Thanks guys! I apologize for the misleading/poorly worded thread title. At first, when I started this thread, I wasn’t 100% sure that the bike was a bona-fide
Hot; I had very, very strong suspicions that it was one of the last Hots, but I wasn’t 100% certain. At this price £123, or 200 beans in my neck of the woods, I would have been extremely pleased with an Explosif. The fact that it is indeed a Hot is a bonus…
Reynolds 853 Opposite Oval
Reynolds 853: full oval/opposed oval/taper oval
After chatting via e-mail with Kona I’m positive now that this is the real deal. In my first e-mail to Kona I simply sent them the frame # and nothing else. I was hoping they had a database that would allow them to retrieve things like: size, color, model, dealer, build date, manufacturer etc. No luck though, in fact they thought the number I gave them was missing at least one digit. I replied by sending them additional info: badged as a “Hot”, 18.6” from center of BB to top of seat tube, 13cm head tube, Reynolds 853, ovalized down tube, Kona dropouts. Then I asked them if it was one of the last Hots welded-up by Altitude or Enigma. Kona replied by asking for a picture, the guy mentioned that he was running with the custom bikes back then and said he could nail down the age from some of the small details like dropouts, cable placement and decals. So, I sent them a raft load of pictures and received a very interesting response:
The bike was welded-up in Taiwan by Hodaka, it’s one of the absolute very last Hots ever made. The dropout was exclusive to the factory that also builds the bikes for their XC race team, builds shocks and wheels for a lot of the other component brands. He also said that they were the nicest custom frames too; mentioning that he ran that program for the dealers till it ran down and these frames had a way nicer finish than any of the Enigma, Altitude or any other steel builders they had on tap; pretty well level with what came out of Titanium Sports.
To this, I replied by asking if it is a bona-fide
Hot and not a fake. I also asked if it was from a batch of bikes with Reynolds 853 + directionally ovalized Columbus MAX down tubes. The answer:
It’s a full Reynolds frame, they also had a Bi-Oval air hardening down tube. It was too expensive for most production bikes but it made it into the custom lineup. The bike is for sure a real Hot, if it was an Explosif it wouldn’t have that down tube.
To those wondering about the serial number: KH89083
My wild assed guess, stab-in-the-dark at deciphering it would be: K
” number 083
in the batch. Perhaps someone else with another 1998 Hot could confirm?!
Again, the thread title was poorly worded and for 200 beans, I would have been very happy with an Explosif…
For me, 18” would have been better, 17” would have been ideal.