Liahona Mission

Since my winter bicycle was stolen, I’ve been scrambling to make other arrangements for the rest of the winter.  Introducing, the Liahona Mission.  

The name Liahona, of course, is a Book of Mormon reference.  Read about it at Wikipedia here.  
Why a bike with a name that references the Book of Mormon?  The story (according to a 1997 source) goes like this:  
“We have a gentleman from Taiwan who was a convert to the church, and he wanted to be more helpful to missionaries,” says [Michael] Spence, a lifelong Mormon who rode a 10-speed Schwinn on his mission 30 years ago, “and he said, ‘You know, these bikes are really bad.’ ” So Spence and the grateful convert created the Liahona Mission Bike, a 21speed mountain bike sold exclusively to Mormon missionaries, also known as elders. Spence assembles the bicycles himself-the frames come from Taiwan, the Shimano parts from Japan… Named after a compass in the Book of Mormon, the Liahona’s design is based in part on recommendations from elders-its most Mormon-specific feature is a plastic sprocket guard to keep trouser cuffs oil-free.”
It’s sort of like FUBU for mormons.  It’s a bicycle marketed only to Mormon Missionaries.  The web site suggests that only missionaries are permitted to buy them, though I have a hard time believing they’d turn down a sale.
At any rate, I was given this bicycle by a friend, and have replaced pretty much anything on it that can be replaced.  I’ve still got a few problems with it, though.  Most notably, the seat post is now fused to the frame and can’t be raised or lowered, something I wish I’d noticed before I spent $$ on new parts for it.  Similarly, the kickstand is fused in place and can neither be used, nor removed (without a grinder).  But it will still be a decent bike for tooling around on snow days.  It’s no Big Red, but it’ll do.

4 comments to Liahona Mission

  • I think one of my bros had to get this bike on his mission. When I first heard he HAD to buy this brand of bike, I thought there was some kind of scam going on. I do remember that his papers suggested that he could sell the bike after his mission was over, but that most members bonded with their bikes and didn't want to sell them. I thought that was really strange back then, but now I understand.
    I still think we should try using a blow torch to knock the seat loose. Does anyone have a blow torch we can borrow?

  • Sorry about the seat. Hadn't thought about that becoming so tight.

  • Haha… "like FUBU for missionaries." Gets ya every time.

  • Ben, did you get this bike on your mission? Did you bond with it (or was it too busy bonding to itself….)?

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