Specialty Files: 1983 J.P. Weigle IceCycle

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Editor’s note: This story first appeared in Dirt Rag issue #146, published in November 2009. Words and photos by Jeff Archer.


The name Peter Weigle is probably unfamiliar to most mountain bikers unless they ride a steel frame. In the mid 1990s, he concocted J.P. Weigle Frame Saver, which is used to coat the inside of steel frames to prevent rust. Prior to that, in the early 1970s, Weigle got his start at Witcomb USA with other framebuilding luminaries such as Richard Sachs and, later, Chris Chance. After Witcomb USA closed, these three builders went on to build frames under their own names.

While Sachs is known for his road bikes and Chance was mostly a mountain bike builder, Weigle dabbled in all styles of bikes. Starting in 1977, Weigle built road frames under his own name and then built his first mountain bike in 1982. Recently his focus has been on randonneuring touring-style bikes, which smoothly integrate lights, racks and fenders into the design of the bike. Since mountain bikes see a lot of abuse, this amount of detail work isn’t typically found on mountain bikes.

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The IceCycle was made for the 1983 bicycle trade show, so it does have some unique features to catch the eyes of the show attendees. The one-piece bar and stem flow together with a fillet-brazed “wing.” The Suntour Superbe Tech derailleur uses a direct-pull cable routed through a small piece of elegantly bent tubing brazed to the frame. Flip the bike over and you can check out the trademark Weigle seagull cut out of the bottom bracket shell. Even the front dropouts haven’t escaped modification. Check out the series of small holes drilled in them.

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All of these artistic touches make for a beautiful bike, but it is the tires that truly make it the IceCycle. Each tire has 450 sheet metal screws per tire for the ultimate in ice traction. After the show, the bike was taken to a local ice rink where it was photographed with a backdrop of ice skaters.

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Later, the wheels were removed and it was used as a regular mountain bike for several years. Weigle then reacquired the bike and restored it to its former glory.

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It now resides at the Museum of Mountain Bike Art & Technology along with approximately 250 other vintage mountain bikes. The collection can be viewed at First Flight Bicycles in Statesville, North Carolina, or at www.mombat.org.

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Frame: Fillet-brazed chromoly steel
Fork: Chromoly with Henry James crown
Rims: Araya 7X
Hubs: Hi-E
Tires: Specialized Stumpjumper with 450 screws per tire
Pedals: Suntour XC
Crank: TA Cyclotourist, single ring with bash guard
BB: Phil Wood
Derailleur: Suntour Superbe Tech
Brakes: Shimano Deore XT
Levers: Dia Compe 4-finger
Bar/Stem: Weigle one-piece
Cogs: Suntour 5-speed freewheel
Seatpost: Campagnolo
Saddle: Cinelli Unicanitor

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