On sloping top tubes, Rocky Mountains had flat top tubes until they met Paul Brodie. And the Cascade range that Joe Murray designed for The Bicycle Group also had flat top tubes. Then TBG changed the name from Cascade to Kona and Joe Murray worked with Paul Brodie on them. Hey presto, Konas had sloping top tubes.
I believe TBG was the US distributor for Marin and ran their race team. Joe Murray was a Marin team rider, hence the association with him.
Brodie was an artist before going to RM to work as a painter. There he learned to weld and then set up on his own. The 1988/9 and 1990 ranges of Kona were welded in Taiwan and shipped to the USA for Brodie to finish them (braze-ons etc) and paint them. I assume that he must have been responsible for the design of the paint work as well.
From 1991, the association with Brodie ended and the bikes were finished, painted and assembled in Taiwan. Spatter disappeared and the paintwork became plain. I expect getting spatter right isn't as easy as it looks - if you're going to have it, best to have it done by an artist.
Some credit for the plentiful supply of early Konas here must go to JP Saville, the proprietor of the importers Second-Level Sport. He imported Kona right from the beginning and told me that he was initially taking over half of their total production. He now runs Quest Adventure Sports in Worthing.
thanks for that info...i remember second level sport, never new the proprietors name, i wonder after looking at the post of your first edition catalouge, did he import brodie too, in the years to follow. I always had a steel brodie catalyst on my wish list, but my local shop owner told me they were unavailiable...???????, also paul brodie welding braze ons makes a lot of sense too, as im sure the macaroni pipe for the rear brake cable always looked cool yet fiddly, and when the paint splatter stopped so did this, then it went to a plastic guide...the paint i always deemed real cool, because no two frames were ever the same, and as a young boy that ate slept and breathed bikes back then, i always wanted a custom built frame but sadly at this time couldnt afford it, and after going to several races and seeing that all the frames, with different splatter paint, kinda made me feel that i was half way there.......lol. i know that the tbg was a collection of guys, and that also the canadian imoprter is still today called the tbg, but after finding out that the marin frames of the same era were made by the taiwanese bicycle group, it does kinda beg the question did this company also weld the early frames before paul brodie did his brazing too them....someone in taiwan made them, it seems like a very big coincidence to me......and i long to find this out..........thank you again for your info...... greatly appricaited.
(P.S.......IF THERE IS ANYONE WITH A STEEL BRODIE FOR SALE OF THIS ERA PLEASE CONTACT ME....)