Story of a single speed

Last year I had got a bit slack and when it came to riding mountain bikes.  I was lazy and enjoying getting fat and unfit and everytime my mates tried to get me out biking I’d make some excuse.  It was pretty sad really as just that summer I’d bought a new bike.  So coming up to the worse time of year for biking I got my act together and started riding a bit more frequently.  At the time Ed was riding a single speed and was trying to convince me to have a go.  Now to be honest it does sound pretty stupid, mountain bikes usually have a lot of gears to get you up hills easily so the thought of a bike with just one gear didn’t really appeal.
However at Xmas that all changed because my brother and his family bought me a single speed conversion kit.  As I’d bought a new bike in the summer the old one was hanging around making the garage look messy.  And, apparently, because the frame is older it’s ideal for converting to a single speed.
So I did the smallest amount of work I could to get my old Kona Explosif working as a single speed.  With the addition of the conversion kit and some useful grinding of chain ring bolts by Ed I ended up with a single speed.  The trouble was I now had to ride it.
It actually turned out to be a lot of fun and over the winter some amusing times were had in Swinley forest with only one gear.  Sadly the good times were not to last and one afternoon I was riding along and thought the back of the bike was a bit ‘twitchy’  It turned out I’d snapped the frame .  Luckily at the time my brother had just converted another old frame that I had given him to a single speed so I ended up borrowing it.  The Marin was even more basic than my Kona, not a suspension fork in sight.  I must say that the suspension on my Kona, some old Rock Shok Judy’s weren’t the bounciest of forks.
I decided that I ought the get the Kona frame fixed, have some track drop outs installed and a repaint, this was wonderfully sorted out by the people at Argos Cycles.  Once I got the frame back I didn’t just want to stick old bits on it because it looked so good.  So with the help of Ed and my brother Graham who works at Pedal On we built up a new single speed from scratch.  Check out the photos for the old and new bikes to get a look at the transformation.  For you people who like to know what bits are on the bike here’s the run down:
Frame – Kona Explosif c 1997 (I think)
Forks – Brand new Kona Project 2 courtesy of John
Chain Set – Middleburn Uno
Rear Wheel – Reetard rim on a On-One In-Bred hub with a Shimano 18t freewheel
Front Wheel – Reetard rim on a PlanetX hub
Tyres – Panaracer Trailblaster 2.1
Stem – Thomson
Seat Post – Thomson
Head Set – Chris King
Brakes – Some old Avid Ti’s that I’ve had for a while (pretty much the only old pieces)
Sadly I’ve not been that well lately and so the bike is still unmuddied, hopefully that will change some time this week and I’ll be able to post a proper photo of a mountain bike how it should be, totally covered in dirt.
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