Kona A questions...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Kona A questions...

    I've been riding my Redline Monocog for a few years and I'm getting to the point that I like riding my SS more than my LocoMoto. Problem is that my back can't really take the pounding of a hardtail more than once a week. I realize that the Kona A is not really a purist bike since it's full suspension but I really don't care. I like one gear but don't really care about a ridgid frame.

    I've looked high and low for reviews of the Kona A frame and have come up empty. I'm assuming that a stable platform rear shock is a must since the bottom pivot location will probably cause a lot of bobbing. Since the frame comes without a shock I'll probably go with the Manitou swinger. Anybody using this frame for a single speed? What shock are you using? Any issues keeping the chain on? Thanks for any help.

    Jim

  2. #2
    "Mr. Britannica"
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    How about a suspension post?

    From the limited stuff I've heard, the A is rather bouncy-bobby.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadiegonebad
    How about a suspension post?

    From the limited stuff I've heard, the A is rather bouncy-bobby.
    Personally I don't like suspension posts so that option is out. Before I put a Swinger 4 way on my Loco Moto it used to compress with every pedal stroke, now it completely locks out pedal induced bobbing. My assumption is that the A will react the same but I sure would like some feedback before I spend $599. for the frame and $??? for the shock. Thanks.

    Jim

  4. #4
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    You can search the archives...and even call Kona.....

    Your not going to find much about the A.
    I had asked avout this frame in ths past as well due to the exact same reasons you are inquiring about. I had a Ti HT SS that I had to sell because of back issues.
    I called Kona about the A and all I got from them was "there is a guy here that rides one and seems to like it".

    You should also consider soft tail options as well.

    KMan

    Quote Originally Posted by JimR
    Personally I don't like suspension posts so that option is out. Before I put a Swinger 4 way on my Loco Moto it used to compress with every pedal stroke, now it completely locks out pedal induced bobbing. My assumption is that the A will react the same but I sure would like some feedback before I spend $599. for the frame and $??? for the shock. Thanks.

    Jim

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMan
    Your not going to find much about the A.
    I had asked avout this frame in ths past as well due to the exact same reasons you are inquiring about. I had a Ti HT SS that I had to sell because of back issues.
    I called Kona about the A and all I got from them was "there is a guy here that rides one and seems to like it".

    You should also consider soft tail options as well.

    KMan

    Man, that sucks. You would think that somebody out there would have some experience with the "A". I hate to be the test mule but maybe I'll give it a try. Just wish it was a bit cheaper!

  6. #6
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    Let me know if you find any reviews!

    I have been curious about the "A" for a while, I did read an article somewhere about it. "BIKE" maybe? This was written before the stable platform shocks became the norm so the tester found himself using the lockout frequently. Obviously, unless you are climbing fireroads and then bombing singletrack this wouldn't be ideal! I would love to know how the stable platform shock handles this as the idea of a FS singlespeed is very intriguing. My only question is does a stable platform shock, while standing and pedaling, erase any benefit of a full suspension while climbing? In other words does it basically turn into a hardtail while climbing?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sloth
    . My only question is does a stable platform shock, while standing and pedaling, erase any benefit of a full suspension while climbing? In other words does it basically turn into a hardtail while climbing?
    The answer is "no". The stable platform only cancels out the pedaling. I think it's the low frequency motions that get blocked. For example: I'm pedaling down a local single track that has potholes and roots. I'm looking down at the shock while I'm pedaling. It does not "bob" up and down in cadence with my pedaling. At the same time I hit a bump or root it compresses for these obstacles and still does not compress for the pedaling. I'm not and expert on the technology but I can assure you that it works great!

    Jim

  8. #8
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    Dirt Rag #102

    [had a review on the A. Unfortunately it's not on their site. As i remember, climbing was in question because of the rear suspension.

    QUOTE=sloth]I have been curious about the "A" for a while, I did read an article somewhere about it. "BIKE" maybe? This was written before the stable platform shocks became the norm so the tester found himself using the lockout frequently. Obviously, unless you are climbing fireroads and then bombing singletrack this wouldn't be ideal! I would love to know how the stable platform shock handles this as the idea of a FS singlespeed is very intriguing. My only question is does a stable platform shock, while standing and pedaling, erase any benefit of a full suspension while climbing? In other words does it basically turn into a hardtail while climbing?[/QUOTE]

  9. #9
    zeebot
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    I was interested in the A a few months ago but came up empty as well. I actually would've bought one but after numerous emails and calls to kona trying to figure out the HT length i discovered my sized frame had something like a 6" or slightly less HT. none of my forks would come close to fitting this and i didnt feel like buying yet another fox to fit a new frame so i opted out. This HT measurement may not be accurate since the Kona customer service people seem to know almost nothing about their frame but i didn't want to risk it.

    One thing i did learn while posting trying to fish for info on this site was a few people mentioned you can use a few other full suspension designs perfectly fine as single speeds. Apparently the Maverick has almost zero chain growth and also a few people have made the Specialized Epic into a single speed. Just something else to look in to. I realize the maverick is way more $$$ than the kona but you can probably find an epic for cheap.

  10. #10
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    Trek Stp

    I heard that the Trek STP might work as well. Can anyone confirm???
    Thanks to www.weavercycleworks.com for my awesome bike frames!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manicmtbr
    I heard that the Trek STP might work as well. Can anyone confirm???
    Well, if that is the case then how about the Cannondale Scalpel?

  12. #12
    IMBA Guy
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    Almost any fully will work as an SS if you use a Paul Melvin tensioner. My SO has a SS Blur that runs flawlessly, and those frames have tons of chainstay growth.
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  13. #13
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    How about a URT?

    Does anyone make a URT anymore? If you must go FS on SS, this might work.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DancingBear
    Almost any fully will work as an SS if you use a Paul Melvin tensioner. My SO has a SS Blur that runs flawlessly, and those frames have tons of chainstay growth.

    Actually we were both thinking of full suspension designs that don't need a tensioner. I assume that most designs without a bottom pivot would work???

  15. #15
    Lazy People Suck
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimR
    Well, if that is the case then how about the Cannondale Scalpel?
    I have a buddy who runs a Scalpel with a tensioner and loves it as a SS. With flex carbon chainstay, I would think chain growth would be very minimal.
    "Son, The world needs ditchdiggers, too"-Ted Knight, Caddyshack

  16. #16
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    Ok guys/gals, heres the deal....

    I've done some research on this and this is what I have found out.
    Any FS frame that has the piviot at/around the BB should work as a SS w/o a tensioner since there is no chain growth. The Catamount URT type bike as well

    <img src="https://forums.mtbr.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=18726&stc=1">

    The Scapel, Airborne Paka wallup and other similiar designs will require the use of a tensioner due to the chain growth issues.

    <img src="https://www.airborne.net/eready/janette/store/images/AB-PW-3frames-XL.jpg">

    Most soft tails can be used as a single speed without using a tension devise since there is no to very limited chan growth. I am building up a Trek STP softail and am just waiting on my rear wheel from Oddsandendos to get it out for a ride.

    <img src="https://forums.mtbr.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=10288&stc=1">



    KMan

    Quote Originally Posted by Fett
    I have a buddy who runs a Scalpel with a tensioner and loves it as a SS. With flex carbon chainstay, I would think chain growth would be very minimal.
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