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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:32 am 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:49 pm
Posts: 15
After dusting down my 18" 91 Fire Mountain the other day and making sure everything that needs to be tight was tight, pumping up the tyre's and checking the gears and brakes (SAFETY FIRST peeps :lol: ) I decided to take her out for a quick spin. Its probably been around 15-18 years since I last rode her properly and that was with the anger and recklessness of a teen. Man, the memories came flying back, good and bad (don't remember the saddle being as uncomfortable as it was on Sunday though :shock: ) Unfortunately a few problems which should have been fixed a long time ago also showed themselves, nothing major but these were niggling things that I really should have sorted back in the day which is how I came to find this forum and some very interesting threads on Kona's :D

When I first got the bike I was glued to the Kona Catalogue for weeks, as much as I would have loved a Lava Dome or Cinder Cone I went with the Fire Mountain as it perfectly suited my needs and the price was bang on budget, components were of a reasonable spec and it was a Kona!! The plan was to lightly upgrade her as time passed which is what I set about doing. A few things have been changed but in my quest to get fit or at least semi fit I have decided that instead of buying myself a new bike I am going to continue where I left off with this bike. The plan is to get the bits and pieces I always wanted for it, trying to keep it as period correct as possible. Hopefully if all goes accordingly I will slowly keep this thread updated. I am hoping you guys will join me for the ride and chip in with as much useful info as pos as I really am back at noob status on the cycling front and have a lot of revising catching up to do :wink:

The first mod I did was the removal of the STI changers. I hated them from the off and as soon as I got some cash together the hacksaw came out, the mount was removed from the brake levers and XT thumbies were installed. While I had the hacksaw out I also opted to whip approx 3 inches off the handle bars, this was done for the sole reason of allowing me to get the front end through a fairly narrow gateway without catching the end on a post and launching me face first into a rose bush. The origianl Kona grips were replaced with some Specialized grips as I could not keep a hold of the original slightly hexagonal shaped ones. Next came some Onza bar ends which were closely followed by a pair of Rigida Rims after a freakish mishap claimed the pair of original Araya's. The Rigida's were meant to be a temporary fix but I thought they looked really cool being all black so was happy with them. Following the rims I had to rebuild my mod's fund and eventually got myself an XT Front and XT Short Rear Mech which was soon followed by a DX Chainset in black just to complete the stealth look of the bike. Other than that I think the only other change has been the Farmer John tyre after the original Reaction tyre bit the dust.

I will be back in a bit to list the planned changes and hopefully get an answer on a slight problem I have with her but for now will leave you with a load of pics of how she currently stands, not too bad for a 22 year old I think, enjoy :D .

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:30 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:09 pm
Posts: 375
Location: nottingham
nice, it looks just like my old lavadome...great frames


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 12:09 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:49 pm
Posts: 15
Yeah, I love the look of these bikes. Love the black, of all the colours through the range in 91 the blue FM was the one I really wasn't keen on, the black looked kind of mean so out came the teen metaller in me and it was snapped up. Tiny bit battered now but to me it still looks pretty mean and sleak. I do intend to clean up the rust spots and hopefully sort the pitting out but not really sure of the best way to do it as I have never attempted any repair or restoration before. The grand aim is to get it re-powder coated at some point, whether that happens depends on how good of a job I do touching up.

Gonna list up the couple of problems I've got with it right now, hopefully get some answers, as said above I'm clueless right now..........

1. The chain goes very slack if I pedal backwards and drags the rear mech right up, is that a chain length issue or maybe something to adjust on the mechs? Changing through is effortless so I assume it could be chain related?

2. Got a very slight wobble on the left crank. I knew it was there from back in the day and if I tighten the holding bolt up it does stop the wobble but as its ridden the bolt starts to work its way loose again. I assume when I was younger I over tightened the bolt and slightly damaged the threads or maybe its just worn from constant heavy use? I guess a quick fix would be to get a new axle for the BB but I don't know what size/length I will need, any ideas? Long term goal was to replace the whole BB, XT would be the preferred choice but again I have no idea what I need, any ideas?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:14 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2008 12:12 am
Posts: 680
Location: Anglesey
Storm wrote:
2. Got a very slight wobble on the left crank. I knew it was there from back in the day and if I tighten the holding bolt up it does stop the wobble but as its ridden the bolt starts to work its way loose again. I assume when I was younger I over tightened the bolt and slightly damaged the threads or maybe its just worn from constant heavy use? I guess a quick fix would be to get a new axle for the BB but I don't know what size/length I will need, any ideas? Long term goal was to replace the whole BB, XT would be the preferred choice but again I have no idea what I need, any ideas?


Might be a daft question, but have you tried putting threadlock (Loctite blue should do) on the bolt? I doubt the threads would be damaged, in fact if you hung off the spanner the crank taper would probably split before the threads stripped.

Nice looking survivor, by the way!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:20 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:49 pm
Posts: 15
Yeah, I used to do that when I first got the problem and it didn't work, have been considering trying the Red stuff as I only ever used the blue in the past. Its only a real problem if the bike is being ridden for a long distance, have to hop off every now and then and tighten it up.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:10 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:48 pm
Posts: 298
I wish you lot would just go away, I've got a 94 Cinder Cone frame in the garage and I'm resisting the urge to rebuild it. With you lot my resistance is getting lower:(


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:27 am 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:49 pm
Posts: 15
Get it built, you deserve it ;)

I don't know if it is just me but there is something so cool looking about the old Kona's. When I took it out the other day I parked and locked it up at Tesco alongside various bikes of different specs, new and slightly older and despite her age she really did look impressive and kind of mean up against them :)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:52 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:48 pm
Posts: 298
Storm wrote:
Get it built, you deserve it ;)

I don't know if it is just me but there is something so cool looking about the old Kona's. When I took it out the other day I parked and locked it up at Tesco alongside various bikes of different specs, new and slightly older and despite her age she really did look impressive and kind of mean up against them :)


I know what you mean, there's nothing better looking than a steel framed 90's Kona.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:38 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:49 pm
Posts: 15
Ok, with thanks to FluffyChicken for the guidance the crank issue should be fixed, new bottom bracket has been installed, cranks loctited and all seems nice and secure.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:09 pm 
Devout Dirtbag

Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 12:53 pm
Posts: 137
Location: Great Britain
1. The chain goes very slack if I pedal backwards and drags the rear mech right up, is that a chain length issue or maybe something to adjust on the mechs? Changing through is effortless so I assume it could be chain related?

From the top of my head, check that every link in the chain can move freely. If you find any stiff links flush them out with WD 40 and give them a good old waggle by hand to free them up.
Did you remove a link from the chain when you fitted the short cage mech? If not, you may be right about the chain being too long.
Also, check that your jockey wheels are free turning and haven't gotten stiff over time. If they have, take them out, clean and re-lube.
You'll know that certain gear combinations, particularly big chainring with big rear sprocket and wee chainring with wee rear sprocket, or any comination with a significantly less than ideal chain line may not be suited to pedalling backwards.
Great bike, by the way. Best wishes with your restoration and upgrades.


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