Weaknesses: Minor. Petals are a little crappy, seat is uncomfortable after a long ride.
Great overall bike for the price and I love the steel frame. You can brow-beat the hell out of it and it just keeps taking it! I've turned it over to more of a street bike now because of my living situation and lack of any free time off the beaten path, but it has adapted well to the minor adjustments I've made. It's almost too responsive on the street with the slicks. Wonderful. If you can still find this bike (I don't think Kona makes it anymore) grab it. You'll probably get a hell of a deal on a used one. I'm personally the kind of rider that doesn't need or want all the extras like rear shocks, disk brakes etc. The components are high quality and I think anyone from a beginner to a pro could do alot with it. If you want a steel frame you really will be hard pressed to find a better ride. And "experts" could throw a little more money into this hardtail and trick it out a little more for their specific needs at little cost. If you are a die-hard out-of-bounds rider or a downhill rider you obviously want to buy a 2K dollar bike. Not the Lava Dome. If you just love to ride, cruize, and occassionally rip it up in the woods the gearing and riding position on this bike are premium. It handles like a dream.
Bike Setup: hope mono mini front disk, avid ti rear brake, time atac, dave's speed dream dual ust & tube rear wheel 849 gram, performance topo dual rim front wheel 814 gram. ti seatpost. sel flite gel seat. 9 speed hollowtech XT 11-34 drive train & shifters.
a Weekend Warrior
from New Orleans
Date Reviewed: October 22, 2003
Strengths: The frame is sweet and the components are some of the best you can get in this price range.
Weaknesses: No clipless pedals.
Fantastic bike for the money. I'm a hefty dude (+ 220) and the other bikes I tested just weren't up to snuff. I also tested out the Kona Blast (same basic setup but with Aluminum frame) and the steel frame really added to the stability and overall ride. When you're on the trails the combo of the frame and excellent fork allow you to navigate some otherwise ridiculous terrain.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: June 19, 2002
Strengths: good handing and strong yet resiliant frame. gives confidence racing down technical single tracks, drop-offs. good climber. raceable. very light for the money, under 27# with a an upgraded fork. excellent value.
Weaknesses: front fork, easily (and deservingly) replaced for $200~$300 by one of the '02 Marzocchi 80mm to 130 mm coil & oil forks
Excellent intoduction to performance hardtails, unless your racing near the podium finish in Sports class, no need to spend more $. a fun, raceable rough mtb -- just give it a marzocchi coil fork that the sweet steel frame deserves!
Not sure it this is the right forum for this as it's only 14 years old, but I want to upgrade the fork on my 99 Kona Lava Dome. Same as in [URL="http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/download/file.php?id=47768"]this[/URL] picture, but mine still has the stock fork.
What fork should I be looking for, ... Read More »
I'm trying to find a bike for my 14-year old daughter. She is a beginner, but is really excited to get into biking. She will mainly be riding trails and train once or twice a week with a local MTB club. She is 5´2´´ and weighs about 110.
I'm thinking of starting out with a used bike and have an o ... Read More »
Ok, I know these aren't the super bikes of 80's and 90's but this one grabbed my attention on the bay so when it came to me I added the components to make it the bike it should be. It's my first Kona, and that makes me wonder why? Great geometry, history and a genius designer.
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