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  1. #1
    Cif
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    Getting the Kona more comfortable

    Hi, I have a steel Kona Unit that I want to upgrade to a little more comfort (and perhaps a bit lighter).

    Options to choose from:
    - Niner carbon fork
    - 700mm carbon bar and carbon seatpost
    - .... Any other ideas????





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  2. #2
    Just Ride
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    lighter wheelset perhaps? Depending on what you have on there now of course.
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  3. #3
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    Front tire with more volume will make a difference

  4. #4
    Cif
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    Re: Getting the Kona more comfortable

    Quote Originally Posted by Cormac View Post
    lighter wheelset perhaps? Depending on what you have on there now of course.
    Original WTBs that are pretty heavy.
    Would it make a difference in comfort getting a lighter wheel?

    Main reason should be comfort, loosing weight comes 2nd.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kawigreen99 View Post
    Front tire with more volume will make a difference
    Have been looking for some 2.35 Racing Ralph tires, but read a lot about sidewall ripping.

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  5. #5
    Just Ride
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    Oh I thought you were looking for comfort and weight savings equally. No lighter wheels won't make you more comfortable. But you'll go faster!
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  6. #6
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    I've witnessed multiple tears on Racing Ralphs(non protection) recently. I noticed more comfort going from an Ikon to Ardent 2.25

  7. #7
    nothing to see here
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    the niner won't improve the comfort
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  8. #8
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    Tubeless (if you aren't already), plus bigger tires will be the biggest bang for the buck comfort increases. Also try some new grips (I love ESI Extra Chunkies). After that, a carbon seatpost and handlebar can help, but I don't think they will do as much as the tires...

  9. #9
    Cif
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    Re: Getting the Kona more comfortable

    Quote Originally Posted by Stevob View Post
    the niner won't improve the comfort
    But it would make the steering a lot lighter???
    I did my first 80k on the bike 2 weeks ago and my arms were killing me (well not only my arms)

    So lighter steering would be more comfort for me.

    For now I think it will be:
    New saddle (selle italia sls gel)
    Niner fork
    Carbon bar (easton haven)

    Will wait for another 2 weeks to see if I still want it (have extreme tedency for impulse buying)


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  10. #10
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    Is your bike currently setup rigid? I don't understand your statement lighter steering would be more comfort to me? A carbon bar will definitely be more comfortable than aluminum. A high volume tire setup tubeless with lower tire pressure is the cheapest and best way for a bike to ride much nicer

  11. #11
    Cif
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    Re: Getting the Kona more comfortable

    Yes the bike is rigid and want to keep it that way.

    Easier steering would mean less energy, wouldnt it? Same as to why lighter wheels would mean less energy needed to pedal.

    Dont think my wtb's are tubeless ready, so that would mean an extra set of wheels.

    For now carbon bar (with perhaps matching seat post) and new seat are for sure.


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  12. #12
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    Hey Cif, if your Unit is the 2013 with the stock WTB wheelset (i23?) then they can be converted to tubeless. Ran mine that way for a few weeks while waiting for delivery of a different wheelset that I preferred. I also changed out the stock P2 fork with a Ritchey carbon fork. Between that and running lower tire pressures, it definitely makes for a smoother ride. Good luck finding your sweet spot!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cif View Post
    Yes the bike is rigid and want to keep it that way.

    Easier steering would mean less energy, wouldnt it? Same as to why lighter wheels would mean less energy needed to pedal.
    But why do you think the Niner fork would give you "easier steering" - just because it's lighter? It won't - you'll save a bit of weight but it won't be any more comfortable to ride and won't save you any discernable amount of energy.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cif View Post
    Dont think my wtb's are tubeless ready, so that would mean an extra set of wheels.
    Just convert them, with either a rimstrip, Stan's yellow tape, duct tape or the split innertube method

    Quote Originally Posted by Cif View Post
    For now carbon bar (with perhaps matching seat post) and new seat are for sure.
    High volume tyres run at low pressures will make far more difference to comfort (and traction) than anything else.


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  14. #14
    Just Ride
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    While were on this topic, is there an advantage to having a carbon stem vs aluminum? Besides minimal weight savings.
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cormac View Post
    While were on this topic, is there an advantage to having a carbon stem vs aluminum? Besides minimal weight savings.
    In my opinion, no.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cormac View Post
    While were on this topic, is there an advantage to having a carbon stem vs aluminum? Besides minimal weight savings.
    Besides minimal weight savings, in my experience, no, nothing at all. I've never used a carbon stem that enhanced vibration dampening or generally speaking, comfort.

  17. #17
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    I went to a carbon stem on my roadie and noticed zero difference. I think stems are just too short for different materials to be effectively different, if that makes sense. The "weight savings" (carbon isn't always lighter than aluminum, btw!) is not worth the cost.

    Though I can't see why the Niner carbon fork wouldn't help dampen the ride some? You want to steer easier? Get a less knobby tire.

    Like a few other said, lower pressure is going to make it noticeably more comfortable if you want to stay rigid.

  18. #18
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    The niner fork will improve comfort for sure, I have myself gone from a the original kona fork to the niner and it made a huge difference....

  19. #19
    Cif
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    Re: Getting the Kona more comfortable

    Well I decided to go for a carbon bar and a 2.4 tire for the front.

    Read a lot of good things about the 2.4 Ardent.
    For the bar I will be going for a Thomson. Haven't decided on the XC or AM model.

    Anyone know if there will be a difference in the ride?

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  20. #20
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    Consider the On-One Chunkey Monkey for a front tyre - made by Maxxis on the Ardent carcase. I've been using one for a month or so now and I really rate it - easy to set-up tubeless (I run mine at about 18psi), the 42a version sticks well on our greasy rocks and roots, not too draggy and it's cheap as chips.
    Ticks all my boxes anyway.

    Yes, a high volume front tyre at low pressure will give you a lot nicer ride, in my experience.

  21. #21
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    If you check out the 2013 Unit thread I've just done the same. Converted the wheels to tubeless (just gorilla tape method) and now running 2.4 Ardents front and back. Certainly made a big difference - well worth it.

  22. #22
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    The only thing I'd done to make it more comfortable to my Unit (2010) is bigger tires, Panaracer Rampage 2.35". It made a huge difference. I also went through a handful of grips, and ESI Chunky grips are so far my favorite.
    Ghisallo Wheels

    I'm really good looking.

  23. #23
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    FWIW...I improved the comfort factor on my '12 22" Unit by adding ODI Rogue grips, Ardent 2.4 front, and a Pure V WTB saddle.
    2012 KONA UNIT, 22"
    2010 Cannondale CAAD8 105 Cyclocross, 61cm
    1972 Schwinn Manta Ray (original owner!)

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