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  1. #1
    el Camino
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    Kona UNIT suggestions?

    Lets say I own a Kona Unit (actually, about to buy), and have about $500 with which to upgrade it. What should I do?

    I'm thinking about a RockShocks Recon Fork. But maybe the money would be better spent on new tires/wheels/stems, etc?

    I'm a pretty casual rider, used to race a Bridgestone MB2 way back in the day, then rode it for fun, have been riding single speed road bikes since that was stolen, about 5 years ago. Returning to mountain bikes

    I like the zen simplicity of the rigid fork, but I'm getting old and little bit of squish would help me be cool for my kids... thanks!

  2. #2
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    I have a unit. I upgraded the fork to a Reba from biker Bob. The rigid fork was working my fillings loose. Pedals are also a nice upgrade. The stock stem was also too short for me. Also a new 20t cog and SRAM pg870 rounded the bike off for me.

  3. #3
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    W.I. spiderless cranks and phil wood BB is
    my biggest upgrade so far, very solid and smooth
    I am still riding on the stock rigid fork for the one
    year now that I had my Kona unit but at some point I
    would like to put on a shock , but I think
    new wheels will be first when the stocks wear out.

    Last edited by Lonecrow; 05-29-2012 at 11:25 PM.

  4. #4
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    If you were going to get a suspension fork anyway, why not go for a Big Unit?

  5. #5
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    Yeah ^^^ if you could do that cuz that bike has a sweeet spec. but its also over a 1000 bucks than what you would spend with just the unit

  6. #6
    get down!
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    I think wheels before suspension fork. Wide wheels and an Ardent 2.4 up front. Suspension fork when you can afford something nice.
    Rudy Projects look ridiculous

    visit my blog, BEATS, BIKES & LIFE

  7. #7
    el Camino
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    Thanks... some questions:

    Is the Recon Gold fork a crappy one? LBS said they could throw it in to the deal for $1,250 total? Seemed like a good deal to me... Then hang on to the p2 fork incase I ever want to go monster-cross...

    I like steel, I like the orange, and the general feng shui of the normal unit - hence not that into the Big Unit.

    I have some Shimano XTR clipless pedals. Are folks still riding clipless pedals in teh mountains? Or just platforms, straps...

    Size: Size it up or down? I'm 6'2" 185, trying to decide between the 19 and the 20...

    Thanks!!!!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by appleSSeed View Post
    I think wheels before suspension fork. Wide wheels and an Ardent 2.4 up front. Suspension fork when you can afford something nice.
    Ditto.

    As far as size goes, I'm on a 20" and I'm 6'2" with a 34" inseam and normal reach. With a 90mm stem it feels a tiny bit cramped for me, I'll probably be switching to a 100mm.

  9. #9
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    I'm 6'1.5 or 6'2" if I sit up straight, 20" for sure! I ran a 120 stem, though I run a 100 on my 20" Raijin and it feels okay. I might run a 110 soon, just to check.

    Definitely 20" for you.
    Rudy Projects look ridiculous

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  10. #10
    251
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    I suggest riding it for a while, and then consider upgrades. If you really want to spend the cash, then I'd look at a good tubeless wheelset.

    Give the rigid fork a try, you may like it. Personally, I wouldn't necessarily consider a suspension fork an upgrade over a rigid fork.
    Dave
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 251 View Post
    I suggest riding it for a while, and then consider upgrades. If you really want to spend the cash, then I'd look at a good tubeless wheelset.

    Give the rigid fork a try, you may like it. Personally, I wouldn't necessarily consider a suspension fork an upgrade over a rigid fork.
    I'm with 251. When I first bought Unit, I thought about suspension fork, but I got wider tires first (Panaracer Rampage 2.35" wide), and now looking at a new wheelset. Also, at the $1000 price tag, there are so many other upgrades you can do before suspension fork to make it better. Personally, if I was to upgrade my fork, I would go with carbon fork.

    Currently, I have a shopping list full of Race Face Turbine parts (cranks, handle bars, stem, seat post) and Selle Italia saddles before getting a carbon fork.

  12. #12
    1*14*29*2.1 & 1*1*29*2.4
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    I had an old recon with the old 26er trance, and it was a good fork. Not sophisticated or light but good on all counts. Whether you opt for front sus is a style thing. Basically, if you want to hit things fast or keep up with guys with front sus it is probablya good idea. If you like riding rigid, then no, stick with your rigid and upgrade to a slightly better sus fork if you get tired of it. It certainly won't make you have more fun, just a differnt kind of fun.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by irv_usc View Post
    If you were going to get a suspension fork anyway, why not go for a Big Unit?
    The Big Unit is substantially more expensive. The Unit is available in an LBS for as low as 750. Ive seen them on clearance around 500. The Big Unit costs over 2000 bucks.

    Its also a major consideration that the BU is scandium while the U is steel.

  14. #14
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    I am 6ft with 33' inseam running a 19' and 110mm stem, fits perfect. I did a carbon bar and post, then a carbon fork. Should have saved for a real suspension fork, carbon fork was not worth the money. I should have done the wheels first as now after almost a year I can tell the rear is about to go and have no money for the wheels I want.
    2011 Kona unit with some carbon.

  15. #15
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    Tubeless-ready wheelset.
    "I like skinny jeans. Sometimes I wear them to the mall to get an Orange Julius." -Chim Chim

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by el Camino View Post
    Thanks... some questions:

    Is the Recon Gold fork a crappy one? LBS said they could throw it in to the deal for $1,250 total? Seemed like a good deal to me... Then hang on to the p2 fork incase I ever want to go monster-cross...

    Thanks!!!!
    I think of the Recon as a modularly upgradeable fork. The solo air is a nice spring unit. If it has a TK, that will be the first upgrade. You can go to a Moco ($ 70), or even a Moco DNA RCT3 ($ 150). Down the road, if you need more finesse in the rough stuff, you can get the Black Box rebound unit ($ 70).

  17. #17
    B.Ike
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    Quote Originally Posted by amishscum View Post
    tubeless-ready wheelset.
    ^^+1
    Better tires were a must for my trails, they might be fine for you, depending where/how you ride.

  18. #18
    EXORCIZE
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    Buy a 20", stay rigid, get a a fatter front tire, ignore your children, thank me later.
    ride natty ride

  19. #19
    el Camino
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    A lot of suggestions for keeping the rigid fork...

    So heres the deal. My kid rides slow for now, hes four, so i anticipate lots of time waiting for him here and there around town and on the trails. Time that would be well spent doing wheelies and jumping on picnic tables, staircases etc. hence the fork. But maybe the for is irrelevant for that stuff...

    Whats the best bang for my buck in fatter tires? Tubeless?

  20. #20
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    If this is your first 29er the rigid fork will be lighter and help with getting the front up. My son is also four and this bike is perfect for playing around when riding with him and even in stock form its a very fun trail bike.
    2011 Kona unit with some carbon.

  21. #21
    JEA
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    lighter wheels and tubeless tyres, the way to go for me

  22. #22
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    I ran the stock rigid fork for a while, then eventually swapped in a reba from another bike. Wait a while and save up the money for a nice mid to higher level fork if one day you decide that's what you want. Don't settle for a cheap fork at this time if $$ is an issue, save a little more for something better. Right away I converted the stock wheels and tires with the notubes setup, it's cheap and possibly just as worthy an upgrade as the fork. The reba and tubeless make this bike extremely capable and comfortable, so much so I just sold my xc full suspension 29er to make room for a heavier duty AM 29er to handle the really gnarly stuff. Other than the reba and a shorter stem the bike is stock and I'm lovin it.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by el Camino View Post
    Whats the best bang for my buck in fatter tires? Tubeless?
    I got Panaracer Rampage from Jenson for under $47 each. 2.35" wide, not the best tires, but cheap and good enough.

  24. #24
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    Just put my cash down on a unit can't wait to get it!

  25. #25
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    I concur with the votes for tubeless. I ran some cheap Mavics converted to tubeless on my Unit. In conjunction with nice high-volume tires (Geax Gato TNTs), it allowed me to run really low pressure. I had a suspension fork on mine, but I spent 90% of the time with it locked out. The tires were enough cush without the fork.

    Either convert the wheels that come with the bike and get some tube/no-tube tires (like the Gato), or spring for a set of Stan's Flows and some Ardents. Flows/Ardents would be more like $650, but that's not that much more than $500, right?

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