Explosif or Unit- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Explosif or Unit

    Any Advice?

    2015 Explosif geared with fox 34 fork 27.5 wheels, dropper post. Very good condition.
    I'd have to convert to SS which will cost more, But I like the fact that it has a Suspension fork.


    2017 Unit excellent condition. 27.5 plus, custom build already set up SS.
    Looks like the 2017 has cable routing if I decide to go geared

    I guess I'm wondering which would be more versatile. The Explosif will cost me about $250 more.

  2. #2
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    The Unit is going to be limited to a 100mm fork (straight from the horse's mouth, I emailed Kona about it) and should be 27.5+ and 29er compatible. The Explosif is probably not going to accept 29er wheels but should take a longer fork. depends on if you want a stable 29er or a rowdier B bike.

  3. #3
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    I have the '17 Unit SS and love it, haven't ridden the Explosif. I like it rigid most of the time, but am a little interested in suspension.

    I didn't like the stock WTB Trailblazers and when I ripped a sidewall I immediately put Nobby Nic 2.8"s on there. Major improvement in traction and cornering.

  4. #4
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    Thanks all
    I'm leaning toward the Unit. Less $$$ and straight out it's set up as SS. I've got my FS 26" for rowdiness. Don't know how I feel about the b+ thing, but as you said Mack it can do 29er wheels as well

  5. #5
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    you found one used?

  6. #6
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    I ride a xl unit on northshore, very versatile but obviously not a downhill machine. Can be ss or geared, rigid or squish. Whatever takes my fancy that week ☺ i stick my maxxis dhf 3.0 on the front with the rigid forks.... Great fun


    Sent from my SM-P900 using Tapatalk

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    The Unit is going to be limited to a 100mm fork (straight from the horse's mouth, I emailed Kona about it) and should be 27.5+ and 29er compatible. The Explosif is probably not going to accept 29er wheels but should take a longer fork. depends on if you want a stable 29er or a rowdier B bike.
    I run a longer fork on my Big Unit despite Kona telling me it's also designed around a 100mm fork. I don't find it a negative experience IMO.
    Kona Big Unit SS
    Kona Private Jake SSCX
    DiamondBack Release 3
    Norco Torrent HT 7.1

  8. #8
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    According to Kona, it's a safety thing. I would not risk it on my own ride, as I value the structural integrity of my teeth.

  9. #9
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    Potentially have found a used one. I'm looking at the karate monkey too 2017. It's ready for suspension and more dropper posts available in 30.9. I know that's not popular with the SS crowd, but I dig them. I'm over thinking all this. I just need to pull the trigger on one and go for it. Every shop in town can order them but none in stock

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    According to Kona, it's a safety thing. I would not risk it on my own ride, as I value the structural integrity of my teeth.
    If it can do a 100mm safely I'm fine with that. Even 80mm just to take the edge off

  11. #11
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    I would get the Explosif because I think it is such a timeless, perfect bike and a smart spec. It's everything one needs to ride in bliss for the rest of one's life: Reynolds steel hard tail, short stays with sliding dropouts, 5" QR15 fork, Shimano SLX hydraulics/transmission, bold-yet-classic orange/black paint, sufficiently wide tubeless rims, versatile trail geo. Well done, Kona.

    I appreciate carbon fiber, full-suspension, etc., etc., but there's a part of me that wishes off-road bike development had stopped with bikes like this.

    If you want 27.5+ or 29, then you must get something else.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by qtzmznt View Post
    I have the '17 Unit SS and love it, haven't ridden the Explosif. I like it rigid most of the time, but am a little interested in suspension.

    I didn't like the stock WTB Trailblazers and when I ripped a sidewall I immediately put Nobby Nic 2.8"s on there. Major improvement in traction and cornering.
    What size do you ride?

  13. #13
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    I ended up purchasing a 2017 Kona Unit, lightly used. Has upgraded brakes from stock build. It will be shipped this week. Pics to come.

    Thanks for the advice

  14. #14
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    2018's are now up on the website. Only change I see with the unit is the seat tube diameter

  15. #15
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    Nice they increased the seat tube diameter, more dropper options. I could only find 100mm options for the 2017 but like the KS LEV I put on.

    They changed some other things too, brakes and levers, hubs went from Joytech to Formula, dropped the WTB Trailblazers for Rangers, lost the sweet matte green color.

  16. #16
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    Yeah, some spec changes. I'll probably put a LEV on mine. I'm so used to the dropper post now.

  17. #17
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    Got the 2017 unit. Got an issue with the freehub on the stock wheels. It's making a grinding sound. Maybe something got knocked loose in shipping. Seller said he had no issue.

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