I thought I would share with you my pride and joy. It is, without a shadow of a doubt, the best bike I have ever ridden. I wanted to get fit, and get back to my "glory days" of riding a steel Kona around South Wales. After getting royally pissed off with my Giant MCM, I explained one day to my wife "I need and orange bike". I did not mean the make Orange.
And this is what I made earlier....
A big thanks to all who contributed to my project on the original thread
I. Love. This. Bike.
First i needed a frame and so scoured Ebay. I spotted a couple of nice ones but I did not want to faff around with cantis so the frame needed to be V compatible to fit my current XTRs too. Cost was a factor! So I spotted a slightly battered '97 Explosif which needed some metal work. My father is a welder and did a great job of filling in the dented top tube, and then I only had to pick a colour. A fine Traffic Orange was the order of the day and the boys at Castle Coatings in Caerphilly did a great job. Apart from me not masking the bosses....ouch.
The frame needed prepping and I dropped it into Muddy Bum in Llanishen who helped me out with the BB and head tube facing.
I had the wheels and the groupset, but needed a new seat post. Finding an insanely cheap RaceFace XYO post on line, I then went into an odd fascination with Race Face and decided the bike needed to be decked out with it. A race face bar, headset and stem were all gotten from the internet but I had a puzzler with the forks.
I got rid of my Marzocchi XC700s with my Giant, and if I am honest they were shit. I have never ridden proper decent forks but my old XC racing days were turning me off the majority of wares in the modern mountain biking world. Plus, I had V Brakes! I took at gamble and ordered a set of Manitou R Pro's with MILO lockout from Ebay. Not entirely sure if they were legit, they turned out ok. In fact they turned out fantastically.
All that was left was to order a few bits and tools and away I went. I converted the kitchen into a workshop for a weekend and in the end gave birth to a beautiful orange Kona. I named him Tango.
I have become a weekend warrior again, finding time between kids and family but really enjoy hitting the trails. This is the best bike i have ever ridden and captures the exact feel I wanted. It may be a modern take on a classic Kona, but there's nothing wrong with that I think. It is very reminiscent of my old '93 Lava Dome and that is what I was searching for,
1992 Diamondback Sorrento
1993 Kona Lava Dome
1997 Giant Team MCM
1997 Kona Explosif (in bits)