The Coffee Bike

Once I was satisfied with the Surly LHT, what other bike was really going to interest me, I thought. The nagging question was, is there a need for another bicycle even? Ah but when need becomes ‘want’ that’s a whole different story altogether.  At a certain bike shop in KL again, I saw this 18 inch wheeled KHS folding bike. Pale blue like the LHT, just 7 speeds, a large 53T crank and mostly below average parts. But the clincher was that it also has cute mudguards, a rear rack and was a soft tail, a cut in the monostay which had about 20 mm of travel, and with a bit of adjustment, it worked !

If the price was right, hmmm who knows what parts I have to ‘glamourise’ this forlorn and scratched ad nauseum bike. You see it was unceremoniously hauled in from shop back to shop front, almost everyday, for 5 years ! It was like rescuing s stray cat or dog. The RM $1400 price was droppped to RM$750 abt US$200 and the shopkeeper said he lost money and I was doing him the favour, on this disaster of a bike, as he called it.. I’ve seen the same bike at home going for a crazy $899 or about US$600.

The 2003 model KHS Cappuccino has been remodelled many times. Most significantly was the Deore FD and old LX double crank for more climbing gears. Schwalbe Marathon tyres in hard to find 18 inch sizes, and many changes of  the cockpit’s brakes and shifters, as the pictures will show. We now have 3 KHS brand bikes. Maybe I should name them Larry, Curly and Moe ?

the stock bike

the soft tail in detail

new use for old parts

new rubber and a retrofitted magnet on the left fork drop out from....Dahon !

sleeping in a bus

Besides getting coffee, the dainty Cappu has braved the dirt roads of Borneo when a friend borrowed her for that expedition

Possibly the final version, as Coleen loves the basket, Nitto Albatross bars and matching grips. I don't ride our Cappu that much as the seatpost here is dangerously past it's limit.

The 18 inch wheeled Cappu can still be found on KHS’s Japanese website only, and  in a variety of wild colours too quirky for the rest of the world.


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