Their has been a great deal of un-certainty surrounding Klein's financial certainty. While Klein occupied a sentimental position in the hearts of many hardcore cyclists, they have made some grave errors in delivery to market of frames and bikes that they showed at the industry trade show in September of 1993 that lost them most of their expected sales for the 1994 model year. The 1995 model year is expected to be slightly more promising as their dealer base has shrunk considerably. Promises of deliveries in the 1994 model year with severly late or no delivery at all left many dealers abandoning Klein because the retailer lost credibility with their local customers as promised frames failed to arrive. The current Klein range of bikes includes a unique "Mission Control II" handlebar/stem assembly that uses a compression fitting to cinch it onto the fork steerer. In Klein's precarious market position, it hardly seems a wise idea to try establish a new "standard" for stem/bar. It was reported that Klein's attempt to devise a compression tightening seat collar (holding the seatpost in place was the source of the long delays in the 1994 bikes. Most recent rumors have Trek ingaged in negotiations to buy the company reducing the noted aluminum frame competitors by one.
The Klein Stratum 90 is a predominately carbon fiber handlebar that uses aluminum tubing at the handlebar center for reinforcement against the crimping power of the stem's binder assembly. Carbon fiber is largely formless. Once woven into a fabric, it is usually placed over a structure, then coated with epoxy resin, which is permitted to harden to give it shape. The Nuke Proof bar for example starts with an inner thin walled aluminum tube. In some cases, manufacturers use inflatable forms with the carbon fiber layered over the form, then the carbon fiber is coated with epoxy resin that, when hardened, gives the carbon fiber structure, after which the inner form is removed. The interior of the Stratum 90 examined with a grain of wheat flashlight (torch for the UK) doesn't immediately reveal what was used build the carbon fiber's shape, and a phone call to Klein was of no help. The conversation continued to turn around the word "proprietory", (as though someone genuinely involved in earnest "espionage" wouldn't know enough about industrial design and carbon fiber to reason it out the process on their own). The exterior of the bar has two 1mm wide raised lines running the length of the bar. These lines are 180 degrees around the handlebar from each other, leading us to believe that these are marks left from using a mold on the handlebar's exterior. The exterior mold is used to assist in leaving a smooth outer surface after the epoxy has hardened. And the outer surface is reasonably smooth with no evidence of added sanding. Also the phone call yielded no help in learning whether the handlebar is left to air cure or the epoxy hardening is hastened in an autoclave. The bar is 22.2mm in diameter at the grip ends and gradually flares to a 25.4mm diameter at the center area. At the center is an 85mm long section of aluminum tubing that is the needed 25.4mm diameter. The aluminum tube is recessed in the carbon fiber, and an interior examination shows the carbon fiber to be continuous beneath the center aluminum tubing. The Stratum 90 is an ATB flat bar with grip sections bent at a 5¡ angle. It is 585mm (23 1/16") long, has a matte Black finish and weighs 91 grams. These are no longer available. We sold them for $ 99.99 when they were made before Trek's buying of Klein.
Klein also makes a second version of their Stratum ATB flat bar known as the Stratum 130. Manufactured in the same way, it has the interior of each end of the handlebar machined, so a thin walled aluminum tube can be inserted. These 20mm long aluminum tubes, are installed in the interior of both ends of the handlebar, stiffen the tapered ends and add structure in case clamp type handlebar extensions are used. The bar is 22.2mm in diameter at the grip ends and gradually flares to a 25.4mm diameter at the center area. At the center is an 85mm long section of aluminum tubing that is the needed 25.4mm diameter. The aluminum tube is recessed in the carbon fiber, and an interior examination shows the carbon fiber to be continuous beneath the center aluminum tubing. The Stratum 130 has the grip sections bent at a 5¡ angle, and the inner diameter of the bar at the end is 16.5mm.. It is 585mm (23") long, has a matte Black finish, weighs 130 grams, and costs slightly more because of the inserts. These are no longer available. We sold them for $ 99.99 when they were made before Trek's buying of Klein.