Kona Dream Builds: Matthew Stewart’s Predatory Big Unit

Matthew Stewart is the sales manager at The Bike Peddler in Santa Rosa and the owner of this very rad Big Unit. “Most people think I’m nuts for riding a rigid bike in the modern era of long travel 29ers with dropper posts; sometimes it’s good to go back to basics and realize what riding is all about. I’ll be ripping this thing around Annadel State Park and Marin County for the foreseeable future keeping the SS rigid scene life alive.”

The story of this bike is pretty humorous. I actually bought this bike used from a customer who was taking parts off of it for some of his newer bikes. I leapt at the opportunity to buy it knowing the heritage of the Unit series and considering he was parting it out. Since then I have made some significant changes and of course, gave it some personal touches. I always appreciate the simplicity of singlespeeds and decided to keep this build nice and simple to honor old school style; I could practically rebuild and service the entire bike with a quality multi-tool.

The frame is a 2014 Unit with the Life Cycles bike shop custom paint job, commemorating the MTB heritage in the Eugene, Oregon area. A google search of this will explain more. Setup right now the bike has the following parts: Surly Krampus fork, American Classic Race Wheels (QR of course), Salsa anodised skewers, Chris King Inset headset and threaded BB, a 20 tooth cog, Thompson X4 stem and Elite seatpost, adorned with the custom blue Kona/WTB volt saddle, Surly stainless 36t chainring, FSA Comet crankset, Surly Cheater steel handlebar, ODI lock-on grips, Avid FR-5 levers and BB7 mountain brakes, TRP 25 rotors, Specialized butcher 2.3 tire (rear), EThirteen TRS 2.35 (Front) (the winter mud setup). The decal on the top tube is my custom touch, representing who I am known as on Strava and in the local cycling community. https://www.strava.com/athletes/622565