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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:35 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:01 pm
Posts: 206
So, im picking up kona Hei hei in a couple of weeks that looks to be somewhere between a 97-99 period and has sonly seen life as aroad bike, just wondering what sort of abuse it will take. My first "proper" mountain bike was a Kona lava dome back in 1994-5 which even with a rigid fork held up to quite a lot of abuse (regular 4-5 drops and a bit of dirt jumping and also a bit of street riding).
Im thinking of building the hei hei up a bit tough and causing a comotion with it (no street riding this time, im far to old and un-skilled), will it be as tough as my old steel kona though?
And before anyone tells me to build it up fairy light or buy something more modern/hardcore for that, I already have a morati/sunn exact that im building for mincing around on and I have my more modern bike thats built for abuse. I just loved the geometry and handling of my old kona and thought it would be nice to have a piece of that action once again.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:45 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:51 am
Posts: 1464
Location: Earth
Wow nice one Andy, a man after my own heart! I also started this long road on a 1995 Lava Dome back in the day, saved up and bought it brand new from Leisure Lakes. I am now the proud owner of a 1995 Kona Hei Hei. Mine is slightly different in that it was bought fully kitted out withe the "Factory Finishing Kit" so it looks exactly like the one in the 1995 Catalogue. Fortunately I have managed to keep the specification the same over the years as it doesnt get too much use, the only thing that isnt original is the grips as they perished over time. (I still have them in a box)
In answer to your question they can take a decent amount of punishment relative to other period Ti frames like the VIT T etc but I would go too mad!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:31 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:01 pm
Posts: 206
The circle is complete! Haha. I used to love my lava dome, mine was from harry halls in manchester. I remember getting some red dx v brakes and bear trap pedals for it. Great color scheme that year with the dark blue and bronzey gold


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:35 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2015 7:29 pm
Posts: 3355
Location: peak district
Hi, is it the Hei Hei just bought on ebay? glad if it was as i was on the verge of getting in debt :facepalm:

Its a mountain bike so designed for off road, and you say you have a modern bike for abuse so for xc, singletrack and related type riding it will be perfect. Your old kona was steel so of course can take abuse more in its stride, both have the typical kona geometry so can be thrown about more, i suppose it depends on how smooooth your riding is :wink:

Look forward to seeing pictures 8)


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:40 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:51 am
Posts: 1464
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andyparle wrote:
The circle is complete! Haha. I used to love my lava dome, mine was from harry halls in manchester. I remember getting some red dx v brakes and bear trap pedals for it. Great color scheme that year with the dark blue and bronzey gold


Yes the 95 model range looked awesome! I also have a 95 Explosif in catalogue spec too!
Interestingly i actually snapped both rear brake boss's clean off mine just braking on a downhill section, Kona replaced the frame with the 96 Cinder Cone.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:02 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:01 pm
Posts: 206
Mkone. Ive never been the smoothest, but never broken a frame apart from an old haro freestyler bmx just plenty of parts though. I just know the kona geometry brings out the hooligan in me though!
It was actually bought from shpock, but its down in plymouth and im up in manchester so i cant pick it up for a couple of weeks. It looks to be in very good condition, just a strange mixture of road and mtb parts on it.
It will probably be a mixture of newish (oh the horror!) and retro parts that will go on it for now. Its being bought to be ridden though (and for a touch of nostalgia). I have been eyeing up the Kona Steely that they brrought out a few years back as welll, looks like a proper kona unlike the bizarre wagon wheeld crap they have out at the moment.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:07 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:01 pm
Posts: 206
Fattiman. Snapped the bosses on the lava dome? Wow, was it maguras on it? I also have always fancied a kona cruiser (the Humuhumunukunukuapua'a).


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:12 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:51 am
Posts: 1464
Location: Earth
Yep I was just as shocked as you can imagine, running standard STX canties! I made sure to fit a brake booster on the cinder cone for good measure, however the seat stays were MUCH thicker as were the base that the boss screwed into.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:14 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:01 pm
Posts: 4406
As has been said it depends on your riding style. I dont take massive air on my Ti baby of that era. I use it more for cx with occasional jumps, nothing more than a few feet though. That being said if you got it cheap enough and can either junk it or pay for its prof repair if it cracks, why not unleash it. Would love to see some action shots though ;)


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:28 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:26 am
Posts: 832
Location: Kuala Lumpur
My ‘99 Hei Hei was raced for several years by it’s previous owner, I built it up with rigid P2s and now slicks for ripping about town. 18 months back i crashed going downhill at 40km/h breaking my wrist, horrible cheesegrater knee injury and huge road rash on my backside as well elbows, chin etc etc. The Hei Hei bounced and tumbled, bent the saddle’s rails from a big impact and shredded the grips and pedals but the frame still perfect, not bent, cracked or dented. I am now fine and i’m still blasting around on the Hei Hei, just new saddle and grips. Plenty strong enough i reckon.

BTW i also bought my Lava Dome new in ‘96 (from Mountain High, Bucks). Still own it, still loving the semi-matt orange lava.

If you want to ride your Hei Hei off road you might struggle to find a decent sus fork with 80mm travel and v-brake mounts. If i were you i’d ride it rigid anyway even off road, way cooler. I have a rigid Cinder Cone and have great fun showing up to MTB XC events with rigid fork, cantis and gripshift, most youngsters don’t even know it’s a mountain bike!


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