Kai's Touring Bicycle

Click here to read about the restoration and history of this bicycle.

NOTE – The following description has been updated to reflect the parts currently installed on the bike – the images are dated and may therefore differ.

Frame – 23-inch Fat City Cycles “Wicked Lite” c.1994, TIG-welded custom-drawn, heat-treated, triple-butted True Temper 4130 chromoly tubing, Ritchey double-eyeleted mountain dropouts, gussets at the head tube joint and where the seat stays connect to the seat tube, triple water bottle bosses & a full compliment of rack and fender bosses (plus a newly added brazed pump peg on the inner face of the head tube).  All powder coated black, with no-logos and fabricated in Somerville, Massachusetts, by the fine folks at Fat Chance (see image to the right):  [Made in USA]

Fork – Fat Chance handbuilt Unicrown Fork w/1” steerer, True Temper fork blades, Ritchey double-eyeleted mountain dropouts, lowrider bosses.  All powder coated black, with no logos and built by the same fine folks whose signatures are pictured to the right.  [Made in USA]


Bottom BracketPhil Wood JIS Square Tapered Stainless Bottom Bracket w/Phil Wood Stainless Cups, English, 122.5mm axle  [Made in USA]

Cranks – Shimano FC-M730 SG Square Taper Arms, 175mm (74-110 BCD) – c.1993 (NOS)  [Made in Japan]

Crank Bolts – Sugino Autex Self-Extracting Crank Bolts, NOS  [Made in Japan]

Chainrings – [UPDATE November 2014] Quad-chainring setup (17-24-34-46) made possible with the addition of a NOS Mountain Tamer “Quad Plus” installed in place of the granny gear and fitted with one NOS 17T Suntour “A” cog & one NOS 24T Suntour “A” cog adjacent to standard 110BCD 34T and 46T Raceface “Race” chainrings  [Made in USA, Made in Japan, Made in Canada]

Rear Derailleur – Shimano XT RD-M751 SGS Long Cage 9 Speed “Mega” Rear Derailleur – c.2003 NOS installed with an ingenious Middleburn Breakaway Derailleur Bolt and featuring an authentic Avid Rollamajig NOS [Made in Japan, Made in England, Made in USA]

Front Derailleur – Shimano XTR FD-M900 Front Derailleur, 1 1/8″(28.6mm) – c.1993 (original part) accompanied by a slightly modified N-Gear Jump Stop which prevents chain from falling off smallest chainring.  [Made in Japan, Made in USA]

CassetteSRAM 990 9-Speed PowerGlide II Cassette 11-32 (11-12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32)  [Made in Portugal]

ShiftersShimano Dura-Ace SL-BS77 Bar-End Shifters, 9 speed  [Made in Japan]


Front HubPhil Wood FSA Touring, hollow axle, 36-Hole, 100mm spacing  [Made in USA]

Front & Rear RimsMavic EX721 CD 26” 36-Hole, drilled for Schraeder  [Made in France]

Front & Rear SpokesWheelsmith (SS-14) 14-Gauge Stainless Straight Gauge Spokes  [Made in USA]

Front and Rear NipplesWheelsmith Brass Nipples  [Made in USA]

Front and Rear Rim TapeVelox cloth rim tape  [Made in France]

Front and Rear Tire – Continental Top Touring – brown sidewall, NOS (from back when they were still “Made in Germany”)  [Made in Germany] – Currently running Schwalbe Marathon Plus 26X1.75

Rear HubPhil Wood 9-speed FSC Touring Cassette, hollow axle, 36-Hole, 135mm spacing  [Made in USA]

Front & Rear SkewersPitlock stainless steel locking skewers  [Made in Germany]

Front and Rear Fenders – SKS Chromoplastic P65 Fenders, Black  [Made in Germany]

Mudflaps – DIY following these instructions (our thanks to the illustrious Alex Whetmore)  [Made in USA]


Handlebars – Nitto Noodle, 26.0, 46cm, heat-treated  [Made in Japan]

Stem – Nitto Technomic – 26.0, c.1993 (original equipment)  [Made in Japan] – Replaced with identical make and model stem in 2013 due to material failure.

HeadsetChris King 2-Nut 1” Threaded, Silver  [Made in USA]

Handlebar Tape – Triple-wrapped Off the Front “NEO-PRO”, NOS (this stuff was/is incredible – my road bike has the same tape going on more than a decade!  No adhesive and Lorica-like composition means the tape comes off for washing up and then goes right back on.  It still looks like new…I stocked up!]  [Made in USA]


Front & Rear BrakesPaul Components Touring Canti’s, Silver  [Made in USA]

Brake Hangers – Salsa Wide Yoke  [Made in Tawian] 

Levers – Cane Creek SCR-5 Levers, Black on Black  [Made in Taiwan] Replaced with same make and model in 2013 following warranty claim; levers are now silver.

PadsKoolstop Thinline Threaded  [Made in USA] Replaced in 2013 with Koolstop Mountain Dual-Compound.

Barrel AdjusterJagwire In-Line Barrel Adjuster (ZRG217)  [Made in China]

Headset Cable Hanger – DiaCompe Alloy Hanger, Silver NOS  [Made in Japan]


Seatpost – American Classic Alloy 26.4mm (original equipment)  [Made in USA]

Post Clamp – Alloy, for 1 1/8″ seat tube & 26.4 post  [Made in USA]

SaddleBrooks Team Pro (original equipment c.1994)  [Made in England] Replaced in late 2017 with a matching Brooks Team Pro after the steel rails on the original finally gave out. 23 year lifespan!

Waterproof/breathable coverRandi-Jo Fabrications Saddle Cover for Brooks Pro, seams sealed [Made in USA]

Water Bottle Cages

On the bike – Bikebuddy MK3 (2) and King Iris SS Cage (3) [Made in England, Made in USA]

On the front and rear panniers – Ortlieb Bottle Cage (3)  [Made in Germany]


Front RackSurly Nice Front Rack, silver [I really wanted to use a Nitto Big Front Rack but was not 100% confident in their design for attachment to the bike.]  [Made in China]

Rear RackTubus Cosmo, original version, stainless steel (back when they were made in Germany!) mounted to all four dropout eyelets using a 6mm bolt fastened to a custom stainless steel standoff (itself mounted to both eyelets on each dropout [Made in Germany, Made in USA]


Platform – The combo of MKS Touring Platform Pedals & Power Grip Straps  [Made in Japan, Made in USA] Update 2016 – swapped this combination for a set of Made in England Superstar Components Nano-x pedals.


Frame Mounted – None.

ExternalClick-stand Max-5 with Fat Foot  [Made in USA] Also carrying a beta-model expedition-grade Click-stand “EXP-4”


Cable Housing – Shimano  [Made in Japan]

Cable – Shimano stainless steel  [Made in Japan]

Cable FerrulesJagwire Nylon Ferrules – keep rust at bay!  [Made in China]

Bell – Crane brass bell  [Made in Japan] Replaced in 2014 with a brass Mirrcycle Incredibell “Bellini” [mounted on stem quill] after the galvanized post holding the bell failed. [Made in USA]

Frame Pump – Zefal HPX Frame Fit Pump #3 (large) mounted in-line with the seat tube using a KlickFix PumpFix [Made in France, Made in Germany]

Mirror – Departed with a [close to worthless] plastic Blackburn version of the earlier plastic Rhode Gear version of the original Rhode Gear brake hood-mounted mirror. After multiple failures and multiple warranty claims I switched to a modified NOS Rhode Gear “Quick-Release CycleMirror” (the original version as mentioned above) c. mid-1990’s.  The original anodized aluminum bracket (that the round mirror body attaches to) was designed for skinny non-aero brake hoods so I fabricated a new bracket out of aluminum sheet that is custom molded to my contemporary brake hoods.  [Made in USA, DIY] UPDATE 2017 – Following failure of the DIY bracket, I’m now using an ultralight D+D Oberlauda mirror fitted to the drop on the left side of the handlebar.

Front Light – Princeton Tec EOS Bike (105 lumen version) mounted to the light boss on the forward most rail of the front rack with one half of a DIY-lathed cylindrical section of white Delrin that we found beside the road in Baja (someone else’s DIY lighting project that we’re guessing fell off a motorcycle). Sheila is using the other half in exactly the same manner as me and we’ve kept my original 70 lumen version as a spare. [Made in USA]

Rear Light(s) – (1) Spanninga Pixeo Xba (model w/light & motion sensor) fender-mounted and (1) vintage VistaLite VL-300, c.1993, mounted to a narrow but stout piece of aluminum angle that is itself mounted to the center hole on the rear rack light bracket. [Made in Netherlands, Made in USA, DIY]