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  1. #1
    Baby it's cold outside... ViperZ's Avatar
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    Converted My GT Kara K2 to Commuter.... WOW!



    I had a 1989 GT Karakorum K2 that was hanging in my rafters forever. It is a solid bike, but seldom ridden so a few years back I put Tom slicks on it and used it for Urban Assault riding, just for tooling around in regular shorts and regular shoes.

    Since I started commuting to work again, I needed something that was a bit more utilitarian, so I thought why not put fenders on this so I can ride to work in my business casuals if I needed to with out getting all dirty.

    So here is the bike today as I got home from work.











    Yeah, shes not much to look at, but WHAT A FUN RIDE she is! The Slicks pumped up to 100psi make it almost as fast as a road bike, yet it blasts through gravel covered streets and water streaks like nobodies business, and with out making a mess on me. I can't believe how fun this bike is, it brings back the freedom I felt as a child on a bike.... Nothing to serious.

    I park down town in a locked compound, so she is pretty protected, I hope it does not get stolen, but at least it's a bit more indiscreet and hopefully thieves will pass it over for flashier mounts.

    Yes that Bianchi saddle is funny, but it's in better shape than the Original GT saddle. I want to maybe put a rear rack on it later.
    -Trek 5000* -Project Litespeed* -The Italian Job* -Rocky Wedge* -The Canadian Connection*

  2. #2
    Senior Member CigTech's Avatar
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    Very nice set up. I like the idel of the slicks.
    May your feet keep move'n with the wind to your back.

    CigTech

  3. #3
    Baby it's cold outside... ViperZ's Avatar
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    Thanks CigTech The Slicks really make it fast, yet it's surprizing how grippy they are on ice. I had to ride over a few patches of ice while climbing some switchbacks to a bridge, I tried spining out the rear tire by stomping on the pedal quickly, it did not break traction at all. Maybe if I tried harder, but I was surprized they gripped so well.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member CigTech's Avatar
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    You may have had the gear set to high to break traction. try it at a slower speed with the gear in 2nd or 3rd. I think that would break the traction. Where did you get thoese tiers. I need some for the Bent bike I am building.
    May your feet keep move'n with the wind to your back.

    CigTech

  5. #5
    Baby it's cold outside... ViperZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CigTech
    You may have had the gear set to high to break traction. try it at a slower speed with the gear in 2nd or 3rd. I think that would break the traction. Where did you get thoese tiers. I need some for the Bent bike I am building.
    Yes I'm sure I could have broke traction, the point was they gripped better than I though they would.

    I bough tthem at my local LBS for about $20 cdn each.

    You can get them at MEC for less, but with shipping they may come out the same. They are not really a pure slick like my Specialized Fat Boys, but they are close.



    MEC Link Here

    Performance Link Here

    Here is a cool looking tread for $9.99


    Forte City ST MTB Tire
    -Trek 5000* -Project Litespeed* -The Italian Job* -Rocky Wedge* -The Canadian Connection*

  6. #6
    Castiron Perineum Bockman's Avatar
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    Viper, are your handlebar end extenders aftermarket? If so, can I ask the manufacturer?

    Dave
    The best libertarian podcast on the internet! freedomainradio.com

  7. #7
    These go to 11. DavidLee's Avatar
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    Very nice bike, now it just needs a rack and a blinkie.
    Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling. ~ James E. Starrs

  8. #8
    Baby it's cold outside... ViperZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bunabayashi
    Viper, are your handlebar end extenders aftermarket? If so, can I ask the manufacturer?

    Dave
    Hey Dave, which ones? The purple ones or the black ones?

    The Black ones are generic MEC branded ones More Here

    The purple ones are Tranz X, I don;t know if they are vailble anymore as those are from the late 80's


    Quote Originally Posted by DavidLee
    Very nice bike, now it just needs a rack and a blinkie.
    I actually have a Jim Blackburn rack that I attached with this long bracket that clamped to the seat post binder, but I was not happy with the way it fit. So I may look for another alternative or another rack.

    I have a Blinkie too, just havent installed it as I have a built in blinkie in my backpack.

    Thanks!
    -Trek 5000* -Project Litespeed* -The Italian Job* -Rocky Wedge* -The Canadian Connection*

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ViperZ
    Yeah, shes not much to look at, but WHAT A FUN RIDE she is!
    What are you talking about? She's beautiful!


    The Slicks pumped up to 100psi make it almost as fast as a road bike, yet it blasts through gravel covered streets and water streaks like nobodies business, and with out making a mess on me. I can't believe how fun this bike is, it brings back the freedom I felt as a child on a bike.... Nothing to serious.
    I've got a similar project in mind.... Can't wait!

  10. #10
    Baby it's cold outside... ViperZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    What are you talking about? She's beautiful!


    I've got a similar project in mind.... Can't wait!
    Thanks Blue She does have a look that I like

    It'll look better once I get the rack on it.


    Can't wait to see your project.
    -Trek 5000* -Project Litespeed* -The Italian Job* -Rocky Wedge* -The Canadian Connection*

  11. #11
    Senior Member jet sanchEz's Avatar
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    Hrm, you copied mine, right down to the snowbank in the background! I posted these pics awhile ago in the Classic forum, weird how similar they are. I hated the U-brake thing on the rear so brazed on some pivots for V-brakes and now this thing is super


  12. #12
    Senior Member caotropheus's Avatar
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    Hello Viper, your commuting bicycle is almost perfect, and why? Because a Nexus 8 would make the perfect commuting machine.

  13. #13
    Baby it's cold outside... ViperZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jet sanchEz
    Hrm, you copied mine, right down to the snowbank in the background! I posted these pics awhile ago in the Classic forum, weird how similar they are. I hated the U-brake thing on the rear so brazed on some pivots for V-brakes and now this thing is super

    WOW! That's Bizarre Nice bike, I had never seen yours before

    Yes I did not like the Ubrake either, but I'm willing to live with it. It works well. I had to take a heat gun to the Planet Fenders and mold it a little bit to allow clearance of the brake and fender.



    These fenders are awesome. I rode to work today in the rain, and I was clean when I got to work. It was still raining when I rode home. My jacket, pants and pack are still clean with no road spray at all. There is only a little bit on my shoes and on the lower cuff of my pants, however it's marginal.


    Quote Originally Posted by caotropheus
    Hello Viper, your commuting bicycle is almost perfect, and why? Because a Nexus 8 would make the perfect commuting machine
    Thanks caotropheus! A Nexus as in the hub?
    -Trek 5000* -Project Litespeed* -The Italian Job* -Rocky Wedge* -The Canadian Connection*

  14. #14
    don't pedal backwards... MacG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ViperZ
    A Nexus as in the hub?
    I'm pretty sure he means the Shimano Nexus 8-speed internally-geared hub. Remember the Sturmey Archer 3-speed hubs of the 60s? This is like one of those on steroids. Same theory, just more gears and lots of refinement.

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/shimano-nexus.html
    from Minneapolis, with bike love

  15. #15
    Baby it's cold outside... ViperZ's Avatar
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    Thats what I thought
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  16. #16
    It's as easy as riding a dannwilliams's Avatar
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    I get the same feeling when I ride my wife's 1989 GT Timberline. I got it tuned up and put new wheels and a 9 speed on it last year. I would rather ride it around town vs my road or tourig bike. And yes, it brings the kid back out in me every time I ride it! The bad part is when I ride with my wife and I HAVE to ride the road bike!
    "It doesn't get easier, you just go faster."

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