Retrobike Forum Index

It is currently Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:19 am

* Login   * Register * Search  * FAQ



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 59 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
Author Message
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 3:34 pm 
Old School Hero
User avatar

Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:14 am
Posts: 158
Found this small bit of info.

Thursday, February 26, 2009
My dad picked up a few bikes in his travels. One of them is a beat-up BRC, which has been through the recycler shop at least once - a good example of the state of the art in the early 90s, with U-brakes and flashy brand names (Exage! Hyper-drive!) but nothing really special.


The other bike IS something special - a pre-Kona era Kona. It's a Cascade Fire Mountain, designed by Joe Murray, made in Taiwan - with some cromoly tubes and bottom-of-the-barrel components.


Attachments:
cascade.jpg
cascade.jpg [ 24.47 KiB | Viewed 1400 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 3:50 pm 
Old School Hero
User avatar

Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:14 am
Posts: 158
Now here is the other bikes
Anybody notice something?


Attachments:
s3000002_198.jpg
s3000002_198.jpg [ 111.36 KiB | Viewed 1397 times ]
s3000003_803.jpg
s3000003_803.jpg [ 124.99 KiB | Viewed 1397 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 4:01 pm 
Old School Hero
User avatar

Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:14 am
Posts: 158
The top tube is not sloping.
It is only on the red Lava domes.

Image


Attachments:
DSC00735.JPG
DSC00735.JPG [ 25.85 KiB | Viewed 1396 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:22 pm 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:08 pm
Posts: 3113
Location: Woking
Mmm nice old Konas, or pre-Konas should that be? The 1988 frame design doesn't look a lot different from my 1990 bike. I think Kona changed a lot in the early years, I had two 1990 Fire Mountains which had different forks and decals. Still, they were a fledgling company at the time.

The giant bike makes me chuckle!

SP


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:30 pm 
Old School Hero
User avatar

Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:14 am
Posts: 158
True. I think keeping the original frame design from the begining has really defined Kona.


Interestingly ,the guy who owns that large bike is from texas.And you know what they say about it.Everything is big in texas.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 8:36 pm 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider

Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:22 pm
Posts: 7305
Location: Hove
Yes, I think we’ve noted before that Joe Murray designed bikes with a flat top tube until he started ‘working closely with’ Paul Brodie, who as I understand it had already been the proponent of the first sloping top tube Rocky Mountains while he was there up until 1986. So the 1987 Cascades designed by Joe Murray alone had flat top tubes, and the 1988/89 Konas designed by Joe Murray working closely with Paul Brodie had sloping top tubes. Draw your own conclusions.

However we see two extremes of design there. The earlier Fire Mountain, which looks to be a size 18, achieves the flat top tube by having just about the shortest head tube you could possibly fit two tubes onto. And yet the two red 1988/89 Lava Domes have long head tubes and Mr Green says that this was to relieve stress on the headset - almost as if the fact that a long head tube also leads to a sloping top tube was just a necessary consequence of the head tube design.

My reading of all this is that both your bike and Mr Green’s were designed by Joe Murray working closely with Paul Brodie. Whose idea the 9” head tube on the size 23 Lava Dome may have been will probably remain lost in the mists of time. Bur Mr Green for one obviously thinks it was quite a good one.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:02 pm 
Old School Hero
User avatar

Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:14 am
Posts: 158
Good points.

Do you think such a large frame would be made to order or some came in such a large size?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 11:28 pm 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider

Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:22 pm
Posts: 7305
Location: Hove
GT BIKE RIDER wrote:
Do you think such a large frame would be made to order or some came in such a large size?

I was wondering that too.

Paul Brodie told me that all steel Konas were made in Taiwan, he just finished them (braze-ons etc) and painted them. [So incidentally, if the same applies to 1988/89 Cascades, he could have painted your bike.]

But you couldn't get a one-off frame from a huge factory in Taiwan, so it would seem that either size 23 was one of the sizes they offered and that was the standard geometry for it, or else Mr Green's bike was an experimental or special-order one.

And if it was a one-off, you might wonder who built it, if not Paul Brodie. He wouldn't have any trouble building a Kona/Cascade, as he remarked rather ruefully how very close the Kona designs were to his own.

Although it looks odd compared to what we're used to, it is a size 23 with a 9" head tube, and a size 19 has a 5" head tube, 4" difference in each case. So the principle is simple enough - if somebody has 4" longer legs, maybe he would like the bars 4" higher?

And why not? Mr Green likes it, and he makes the point that his modern 29er Explosif gives him the same position. So maybe it's just a case of the future catching up with the past twenty years down the line.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:07 am 
Old School Hero
User avatar

Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:14 am
Posts: 158
Thanks,those are very interesting points.

You know after reviewing the pictures again.I am thinking that the firemountains have the straight top tubes.If you compare the early cascades,they are both standing on their forks and cranks.
The lavender firemountain is slanting forward down.Where as the green lava dome is standing in a more upright position and if wheels were on it ,it would have a sloping top tube.
Just some observations.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:29 am 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider

Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:22 pm
Posts: 7305
Location: Hove
Yes, I see that too, but both bikes have the same extremely short head tube, so I think the degree of slope in the top tube must be a function of the size/seat tube length. The Lava Dome's seat tube does look shorter in relation to the stays than the Fire Mountain's, implying that it may be a smaller size.

Complete conjecture, but as Mr Green mentions a need to relieve stress on the headsets as the reason for the longer head tubes on the 88/89 Cascades, I wonder whether this might indicate that they experienced some problems with headset failures on the 87ish Cascades? In which case, they might have moved to a longer head tube in the search for a solution. I still think it's slightly strange if the Kona slope was all the result of headset problems though.

Incidentally when asked about the advent of the sloping top tube, Joe Murray said “The first ‘Safety’ bikes from the turn of the twentieth century had them. I think that when mountain bikes first came on the scene in the 1980s the horizontal top tube was a hold over from road bikes. Making it sloping was done by a few early builders. I think when I was at Kona we were the first to do it on a production bike level.” Note the modesty of ‘we were’, not ‘I was’ - he isn't claiming it as his own idea.

If your bike is a size 19, as it looks, it isn't all that different in shape from this size 19 '1988' Explosif I would suggest.


Attachments:
1988 Explosif size 19 owned by Hilts.jpg
1988 Explosif size 19 owned by Hilts.jpg [ 97.48 KiB | Viewed 1418 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 59 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: IHateRain, Minifreak, restorich, Retro junkie, SF Klein and 25 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

About Us

Follow Retrobike

Other cool stuff

All content © 2005-2015 Retrobike unless otherwise stated.
Cookies Policy.
bikedeals - the best bike deals in one place
FatCOGS - Fat Chance Owner's Group

Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group