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  1. #1
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    Steely 2012 - Post your builds here

    WARNING: This is long, but I have a lot to say about the sickest All Mountain hardtail in existence. Skip down to 2012 Kona Steely if you don't care for the background...

    So I've spent the last few weeks dialing in my 2012 Kona Steely and I can say with confidence that this bike is like magic! OK, so what might feel like magic to me, might not to the next rider, so I'll give some perspective to qualify the statement.

    I've owned a few Voodoo Bizangos (97', 98, 00') over the years and thought each one was THE best. BTW, Voodoo is designed by one of Kona's founders, Mike Murray. I love the feel of a steel hardtail.

    With my riding leaning mostly toward XC, I couldn't resist hopping on the 29'er wagon. Better traction, cornering, stability, climbing, and efficiency - What could be better?! So I picked up an Air9 and it lived up to everything I was told it would do, but something was missing. All those years on 26" hardtails left me yearning for that edge of the seat excitement you get from quick handling on the trail and pop and pump off lips and dips. Back to the Bizango I went.

    It was like going back to an old girlfriend. All the good things I was missing came rushing back. I was dodging boulders, popping off jumps, and pumping on declines again. Coming off the Niner made me appreciate my trusty old Voodoo, and my riding progressed. Epic XC rides were giving way to fun flowy and fast All Mountain riding. To me All Mountain means enjoying the steepest most technical climbs and descents and everything in between. I'm not talking about hopping up boulders like a trials rider, or taking huge drops as in free riding. But no climb should be out of reach, and no descent should be too sketchy - barring big drops and gaps. This is where my Bizango started showing her gray hair.

    80mm travel wasn't enough, v-brakes weren't powerful enough, tubing was too flexy/twangy, bottom bracket was feeling too high, chainstays too long, and head angle too steep. As it was set up it had 69 HT, 12.75" BB, and 16.75" chainstays. I wanted something different, so the search began. I looked at them all; Transam, Cotic Soul, Chromags, Genesis Altitiude, Ragley, and Pipedream. They all had their place, but none were to be under me. Then I found the Kona Steely.

    Introduced n 2011, with a few key updates in 2012; shorter chainstays, and beefier HT and overall build.

    Ride report to follow...

    2012 Kona Steely

    Build List
    2012 Steely (Kona Clump Chromoly 4130?)
    Cane Creek 110 Top (1/18) 40 Bottom (44 ID)
    Fox Float F32 Tapered 150mm (stopped down to 130mm) 15QR
    Stans Flows 3.30 Wheelset
    2012 XT Brakes (160mm Rotors)
    XT Cranks (34t Blackspire)
    XT 34t-11t Cassette
    BBG Bash Guard
    Chain Keeper
    Saint 9 spd Rear Derailleur
    SRAM Attack 9 Speed Shifter (Shortened)
    Sunline V-One All Mountain Stem 50mm
    Race Face Six C All Mountain Bar

    From Kona Steely


    From Kona Steely


    From Kona Steely


    From Kona Steely


    From Kona Steely
    Last edited by howard619; 01-22-2012 at 09:33 PM.

  2. #2
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    Awesome build you have there. Did you buy complete and switch parts or what? I remember reading something that the 2012 Steely wasn't available as frame only.

    And I hope Kona uses this color for the 2013 Honzo.

  3. #3
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    Thanks!! Kona doesn't offer it frame only, but I got lucky to find a shop that would strip it down and sell it to me. I love the raw finish. I think it's zinc dipped.

  4. #4
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    There's gotta be more Steely builds out there...let's see some!

    Here are some scenic pics to inspire you...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Steely 2012 - Post your builds here-img_0992.jpg  

    Steely 2012 - Post your builds here-img_0993.jpg  

    Steely 2012 - Post your builds here-img_1002.jpg  


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by howard619 View Post
    There's gotta be more Steely builds out there...let's see some!

    Here are some scenic pics to inspire you...
    Cool bike... great pics
    Did you get a chance to weigh your build?
    It would be interesting to have a comparison ("shootout"?) between the Honzo and the Steely
    Edit: Why didn't you go for the Honzo?
    Last edited by r1Gel; 01-30-2012 at 04:52 PM.
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  6. #6
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    great review, sick bike!

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the comments!

    That's my brother's Honzo in the pic. It feels like a 29" Steely. Similar burly build, 1 deg steeper HA and about a .25" shorter chainstay. The differences between the wheel formats and geometry balance each other out to meet a similar feeling ride, if that's possible between a 26 and 29 bike.

    The frame is no light weight, but every ounce of steel translates to an awesome ride feel. I don't think it could be built lighter - i.e. larger diameter/stronger steel, without sacrificing the ride. I would describe the feel as more dampening whilst remaining stiff in comparison to an 853 frame. I used to be a weight weenie, and now I've been liberated!

    Frame with headset cups (sans bearings) is 6 pounds 13 ounces, and that's with an upward draft of wind. Complete build is 27 pounds, 1 ounce as pictured. My brother's Honzo with a very similar build is 28 pounds, 4 ounces.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Steely 2012 - Post your builds here-img_1375.jpg  


  8. #8
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    Well, looks like I just figured out what my next bike is going to be. From what I've read and seen it is exactly what I'm looking for.

  9. #9
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    I'm glad you found this thread helpful! I think the Steely is underrated in the 26" AM HT market, but it IS only in its second year of production. Call me crazy and let me know if I'm missing something, but I can't find a better alternative for a low, slack, short, and burly frame. Not to mention the 44 ZS headtube, which allows the use of tapered forks. However, Cotic just released that they're now speccing it on all their frames, which makes it more attractive and would probably be my choice if I wanted something of a lighter build. I just think their angles are too steep after riding my Steely.

  10. #10
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    Kona should have spec'd it like that from the get go. Sweet HT's
    Peace from Hell...

    '13 Chromag Stylus
    '11 Specialized 29r EVO ht
    '11 DB Mission 2 w/Fox 36

    bab74 on GORC

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiba Inu's Rock View Post
    Kona should have spec'd it like that from the get go. Sweet HT's
    qft

    The stock Steely build with the RS Tora fork QR is laughable at best, for a bike that is marketed for the All-Mountain segment. At least give it a Sektor with a 20mm Maxle.

    At least they didn't screw up the Honzo and gave it a proper fork, Revelation RL 20mm Maxle, but the rest of the build, just like the Steely is sub-par.

    They are amazing frame, to build from the frame up yourself.

    And what's Kona thinking not offering the Steely as a frameset only for 2012?
    Sense, this makes none.

  12. #12
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    Is there any way I could get that pic with the honzo and steely in a bigger size? I'd love to have that as a background!

  13. #13
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    Sure, no problem! It's a big file though, so PM me your email and I'll send it to you that way

  14. #14
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    Can you get the Steely as a frame only?

  15. #15
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    29" Wheels with 700x35 slicks = best use of 29" left-overs
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Steely 2012 - Post your builds here-img_1818.jpg  

    Steely 2012 - Post your builds here-img_1819.jpg  

    Steely 2012 - Post your builds here-img_1820.jpg  

    Steely 2012 - Post your builds here-img_1821.jpg  

    Steely 2012 - Post your builds here-img_1823.jpg  


  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by howard619 View Post
    29" Wheels with 700x35 slicks = best use of 29" left-overs
    Maybe a Steely will take a 650b? What's the diameter of those 700x35 in inches?

  17. #17
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    I think there's a good possibility that it's 650b-able...in fact I plan on trying it somewhere down the road. The Steely has such a low bottom bracket (12.25) that 650b would just bring it to a somewhat more standard height.

    These Flows with 700cX35 measure 27 3/8"

    Does anyone know the diameter of a 650b Nevegal or NeoMoto?

  18. #18
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    MTBTires dot com shows Pacenti tire spec

    looks like neomoto 2.1 is virtually the same height as your 700x35...

    (I ain't back up to 10 posts yet,so can't post anything that resembles a link )

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by htrdoug View Post
    Maybe a Steely will take a 650b?
    I'm VERY much interested in the answer to this.
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by htrdoug View Post
    MTBTires dot com shows Pacenti tire spec

    looks like neomoto 2.1 is virtually the same height as your 700x35...

    (I ain't back up to 10 posts yet,so can't post anything that resembles a link )
    Pacenti tires have a nominal diameter of 702mm. A bigger consideration would be the width of the tread.
    That's an awfully heavy frame though. A pound heavier than the Honzo frame even.
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by howard619 View Post
    I think there's a good possibility that it's 650b-able...in fact I plan on trying it somewhere down the road. The Steely has such a low bottom bracket (12.25) that 650b would just bring it to a somewhat more standard height.

    These Flows with 700cX35 measure 27 3/8"

    Does anyone know the diameter of a 650b Nevegal or NeoMoto?
    Hey there- I would have pm'd you but I don't have 10 posts yet!
    I stumbled into a Steely that my LBS was sent in error from Kona - a frame only. I got it for costs but now am not sure if I want to build it up or how I want to build it up. I ride anywhere from 18 to 20. My Intense 29er is a 19 inch and I am loving the fit. At 6'1" with a 33-34 inseam, the head tupe measurement is 25 in the 20" frame. I usually look for 24". You think the 18 would be better?

    I was planning on building up a Karate Monkey SS rigid with wide Pacenti DL31 rims.
    So what do you think of a rear Pacenti DL31 26er and a front Pacenti DL31 650B on the Steely? I'll have to check the clearance on the Sherman flick that I have kicking around but I have a rigid VooDoo fork that will fit up to 29er wheels. I'd still like to try SS this frame but may go to a 1x10 setup. Did you get a chance to try a 650b in yours yet?

    Thanks!

  22. #22
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    Sounds like you stumbled across a rare deal to get a frame only. I would build it up if you're really looking for this kind of a bike. I'll try not to repeat what I wrote previously (it was quite a while ago), but it really is an all mountain HT with low slack geometry. I've looked very closely at other frames available, and while there are some that come close, they all tend to be a little off in geometry in the wrong direction for my taste (too tall BB/steep Head angle, or long chainstay). Closest thing out there is the Cotic Bfe.

    sorry, I got way off track...back to your questions:

    I haven't tried 650B yet, mainly because I'm waiting for Maxxis Ardents or Minions. I'll build up a 650B as soon as the tires are available.

    I looked at the Pacentis a while ago and from what I remember, they sounded good, but I prefer the
    Stans Flow beadlock especially now that they updated them to EX (lower sidewall has benefits).

    As for fit, I usually ride 18" with 23" top tubes, but this bike was designed purposely with a long top tube. I believe it has to do with front center weighting. Also the longer top tube forces a shorter stem, which counter-acts the slack head angle. All great things in my book.

  23. #23
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    Found: Cross tires to fill my chainstays. Kenda 700x40 (28x5/8) Happy Medium

    So I've been looking for some dirt tires to fit on my spare 29" wheels that'll stuff into my chainstays. This is about as close as I can get without pushing it too far. There's about 3mm of space between the center braces and fork. Perfect 1 bike solution. It's what I call KOM mode for my local hill climbs.

    I had a chance to take it for a quick spin before it got dark. I was pleasantly surprised at how much traction the tires have. Believe it or not, it was more than my Maxxis Minion DHFs on moderate climbs. DH traction wasn't too bad either, but definitely not enough sidewall to provide reasonable rim protection.

    Here are a couple pics of the now discontinued steed...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Steely 2012 - Post your builds here-img_7593.jpg  

    Steely 2012 - Post your builds here-img_7594.jpg  

    Steely 2012 - Post your builds here-img_7597.jpg  


  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by howard619 View Post
    Found: Cross tires to fill my chainstays. Kenda 700x40 (28x5/8) Happy Medium

    So I've been looking for some dirt tires to fit on my spare 29" wheels that'll stuff into my chainstays. This is about as close as I can get without pushing it too far. There's about 3mm of space between the center braces and fork. Perfect 1 bike solution. It's what I call KOM mode for my local hill climbs.

    I had a chance to take it for a quick spin before it got dark. I was pleasantly surprised at how much traction the tires have. Believe it or not, it was more than my Maxxis Minion DHFs on moderate climbs. DH traction wasn't too bad either, but definitely not enough sidewall to provide reasonable rim protection.

    Here are a couple pics of the now discontinued steed...
    Cool - I still haven't started my build and am even thinking of selling the frame... unless you find out if a 2.1 650b would fit in there!
    I bought this frame off pinkbike - it was designed as a commuter/messenger type bike but it fits 650b according to the seller:
    Brodie Drifter

  25. #25
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    I haven't had the chance to try it (don't have access to 650b wheels), but I can tell you this. Going by the clearance between pics I've seen of Fox forks with 650b tires, it should fit fine. Use this pic as reference and compare to the pics above. If a 2.1 Wolverine clears a Fox fork with that much space, then it'll clear the Steely's crossmembers. As for the chainstay's width, I think there's room to spare.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Steely 2012 - Post your builds here-screen-shot-2012-09-18-11.23.01-am.png  


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