Kona Unit Singlespeed

If you've ever ridden a Unit, you know that you'll always need a Unit. That when it comes to owning specific Units, it's extremely important you own the Kona Unit. We love everything about our Cromoly Butted steel frames: how they ride, where they go, how long they last. The Unit takes all that beauty, hops it up with contemporary Kona 29er geometry, and simplifies it with a singlespeed drivetrain to create an all-purpose big wheeler that delivers great quantities of joyful, um, well, Units.

  • Tapered OS blade P2 rigid fork
  • Xtra long FSA cranks (up to 180mm)
  • Avid BB7 MTB brakes
  • WTB SpeedDisc AM rims and Maxxis Tires

  • User Reviews (48)

    Showing 1-10 of 48  
    TrailMasonJones   Cross Country Rider [Nov 01, 2016]
    Strength:

    This bike is all about the frame and fork if you want one bike to do them it all you have found it, trail bike packing exploring racing single speed gears quick release through axle ext ext

    Weakness:

    the build kit on the bike is all good quality except for the rear joytech hub with 24 deg of movement before engagement you relay feel it if you single speed this bike.

    the frame is outstanding the majority of the build kit id good for the price the rear joytech hub sucks.

    Similar Products Used: Karate munky
    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    Don bruischart   Cross Country Rider [Aug 23, 2016]
    Strength:

    Cool paint color

    Weakness:

    Wheels are junk,bike is over priced

    I'm disappointed in bike

    OVERALL
    RATING
    2
    VALUE
    RATING
    1
    Peper   All Mountain Rider [Jul 28, 2016]
    Strength:

    Improve riding, low maintenance, fast, phenomenal geometry, decent original build.

    Weakness:

    I upgraded the cranks or wheels right off. No weaknesses

    I got tired of keeping up with suspension maintenance and and drive train maintenance of my All Mountain 29er. It's a 2013 Covert and a fantastic bike. However after the first week on my unit and getting it sorted out with 2.4 Ardents and proper tire pressures and tubeless the bike came alive. I bought the 2014 Blue one in LG. Since then I've ridden it for 3800 miles and seldom ride the 140mm full sus bike at all. I climbs well and descends accurately and loves to be ridden in the rocks. It flows and pulls speed out of the ground like crazy. Amazing pump with rigid fork. It kills it on singletrack trails. If you have long sustained 700ft+ verticle climbs to turn and drop into full DH mode a trail bike suits this best but for standard XC singletrack. It's so smooth in the chatter. I've upgraded everything at this point. 3 set of tires a year. Carbon Whiskey #7 QR fork, Profile Elite SS hubs on WTB KOM rims, Ergon saddle, Foam grips (esi or sram), raceface cranks (cheap ones), XTR BB, Cane Creek HS tapered, ENVE rsr bar, Ghetto tubeless with WTB ano-valves, Salsa QR. It probably weighs the same as the stock bike. It is magic on the trail. So powerful. This review is for the 14-15 models. I haven't ridden the 17 yet with the fatter wheel setups but my experimentation with WTB asym I-35 says that 25mm internal with 2.4 Ardents are unbeatable. I built a set of asyn I35 29er and after riding them went back to the std. 25mm rims.

    Similar Products Used: Redline Monocog I've got one.
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    tk1971   Weekend Warrior [Dec 28, 2015]
    Strength:

    Updated Geo for 2016, WTB i25 tubeless ready wheels, WTB saddle, 180mm front rotor, beefy 29x2.25" tires

    Weakness:

    BB is locktited down

    2016 model: I've shied away from 29ers long enough. The few 29er bikes I've tried had high stand over heights and made me feel like I'm on stilts.

    For my first 29er, it was between a Kona Unit and a Redline Monocog. After playing around with a 2011 Unit, I felt that the sliding dropouts (with a rear wheel QR) and the 180mm front brake rotor made it a more "polished" product than the Monocog.

    The 2015's and even 2016's were on sale (at really good prices I might add), but that 2016 updated geo looked like it was made just for me.

    First off, the Black/Orange two-tone color looks better in person than in pictures. The Orange/Yellow paint scheme looks like a Big Stick Popsicle to me.

    The shiny paint flakes off at the sliding dropout and the fork QR. I was playing around with a matte white 2011 and the paint seemed more durable in those areas (no paint loss there despite 4+ years of wheel removal from those same spots).

    The i25 wheels are nicer than I expected. I went tubeless as soon as I got the bike home. The stock Ardent tires are not tubeless tires but seem to be holding up well with Stan's sealant, although I am getting the clear/yellow oil-like substance weeping from the beads. I have a new set of Nevegal tubeless tires ready when I need them.

    The BB7's are adequate, but I replaced them with XT Hydros. Much better...

    The "Small" size came with 170mm cranks. I wanted/needed 175mm cranks, so I replaced the BB and crankset with a set of XT's. That MegaExo BB was locktited in. Good thing I have a really long wrench.

    The rest of my upgrades were just for weight: X-Lite Carbon rigid straight fork, Carbon handlebars, removing the front chain guard, and a zero-offset carbon seatpost. Plus, the carbon stuff and a set of silicone grips took the edge off of rocky descents. The bike now weighs in around 24 lbs now.

    For the stuff I'm climbing, I'm starting off with a 25t, but have a 24t, 22t, 20t and a 18t ready to go as I get stronger.

    I hardly had to stop at all during my last ride. My previous rides had me hunched over, huffing and puffing until my heart / lungs caught up.

    I love this bike. Even at full retail price.

    Similar Products Used: Raleigh MTi 1000 SS conversion 26er with carbon rigid fork and Titus Ti handlebar
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Stu   All Mountain Rider [Sep 24, 2015]
    Strength:

    Best cornering bike you will own , Tubeless ready wheels are awesome.

    Weakness:

    Cable disc brakes

    Review for 2014 model.
    Possibly the best bike you can buy yet so many shy away from them as they dont take it seriously,
    " What no suspention and one gear Hmmph", they think that untill the first uphill then your gone and it holds its own down hill as long as its not too craggy.
    Have upgraded mine with a set of XTR brakes I had lying on a shelf from a Ti 26" build, While that bike was light as, this thing eats it on the trail and if you find the right trail it will leave most bikes behind, I've raced it 4 times this year, picking nice undulating tracks that match the gearing, its great seeing shocked faces at the end when they see what you rode :)
    I have also swapped the tyres to a set of Tubless Schwalbe Racing ralphs 2.25 snakeskins and haven't had a puncture in two years The stock saddle didn't agree with me and was a touch lardy so I threw on a WTB ti railed SLR.
    The stock Handlebars are perfect but I (thought ) I bought a Carbon Haven bar at a great price but it turned out to be Aluminium (Ha) thats what I get for rushing, well its just as comfortable and 50 grams lighter
    In Winter I run a set of Icespikers and its the perfect ice bike out on frozen lakes.
    After a few weeks you will be in the groove and finding all the smooth patches on the trail that you normally miss on your full sus bike. Give one a go you wont be disapointed.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    iceboxsteve   Cross Country Rider [Nov 19, 2013]
    Strength:

    Fairly good setup for the price. The geo and steel feel superb. I added a fork with 100mm, didn't seem to throw me off but I have heard some say the stock geo is perfect. Much lighter than my steel D440.

    Weakness:

    The bars had more sweep than I liked but I kept them and have really grown into them. I destroyed the cog, change it out quickly.

    I'm in love. This bike has stolen my heart. I swapped out the fork and threw on Stans rims for tubeless. Its responsive, light, powerful. Being a guy who pushed his Redline in one gear, having an actual SS was nice. I also don't mind the fork, would love to stay rigid but I'm playing with different riding. It's a bit expensive, especially if you are like me and swap out wheelsets and fork. But I definitely think it was worth it.

    Similar Products Used: Redline D440 (I eventually set it up to run SS).
    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    3
    transplanted swede   Cross Country Rider [Oct 27, 2012]
    Strength:

    Given the price it is a solid bike with functional components. Hitting the one year mark on my 2012 version I am very happy with my choice. Geometry fits me well, and everything has worked perfectly with the exception of the FSA bottom bracket, which I have had to replace after just under one year of use. I prefer to ride dirt roads and forest tracks, which includes a bit of asphalt and a little single track to link it all together, so the 29" tires and no suspension work extremely well for my preferences. I like the lack of complexity in the bike. All-in-all you get what you pay for, so I am satisfied from a value perspective.

    Weakness:

    FSA bottom bracket crapped out already in under 11 months, which seems to be not so unique from what I can find on the internet forums. The FSA crank bolt also refuses to sit tight and has to be re-tightened after every ride - and for longer rides (=2 hours) not uncommonly at some point during the ride. I need to test loctite to solve this problem. This is my only complaint; otherwise, all has functioned great.

    My original motivation for going single speed was that I was tired of gears packing with ice during winter riding, which in my part of northern Sweden can last 6 months. Given the number of gravel/dirt roads I can access the idea was to use a cyclocross bike half the year and single speed for the winter half (that is, when not trail running, which is my main focus). But after buying the Kona Unit one year ago, I can count on one hand how many times I have used the cyclocross. Not being able to run the past two months I am doing 200-250 km/week and do not get tired of riding the Unit. I am completely sold both on single speed and on the Kona Unit. I notice in many reviews that people complain about some of the components and then whip out a bit of money to upgrade - well, then buy a higher level bike to start with. The Unit is a solid bike and, with the exception of the durability of the bottom bracket, it has been completely worth it.
    In short, I would buy it all over again if I were to go out now and buy a single speed mtb.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Big Nubbin   [Oct 10, 2012]
    Strength:

    Geometry, toughness, dropouts, ability to pass geared riders going up or down the mountain

    Weakness:

    Long head tube

    I bought this as a frame to replace my broken Niner S.I.R. 9 that I bought to replace my broken GF Rig. I loved the geometry and feel of the SIR 9 and was a little surprised to find that I like the Unit's even more in a frame that is 1/2 the price. What I don't miss is all of the constant creaking from the EBB's in my last 2 frames. I also don't miss Niner's explanation that I pedaled too hard for their steel frame, causing it to break at the drive side rear dropout. I've had the Unit a year now in CO and have had no issues with the rear sliding dropout moving under my 200 lbs.

    This is my first rigid fork since 1992 and I'm a year in and not saving money up to get squishy again. There are situations when I miss my suspension fork (Firecracker 50 course) but 95% of the time I feel better off without it. My lap times in the final 24 hrs of Moab last week were acttaully faster than those on my SIR9 with a Reba 2 years ago. I was only passed by 6 riders in 4 laps and all of their frames cost more than my whole bike, and a case of beer, and a lap dance...

    Similar Products Used: Gary Fisher Rig, Niner S.I.R. 9
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    abovethewave   Cross Country Rider [Oct 03, 2012]
    Strength:

    This is a great frame. I did a custom build, so that has a lot to do with it, but this thing climbs like a goat and gets right under you quickly when you need it. The paint finish (mine is '11 orange) is awesome! Not a fan of all the extra cable guides as I was looking to build a purely SS bike. Love the butted chain stays tho. Plenty of tire clearance - can probably get a 2.4 in there, but I run a snakeskin Racing Ralph 2.25. Standover height is great. Frame construction is very good. With this bike, I am a Kona convert. Preparing for my first Epic SS ride/race in a couple weeks. No doubt it will be great. This thing is fast.

    Weakness:

    Worried if the finish will scratch easily. So far, so good tho. Otherwise, I sold the P2 Fork bc I need suspension up front. 100mm of Fox float fits superb.

    The "whole bike" package did not intrigue me. However, If you are a geared hard tail person thinking about SS. This is an amazing purchase for the money. My next step would be a Ti frame after this. The geometry is great. Kona has been doing it forever. Give it a chance. I will certainly say that I like it hands down over the Vassago Wet Cat geometry which I rode for 3-years.

    Similar Products Used: Vassago Bandersnatch 29er - Geared, Vassago Jabberwocky 29er - SS
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    nhbiker834   Cross Country Rider [Jul 10, 2012]
    Strength:

    Well-built frame. Good components for price point. SS = fun! :)

    Weakness:

    Nothing really found yet, but only had a couple of days. With full rigid, a grip upgrade is definitely in order.

    Sure, you can spend more, but why? This baby has great geometry, corners like a beast, and rolls over everything in your path. The bike tech I purchased from put the bike on the stand and went through some of the engineering changes for the 2012 year model. They tucked the back tire up underneath the seat a little, shortening the chain stay; this gives a little better handling he claimed (I can't complain on the trails; seems to handle better than both my old 26ers). Also, other reviewers talked about a problem with the rear dropout and the chain moving. They've made a change to handle that as well: there's now a set screw in addition to the four bolts to help the chain from moving. Haven't ridden enough to see how well it works yet, but I like to see a company that seems to be listening to their customers and are trying to improve things.

    This thing is responsive! If you've been riding a hard or soft tail, you won't believe how fast this thing responds to where you want to go. Also, I felt as though the 29er wheels (I've only ridden 26ers before this) help with slow cornering -- like where you are going around a small tree with a tight turn and your ducking in to keep your speed up. With a 26 soft front setup, the bike tends to crash over more easily. The Unit keeps solid and holds its edge.

    Overall, very pleased so far.

    Similar Products Used: None. First fully rigid, first SS. Previous bike was full suspension Scott Genius 50.
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Showing 1-10 of 48  

    THE SITE

    ABOUT MTBR

    VISIT US AT

    mtbr.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

    (C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.