Kona A'ha 97 question- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Kona A'ha 97 question

    so I have this 1997 Kona A'ha Stars and Bars. I've been using it mostly as a townie through the years but now I would like to get it on some of the single-track behind my house (Santa Cruz Mountain Redwood goodness =)

    the problem is the gearing - the bike is mostly stock and was meant more as a townie than a real SS. It came with a 40x18 Cyclone BMX-1511 crankset and BB. This gearing is too big to be climbing the hills around here.

    questions:
    what is a typical gearing for singletrack SS? any ideas on the drive train? will I need to replace the cranks and BB or can I find a chainring to fit the spider on this ol skool Cyclone?

    finally, should I replace these stock parts? am I hurting the joo joo of the bike?

    thanks folks for any insights ....
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  2. #2
    Stubby-legged
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    Leave it alone!!!

    That is too cool to screw with. Bad Karma will follow you if you mess with the Schwing of that bad boy.
    I'll send you one of my Ss in trade. Just so it stays like it is.

  3. #3
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    Hell yeah build that up. It's just a bike man. Was meant to be ridden in one way or another. Just make a few tweaks like the gearing and tires and you'll be rockin'. The bolt circle should be a standard MTB one. Looks to be 5 bolt Standard 110mm BCD (bolt circle diameter). 2:1 is as a standard a ratio for how varied stuff is. Start with 2:1 and go from there. Or go lower. That bike don't need much.

  4. #4
    Welsh Dave
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    Very nice bike, sir!

    Yeah, take it off-road. It has a few small dings already. And it's not like it's some uber pricey, unused Cook Bros. Cruiser. They've got a long wheelbase though, so I would slide the wheel as far forward as possible with a 2:1 gear ratio. You might have to take a link or 2 out of the chain too, when you ditch that big front ring.

    I picked up an A'ha last week... just 2 miles from my house (that's after chasing & missing about half a dozen A'has on Ebay over the years).
    It plays very nicely with my straight-tubed '95 Humu.

    I couldn't be happier at having found mine - they're very cool.
    Sadly, mine was missing that great 3-piece crank that your has.... but I have a mint, 70s Campag that will do the job. I got the crank a few years back... always knew it would eventually go on an A'ha.

    PS: That frame looks quite tall. Is yours the 20 inch version?
    (measured from crank centre all the way to the seat clamp)

  5. #5
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    Once you've settled on a chainring combo you like, just get the new one ano'd red. Most cities will have someone who can do it. Hell, even just one of the clear candy spray paints would do a decent job.

    Ride it. It's just a bike.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matty H
    ...Looks to be 5 bolt Standard 110mm BCD (bolt circle diameter). 2:1 is as a standard a ratio for how varied stuff is. Start with 2:1 and go from there. Or go lower. That bike don't need much.
    thanks for the tips - good to know ... it is a 110 BCD so I guess I can leave the cranks and BB and look for a smaller ring up front
    "Often life has many clouds, but they quickly pass"
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Welsh Dave
    ... They've got a long wheelbase though, so I would slide the wheel as far forward as possible with a 2:1 gear ratio. You might have to take a link or 2 out of the chain too, when you ditch that big front ring.
    yep - it is a long wheelbase, great idea on sliding the rear wheel forward, never thought about that ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Welsh Dave
    I picked up an A'ha last week... I couldn't be happier at having found mine - they're very cool.
    Sadly, mine was missing that great 3-piece crank that your has....
    PS: That frame looks quite tall. Is yours the 20 inch version?
    (measured from crank centre all the way to the seat clamp)
    sweet! I haven't seen too many of these out there - I bought mine new for $250 - got the 'bro deal' since I worked at a shop that carried Kona's (back in the day =). This is the 20in (20.5?) anyway, it's the largest size. I can feel it sometimes, very long - feels like driving a limo =)

    thx for the pointers!
    "Often life has many clouds, but they quickly pass"
    - Mark Pi Fortune Cookie

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSSasky
    Once you've settled on a chainring combo you like, just get the new one ano'd red. Most cities will have someone who can do it. Hell, even just one of the clear candy spray paints would do a decent job.

    Ride it. It's just a bike.
    good idea - nice thing about this bike - parts are cheaper than my XTR FS and I can always trade 'em out. I'll keep the stock parts in case I ever want to sell it, but I prefer your advice - 'just ride it' =)
    "Often life has many clouds, but they quickly pass"
    - Mark Pi Fortune Cookie

  9. #9
    one chain loop
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    found a gold

    before:


    after:


    will finish cleaning it tomorrow, thinking it would be a good fixie project.
    Last edited by fishcreek; 05-13-2008 at 06:38 PM.
    everything sucks but my vacuum cleaner.

  10. #10
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    sweet deal!

    looks totally stock ... nice find =)
    CL can be great source for amazing deals (as long as they're legit)
    "Often life has many clouds, but they quickly pass"
    - Mark Pi Fortune Cookie

  11. #11
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    Just put a 36T Surly stainless chainring up front, shorten the chain, move the rear wheel forward, and ride

  12. #12
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    does the A'ha have a typical 135mm spacing on the rear dropouts?
    "Often life has many clouds, but they quickly pass"
    - Mark Pi Fortune Cookie

  13. #13
    Welsh Dave
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    Quote Originally Posted by feetsnofail
    does the A'ha have a typical 135mm spacing on the rear dropouts?
    No, it has 110mm, like BMX and some fixed-gear track bikes. This keeps your pedals closer to the center line and reduces the chance of clipping them on the velodrome banking or dirt berms.

    Actually, the spacing on the A'ha is more like 112mm.

    The "standard" chainline for 110mm and 120mm spaced fixies is supposedly 42mm. In practice, very few crank and bottom bracket combos achieve this. Not so much of a problem... until you remember the rear alignment (freewheel or fixed cog) can't be altered (unlike a singlespeed cog slid onto a cassette hub, which CAN).

    I measured my A'ha using the formula on Sheldon Brown: Perfect 41.5mm chainline, front and rear.

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