This week’s Ti Tuesday feature is extra-special, with a beautifully restored vintage Kona and a great story to go along with it. Daniel Landsberger collects and restores vintage mountain bikes, and – unlike some collectors – actually rides them too! Daniel shares his collection through the Cult MTB Facebook and Instagram pages, and recently sent through this great photo set and story of the original Kona Titanium. We’ll let Daniel take it from here…
Words and photos by Daniel Landsberger.
In 1990, I had little money and big dreams. A friend of mine wanted to buy a Brodie and suddenly I had this catalog at home, where I whirled quite enthusiastically. And then I saw on the last page the Kona Titanium, the madness, built by Merlin, geometry by Joe Murray, decals from Kona and Merlin, solid equipment, no CNC parts, exactly my taste… but just no money.
Some years later, I was still in love with the old bikes, the money was there, but no matter how hard I tried, I could not find a 1990 Kona Titanium – only the catalog picture. I talked to other collectors and traders from that time, and their stories were very different. One said the Kona Titanium was out there, the others said they were never delivered, or if they were, only to team riders…
After a few years, a friend of mine, Adrian Forde, found one and lovingly restored it. He restored it part-for-part from the catalog, with the result exactly as the Kona Titanium should look in the 1990 catalog picture! Finding all of these parts was time consuming & expensive, but it was worth it. This bike is exactly as seen in the catalog – he even found the Joe Murray tires!
It came as it had to come, one day as from nothing – I would not have expected in my whole life that he would really sell it – Adrian offered it for sale. It took only a few minutes, then it was sold… TO ME!
For me personally the end of a very long search! But, as with so many other bikes I have, the story is good for me: it is worth it to continue to search and NEVER give up!