Posts Tagged ‘broken’

Busted front mech

Busted front mech

Busted front mech

Seems like everything on my road bike is breaking. Within 3 weeks:

  • freehub body
  • front mech
  • front shifter

The mech cage plate snapped on a down-shift at the bottom of the bank just north of Brasted.

Busted chainring

Definitely one for the broken archives.

This happened back in February. It actually all started in December last year, when I needed to change the dinged chainring (I feel the irony too) on my hack bike, and discovered that the bolts were simply turning in their washers as opposed to unscrewing normally. Out came the drill – wired from my kitchen, out of the window, through my neighbour’s garden, to my work bench. Four hours of heavy hand-tooling later, I succeeded in dismantling the bastard.

The saga continued when I replaced the drilled-out bolts with fresh ones, but didn’t tighten them up properly. 3 days of commuting later, I was pulling away from the lights at the Atkins Road crossroads, and my pedal stroke turned to butter. Looking down, I could see that the force of my downstroke had warped the chainring into the shape of a crisp. Cue an emergency call to Jas, who drove out to rescue me.

I’m now on my third chainring, but so far so normal.

Now it’s broken

No explanation needed. This was the end of the gradual disintegration that began back in June. Check out some close-ups.

Kona Lava Dome wanted

If this is your bike, we need to talk.

If this is your bike, we need to talk.

I passed this bike chained to a railing on Mortimer Street today. It was a near-mint condition 1995 Kona Lava Dome in midnight blue, the exact same bike I received for Christmas in 1995. This was the rig that truly launched my lifelong love of bikes and biking.

I’m just going to pause a moment to remember this bike, and how great it was (for me, and probably a generation of others):

  • the Lava Dome was – up until 2007, when it was mysteriously retired – the classic entry-level MTB in the Kona stable, RRP £500.
  • the 1995 version had stunning understated good looks (IMHO Kona’s paint jobs have just got gaudier – check out the offensive 2006 version, perhaps the reason why it didn’t sell and Kona withdrew it?).
  • the Tange Infinity cromoly double butted frame, with its signature sloping top tube and tight rear triangle, rode like a dream – it climbed well, it loved singletrack.

I had this bike for 11 years. A few highlights from its rise and fall:

  • 1996: upgrade to Pace RC35 suspension forks
  • 1996: 6 days bike touring in the Scottish highlands
  • 1997: flew with me to Vancouver, Canada for a year of north shore trail-riding
  • 1998: 24 hours of Adrenalin, Whistler, B.C.
  • 1998: big bike tour down the west coast of the US, hitting some classic singletrack in Washington and Oregon
Riding Mount St Helens in 1998 - has there ever been a better advert for this bike?

Riding Mount St Helens in 1998 - has there ever been a better advert for this bike?

  • 1998: frame bent on the flight back to UK, cannibalised for bits
  • 1998-2001: frame hangs in my shed in Stoke
  • 2002: the Lava Dome returns as a singlespeed hack for the streets of Edinburgh
  • 2003-06: the hack moves to London
  • 2006: after weeks of cracking, the frame snaps at the rear drive-side drop-out. The broken frame is deposited in a skip near Brick Lane.
Surveying the damage up close in 2006.

Surveying the damage up close in 2006.

You can imagine the rollercoaster of emotions I experienced on seeing this bike in the street. Frankly, I was on the phone to somebody and had to hang up. I realised that I would pay over the odds to ride this bike again. If it’s yours, leave a comment!

Update @24-8-09

Andy Booth has alerted me to this retro bikes site, and in particular to this beautifully restored 1993 Lava Dome. Sweet.