Posts Tagged ‘retro’

Retro bikes – Kona Muni-Mula

1998* Kona Muni-Mula.

1998* Kona Muni-Mula (August 2005).

I’ve been getting all misty-eyed about retro bikes lately – check out my homages to Ross’s Marin and Andy’s Klein. It seems only appropriate to look back at my old Kona Muni-Mula in her heyday.

The shot above was taken just before heading up to the Lake District for an ex-UYCC camping and bike trip in August 2005. By this point the spec was roughly as follows:

  • Mavic 719(?) rims
  • Hope hubs
  • Panaracer Trailblasters
  • Raceface XY seatpost (still the best seatpost ever made, full stop)
  • Raceface stem
  • WTB saddle
  • Gripshift (I always was a fan)
  • Carbon brake levers
  • XTR V-brakes
  • Marzocchi Bomber fork
  • XT drivetrain
  • Ringlé bottle cage

You have to admit it looks pretty goddamn fly. Probably a unique build as well, especially since the frame – which I got on insurance after my Lava Dome was bent on the flight back from Vancouver – had an experimental paint-job, and this particular colour was never distributed widely (check Bikepedia for the Muni-Mula’s off-the-peg contemporaries).

I’ll be interested to see how the new Kona Kula Deluxe handles by comparison…

Retro bikes – Marin Mount Vision

1999 Marin Mount Vision

1999 Marin Mount Vision.

Ross Peat sold off his Marin Mount Vision a couple of months ago. The former UYCC captain and recent energy-gel addict pleaded a ‘lack of space’ as the reason for sale in the ad – but clearly, the thing had to go.

Back in the day, Ross was the organisational lynchpin of the bike club. He was head honcho when I turned up in Goodricke carpark in October 1998 for my first ever ride, and was generally adept in and out of the saddle. To be honest, without him at the wheel, it’s hard to see how our motley crew would have gone riding at all. Always a calm head in a crisis, Ross was expert at weighing the benefits of riding versus, say, heading to the pub – faced with low-lying mist half a mile from the carpark, he knew when to bail.

When I first met him Ross was riding a burgundy-red Kona Explosif, a la this:

1995 Kona Explosif frame.

1995 Kona Explosif frame.

– a few models up from my old 1995 Lava Dome, and from the same classic Kona vintage. But the Explosif was stolen by some Tang Hall lowlife, and Ross was forced to purchase a new rig (after a suitable grieving period). Enter the Marin.

Clean lines: the Marin's pro flight-deck

Clean lines: the Marin's pro flight-deck.

At the time, the Marin Mount Vision was high-end cross-country full-suspension, and fairly eye-catching thanks to its M-shaped frame geometry and girder-like yellow swingarm. Furthermore it was XTR-equipped. The club was impressed.

Added value: take a second look at the Salsa seat clamp.

Added value: the Salsa quick-release seat clamp.

Over years of faifhful service, however, the once-sharp blade became dulled. 10 years after the Marin first hit the scene, I took it for a ride on an off-road social with Tom, Andy and Ross (who by then had of course upgraded to something else). From my experience riding hardtails and road bikes, riding the Marin uphill was like pedalling a canoe with a knackered drivetrain.

The bike went for £250, a ‘freakin’ bargain’ according to one happy Retrobike customer.

Retro bikes – Klein Attitude Comp

The Klein Attitude Comp, in its glory days.

My mate Andy Booth recently sold his Klein Attitude Comp 2000, and I feel the time is right to salute man and rig.

The details are hazy, but as I remember Andy bought the Klein in 2000 with some insurance money. He’d had his previous bike stolen on York University campus, but that wasn’t the source of the windfall – something to do with a traffic accident, a sore neck (I’m feeling in the dark here)?

Anyway, he bought the Klein. Andy’s a tall chap with a penchant for brightly coloured bikes – hence the crane geometry and lurid paint job. Yet the Klein was lean and fast, and over time, as is to be expected, the frame was adorned with all manner of trick upgrades, including Hope hubs in gun-metal grey, and – the jewel in the crown – a Chris King headset.

The Chris King headset, in silver - still as smooth as the day it was fitted, etc. etc.

This bike experienced a golden age in the early noughties, accompanying us on some memorable rides with the University of York Cycle Club (UYCC) in Yorkshire, the Lake District, and beyond.

Still going strong: riding the Klein in Borrowdale, August 2005.

Crag-top stunts - Helvellyn?

Crag-top stunts - Helvellyn?

Latterly though, the Klein fell from grace, and became rather a sad figure, its whale-like Serfas saddle in particular becoming the butt of many a trailside joke. In the end, the Klein was replaced by a younger, sleeker model, and its once glossy sheen became covered in the dust of neglect. That Andy eventually put it up for sale without even cleaning it was an indication of just how bad things had got.

End of an era.

Carne’s Carlton Catalina Restoration Project

Things have gone all retro lately at Legs, Feeling No Pressure. First I experienced an intense mental nostalgia-bomb when I saw a 1995 Kona Lava Dome on the street near my work – now Carne is posting pictures from his own retro restoration project.

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In his own words:

Ebay purchase catalina mystery bike with strangely offset back wheel – bit of frame rust . . . can’t decide whether to restore or convert.

‘Strangely offset’ eh? Maybe go for ‘restore’. That metallic red should buff up nicely. My favourite touch is the Huret speedo dial with built-in odometer:

Huret Speedo.

Huret Speedo.

View the full set.

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