Moving forward I either wanted to get back on a steel ride or upgrade my Kona and make it even lighter. What to do, what to do? I didn't really have any cost effective options to go steel so I had been searching and shopping around for parts for the Kona. I was fairly close to pulling the trigger on some wheels, brakes and possibly even a fork when one fateful Friday afternoon I checked Craigslist.
And there it was, A Monocog Flight 29er, the upgraded version of my old ride that I loved. Made with much nicer Japanese Sanko Steel and being offered up at a steal. Once again the Universe comes through, I'm not gonna question it so I immediately called. Turns out I didn't know the guy personally but I know the name and have raced against him in the past. Bike is practically new only having been ridden for about half of last season. I got such a deal that once I sell the Kona I will have a nice chunk of change to upgrade the Redline with some lighter hoops and presto I'll be back on a pretty light steel bike...two birds.
I got my first ride on the new whip last night and it is everything I remember about my old monocog and oh so much more. The sanko steel is NICE. I missed that buttery feel, but it still has enough stiffness to transfer energy fairly well. It's not Kona stiff but I like this mix better. I am back to rigid (for now) and I'll be honest I did just over 7 miles and felt perfectly fine on fairly craggy terrain. This nicer steel and the tapered fork might just be what I needed to make rigid work and I really like not having that bob when trying to hammer up a climb. We'll see how that goes. I'll race it this weekend and see how 20mi at race pace feel...
I can definitely feel the additional weight, especially climbing but I can deal with it, what doesn't kill me right? The Flight feels much more agile than the Kona was and also feels much more stable in the corners. I also like the BB7's much better on the new ride than my old BB5's. The Monocog also has 180mm cranks which I have never ridden but I think I may like. I was always concerned about lots of pedal strike but I think the BB height on the monocog line is on the high side so that will help. Not sure if it was just my perception but it did seem at times that the added leverage of the 180's made my 19 tooth feel more like a 20.
So yeah I am really excited about this bike and I think I will probably ride this for a long time. It's simple, I like just about everything about the design and look and redline's are tanks built to last.
AND THEN the very next day I found these at a second hand store in Meredith NH:
I have no idea what model they are, I have never seen Adidas shoes like this before. They fit me perfectly and are some of the most comfortable cycling shoes I've worn. And they are ugly and loud which is kinda my jam. They were also only $20, which is also my jam. Hell of a weekend for gear. Bing-Bam-Boom and I've got practically an entirely new setup.