New Kona

I get huge satisfaction out of completing projects. This is why people like my sister Lauren used to be (I have no idea if she still has a billion unfinished craft projects) and Ken (who has seven billion unfinished projects including two whole cars, a rifle, a carbon fiber bike, and two leather-working projects to name a few) are so unfathomable to me. How can you start on anything else if your initial project isn’t complete? It would drive me nuts!

About a month ago I finally finished my “new” bike. It came, and I was highly excited. It’s a Kona Cinder Cone.

But when I unpacked it, it was worse than the Ebay description had made it seem. The seat post was stuck tight. (We actually ended up MELTING it out. The bike is steel the seat post was aluminum.) The chain was less of a chain and more of a bunch of rust. The shifters were busted. But most importantly, there was a giant dent in the top tube.

The frame was probably safe to ride, but I’d rather not have it break on me and since the idea is to use this bike as both a commuter and a hardtail mountain bike if I want one or if I have a visitor, it had to be fixed.

Welding in the new top tube after stripping off all the paint. That is not me welding. I am not a good welder.

Isn’t that a gorgeous weld? It is. Trust me.

Brazing on a disc brake mount for if I get discs. Again, not me brazing.

This is me. I made the slits in the cable-guides. Big contribution…

Then I painted it purple and it was a nightmare to get painted properly because of bubbles and non-hardening epoxy. However. I persevered, probably giving cancer to most of the Case Formula Hybrid team who happened to be upstairs having a meeting while I was in the basement spray painting as the furnace pumped the basement air into the living room. At least the air I was breathing was fresh… Then I put all the components back on – and yes, I did at least do that myself – and proceeded to get a flat the first day I rode it. I then installed my mountain bike wheel, forcing it past the brakes and putting a big cut in the tire so I had to order new tires for BOTH bikes. However, I now have a ridiculously light, fully functional, purple commuter. And it was cheap! Please don’t allow me to think about the countless hours we spent on it.

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