Sometimes I reimagine one of the several bikes hanging on my wall and sometimes I actually carry my reimagining on to the reinventing stage. Such is the case with my Kona Dew. Now I’ve put a lot of miles on the Dew, but all of those miles were as a hybrid bike, riding gravel, pavement, dirt, rocks, roots, water, whatever. For the most part, I’ve had cyclocross knobby tires on it for those miles and they seem to do pretty respectable for most conditions, a good balance overall.
However, lately I’ve been on skinny tire road bikes more than any other bikes and have been really liking the speedy feel they offer. I’ve also got the Mt Baker Hill Climb ride coming up again next month and on my short list for that ride was changing the gearing on my Raleigh road bike to make the hill climb a bit easier, if that is even possible. But after getting the Raleigh International back on the road in it’s mostly original form, I’m a little hesitant to start modifying my Raleigh R600, which I bought new and which is still mostly original.
So my thoughts turned to the Kona Dew, imagining it as a more speedy skinny tire road bike, but with Jones bars for comfort, and disc brakes for more stopping power, and with gearing more suited for climbing, and with no fenders, and with clip-less pedals, and of course with skinny road bike tires. Funny, when I look at the Kona webpage, I see that what I am thinking about as reimagining, is really pretty close to Kona’s stock view of the bike. I guess I’ve put so much time and trails in on this in as knobby tired hybrid that I forgot that it is a city bike. No matter though, it worked pretty well rolling over roots and rocks on Galbraith’s easier cross country trails.
Now onto my Dew restoration/reinvention:
- Jones bars – already go them, love them, think they will be great for my social speed climb to Artist Point
- Disc Brakes – Tektro Hydraulics came stock and have been working excellent, but will need to make sure I have new quality pads
- Gearing – I’ve recently changed out shift cables trying to chase down a phantom shifting issue, think that I am good to go.
- Fenders – gone until things get wet again.
- Clipless Pedals – have a set of Wellgo pedals on order. They are way cheaper than Shimano, but I’ve got other Wellgo pedals with thousands of trouble free miles on them.
- Brooks saddle – I’ve been a reluctant adopter of Brooks seats, I’ve had one on my road bike for years and it always seems comfortable, even on long rides. But most of my rides are only an hour or two in length so most any seat has been fine. The stock Kona seat is different though, it is miserably uncomfortable on any ride length. It just needs to go, so I will be Ebay hunting.
- Skinny tires – the Dew is a 700c wheel so it was just a matter of getting the right road tire. I chose Continental Grand Prix 4 Season tire because this would be my 3rd set of them and they roll nice, corner nice (wet & dry), and I have yet to have a flat on them. For the Dew I stepped up to 32mm wide from 28mm which I currently have on my road bike.
- Bell – I need a new bell that isn’t a pain in the ass to install/adjust(an hour is too long) and I need a bell that doesn’t constantly ring over all the rough chip seal roads around the county. I think the bell I have is a Rockbros and I think I need toss it in the recycling bin for Tuesday pickup. Maybe it’ll get a second life as something more useful, like a soda can.
Some of the changes have just been made, some will be happening in the near near future. I’ve only got 5-10 miles on the tires and my initial feeling is that they roll speedy and do soften the rough roads a bit.
More to come.