Ti Tuesday: Barry Wicks Ti Kona Coaster Brake for #SSWC

For this weekends Single Speed Mountain Bike World Championships in Bend, Oregon, Team Racer Barry wicks built up a unique bike, borrowing parts from all periods of his race career. Here is his story on the build.

This is actually the bike from my first year as a “pro” on the Norba National circuit. The frame was built in 2002 by Mike Desalvo in Ashland, Oregon. I’ve hung on to it all these years because it is a pretty special bike. Mike told me he had never built a frame this big and had to order a special down tube for a tandem to make it work. It has a 26″ long top tube, and custom geo based on the old Gary Fisher Genesis Geometry, with a long top tube and short stem. Pretty ahead of its time I think. I rode this labeled as a Desalvo for my first pro season, then once I got signed to Kona the next year, it became what it is now.

The build I have currently on the frame is for the 2018 Single Speed World Championships in Bend, Or. Last November I went to New Zealand for the 2017 edition of the race with a few other folks from Bend, and we won the Hosting Rights for the 2018 edition. I wanted to build up a bike that was cool, but also guaranteed I didn’t win because I am tattoo adverse.

I dug through my various crates of parts I have accumulated over my racing years, and built what I think is a pretty unique setup. The cranks are the XTR M960 iteration, which have a proprietary BCA and a huge spider, so I took a dremel to them and gave them an “update”

I went with flat pedals because #flatpedalswinmedals but also for when I need to bail and run fast (away from the tattoo guy).

The coaster brake looks gnar, but I’ve recently taken it apart and fully rebuilt the insides so it works well, for the most part.

For me, the build highlights include an original Hite-Rite seat post-spring, various vintage Shimano XTR bits, and some brand new WTB tires, because #26aintdead.

The original Flite saddle used to be my go to, but now I find it very uncomfortable.

Custom Desalvo/Kona Ti frame
Kona Project Two Fork
Highly Modified Shimano XTR M960 cranks with 32T ring
Un-branded Coaster Brake hub with 16t Cog
Thompson Seatpost
Original Flite Saddle
Hite-Rite seat spring
Pro Tharsis Stem and Handlebar 50mm/800mm
Front Brake XTR M9000 (I’ve been trying to convince myself to take this off, but I am scared)
Front Hub Shimano XTR M960
Tires WTB Trail Boss 26×2.2 TCS Light/Fast casing

If a little bit is good, a lot is better: Rebecca Fahringers first adventure team trip

Rebecca Fahringer is a professional CX racer from New Hampshire. She has recently joined the Kona Adventure Team and went for a little trip with the boys to prepare for the upcoming season. More info and a complete team release are coming soon. In the meantime, enjoy her report from the road.

Barry Wicks asked if I wanted to join the Kona Adventure Team on a ride through British Columbia. “Hey, I am working on putting together a little project to use as an intro to the [Team]. I’d like to shoot for a 2 day, 200km gravel bike packing trip in Victoria, BC”.

I was a bit anxious about my fitness, my level of radness, and about spending a long period of time with a group of strangers in general. I have not been myself and the full submersion method (with a group of people I should not be letting down, no doubt), seemed a bit drastic. But, I saw no choice but to agree to embark on this great adventure.

And so it began. Read more over on Beccas Website.”

Whiskey Dessert: A Kona Adventure Team Project

Do this after you’ve left home a few hundred times, kids: do something you’ve done many times before, and do it with a big twist. Such was our experience at the 15th Annual Whiskey Off Road. We’d done it collectively around thirty times. We’d been on the podium, we’d been around last place, we’d been somewhere in between, and so the race itself was nothing new. The twist was that we traveled to-and-from the event by mountain bike. Instead of the typical racer’s approach of arriving at the airport, renting a car and zipping to a comfy accommodation, we mapped out a route across 130 miles of urban sprawl into desert scrub into pine-forest mountains. We slept in the dirt. Then we did the race. And then we rode back. Instead of six or eight hours of total ride time during a typical race trip we logged over thirty. Indeed, we made the most of it, and it was remarkable. Here are some moments that stuck. Read more over at Pinkbike.

Kona Endurance Team at the Whiskey Off Road


The Kona Adventure and Endurance team recently undertook a trip to Prescott Arizona to compete in the Epic Rides Whiskey Off-Road race. Kris Sneddon, Barry Wicks, Cory Wallace, Spencer Paxson and Kerry Werner were all in attendance and put on a good showing in their new Jakroo Race Kit. Here is a quick look at the weekend through the lens of Adventure Team Photographer Patrick Means and a Video Log from Kerry Werner of the Friday Night DownTown Criterium and Sundays 50 Mile Backcountry race. Look for a complete report from the whole adventures in the coming weeks, but for now, enjoy a behind the scenes look at the race from the athletes perspective.

Three Peaks Challenge: A Kona Adventure Team/ Team S+M Project

Oregon, specifically the Willamette Valley, is a very wet place. This is no secret. The secret is what lies beyond the foggy curtain that covers the deep, dank, moss filled forests of the Oregon Coast Range.

Just west of the sleepy college town of Corvallis, Oregon lays a wealth of single-track, hand sculpted and etched into the earth by a dedicated and diverse group of mountain bike-minded humans.

When I was in my junior year at Oregon State University, a strong, tight-knit crew of rugged bike nerds had banded together and rented a ragged, sprawling house a few blocks from campus.

I occupied the detached cinderblock garage that only had a single roll-up door for access. For $100 a month, I got a roof over my head, a propane heater and access to the main house for the kitchen, bathroom, and most importantly, a large well stocked bike work area.

In the basement bike shop, we had a whiteboard where we would scratch out challenges to one another. Various bicycle related feats of strength were hatched, but the one that seemed to stick, gain traction, and become a tradition among our crew was the Three Peaks Challenge.

The premise was simple. Grab three beers, ride to the top of the three main peaks in the forest and drink a beer. Over the years various additional challenges were included, including doing the ride at night without lights, riding the final decent nude, or completing the challenge on our road bikes.

Ever since I left college and started my racing career, I had mostly forgotten about the TPC. Then my friends Sean and Patrick moved back to Corvallis and started talking about it. A chance trip back home to work on my mother’s house was all the impetus we needed to revive the tradition.

On a fittingly damp and cold day, we set off at the crack of 2:30 pm. First stop, the obligatory beverage procurement at the Country Market and Deli on the corner of 53rd and Oak Creek Drive.

As they do, beer is sold is portions of sixes, so with three riders, we selected a 12 pack. With the conclusion that it would be the appropriate procedure to stash the extra beers, one at each summit for others to enjoy, we filled Sean’s backpack with all 12 while he wasn’t looking and then set off.

The first peak is actually only a small hill, aptly named Bald Hill, but what it lacks in elevation it makes up for in spades on its greased lightning trails. Slipping and sliding our way off the peak, giddy with our quest, we set our sights on the next, much higher summit.

Topping out on McCullough Peak for summit number two, the wind had picked up considerably. Our soggy frozen fingers struggled to rack the beers, but we got it done, downed the nectar, stashed the extra and then sent it down one of the gnarliest trails in the forest.

Exciting the bottom of South Side Slip coated in mud and laughing, we steeled ourselves for the final push to summit three.

Good natured shit talking became joking half attacks became full throttle race mode as the summit approached and we raced our way to the large tree marking the top of Dimple Hill.

As we downed our final beverages and looked out over the soggy city, the wave of nostalgia was almost enough to convince Sean to disrobe and shred the final descent au natural, but fading light and a worry of shrinkage (and common sense) took over and we headed down into town to gorge on the best Thai Food in the universe.

A final round of high fives was exchanged as we saddled up for the final cold solo miles back home. Tired, cold, covered in mud and with a perma-grin plastered all over my ugly mug, I said a silent what’s up to all those who have completed the Three Peaks Challenge before, and to all those who would follow in our sketchy footsteps. Get it!

Kona Adventure Team: Double Century Sandwich

The Kona Adventure Team is an extension of the Kona Endurance Race team in 2017. We aim to expand the repertoire of our endurance athletes, embarking on adventures that inspire, both us personally and hopefully you as well. Our athletes all love the bike, and these trips are our attempt to show a shared passion not only for riding, but also for living a full and meaningful existence. 

For the first Adventure Team story, Cory, Kris, Spencer,and Barry took on a double century on the California Coast, sandwiching a race in the middle.


Words by Barry Wicks. Photos by Patrick Means.

The plan was simple. We’d ride from Pacifica, CA to Healdsburg, CA on Friday. On Saturday, we’d race the Grasshopper Adventure Series race called Old Caz. On Sunday we would ride back to our starting point.

At what point does a course of travel become an adventure? What makes it turn into something else, like a journey? Are there clear metrics that make it so, or is it just a matter of perspective? Whatever the case, the Kona Adventure Team had around 17 hours and 330 miles of bike riding ahead of us – plenty of time for engaging in some trifling handlebar philosophy.

107 miles. That’s how far we had to go one day one. That didn’t seem that far to a seasoned squad of professional bike athletes, but as the hours ticked on, and the destination remained distant, the remaining hours of daylight became a concern. The selected route, while heavy on dirt – and climbing and views in the first half – gave way to silky pavement in the last 40 miles.

Here we are, there’s were we are going. Distance and time compress and expand in rhythm with our bodies’ need for food, water, or for the climb to come to an end.

At times, pulling off in a muddy gravel lot to stare at the water and share a king size bag of peanut butter M&Ms is the entirety of one’s world.

Then you find a strong Canadian to drag you those final miles into the arms of a waiting burrito, cold beer and camaraderie.

The Grasshopper Adventure series is a longstanding race event, with its foundations firmly in the grassroots camp of “lets all get together, do an awesome ride, and try to smash each other to bits.” In this, its 19th year of existence, it has grown from the rag tag group of about 50 riders to a swollen 450+ hearty souls up for the challenge.

The gathering and swapping of tales at the finish line is the ritual by which the ride legend grows. This gathering of the athletes, watching their fellow riders struggle to the line, is the birth of the legend that each and every Grasshopper race has created.

By the book, an adventure is “playing a game of chance.” As a term, it is rooted in the unknown and a risk of loss. On an adventure, there ought to be a tension between something that is about to happen and whether you’ll arrive at the other side.

The return journey always seems easier, but at the same time bittersweet. The destination is known, it means the end of the journey is near, and the escape is coming to a close.

For us, the essential element is the experience of the place and the time spent together. Up and down the coasts, across long valleys, through the woods and over the mountains. We carve out our own version of finding happiness and bring that to the banquet to share.

In the end, we are left with tired legs, dirty bikes, large smiles and the memories we created together.kona_norcal2-85

Wherever your next adventure may take you, we hope you find all the things that you are searching for.



Barry Wicks introduces the Nasty Jake

This bike was a design as a thought experiment on blurring the lines between on and off road. After the Grinduro event last year I really started fantasizing about what limits I could push on a “cross” bike, and thus the Nasty Jake was born. The versatility and ability of the bike is unreal. Stable, fast, light, and with sliding dropouts it’s pretty hard to get stranded even if everything goes kaboom.

I started looking at the numbers on the Private Jake frame and realized the fork axle to crown and offset where not too far off from a stock 27.5 suspension fork that MRP makes.

IMG_2192 I talked with MRP about the concept, and they where into it. The resulting loop fork is basically a normal fork with the travel reduced to 40mm. Having the ramp control adjustment is a rad feature because I can get super progressive for road stuff, then open it up and get plush for the dirt with a few spins of the knob.

IMG_2193The drivetrain has seen a few iterations, but I’m pretty set on the 1x with a 44t wolf ring and 11-42 XT cassette out back. The Tanpan roller doohickey also let me marry the XTR derailleur to the Ultegra shifter which is great because I get the clutch for added chain retention. I was running a long cage Ultegra derailleur, and it actually work fine and covered the 11-42 without trouble, but was a bit slappy.

IMG_2194The dropper is a KS LevC with 60mm of drop. It really helps when pinning it down gravel and Singletrack in the drops. It is controlled by the front shifter so is very easy to access on the fly.

The wheels are stock Shimano M9000 XTR units wrapped in the Maxxis Rambler 40c EXO tires. I also have a set mounted up with the Refuse 40c slicks, and depending on the track I swap back and forth.

This bike is amazingly capable. 10 years ago I could have ridden this to a podium at a Norba XC event no problem. It really shows how far and fast bikes are progressing.

Barry Wicks writes about ST6 for Dirt Rag Magazine

Wicks BCBR When I first started racing bikes, my mom used to drive me to races in her blue Dodge minivan. My bike, my most prized possession, would be carefully tucked into the back seat, protected from scratches and the elements. We would listen to the alt-rock station or NPR when the signal was strong enough, the sounds of “Car Talk” or the Smashing Pumpkins becoming the soundtrack to life. Not much has changed, really.
Today, my friend and Kona Endurance teammate Kris Sneddon reaches a hand through the spokes and tugs at the wheel strap, trying to figure out how to secure our bikes to his new bike rack. His Jeep idles in the parking lot of a Days Inn, AC cranked, waiting to take us into the mountains as we sweat in the mid-August heat, struggling to make sure our bikes don’t fall off, AC/DC trickling weakly from an inadequate sound system. More at Dirtrag.com


Wicks Interview from BicyclePaper.com

wicks head shot Club champ, city champ, State Champ, National Champ, World Champ, but most importantly, champion of our hearts, Barry Wicks has taken the next step in his lustrous career and moved to California. The longtime Kona cycling superstar will be missed this season around the Pacific Northwest cycling scene, his gracious personality lends to those around, a good human experience. On the bike, he’s a powerful lanky wizard of a shred master with a smile that can pierce corners and sparkle dust crowds. Off the bike, ditto.

Bicycle Paper: So Barry, Why the move?

Barry Wicks: My wife Sarah is a souped-up scientist, and was recruited by a big time BioTech firm down in the Bay Area called Genentech. It was an awesome opportunity for her, so we decided to go for it.

BP: I saw on your blog that your attacking gravel grinders and endurance races this year. What led you to do those types of races and will we see you at any OBRA or Washington events this season?

BW: I made the transition away from “traditional” XC events a few years ago. I was looking for new challenges, new adventures, and at Kona we where also exploring new markets and ideas that we thought were cool. It all started with BCBR (BC Bike Race). It almost killed me, but in the end Kris Sneddon and I where able to pull off the win, and we haven’t really looked back since. It’s been awesome. The gravel races are pretty rad too. Back in college when I raced for Oregon State, we put on a road race that had a 5km gravel section every lap. I thought it was the coolest race ever. Now that gravel racing is becoming a “thing” I am excited to participate in it. It’s an area with lots of potential, and opens up whole new routes that people maybe didn’t think about before. (more…)

Paxson Selected for Pan-Am Championships

paxson xcThe team, which features four men’s and six women’s elite cross-country riders, will vie for valuable UCI points at the five-day event. These UCI points will help determine the XCO ranking for the United States as it relates to Team USA’s Olympic Rider Quota push to qualify the maximum number of mountain bike rider slots for the Rio Olympic Games next summer.

Cross-Country Elite Men
Stephen Ettinger* (Bozeman, Mont./Sho-Air-Cannondale)
Russell Finsterwald (Colorado Springs, Colo./SRAM-Troy Lee Designs Race Team)
Spencer Paxson (Bellingham, Wash./Kona Bicycles Factory Team)
Todd Wells (Durango, Colo./Specialized Factory Racing)

Cross-Country Elite Women
Lea Davison* (Jericho, Vt./Specialized Factory Racing)
Georgia Gould* (Fort Collins, Colo./LUNA Pro Team)
Erin Huck* (Boulder, Colo./SCOTT-3Rox Racing)
Evelyn Dong (Park City, Utah/Sho-Air-Cannondale)
Mary McConneloug (Chilmark, Mass./Team KENDA-M&M Racing)
Chloe Woodruff (Tucson, Ariz./Team Stan’s NoTubes-Niner)

Cross-Country U23 Men
Howard Grotts* (Durango, Colo./Specialized Racing XC)
Keegan Swenson (Escondido, Calif./Sho-Air-Cannondale)

Cross-Country U23 Women
Kate Courtney* (Kentfield, Calif./Specialized Factory Racing)

Cross-Country Juniors Men
Christopher Blevins (Durango, Colo./Whole Athlete-Specialized Cycling)

Cross-Country Juniors Women
Ksenia Lepikhina* (Boulder, Colo./University of Colorado Boulder)

Downhill Elite Men
Dylan Conte (Stowe, Vt.)
Shane Leslie (Birmingham, Mich./Northern Arizona University)
Max Morgan (Duluth, Ga.)
Neko Mulally (Pisgah Forest, N.C./Gstaad-Scott)

Downhill Juniors Men
Charlie Harrison (Trabuco Canyon, Calif.)

2K15_Team_SponsorsGroups_Endurance (1)

Icefields Parkway- Cory Wallace Adventures

wally on the ice road A couple winters ago good buddy Leighton Poidevin from Canmore and myself road 205 km of the Icefields parkway from just north of Lake Louise to Jasper in prepertion for a big year of 24hr racing. This is arguably the most scenic highway in Canada as it runs over high mountain passes through the heart of the Rockies via Jasper and Banff National Parks. That year we lucked out with some warm weather around -8 degrees but 8 inches of snow at the start which made the journey into a 13 hr slog. This year we had an urge to revisit the ride but were having a hard time finding the right weather opening to make it happen.

The mission is pretty solid in the winter and takes a lot of convincing to get the mind on board. After some humming and hawing I finally convinced it this was a good idea and gave Leighton a call. He’s a real trooper and up for anything pretty much. We made a little plan and soon I was piling some stuff in a pack, hopping into the truck and leaving Jasper in the late afternoon. After driving 140 km south to Rampart creek hostel, I ditched the truck and set off at dusk for a 60 km ride south to Mosquito creek hostel, just north of Lake Louise. The short(ish) ride turned into a nippy one as the temperature dipped from -17 to -24, requiring numerous stops to adjust the clothing. The body was holding up pretty good except for my legs, which were getting frostbitten as just my bike shorts and gore tex pants weren’t meeting the insulation requirements. It was a bugger stopping in the middle of the highway, stripping down and putting on long underwear and redressing, but it was needed and after that the ride improved. Traveling through the dark was a crazy sensation as I had no idea where I was but after 4 hours I finally checked into Mosquito creek hostel for the night. I ate a huge a quinoa dinner and had short visit with some ice climbers from Victoria, then it was off to bed for some shut eye before meeting Leighton at 7:30in the morning for the 205 km back to Jasper. I hoped it would be warmer in the morning. More Here