Kona Blast Upgrades- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Kona Blast Upgrades

    Hi there!
    My GF has just taken purchase of a new Kona Blast and is proceding to ride it like crazy!

    She has super thin slicks for the road, since she is training for a week long bike tour race.
    All we have done thus far is put on a ladies saddle and put on the slicks.

    The plan is to have two wheelsets, one for road, one for mtb.
    Essentially, we will be buying a new set of wheels, but after that we are looking at slowly upgrading other components on the bike to make it more competitive and enjoyable.

    Being a first bike, we do not intend to go bling crazy (hmm, why not?) so we are looking for affordable mid-level components that will enhance the riding experience (lighter weight and druability). She doesnt plan to win races, just enjoy riding!

    Here are the Konas specs, i have planned out a couple of upgrades already, but if you have any more ideas, they would be well appreciated.

    Frame tubing Kona 7005 Butted Aluminum
    Fork Marzocchi MZ Comp 100mm
    Headset Aheadset STS
    Crankarms TruVativ FiveD
    B/B TruVativ Square LE
    Pedals Wellgo LU-A9 with clips & straps
    Chain Shimano CN-HG53 (9sp)
    Freewheel Shimano Deore 11-32 9 speed
    F/D Shimano Deore
    R/D Shimano Deore
    Shifters Shimano Deore
    Handlebar Kona Aluminum Riser
    Stem Kona Control
    Grips Kona Mooseknuckle
    Brakes Shimano Mechanical Disc (BR-M465)
    Brake Levers Avid Disc brake lever FR-5
    Front hub KK Disc
    Rear hub Shimano Disc FH-M475 disc
    Spokes 14G Stainless
    Tires Tioga Terra Firma 26 x 1.95
    Rims Sun Black Eye
    Saddle WTB Pure V Sport
    Seatpost Kona Thumb

    First of all, what would be a good choice for wheels?
    Rims: DT swiss 4.1d, Syncros DS23, Velocity Zvino's
    I think we might go tubeless, since it would be a good upgrade, so that would narrow it to the DT's with the eclipse kit, and the Velocitys, ideas?
    Hubs: DT swiss Onyx hubs, Dice Roulettes, any others worth considering?
    Spokes: just straight gauge DT's or Competition spokes

    Tyres: Conti Vertical UST, Gravity's, Hutchinson Spiders, IRC mibros, others?

    Fork: Rock shox Reba, Marzocchi MX series, Fox Vanilla, Manitou R7

    Brakes: Is it worth upgrading the Shimano Mechanicals? Initially i thought Avid BB7s, but maybe we will leave the shimanos then, and go to hydraulics down the track.

    Cranks: some sort of external BB setup rather than the square taper on there.

    Pedals: definately clipless down the track, Crank Bros Mallets?

    If you have any ideas of ways to better improve the performance of this bike, either through lightweight, or just general performance, then please give us a hand!
    It shouldnt be too difficult to lighten the bike, just doing it in a way that is fairly cheap and retains strength.

    Thank you very much for any help you can provide.
    Kye and Wil

  2. #2
    Get your freak on!
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Hello fellow Aussie

    Firstly, how much does she weigh( don't have to exactly! )

    The wheels are always a good start. Anything rotating is where you should try save weight.

    For wheels, the DT rims are a good durable choice, if you want to really pinch grams then look at the Stans olympic rims, nice and light.

    Those hubs you mentioned are all from the wheelcraft, ye? Avoid them Look at getting something from OS(overseas) like Hope XC, WTB lazerlite disc( not very durable... but sure are crazy light! These are just AM classic hubs..), DT 340's or 240's and even look at Chris king if you have the $$$.

    Clipless pedals are always a good upgrade. Don't bother with the mallet pedals, skip them and go straight ot the normal egg beaters, they are about half the weight and won't kill your shins. If you insist on a platform, then get candies.

    Spokes- Look at DT supercomps or other double buted spokes. Stiff, light and strong enough Go Alloy nipples.

    Tires are hard to reccomend, it really depends on the conditions. If your riding hardpack/dry stuff, then look at something like Hutchi Pythons or Kenda Karmas.

    I know you said you changed the seat, but if it aint Ti railed, your it's adding weight.

    The New Manitou R7's look interesting. If your going to go with fox forxs, get some air ones, like the F100RLT's. Even some closeouts Manitou skarebs would be a nice addition.

    The cranks I would save leave with the rest of the dirvetrain for the time being, wait for them to start giving you problems then upgrade all you like.

    Consider getting foam grips, lighter and much better for comfort.

    Before you go too nuts, consider how much it will cost for a much higher performance bike with a lighter frame and alround better components.

    For buying from OS, I use:

    Chad from redbarnbicycles.com
    Larry at mtnhighcyclery.com

    Both of these guys you will need to call. Tell them 'Dave from sydney' sent you

    If you have any more questions, just PM (private message) me.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Thanks mate, that was really helpful!

    Yeah, she probably wont want be publicising her weight on the internet!!
    But im thinking pretty much along the lines of what you said.

    -Wheels: Id like to try those Velocity wheels, since then we'd have tubeless, but i dont know when they will be readily available.
    I think it would be a good idea to buy the components overseas and have them built up here, i only chose those Wheelcraft items because ive had two DT builds from them and theyve been very good. I will check out prices and see whats the best.

    You made a good point about the drivetrain components, i will let them wear out first, and i dont think we'll bother with the cockpit stuff, its all pretty sorted.

    In terms of spending too much rather than buying a new bike, well, she really likes the bike, its a well sorted machine so a few performance upgrades here and there just to enhance the performance of the bike.

    So we are pretty much focussing on: Wheels, tires, fork and pedals, i dont think we'll spend heaps, just things that will make a difference.

    Thanks matey, and anyone else who can lend a hand!

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