Kona Explosif 2002 Hardtail

5/5 (9 Reviews)
MSRP : $1399.00


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 9 (9 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by dan Sturton a Cross Country Rider from Stuttgart, Germany

Date Reviewed: November 12, 2004

Strengths:    Brilliant frame - geometry and material.
Good components.


Weaknesses:    Stock seatpost, American Classic, is crap. It comes loose and there's no way of sorting it other than chucking it and buying a decent one.
Lack of rear dropouts for disc brake. though I think they've added them to the 2005 model(?)


Bottom Line:   
So light yet feels so much stronger and chuckable than aluminium bikes. Steel absorbs so many of those repetitive vibrations that make aluminium frames a no-no for anything more than about, well, the distance it takes from your house to the woods. Also flexes in a helpful way when out of the saddle up hills.
The standard components are very good and Kona seems to know the right stuff to use (eg Avid brake system not Shimano)
People complain about the paint chipping but I reckon that happens on any bike (unless the bike is brushed titanium and so doesn't have any paint, but of course we explosif owners do not recognise the existence of Ti frames). Do of course have to keep an eye on it cos of the dreaded rust

I'm that taken with mine and that sad that I've even given it a name.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   up hill and down dale

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Purchased At:   Paul's Cycles, UK

Similar Products Used:   Many aluminium framed bikes and older Scott Steel frame bikes

Bike Setup:   Standard except for Syncros Ti seatpost, avid ss 7 v-brakes, XTR hubs/Mavix 517 rims I built on the cheap, Schwalbe fast fred tyres. Raceface riser bars cut 2" shorter. Soon to get 2 x 20 Watts of homemade blinding bright bike lights.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Sherri a Weekend Warrior from MI

Date Reviewed: April 16, 2003

Strengths:    Lightness, maneuverability, great climber, top-notch components,color.

Weaknesses:    Haven't found any yet, well........maybe change out the seat to conform to a woman's anatomy.

Bottom Line:   
Excellent bike. I was shocked at the lightness of the bike-- lighter than my aluminum Trek. Climbs like a billygoat, takes bumps well, makes you a better rider.

A little high priced if you buy it new (1400.00) but I got it used, paid 950.00 and traded in the Trek.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Poto

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $950.00

Purchased At:   Bought used

Similar Products Used:   Trek 4900 WSD

Bike Setup:   Stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Michael a Weekend Warrior from Ottawa, ON, Canada

Date Reviewed: March 8, 2003

Strengths:    One of the smoothest rides on this beauty. You can push it to the extreme and the bike seems to perform even better. Super light, maneuverable and the color is perfect.

Weaknesses:    Nothing stock only the junk pedals I added on after purchasing.....other than that can't think of any.

Bottom Line:   
New or used if you can get your hands on this ride do it, no regrets.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Pink Lake

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Full Cycle

Similar Products Used:   99' Trek 7000

Bike Setup:   Stock with Marzocchi ERX Bombers

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Luke a Cross Country Rider from USA

Date Reviewed: September 22, 2002

Strengths:    Ride quality, weld/build quality. Amazing ride. It feels like it is on rails. Doesn not jump around, does not need a lot of input. Just focus where you are going, point the bike, and let it go -- All without sacrificing quickness. The frame soaks up bumps. STEEL IS REAL. Fairly light. I love it.

Weaknesses:    No disk tabs.

Bottom Line:   
As mentioned above, the frame does not have disk tabs. To me, this is not a big deal. I prefer V's to save some weight, and they stop the bike just fine for XC riding.

All in all, a great frame at a great price.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   Trek 7000

Bike Setup:   Crossmax UST, Chris King, SID SL, Titec X-Wing, WTB Rocket saddle, XT Crankset, XT shifters, Cane Creek levers, Easton EA70, Shimano 959's

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Anders a Cross Country Rider from Stockholm,Sweden, Europe

Date Reviewed: August 28, 2002

Strengths:    Light, fast, nible, geometry, handling, fun and great in the technical stuff.Steel rules! :-)
Value for money.Price is pretty competitive even i Europe


Weaknesses:    Seatpost! Saddle went lose on a long trip after that it unscrew itself all the time!
And it got bent to, it's on my dealer for reclamation, got a temporary replacment. Maybee should have had barends from factory ?


Bottom Line:   
I'm very satisfied and happy with this bike. I put some mileage on this bike on singletrack, gravel roads over roots and rocks and it's so smooth and inspiring. Very responsive on singeltrack, yet stable on fast gravel roads(fire roads US)
I love the steel frame and the geometry & color.

This bike rocks!
With a pair of crossmax wheels this will be an even lighter killer! :-)

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Anywhere in the woods!

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Cykelspecialisten

Similar Products Used:   GT Karokoram -99

Bike Setup:   Stock with BBB trailmonkey barends. I'm going to buy a pair off crossmax wheels for races and special events, when they are on sale!

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by matt a Cross Country Rider from dover, nh

Date Reviewed: July 10, 2002

Strengths:    sweet color, light as all, awesome comps. great geometry with the sloping top tube. the frame is the beauty of this bike. great response to the trail. steel really absorbs the hits and then returns the energy to the trail and not your butt. XT and XTR drivetrain really is smooth shifting, avid sd5 brakes are unbelievable, definately comparable to any mech disc brakes.

Weaknesses:    paint and decals scratch very easily. tioga factory 1.9's are definately not up to mud. handle bars are to short for my liking. this is a personal preference though. i like to ride with a wide grip as well as have bar ends

Bottom Line:   
i don't think there is a better hardtail out there. i rode every hardtail that was in the $1000 to $2000 range, and this was by far the best riding bike there was. if you are going for a race ready hardtail, this is it. gary's and stumpjumper m4 are crap compared to this ride, the jamis was ok, but just was missing the same feel as the kona. stay away from alm frames. they are not even close to this steel frame.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1299.00

Purchased At:   bicycle bob's

Similar Products Used:   khs comp montana, 24spd xt lx drivetrain, rigid fork

Bike Setup:   stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by T.G. a Cross Country Rider from Fairbanks, Alaska, USA

Date Reviewed: June 17, 2002

Strengths:    Frame, component value, lightweight steel hardtail

Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
Value. This is a true temper OX Platinum frame with XT and XTR components and a good fork for a great price at retail (1400). As a shop employee I got a bro' deal from Kona.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   All Weather Sports

Similar Products Used:   Bridgestone MB-2, Kona Cinder Cone

Bike Setup:   Stock in summer with Rigid Project 2 fork and Snow Cat wheels in winter

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Daniel Matias from Sintra, Portugal, Europe

Date Reviewed: March 20, 2002

Strengths:    Very light for a 19' frame, good looking and it´s a Kona

Weaknesses:    That paint really does flake off easily.

Bottom Line:   
it has a fantastic frame,with an excellent handling, very light. At first I used it in cross country races and now i use it in freeride. This bike can endure jumps, whellies and lots more... whatever you want to do with it, it'll be there. You field confidence when you take big drops. I love this bike ... I love this bike ... show it for the crowd !!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Urban, XC

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Purchased At:   Local Store

Similar Products Used:   First I used a Manitou frame (alu7005), excellent for cross-country but this frame broke after 2 years of hard use. After that I changed my idea of aluminum bikes and changed to chromoly bike frames.

Bike Setup:   Frame Explosif 97, gears cranks shimano xt, sintesi Dh bars, white industries hubs, mavic sup rims, rock shocks Quadra 21r (very old but very robust),spd shimano 535

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ian Hill a Cross Country Rider from Houston Tx

Date Reviewed: March 6, 2002

Strengths:    Super frame and parts. Price. Even at 1400 this bike rocks!
NO ONE HAS ONE!!!


Weaknesses:    Wheels could be better.

Bottom Line:   
This bike is great. I was going to build a Soulcraft but couldn't see spending 3,000 plus on a bike again. I've had an IBIS Mojo and a pre Trek Bonty Racelight and this bike is damn near as nice for half the price. No bike, no matter how nice will be your last bike. I built my last two bikes from the ground up. In the longrun the were not that much better for a hell of alot more money. If you want a REAL steel bike, built by guys who ride bikes this is the real deal with money left over.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   anything with dirt

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   ebay(new)

Similar Products Used:   Jamis Dakota xc {Not even close to the kona. Spend the extra 100 and get a real bike) IBIS Mojo, Bontrager RaceLight, Schwinn Homegrown, DeKerf

Bike Setup:   Stock. I may change the wheels when the stock ones die on me.

Reviews 1 - 9 (9 Reviews Total)

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


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Hey all, I'm kinda getting a hardtail itch after many years on a FS rig. I really dig the new 27.5" Kona Explosifs, just ticks all the boxes for me. I normally ride 17" frames, but really would love to demo a 17" and see if the fit works. Does anyone own a 2013/2014 Explosif and is within ... Read More »

Kona Explosif vs NS Eccentric

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Help me replace my Kona Explosif

My Kona Explosif was stolen a year ago and I haven't replaced it yet. I'm considering getting another Explosif, but also might want to replace it with a 29er. So far I'm considering these bikes: the Kona Explosif, the Kona Honzo, the Salsa El Mariachi, and the Niner Ros 9 1-Star. I'd apprecia ... Read More »

Help me replace my Kona Explosif

My Kona Explosif was stolen a year ago and I haven't replaced it yet. I'm considering getting another Explosif, but also might want to replace it with a 29er. So far I'm considering these bikes: the Kona Explosif, the Kona Honzo, the Salsa El Mariachi, and the Niner Ros 9 1-Star. I'd appreciate a ... Read More »

Kona Explosif Questions

I'm about 5'4" and searching for a 15" Kona Explosif. Any change from the 2013 to 2014 frame? It appears that components changed from Sram to Shimano, but is either one a clear winner for components? Any other steel 650b to look at for around the $2000 point? 2013: [url=http://2k13.konaworld.c ... Read More »

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