So I was out riding the other week with some new ride buddies and I noticed how they were able to ride uphill? Ok I traunced them on the downhill with my 150mm forks but that was'nt the point. I suddenly occured to me that my hardcore hardtail freeride beast (full custom spec) was becoming a pain in the arse to lug uphill. In fact it always had been, plus I live in an area full of hills. In fact after pushing most of the way to the top I had been burning of all my energy to really enjoy the downhill i.e I was just hanging on and even taking the easiest routes to preserve fatiuge. Obviously the problem was that I needed a custom commuter bike to re-live that freeflowing rideability that I had experienced in my youth. My freeride rig was just not......well freeride (if you know what I mean) but there was so much top end kit on it that it couldnt possibly be at fault.
To cut a long story short I won an old school Kona Hananna off ebay with slicks, straight bars and project 2's. I fixed it up with spare parts and took it for a spin. OMG - it was horribble, super fast but RIGID!. I had made a mistake (became scared of buckling wheels bunny hopping up kerbs) but not to be beaten and knowing the steel frame was the heart of this project I added some knobblys, risers and a sus fork.........
It was like the holly grail not super light but well.....perfect. perfect geometry, perfect handling, it went up, it went down, in fact I was out for so long that the missus phoned me because she was worried "where have you been for the past six hours?". I have'nt been this happy with a bike since I was 17 (some 14yrs ago
Conclusion: Its steel, its retro, it rules. (and here I am)
Ok. so the components are'nt that retro and the frame is at the powder coaters as we speak and its getting a full Sram/race face drivetrain & HS33's but I think we can agree I have been taken to exactly where I want in my steed through the power of retro.