of mine. It did OK, but nothing compared to today's LED lights. It was nice always having the light there, though.
 

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That is just for the generator - the kind that rolls on the side of the tire. The light would have likely been bolted to the fork crown.

Ahh... that makes much more sense!!
 

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I think they were Sanyo generators that ran on the side of the tire. I have seen them at Walmart. The light was mounted on the stem or on the front of the front rack and was about 3" diameter. I still have a couple of them. When they were mounted on the rack they through too much of a shadow and made every rock look like a huge hole in the ground. They did work well with a head lamp combo.The rear had a bullet shaped light that mounted to the bracket brazed on the SS. I quickly learned that no light was needed as the rocks seam to go in at night. There were some stragglers crossing the road on occasion, LOL Tail lights were not my thing either. I would just rather not be seen till the cars were past me. I acn't tell you how many night runs we did without lights and even put up some of our best DH times in the dark without them.
I used those same lights for my head lamp setup. 6V generator with a 5.2V bulb? They also had the same lamp with a 6V bulb if I recall and that is the one that I used for my 7.2 nicad headlamp setup called the Nocturnal. I'll have to go in the shop and look to make sure on the voltage. I know right where they are amazingly enough. LOL Now the milk crate of photos is another story and I am sure they are 16' in the air someplace in a pallet of boxes.
Ron had one of the first Richey's made and had the Sherpa painted to match. Sorry, I thought you were Trevor. Do you know of Europa bikes in Van Nuys Calif? I can't remember the owners name at the moment. You know us seniors that weren't supposed to live past 24, well here I am still kickin and regretting my youth sometimes. LOL
Those Sanyo generators are hard on tires and when you got in the mud they would rip right off and take out spokes plus they made a ton of noise.
Tthose Sherpas had more than 30 brazeons! What a true work of art those fillets were.
 

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Well I thought I knew right where they were. Found lots of other cool stuff though including 2 new carry straps. One original Mantis and one custom made one that is a poor copy.
Ron's bike no doubt had a Titanium Duo-Par rear and silver Magura brake levers. Araya x7 rims with butted spokes with blue and red or maybe all black alloy nips. JD and my bike had Tomasellie Racers which I found plus un-opened new hoods.
Still looking for other goodies including pictures. I know I recently saw those lights. One was mounted on a helmet. I know I have some DuoPar parts laying around someplace too. I found some rims still in paper wrappers. Better take a peek! I'm getting a good case of vertigo up here climbing around all the pallets of "junk".
 
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