Ti Tuesday: 1997 Retro Ti Hei Hei King Kahuna Commuter

Some of you out there are going to think turning a beautiful bike like this 1997 Ti Hei Hei King Kahuna into a commuter is sacrilege. Bear in mind, that although this seriously tidy hard tail is currently in commuter guise, it only really requires the addition of some 1.9″ knobby tires and the removal of the rack and front fender (that’s just so you don’t have to gouge your eyes out) to bring it back to its glory days.

Ti tuesday dan-2548The frame is a 1997 Kona Hei Hei King Kahuna made by Sandvik. It has a Thomson seat post, Race Face stem, Cook Bros cranks, Cane Creek headset, Mavic Cross Ride wheels and Rock Shox Sid Race fork. All pretty high end parts in their day. Heck, World Champion Cindy Devine and future World champ Steve Peat raced DH on these frames. And of course Joe Murray (the bikes designer) and a lot of other top racers raced XC on them.

Ti tuesday dan-2571They were/are pretty damn versatile, indestructible and forgiving bikes. We made them from 1990 until 2000 at Sandvik in WA. We figure maybe we produced around 4000 over that time period. Most of these are still around.

Ti tuesday dan-2549
Sandvik 3-2.5 Titanium. Nuff’ said.

Ti tuesday dan-2554Bit of a mixed big up front. Top mounted cable routing, a classic 1-1/8th Cane Creek Aheadset and short(ish) Race Face Prodigy Stem.

Ti tuesday dan-255280mm travel Rock Shox Race SID’s from 2000 look after the ride up front. Stopping (slowing down) is taken care of by the always classic (and a little bit squeaky) 1998 Shimano XTR BR-M950 V-brakes.

Ti tuesday dan-2550Oh boy, thank goodness for the Marsh Guard and Mucky Nutz fenders, imagine if we were still running these things. I have to admit I never put one of these Toby Henderson fenders on my bike but a lot people certainly did. You’d have to agree that a commuter bike is probably the best place one of these heinous fenders can be up-cycled to.

Ti tuesday dan-2568Radial spoked Mavic Cross Ride wheels from the same year as the fork add another splash of colour.

Ti tuesday dan-2556

Ti tuesday dan-2569Probably the most desirable item on this bike apart from the frame would be these Cook Brothers E Cranks. I’d trade a whole bunch of carbon bits and pieces for these bad boys. I do highly doubt that there are many people out there willing to even think about selling them though. Call me…

Ti tuesday dan-2567Easton Monkey Lite GT2 carbon bars and Avid Single Digit levers (with adjustable reach) keep the cockpit tidy. Oh and the all important Kona commuter horn.

Ti tuesday dan-2562Looks like somebody misplaced the rear set of XTR brakes for the build so it’s a step down to the slightly louder XT versions.

Ti tuesday dan-2564It’s the little details.

Ti tuesday dan-2561Bullet Proof.

Ti tuesday dan-2555There you have it. What’s your favorite bit about this retro Ti build?