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Thread: Kona Unit Build

  1. #1
    Some Dude
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    Kona Unit Build

    Well, finally got around to building my bike. Finished my wheels a week ago and just got my frame and fork back from the shop where they installed my crown race and headset cups. Here she is after an application of framesaver. Today I am cutting the steerer and wondering if I should install the cranks first so I can get a better feel for everything. I will try to add more pics as it progresses.

    Last edited by ccs1676; 03-15-2012 at 07:42 AM.

  2. #2
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    Love my 2012 Kona Unit. Had her for about a month now, also was a custom build. Here she is on my local 30km loop. And yes, those are zebra in the background!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Kona Unit Build-imageuploadedbytapatalk1331819386.340324.jpg  


  3. #3
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    Nice!!

  4. #4
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    hey guys what are your bikes' weights? I got a stock '12 about a month ago also...

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    I'm selling my 10 cadabra and a 10 unit and having a 12 unit built by my LBS, hopefully by the weekend.

  6. #6
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    The orange looks awesome!!!
    konahonzo

  7. #7
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    Well, I decided to do it right and ordered a metric torque wrench. Next week the build should get back underway...

  8. #8
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    All that's left is to install my chain and brakes, then tighten everything good:


  9. #9
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    OP: Very nice - really looks "put together."

    Part spec please!

    What made you chose a Unit to build from scratch?

    What trails is it designed for?
    2016 Pivot Mach 429 Trail
    2011 Kona Unit

  10. #10
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    I had the guys at Queen City Cycles build one for me,gonna get it dirty this weekend.
    Last edited by campdog; 03-21-2012 at 04:48 PM. Reason: wont show image

  11. #11
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    Kona Unit Build-imageuploadedbytapatalk1332371086.728492.jpghere it is

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryder1 View Post
    OP: Very nice - really looks "put together."

    Part spec please!

    What made you chose a Unit to build from scratch?

    What trails is it designed for?
    Thanks man! I decided that I wanted to build my bike from the frame up, and just decided on the Unit after almost committing to a Jabberwocky. I decided I wanted to buy the parts I wanted and go all out. It's designed for XC trails, but I will take it almost anywhere (here in Austin TX) like I did with my hardrock. I just took it around the block for a test ride and it rides really nice. A couple times there was a pop when I mashed down hard on the pedals. Not sure what was up with that. I'll have to keep my eyes/ears on that. I'm 6'3" and about 215lbs and it fits good.

    Specs:

    2012 Kona Unit Frame (20") and P2 fork
    Chris King Threadless headset
    Truvativ Stylo Stem 5°-100mm
    Truvativ Stylo Bars
    ODI Rogue grips
    Avid Dial 7 levers
    Jagwire cables
    Avid BB7 calipers
    Avid 185mm disc in front
    Avid 160mm disc in back
    Thomson seatpost collar
    Thomson seatpost
    WTB Rocket V saddle
    Truvativ Stylo 1.1 SS crankset 175mm
    Shimano M520 pedals
    KMC X8 chain
    ZTR Flow 36h 29er rims
    WTB Bronson 2.2" tires (tubeless)
    DT Competition spokes
    Chris King 36h SS ISO disc hub in back
    Chris King 36h ISO disc hub in front
    Salsa quick release in front

    Here are some pics, click for a bigger version:

    Kona Unit Build-imag1512.jpgKona Unit Build-imag1521.jpgKona Unit Build-imag1540.jpgKona Unit Build-imag1517.jpgKona Unit Build-imag1537.jpgKona Unit Build-imag1514.jpgKona Unit Build-imag1532.jpgKona Unit Build-imag1529.jpgKona Unit Build-imag1526.jpgKona Unit Build-imag1522.jpgKona Unit Build-imag1541.jpgKona Unit Build-imag1518.jpgKona Unit Build-imag1538.jpgKona Unit Build-imag1515.jpgKona Unit Build-imag1533.jpgKona Unit Build-imag1530.jpgKona Unit Build-imag1527.jpgKona Unit Build-imag1523.jpgKona Unit Build-imag1542.jpgKona Unit Build-imag1519.jpgKona Unit Build-imag1539.jpgKona Unit Build-imag1516.jpgKona Unit Build-imag1536.jpgKona Unit Build-imag1531.jpgKona Unit Build-imag1528.jpgKona Unit Build-imag1524.jpg
    Last edited by ccs1676; 03-25-2016 at 06:45 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by campdog View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	ImageUploadedByTapatalk1332371086.728492.jpg 
Views:	4157 
Size:	123.4 KB 
ID:	683201here it is
    Now that's a Unit I'd ride. Looks great with the Kashima and orange frame!
    konahonzo

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccs1676 View Post
    A couple times there was a pop when I mashed down hard on the pedals. Not sure what was up with that.
    Yeah, I had that happen on my first 5-10 Unit rides. It hasn't happened since, but I"d like to know what caused it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ccs1676 View Post
    Specs:

    2012 Kona Unit Frame (20") and P2 fork
    Chris King Threadless headset
    Truvativ Stylo Stem 5°-100mm
    Truvativ Stylo Bars
    ODI Rogue grips
    Avid Dial 7 levers
    Jagwire cables
    Avid BB7 calipers
    Avid 185mm disc in front
    Avid 160mm disc in back
    Thomson seatpost collar
    Thomson seatpost
    WTB Rocket V saddle
    Truvativ Stylo 1.1 SS crankset 175mm
    Shimano M520 pedals
    KMC X8 chain
    ZTR Flow 36h 29er rims
    WTB Bronson 2.2" tires (tubeless)
    DT Competition spokes
    Chris King 36h SS ISO disc hub in back
    Chris King 36h ISO disc hub in front
    Salsa quick release in front

    Here are some pics, click for a bigger version:
    Very pretty. Thanks for posting the pics. It's is a classic "enthusiast" rig IMO: steel frameset, top notch wheels, quality components, SS, rigid. My Unit also has King SS hubs, Flow rims, and Stylo 1.1 cranks. Well done.
    2016 Pivot Mach 429 Trail
    2011 Kona Unit

  15. #15
    Some Dude
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    Thank you sir, I'm excited to take her out on her first date!

  16. #16
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    Looking very good. I ride mine mainly on cross country and mild trails with small drops, rocky descents and ascents. The rigid fork definitely ups the technicality of any trail.

  17. #17
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    I recently picked up a stock unit. I absolutely love mine. I ride mainly loose gravel trails, firebreaks, some technical stuff, altnough I have to admit that cobblestone streets and a rigid fork are not a pleasant combination. Love your unit though, she looks great and will be a lot of fun to ride.

  18. #18
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    can a 2012 owner please tell me which sized seatpost clamp the frame takes? (27.2 post but what is the diameter of the seat tube)?

    thanks

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by allrachet View Post
    can a 2012 owner please tell me which sized seatpost clamp the frame takes? (27.2 post but what is the diameter of the seat tube)?

    thanks
    2011 Unit takes a 30.0. I'd assumed 2012 is the same. Hope sells a 30.0 QR with non-tool micro adjust (although its bulky and fugly compared to Salsa's QR tool micro adjust).
    2016 Pivot Mach 429 Trail
    2011 Kona Unit

  20. #20
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    I just got back from my LBS and ordered a 12 Unit. Cant wait to rip it up on this beast. This will be my first 29", first SS and second full rigid (other than my 9 zero 7).

    Ill post back after a couple of rides.
    2014 - Kona Hei Hei Deluxe
    2012 - 9:ZERO:7
    2014 - Spawn Banshee 16"
    2016 - Rocky Vertex 20"

  21. #21
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    can anyone confirm the collar/clamp size for me?

  22. #22
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    my 2012 just showed up, and i can confirm 30.0mm seat collar clamp.
    2014 - Kona Hei Hei Deluxe
    2012 - 9:ZERO:7
    2014 - Spawn Banshee 16"
    2016 - Rocky Vertex 20"

  23. #23
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    you jerks.

    this thread is gonna make me poorer.

    I want one so bad!

  24. #24
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    ok thanks for the confirmation
    Last edited by allrachet; 04-24-2012 at 03:06 PM.

  25. #25
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    Been luvin it
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Kona Unit Build-imageuploadedbytapatalk1334416264.040289.jpg  


  26. #26
    el Camino
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    What are the most important upgrades to the Unit, in Unit owners opinions? About to buy one and have a couple benji's left-over to spend on components, including a recon fork... I think. Thanks!

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by el Camino View Post
    What are the most important upgrades to the Unit, in Unit owners opinions? About to buy one and have a couple benji's left-over to spend on components, including a recon fork... I think. Thanks!
    After getting some rides in, I'd get my fit dialed in by replacing any necessary cockpit parts: grips, bar, stem, saddle, and pedals. And change the rear cog's size if necessary. Beyond that, I'd get a fatter front tire and look into tubeless options.
    2016 Pivot Mach 429 Trail
    2011 Kona Unit

  28. #28
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    upgrades

    I've swapped out a number of the parts on my '11 Unit. Not sure whats on the '12 but the FSA BB on mine was shelled after about 150mi. I replaced the BB and cranks with an e-thirteen. Also replaced the bar, stem, pedals, post, and just yesterday went to Geax Mezcal tires.

    I love this bike, and I will be replacing the fork with a Niner carbon in the next few weeks. Also have a Groovy Luv Handle bar on order to try the backsweep.

  29. #29
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    Update: been riding the unit daily around the hood and nearby hike/bike trail. Took it on some singletrack one time before realizing I am gonna need some squish. I don't think my headset/arms will endure it. Besides that, it's been a pleasure to ride. I highly recommend one if you are still considering various SS frames. No complaints at all.

  30. #30
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    VERY nice!
    I bought a leftover UNIT almost 2yrs ago, '06-'07? Purple frame.
    Love this bike, so much I bought a 2011 frame and built it up geared!
    I'll put up some pics when my post count is high nuff....
    Too soon old-Too late smart!

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie_S View Post
    I've swapped out a number of the parts on my '11 Unit. Not sure whats on the '12 but the FSA BB on mine was shelled after about 150mi. I replaced the BB and cranks with an e-thirteen. Also replaced the bar, stem, pedals, post, and just yesterday went to Geax Mezcal tires.

    I love this bike, and I will be replacing the fork with a Niner carbon in the next few weeks. Also have a Groovy Luv Handle bar on order to try the backsweep.
    AWESOME upgrade!!!!
    Too soon old-Too late smart!

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie_S View Post
    I will be replacing the fork with a Niner carbon in the next few weeks.
    I'd like to hear your impression of the stock fork versus Niner's carbon fork. Have you replaced the stock one yet?
    2016 Pivot Mach 429 Trail
    2011 Kona Unit

  33. #33
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    Did anybody get a weight the '12 unit frame only?
    thanks

  34. #34
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    not yet

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryder1 View Post
    I'd like to hear your impression of the stock fork versus Niner's carbon fork. Have you replaced the stock one yet?
    Sorry, been away for a while. Haven't done this upgrade yet, all of my spare $$ has gone to purchasing parts for my Raijin build that is the project this year.

  35. #35
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    Does anyone have info on tire clearance in the rear? Have a Hans dampf on a salsa gordo that needs to find a new home.

  36. #36
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    In the process of building a Unit right now, Waiting on a wheelset from Stans, I should have the bike Wednesday and will post some pics then. For now, here are the specs:

    2012 Kona Unit (19")
    P2 Fork
    Kris King Threadless
    Race Face Turbine Stem (6 deg 100mm)
    Race Face Turbine Flat and Wide Bars (700mm 5 deg sweep) These things are crazy wide!
    Ergon GS2 grips (the ones with bar end extensions built in)
    Hope Pro X2 Evo brakes
    Aligator I-Wave 160mm rotors
    Race Face Turbine seatpost
    Selle Italia Flite Gel Titanio saddle with Troy Lee eyeball graphics
    Race face Atlas Free Ride/ DH cranks (175mm 6mm chainline adjustment) these have four rows of bearings (same bearings as the xc) and are very stiff should be a very durable bb for singlespeed
    Race Face single ring (36T)
    Crank Bros Egg Beater 2 pedals
    KMC Z chain
    Im getting an 18, 20 and 22 t haven't decided on the gear yet
    Hope Pro 2 bolt on singlespeed rear hub, QR disc front
    double butted spokes
    Stans ZTR Arch rims
    Schwalbe Racing Ralph tires (tubeless setup 2.2")

    Can't wait to get it on the trail!

  37. #37
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    I recently finish the build of my 2012 Kona Unit, rigid singlespeed for some time it's a geared HT now. Loving it




    I regret white grips and saddle so I put the black ones in again

    Please excuse my poor English
    Last edited by fer83; 07-23-2012 at 03:53 PM.

  38. #38
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    Sorry for no pic, my post count is not high enough.

  39. #39
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    Fer83,

    What made you go with a fully geared setup? I have the hope singlespeed rear hub, and have toyed with the idea of getting a 10 speed spider from sram, that way I could run 1x6, and have a little extra speed going down. It would be the equivalent gearing of the middle ring, and the six smallest rear cogs.

    Also, I have noticed that with the 36 x 20 gears I'm running, I have to run an extremely long chainstay length to get proper chain tension. Does anyone know of a good geaing for the Units to have a short chainstay? Mine is a 19"

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooliopoof View Post
    Also, I have noticed that with the 36 x 20 gears I'm running, I have to run an extremely long chainstay length to get proper chain tension. Does anyone know of a good geaing for the Units to have a short chainstay? Mine is a 19"
    All the frame sizes should have the same chainstay range (17.1 - 17.7).

    32X19 is what I'm running. An online chainstay calculator indicated it would be 17.1, so I initially ran 32X20 for 2-3 rides to stretch the chain a hair, then shortened it a link, prayed, and 32X19 barely fit.

    Try this link: http://eehouse.org/fixin/formfmu.php - kind of confusing until you figure out how it works, but has worked for me.
    Last edited by Ryder1; 07-23-2012 at 06:08 PM. Reason: add context
    2016 Pivot Mach 429 Trail
    2011 Kona Unit

  41. #41
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    I think I read 32x21 is the magic gear for the unit, but I'm not 100% sure about this

    I go fully geared because it adds to the do it all capabilities of the bike. Suspension fork and dropper seatpost added for the same reason. I love this bike, it's fast on flowy trails, loves to take little air on everything, climbs well, descend with confidence and takes cornes like anything I have ever ridden. Really really good fun. Since I was a llittle boy I want to have a hardtail made by Kona, now that I have it I cannot be happier

  42. #42
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    Actually, this is a better link.

    http://eehouse.org/fixin/formfmu.php...ey=Stay_length

    Nice app.
    2016 Pivot Mach 429 Trail
    2011 Kona Unit

  43. #43
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    I didn't even think about the possibility of the chain stretching enough initially to remove a link, I'm going to try that before I change any gearing. I went with a 36 up front because the larger diameter rings lead to less tension in the chain and make it last longer. In BMX racing, you have tons of torque. All of the street riders use around a 25 x 9, but the racers snap chains with that gearing, so they use 44 x 16 which is essentially the same gearing with less chain wear.

    My history with bmx is why I chose singlespeed and rigid. If you have a hard time getting up a hill, stand up and man up. Anyway, you can't really go fast downhill on any xc geometry bike, even the FS type because of the hunched over position and steep headtubes. These factors lead to a very unstable descent. Unless you are a hardcore racer or fearless that is.

    Food for thought.

  44. #44
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    I am looking at building a Unit as well, but going for a 1x10 set-up. Owner of the frame says it can go either SS or geared. Is this correct? Also, the frame looks like it has a tapered headset, is this truly a Big Unit? The Kona badge on the front isn't a sticker, it is a 3D metal badge? Help, I don't want to make a mistake with this 16" frame before I buy it!!! Thanks!

  45. #45
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    The steel frame is the Unit, the aluminum the big unit.

    Unit does not have tapered head tube and comes with singlespeed dropouts only, but kona offers a geared dropout with a deraileur hanger. You probably have to go through a kona dealer or ebay to get it though. I know someone that has gotten one, through a kona dealer though. There is also a thread somewhere on this site where someone adapted the singlespeed dropouts for a unit to accept a replacable der. hanger. It would take some tools and skill though.

    Big unit has a tapered headtube, is alum. and comes with a geared hanger if purchased as a complete bike. I don't know if the big unit is available as a frameset, but all big units come geared. They do have sliding dropouts though.

  46. #46
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    ten.

  47. #47
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    Here she is

  48. #48
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    cooliopoof, thanks for the feedback. The ebay seller says this is a scandium Big Unit frame (black or dark brown) that is set up for SS, but can accept the rear derailleur hanger for gears. Is that hanger hard to find? Does this sound legit?

  49. #49
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    The scanadium is just an alloying element for aluminum. haven't ridden the big unit frame so I can't comment on it's geometry. but the steel units are very planted and great on climbs. They are more xc oriented than all mountainy. They are harder than most to wheelie and jump, but that's not what they're meant for.

  50. #50
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    Just got a '12 Unit complete for pretty good price. Felt way more jarring than my 26 rigid bike at first, but I am slowly getting it set up how I like it.
    Upgrades:
    The grips are crap. I wrapped them in bar tape like I have started to do on my other bikes and it helps a ton. Added bar ends as well.

    I believe the stock fork is stiffer than hell compared to the surly fork on my 26er.....may have to change that at some point.

    I already ordered a new rear wheel with full cassette to run gears. SS is cool, but not for where I ride. Too much flat, and too big hills. This bike is going to be for gravel, adventuring, and winter training. I was able to get the geared dropout put on when I bought it, as the shop had one lying around.

    I am 5-11 and got a 19" but I am still working on matching the position on my other bike. Swapped out for a 90mm stem, but that seems to long. This morning I put on a 70mm from another bike and will try that tonight. May need riser bars to get the bars level with the seat how I want them.

    Converted to ghetto tubeless with gorilla tape. The Speedisc rims seem made for this. Bead on the Ignitors is nice and snug to the bottom of the rim. Aired up and holding well so far.

    So far the ride is great. Also my first 29er and it just ROLLS once you get it going. Love it.

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