Tuesday, November 11, 2014


The Kona Lava Dome (single speed) has been with me for quite some time. Most of it started out as a Voodoo Hoodoo frame that was way too small for me. I rescued the Voodoo Hoodoo (this is the OG version of the late 90's early 2000's) from a garage some place and slapped some parts I had from other bikes which made for a terrible high geared s/s that was way too small. I could not part with the Hoodoo frame because it was at the time now part of the history of a then defunct bike company.

I finally had a pal that worked in a bike shop with me who was fairly short and fit the frame. I gave to him happily, maybe a six pack of microbrew beer was involved. In any case I was single speedless and winter was creeping up on us in the 303 area code at the time. I loved single speeds in the winter because you did not have to worry about snow and ice getting clogged up in derailleurs and such plus with low gearing and proper snow tires you could ride most anything. This was around 2005-2006 time the time way before fat bikes became oh so popular.

I worked in a bike shop with a to put it the best way a temperamental owner who was not on his best behavior until he had a few drinks in him. Then he could be very giving. We got paid shit, we did get paid in cash under the table and got the benefit of being to buy everything the shop could get ordered or have in stock at COST. With winter at our elbows and the Hoodoo frame gone I had my eye on this oldish Kona "Lava Dome" steel frame up on the wall. No one paid any attention to the poor thing. Single speeds were really taking off and despite my co-workers urging and not getting a surly 1x1 I wanted to get the Kona and build it up with what I had lying around and what I could scrounge out of the shop.

The shop owner knew I wanted the Kona frame and graciously one night GAVE it to me during a post work suds session on the condition that I never sell it or give it away. If I decided to get rid of it I was to give it back to the shop ASAP. Where it would find a place back on the wall. Very nice of him and to this day I greatly appreciate it still.

So the frame went home and in the next week or two it got built up with the help of my bike shop co-workers. I had a winter bike. The bike hung around for a long time its main purpose was mainly as an urban s/s beater. I'd use it for snowy days and bike soccer over at civic center park in DenCo. It hardly saw dirt because I did not own a car and when I wanted to MTB I'd ride to the trail head someplace real far away which did not make the s/s very logical. I kept it and it made the move with me out to Georgia.

Once I got back to Georgia (2009) I nearly instantly shipped it up to Mayday an old friend who was living in DC at the time and was bemoaning the fact of not having a bike. I sent it to her thinking that I might not see it again. Good to her word Mayday sent the bike back in better condition than it left. It left Georgia with a really old and not well functioning Rock Shox quadra fork and came back with a brand new Surly 1x1 rigid for, I was pleasantly surprised. This was about prob a year or so after I sent it to her.

I had ridden the local trails close to where my parents lived and felt that there was a place I could ride s/s with confidence of not doing much hike-a-bikes. It went well and soon it was my main bike for the trails I called TAB. It's true single speeds make you a better rider esp rigid ones. Along the way the Kona got new brakes (inexpensive calipers) and better grips (salsa lock on grips) It keeps plugging along. I have used it for a get around campus bike when I know I have to do a lot of walking from end to end of campus. I even loaned it to BIL for him to ride (he never rode it even after I put flat pedals on it).

Which brings us to the present about 8ish years later after getting the frame. The bike continue to ride well despite a strange mix of parts that date from the 90's (the old tioga head set) and inexpensive parts grabbed out of a discount box in local bike shops (caliper brakes and Kore handle bars) The Kore handle bars are super long and thick. I love those bars and they're perfect for any s/s The Kona unlike most any bike you see on the trail today is a simple 26'er. It's getting harder and harder to find quality tubes and tires for that and the Voodoo Eruzlie.

I took the Kona to the trail with me today (Dauset) and had a blast. I rode the karate monkey for about an hour and then rode the kona for about as long. I decided that I needed to see what Iwas made out of being all fat and out of shape. I'm glad to say I did not push the bike at all and the small stream crossings had a minimal pucker factor for me. I'll try to s/s at least once a week.

That's it except for the pics:

Thanks for reading.

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