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 Post subject: Kona AA 1997 18"
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:02 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:16 pm
Posts: 5788
Shame about the dent on the top tube and you might want to swap out the curve canti levers for something more functional :wink:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/323974877011?ul_noapp=true


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:33 am 
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Location: Newbury, Berkshire
Terrible pictures for this listing.

The 1997 AA is a fine XC frame and is often overlooked, perhaps owing to its' colour? It is quite high up in the Kona hierarchy with Easton Elite Taperwall tubing. It was priced £400 cheaper that its' big brother the Kula, and pretty much bang in between the cost of the Steel Kilauea and Explosif.

Attachment:
97 A A 18_4.jpg
97 A A 18_4.jpg [ 96.72 KiB | Viewed 333 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Kona AA 1997 18"
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:40 am 
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Yep, totally agree. It was overlooked by the colour and I think, a bit of snobbery. If you had the money back then, and the choice, would you go for a AA or a Kilauea? A Kula or and Explosif? Steel was still, just, in it's perceived element.

That's my theory anyway. And having ridden a 96 Kula for many years, I reckon the 97 must be as good if not better and therefore, the AA would be too. An extremely comfortable ride.


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 Post subject: Re: Kona AA 1997 18"
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:17 am 
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al-onestare wrote:
....If you had the money back then, and the choice, would you go for a AA or a Kilauea? A Kula or and Explosif? Steel was still, just, in it's perceived element.

Personally speaking, if I have the money back then, I would have gone for the AA or Kula, which may surprise some members - although you are aware Alasdair how much of an advocate I am of Aluminium frames!

I am now wondering if the 1997 AA is the same frame under the paint as the 1997 Kula; in a similar way to the 1997 Koa and Muni Mula, which is identical for both models with a different build and paint job.

The Easton Tubing Decal is the same in both the AA and the Kula models;


1997 Kula.....
Attachment:
1997 Kula Tubing.jpg
1997 Kula Tubing.jpg [ 93.28 KiB | Viewed 305 times ]



And the dropouts are the same Thumbs Up style with the smooth transition from the Stays in both models.


1997 AA.....
Attachment:
97 A A 18_3.jpg
97 A A 18_3.jpg [ 204.99 KiB | Viewed 305 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Kona AA 1997 18"
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:50 pm 
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In my mind they are identical frames, unlike the Kilauea and Explosif of course! Looking forward to being proved wrong :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Kona AA 1997 18"
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:39 pm 
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al-onestare wrote:
In my mind they are identical frames, unlike the Kilauea and Explosif of course! Looking forward to being proved wrong :lol:

You just knew that I wold rise to the challenge on this one :lol: .

The AA was definitely elevated within the Kona hierarchy during its' 4 years of production from 1994 - 1997.

In 1994 the Kula was made from superior Easton Varilite ProGram Aluminium compared to the AA's heavier Alcoa T6 7005. The Dropouts are also neater on the Kula, with smooth transition into the Stays, compared to the clunkier version on the AA with visible TIG welding.

1994 AA:
Attachment:
94 A A 19_5.jpg
94 A A 19_5.jpg [ 53.46 KiB | Viewed 264 times ]


Rather interestingly, both the Kula and the AA in 1994 have replaceable Gear Hangers, which was quite advanced thinking at the time - well done Kona. However, the next 3 years production of Kula and AA reverted to integral Gear Hangers, which I think puts some people off Aluminum frames.

Anyway, onwards. The 1995 Kula was superior with it's Easton ProGram 3 Elan tubing compared to the heavier AA's Generic 7005 Aluminium. Once again the Dropouts on the 1995 Kula are less clunky than those on the AA, with smooth transition into the Stays.

1995 AA:
Attachment:
95 A A 17_4.jpg
95 A A 17_4.jpg [ 47.04 KiB | Viewed 264 times ]


By 1996 however, the AA's frame had been improved to the same spec as the Kula, with the same Tubing and dropouts. There is a very slight difference in the quoted weights between the two models, but we know how vague these can be. Anthony commented on these two models a while back saying; "I'm not even sure there was a difference between the 96 AA and Kula.They were both made of Easton Elite and though the catalogue says they weighed 3.5lbs and 3.4 respectively, I'd take that with a pinch of salt. Could be just a marketing ploy."

Sorry that this example of a 1996 AA is a bit lacking, but you can see that it shares the same tubing and Dropouts as the 1996 Kula:

Attachment:
96 A A 18_2.jpg
96 A A 18_2.jpg [ 279.98 KiB | Viewed 264 times ]


So in answer to your point Alasdair, by 1997 at least, both the Kula and AA frames do indeed appear to have identical tubing, dropouts and quoted weight.

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