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  1. #1
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    Kona Unit making a comeback?

    I got some insider information and am looking forward to the release of the 2020 Kona Unit. Rumor is it will be 29x2.6", Boost front and rear, suspension corrected for a 100-120 fork, and still Reynolds 520. The reach will be longer and in-line with the Process bikes, roughly 510mm for XL.

    I can't wait to get more details and see some pictures but it sounds like they've made some excellent updates. I hope the chainstays are short! We probably won't get any good details until July/August but I just thought I would get the rumor mill started.
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  2. #2
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    Sounds exciting. Wish I'd known this a couple weeks ago. I sprung for a used Jamis Dragonslayer frame.
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    Those numbers sound great. Last year I got a Kona Honzo after you tipped me off to it, *OneSpeed*, and it's been the only production bike I've found that gives me a long enough reach in XL to use a short stem. More modern geo frames with long reaches are good news for tall single speed riders!

  4. #4
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    So... The Unit is becoming the Honzo?

  5. #5
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    Don't know about making a come back, my 2018 one rides real sweet, fits 29x3.0" on i39 rims, only thing I wished they'd done when they did that update was make the fork a TA instead of 9mm slotted drop out.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    So... The Unit is becoming the Honzo?
    I don't think so, I'm sure it will be more XC than the Honzo. We'll have to wait and see exactly how the specs and geo turn out.

    I've hoped for a few years that they would give the Unit the same geometry as the Ti Kona Raijin, perhaps it's getting closer?
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    That sounds more like it. Not everyone wants a LLS hardtail, but the Unit was a bit dated for my tastes. I bought a Karate Monkey because it is in between, but I might have picked up a Unit if it had a not-so-long reach, but long enough to accommodate a short stem, a high BB, and a shorter chainstay, and a slack-but-not-enduro-bro head angle. if they keep it XC/ bikepacking orientated, that sounds perfect.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    That sounds more like it. Not everyone wants a LLS hardtail, but the Unit was a bit dated for my tastes. I bought a Karate Monkey because it is in between, but I might have picked up a Unit if it had a not-so-long reach, but long enough to accommodate a short stem, a high BB, and a shorter chainstay, and a slack-but-not-enduro-bro head angle. if they keep it XC/ bikepacking orientated, that sounds perfect.
    I agree with mack and one. Give me the raijin geo and i am a buyer. I avoided it at my last purchase due to the long chainstays.

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    A Unit with the 2011 geo that can take 29 or 27.5+ would be sweet.

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    I have decided I wont ride anymore. its just too hard and I cant handle it. Help me think of a less strenuous activity. Maybe something that would allow me to take my mom. She's 73 but in pretty good shape. I love her so much. I never want to move out.

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    I love Thomas also, I want the world to know.

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    my mom doesn't approve of our relationship though, but I decided "Im 45 and Im gonna do what I want". I feel guilty though

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaddyFatStax View Post
    my mom doesn't approve of our relationship though, but I decided "Im 45 and Im gonna do what I want". I feel guilty though
    You should just buy a new Kona Unit, mothers day passed.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaddyFatStax View Post
    I have decided I wont ride anymore. its just too hard and I cant handle it. Help me think of a less strenuous activity. Maybe something that would allow me to take my mom. She's 73 but in pretty good shape. I love her so much. I never want to move out.
    E-bikes all around.
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    ^^ ha, sorry guys. this is what happens when you leave your computer on at work and a coworker discovers it. lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaddyFatStax View Post
    I love Thomas also, I want the world to know.
    I love thomas also!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaddyFatStax View Post
    ^^ ha, sorry guys. this is what happens when you leave your computer on at work and a coworker discovers it. lol
    LOL. My brother has done that to me on a local small community info site. "Where all the fat girls at?"
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  18. #18
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    Shorter chainstays, 29x2.6" tires. KONA BIKES | MTB | MTB HARDTAIL | Unit
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  19. #19
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    Good stuff. The longer head tubes are a nice surprise.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    Shorter chainstays, 29x2.6" tires. KONA BIKES | MTB | MTB HARDTAIL | Unit
    Are you finally getting your XL?
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  21. #21
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    Well, I happen to own a Unit and 29x2.6" tyres on i35 rims and I can tell you that unless they put a bend in the ST and did some serious manipulation to widen the crap out of the CS yoke, there's no way that a 29x2.6" fits in there @ 430mm, not a chance, 650B+ sure, but not 29x2.6". Even then if they completely redesigned the CS yoke etc, there's not enough clearance to the ST, I measure under 7/8" on mine with CS currently at 18", there's a reason the Monkey, Honzo et al have curved STs.

    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    Shorter chainstays, 29x2.6" tires. KONA BIKES | MTB | MTB HARDTAIL | Unit
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    Well, I happen to own a Unit and 29x2.6" tyres on i35 rims and I can tell you that unless they put a bend in the ST and did some serious manipulation to widen the crap out of the CS yoke, there's no way that a 29x2.6" fits in there @ 430mm, not a chance, 650B+ sure, but not 29x2.6". Even then if they completely redesigned the CS yoke etc, there's not enough clearance to the ST, I measure under 7/8" on mine with CS currently at 18", there's a reason the Monkey, Honzo et al have curved STs.
    The frame has been completely redesigned. While I haven't seen one in person (obviously) I'm quite skeptical that any company would spec a frame with wheels and tires that couldn't take advantage of the full range of the sliding dropouts. That wouldn't make any sense.

    The chainstays on the Unit are 15mm longer than the Honzo, and 7mm longer than the KM. I guess that gives them enough room.
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  23. #23
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    Really, because I surely am not after all my years around bikes and all the BS specs put out by manufacturers, like "fits a 2.5" tyre" when in reality, it fits, if you ride on asphalt, but if you ride on trails with rocks, the few MM clearance it's got will have rocks getting caught up and damaging the frame or worse. I'm sure that 29x2.6" will fit, but not with the sliders slammed all the way forward, even with the 1 degree steeper STA, or at least not for me and the amount of clearance I like to have around a tyre to deal with debris, mud etc you encounter when you ride an MTB on actual dirt/trails.

    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    The frame has been completely redesigned. While I haven't seen one in person (obviously) I'm quite skeptical that any company would spec a frame with wheels and tires that couldn't take advantage of the full range of the sliding dropouts. That wouldn't make any sense.

    The chainstays on the Unit are 15mm longer than the Honzo, and 7mm longer than the KM. I guess that gives them enough room.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    Really, because I surely am not after all my years around bikes and all the BS specs put out by manufacturers, like "fits a 2.5" tyre" when in reality, it fits, if you ride on asphalt, but if you ride on trails with rocks, the few MM clearance it's got will have rocks getting caught up and damaging the frame or worse. I'm sure that 29x2.6" will fit, but not with the sliders slammed all the way forward, even with the 1 degree steeper STA, or at least not for me and the amount of clearance I like to have around a tyre to deal with debris, mud etc you encounter when you ride an MTB on actual dirt/trails.
    Dude, why are freaking out? A lot of speculation on your part. Chill out a bit and lets wait until someone has first hand experience with one of these and can post FACTS.

    My 2011 Unit would NOT fit 27.5x2.8" tires, then the frame evolved. Then it evolved again, and again into the version you have that fits 29+ tires. Granted not 3" though.

    The newest evolution clearly fits 29x2.6 tires. That's what they spec'd it with for use IN THE DIRT. IDK why you doubt Kona would not build a frame with use of the full range of the sliders??
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  25. #25
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    Here, forged yokes likely give much better clearance than the older designs. Plus Boost spacing also allows more room with shorter chainstays, unlike your frame. Plus a steeper STA like you already stated. All adds up to better tire clearance.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Kona Unit making a comeback?-screen-shot-2019-07-17-9.55.50-am.png  

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    Oddly enough what would be the likely the smallest tire that would work on those stock wheels for potential commuting duty and occasional outing with road bike friends. I've seen past Units even with 700c tires and drop bars. Would at least a 2.0-2.25" semi slick or some sort of commuter tire work on this or would that be too far? BB too low with those on?
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  27. #27
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    That's the only thing that would give me pause going to a 2.0, the lower BB. It's pretty low. Shorter cranks would offset this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    That's the only thing that would give me pause going to a 2.0, the lower BB. It's pretty low. Shorter cranks would offset this.
    Woah yea the bb drop is the same as the Krampus, which is designed around a 3.0 tire. if these max out at 2.6, anything less would be crazy low, right?

  29. #29
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    Maybe I just have had so much in previous years of manufacturers stating their frames will fit say 2.5" tyres, but to get proper clearance you have to run 2.3". What I'm questioning is the 430mm stays with 29x2.6" tyres, as I've no doubt you can use the sliders to get them to work, just doubting you'll be able to run them slammed and have proper trail clearance. 2011, everyone was still calling 2.3" a big tyre, so wouldn't have expected a frame from then designed to run 29" wheels, to fit a B+ 2.8" tyre.

    Actually, it does fit 29x3.0" tyres with decent enough clearance, even for some mud, only problem I run into is the narrower rear spacing bringing the chain in too close to the tyre and it picking up[ mud off the tyre in the larger cogs, so a 148 or 150 rear would solve that and improve chainline.

    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    Dude, why are freaking out? A lot of speculation on your part. Chill out a bit and lets wait until someone has first hand experience with one of these and can post FACTS.

    My 2011 Unit would NOT fit 27.5x2.8" tires, then the frame evolved. Then it evolved again, and again into the version you have that fits 29+ tires. Granted not 3" though.

    The newest evolution clearly fits 29x2.6 tires. That's what they spec'd it with for use IN THE DIRT. IDK why you doubt Kona would not build a frame with use of the full range of the sliders??
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  30. #30
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    I'm liking the new geometry changes, well done Kona!!!
    That said, Lynx is right. You can tell looking at the picture that the stock spec'd wheel and tire will not fit with the sliders slammed. Looks like the sliders are a bit past halfway back on the pictured bike and that tire is very close to the seat tube.
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    Well, still speculating I see. I got it from the horses mouth today. It fits a 2.6" tire and is designed with 8mm of clearance in all directions. Meaning a 2.8 might fit?

    Can we consider this matter closed or do you guys want to keep telling me how the stock tire won't fit?
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    Well, still speculating I see. I got it from the horses mouth today. It fits a 2.6" tire and is designed with 8mm of clearance in all directions. Meaning a 2.8 might fit?

    Can we consider this matter closed or do you guys want to keep telling me how the stock tire won't fit?
    What else do we have to do here? Next topic, will a 3.0 fit with the sliders halfway back?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    What else do we have to do here? Next topic, will a 3.0 fit with the sliders halfway back?

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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    Well, still speculating I see. I got it from the horses mouth today. It fits a 2.6" tire and is designed with 8mm of clearance in all directions.

    Can we consider this matter closed or do you guys want to keep telling me how the stock tire won't fit?
    Youíre hilarious. No one has said the stock tire wonít fit the bike and it looks like it may have close to that amount in the slider position it will be delivered in. Itís just obviously not going to fit slammed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nitrousjunky View Post
    Looks like the sliders are a bit past halfway back [...]
    The lighting near the front bolt may be making the front half misleading. Rear bolt looks at least in middle or slightly forward to me. 32/18 shouldn't fall in rear half.

    I'd guess it'll fit with sliders forward but with insufficient clearance for trail riding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryder1 View Post
    The lighting near the front bolt may be making the front half misleading. Rear bolt looks at least in middle or slightly forward to me. 32/18 shouldn't fall in rear half.

    I'd guess it'll fit with sliders forward but with insufficient clearance for trail riding.
    If you scroll through the images on the website, there is a closeup shot of the slider position. It's exactly halfway back and 32x18 should land around 437mm.

    I'm by no means bashing the changes, I like what they've done with it and am interested in the frameset. I'm just pointing out that the pictured tire will be sitting against the seat tube with the sliders slammed. Maybe it's the machinist in me, but the distance from the tire to the seat tube is obviously less than the center of the dropout bolts to the front of the slots.
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    This bike will be on my list of options when I break my 1x1.

    Does Kona specify the CSL of shortest position (like Surly) or the position the bike is delivered in (like Trek)?
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    Quote Originally Posted by nitrousjunky View Post
    [...] the distance from the tire to the seat tube is obviously less than the center of the dropout bolts to the front of the slots.
    Photo makes it look like tire would touch but am waiting to see if reality matches that photo. Would be a bit surprised if Kona ships the Unit X with tires that rub the seat post with sliders forward. Kinda lame. 2.4s would make for a really low BBH. Plus my 2011 has gobs of room with a 2.35 and it has a 73* STA (less BBD though). I thought 2.6s were barely taller than 2.4. Maybe the deeper BBD eats up more space than I realize.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frs1661 View Post

    Does Kona specify the CSL of shortest position
    Yep.

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    I'm surprised (and pleased) they stuck with a short fork. 470 mm is suspension corrected for a 80 mm 29er fork.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryder1 View Post
    Photo makes it look like tire would touch but am waiting to see if reality matches that photo. Would be a bit surprised if Kona ships the Unit X with tires that rub the seat post with sliders forward. Kinda lame. 2.4s would make for a really low BBH. Plus my 2011 has gobs of room with a 2.35 and it has a 73* STA (less BBD though). I thought 2.6s were barely taller than 2.4. Maybe the deeper BBD eats up more space than I realize.
    Yep, noticed the Unit X is pictured with the dropouts in almost the same position (looks slightly more forward and slightly less tire clearance to the seat tube). BTW the NN 2.6's I've owned were about 750mm at riding pressure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raumfahrer Rolf View Post
    I'm surprised (and pleased) they stuck with a short fork. 470 mm is suspension corrected for a 80 mm 29er fork.
    My 2011 Unit always felt better with an 80mm Fox fork than the 100mm Manitou Marvel.
    The 100mm fork was a better fork, but the bike suited the 80mm.
    (XC racing)

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    No frameset option for 2020?
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    Quote Originally Posted by kryten View Post
    No frameset option for 2020?
    Yes, frameset is available. $599. click to the second pic. KONA BIKES | MTB | MTB HARDTAIL | Unit
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    I see the option from your link ,but not available on Canadian version of the site it appears?
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  46. #46
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    Damn, guess I just gotta get a second job for a couple months, now.
    dang

  47. #47
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    Daaaanng the 2020 model looks siiiick! Pretty much perfectly what I am looking for, a no frills bare bones bike that will take a beating.

    For those who own Units, are they pretty hefty? My current SS is a 2012 Trek Rig that is pushing the high 20lb range. The weight really starts to suck in groups with fast people or after 6000' or so of climbing. HOWEVER, i am willing to make a sacrafice in weight in order to run nice big high volume tires like the ones spec'ed on the 2020 Unit.

  48. #48
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    With my 29+ setup (Dually45/Maxxis DHF-Chronicle) running rigid with a dingle ring 2x10 setup, all XT parts, 9point8 dropper, my XL Unit weighs 31-32lbs IIRC. So no, they are not light by any means, but as you said, damn durable and a nice ride. Drop down to some lighter/narrower rims and narrower/lighter tyres and it quickly drops several pounds and gets just under 30lbs - wheel weight difference between the 29x3.0" and 29x2.6" is about 2lbs IIRC, tyres and rims together, same hubs.

    Quote Originally Posted by DefenderOfRock View Post
    Daaaanng the 2020 model looks siiiick! Pretty much perfectly what I am looking for, a no frills bare bones bike that will take a beating.

    For those who own Units, are they pretty hefty? My current SS is a 2012 Trek Rig that is pushing the high 20lb range. The weight really starts to suck in groups with fast people or after 6000' or so of climbing. HOWEVER, i am willing to make a sacrafice in weight in order to run nice big high volume tires like the ones spec'ed on the 2020 Unit.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
    You're doing mtbr wrong, you're supposed to get increasingly offended by the implications that you're doing ANYTHING wrong.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by DefenderOfRock View Post
    Daaaanng the 2020 model looks siiiick! Pretty much perfectly what I am looking for, a no frills bare bones bike that will take a beating.

    For those who own Units, are they pretty hefty? My current SS is a 2012 Trek Rig that is pushing the high 20lb range. The weight really starts to suck in groups with fast people or after 6000' or so of climbing. HOWEVER, i am willing to make a sacrafice in weight in order to run nice big high volume tires like the ones spec'ed on the 2020 Unit.
    It's not going to be light. The tires they've specced are going to be 1100g+ each (a TCS Light/Fast Rolling Ranger in 29x2.4" is 1050g), the P2 fork is a bit of a boat anchor, and those aren't light wheels. However, those are also some relatively easy places to lose weight. Tires alone could net you a pound or two - I'm running the 2.6" Maxxis Rekon/Ikon, and those are ~800-850g each, for a savings of at least 500-600g just in the tires.

  50. #50
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    Well, my 18 X just showed up last week ,and I am loving it. Set up SS, and I have a 29er wheelset to throw on some 2.6's, but I definitely prefer the geo of the new version. Maybe I'll start saving now for hopeful closeouts at the end of next season! My only issue, is I have been avoiding the need to go boost all this time, and once I do.... current wheels are rendered useless. That'll be a bummer.

  51. #51
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    Not necessarily, lots of hub manufacturers have adapter solutions and then there's the after market companies making them as well, so don't right them off just yet If you want a bit slacker HTA, you can do like me and use an external lower cup and/or you could run it B+ rear/29+ front, that slackens things out big time, about 2 degrees with the external cup.

    Quote Originally Posted by garcia View Post
    Well, my 18 X just showed up last week ,and I am loving it. Set up SS, and I have a 29er wheelset to throw on some 2.6's, but I definitely prefer the geo of the new version. Maybe I'll start saving now for hopeful closeouts at the end of next season! My only issue, is I have been avoiding the need to go boost all this time, and once I do.... current wheels are rendered useless. That'll be a bummer.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
    You're doing mtbr wrong, you're supposed to get increasingly offended by the implications that you're doing ANYTHING wrong.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    Not necessarily, lots of hub manufacturers have adapter solutions and then there's the after market companies making them as well, so don't right them off just yet If you want a bit slacker HTA, you can do like me and use an external lower cup and/or you could run it B+ rear/29+ front, that slackens things out big time, about 2 degrees with the external cup.
    True, but one of my sets my fave... is DT 350's centerlock, which as far as I know, cannot be boosted.

    The only thing I truly want in the new one, is the shorter CS, however when I throw 2.6's on the 18 I have, or even 2.8's or 3.0's eventually, I may like it as is. I am coming off a Niner ROS though, so it will be an adjustment for sure. Love that bike, but I have never in my life ridden in a style that justified an AM bike, and honestly can't even justify front suspension!

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by garcia View Post
    True, but one of my sets my fave... is DT 350's centerlock, which as far as I know, cannot be boosted.
    I was going to suggest a boostinator type of thing, but then realized you cant space out a centerlock rotor. Too funny, I ran into this issue at one point and lucked into a set of boost 240's instead.

    Short chainstays are overrated.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by DefenderOfRock View Post
    Daaaanng the 2020 model looks siiiick! Pretty much perfectly what I am looking for, a no frills bare bones bike that will take a beating.

    For those who own Units, are they pretty hefty? My current SS is a 2012 Trek Rig that is pushing the high 20lb range. The weight really starts to suck in groups with fast people or after 6000' or so of climbing. HOWEVER, i am willing to make a sacrafice in weight in order to run nice big high volume tires like the ones spec'ed on the 2020 Unit.
    My medium 2018 with stock 27.5+ wheels was 27 I believe. I'm swapping to my old 29er wheels, and eventually throwing a set of 2.6's on.

    So, as LyNx said, not light, but steel! So, worth it.

  55. #55
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    Well, I picked up a 2020 Kona unit this Friday, and have gotten out for a few short rides. A very rad bike for sure. This bike checks all the boxes for me: 29" wheels, mid-fat tires, wide rims, STEEL frame, 3 bottle mounts, modern trail geometry, STEEL frame, and a rad black paint job. Geo is very nice, but experience is limited, my previous bike being a 2012 Trek Rig. It shreds, seems very nimble, but not in a twitchy way like older hardtails. That being said, it climbs very well too. I am eager to get it onto some techy singletrack to see how much better it handles going up and down. Ill post some pics soon.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by DefenderOfRock View Post
    Well, I picked up a 2020 Kona unit this Friday, and have gotten out for a few short rides. A very rad bike for sure. This bike checks all the boxes for me: 29" wheels, mid-fat tires, wide rims, STEEL frame, 3 bottle mounts, modern trail geometry, STEEL frame, and a rad black paint job. Geo is very nice, but experience is limited, my previous bike being a 2012 Trek Rig. It shreds, seems very nimble, but not in a twitchy way like older hardtails. That being said, it climbs very well too. I am eager to get it onto some techy singletrack to see how much better it handles going up and down. Ill post some pics soon.
    Sweet, congrats! My guess is you'll like the new geo and wheels/tires. Posts some pics too!
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  57. #57
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    I missed this thread.

    I have posted snippets about this elsewhere but may as well include it here, given that this thread is on point.

    Iím in the process of building up a 2020 Unit frame for my winter commuter. This will be my 12th Kona. I want to keep the part spec sensible, but decent enough to also ride on dirt in the warmer seasons.

    Chromag Ranger stem
    Chromag Fubar 40 mm rise bar
    Chromag Dolomite seatpost
    SLX 11 speed drivetrain [sorry purists - I have a 25 minute STEEP climb up an always ice filled route on my way home each day - there are enough disincentives for reaching for the bike in shitty weather conditions - I pay my dues commuting on my fixed gear the other 3 seasons]
    SLX 2 pot brakes with 180 rotors
    I have my unused wheelset from my Honzo - cheap 29er 30 mm WTBs
    45North 2.25 Kahva studded tires
    Specialized Power Comp saddle
    Cane Creek 40 Headset

    Should be good. My frame is here with an uncut fork, as well as most of the Shimano components. Just waiting for the Chromag stuff.

    This will be a very nice winter commuter for me. A little extravagant but whatever. Through a cold dark and otherwise shitty winter, I will be on my commuter a minimum of 5 days a week. May as well make it a nice bike. Plus life is short. Lots of fallen angels in the mountain biking world the last year - some famous, some not so famous. Gotta live for the moment.

    EDIT: OOPS. Just realized I'm in the SS Subforum, and I have committed blasphemy by gearing up the Unit. I shall show myself out...
    2020 Kona Unit
    2019 Forbidden Druid
    2018 Kona Honzo ST 30th BDay SE
    2015 Kona Paddy Wagon Fixed Gear

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