Kona Unit 2015 alright?- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 76 of 76
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    95

    Kona Unit 2015 alright?

    Hello people.

    I'm new here to writing, but have been lurking for quite some time

    Anyhow, TL: DR --- Is the Kona Unit worth shelling out for?


    The longer story:
    I have an old MTB that I converted to SS but haven't really taken it to the trails yet. As of now the hubs are gone and the whole bike is what you in America will call a "Wallmart-bike", so I'm not interested in upping the specs, (you know, throw gold after garbage) also I'm a bit afraid to push it hard on the trails due to the generally low quality.

    However, I do love single speed and I also have a fixed gear road bike, so for that aspect I know what's what in the one-gear world.

    Where I live (Denmark), the selection in SS bikes are zero. There's generally no common interest in it, hence all is online. I'm the weirdo here on the streets.

    I've had a good look at Kona Unit and found a dealer in Germany, app. 1,5 hour drive from here, that carries the brand at good prices. Used is not an option here, the danish "Craighlist"-equivalent is devoid of useable specimens for SS MTB. So unfortunately, no older Unit's available.

    I can read the specs and frown a bit upon the Joytech hubs. But that's about it that I can point a finger at.

    It looks like a through-and-through decent bike, almost bang for the buck.

    What am I missing? Besides fetching the darn bike I'm 6.1 tall with 35" inseam, barefooted, ruler in crotch. I'm leaning towards the 19" model, as the 21" may be too large. I've never ridden 29er's before. Always 26er MTB.

    For the moment I'm not interested in gears, but it seems the Unit is "upgradeable" to an easy 1x10 should I fancy that later.

    I once owned a hardtail fully equipped XT aluminum MTB with Fox front, so I know what I'm missing out on, with regards to the Unit's rigid fork and lower specs brakes etc.

    The Unit just looks so great!

    Thanks! Sorry for the long post.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    482
    There is a thread dedicated to the 2013 Unit but has been morphed into including the 2014/15 models along with older models too. I for one have a 2013 and I love it! I'm 5'11" with a 33" inseam and I ride a 19" frame.

    The Unit is setup to do gears or SS. I have mine fully decked out. The only thing stock on mine is the frame and fork. I do have a squishy fork for it but don't use it much.

    Wheels are definitely the first major upgrade you should look at. Chain Reaction Cycles has Hope Pro 2 Evo hubs laced to Stan's Arch EX rims for just over 500. You have to buy them separately but thats a good deal. They make them in house also.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    95
    Found it - thanks!

    From their size chart, it seems the 19 is within the small range with the 21 within the large range, for my size. Some people say with 29ers you should opt for the small one, if choice is there. I'm hoping the dealer I found has some various sizes in stock for me to try.

    I'm on a bit of a budget, but I might save up for the Hope wheels you mentioned. Also looking to save up for a suspension fork if I don't like going rigid on the trails. I dunno yet

    So I'm guessing, quality wise I can't go wrong with the Unit?

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    482
    The rigid is fine if you get a fatter tire like a 2.35 nobby nic up front. Try ODI rogues for your grips to they are fat and cushy.

    As for the size I'm glad I went with the 19. I couldn't test ride one so I ordered Blindly. Read the Kona unit thread from the start there is some good sizing discussions in there.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    95
    Yeah, I'll do that in a bit when it's bed time. There are some reading to be done

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    10
    Hi´ tuxxdk

    Being from Denmark too I can tell you that I have seen a few Units out and about on the trails in the Copenhagen-area and the Unit is indeed a mighty fine bike for ss´ing. I´m 6.1´ish (186) and I ride a 2013 in size 20. With a 50mm stem and 760mm handlebars the bike fits me nicely and handles well for the trails that I ride locally. I too have thrown some Hope Pro 2 Evo hubs/ Stan's Arch EX rims as the first major upgrade and they are well worth the investment. I have been riding mine rigid and it´s fine but lately I have been toying with idea of slacking the front-end of by throwning a 120mm squishy fork on. From what I´ve read it doesn´t ruin the handling significantly and should still climbs well.

    Anyways, you won´t go far wrong with the Unit. For the money it´s well recommended.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    452
    I think the Unit would be sweet ride. If I would ever kill my KHS solo one, I would get one of those. Love the steel ride.
    Climbs in Denmark??

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    339
    I have a 2014 Unit and I don't see myself ever needing another mountain bike, FWIW(no interest in full squish). I had all kinds of upgrades planned initially, but except for grips and pedals and rear cog it's bone stock, and I LOVE it. Nothing NEEDS to be changed on it, for my purposes at least for now (SoCal single track riding). I don;t really see how you could go wrong unless somehow it just doesn't fit you comfortably.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    482
    The Unit has a cult following. if i were to get a custom frame i would match the dimensions pretty much exactly or get a Verhauen. Which is close but hard to get and like a grand for the frame. I'm perfectly happy with my Unit. I get so many strange looks riding it with all the FS riders when i'm on the same trails.

    I'm considering getting a Waltworks custom fork for it since I love it rigid.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Hairnet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    126
    Quote Originally Posted by jbass View Post
    Nothing NEEDS to be changed on it, for my purposes at least for now (SoCal single track riding).
    +1 Mine isn't anything fancy but the only stock part now is the crank. Most of the trails out here are no problem on a rigid bike. Some would be a whole lot nicer with a suspension fork, but still doable rigid. So much out here lends itself to really cranking and getting some speed that I would hate all the squishyness of a full suspension. I rode a short distance on my friend's full suspension and it felt so... nice. Nice in a way that I would only want to ride it on days I feel like having my head in the clouds.
    Los Angelino looking to escape the clamor.

  11. #11
    Armature speller
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    2,900
    Most of the trails here are doable rigid, but at the end of a 2-3hr ride, I'd much rather running suspension on the front of the Unit.

    Only stock bits left are the 2011 frame and 180mm cranks.

  12. #12
    Clyde on a mission!
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    719
    Quote Originally Posted by tuxxdk View Post
    What am I missing? Besides fetching the darn bike I'm 6.1 tall with 35" inseam, barefooted, ruler in crotch. I'm leaning towards the 19" model, as the 21" may be too large. I've never ridden 29er's before. Always 26er MTB.
    I'm 6.1 with a 33 inch inseam and love my 19 inch 2012 Unit to bits.

    Quote Originally Posted by slohr View Post
    Climbs in Denmark??
    With no mountains you won't find many 5 mile, half hour climbs, but we have plenty of steep hills to climb all over the place. Call it interval training..

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    95
    First of, I'm overwhelmed with the great response! Much appreciated. Thanks!

    Second, I've had a good thinking today and I think I'll jump on one - just need to sort the final finances.

    Quote Originally Posted by dgroberts View Post
    Hi´ tuxxdk

    Being from Denmark too I can tell you that I have seen a few Units out and about on the trails in the Copenhagen-area and the Unit is indeed a mighty fine bike for ss´ing. I´m 6.1´ish (186) and I ride a 2013 in size 20. With a 50mm stem and 760mm handlebars the bike fits me nicely and handles well for the trails that I ride locally. I too have thrown some Hope Pro 2 Evo hubs/ Stan's Arch EX rims as the first major upgrade and they are well worth the investment. I have been riding mine rigid and it´s fine but lately I have been toying with idea of slacking the front-end of by throwning a 120mm squishy fork on. From what I´ve read it doesn´t ruin the handling significantly and should still climbs well.

    Anyways, you won´t go far wrong with the Unit. For the money it´s well recommended.
    I'm genuinely positive surprised there are some SS in Denmark. I'm from Sønderjylland, and as you might suspect, we're not that "far ahead" yet Each and everyone I mention SS or FG to looks at me like I'm a lunatic. Maybe I should stop talking about it and just ride'n'show.

    Due to finances, I might have to ride the stock wheels until they break.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandrenseren View Post
    I'm 6.1 with a 33 inch inseam and love my 19 inch 2012 Unit to bits.

    With no mountains you won't find many 5 mile, half hour climbs, but we have plenty of steep hills to climb all over the place. Call it interval training..
    I'm leaning towards the 19" as well.

    Yeah, no real climbs here as folks overseas might be accustomed to. But plenty of interval training for sure

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    10
    Another possibility is to import a Gravity G29 from bikesdirect. I'm from Sønderjylland too and I have been contemplating that too have a nice commuter bike and the possibility to train off road from time to time. You can import one for ca. 4200 dkr.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    95
    Wow, that Gravity looks wicked! I notice it's aluminium with steel fork - any pros/cons with the frame being aluminium?

    Now that the ball's out in the open, what other options do I have, price no higher than the Unit's tag.

    Nashbar Bee's Knee?

  16. #16
    Armature speller
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    2,900
    Quote Originally Posted by tuxxdk View Post
    Due to finances, I might have to ride the stock wheels until they break.
    I upgraded my 2011 wheels to a pair of 2015 ones I got cheapish.
    I do like the i23 rims.

    I'm 6'2" and am riding a 20".

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    50
    Quote Originally Posted by tuxxdk View Post
    Wow, that Gravity looks wicked! I notice it's aluminium with steel fork - any pros/cons with the frame being aluminium?

    Now that the ball's out in the open, what other options do I have, price no higher than the Unit's tag.

    Nashbar Bee's Knee?
    If you are on a tight budjet, this could be a cheap option: Vitus Bikes Dee 290 City Bike 2015 | Chain Reaction Cycles

    I have one, and I have been totally happy with it. BUT if you can afford the Unit, go for it.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: t_surfer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    30
    I have a 2013 Unit in 19", I am 187cm with 86cm inseam. I love my 19" on the 29er, it makes it more BMX like (if you can call a 29er that) and puts you more "on top" instead of "behind" the bike in terms of handling. my profile picture shows me riding it. hope this helps for size determination.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    95
    Quote Originally Posted by anzi View Post
    If you are on a tight budjet, this could be a cheap option: Vitus Bikes Dee 290 City Bike 2015 | Chain Reaction Cycles

    I have one, and I have been totally happy with it. BUT if you can afford the Unit, go for it.
    I'm not on a budget, per se, but I don't have the funds to just splurge away. I think the Unit is my maximum as it seems there's nothing wrong with it as it is.

    The Vitus looks pretty nice, especially for it's price. I'll look into that, thanks for the recommendation!

    Quote Originally Posted by t_surfer View Post
    I have a 2013 Unit in 19", I am 187cm with 86cm inseam. I love my 19" on the 29er, it makes it more BMX like (if you can call a 29er that) and puts you more "on top" instead of "behind" the bike in terms of handling. my profile picture shows me riding it. hope this helps for size determination.

    It helps! All the interwebs seem to agree I should take a 19". The dealer just wrote me and recommended 21" for street use. My old MTB, but with a much more regular geometry and no where near as compact as this, is a 20".Scratch that! It's a 16"!

    Myself, I'm leaning towards 19" as well atm.
    Last edited by tuxxdk; 04-14-2015 at 12:57 PM.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    95
    Okay, so I just did a quick measurement of my old MTB with the old 1992 geometry from those days.

    I have a seat-tube of ~40cm/16" and a top-tube of 55cm/21,5". I have a huge amount of seatpost showing (most of a 400mm) and had to put risers on the 100mm riser-stem that's adjusted to the max-height to minimize seat-to-bar drop.

    My current reach is ~42cm/16,5".

    Compare with that of the Unit I think I should go with the 19", that has, well 19" seat-tube (~48,3cm), and a top-tube of 62,2cm/24,5". It's reach on the 19" is 43,8cm/17,2".

    But I don't even know if I can compare that way? Given that the Unit has a much more compact frame than the, almost, diamond shaped MTB I have now.

    Reach-wise, the 19" is pretty darn close. And with the longer seat-tube I don't need that ridiculous amount of post showing. Only concern is the 8cm longer top-tube, but given the compact geometry I guess the reach is what I should look at?

    Here's an image of my old MTB:

  21. #21
    Clyde on a mission!
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    719
    I wouldn't pick the Gravity. First, I like my SS to be steel, not aluminium, but that might just be me.

    More importantly I dislike the track ends. If you get a flat on the rear wheel, you'll need to deal with aligning the wheel, brakes and tension the chain again. On the Unit you just drop the wheel from the dropouts, change the tube, then pop it back in and the chain tension, wheel and brake alignment will still be spot on.

    I can't tell from the picture of your bike, you might already be used to dealing with track ends, but I promise you, once you've tried the sliding dropout system on a Unit you're never going back.

    The Vitus looks even worse, it doesn't look like you have any way to tension the chain on that bike. It might have an eccentric bottom bracket, but I highly doubt it as it isn't mentioned in the specs and usually is found on higher end bikes. If you can't move the bottom bracket or the rear hub, you'll need to add a chain tensioner to the mix once the chain starts stretching.

    But then again, I've got a Unit so I'm pretty biased..

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    95
    Biased, perhaps. But you make a valid point! I have never thought about the sliding drop as an advantage per se.

    It's actually brillant now that I think about it.

    My current one has regular semi vertical drops as per era.

    I have ruled out the other bikes. They are great I'm sure but I can't neglect the feel that it's not really an upgrade from what I have. And I seek an upgrade.

    I'm looking at the 19" Unit seriously now. Found a danish dealer up north.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    6
    Im battling between kona unit and vitus dee 290. unit have that slider on rear to set chain tension, but what else makes unit worth over 2x more than vitus?

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    50
    Unit will be better over all quality. Vitus has track ends to tension the chain, if you change the gearing you will have to adjust the brakes position also. Not a hard thing to do, but takes a couple of minutes longer. Also the Unit has proper mtb geometry, Dee has shorter top tube. Kona's brakes are pretty much as good mechanical disc brakes you can have, Vitus has very cheap brakes. The Vitus' wheels on are some cheap HJC rims, Unit has tubeless ready wheels. That being said, if you are tight on cash, and want a single speed 29er, that will get you going. I bought mine because I couldn't afford a Unit and I don't regret it at all. It's a great bike for very little money, but if I had cash to spare, I would still get a Unit.
    Last edited by anzi; 06-18-2015 at 06:03 AM.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    95
    Still undecided on size. I've re-measured my current MTB, which is way too small, compared a bit to the one I had few years back. It's a rouch meassurement on my current one, with ruler and spiritlevel.

    Current MTB ETT 550mm / REACH 400mm / FRAME 450mm (~17,5")
    Old MTB ETT 590 / REACH unknown / FRAME 18"

    Unit 2015 19" ETT 622mm / REACH 438mm / FRAME 19"
    Unit 2015 21" ETT 648mm / REACH 461mm / FRAME 21"

    My old MTB felt a little too small, whereas my current feels a good deal too small and steers funny from that. I have 2000 feet of post showing and a riser bar tilted forward to "fit" the bike just. But it's nimble on the tracks and easy to haul around. Sucks on asphalt/commuting though.

    I will only, main purpose, be using the Unit on the tracks, the woods, beach, you name it. Purely offroad, fire roads, etc.

    My guts tell me to get a 19" Unit. It has way longer TT and a bit longer reach than my current bike. But it concerns me the reach isn't that much longer?

    Should I really be getting the 21"?

    Competitivecylicsts program lists me to get a bike with ETT within 610-620mm. Also the standover height on the 21" closes in on my precious balls!

  26. #26
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    3,807
    Quote Originally Posted by tuxxdk View Post
    Still undecided on size. I've re-measured my current MTB, which is way too small, compared a bit to the one I had few years back. It's a rouch meassurement on my current one, with ruler and spiritlevel.

    Current MTB ETT 550mm / REACH 400mm / FRAME 450mm (~17,5")
    Old MTB ETT 590 / REACH unknown / FRAME 18"

    Unit 2015 19" ETT 622mm / REACH 438mm / FRAME 19"
    Unit 2015 21" ETT 648mm / REACH 461mm / FRAME 21"

    My old MTB felt a little too small, whereas my current feels a good deal too small and steers funny from that. I have 2000 feet of post showing and a riser bar tilted forward to "fit" the bike just. But it's nimble on the tracks and easy to haul around. Sucks on asphalt/commuting though.

    I will only, main purpose, be using the Unit on the tracks, the woods, beach, you name it. Purely offroad, fire roads, etc.

    My guts tell me to get a 19" Unit. It has way longer TT and a bit longer reach than my current bike. But it concerns me the reach isn't that much longer?

    Should I really be getting the 21"?

    Competitivecylicsts program lists me to get a bike with ETT within 610-620mm. Also the standover height on the 21" closes in on my precious balls!
    How tall are ya?

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    95
    Quote Originally Posted by newmarketrog View Post
    How tall are ya?
    I'm 6.1, with 35" inseam. Barefooted.

    According to Kona, I can fit either, with the 19" being "smaller" and the 21" being "bigger". It's really confusing when the nearest dealer with bikes in stock are 300km and 150USD worth of transport away :-(

  28. #28
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    3,807
    I would lean you towards the 21" for sure. A 21" will allow you to run the saddle neutral with saddle rails centered in seat clamp, a reasonable amount of post exposed, but you may wanna swap out stem for a 70mm ish stem. A 19" will have you trying to make a smaller bike bigger, a mistake that WAY too many riders and shops make. I'm 5'11.5 with a 32 pant and the 19" fits me better (bone stock) than any other bike/frame (stock or custom) i've ever ridden/raced in the last 30 years.

    Sick perfect bike. Kona is all out of 21" 15's. Find a dealer that has one and buy it.

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    95
    How long is the stem on a stock Kona?

    I have a dealer located here with all sizes in stock.. still... dunno for how long.

    I'm just afraid to feel I'm riding a gate, wheres to be "in with the bike". Maybe I shouldn't be afraid.

  30. #30
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    3,807
    I think the stock stem on the 21 is a 90 or 100, not at the shop now, so can't check now. Call a shop that has one. With the 19" you may feel both behind it and in front of it at the same time. No bueno.

  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    95
    Appreciate the advice given, Thanks !

    I also notice that the reach on the 19" isn't that much greater than what I have now.

    Is it wrong to assume that if I feel the 21 is a bit too long I can shorten the stem and widen the handlebar to compensate the shortish stems effect on the steering?

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jocke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    105
    For what it's worth; I'm 193cm and went with the 21" from 2015. I do feel a bit stretched out at times so getting a shorter stem is on my to-do list.

  33. #33
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    95
    @jocke, do you have a photo of you on the bike, or perhaps just the bike itself? I'm wondering how the geo looks when it's 21".

    Competitive cyclicst fit calculator thinks I should get ETT of 610-620mm with a stem of 100-120mm. I don't even know why they factor in the stem, but if I reverse that fit, I guess an ETT of 648mm, I can take those from the stem and get the "same" ETT.

    Damn it's confusing, especially when it's impossible to try one.

  34. #34
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jocke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    105
    Kona Unit 2015 alright?-352gb9s.jpg

    Don't know how much this helps, but here it is.

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    95
    Helps a lot! Thanks! Sweet ride.

  36. #36
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    95
    Quote Originally Posted by jocke View Post
    For what it's worth; I'm 193cm and went with the 21" from 2015. I do feel a bit stretched out at times so getting a shorter stem is on my to-do list.
    I forgot before - How does the bike feel/handle seated vs. standing?

    Do you ride single tracks or mostly fireroads/commuting?

  37. #37
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    3,807
    competitive cyclist fit guide sux. don't pay attention to it.

  38. #38
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jocke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    105
    Quote Originally Posted by tuxxdk View Post
    I forgot before - How does the bike feel/handle seated vs. standing? Do you ride single tracks or mostly fireroads/commuting?
    Alright, so this won't be your experienced rider type of answers/information - just my two cents as a newbie.

    When seated, I do feel a bit stretched out at 193 cm (6"4 ish), proportionally built. I'm thinking about cutting the bars so they're a bit more narrow, getting a bar with more rise and a shorter stem. Haven't done any of that but it will happen. It's stock besides the pedals - stock pedals are crap if you ask me - as of now and once I get a few tools in the post, I'll install hydro brakes. The set of BB7's that came have been nothing but a headache for me (but I know a lot of people swear by 'em).

    Out of the seat, the bike performs well (now, I don't have much to compare to but anyways). I do feel with the cockpit changes I have in mind - along with better technique - it'll feel more nimble and precise.

    Got it last December, so winter commuting then and summer forest mashing now. I've mostly been hitting local, rooty forest trails and can't complain at all on how it performs.

    All in all, I probably wouldn't gone with the 21" if I were shorter. It's crazy fun and monster trucks over pretty much anything but every now and then I do feel a bit small on the bike. With future cockpit changes, hopefully that will go away.

  39. #39
    Armature speller
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    2,900
    6'2" here with a 20" 2011 Unit.

    Was running a 90mm stem but when I put the 105 on, climbing traction improved noticeably.
    Seated, no real difference.

    I've also got a 21" Stumpy hard tail and the frame is too big for me.
    19" and everything is cramped.

  40. #40
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    95
    Quote Originally Posted by jocke View Post
    When seated, I do feel a bit stretched out at 193 cm (6"4 ish), proportionally built. I'm thinking about cutting the bars so they're a bit more narrow, getting a bar with more rise and a shorter stem. Haven't done any of that but it will happen. It's stock besides the pedals - stock pedals are crap if you ask me - as of now and once I get a few tools in the post, I'll install hydro brakes. The set of BB7's that came have been nothing but a headache for me (but I know a lot of people swear by 'em).

    Out of the seat, the bike performs well (now, I don't have much to compare to but anyways). I do feel with the cockpit changes I have in mind - along with better technique - it'll feel more nimble and precise.

    Got it last December, so winter commuting then and summer forest mashing now. I've mostly been hitting local, rooty forest trails and can't complain at all on how it performs.

    All in all, I probably wouldn't gone with the 21" if I were shorter. It's crazy fun and monster trucks over pretty much anything but every now and then I do feel a bit small on the bike. With future cockpit changes, hopefully that will go away.
    You are a great deal taller than me, with my puny 186cm It frightens me with the thought of a 21", when you with your 193cm feel stretched.

    I wonder how many centimetres we're talking about that needs to be reduced in order to not feel stretched, like if going from 100mm stem to 70mm will be enough? Because when looking at the incremental sizes from eg. 19" to 21", it's not many centimetres here and there that divides them.

    If I do pick the 19", then I need a lot of seat-post showing, putting be farther behind the bottom bracket, thus increasing the length I need to stretch when seated, whereas if I go with the 21", I don't need that much seat-post, putting me further in front of the bike, thus decreasing my seated reach. With a shortish stem, that might be a great match, as recommended by our Kona dealer up top.

    But then again - a 19" Kona is a good deal larger than any MTB I've ridden before, so a 21" will be a gigantic step up in size for me. Especially since it's only for single tracks and forest-riding, no commuting.

    How wide are the standard handlebars?
    Which issues do you have with the BB7's? They actually one of the reasons for me going with Kona, as they're mechanical, thus low and easy maintenance, but I might be selling myself short there?

  41. #41
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    95
    Quote Originally Posted by newmarketrog View Post
    competitive cyclist fit guide sux. don't pay attention to it.
    I'm starting to think that as well, especially since they factor in the stem-length with such emphasis.

  42. #42
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    95
    Quote Originally Posted by NordieBoy View Post
    6'2" here with a 20" 2011 Unit.

    Was running a 90mm stem but when I put the 105 on, climbing traction improved noticeably.
    Seated, no real difference.

    I've also got a 21" Stumpy hard tail and the frame is too big for me.
    19" and everything is cramped.
    I've compared the geo on a 2013 with 2015, and the 2013 20" is same geo/size compared to 2015 19". I assume the 2011 is the same. I can't find the geo on it.

    You're bigger than me. How does the Unit feel, in terms of large/small?

  43. #43
    Armature speller
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    2,900
    Quote Originally Posted by tuxxdk View Post
    Which issues do you have with the BB7's? They actually one of the reasons for me going with Kona, as they're mechanical, thus low and easy maintenance, but I might be selling myself short there?
    I replace pads and occasionally lube the pistons of my hydro brakes.
    I found the BB7's to need more constant fiddling.

  44. #44
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    95
    Quote Originally Posted by NordieBoy View Post
    I replace pads and occasionally lube the pistons of my hydro brakes.
    I found the BB7's to need more constant fiddling.
    I'll see how they treat me, and eventually upgrade. I'd just hate to have to deal with fluids on my bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by newmarketrog View Post
    too many riders and shops make. I'm 5'11.5 with a 32 pant and the 19" fits me better (bone stock) than any other bike/frame (stock or custom) i've ever ridden/raced in the last 30 years.
    What year is your 19" Unit?

  45. #45
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    3,807
    Quote Originally Posted by tuxxdk View Post
    I'll see how they treat me, and eventually upgrade. I'd just hate to have to deal with fluids on my bike.
    BB7 are awesome brakes. not so fiddly. a touch here and there, but overall much more reliable in many ways than hydros.



    What year is your 19" Unit?
    I had a 13'. same fit as 15'.

  46. #46
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    95
    Quote Originally Posted by newmarketrog View Post
    BB7 are awesome brakes. not so fiddly. a touch here and there, but overall much more reliable in many ways than hydros.
    I trust and hope I'll get the same experience with the BB7's as well.

  47. #47
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    3,807
    Quote Originally Posted by tuxxdk View Post
    I trust and hope I'll get the same experience with the BB7's as well.
    proper setup is key, but is VERY easy. i've run them on my bikes since 03'. i've owned plenty of great hydros since then too, but always revert back to my bb7. no complaints. brakes, unfortunately just slow you down

  48. #48
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jocke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    105
    Quote Originally Posted by tuxxdk View Post
    Long story (shortened to not clog up the thread).
    Yeah, thinking 'bout getting a shorter stem around that length (around 70mm) me too. Perhaps it's just personal preferences and body types. It's not like I have a ton of seat post showing, but sure I do feel the same way. Wouldn't want a lot more showing either.

    Standard handlebars are 710mm (I think?).

    Well, my experience with the BB7's haven't been that great. Constant fiddling and constant rubbing. As I said, I'm sure they're great -- people do seem to love them -- but they haven't been good to me. Despite countless followed tutorials they just can't seem to shut up. So I thought hey, might as well try something else.

    I'm sure you won't run into any problems. I've convinced myself I got a shitty set of brakes.

  49. #49
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    95
    Guys, you have been more than helpful.

    After reading the 2013 Kona thread from start to finish and re-reading this thread many many times plus comparing geometry between the different years I have ordered a Unit this night. Couldn't sleep anyways so why not shop :-D

    I went with a 2015 Unit, size 19" with PD-M530 pedals. Love that pedal so of course I need to have it on this bike as well. Got the Unit with a 28% discount due to the new models being released soon.

    I hope I have made the right choice, size-wise. The 2015 models are larger than 2013 according to geometry charts. I promise I wont cry (much) if I should have sized up... Haha.

  50. #50
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jocke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    105
    Good stuff. I'm sure you'll love it!

  51. #51
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    95
    I bet I'll love it.

    Last trip on the single track was with a couple of friends on geared bikes. I'm still amazed on how slow they were on the climbs, I constantly had to overtake or simply wait for them to get up.

    It make me think of the typical geared rider. They gear down and stay seated and then slowly climb. Us single speeders, we attach by speed and momentum - way more fun!

  52. #52
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    3,807
    Congrats! The 13' 19" came with a 90 stem and the 15' 19" comes with a 70 stem, so similar cockpit length. You may like a 90 stem or (hopefully not) longer to get the right cockpit length for you at 6'1" without jacking yer seat back on the rails and getting too far behind the game.

  53. #53
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    95
    Serious great info - I was just about to order a 70mm stem blindly to test it out - glad I didn't, since it's already fitted with one. I also hope that I wont need longer stem than max 90mm. Time will tell

    Specs compared, this 19" Unit is a good deal longer than my 2008 Merida I sold a few years back. It was a tad small on the road, but great fun on the tracks. So I have fingers crossed that the increased lenght of this Unit is perfect. I appreciate your advice, Rog, but sorry I go against it blindly. It's massively bigger than the one I ride now, so I have my hopes up.

  54. #54
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    3,807
    Quote Originally Posted by tuxxdk View Post
    Serious great info - I was just about to order a 70mm stem blindly to test it out - glad I didn't, since it's already fitted with one. I also hope that I wont need longer stem than max 90mm. Time will tell

    Specs compared, this 19" Unit is a good deal longer than my 2008 Merida I sold a few years back. It was a tad small on the road, but great fun on the tracks. So I have fingers crossed that the increased lenght of this Unit is perfect. I appreciate your advice, Rog, but sorry I go against it blindly. It's massively bigger than the one I ride now, so I have my hopes up.
    i only said that i would "lean" towards 21" for you. it's either 21" with a 70mm stem or a 19" with a 90mm + and more post showing and a lower front end compared to a more level saddle/bar height with the 21". just because it's bigger than what you have now, maybe you've been riding a bike that's too small. many folks do and wouldn't know it or care. close call, i'm sure you'll be fine.

  55. #55
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    95
    I have definitely been riding a small one so far. You should see it. Lol. It's on the previous page.

  56. #56
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    95
    My Unit arrived today from France. I went over the whole bike to make sure everything was/is lubed up and tightened properly and then I installed my beloved Oury-look-a-likes.. I know they're hated, but not by me

    Kona Unit 2015 alright?-20150728-2015-07-28-12.08.34.jpgKona Unit 2015 alright?-20150728-2015-07-28-17.50.11.jpgKona Unit 2015 alright?-20150728-2015-07-28-17.50.29.jpgKona Unit 2015 alright?-20150728-2015-07-28-17.50.35.jpgKona Unit 2015 alright?-20150728-2015-07-28-17.50.48.jpg

  57. #57
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    3,807
    Quote Originally Posted by tuxxdk View Post
    My Unit arrived today from France. I went over the whole bike to make sure everything was/is lubed up and tightened properly and then I installed my beloved Oury-look-a-likes.. I know they're hated, but not by me

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20150728-2015-07-28 12.08.34.jpg 
Views:	172 
Size:	64.3 KB 
ID:	1005015Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20150728-2015-07-28 17.50.11.jpg 
Views:	2690 
Size:	102.8 KB 
ID:	1005016Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20150728-2015-07-28 17.50.29.jpg 
Views:	1248 
Size:	100.5 KB 
ID:	1005017Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20150728-2015-07-28 17.50.35.jpg 
Views:	814 
Size:	64.1 KB 
ID:	1005018Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20150728-2015-07-28 17.50.48.jpg 
Views:	359 
Size:	71.7 KB 
ID:	1005019
    Congrats! Such a beautiful bike! Hella cheap too. The way bikes should be. Throw leg over and hammer.

  58. #58
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    95
    Indeed beautiful! And more in real life than images, I believe. Seems like good quality also, but that, time will tell.

    I know the wheels are told to be heavy, but damn they are way lighter than my old crappy 26". But I can also tell they can improve. For now, with the bearings re-adjusted properly, I'm happy with them as they are.

  59. #59
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    3,807
    Quote Originally Posted by tuxxdk View Post
    Indeed beautiful! And more in real life than images, I believe. Seems like good quality also, but that, time will tell.

    I know the wheels are told to be heavy, but damn they are way lighter than my old crappy 26". But I can also tell they can improve. For now, with the bearings re-adjusted properly, I'm happy with them as they are.
    don't listen to those people. the wheels are perfectly good for that bike. i raced that bike bone stock and it's perfect for what it is. a great value with sound build for very few dollars. enjoy!

  60. #60
    Armature speller
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    2,900
    Quote Originally Posted by tuxxdk View Post
    I know the wheels are told to be heavy, but damn they are way lighter than my old crappy 26". But I can also tell they can improve. For now, with the bearings re-adjusted properly, I'm happy with them as they are.
    I went over mine with a tension meter and once they were all evened up they've been rock solid.

    Once the hub dies, I'll lace a Stan's 3.30 single speed hub in with some lighter spokes.

    Same idea with the front. Replace with a sealed bearing hub when needed.

  61. #61
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    95
    Sealed bearings sounds like something I could dig. Nothing much to maintenance there.

  62. #62
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    84
    Just took my 2015 out for the 1st time. 1st SS ride too.

    I've been told i'm 6ft 1/2"

    I am coming from a Moto 19 29er, the Unit feels much smaller to me, so much so I measured the specs to make sure the bike shop didn't get the wrong size from Kona.

    Couldn't get an exact measurement on the TT length, but according to my HT length I have the 19", which is what I ordered.

    1/2 way thru the ride I moved the seat back to near max. I still feel pretty close to the front wheel.

    In hindsight, I may have gone with a 21 and short stem. Butttt, the long handlebars need to be trimmed, so that will push me back in the cockpit. We'll see.

    By the way, if any of you wanna see your stock Unit pedals let me know.

  63. #63
    Armature speller
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    2,900
    Have a look at a Thomson setback post.

  64. #64
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    84
    Thanks Nordie!

    I lowered the seat post and it felt better inside.. but how far should our legs extend at 6:00 on a SS?

  65. #65
    Armature speller
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    2,900
    Start with your heel just touching the pedal with a straight leg at 6 o'clock. Adjust up or down from there to suit.

  66. #66
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    95
    Yeah, what NordieBoy said.

    Btw, congrats on the Unit. Lovely machine.

    I still haven't unpacked the stock pedals. They feel rather heavy? But nice and wide for the flat pedal riders.

  67. #67
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    84
    Thanks again nordie!
    Tux, the shop already had em on when I picked it up. They may be heavy, but as a whole the unit is lighter than my last bike / so I'm not sweating any weights yet..


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  68. #68
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    95
    I'm no weightweenie also - I think the Unit is pretty light. I'd have no problems using the stock pedals.

  69. #69
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    84
    Tux, you said you were 187cm/6 ft 1 inch, right? Did you ride it yet?

    I raised the seat up per Nord, worried I would sit higher up and thus over the front wheel more, but the angle pushed me further back- it feel much larger now!

    Ideally, should the seat not be higher than the bars/stem tho?

  70. #70
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    95
    I don't think there's a guideline about saddle to bar drop. I have my saddle at the first marker just below "5" on the post, if I recall correctly.

    I've had a few issues with a slipping post (me not tensioning it tight enough), so I have had some rides where I gradually felt the bike was smaller and my knees hurt. Only to realize the post had dropped slowly 20mm.

    When I put my heel into the pedal, I have a streched/almost streched leg, and when I ride with feet clipped in, I have that slight bend everyone says is good.

    My height is 186cm, so that's about right, yes I've ridden it quite a while now, more than I have ridden MTB since 2008, but that's not much anyways. I really really like the bike, and had I gone for the 21" it would have been too big for me.

  71. #71
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    84
    Tux, looks like we are the same height.

    I road a 17 and a 21 at my LBS, bc they didnt have a 19. The 17 was tiny, and when I was on the 21 I felt noticeably stretched.

    Went back to the shop again to order a 19", and said what the hell, let me see that 21" one more time... he brought it out, I threw a leg over it- and decided I didn't even need to ride it again. It was just too big.

    Granted, I didn't take note of the seat height (tho I think the guy adjusted it for me), so I am sure it could have been adjusted, and with a shorter stem I suspect it would have been perfect! And I wouldnt need to buy a setback post..



    But damn was that thing high up into my crotch.

  72. #72
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    95
    But one thing is height, the other is torso length and arms.

    Try and roll the handlebars a bit forward also.

  73. #73
    Armature speller
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    2,900
    Quote Originally Posted by isis07734 View Post
    Ideally, should the seat not be higher than the bars/stem tho?
    At the moment I'm running my bars about 4cm below the seat and its not low enough for normal riding and climbing. 6-8cm lower and I'm far more comfortable, but downhill technical riding suffers.
    I can't ride DH to save myself and thought raising the bars would help me become a DH god. It didn't. I was just more uncomfortable everywhere else.

    Others can't stand it when their bars get lower than the seat.

  74. #74
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    84
    Any idea what size seatpost the '15 has? Looking at Thompson set back posts now..

  75. #75
    Armature speller
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    2,900
    They're all 27.2mm

    I wouldn't mind putting the set back post on my Unit, but with the 105mm stem, the BB to bar reach is just right for standing climbing and a set back post would have me stretched out like a roadie when seated and there'd be no way in hell I could even think about getting behind the seat on descents.

  76. #76
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    84
    Hmm, good points. Don't have many descents here in FL.. but maybe i'll try and find some before getting the post. Then balance out the decision..

Similar Threads

  1. 2015 Kona Big Unit Seatpost Size
    By eobie in forum Kona
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 09-22-2016, 08:09 AM
  2. 2015 Kona Unit - Full Specs
    By OFFcourse in forum Kona
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 10-15-2015, 09:59 AM
  3. Kona Unit 2015
    By OFFcourse in forum Singlespeed
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-10-2015, 08:51 PM
  4. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-18-2015, 03:46 PM
  5. 2013 Kona Unit or 2014 Kona Unit
    By evosil98 in forum Singlespeed
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 12-10-2014, 10:06 AM

Members who have read this thread: 11

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.