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  1. #1
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    Noob bike building question

    So, based on my other thread about my flattened wheel, I've been looking hard at the Kona Five-O's based on the stupid cheap price. I'll either buy a frame and build it, or buy a complete bike, strip the parts off, put them on the hardrock and give it to my MUCH lighter and fit girlfriend (who probably won't taco wheels), and then build the Five-O up to be bombproof for me.

    So begins the stupid questions.

    Only thing I can think of right now...Can I put a 29er wheelset up front instead of 26 if I want? I'll be switching forks, so I'm assuming I just buy a fork designed for 29, yes?

  2. #2
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    Also, mathematically, I should be on a 17" frame. My current specialized is a 17 inch frame. Kona makes either 16 or 18, but no 17. Should I go for the 16, or the 18?

  3. #3
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    Depends on what ETT you're looking for. The Five-Os run really long top tubes for the amount of seat tube. I'd guess that a 16" Five-O would have a similar ETT to the 17" Spec you've been riding.

    You could probably run a short travel 29er fork and wheel up front but make sure you're aware of the pros and cons of 69er setups and that it might not work given the frame clearances.

    The build list on the Five-Os is really cheap, so if your GF doesnt know any better she'll be happy, otherwise you'll just be putting porky parts onto a light frame and end up with a portly frame with light parts and a light frame with portly parts. I've gone into more detail about the Five-O on a lower post in this forum.

  4. #4
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    I was just curious about the 69 setup, I haven't researched it at all. I'll probably just work on a hardtail 26er for now, then a hogarthian rigid for the street, and then probably start looking for an FS 29'er.

    As for the kona, I'd be building it from scratch with anything and everything bulletproof I could find, so I'd have a portly frame with portly components. As for putting the stock comps on the spec, she's all of 140 pounds and looking to do light trail riding (think multi-use) so I can't imagine she'd tear through them like I would, but are they really THAT bad that they wouldn't handle that kind of rider/riding? What about the Kona deluxe buildout? They have that on closeout too for $250 more... I'd also probably rebuild the MZ Comp fork I have on the spec now and continue to use it for her, since the one on the kona got such bad reviews (same fork whether standard five-o or deluxe,) and I've straight beat the living hell out of the mz comp without so much as a peep out of it.


    Also...what effect would a shorter/longer ETT have on the ride/handling/etc? In other words, why would I care about the ETT...what is the practical application? Thanks!

  5. #5
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    ETT affects how stretched out you are on the bike. Most modern bikes use compact frame geometry where bikes are longer than they are tall. The 18" Kona Five-O fits like most companies' 20" frames in regards to length, it just has a shorter seat tube so that you can slam the seatpost on gravity days and get loads of clearance.

    The factory fork will work fine until it blows out on you, I just would budget for something better. If you're a clyde you'll benefit from the 20mm thruaxle.

  6. #6
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    Word. I'm trying to pull specs now for both so that I can compare. So the Kona has 20mm thru? My spec is standard Q/R skewers front and rear.

    But anyway, do you think the Kona components would be fine for her weight/riding style, or would I be better off just buying a kona frame and building both bikes? Thanks man, I appreciate your input.

  7. #7
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    You can buy the Kona and ride is at it sits, just know that you'll need to upgrade things overtime.

    My buddy blew out his freehub riding some park with it after lots of gravity days, but I would have hated to have been with him on a trail if it blew out miles away from the car. He bent the stock cranks and weighs 150lbs, not that big of an issue if it happens on a trail. Same thing with the fork, its not a dedicated air fork so if the air seals blow or the damper hydrolocks, you can at least ride out.

    The brakes would be overkill for her since they're 7" hydros that are strong but have zero modulation. I know my gf went OTB on his bike because she couldnt feather the brakes enough.

    The whole drivetrain is recreation quality at best. Acera rear derailleur and shifter IIRC. I would bless that on anyone who rides their bike in the dirt.

    Sounds like it'd be best to give her your bike and then you build up a clyde capable beast.

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