Wednesday, September 26, 2007

My Kona is a Man-Killer

So I'm still a deadbeat, and it'll likely be another three months at least until my next post, but I thought I'd go public with an official word of endorsement for my Kona Smoke.

I bought the Smoke last May as my all-around commuter bike. I've been toying with bicycle commuting for a couple of years now, but this spring decided I would really try to leave the car at home at least one day a week. So far, its working pretty well, I've developed a reliable route, and I truly enjoy getting out in the morning and making my way through the Houston traffic.

So far, the Smoke has taken quite a beating from the H-town streets with nary a complaint. Yesterday, on the way home, I was riding down the service road of Loop 610 for about a quarter mile, on a section I've never ridden before. Keeping my head on a swivel, I was nervously aware of all traffic around me, and was constantly checking behind for approaching cars. All of a sudden, I simultaneously feel and hear the sound of a bottle exploding underneath my front tire, showering me with glass (thankfully, sunglasses saved the day). I pulled off to the side of the road to check everything out, thinking surely I was going to get to test my roadside tube patching skills. To my surprise, nothing happened. The Kona, armed with its Tioga City Slickers, ate that bottle for lunch. Nonetheless, I pedaled directly to my LBS to pick up a spare tube.

(Don't try this at home, kids.)

The Kona Smoke, for the money, is one of the best commuter rigs available. Not the fastest, and by no means the lightest, but an absolute workhorse of a bicycle. Thanks to the guys at West End Bikes for putting a bug in my ear.


At 8:31 PM, Blogger Sirrus Rider said...

It's amazing how evolution works. The Kona Smoke as you've seen follows the same pattern as my adapted 12 year old Alpine Monitor Pass. The only difference is the Kona has more modern brakes and the Alpine started life as a higher optioned bike. The Only thing it lacks out-of-the-box is a good lighting system! If I was just starting out and on a budget the Kona would be number one on my list.


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