Bike Beans, Secret Caterham and then the eBay double. Unloved Kona Lala'i content.

Friday, the day off.

Friday PP had taken the day off and wanted a ride out. OK I'll take the day off too.... Life is too short to work.

Where shall we go? Well I've shown him all but one of the major off-road routes to Box Hill from Reigate so why not do the final one? This involves a trip to Epsom and then Box Hill via Ashtead - so Bike Beans café it is then.

It's one of the classic rides out from here, a proper loop that goes somewhere. Running over Epsom Downs the farmer had his VW Campers out on display, although his themed garage was closed. Must be a show on at Sandown?

PP was quite keen on the Bike Beans café and we stopped there ages. It's now officially on his family radar.

Of course it was my turn to have the mechanical this week. My trusty tubeless let me down, ha ha. Larger thorn puncture that would not seal. Took a good twenty minutes before I had to admit defeat and install an inner tube.


Sunday PP was keen for another spin. Feast or famine here? Make hay whilst the sun shines? Decided not to go to Box Hill, Ranmore or the Leith Hill complex. Let's go to Caterham instead, and the rather unmentionable trails.

PP had the initial mechanical today, his Hope[less] seat clamp decided it wanted to fall apart, splitting right through. Luckily there was enough metal left to continue, but that's another £21 spend for PP.

Yes, my tubeless rear was at fault again. This time the lovely downhill off Gravelly. I hit some flint at the top, heard a bang, so elected to ride down with it flat. Was still faster than PP oddly enough. Beginning to suspect he needs riding glasses.

Monday bank holiday.

Monday my boy was keen on a ride. I'd got him an eBay bike two weeks' ago and he's mad keen to get out on it. Here the story being that he's outgrown his old bike, so I'd looked at either Isla or Frog's as a replacement. The cheapest frog was £280 and in each place I'd looked at the things the paint was chipped in various places. eBay it is then, but what bike? Singletrack came to the rescue; a Carrera Blast in 24" wheel size.

Found one locally, with upgraded brakes and tyres; £87. 24 speed with rudimentary suspension he's a happy lad.

Ah. Surfing eBay. Always happens. Found an unloved Kona lounging at £60. Not ridden just neglected, needs work, so bought it. Got it home, pumped up the tyres, adjusted the brakes, then trued up the wheels, cleaned off the rusty chain. Went for a spin. What a bargain!

I'm lying.

The Kona wasn't the result of aimless surfing. The week before I'd bought a mountain bike for my daughter off eBay. £26, described as 20" young child's bike. Had an impossible to fix flat tyre. Went to collect, 26" wheeled ladies adult medium.

Well £26 aint much is it? So brought it home, pumped the "impossible to fix" flat tyre, adjusted the brakes and went for a spin. What a cracking bike. Gears worked well, as did the brakes. Tyres stopped up. Took it to the wife, not interested. Too big for my daughter.

Back on eBay it went with an honest description, not flowery.

£105 it went for. So for pumping up two tyres I made £80.

So here I was, no bike for my daughter. Spotted a Kona for £60. Needs work again, but she needs a bike. Bought it, again misdescribed size wise. Bugger. But it was a Kona; always wanted one of those.

Got it home. Brakes poorly adjusted, wheels had a slight wobble each, chain covered in grease, some rust and scratches here and there. Bit of spannering, bit of cleaning, some paint, one hour later...

The two bike, two hour spin.
So I'd bought two bikes. My boy was itching for a spin, and here's a clean Kona itching to get out. Well now, what do you expect for £60 used off eBay? Well actually I was pleasantly surprised. Normally I'm out on an Orange 5 or PACE RC303 but here I am on an ancient and unloved Kona, enjoying every moment. Sure the suspension is basic and the ride harsh, but with my boy in tow on his bike it was great fun.
What a cracking bike.
Pity it's no good to us. Back on eBay you go my lad*.
My son's Carrera Blast? He loves it. Just slightly too big, but he's fast on it and we go proper off road. What a bargain. Two fully functional bikes for £140 and a bit of spannering.
*The Lala'i I kept for a full two weeks. Used it for rides with my son over towards Caterham; duties for which it performed admirably well. I'm guessing that these rides comprised the majority of miles under its' wheels! It was a cracking bike, but had to go. Gave it a clean, popped it onto eBay and netted enough profit to put new Maxxis tyres AND a new set of Deore disc brakes on to my Tassajara. There's no such thing as free cycling, but by heck this is close.


  1. First of all i would like to thank you for the great and informative entry. I has to admit that I have never heard about this information I have noticed many new facts for me. Thanks a lot for sharing this useful and attractive information and I will be waiting for other interesting posts from you in the nearest future. Keep it up.carbon bike wheelset


Post a Comment