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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 8:33 pm 
Gold Trader
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Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:33 pm
Posts: 2238
Location: New Forest
First, an apology. I'll get to the point eventually, but what follows is the reason i, and I'm sure a lot of others are here on Retrobike. Scroll down, if you want to avoid my nostalgic ramblings.

And so the story begins.

At some point in the early 90s, when I was still a lad with hopes, dreams and a distinct lack of money, I went to see one of my school friends who had just got a new bike. I got to his house (on my already tired Raleigh Lizard) to be greeted by the sight of his stunning new Muddy Fox Courier Mega. I'd never seen such a thing, and was blown away. The littlewoods catalogue never had this calibre of machine in it. We went for a ride, and on that enlightening day, I discovered mountain biking.

A few weekends later, he showed me the way to our local shop, GA cycles, and I was hooked. I left the shop with a catalogue under my arm, and dreams in my head. Said catalogue was that of the 1993 kona range.

This was now midsummer, and knowing my birthday was in October, I started planting the seed with my parents. I knew money was always tight, but I was riding 4-5 times a week, and my BSO was failing regularly. I needed a better bike. I knew that dreaming was tantamount to failing, but I also knew the bike for me was the 1993 fire mountain... Capable and achievable. I lusted over other superbikes, some of which I'm now lucky enough to own, and models higher up the Kona range; the 1993 Kilauea had just been voted bike of the year by Mountain Bike Magazine, but that fire mountain had mesmerised me.

My birthday drew closer, and my hopes grew...


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 9:06 pm 
Gold Trader
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Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:33 pm
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Location: New Forest
October arrived, and my parents had been strongly hinting that I'd like my present. My Raleigh was dead. Bearings, spokes, and tubing had all been beaten to within an inch of their lives over the past 7 months, and it was barely ridable. I was never (an certainly am not now!) a gifted rider, but was now a long way past the capabilities of the old wreck.

The morning of my birthday, I was sent off to school, with promises of presents when I returned. My day passed in a blur. I could think of nothing but blue and silver fade paintwork. Project 2s. Thumbies. Big blackwalled tyres.

I got home.

My Mum and Dad, sensing my anticipation and excitement, gestured me towards the garage.

I was shaking when I saw a blanket covering what was clearly a bike. I snatched it off, and was greeted with my new steed; a Muddy Fox Pathfinder! It was a 19" frame (I was about 5'4" tall at the time), and turned out to be an insurance replacement from a friend of my Mum who had had his previous bike stolen. As it goes, they couldn't afford the kona, but knew I needed a new ride, so got the best they could afford. I was gutted, but grateful.

That Pathfinder saw me good for a few years. The forks bent, it was too big, it weighed a LOT, and every component wore out. I raced it, bashed it, and loved it. As time went by, I got a part time job, and bought better frames, bikes and components. The Muddy Fox was gone, but the 1993 Konas never left me.

Many years pass.

Shortly after I joined retrobike, a for sale Ad popped up. It was local. Barely used. Quick sale needed. £50.

I picked up the phone, and a few minutes later I was on my way to Romsey. I finally had my entry level unicorn from 18 years previous!

Image

I've never bothered with a build thread. Nobody needs to hear about a standard 1993 Fire Mountain. But this bike has seen more action than all my others put together. I've fitted maguras, and a ritchey saddle, but it's otherwise as it left the factory; it even has a 'GA Cycles' sticker on the frame! I love it, I love the way it handles, and I love the way it makes me Smile.

It is, for me, what retrobike is. But there is of course, N+1...

A few weeks ago another Ad popped up... Local, nice little project, and with me being a shortarse, the right size!

PMs were exchanged, a deal was done, and I was again in my car, on my way to visit MatBH5 in Bournemouth. I got to Mats house, and there was no doubt that this guy loves his bikes! I was blown away by some of his rides, but I was there for one. One that had won bike of the year nearly a quarter of a century ago.

Image

The Fire Mountain now has a bigger brother :D

Mat bought the Kilauea for some of it's parts, but let me have some that he didn't need, wheels, cranks and saddle. The past week has seen me collecting a bunch of parts to finish it off. The forks will get a repaint, and a set of maguras (I have a problem), but will be mainly factory so I can see the difference between the models. The frame itself is in great condition, and looks stunning.

More pics will follow, and I apologise for the drivel I've posted here, but I'm a happy boy :) I hope to get her ridden in the next week.

Later!


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 11:32 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Sun May 05, 2013 12:12 pm
Posts: 1603
Location: Bournemouth
Great to see that the Kiluaea is truly appreciated. Signing in to see the finished machine. Best, Mat


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 11:53 pm 
GOLD | PoTM | Rider | rBOTM
GOLD | PoTM | Rider | rBOTM
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:26 pm
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Location: 54 Festive Road Winchcombe GLOUCS Yarp...
Well that's what it's all about. Great tale. Ride and enjoy them both.

I also had a Raleigh but wanted the bright yellow explorer. One day...


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 7:34 pm 
Gold Trader
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Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:33 pm
Posts: 2238
Location: New Forest
Blimey, life gets in the way... I FINALLY managed to get the Kilauea out today.

Almost factory spec, but with a set of maguras, and a pair of Modern tyres. She's a lovely ride, very smooth and 'Whippy'. Bearing in mind, the Fire mountain (Also mainly stock spec, except maggies) and the Kilauea share the exact same geometry, and I've set them up to be close to identical (the stem on the Kila is 10mm longer) I was shocked at just how different they feel.

The FM is no slouch, and I've always loved the riding position, and the fact that it just soaks up any abuse that I've thrown at it, but the Kilauea is a quantum leap. Aside from being a good few pounds lighter it just glides over roots and lumps in a way the FM can't match. I'll be putting a bunch of miles on her over the next few months, but for now, Me and my riding buddy are well impressed :)

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:36 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:08 pm
Posts: 3505
Location: Woking
I totally agree, the 1993 Kila is a superb bike.

SP


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 2:32 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:39 pm
Posts: 1921
Great story, sounds like you were going through some very similar experiences at the same time as I was :lol:

Those fade Konas were on my list too, but I also had a soft spot for the matte grey Marins of the same year and ended up with a end-of-season sale Palisades Trail.

Both really nice bikes, like the way you're keeping them mostly original. And there's no better update than Maguras - I have four sets of them myself!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 3:01 pm 
Gold Trader
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Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:33 pm
Posts: 2238
Location: New Forest
Thanks guys. Mostly original, 100% useable :)

Don't get me started on Maggies - love them! But it's funny how it goes, those Marins did nothing for me; no character.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 3:22 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:55 am
Posts: 3206
Location: Dorset
Good read :)

We get what we want in the end!

I have always wanted a Kona, its the one bike missing from my CV :(


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 6:18 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 05, 2013 12:12 pm
Posts: 1603
Location: Bournemouth
I missed the update somehow, but wanted to sign in to applaud the job done. Looks really nice and I'm glad you're enjoying the ride!


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