A few words on a short lived love affair (sorry Nick)
In my life I have an overwhelming amount of errands to run, cafes and restaurants to eat at and pubs to visit. This sort of outrageous lifestyle requires a bicycle which one does not need to be too precious about, a bike that can be safely locked up around the place without turning too many heads. It is because of this that I built the Fox…
A bike that I was incredibly precious about and one that turned the head of almost everybody…
The frame was a 1987 Muddy Fox Courier, a beautiful lugged number made of Tange tubing.
The frame originally belonged to my friend and fellow ‘Grass up the Middle’ green laner Nick and was his first mountain bike way back when. I saved it from the basement and it enjoyed a glorious and graceful resurrection before ascending to the heavens one final time…
Before the Fox was cruelly ripped from my grasp we shared some wonderful moments together.
The basket I fitted on the front provided ample carrying capacity for household goods and snacks alike.
The MKS Grip King pedals by Rivendell made riding in flip flops possible (It’s wonderful, I’d recommend it to anyone)
The sweptback handlebar, Newbaums cloth tape and tall Nitto stem made the position comfy and the handling controlled.
Schwalbe Fat Frank 2.35” tires made for a squishy yet fast rolling ride (likened to riding on two rubber pool rings by a friend of mine).
The bike was perfect but alas, t’was not to be. On a dark Wednesday evening I was hit at speed head-on by a rogue wooden bench.
I was sent hurtling through the air like a graceful swallow, but I hit the ground like a sack of spuds. I was left with a smashed face and possibly a cracked rib or two. However a cracked rib and a grazed face can heal. A bent fork and a cracked frame cannot. So there I was, staring at the cracked and twisted corpse of a lovely bike that I’d owned for just over a week, not wanting to believe that it was gone and crapping myself about telling Nick (who was unbelievably cool about it, of course!) In the meantime, I can dwell in the hope of a second coming.
Which I feel is just around the corner…
Frame & Forks: 1987 Muddy Fox Courier, Tange MTB Steel Tubing (Lugged)
Wheels and Tires: Shimano DH-3N31 dynamo hub on Rigida 26” rim (front) Quando generic screw mount hub on Rigida rim (rear). Schwalbe Fat Frank 26 x 2.35 front and rear.
Gearing: Vintage Sugino Triple crankset, shimano 7 speed freewheel block, Shimano Deore MT62 rear mech, Old Suntour front mech, Shimano bar end friction shifters.
Braking: Vintage Dia Compe 983 cantis, shimano v brake levers.
Finishing Kit: Nitto Technomic tall stem, cheap ebay bars (albatross copies), Newbaums cloth tape, generic headset and seatpost, Selle Italia Flite Titanium saddle, King Cage bottle cage.
Racks: Brick Lane Bikes Rack and Basket combo.
Words & Pictures – Charlie Hitchen