There are a bunch of amazing Ti Kona’s residing on Retrobike.co.uk. Last week though, a picture of Pierre’s (aka 24pounces) amazing 1992 Hei Hei found its away to our inbox via Instagram, after a little digging we had a few more photos and the story behind the bike that shows just how dedicated Pierre was in putting this beautiful ode to early 90’s mountain biking together.
“This bike has a long story. It was originally purchased in Spain in 1992 as frameset, the first owner built a 7.15kg bike. I purchased the framest in 2010 from a Spanish friend after I started looking for a very small titanium frame. A few months later, I rode it for the Second Annual Old School World MTB Championships in Wales and I discovered a very fast and amazing bike.
In 1993, Nathalie Fiat was a French DH MTB champion on the HeiHei and XC champion in 1995. When I was a student in Paris in 1992, I knew a mechanic/racer from Quebec who had the same HeiHei with titanium P2 fork, it was back than that I had begun to dream about on day owning this bike. When I bought it in 2010, I phoned him and said “You are going to hate me” his answer “You are going to love it!”
The first built was quite classic one with lots of Ritchey Logic parts from my garage. But after contacting with the craziest titanium collector (“Newsboy“ on the Retrobike forum) I found a super rare O’Beam titanium seatpost and he made me a package with some classic purple parts that included those beautiful Grafton brakes, titanium bikes are a bit sad with only grey, silver or black components. The Kona needed fun and purple was beautiful on titanium and so iconic in the 90’s. After a few months, I found the purple Sun wheels with titanium spokes and the Purple and Ti Hope hubs, Kona Ti bar, the Velocity stem and finally the Cook Bros purple crank.
The idea was to find and use quite all the Ti parts I could find in those years and to go further than Kona did with it’s frame / fork / seat post / Handle bar and stem. So on this build the front spokes, hub, chainrings and K7 (from Action Tec) bolts are all Ti, everything except with the Kona stamped saddle and the Jo Murray Kevlar tires.
All the parts were found on the Retrobike.com forum and I need around three years to get the bike as it is shown here in the pictures. Things were quite easy to find, if consider that I was very lucky to find the frame with that so rare titanium Project 2 fork. I still own it and still love to ride it. The bike is fast and very comfortable. With it, I never been so fast in down hill. The last time I showed it, it was in May at a frends 40th birthday, we decided to have a meeting of 40 titanium retrobikes in his garden to celebrate!”