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  1. #1
    Birdman aka JMJ
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    2011 Kona Makena

    My 6-year old daughter is rapidly outgrowing her Specialized HotRock 16, so I picked up a 2011 Kona Makena 20" bike for her this weekend ($100 from my sister). Except for the Spinner fork, it seems nice and light, and has 1x6 gearing with linear brakes.

    First upgrade will be a cut-down low-rise bar (the Kona bar is steel) and maybe relacing the front wheel to a QR hub if I can find or trade for a cheap 36h hub. The steel clamp seatpost would be next, then maybe lightening that fork somehow (rigid alloy fork instead with threadless headset?)

    Any other Makena owners out there?

    Thanks - jMJ

  2. #2
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    Replacing all the junky steel parts will yield some good weight reduction.

    For the front, tykes dont need 36 spokes. Save a bit of weight when you re-lace the wheel and just go with 18 spokes (if using another 36 spoke hub) or else with creative lacing you can use a 36 spoke rim laced to a more common 32 spoke hub by using a pattern with 24 spokes.

  3. #3
    Birdman aka JMJ
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    Great idea w.r.t. less spokes. I might even be able to source a cheaper set of 32h 20" aluminum rims, since I have a few 32h hubs kicking about.

    JMJ

  4. #4
    Havok
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    I'd like to learn about that too. I'm building a 20" disc set with 32h hubs. I'd like to go 24.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordan300 View Post
    I'd like to learn about that too. I'm building a 20" disc set with 32h hubs. I'd like to go 24.
    Even 24 spokes is likely complete overkill for a kid on a 20" wheel, with 32 spoke rims and hubs it should be fine to go down to 16 spokes which is simple pattern to lace and saves more weight.

    For 24 spokes however, if you are re-using existing 32 spoke hubs, you can do a 24 spoke crows foot pattern. On each side there will be four clusters of three spokes (one crossed spoke pair + one radial spoke), then after every 3rd occupied hole on the rim and hub, skip a hole. Only difficulty is that if the rim spoke holes are angled to align with one side of the hub, not all the spokes will follow the correct rim hole alignmnet but on a singlewall rim it is easy to use a drill bit and ovalize the hole to point oposite side where needed, add a thin washer under the spoke nipple to keep it from pulling through.

    If you are lacing a 36spoke rim and hub to 24 spokes, then a standard 3X spoke pattern is probably best, just leaving every third hole unnoccupied. If you want to use 36 spoke rim with a 32 hole hub, then the hub pattern is to use three holes, skip every fourth, the patten of spoke crossings leaving the rim will be non-symetrical but can still be workable if you are not an OCD wheelbuilder.

  6. #6
    Birdman aka JMJ
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrayJay View Post
    ... but can still be workable if you are not an OCD wheelbuilder.
    I've never met a wheelbuilder who did not have OCD!

    I reassembled the bike this weekend and discovered the seatpost is 27.2mm (hooray). I have 3 spares to choose from in my parts bin. I already trimmed down my spare riser bar to 22".

    Also, fork spacing is 100mm, rear is 130mm (and tight). I'm tempted to swap out the rear derailleur to an XT, since the Tourney one on there looks heavy (and has a bizarre extra cable pulley on it). The rear cogset is supposedly Shimano Tourney 14-28 6-sp (freewheel).


    Boxed in 12" x 21" x 36" box, airline ready.


    Ready for modifications!

    JMJ

  7. #7
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    Looks like a good frame to start upgrading.
    I recently relaced a set of 36 spoke kids wheels. Came to the realization that for a front wheel, dropping 2/3 of the spokes to produce a 12 spoke wheel is still plenty strong and builds completely symetrical, rim holes are all symetrical and angled correctly (unlike an 18 spoke build). I re-laced a 24" front wheel into 12 spoke radial pattern (using shorter spokes scavanged off a 20" wheel). If you are using disk brakes and need crossed spokes for transmitting brake torque, then three pairs of crossed spokes on each side should work. THe pattern for a 12 spoke wheel on 36 hole hub/rim is super easy, just use every third hole and the build is completely OCD symetrical. Even the lightest available kids rims are still completely overbuilt for their weight so it is safe and makes sense to utilize the extra strength of the rim to build a lighter wheel (via fewer spokes) that is still plenty strong. After I built the kids 12-spoke front wheel, I put it onto my own bike and rode it around under my 200 pound weight, held up fine and felt stiff.

    For the rear wheel re-build of a 36 hole rim&tire set, I did a 18 spoke pattern using 12 crossed spokes on the drive side (leaving every third spoke hole empty at the hub) and for the non-drive side used 6 radial spokes, so there is single NDS spoke to ballance the lateral tension of each drive side crossed spoke pair, 18 spokes total. It was a bit more difficult than usual to get the wheel built true but it works and benefit is that since there are 1/2 as many NDS spokes they each carry twice the tension as usual so are very close to the tension of the normally tighter dished drive side spokes. Only OCD exceptions to the pattern are that the NDS radial spoke nipples are not laterally angled to correct side at the rim and they are also 1/2 position away from being true radial (they are all angled to trail back by 1/2 hole since the holes on each side of the hub are offset by 1/2 postion).

    If you replace the rear hub, you might be able to find an 130mm road hub or else narrow down a 135mm mtb hub to fit by removing/swapping axle spacers. Swapping an 8/9/10speed hub casette to an older 7-speed casette body will also narrow the locknut width by 5mm and helps to minimizes the amount of dish offset needed for the rim.

    If changing to a casette hub, you might also think about replaceing the 6-speed twist shifters to 7, 8, or 9 speed shifting. At 7, my daughter couldnt generate enough grip & torque to twist shifter into lowest gears, had a much easier time once I switched her over to a pair of old thumb shifters.

  8. #8
    Birdman aka JMJ
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    Great information GrayJay. Many thanks.

    I was more interested in rebuilding the wheels to get QRs on them versus weight reduction. I have several 32 spoke hubs (front & 8-sp rear), along with an 8-speed XT trigger shifter. I've located 32 hole 20" rims at about $50 for the set. I won't be relacing the wheels unless I can go QR on them at the same time. I think I'm unlikely to find a replacement QR axle kit for the KT hubs that are on it now.

    Now I'm just thinking - how much do I want to drop into this bike (time & $$$)? By raiding the parts bin, I can take off a bit of weight (seatpost & handlebar) for $0. Getting 32h rims means I can use my existing spare XT hubs and upgrade the drivetrain to 8-speed whilst pulling a bit more weight off.

    The heavy stem and fork are, well, what they are. I'd have to find a 20" compatible threadless rigid fork, super-short stem, and 1" headset to pull that weight off.

    BTW - the current weight of the bike is 23lb

    Thanks - JMJ

  9. #9
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    If your existing 36 spoke rims are reasonably light aluminum extrusion, save $ on buying the new 32 hole rims by lacing your 36 hole rims to your 32 hole XT hubs by using 24 spokes per wheel.

    OTOH- if all you really want is to add quick release and want to avoid building new wheels, it is very likely that you can simple replace the solid nutted axels with slightly shorter hollow axles and use QR skewers. The threading for axles is fairly standardized and I doubt it would be any different for a solid & hollow axle, just re-use all your existing hubs bearing cones, spacers and locknuts on the new hollow axles. Most any LBS likely will have the hollow axles you would need to do this or scavenge them from another hubset.

  10. #10
    Birdman aka JMJ
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    I'm digging the idea of swapping axles. Thanks again. JMJ

  11. #11
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    2011 Kona Makena

    Quote Originally Posted by Birdman View Post
    Great information GrayJay. Many thanks.

    I was more interested in rebuilding the wheels to get QRs on them versus weight reduction. I have several 32 spoke hubs (front & 8-sp rear), along with an 8-speed XT trigger shifter. I've located 32 hole 20" rims at about $50 for the set. I won't be relacing the wheels unless I can go QR on them at the same time.
    I'm interested to know what 20" rims you found for $50.

  12. #12
    Birdman aka JMJ
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  13. #13
    Birdman aka JMJ
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    Finally got around to prepping the bike for Xmas. Took off the steel seatpost, stem , and hbar and installed a Felt carbon post, 1-1/8" alloy quill adapter & 50mm x 10 degree stem, and a cut-down Sun Ringle hbar. Took just over 1 lb off the bike. Adjusted the brakes and shifting, and did a thorough cleaning.



    JMJ

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