Posts Tagged ‘frame’

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.

Listen to the sound… of my rig

Just days, yes days, after I sold the Muni-Mula frame, this happens. Loud creaking suddenly developed while riding my hack from work to Fulham last Tuesday. Dismounting, I discovered a big crack in the frame where the top tube joins the seat tube. 

I’m still riding it – but how long will it last?

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Japanese do bike shops better

Just back from a trip to Japan. Generally, it was awesome. One of the things you always catch yourself saying when you travel around the country is ‘Why can’t we have that back at home?’. Everything appears to work better, everyone appears to work harder, and everyone goes that extra mile to make things better for everyone else.

One evening I was wandering around the backstreets of Kyoto when I looked up and saw this store:

It’s a men’s retro clothing store that ALSO sells vintage road bikes, fixies and track frames. Incredible. I barrelled in there with my camera at the ready. 

Imagine a store when you could come away with a new shirt AND a crankset. 

 

Vintage Eddy Merckx.

Vintage Eddy Merckx.