Ti Tuesday: Mathias’ Hei Hei is all Grown Up

Not many Ti builds start with a light, but Mathias’ stunning 1994 Hei Hei did, and when we reached out to him to get the entire story on the build he was more than forthcoming. In fact, he was so forthcoming that my presence here is completely redundant! I’ll let Mathais take it from here.

Here is my bike. It’s a fully custom 1994 Kona Hei Hei. A monster cross 26″ titanium adventure bike with dynamo headlight, wide Compass tires, a Chris King symphony in the back and a super comfortable Selle Anatomica seat, drop bar and Velo Orange Cigne stem.

I wanted to make a light bikepacking bike for tours around Denmark with my girlfriend (she is riding a Kona Lava Dome from ’96) and as a vintage MTB collector, it did not take long before I decided to try a complete rebuild of my highly treasured Kona Hei Hei. Actually, it all started with the idea to put a dynamo front light on the bike. So I found the Edelux front light. Then I found a bright and silver Son 28 dynamo front hub. Then some Weinmann Tattoo rims came along. Then an equally shining Chris King rear hub and so on and so on. Suddenly it was a whole new and different bike. I am pretty happy how it turned out.

In the vintage MTB community, some people are quite conservative when it comes to the rebuilding of old MTB kings like the Hei Hei. The idea here is that as a vintage MTB collector your duty is to rebuild bikes as close to the original as possible. It is amazing to see how much time, effort and money these guys put into their projects. But I wanted to make a bike that was ridable for me and not just one that would work well on a photo. So I broke all the rules. Oversize drop bar, 10 speed, carbon Campagnolo Record brake levers, front rack, slick tyres, heavy dynamo hub, front light and a big leather saddle. I have been dreaming of a Kona Hei Hei ever since I first saw it on the streets of Copenhagen back in the 1990’s and now I have one! But just like me, this bike has matured a bit since it left the factory back in 1994.

full spec list:

Frame: Kona Hei Hei Titanium
Handlebar: Salsa Cowchipper
Stem: Velo Orange Cigne LD
Headset: Chris King
Brakes: XTR M950 + Problem Solver
Brake levers: Campagnolo Record
Fork: No-name
Crankset: XTR M950
Chainring: Oval
Front wheel: Son 28 dynamo hub on Tattoo rim
Rear wheel: Chris King Classic hub on Tattoo rim
Front light: Edelux
Tires: Compass Rat Trap Pass 26″ 2,3
Seatpost: Syncros
Seat: Selle Anatomica
Front rack: Velo Orange
Pedals: Suntour XC