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  1. #1
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    Just got a 1995 Kona Explosif - July 2018 Updated content

    I have always had a soft spot for old steel Kona's. Over the years I have had a few bikes but the one I regret selling the most was a 1995 Kona Cinder Cone. A few years ago I decided to try find another one but the market in South Africa for these sort of bikes is non-existent and I could never find one.

    Then the other day I went to the LBS to look at a bike for my son and this 1995 Explosif caught my eye. It was hidden at the back of a rack outside the shop. I almost didnt see it but I am glad I did. Apparently it had been there for a long time and there had been no interest in it. I made an offer for roughly half the asking price and got it for the equivalent of $110.

    The frame appears to be in good shape however the bike needs alot of work. Also, I suspect the only original component is the crank. Everything else appears to have been replaced. Even the P2 fork is from a earlier model.

    Here are some pics. I am undecided of how I want to build her up:
    Original spec - Difficult to source parts
    Period correct - Relatively easy
    Slightly more modern - I have a 2008 Reba fork and LX/XT drivetrain I could use.

    I am leaning towards the last option.















    Last edited by Stuartfleming; 07-31-2018 at 12:38 PM.

  2. #2
    gobsmacked Moderator
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    I would try the option of leaving it as is. Nicer derailleurs than your option 3.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by girlonbike View Post
    I would try the option of leaving it as is.
    That would be my suggestion as well.
    Clean it, lube it then rock and roll with it.
    Wanted: more of the same ... but different

  4. #4
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    Still leaning towards option 3 but I suppose it makes sense to ride the bike a bit first, just to make sure I am happy with the handling.

    Gonna clean it up a bit, and fit a very old Marzocchi Bomber that I have lying around. Will post pics once done.

  5. #5
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    I would watch that old Hyperlight bar. Old thin aluminum might not be so trustworthy.

  6. #6
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    Suspension fork, wider riser bar, maybe shorter stem, good nobbies, go ride!
    That Reba sounds good. 100 mm? That would slacken it a bit. Unless the existing drivetrain has a problem, why change it?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbsbiker View Post
    I would watch that old Hyperlight bar. Old thin aluminum might not be so trustworthy.
    Good point. Not wild about the purple faded to pink anodizing either.

    Sent from my HUAWEI GRA-L09 using Tapatalk

  8. #8
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    Did some work on the bike this weekend



    FSA low rise bar with 90mm stem. These items are about 12 years newer than the bike but think they look good with the black wheels and seatpost.


    Old Bomber Z1's. I striped their paint a while ago with the intention of polishing them but never got round to it. I guess now I have a reason to get it done. The 100mm travel does lift the front a bit but I run around 30mm sag so think its okay. May look at dropping them to around 80mm when i next open them up. I dont think it will be too hard.


    I had planned to remove the brake booster but couldn't get the brakes to stop squealing without it.


    A little trick I read about somewhere on the internet for fitting V brakes to old Kona's. Rotate the cable guide 90 degrees and replace the bolt with a old derailleur barrel adjuster.


    XTR M900 Rear Derailleur. Still good after all these years. I threw in a little bling aswell.


    XT Front Derailleur. The rust cleaned off nicely:


    Bontrager front wheel with Radially laced spokes:


    Bontrager rear wheel:


    And here are some pictures of the Kona in its natural habitat. What a bike!!! I absolutely loved riding it!!!




  9. #9
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Nice work, but cap that cable man!!!!
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  10. #10
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    Very nice. I'm a big fan of the steel frame/100mm fork combo.

  11. #11
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    Cool! I had a '91 Explosif I bought new and raced for a couple of years, that was before they got 'light'. When I took off all the parts the bare frame was 6.75 pounds (21"), they got quite a bit lighter just a year or two later. I remember that as a really good handling bike. I even had the privilege of racing with Joe Murray a couple of times, of course he totally smoked me.
    I think your cranks and derailleurs might be original, - just my opinion. I remember that in '92 they were doing 8sp with an xtr rear derailleur, but with XTii 7sp thumbshifters, those had 8 clicks in them at that time, or so I recall.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Nice work, but cap that cable man!!!!
    A little hard to tell from the pic but it looks like the cable was soldered. A method preferred by some over capping. Myself included.
    A bike by any other name is still a bike.

  13. #13
    Phobia of petting zoos.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigwheel View Post
    A little hard to tell from the pic but it looks like the cable was soldered. A method preferred by some over capping. Myself included.
    If your skills with the soldering iron are terrible like mine then another neat little trick is to dip the end of the cable into a bottle of super glue, or other CA type glue.

    Grumps

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigwheel View Post
    A little hard to tell from the pic but it looks like the cable was soldered. A method preferred by some over capping. Myself included.
    Nope, MendonCycleSmith is right, cables have just been cut. I don't have any cable ends but the soldering idea sounds good.

    Sent from my HUAWEI GRA-L09 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Stuartfleming; 12-05-2015 at 03:39 AM.

  15. #15
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    Okay, soldered the end earlier. It amazing how much solder they suck up. They are like sponges.

    Posted from a mobile device using Tapatalk.

  16. #16
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    I like it, and thank you for the v-brake trick. I have a 94 cinder cone for the wife and kids in mint condition. I am also currently diving into 2 - marzocchi z2 atom bombs. If you were in the states I would make an offer on the original fork and the pink bar / bar ends.

  17. #17
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    Okay so I have ridden this bike quite a bit now and absolutely love it. I have made a few component upgrades that some purists wont like as the parts are not period correct but this is how I like it.

    Here we see the Kona in its natural habitat:


    Fork upgraded to a 2008 RS Reba with 85mm travel and custom gold decals. Thinking of moving changing this back to 100mm and using a 70mm stem:


    Aerozine BB:


    2008 LX Crankset:


    A Bit of bling in the cockpit area:


    Overall view of bike:

  18. #18
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    Awesome bike. I love what you've done with it.

  19. #19
    Phobia of petting zoos.
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    Purist, schmurist. It can all be swapped back to original if the mood strikes.

    For now, you've taken a great frame and set it up to suit yourself. The bike is getting used. Good stuff.

    One thing it does show is how good these Konas are. Quality steel and playful geometry - set up right the bike is still a good looking and capable ride.

    I don't like the gold stem spacers. If you have to run them, run black so they don't stand out like canine spheroids.

    Grumps

  20. #20
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    Looks good.
    Flotilla or Buffet.

  21. #21
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    Looks great, I love a full vintage build but for a bike the sees regular use it's difficult to justify the prices of old NOS gear when the new stuff works better and is so much cheaper. Looks like it's a fun rig!

  22. #22
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    I like the build...very cool...I went the opposite direction with mine and stripped it to the bone.

    Versatile frames, and fun to ride.







    Steve

  23. #23
    artistic...
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    Quote Originally Posted by eastcoaststeve View Post
    I like the build...very cool...I went the opposite direction with mine and stripped it to the bone.

    Versatile frames, and fun to ride.







    Steve
    You guys could trade frames..
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  24. #24
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    I think it looks great! The old cranks weren't any things of rare beauty. I always thought that generation of Shimano cranks to be clunky looking, but they worked great, I have a couple XT's on various things.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  25. #25
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    Okay, so time for a small update.

    I needed the Reba and a few other parts from this bike for another project so the Sugino crank, front V Brake and Bomber fork are back on the Kona.

    As mentioned in a earlier post, I removed the orange paint from the bombers with the intention of polishing them. I tried and gave up due to the amount of work needed. In the end I decided to paint them Satin black which I think matches the other black parts on this bike quite well. I even painted the crown which gives the fork a slightly more modern look.

    I have a satin black Sram crankset that I think would really look good but they are 170mm where as I have always used 175mm cranks. Not sure how much difference this will make so may try it.








  26. #26
    Dream it, Do it.
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    Explosif rebuild

    Here's my 1995 Kona Explosif rebuildJust got a 1995 Kona Explosif-img_0121.jpgJust got a 1995 Kona Explosif-img_0129.jpgJust got a 1995 Kona Explosif-img_0125.jpgName:  Marzocchi Atom Bomb.jpg
Views: 255
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    Dirt Merchant Bikes
    www.dirtmerchantbikes.com
    Seattle area dealer for Turner Bikes & Cleary Bikes

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
    Here's my 1995 Kona Explosif rebuild ...
    I saw your build a while ago. Really nice build.

    I got some updates coming soon but still need to sort out a few parts. Gonna be as period correct as I can get with mostly M900.

  28. #28
    Dream it, Do it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuartfleming View Post
    I saw your build a while ago. Really nice build.

    I got some updates coming soon but still need to sort out a few parts. Gonna be as period correct as I can get with mostly M900.
    Thanks! Good luck with your build!
    Dirt Merchant Bikes
    www.dirtmerchantbikes.com
    Seattle area dealer for Turner Bikes & Cleary Bikes

  29. #29
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    So its been a while and a lot has happened. My other project didnt pan out so I rebuild the Reba, front disc and what not back on the Explosif. I really enjoyed the bike but after a while the "Mullet" brake set up (Disc/V Brake Combo) annoyed me and I decided I to do something about putting a disc on the back.

    I didnt want to weld a tab on the frame. I have always had this feeling that one day I would like to restore her to a period correct build. (More on that later.) There doesnt seem to be much in the way of adapters available, especially for skinny steel tubed bikes with small drop outs. Especially in South Africa where I live. The only option I had was to make something myself. Good thing I am an engineer, although not in the bike industry.

    We have a really nice high Tech 3d Scanner at work that is used for metrology. One day during lunch I decided to scan the frame so that I would have a CAD model to work with.
    Just got a 1995 Kona Explosif-0.jpg

    Next step was to design something simple to make that would bolt on. Its basically a bent plate that is connected to the brake boss and sandwiched between the frame and wheel. Its also bolted to the rack mount to hold it in place when the wheel is removed. The plate is 5mm thick but machined down to 2mm at the point where it is sandwiched. This minited how much flexing of the frame is needed to still get the wheel in and also meant there was still some axle in contact with the drop out.
    Just got a 1995 Kona Explosif-0-2-.jpg

    I did some FEA analysis to check its strength. To be honest I have no idea what forces go through something like this but made some assumptions and I am still alive.
    Just got a 1995 Kona Explosif-0-3-.jpg

    And finally, here is the finished product. Its not pretty but it works.
    Just got a 1995 Kona Explosif-0-1-.jpgJust got a 1995 Kona Explosif-0-4-.jpgJust got a 1995 Kona Explosif-0-5-.jpg

  30. #30
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    The disc conversion in my previous post was done late last year. Shortly afterwards I got a modern Trek Roscoe trail bike and the Explosif wasn't being used much. I decided to try mix things up a bit and try it as a single speed.

    Just got a 1995 Kona Explosif-img_20180526_085518.jpgJust got a 1995 Kona Explosif-img_20180129_195638.jpg

  31. #31
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    Okay guys. The story is nearly complete. While the single speed was fun for a while I found I didnt really use it much and felt like I had lost touch with the reason I initially wanted to buy a 95 steel Kona, because of sentimental feelings for my original Cinder Cone. A few weeks ago I decided that after having the bike for a few years it was time for a full period build, or as close as I could reasonably get it. I dug through my box of parts and found I would be able to get the bike reasonably close but a few key parts were missing, Specifically 8 speed shifters.

    While chatting to the owner of one of my LBS's who I have know for over 20 years I mentioned what I wanted to do and that I was looking for 8 speed shifters. He mentioned he might have something laying around but he had something better, if I was interested. He took me to the back room in his shop and showed me a close to complete Amp Research B2. The frame previously cracked and had been rewelded and the fork also had a small crack in the crown so its essentially useless for anything other than a show piece. The important thing though is groupset. Almost complete XTR M900 in used but very good condition. The only thing missing was the brake cantilevers. We made a deal and shortly afterwards I took this home:

    Just got a 1995 Kona Explosif-img_20180705_154837.jpg

  32. #32
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    After a few nights of cleaning and building this is the final result. I am super happy with it. She isn't truly period correct, a few parts are a few years newer but I think the essence is there.

    Just got a 1995 Kona Explosif-01.jpgJust got a 1995 Kona Explosif-02.jpgJust got a 1995 Kona Explosif-03.jpgJust got a 1995 Kona Explosif-04.jpgJust got a 1995 Kona Explosif-05.jpg
    Just got a 1995 Kona Explosif-06.jpgJust got a 1995 Kona Explosif-07.jpgJust got a 1995 Kona Explosif-08.jpgJust got a 1995 Kona Explosif-09.jpgJust got a 1995 Kona Explosif-11.jpgJust got a 1995 Kona Explosif-14.jpgJust got a 1995 Kona Explosif-12.jpgJust got a 1995 Kona Explosif-15.jpg

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