Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue = rigid 69er action- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Reputation: Skipndizzy's Avatar
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    Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue = rigid 69er action

    What is a bike but a marriage of parts that work together to create a machine that fulfills our passion and our dreams? Each part taken individually is just an expensive paperweight made out of a number of materials from common steel to exotic carbon fiber. When the right combinations of parts come together in just the right way we fall in love with the result. Sometimes our love comes preassembled from one of the many quality builders out there. Sometimes that dream ride materializes from a kooky idea hatched up in the garage late at night after a few too many beers…

    I was out in the garage the other night poking around through the assorted bike parts and pieces collected over more than twenty years of riding. There was quite a bit of stuff including a nice steel Kona Explosif frame I picked up in Sedona from Bike and Bean. Over there is an old XTR crank. Here is a first gen Chris King headset sitting next to a pair of formula brakes. Next to it in a box sits an old blue Salsa quick release and a carbon bar. I started collecting parts and came up with almost a complete bike minus the fork stem and front wheel. Then it hit me. Why not slap on a 26 rigid fork and 29er front wheel. It would be a cheap easy date. I have a friend that I new would lend me a spare wheel he had lying around. All that was left was a fork. After a little research on geometry and axel to crown lengths I settled on a Salsa Cromoto steel fork and of course a Thompson stem. Both were on sale to boot.

    When the fork arrived from the brown Santamobile I started to get excited about the new riding experience ahead. My only previous 29er experience was a couple of short rides on friend’s bikes that were too small for my 6’3” frame. I really liked the way the big wheels rolled though. The assembly went smoothly. Everything seemed to come together like it was meant to be. I set the tire up with Stans, lubed the chain and took it for a spin on the driveway. This baby was different from the rest…

    How was the honeymoon you ask? Living in Santa Fe the obvious choice for the shakedown ride lay in the distant peaks soaring over the city. The first ride saw us climbing up to the summit of Glorieta. This Girl can climb, no doubt helped by her slim profile… 23 pounds ready to roll. The geometry was spot on. No wandering or uncertainty. The view from the top was standard New Mexico. You can see forever at the top of the world. The ride down is quite steep at the top consisting of tight switchbacks followed by a long steep rocky stretch. Kona girl did not disappoint. Pick your line and there you were. Don’t get me wrong the ride was a bit harsher than on the old SuperlightSS. It’s just that this new ride had an honesty to it that was refreshing. Yes my hands cramped up a little and I could feel more of the trail. But that’s precisely what made it so exciting, you really feel connected to the trail.

    The second ride consisted of a little climb of some 6000’ to the radio towers at the summit at Tesuque peak. Elevation 12052. What can I say. She climbs as good as any bike I’ve ridden. This part of the ride was not without it’s difficulties though. The old XTR crank started to creak. I tightened up the crank bolt but she just started up again. It was a little early in the honeymoon to be getting cranky. On the decent the brakes were starting to make noise as well. She was complaining about some of her pieces. Skipndizzy was becoming Squeakncreaky. Aside from the noise the ride down was a gas. Hoping over logs on big T. Crossing creeks on Winsor. Winding through the serpent trail. All fun and like riding it for the first time.

    Seriously… this baby rocks. She is not my first rigid experience though. My first mountain bike was a 1991 rigid Bridgestone MB zip … Never should have sold it. The Zip was nice but I slapped on a Rockshok mag 20 when they first came out. The Kona however is a different sort of fish. The big Wheel up front just eats up the trail and the small rear wheel follows like it’s not there. The carbon bar and tubeless tires with low pressure help soak up some of the trail chatter. The only thing she needs is a new crank and some new brake pads. The future looks bright and a bit rigid… for now.

    Rig•id adj
    1. Not bending or easily moved into a different shape or position
    2. Applied or carried out strictly, with no allowances or exceptions
    3. Inflexibly adhered to
    4. Unchanging in behavior, opinions, or attitudes

    Well… she easily moved forward adhering to the trail with good behavior and unchanging stability. Although this hybrid was a bit of a different shape the riding position felt natural. Bending her into turns she adhered to the trail and started changing my opinions and attitudes about what makes a bike work.
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  2. #2
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    More honeymoon shots

    credit to SSweetleaf for the descending tower montage.
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  3. #3
    amar la vida de dos niner
    Reputation: scorpionwoman's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great romance has been born!

    Tres cool how you brought it all together with stuff you had on hand (mostly). Good work!
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." Anais Nin

  4. #4
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    Nice

    Is that the Salsa Cromoto 26" fork? Looks like there's plenty of clearance for the Kenda Nevegal?
    11 Flint
    08 Monocog Flight
    06 X-Caliber
    96 F400 (SS townie)

    08 Schwinn Sierra TDM (gravel tandem)

  5. #5
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    You nailed it

    Quote Originally Posted by ktm300
    Is that the Salsa Cromoto 26" fork? Looks like there's plenty of clearance for the Kenda Nevegal?
    There is definitely plenty of clearance. I could stuff something larger in there if I wanted.

  6. #6
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    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by scorpionwoman
    Sounds like a great romance has been born!

    Tres cool how you brought it all together with stuff you had on hand (mostly). Good work!
    It nice to clean out the garage a bit and create a new friend to boot.

  7. #7
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    You must be in awesome shape, to do those rides on a SS! What is your gearing?

  8. #8
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    Thanks for inspiration,looks like my Kona Explosif needs a make over.

  9. #9
    It's about showing up.
    Reputation: Berkeley Mike's Avatar
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    Very nice.

    It looks so simple.

  10. #10
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    gearing is 32x20

    Quote Originally Posted by Doggity
    You must be in awesome shape, to do those rides on a SS! What is your gearing?
    That's 26" 32x20. Works for me on the steeps around here. Going down just lay off the brakes.

  11. #11
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    Cool Ant! Geo and gearing look perfect for SF.

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