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  1. #1
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    2013 Kona Kahuna and 2013 Norco Charger 9.1 Diary

    I thought I'd start a little diary of our thoughts about, and experiences with, our new bikes.

    The bikes . . .

    Hubby has a 2013 Kona Kahuna with a 19" frame. I have a 2013 Norco Charger 9.1 with an 18.5" frame (note that the bike frame reads "19" but it is rounded up).

    Our backgrounds . . .

    I'm a life long rider: cruisers, road, and mountain (mountain exclusively for the last 18 years). I'm not technically skilled, and I'm not fast. I just enjoy it. I've always loved tinkering with bikes. I'm an engineer by profession, and I'm 40-years-old.

    Hubby hasn't ridden a bike in 30 years (until the last three days). If something doesn't read "DeWalt" and have a power cord he's not particularly interested in the details of it. He's a 41-year-old carpenter.

    We're both 5'10" tall, but I'm longer in the leg while he's longer in the torso (which is a typical variance between men and women). He's around 190lbs, while I'm around 135lbs (we both tend to fluctuate in weight by around 20lbs as we're serious foodies . . . I'm low-ish and he's high-ish right now).

    How We Chose . . .

    Brand loyalty had a lot to do with why I chose my bike. My first bike was a Norco (with a banana seat and ape hangers!) in 1977, and I loved it. My first nice road bike was a Norco Monterrey SL in 1985, and it was a dream. I've had other bikes throughout the years, but I remember those two the most fondly. I'm looking forward to the memories that my Charger, my family, and I will make together.

    As our little guy (4-years-old) is starting to learn how to ride a bike, Hubby figured it was time to get back in the saddle. He chose his Kahuna after inspecting a couple of bikes (that I had suggested) in a couple of different sizes. Admittedly, I only suggested three . . . and one of those was not competitively spec'd out and I told him that. On top of that, with the assistance of the folks on this forum, I knew which one I really wanted for him (his bike is his Father's Day gift). Fortunately, he agreed.

  2. #2
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    Initial Impressions . . .

    The Kahuna . . .

    Let's start off by saying that the Kahuna has been officially named "Banshee" by me. I have never heard that kind of squealing come from a bike before! I admit that I'm a total noob when it comes to disk brakes, but I want to shoot that front brake to shut it up. The brake went from silent to incredibly noisy and grating in around ten minutes. It is a horrible sound.

    The situation was not improved by further riding, and I don't think it has anything to do with breaking in the brakes. The brake in question is an Avid Elixr 1. I knew the brakes were the weak link in the bike's specs. I was just hoping they wouldn't be an issue. I've been reading up on the issue, and while I think I could potentially resolve it by reshaping the brake pad a little, the bike has 6 months of free adjustments from the LBS and a one year parts warranty. I think I'll utilize the free adjustment option first. Maybe the mechanic will advise me as to what he does to it to resolve the issue.

    While the ghastly sound emanating from the front brake detracted a bit from the experience, that is the only complaint about this bike. He loves it, and he's anxious to get out on longer rides. I've swapped out the seat collar for him so he has a quick release collar while he gets used to cycling again.

    The Charger . . .

    Unfortunately, my first ride on the Charger was marred by a peculiar drive train issue: one that I have never encountered before. I'm not sure if the problem is with the Shimano Alivio FD-M430 front derailleur, or with the Shimano Alivio SL-M430 3spd shifter. I'm inclined to place the fault with the derailleur, but I need to do some reading on the issue. The chain will not always move from the middle ring to the large or small rings. Moving to the middle ring from either the small or large ring is always successful. The position of the chain on the 9-speed cog does not seem to affect the success/failure ratio of the shifts.

    I've had to adjust front derailleurs before, but those have been less complex issues (or rather, less complex than this one originally appears to me). I suspect I will utilize the 6 months of free adjustments on this one as well. I'm not sure if my tinkering could void any of the warranties. I'll have to ask.

    Apart from that, the Charger performed as I expected: well. I don't have everything adjusted quite right yet, but I'm getting close. I need to swap out the seat post with one that will allow adjustment along the horizontal plane. My bony arse is telling me that a new seat may be in order, too.

  3. #3
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    It sounds like the front D is an adjustment of the H/L screws on the derailleur. The mid ring is the most difficult to adjust for.
    Park Tool has info on adjustment. But it is just small turns of the L for the small ring and H for the large one.
    The brakes may be more problematic. .
    Re-bed them with 15 almost stops on a hill. Them visit the Brake section to begin your education for owning Avids. After a reasonable effort take the bike back to the lbs for their incantations under warranty for a defective component. Or
    BlueSkyCycling.com - Shimano SLX M675 IceTech Disc Brake w/ Adapter
    To avoid your many upcoming probs. $29 ship to AB.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    It sounds like the front D is an adjustment of the H/L screws on the derailleur. The mid ring is the most difficult to adjust for.
    Park Tool has info on adjustment. But it is just small turns of the L for the small ring and H for the large one.
    Thanks! I'll have a look. I've only every had to adjust for the largest ring before (usually after bashing the derailleur against something). I wasn't sure if the range of motion on a derailleur could be widened, or if it could only be shifted.

    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    The brakes may be more problematic. .
    Re-bed them with 15 almost stops on a hill. Them visit the Brake section to begin your education for owning Avids. After a reasonable effort take the bike back to the lbs for their incantations under warranty for a defective component. Or
    BlueSkyCycling.com - Shimano SLX M675 IceTech Disc Brake w/ Adapter
    To avoid your many upcoming probs. $29 ship to AB.


    I was hoping I was a special snowflake, and that I would somehow be spared from the Elixir curse. I had advised hubby when I bought the bike that his brakes would most likely need to swapped out. I was just hoping to turn it into a winter project.

    I'll try to bed them . . . but I think I'll also order the SLX M675s (great price!).

    [My brake help thread: Swapping out Avid Elixir brakes for Shimano brakes]
    Last edited by neacail; 05-28-2013 at 12:53 PM.
    Know your limitations, and then defy them.

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