UPDATED 2015-10-11

My bicycle: Kona Hoss

Kona Hoss

The bike is quite new and completely stock. As parts start to wear out I plan to do some judicious upgrading. Maybe.

Frame 18" Kona Clump 7005 Butted Aluminum
Fork Marzocchi Dirt Jumper 4 (100mm travel)
Brakes Hayes SOLE hydraylic, V6 rotor, HFX-9 blade
Rear derailleur Shimano Deore
Front derailleur Shimano Deore
Shifters Shimano Deore
Freewheel Shimano Deore (11-32t, 9speed)
Bottom bracket RPM DH ISIS
Crankarms FSA Alpha Drive ISIS
Pedals Wellgo LU-C3 (steel cage)
Chain Shimano CN-HG53
Headset TH Industries TH-848
Stem FSA OS-190 (90mm)
Handlebar FSA XC-280A OS
Grips Kona Mooseknuckle
Front hub KK Disc
Rear hub Shimano FH-M475 disc
Spokes Stainless DT 14g
Rims Alex DM-24
Tires Maxxis HIGH ROLLER 26 x 2.35
Seat clamp Kona QR
Seatpost Kona Double Thumb
Saddle WTB Speed V Sport SE

Kona MakenaYep, I got me a spanking new bike! I got so enthusiastic getting a real MTB for my son Benjamin (5+), that I just had to have one of my own. Some research led me to get Benjamin a Kona Makena for a very reasonable 240€. Great bike! He already rides it like second nature.

The owner of the store Ajopyörä, Risto, was the first to take me seriously when I said "I want a all terrain bike and I weigh 120 kg". (That's 260 lbs, for ye olden folks. Yup, I'm a proud Clydesdale.) I had the suspicion that I needed a bike built like a tank, and he was the first not to beat about the bush with the fact that this was indeed the case. In fact, in a 800 m2 store (8611 sq ft) with a friggin' sea of bikes, he said he had precisely one bike for me: the Kona Hoss.

I went home very thoughtful. At 1000€ it broke my budget with exactly 100%. I had thought that for the very serious sum of 500€ I would get a fine bike indeed. Not so. Some more research led me to the conclusion that for an MTB, 500€ is rock bottom entry level, 700€ is entry level and at 1000€ is where you start getting decent - but still entry level - bikes.

Very depressing. So that's no bike for me, then, I thought. It would be no point getting a cheaper bike that I would brake in a couple of months. (Risto said that if I was even half serious about going off road, I would most certainly break the wheels, brakes and fork at the end of my first season.) I was not interested in a second hand bike, since there would be no way for me to know what kind of abuse it had endured and a bike with a hidden fault could be potentially lethal.

Then I started thinking some more. Bicycling has always been one of the very few modes of excercise I've enjoyed. Losing quite a few of those pounds would be great. It would be an investment in my health and future quality of life. Indeed, it could very well be a way of actually having a future life. And besides, the bicycling thing is really blooming with Benjamin - and I really wanted to be a part of that! (As you can see, I'm good at this reasoning stuff...

So there. Ta-daa! The bike's mine, mwahahahahaaa! I already feel 10kg lighter, though I'm not - yet. (Update 2011: Nope, still a hippo.) My stamina has improved greatly. (It's easy whan you start from a fair bit below bottom.) I have more energy than in a long time and I feel more alert than before. Great fun!

Now I'm running around like mad beside my son Edwin (3+) on his 12" Monark Miniz bike. He already rides well without support wheels, stopping without falling is just about there, so now we're hot on the starting bit. Very soon we'll be a family on pedals.

Kona Fire Mountain NineI persuaded my wife Carita to allow me to get her a Kona Fire Mountain Nine. Now she's into it too! (The "Nine" is the special European version with Shimano Deore freewheel, R/R, F/R and shifters throughout. A bargain!)

Edwin got it really fast and soon upgraded to a 16" Crescent. Now we're all prowling around the neighbourhood on bikes. We're learning by mistakes and quite often we're disentangling ourselves from offended spruces or climbing up from unexpectedly deep ditches, but we're having a ball.

Kona HulaLast summer (2010) it was evident that Benjamin had outgrown the Makena, and that little brother Edwin desperately needed a "real" bike. To the shop, then, for a Kona Hula for Benjamin and a complete overhaul of the Makena for Edwin. The Makena is as new and boy does Edwin love to finally have gears! The Hula is amazing value for money. I really do love to watch my sons tear away on those bikes. Quite fearlessly they thrash through the woods and over the hills. "Roads? Who needs... roads?" Yee-haa!

Now we're really a happy bicycling family. Exploring all those mysterious trails through the forests is one of our favourite pastimes. Some water and fruit in a backpack and off we go. We have all pledged that this summer (2011) will be a summer spent on wheels.