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  1. #1
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    100 mm fork too much for Kona Unit?

    Has anyone else tried a 100 mm travel suspension fork on their Kona Unit only to find it was too long (felt like a chopper)? Will going to 80 mm help noticeably?

  2. #2
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    when I had it I ran mine with a 100mm fork up front and I thought it was fine. FWIW I also used an 80mm on it and I thought that was ok too.

    It's hard to tell from this photo because the rear wheel is jacked up but to me it certainly didn't look or ride like it was "choppered out"...

    Later


  3. #3
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    The Unit has a fairly lax head angle. 100 mm could be too long. 80 would be better.
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  4. #4
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    100 mm is fine

    It really depends on the terrain you ride. I currently have a 100mm Fox on my Unit and the only time I notice a problem is short, steep uphills. The steering tends to get a little floppy. Long, straight uphills are no problem and I love the slacker head angle and stability when going downhill.

  5. #5
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    100mm is fine

    Running a Zochi EXR on mine and like it.



    Don't have good pics of the bike clean

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by B R H
    Has anyone else tried a 100 mm travel suspension fork on their Kona Unit only to find it was too long (felt like a chopper)? Will going to 80 mm help noticeably?
    I have the 105mm Zoke Marathon on mine, simply because that was all I had collecting dust in the garage. My frame is very small (14") and personally I do think it throws off the geometry a bit, but not so much that I'm in a huge hurry to spend money to replace it.

    Ironically, I have a brand new 80mm Manitou Elite fork which I won at a raffle... which I would love to try on there, but I haven't put it on because my disc brake calipers are not compatible with those ingenious Manitou mounts. (WTF is it with those!)

    Long term I'd like to put an 80 on there, mostly because I never even get close to full travel on the 105.

  7. #7
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    Good job! 100mm +

    I am running a Manitou Black on mine 100mm -120mm adjustable with lock out. The 120mm setting is great for steep technical DH sections. Move it back to 100mm for normal riding. The Kona tech I emailed said he owns a Unit and runs a 100mm.

    DZ

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by B R H
    Has anyone else tried a 100 mm travel suspension fork on their Kona Unit only to find it was too long (felt like a chopper)? Will going to 80 mm help noticeably?
    I have a 100mm SID on an 18" Unit. It doesn't feel choppered, climbs without flopping.

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    I just measured the headtube angle.

    I used a clinometer on a good compass. Difficult to measure, but repeatable if you're careful and calibrate using a level first. I measured ~69 degrees with the 100 mm fork on the Unit. Another bike I have measured ~72 degrees (always felt a bit steep but the measurement matches the 71.7 specified by the manufacturer). My play bike with 130 mm fork measures ~69.5 degrees (it feels slack too, but better for some reason). I've got an 80 mm fork to try on the Unit next.

  10. #10
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    Kona Unit measurement

    I just happened to have a magnetic (sticks on steel!) angle finder. With the SID fork, unweighted, the head tube is 71.5 degrees.

  11. #11
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    I measured the bikes in different places on the garage floor and each of those places is crooked one way or another. Oops. I'll measure more carefully once I get a better tool. In the meantime, I'm still going to try the 80 mm fork. The 100 mm feels too long and I don't like that fork anyway.

    Dang. I edited my last post instead of replying! I think the previous mumblings were also about the floor not being level and I also asked if you had checked yours.
    Last edited by B R H; 12-31-2004 at 06:25 PM. Reason: Crooked garage floor.

  12. #12
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    Happy New Year

    Quote Originally Posted by B R H
    Dang. I edited my last post instead of replying! I think the previous mumblings were also about the floor not being level and I also asked if you had checked yours.
    Like this, take one measurement then turn the bike 180 degrees around. Measure again and take the average. The floor tilt will average to zero.

  13. #13
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    Even simpler.

    I can zero out the clinometer I use, but after messing with it a bit I realized it sometimes sticks enough to give readings that vary by as much as a degree. Once I get a better gauge, I'll try again. I don't think the cheapo ones will zero, so I'll either find a flat spot (perpendicular to the garage slope) or average as you suggest.

    Too darn cold in my garage to put the 80 mm on tonite! That will be the best measurement of all!

  14. #14
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    perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by B R H
    Has anyone else tried a 100 mm travel suspension fork on their Kona Unit only to find it was too long (felt like a chopper)? Will going to 80 mm help noticeably?
    I like the 100mm on the front of my Explosif. But then again my other bikes have like 66 degree head angles. The bike steers plenty quick for me, doesn't seem to wander on the climbs, no flopping noted, and descends really well.
    ...and I used my strength to rip my blouse...

  15. #15
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    100mm Fork is fine..

    It will raise the front end a little more but with the sag in a 100mm fork it should not be to far off from an 80mm. I run a 100mm fox on both the Unit and the A. Both seem to climb fine for me. Just try riding the 100mm fork a little more and see if you get use to it.

  16. #16
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    What year Unit do you have?

    I've double-checked the measurement with 2 new angle finder tools (which I also checked for accuracy) and mine not even close to 71 degrees.

  17. #17
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    Mine is 2004

  18. #18
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    Joe from Kona comes thru with answers!

    The head angle has definitely been made more slack for 2005. In fact, it was made more slack in 2004 as well. 2003 = 71 degrees, 2004 = 70 degrees, and 2005 = 69 degrees. This means a 2005 with 100 mm fork (472 mm axle-to-crown) has an unsagged head angle of 68 degrees. This explains why it feels too slack to me and why others (with different model years) seem to feel 100 mm is just fine. There is also some personal preference here obviously.

    I'm going to install an 80 mm fork ASAP. This will steepen the head angle 1 degree. I still think I may prefer a 2004 frame in the end.

  19. #19
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    Kona also changed the tubing from True Temper OX Platinum (2004) to Dedacciai SAT Cromoly Butted (2005). Is that better or worse???

  20. #20
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    Beats me.

    That was something I dug into deeply when I purchased my 2005 and I couldn't find any good reason to prefer one over the other. I haven't been able to find any good comparisons for weight (my frame weighs 2127 grams, size 19"). I wish I would have spent half the time checking the geometry! The only comparisons I have are some brutally harsh rigid aluminum frames I've ridden (big tubed Cannondale and a Specialized). The Unit is smoother, but there's no doubt it's still a hardtail.

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