1994 Kona Fire Mountain 700c conversion


Retro Newbie
Thought this might be of interest here -

Back in the 90's a few mates and i spent some time in the canadian rockies, some of us came back with our future wives, but one came back with a '94 Kona Fire Mountain.

fast forward a few decades and the much loved but also much abused kona was on its deathbed in a pile of rusting parts and general disrepair, where i found it on the floor of his shed.

hadnt been ridden in a while because it couldnt stop, didnt change gears, squeaked like a banshee to turn the crank, and hadnt had air in the tyres for months - and a bent and rusted in place seat post that really wasnt helping anyone.

these days we're mostly beyond gnarly rock gardens and anything without suspension will cripple our ageing joints, and while i stood over it and considered the history - and the geometry, i decided to take it away for some sort of restoration.

that was [mumbling through a slightly embarrased it took so long] nearly 3 years ago.

my approximation of the geometry was actually not far off my own 2009 masi speciale cx, though a much shorter seat stay and the top bar runs lower to that, and with a bunch of previously retired parts sitting in my parts bin at home, i just needed the brake bosses moved out an inch, and a new fork (surly long haul trucker, $35 from ebay).

the 26.6 seatpost was an oversight, of course and was my sticking excuse for not finishing it _much_ sooner.

still to come is pulling the hubs out of the old 26" wheelset ( theres an alivio parralax rear hub in pretty good shape, and the 7 speed freehub will be reunited with its stx/deore derailleur and shifters too), but for now it's got some hand me down shimano wheels and 35mm schwalbe cx comps on it

i did put some drop bars and a long stem on it for a quick look and it would make a menacing cx/single track machine too.

so this is what you get from a 16" Fire Mountan with a bit of brazing, a lot of elbow grease, acces to my old parts bin, a few bits off ebay, and a set of shims cut from a beer can. still to come is a suggestion to send it away for a powder coat and new decals, but for now its back in the original owners hands fully functioning and riding like a modern gravel bike.

the sizes of modern bikes is pretty apparent here - my son is 11 and a handy mtb rider himself, fits this bike like a glove. my mate is still as 6'2" as he was in 94, and i suspect his 13 year old daughter might have just got a new/old bike...

what do you think? have i given an old bike a new working life or have i butchered a classic?


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Retro Newbie

tried to use as many original parts as practical - elbow grease mostly, but that beercan shim took much longer to think of than i care to admit.

the original fork - a project two with velocity stem - are now oficially retired to the trophy wall (well, the wall of mates workshed at home)


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Retro Newbie

as for the drop bars, they did make a good look IMO, even if they had the boy at full stretch


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Senior Retro Guru
Nah thats good that. If it ain't being ridden and you can make it something that will be enjoyed! What size 700c tyres you put in? What you reckon it'd take?


Gold Trader
PoTM Winner
Kona Fan
Now that, I do like - well done. Nowt better than repurposing something and giving it a 2nd lease of life


Gold Trader
PoTM Winner
Kona Fan
I just wish my mate would have let me do this for him, rather than spunking a grand on a new "gravel bike" - whatever that is