akmal's bike park

akmal's bike park

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Public Bike Project

the donated Kona Nunu under test ride before possible swap with Giant Yukon

Hairi of Shah Alam commented on my post, suggesting for setting up a pool bike (not 'polo', ok).

A pool bike usage is meant for those who are testing the water (hehe... can't resist the pun) to start mountain biking before committing for a bike purchase. Some sort like 'meracun'. Well, he was not merely giving a suggestion, but offering his unused items from his parts bin too. So yes, why not. I'm keen with the idea and we agreed to meet up for him to pass over the parts for me to start with.

Boy I was in for a big surprise. It was not parts, but a full bike. It's an 18" 8-speed old skool blue Kona Nunu. The wheelset is an old Mavic X139. Along with that, there were also other loose parts (and a Lerun BMX) that he parted to me. Some I'd use it myself (and will pay forward to others) and some will go to the Public Bike. It astounds me until now how people could be so generous and contribute for the benefit of public. So, I felt obliged also to give back to the masses in a small way.

Okay, back to the Public Bike. Besides serving as a newbie's poison dart, it could also be used as a foster bike for those who come to JB without a bike but would like to ride with us in Pasir Gudang/Seri Alam/Plentong. There are a couple such initiatives that I know of. One is in KL, by the venerable BC Kelolo, and there's also a bike donated by Joe (parked at Jason's shop in Masai Utama).

I can't do it all by myself to build it. It would be good if I could get the support from bike shops and other individuals to get the project running. Alhamdulillah, Angah of Angah Bike Shack offered to help build it even before I send out the plead. Thanks, Angah! Hope that the project would take flight insyaAllah, for the benefit of the masses. Aamiiin.

My vision for the Public Bike is to have it as a 3x9-speeder with disc brakes and knobbies. This is how I take it:
I deem that the size that would be considered universal would be 17".
Vee-brakes are fine, but disc brakes would make the bike looks like a proper mountain bike rig. Not to mention of course, its superior stopping power compared to vees.
8-speed won't cut it for newbies. Minimum shall be 9-speed.

The first ride out on the Nunu, it felt awkward. I guess because of the frame size, coupled with the long stem. So that's the first stumbling block. The other thing is that the frame is an old frame. That means it is without rear disc brake bracket. So, vee-brake only for the rear.

However, I'm thinking of swapping my Giant Yukon frameset for this project and make the Nunu as my RTW Machine. The Yukon is 17", with disc brake bracket and multiple hose/brake bracket complemented also with pannier rack eyelets. Quite versatile, really.

Over the last weekend, I transplanted the front of the Yukon (cockpit, fork) and wheelsets to the Nunu for a test ride for RTW. For two days already, it seems okay to me albeit a liiiiittle bit stretchy. Tiny bit. But I think I could manage it. Don't know for long distances, but for my commuting, I don't have any big problem whatsoever. A tiny niggle is that my rear beamrack would need a thicker shim to attach to the skinny Ø27.0 seatpost (yes, not 27.2 - there's a huge difference on the 0.2mm, really!). Also, there's no pannier rack eyelet on the seatstay. I'll have to improvise on that later if the need so arises.

I'm gonna give it a week or two before deciding whether to carry on with Nunu as my new old RTW Machine (hey, I love the paradox). Meanwhile, time to discuss with Angah. Stay tuned.

Update: as you're reading this, a pair of pedals are coming their way all the way from Kelantan, courtesy of Mat Yoe. Thanks, man!


Will K said...

I really love hearing how people get into mountain biking. I actually mostly ride a folding bike - which is actually a really awesome MTB (it has full size wheels - people always think it's so strange, but it works for me). If you ever think about moving on from your Kona, you might want to check them out - they're also no hassle to store (which for me is an issue) when I'm not riding...

Mat_Yoe said...


No problem, bro. Just 'paying it forward'(or backwards, depending on how u see it...hehe):)

Anonymous said...


As usual, inspiring.
Keep up the good work.

Barakaalah Bro,