By Ambassador Ryan Lindsay Bartz

It’s time for transformation. Of my bicycle that is! If any of you followed my trip around the world (my partner and I spent the better part of 2018-19 on the road), you would have seen my Kona Sutra carrying me the whole of the journey. 

Rack hauling gear, fenders averting muddy butt, chromoly steel giving that unmistakable bombproof yet supple ride and all rounded out with the beautiful classic Brooks saddle from which I comfortably pedal-pushed mile upon mile. If you know me, you know I freaking love my Sutra.

But now, it’s time to hit the trails with shorter and local-er bikepacking trips ahead and I’d like to streamline the Sutra and change things up a bit, mechanically speaking. And mechanically…

I’ve done some small amounts of maintenance on my bikes through the years, mostly learning during my time volunteering at a bike co-op, and oh yea, on the side of the road when I HAD TO.  

But changing out ALL my components and building a wheelset (with a Dynamo hub eh!)? 

This will all be a first.

I’m a bit scared and intimidated, but I do want to get my hands greasy. 

And who’s going to let a little FEAR stop them?

My life-changing trip round the world wouldn’t have happened otherwise. 

Fear of f**king it up will always be nestled tidily in my shop apron, but DIY pairs well with DIT (do it together!). So…

I’ll get help. I’ll seek advice. 

Youtube videos lined up, book chapters marked, blog posts saved (ahem Sheldon Brown), phone calls to my local LBS already plentiful.

It’s also been a game of patience waiting for bike items to be in stock which I kind of enjoyed. Like a meditation in (bike) parts.

And now…finally…

I’m ready to begin:

I think I’ll start with the wheels. The wheel. What an invention. There must be a metaphor in there somewhere. No time for metaphors when the practical awaits. 

Sutra Transformation: “Commence!”