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(?)
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.
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.
a Weekend Warrior
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 ?
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! :-)
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!
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
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.
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
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.
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 !!!
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
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.
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.
this bike has gotten lots of well deserved attention on this forum. Unfortunately injury is forcing a sale of mine.
Click for to classified for details - and [URL="http://classifieds.mtbr.com/showproduct.php?product=87746&title=kona-explosif-650b-ss-custom-build&cat=5"]yes, its sweet[/URL].Read More »
So my predicament is: I want to buy an all mountain hardtail. I want a steel frame and I've narrowed it down to these two Konas. My only thing is I dont know whether I should get a 29er or a 650b. I have a Medium Specialized Pitch right now and like the fact that I can throw it around and flick it t ... Read More »
The Kona Explosif, on paper at least, has everything you could want in a frame. At least for the moment. Why no love? Is it because it's a hardtail, trail geometry, or not high end enough? Why does it seem the 650b market solely revolves around full suspension bikes with $3k to 5K price tags?
T ... Read More »
As I mentioned on the Kona Explosif thread I have the below setup for sale.
[url=http://classifieds.mtbr.com/showproduct.php?product=83687]Kona Exlposif, 650b, 27.5, 17", Medium, fork, wheels & more - Buy and Sell and Review Mountain Bikes and Accessories[/url]Read More »