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  1. #1
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    Kona Big Unit Thoughts

    Hello all,

    I have just ordered a Kona Big Unit frame for my next single speed build... can anyone shed some light on ride quality and characteristics on the bike? I ordered it blind mainly because it checked a lot of the boxes I was looking for.
    Fairly light weight
    142x12
    corrected for 100mm fork but can handle a 120
    tapered head tube
    69 degree head angle
    cheaper than Niner

  2. #2
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    Does anyone have experience with the 2016 Kona Big Unit as a single speed?

  3. #3
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    I have a 2014 and it's awesome. I don't think there's been any changes between the years.

    Kona Big Unit Thoughts-kona-big-unit.jpg
    Last edited by Nubster; 06-23-2016 at 05:01 PM.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    I have a 2015 and it's awesome. I don't think there's been any changes between the years.

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    Sweet bike! Yeah they slackened the head angle and lengthened the top tube on the 2016... You rock for responding to both my threads. Its hard to believe there is soo little as far as reviews and ride reports on this bike.

  5. #5
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    I have always been curious about scandium, but avoided it because I heard horror stories of how prone to cracking it can be... I have heard compliance is somewhere in between steel and aluminum?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by maximo View Post
    Sweet bike! Yeah they slackened the head angle and lengthened the top tube on the 2016... You rock for responding to both my threads. Its hard to believe there is soo little as far as reviews and ride reports on this bike.
    Ah...ok. I wasn't 100% sure about the changes. And I thought I responded to this question before but thought maybe it was a different OP this time or something happened to the last thread so it was brought up again.

    I don't know why there's isn't more review...it's a great frame for sure. I came off a Nimble 9 steel frame and a diSSent aluminum. I'll say without a doubt the N9 rode nicer being it was steel. Very plush ride. But it was a pig. The frame was almost 7 pounds. The diSSent was harsh but handled like it was on rails. I'd love to get another diSSent with TA rear and tapered headtube. Doubt that will ever happen and the diSSent X that was supposed to come out would have or will be very expensive for an alloy frame. If it ever comes to life.

    To address DualRollers...honestly not sure. I'm not that in tune with things when it comes to bikes as far as minute differences. The difference between the three bikes I mentioned were large. But to say the Kona rides in between aluminum and steel...that's a stretch for me to say. I will say it's not as harsh as some other aluminum frames I've ridden so I guess take that for what it's worth. It's also a couple steps behind my carbon F29 but it's also a suspension fork so that has some to do with the ride. And if it cracks...Kona has lifetime warranty so it's all good. I haven't ridden mine tons but so far it's holding up great.

    In any case...it's a great frame and well worth the price.
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  7. #7
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    Kona Big Unit Thoughts-image.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by DualRollers View Post
    I have always been curious about scandium, but avoided it because I heard horror stories of how prone to cracking it can be... I have heard compliance is somewhere in between steel and aluminum?

    I know it is not a Kona Unit, but it is scandium and I have beaten the snot out of it on East Coast Rocks and it has not cracked yet (going on 7 years now). And yes, it does ride between steel and aluminum. I regularly ride 40-50 miles on it and it is definitely more comfy than my aluminum Soul cycles frame but not as compliant as my steel Quiring frame. All in all, I love it...and it is light as heck! I think Scandium is worth a try, and maybe a bit of hype, but for me it has made me a believer.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by maximo View Post
    Hello all,

    I have just ordered a Kona Big Unit frame for my next single speed build... can anyone shed some light on ride quality and characteristics on the bike? I ordered it blind mainly because it checked a lot of the boxes I was looking for.
    Fairly light weight
    142x12
    corrected for 100mm fork but can handle a 120
    tapered head tube
    69 degree head angle
    cheaper than Niner
    Do me a solid and weigh the frame when it comes in. I like that the made the geometry more low and slack.
    Sometimes you eat the trail, sometimes the trail eats you.

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mariop View Post
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    I know it is not a Kona Unit, but it is scandium and I have beaten the snot out of it on East Coast Rocks and it has not cracked yet (going on 7 years now). And yes, it does ride between steel and aluminum. I regularly ride 40-50 miles on it and it is definitely more comfy than my aluminum Soul cycles frame but not as compliant as my steel Quiring frame. All in all, I love it...and it is light as heck! I think Scandium is worth a try, and maybe a bit of hype, but for me it has made me a believer.
    Nice bike man! I used to be a big Voodoo fan had a Wanga and a Bizango... Thanks for the Scandium Confidence builder sounds like you put it through its paces.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Widgeontrail View Post
    Do me a solid and weigh the frame when it comes in. I like that the made the geometry more low and slack.
    So I just got to this thread this morning the frame came in late yesterday afternoon I quickly installed a Cane Creek 40 headset, rockshocks Revalation 120mm fork (pretty hefty fork), Thompson Stem, Thompson Seatpost and white industries ENO crank set with un55 BB it comes in at 8.5 lbs with everything listed on it cheap bathroom scale... thats pretty light to me considering my Honzo frame alone is 7 pounds, I am stoked I will post pics of build and ride report when I am done.
    Last edited by maximo; 06-24-2016 at 07:32 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by maximo View Post
    Cane Creek 40 headset, rockshocks Revalation 120mm fork (pretty hefty fork), Thompson Stem, Thompson Seatpost and white industries ENO crank set with un55 BB it comes in at 8.5 lbs
    With crank arms? That sounds awfully light.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryder1 View Post
    With crank arms? That sounds awfully light.
    That's what I said! anyhow maybe its just my scale it feels awfully light that's for sure.

  13. #13
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    I weighed mine and I want to say size large was like 4.5 pounds on a bathroom scale.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryder1 View Post
    With crank arms? That sounds awfully light.
    Looking at all claimed weights I should be at around 10.8 pounds that's probably a more better number...

  15. #15
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    I am still excited about the weight coming from a fleet of bikes that are pushing 30 pounds each, well except my road bike.

  16. #16
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    Actually now I am questioning the weight of all my bikes

  17. #17
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    Did you weigh yourself with and without the frame/fork/crank, then figure the difference?

    I just bathroom-weighed my likely next frameset: L '12 Unit + Vassago steel fork = 8.5 pounds. Frame and fork are so fundamental that I normally don't worry about their weight. Tires? Different story.

  18. #18
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    I've had a Kona Kula 2-9 SS and Kona Big Unit ('11?). Both scandium/aluminum. Kula was a nice ride, fast, responsive at the pedals. Reba in front. I don't think I ever built up the Big Unit - it was greenish (not blue) in person, and so unsightly IMO that I sold it. Scandium is cool because it allows for some bad-ass looking tubing. No real price penalty. If I was going to build up a SS with front suspension fork, I would definitely be considering the Big Unit.

  19. #19
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    I love my 2016 big unit. I think the geometry is perfect for trail riding. I have faster times on my single speed big unit than my other bikes. Even on downhill sections. I wouldn't change a thing.
    Kona Big Unit Thoughts-imag0796.jpg

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryder1 View Post
    Did you weigh yourself with and without the frame/fork/crank, then figure the difference?

    I just bathroom-weighed my likely next frameset: L '12 Unit + Vassago steel fork = 8.5 pounds. Frame and fork are so fundamental that I normally don't worry about their weight. Tires? Different story.
    I weighed myself without then with and figured the difference.

  21. #21
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    [QUOTE=TG-CO;12703506]I love my 2016 big unit. I think the geometry is perfect for trail riding. I have faster times on my single speed big unit than my other bikes. Even on downhill sections. I wouldn't change a thing.


    That looks like a sweet build, is that a 120mm fork up front?

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