Monday, July 27, 2009

My Big Unit

I may not be Ryan Trebon or Barry Wicks, but I do have a Big Unit and do win some races from time to time with it. Since coming back from Breckenridge, I have not played with My Big Unit (MBU) too much. I guess playing with it for 11 hours in one day is enough for anyone to stop for awhile. After my Breck Trip, I did give MBU a service check and a buff job... and even pulled it out of the garage to play with it for a short while in the neighborhood. You should see the looks I get sometimes when I do that. Anyway, I don't like to neglect MBU, so in a few days I will be pulling it out for another long play session at the Wilderness 101. What makes MBU so special? Well, let me tell you.
First off, let me explain that MBU is not a part of my anatomy, as probably most of you have guessed already. Big Unit is actually the name Kona has given to the fast single speed frame that I am racing on this season. I ordered MBU right before the Mohican 100, but unfortunately it came a day too late for me to use at the race. I am sure if I would have used it there my race would not have ended so abruptly. Since the Mohican, I have had some incredible rides and races on MBU.

Kona built the Big Unit with their special race butted scadium tubing. This stuff is sweet! Not only is super light, but it has a very compliant ride for an aluminum type of material, while still being super stiff laterally. I find that having a laterally stiff bike is extremely advantageous for a single speeder because more energy created by the legs is put into the drivetrain, creating more speed. The Big Unit does this not only with the use of the scadium, but also with a top tube and down tube that has more of a square shape than a round shape. Additionally, Kona uses a CNC chainstay yoke rather than welding the chainstay tubes directly to the BB, which not only gives more mud and chainring clearance, but also gives a stiffer feel to the rear end. This 29er frame is designed so well, it seems to accelerate closer to how a 26" wheel bike does. It is certainly the most responsive 29er frame that I have had a chance to ride.

The thing I like most about my Big Unit is the fit. If in the future I would decide to build a custom frame, it would fit like my 19" Big Unit. This frame feels like it was measured and designed specifically from me. Many times when I get a new frame it takes a lot of time for me to figure out how to make it feel "right." The Big Unit was not like this at all. It was a perfect fit right out of the box. More bike companies should consider using 1" increments in frame sizing instead of using 2" increments. I know for me an 18" is almost always too small and a 20" frame is too big. For most companies, there are no other choices, so for Kona to provide a complete range of frame sizes is completely cool in my book.

Well, enough bragging about MBU. I just thought that I would tell everyone in cyberworld that My Big Unit rocks! The 5th stop on the NUW Series, the Wilderness 101, in Coburn, PA is this Saturday, August 1st. If you want to do a truly hardcore, but completely fun, backcountry endurance mountain bike race, then you should give it a try. I have a feeling that this race is going to be packed with talent this year and will also see some super fast times because of the talent depth. Hope to see you there for the fun, but, if I do, please don't ask to touch my Big Unit! - Gerry


Jason said...

Hey I got to touch your Big Unit in Michigan! Ooops, I've said too much!...

That is seriously nice frame. I was damn close to pulling the trigger on one when I was recently looking for a hard tail but then I was able to score a Mamasita. I love the shaping on the top tube, etc., Nice stuff.

See you in Coburn.

Gerry and Andy said...

And you said you would never tell!