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Here are Silverfish UK we are very lucky to own some rather special bikes but one of them always grabs people attention and at this year's Core Bike show it was the most photographed bike of the whole event.

We knew when we welcomed Yeti to Silverfish we were hooking up with true legends and one of the most loved and loyally followed brands in biking. But even we're amazed by the lengths some people will go to unravel one of mountain biking's biggest mysteries and recreate a true piece of mountain biking folklore.

If you were mountain biking in the early 90s images of US uber racer John Tomac crossed up off jumps on a drop bar equipped Yeti are as iconic as hearing Nirvana for the first time. The equally dominant Juli Furtado won the 1990 World Championships on the same Yeti C-26 frame too, a radical steel and carbon tube hybrid heralded as "the future of mountain biking" by MBA magazine. Those era defining moments are just the tip of the story behind the C-26 that's sat in the Silverfish offices right now. Perfect right down to Johnny T's '225' World Champs number plate, hanging off the signature JT drop handlebars, Tioga disc drive rear wheel and ultra-rare Shimano XT seatpost. Except that the really interesting bit is that it's not perfect. None of the C-26s were.

Built by 26 year old Yeti designer Chris Herting (C-26 geddit?) the idea was to create a competitively light bike for Yeti racers slogging round on heavyweight FRO steel bikes. However, the tube tolerances between the steel lugs and the Easton C9 Alucarb kevlar and carbon fibre wrapped alloy pipes were so tight that most of the bonding glue was squeezed off as they were joined. The more the pipes were moved to allow subsequent joins or to adjust geometry, the weaker the bond got, making assured strength impossible to gauge. So much so that Yeti's John Parker apparently thanked God the entire way home to California that Juli's frame had lasted the whole World's race. Soon as those frames were home the whole project was shelved, and while there were tubesets for 50 bikes, only 7 were ever officially built.

What happened to the rest of the tubes is the really interesting bit though. Iconic images, it's sudden disappearance and combined Tomac and Yeti love meant that this unobtainable bike rapidly developed a cult all of its own. With one original frame selling for a truly abominable $12,000 to a German collector on E-bay it's no wonder that the tubesets that didn't get junked somehow started appearing as complete frames to feed the C-26 frenzy.

However the bike we have here isn't just one of the, er 'liberated' sets glued together anonymously, oh hell no. This evocative engineering masterpiece is a 3 year long tale of fanatical parts collecting and frame alchemy masterminded by Retrobike regular Kevin Miller. As much as Kev wanted one there was no way an original was on the cards. However word on the Yeti grapevine was that given a steel Yeti FRO donor bike, a set of C9 tubes (and enough time and cash) Chris Herting - the original builder - was building "re-issue" C-26s for true Yeti fanatics. Over the next few months Kev managed to track down a set of C9 tubes from a secret source in Durango and a Yeti FRO frame to act as front and rear end donor and sent them off to Chris. Two years and countless hours of retro component hunting later and Kevin had his ultimate prize.

A unicorn rare Retrobike bike of the month that'll get any old skool off road ravers as giddy as an original Prodigy white label.

While Kevin's masterpiece isn't for sale if you want more details of the latest Yeti legends including the sublimely smooth new SB-66 carbon.

For more of the mysterious Yeti C-26 story check out: www.yeti-c26.net

Or to find likeminded Yeti fanatics check out: www.yetifan.com

Keep up to date with all things Yeti related in the UK on our Facebook site: Yeti Cycles UK

Silverfish UK Ltd. Units 3a-3c Woodacre Court, Saltash Parkway Industrial Estate, Burraton Road, Saltash, Cornwall, United Kingdom, PL12 6LY
Silverfish UK Ltd. (Registration No. 4075057).

Technical specifications are for guidance only and cannot be guaranteed accurate. All offers are subject to availability and while stocks last. Errors and omissions excepted. Silverfish UK Limited acts as a credit intermediary and only offers credit products for Close Brothers Retail Finance. Its registered office is: Close Brothers Group plc, 10 Crown Place, London EC2A 4FT. Credit is subject to application and status.

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