Monday, 29 July 2013

Hi Ho Kona...Awwwaaaayyyy!

Every great adventurer has their "trusty steed".

The Lone Ranger and Silver.

Roy Rogers and Trigger.

Indiana Jones and Short Round.

For me, the "pony" that gets me around on the trails with haste and vigour is my 2011 Kona Caldera hardtail.  She's light.  She's nimble.  She's fast.  But is she "enough" for the Tour Divide?  Time and distance will tell.

My "Black Beauty" geared up for long, lonely ride.
To prepare for a race like the Tour Divide, a bike has to be strong, sturdy, fleet of tire, and above all -  comfortable.  A bike has to fit the rider...not the other way around.  This bike fits me...for now.

At present, the only modifications done to this rig are the recent additions of some Ergon GP2 grips (not shown), Shimano clipless pedals, and a new chain (nothing really exciting about a chain).  Along with some Bontrager kit bags on the gas tank, top tube, and seatpost, the bike is pretty much stock.  Like describing a car, here's what's under the hood:

Frame MaterialKona Race Light 7005 Aluminum Butted
ForkRockshox Recon TK Solo Air 100mm
CrankarmsFSA Comet
B/BFSA MegaExo
PedalsShimano Clipless
ChainShimano HG53
FreewheelShimano HG50 11-34 9 spd
F/DShimano Alivio
R/DShimano XT Shadow SGS
ShiftersShimano Deore
Brake CalipersAvid Elixir 5
Front Brake RotorAvid G3 Clean Sweep 185mm
Rear Brake RotorAvid G3 Clean Sweep 160mm
Brake LeversAvid Elixir 5
HandlebarKona XC/BC Riser
StemKona XC/Road
SeatpostKona Double Clamp w/offset
Seat ClampKona QR
GripsKona Race Light
SaddleWTB Valcon Sport SE
Front HubShimano M475 Disc
Rear HubShimano M475 Disc
SpokesSandvik Stainless 15g fr / 14g rr
RimsMavic XM119
Front TireMaxxis Aspen 26x2.1
Rear TireMaxxis Aspen 26x2.1
Paint ColorBlack Beauty

There isn't a whole tonne that I would like to change to the bike...maybe a new saddle and some new wheels...but these can all be transferrable to another rig if need be.  My goal at this point in the journey is to evaluate the capabilities of this bike over the coming year with regards to durability and sturdiness.  Longer rides (some overnight) will precipitate more equipment to be added.  With this, strain gets put on the bike.  I'm not sure whether my "Black Beauty" would survive the TD.  From other blogs I've read about this race, my bike falls just short of what is deemed necessary to successfully complete the race.  Not by much, but certainly enough to consider options next year.

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