Information gratefully received on this example currently in my LBS - size/year/rarity etc.
Serial T900 00228
I don't see any cause to doubt that it's a 1990 Explosif, and I agree that it does look like a size 19, although it's difficult to tell from an angle (15cm head tube?).
The serial number is a bit odd as you don't usually see zeros in some of those places. I believe the T signifies TBG = Taiwan Bicycle Group, not to be confused with TBG = The Bicycle Group (no relation), the owners of Kona.
You'll see quite a few 1990 Konas that lack the spatter finish. I don't know whether this means that the relationship with Paul Brodie didn't survive the full term, or he decided to change the design or they wanted to save $5/frame, whatever.
It isn't all that rare, nor all that valuable lacking so many bits of its original decals. Nevertheless, a Tange Concept frame is always worth considering (just to confirm that, I assume it has the tapered and ovalised shape to the top and down tubes?)
Anthony i know we have spoken before about the TBG group, and the taiwan bicycle group...., and im still needing some clarification on it.
with ref to the relationship with Paul Brodie....heres what he had to say about it when asked.....,
There seems to have been some confusion in the early days amongst Brodie, Kona and Rocky fans and your involvement with TBG, what role did you play in those early days with TBG and the likes of Joe Murray?
PB : We signed a bad contract with the wrong people and ended up in a situation that was unworkable for us. It escalated into a 2 year lawsuit. After the first year we got a better, more expensive lawyer, and so did they. Our great friendship with Joe Murray eventually blew up as he got caught in the middle. The lawyers got paid, neither side was able to claim victory, but we, Brodie Research and Technology Inc., finally had our freedom. And that's all I need to say...
Did you have any involvement with other bike companys before you set your own company up and if so who ?
PB : I worked for Rocky Mountain for 2 years (1984 - 1986) before I started Brodie Bikes. In the first year I designed and built frames, forks and bullmoose bars, painted everything, and was also production manager for $8/hr. After a year they refused to give me a raise, so I resigned as manager and went on contract work. I chose afternoon shift and I was on my own. I got $200 for a fillet brazed MTB frame and fork. At the start of the year it took me 16 hours to build a frame and fork, but at the end of the year I had it down to 8 hours. I worked the afternoon shift, and when it got close to midnight would use their machinery to build my own frame jigs and fixtures. No one ever walked in, but it would have been very hard to explain...(quote)
So the contractual issues it seems did have a long lasting effect, splatter paint to be seen no more, rear Macaroni pipes replaced with plastic cable guides etc, for the 91 model year.