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He be a moose too.
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I wasn't going to post this until it was finished, but Rumpfy suggested I do so, plus it is going to be a long time before I get to it as other bikes are a priority, so here goes.

This is an American M16, most likely a '93 model. Picked it up from Ebay NOS. Notice the dropouts, a wheel has never been clamped in them. The frame is absolutely pristine and the only thing clouding the pictures are dust. There is a slight problem with two letters of the decals coming up but I'm going to fix these by either gluing them down or cutting new ones myself, but other than that, it's a beauty.

I've got a NOS headset and fork for it. I thought two American Stems (one for this one and a Comp-Lite I have) but can't find the second one. Working on procuring another American stem.

I've always like Americans and almost bought one instead of a Klein in the Fall of 1989, so when I can pick up a nice one, I do. I prefer the Comp-Lite to the M16 but hey, both are coolness. At first I was so-so about the color and would have wanted a polished one but the anodization has grown on me (well, not grown on me skin-wise but you know what I mean).

Anyways, here are the pictures and I'll be sure to post again when I get it built up.
 

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Wow...nice looking bike!..Love the color...:thumbsup:

The welds have an artistic quality to them
 

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Mantis, Paramount, Campy
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Tealicious

I'll second the Comp Lite preference.
I also prefer the older decals or non-baged frames but what can you do.
A new frame's a new frame :)
 

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Oh wow

I remember lusting after one of those for YEARS when I was younger.

Beautiful bike! If I remember correctly they had pretty short CS's and a very sloping TT for the time.

Awesome bike, what are you going to build it up with?
 

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Certified Bike Junkie
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Those have got to be some of the best looking welds ever laid down on a bike frame.
 

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Ah. Very nice. Can't wait to see it built up.
 

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alohachiimoku said:
what different between M16 and COMP LITE? frame geometry?
The Comp Heavy (oops, I mean Comp Lite) had 16.5" stays, and the M16 had 16" stays. Otherwise I think that the geo was the same.
 

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Hybrid Leftys aren't real
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Those have got to be some of the coolest aluminum welds I've seen. very different than your standard fair. American, did they make some short guy stuff? I seem to recall a really short guy I worked with, getting an American back in the early 90's, saying it was the only one that worked well for folks his size. Nice bike, looking forward to some built pics :thumbsup:
 

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MendonCycleSmith said:
American, did they make some short guy stuff? I seem to recall a really short guy I worked with, getting an American back in the early 90's, saying it was the only one that worked well for folks his size.
I'm not sure if American did, but Off-Road seemed to cater more to shorter people before they became Pro-Flex.
 

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Witty McWitterson
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Gawd I'd love to get one of them. I've always been a big fan of Americans if for no reason other than they were made 3 hours from me. Shoulda gotten one when I could, but I got mit by the Cannondale bug...bummer. Hated the 'dale. Those welds are just teh hotness.
 

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He be a moose too.
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Rumpfy said:
Certainly less common thank Kleins.
Actually I was expecting you to say 'less vulgar' than Kleins. That way you'd get an indignant rise out of me and then say, "Vulgar in the Latin-sense of the word meaning common" and I would go back to under my rock muttering about "Damn west-coast etymological snobs".

I don't recall them doing work for short people but that isn't to say that they didn't. I know that they did work for Breezer, Rodriguez tandems, softride (bikes with springy beams) and a few others, so it's possible they had something going on for shorter people.

One thing I've really liked about American's are the welds. Some people have said, "I've seen welds like that" and point to some bike over yonder. Yeah, it's the same welding process but it ain't the same quality. They did do a very nice job of that.

A few weeks after I picked this bike up, an NOS Comp-Lite in purple and my size came up. I was overseas at the time and didn't want to deal with it, besides I'm not a big fan of purple stuff. I certainly could have outbid them all as Americans tend not to go for big money as they are relatively unknown. Looking back, for a couple of hours of overtime at work, I could have had it. Oh well. Martini, keep your eyes open, they do show up time to time on Ebay, but be aware you'll have to bid against me and one other person on this forum whom I shall not mention but they know who they are...

Right now, I have a NOS XT threaded headset for it. The fork is a dark chrome switchblade (yeah, yeah Carsten, go ahead and grumble:prft:, was looking for a Koski but couldn't find one), and thumbies. I guess I have (not 100% committed yet) black grafton brakes, XT flat-pedals, and BR-733 levers.

Laffeux called it a 'comp-heavy' and I think he is referring to the fact that American's as a whole tended to be made out of a little thicker metal than say a Klein. Someone I know who is familiar with both brands and prefers the American's for among other things, their durability, fwiw.

Ok, since you guys are diggin' the pics, I'll post a few more. Thanks for the complements on the ride & will post when complete.

P. Guin
 

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pinguwin said:
Laffeux called it a 'comp-heavy' and I think he is referring to the fact that American's as a whole tended to be made out of a little thicker metal than say a Klein. Someone I know who is familiar with both brands and prefers the American's for among other things, their durability, fwiw.
Yeah, I have a Comp Lite frame, and it's over 5 pounds. Considering a steel Bontrager of the same era was lighter than the aluminum American, gives it the name "Comp Heavy." ;)
 

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Looks fantastic Pinguwin and I love the colour. I just scored a NOS Deore XT-II rear hub (7 speed) that would be right at home on that frame, that's if you weren't going to use XTR for the hubs (or anything else for that mattter).
 

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the "HOOVER" says...Oh Yeah!! Beautious welds and I'm diggin the color too. I've never seen Americans, but I'll be watching now..
 

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laffeaux said:
Yeah, I have a Comp Lite frame, and it's over 5 pounds. Considering a steel Bontrager of the same era was lighter than the aluminum American, gives it the name "Comp Heavy." ;)

Thats odd, There must be some lead in those frames somewhere. I don't have the weight on my Breezer frame but I can tell you at one point I had that bike built down to under 21lbs.

I've changed it back to the XT groupe it came with but I remember pulling that frame out of the box and thinking holy s*&t this thing is LIGHT... Maybe it was because most bikes were tanks back then and I'm going senile but 5lbs?

I wonder if there's a difference in the Complite vs the other Americans. I would think the Breezers would be heavier with their longer chanstays.

At the time, the Americans had by far the best welds in the industry I agree with muddybuddy and MendonCycleSmith, I don't believe any bike had better tig welds till the Titanium bikes started showing up.


Nice bike Pinguwin:thumbsup: That thing should be fun on single track

hey btw what size, rise and color are your American stems?
 
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