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What happened to Gary Klein?

Old 11-06-22, 12:53 PM
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What happened to Gary Klein?

Hence the question. When I worked at Trek during the “Lance bump” years, I met Bontrager, Fisher and LeMond. But I really wanted to meet Gary Klein. Seems after Trek discontinued the Klein brand, Gary left bikes for good. What’s he doing now, where is he, and how is he doing?

As a little side note; I thought Klein was building telescopes. That’ll be totally stratospheric for a stellar engineer like Gary.
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Old 11-06-22, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Writenride View Post
Hence the question. When I worked at Trek during the “Lance bump” years, I met Bontrager, Fisher and LeMond. But I really wanted to meet Gary Klein. Seems after Trek discontinued the Klein brand, Gary left bikes for good. What’s he doing now, where is he, and how is he doing?

As a little side note; I thought Klein was building telescopes. That’ll be totally stratospheric for a stellar engineer like Gary.
According to this article (if accurate), Klein was a consultant for Trek until 2012.

https://www.chronline.com/stories/th...of-klein,81432

Not sure what he did after that, or what he did when he wasn't doing consulting work for Trek between the time he left his full-time position at Trek in 2002 and 2012.

Regarding what he's doing now: Klein was apparently born in either June or September 1952 (I really wish people would spell out months when they write a date rather than writing something like "3/8/1999"). That would make him 70 now. He could well be retired today and enjoying having full control of his time to do what he wants to do.
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Old 11-06-22, 05:09 PM
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I read the article about his college class build way way back in Bicycling! Magazine.
I was impressed. But the article and the track bike that was shown in the article did not match well I thought. It had a steel chrome fork.

I got to ride an early bike after the Griffith Park Grand Prix in 1975. Now a full road bike.
When I got off, I declared THIS was the future of Criterium bikes. Was outrageously stiff but felt might be too harsh for a road race.

I was surprised a few years later when he was getting royalties for a patent as there were other "prior art" bikes out there. One was casually imaged in a Competitive Cycling newspaper article and a short comment of who made it.

History revealed later about that legal war regarding patents.
I did laugh when a friend much later had a top gun Klein MTB... how did they get to use that name? Especially with the Movie.
that as T got squashed later. My brother has one of those with the red/white/blue paint.
I think that model became the Rascal?

an interesting engineer, some good ideas, the Ground Control bar and stem combo, etc.

might have had a happier time if he had concentrated on design vs lawyer's offices.
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Old 11-06-22, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
I read the article about his college class build way way back in Bicycling! Magazine.
I was impressed. But the article and the track bike that was shown in the article did not match well I thought. It had a steel chrome fork.

I got to ride an early bike after the Griffith Park Grand Prix in 1975. Now a full road bike.
When I got off, I declared THIS was the future of Criterium bikes. Was outrageously stiff but felt might be too harsh for a road race.

I was surprised a few years later when he was getting royalties for a patent as there were other "prior art" bikes out there. One was casually imaged in a Competitive Cycling newspaper article and a short comment of who made it.

History revealed later about that legal war regarding patents.
I did laugh when a friend much later had a top gun Klein MTB... how did they get to use that name? Especially with the Movie.
that as T got squashed later. My brother has one of those with the red/white/blue paint.
I think that model became the Rascal?

an interesting engineer, some good ideas, the Ground Control bar and stem combo, etc.

might have had a happier time if he had concentrated on design vs lawyer's offices.
I truly think most engineers would be more creative and beneficial to society if lawyers never get involved. But someone always feels they’re being harmed.

As for my question, most of the R&D department I met at Trek said the same about Gary Klein; brilliant, resourceful, understanding and generous. I’m not sure about the rest of management, but if Klein left similarly to how LeMond left, it would sadly make sense.
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Old 11-06-22, 09:04 PM
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Excuse my ignorance, but what was the story w LeMonde leaving?
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Old 11-06-22, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Robvolz View Post
Excuse my ignorance, but what was the story w LeMonde leaving?
Pretty sure LeMond was forced to leave after accusing Armstrong of doping. Trek dropped the LeMond line of bikes. Pity that, I enjoyed one of those Reynolds 853 frames while I still had it.
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Old 11-06-22, 10:01 PM
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I met Gary Klein in 1976 when he showed up at the NEBC club race outside Boston with an unmarked, no decal dark blue Klein (that I believe a forumite now owns). He encouraged us all to ride it. I did. Way to small so it was all out of the saddle. Still, it was obvious that a) this bike was a breakthrough and b) it wasn't the bike for everybody (certainly not me, the long and light mountain goat that lived for long races on New England's mediocre roads).

In the '80s Cannondale came out with its bikes and claimed for years it was their idea. I think it was mid '90s before Cannondale settled with Klein on the issue of the concept origin. Cannondale's prior language suggested my memory of that ride was just a dream. (Fun to see the picture of that bike I rode here a year or so ago.)
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Old 11-06-22, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo6 View Post
(I really wish people would spell out months when they write a date rather than writing something like "3/8/1999").
I hear ya- If left to my devices, I write out like 6 Nov 22. Realistically- Americans usually go mm-dd-yyyy, while Europeans go day first. But I just like writing in the month, there's no doubt.
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Old 11-06-22, 10:27 PM
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^^^^ That's (dd Mon yyyy) how I usually write dates on checks, letters, bank forms, etc. Another disambiguation option -- yyyy/mm/dd . From a perspective of "order", it makes more sense than either of the common year-last options.
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Old 11-06-22, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I met Gary Klein in 1976 when he showed up at the NEBC club race outside Boston with an unmarked, no decal dark blue Klein (that I believe a forumite now owns). He encouraged us all to ride it. I did. Way to small so it was all out of the saddle. Still, it was obvious that a) this bike was a breakthrough and b) it wasn't the bike for everybody (certainly not me, the long and light mountain goat that lived for long races on New England's mediocre roads).

In the '80s Cannondale came out with its bikes and claimed for years it was their idea. I think it was mid '90s before Cannondale settled with Klein on the issue of the concept origin. Cannondale's prior language suggested my memory of that ride was just a dream. (Fun to see the picture of that bike I rode here a year or so ago.)
I've got you beat by two years. Last Friday, I visited Harriet Fell, who made a heat-treated, welded aluminum bike at MIT in 1974! It has wrap-over seatstays and beautiful welds. What a thing. I held it in my hands! I asked her if I could pick it up and she said ok. It is very lightweight!!

You can read the whole aluminum bike lawsuit story here.
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Old 11-06-22, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by scarlson View Post
Last Friday, I visited Harriet Fell, who made a heat-treated, welded aluminum bike at MIT in 1974!
She and the good Mr. Allen are doing a great job of keeping Sheldon's website and legacy alive.
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Old 11-07-22, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
I hear ya- If left to my devices, I write out like 6 Nov 22. Realistically- Americans usually go mm-dd-yyyy, while Europeans go day first. . . .
Regarding your first point, I generally do the same. That date format is unambiguous, particularly if you use the full year.

As far as I know you're correct about the second. Unfortunately when you read something posted online written in English you generally have no idea whether the writer used US or European ordering for a date written solely using numerals and slashes/dashes. Sometimes you can determine which is which from context (e.g., one of the two-digit numbers is >12), but often you have to guess.

Last edited by Hondo6; 11-08-22 at 05:38 AM. Reason: Correct typo, add English-language caveat.
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Old 11-07-22, 05:14 AM
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
^^^^ That's (dd Mon yyyy) how I usually write dates on checks, letters, bank forms, etc. Another disambiguation option -- yyyy/mm/dd . From a perspective of "order", it makes more sense than either of the common year-last options.
Sadly, your last option is not completely unambiguous. A date represented as "#### / ## / ##" can be validly interpreted as either YYYY/MM/DD or YYYY/DD/MM. I agree that the former makes more sense, but you have to know the writer's intent by other means. Otherwise, you're still guessing.

That said, I use that format for some applications. It's especially useful for info that has to be sorted by date - like otherwise-identical filenames having embedded dates.
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Old 11-07-22, 03:17 PM
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Back to Gary Klein....

Short version.... Gary Klein was seen, alive and well, in Chehalis, WA a few months ago.

Longer version.... I mentioned this thread to the owner of my LBS (Bike Garage, Port Angeles, WA) when I stopped in earlier today. 'Thought this might be of interest to him since we both have 80's era Klein frames. He told me that his J&B rep mentioned that he'd visited with Gary in Chehalis last summer.

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Old 11-07-22, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Dean51 View Post
Back to Gary Klein....

Short version.... Gary Klein was seen, alive and well, in Chehalis, WA a few months ago.

Longer version.... I mentioned this thread to the owner of my LBS (Bike Garage, Port Angeles, WA) when I stopped in earlier today. 'Thought this might be of interest to him since we both have 80's era Klein frames. He told me that his J&B rep mentioned that he'd visited with Gary in Chehalis last summer.

Dean
Maybe Gary himself could join the forum and share some of his insights. Sort of the way that Doug Fattic does. I for one would really love that. I have a ton of Klein questions.
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Old 11-07-22, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by scarlson View Post
I've got you beat by two years. Last Friday, I visited Harriet Fell, who made a heat-treated, welded aluminum bike at MIT in 1974! It has wrap-over seatstays and beautiful welds. What a thing. I held it in my hands! I asked her if I could pick it up and she said ok. It is very lightweight!!

You can read the whole aluminum bike lawsuit story here.
yes, there was mention of others at MIT way back. I have to find the magazine, not sure if 1973 or 1974.
was pretty good, had a basic explainer as why fatter tubes were going to be stiffer.
this was before the air hardening steels that allowed tube wall thicknesses beyond 50:1

the Bill Shook reference was the bike as seen in Competitive Cycling "rag"
those monthly newspapers from time to time show up but never made it into "reader's guide" of periodical literature. Maybe as they were not literature?

Schwinn also paid royalties until the Cannondale suit was resolved.

everyone forgets of the prior art in France.

patents can protect and bite. The Scott Drop-in bars, ruled illegal by the UCI as one might hook themselves in a crash!?? I think a traditional drop bar is of more risk.

Last edited by repechage; 11-07-22 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 11-07-22, 06:51 PM
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The owner of my LBS told me he once went to a retreat at Gary's house and played ping-pong with him. It was sort of a convention for dealers.

Gary's wife Kristen sometimes posts on the Klein fans facebook pages - nothing too personal... stuff like "today's his birthday, send him an email".

My History of Klein Road Bikes tribute page.

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Old 11-07-22, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post

In the '80s Cannondale came out with its bikes and claimed for years it was their idea. I think it was mid '90s before Cannondale settled with Klein on the issue of the concept origin. Cannondale's prior language suggested my memory of that ride was just a dream. (Fun to see the picture of that bike I rode here a year or so ago.)
Klein took Cannondale to court for infringing on his patent. Ultimately, Klein lost his case after Cannondale showed his bike was not the first oversized aluminum tube bike frame. Can't defend a design patent if you can show the design was already made by others.

The one thing I love on the early Kleins were the flamboyant paint schemes. In addition, his Mission Control one piece bar/stem combos were awesome.
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Old 11-07-22, 07:21 PM
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Funny, that timeline. Roughly 1973, I was an engineering student and had my first couple of aerodynamics courses under my belt. Doing some paper napkin calcs (but with pad, pencil and calculator) I worked on how much a human powered airplane could weigh and still get off the ground. Forget the final number; it wasn't much. Maybe 120 pounds. Also that it would take a bike racer to have the power to weight needed. A couple of years later I read that MIT students were working on being the first to succeed. Target weight? 140. The students were going to fly it. (This was before my head injury. I could well be off on the weight, but I am certain the MIT target was 20 pounds over my max.) Didn't fly. Later, Paul MacCready's Gossamer Condor lifted off. My predicted right on the money and powered by a bike racer!. They knocked about 2 0 pounds off that and the next one flew across the English channel. Same engine.

So, back to MIT - those students needed to do the same napkin scribbling I did. Yes, that plane would have been far harder to design and build but flight is a tough master. Heavy planes don't fly without a lot of power. And contrary to our egos, our legs don't have it.
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Old 11-11-22, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
Maybe Gary himself could join the forum and share some of his insights. Sort of the way that Doug Fattic does. I for one would really love that. I have a ton of Klein questions.
Hi, do you mean like an AMA with Gary Klein himself? I wonder how he'll feel about that.
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Old 11-11-22, 09:32 AM
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Since it hasnt been mentioned, I will toss out something that I think I post when a thread is started about what happened to Klein.


Trek needs to resurrect the brand and sell their aluminum frames as Klein.
Carbon frames= Trek
Aluminum frames= Klien

Give all the Klein frames classic Klein paint schemes and make them both easily serviceable and attainable. So dont make it some limited release collector run, but rather just brand what is in their lineup and aluminum as Klein.
I have no need for a modern road bike, but would absolutely buy a new aluminum branded Klein with a classic fade.

Yes it would wonk some stuff up since models like Domane, Checkpoint, and FX comes in both carbon and aluminum. No I dont care that it would wonk some stuff up- it would be cool as hell and it could place the Trek brand as a more performance/elite option. That isnt to say Klein would be relegated to entry level as they could be spec'd well too with a few groupset price points, but stop below what the Trek models go up to. So maybe stop at 105 for Klein.


...or since the above is total fantasy and Trek will never do something cool, they should just release some Klein frames with cool paint and charge too much, which will tick off those who want the name and not appeal to those too young or indifferent to care. If they released a large enough road frame, I would still consider it, even though its less cool than the above scenario.
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Old 11-11-22, 09:41 AM
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Yes, Trek using the Klein brand for aluminum framed bikes with flamboyant paint schemes would be wonderful.
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Old 11-11-22, 12:23 PM
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I tried a klein MTB in the late1990's which was an absolute blast to ride and lovely paint scheme but it was too stiff for me and my back.
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Old 11-11-22, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by georges1 View Post
I tried a klein MTB in the late1990's which was an absolute blast to ride and lovely paint scheme but it was too stiff for me and my back.
That was my impression of the Klein road bike. We (Trek) invited Gary Klein to the Waterloo factory to test ride one of the then-new bonded aluminum frames to demonstrate that it didn't violate his patent on using oversize diameter aluminum tubes to increase frame stiffness. The diameter and wall thickness of the Trek bonded frame tubes were selected to approximate the stiffness of a top of the line steel frame, not to make a frame that was stiffer than a steel frame.

In any case, Klein came to Waterloo, and we spent a pleasant afternoon riding various bikes around the Waterloo countryside. As I recall, we had one of the bonded aluminum prototypes, a couple high-end steel Treks. Gary's personal road bike, and a Vitus aluminum bike. I found Gary's bike to be overly stiff and hard to control on rough pavement. I think rider weight has a lot to do with how stiff a frame you can tolerate: I was pretty light back then (<130#), while Gary was a pretty stocky guy.
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Old 11-11-22, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
That was my impression of the Klein road bike. We (Trek) invited Gary Klein to the Waterloo factory to test ride one of the then-new bonded aluminum frames to demonstrate that it didn't violate his patent on using oversize diameter aluminum tubes to increase frame stiffness. The diameter and wall thickness of the Trek bonded frame tubes were selected to approximate the stiffness of a top of the line steel frame, not to make a frame that was stiffer than a steel frame.

In any case, Klein came to Waterloo, and we spent a pleasant afternoon riding various bikes around the Waterloo countryside. As I recall, we had one of the bonded aluminum prototypes, a couple high-end steel Treks. Gary's personal road bike, and a Vitus aluminum bike. I found Gary's bike to be overly stiff and hard to control on rough pavement. I think rider weight has a lot to do with how stiff a frame you can tolerate: I was pretty light back then (<130#), while Gary was a pretty stocky guy.
Aluminium bikes are not for everybody, I prefer high grade steel frames because nothing rides like steel. Though some aluminium frames from the 6061,6092,6013 and 5086 tubes are much more comfy than the 7005 or 7003 series of tubes (often used by dedacciai in pinarello bikes in the late 90's early 00's) tubes
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