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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:07 pm 
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Does anyone have any information with regards to Kona Team riders disguising Hei Heis as Explosifs in the 90’s?

I would be interested to know if or why any official cycling authority considered it necessary to object to a titanium frame for professional racing – if indeed that was the reason that inspired the deception.

I heard of this some time ago, but have now been searching harder after it was raised again in this thread. I assume that this bike is not likely to be one of the examples?

http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewto ... ht=hei+hei

Pip.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:10 pm 
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Anthony might be able to shed some light on this??

Ernie :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:09 pm 
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Disguising things is normally done to appease sponsors. If they were sponsored by a tubing manufacturer (Tange? Reynolds?) they'd have had to paint them up to look like a product of the sponsor.

It happens a lot today - pros who want to use kit or tyres or pedals or what have you that's not made by the sponsor have to hide it by putting tape over the logo, or actually put the sponsor's logo on it. It's not to keep it secret from the sponsor - they do after all want the team to do well and get publicity - it's to avoid diluting the sponsorship message.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:17 pm 
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terryhfs wrote:
Disguising things is normally done to appease sponsors. If they were sponsored by a tubing manufacturer (Tange? Reynolds?) they'd have had to paint them up to look like a product of the sponsor.

It happens a lot today - pros who want to use kit or tyres or pedals or what have you that's not made by the sponsor have to hide it by putting tape over the logo, or actually put the sponsor's logo on it. It's not to keep it secret from the sponsor - they do after all want the team to do well and get publicity - it's to avoid diluting the sponsorship message.


Ah I see - cjn1014 referred to Tange in his post. I'd still be interested to hear of any anecdotes about Kona with regards to this.
Pip.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:01 am 
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This was the recent thread that discussed the issue:

http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=158995

To summarize, Kona pro-team riders wanted to ride Hei Hei (titanium) frames while Columbus was a team co-sponsor, so Hei Hei frames were painted to resemble (Columbus Max steel) Explosifs - until Columbus found out.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:57 am 
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I don't doubt the sincerity of those making these suggestions, but none of it makes any sense to me.

Why would you paint a 97 Explosif with 98 cable routing to look like a 97 Hot because the team riders wanted to compete on Hei Heis?
Why would you paint a ti bike green but leave its chainstays unpainted if you wanted to pass it off as a steel bike?
Why would you try to pass off a round-tubed bike as Columbus Max when Columbus Max has such pronounced biovalisation that the difference is blatant?
Why would the 97 team riders want to ride Hei Heis when the King Kahuna had just been developed because they didn't find the Hei Hei stiff enough for racing?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:49 am 
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The bike in the For Sale thread is nothing like the half-green one, so the veracity or otherwise of the anecdote for the For Sale Explosif would appear to have no relevance to the provenance of the half-green Hei Hei. Unless I'm missing something ;)


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:09 pm 
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Anthony wrote:
I don't doubt the sincerity of those making these suggestions, but none of it makes any sense to me.

Why would you paint a 97 Explosif with 98 cable routing to look like a 97 Hot because the team riders wanted to compete on Hei Heis?

I don't think that's been suggested. The post I summarized above suggested that Hei Heis were painted to resemble steel team bikes. Presumably the implication is that the bike for sale was a steel team bike.

Quote:
Why would you paint a ti bike green but leave its chainstays unpainted if you wanted to pass it off as a steel bike?

As Mike says, that's a separate issue.

Quote:
Why would the 97 team riders want to ride Hei Heis when the King Kahuna had just been developed because they didn't find the Hei Hei stiff enough for racing?

The King Kahuna was, strictly speaking, a Hei Hei King Kahuna, was it not? It seems possible that "moops" isn't making the same distinction that you are between the two variants.

Quote:
Why would you try to pass off a round-tubed bike as Columbus Max when Columbus Max has such pronounced biovalisation that the difference is blatant?

In road racing, there are countless examples of rebadging where little effort was made to disguise the fact that the sponsor's decals bore no relation to the frame beneath them. On the other hand, the shaped tubes of the Hei Hei King Kahuna look a little bit more like the shaped tubes of a Max OR frame.

I don't have any strong opinion about the veracity of the suggestion "moops" made about his or her particular bike, but reading between the lines, I don't think it's quite as implausible as you do. Certainly there are a few unanswered questions.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:04 am 
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Thank you gentlemen.

Anthony; are you saying that you know for sure that this facade didn’t happen?

Or, is your view based on the available evidence, which gives grounds to consider it not have been possible or likely to had taken place?

I find it curious that two separate R.B. members in the States (moops & cjn1014) appear to be of the view that the Kona Race Team did endeavour to conceal from Columbus that they were riding Hei Heis as apposed to Explosifs - presumably with a view to appeasing the co-sponsorship.

I am fully aware that some riders (though not all) found the Hei Hei too flexy, which inspired the introduction of the King Kahuna.

I have my own reasons why I would like to know the answer to my original question, and I am thinking about writing to Konatech to see if I can establish the facts – although they may be reluctant to comment.

I am of the opinion however that this does make for an interesting topic.

Pip.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 12:27 pm 
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Hi Pip, no it might have happened, but I'm just saying that neither of the bikes pictured provides any evidence that it did. It would be interesting to see any photos of Kona team riders at that time, as it would be very easy to see a titanium frame with a Columbus sticker.

I find the notion of team riders 'refusing' to ride steel rather implausible. They would ride what they were given, and in any case although most of the leaders were on aluminium frames by that time, but Kona would probably have been pleased if any of their riders could keep up with Thomas Frischknecht on his Ritchey, who was still competing at the front. It's the rider that counts - if you can't win a race on a Columbus Max Explosif, you weren't going to win anyway.

I wonder if you might get more out of Joe@konaworld on this one, he is more laid back than Tech (or whoever Tech happens to be on the day - Joe is always Joe as far as I am aware).


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