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 Post subject: Kona King Kahuna 97
PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 10:32 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:47 pm
Posts: 625
Location: Newbury, Berkshire
Kona King Kahuna 19” 1997
Serial number K19088.

Apologies for poor quality picture – built from components that I have available, so not necessarily finished but a dream to ride.
Frame found on MTBR in California.

Forks: Pace RC38 Airforce II
Headset: Chris King Red
Crank: Race Face Turbine LP 175mm Square Taper 5 Bolt Silver
Chain Rings: Race Face 46, 34, 24 ATB 110/74mm
Bottom Bracket: Synchros Titanium Double Row 107mm x 68/73mm Taperlock
Pedals: T.A. Track
Brakes: XTR V-Brake M-960
Front Mech: Shimano XTR Top Swing Dual Pull M-960
Rear Mech: Shimano XTR RD-M952 Silver! c/w Tacx Jockey Wheels 10 tooth.
Cassette: Shimano XTR Ti 8 Speed CS–M950
Chain: SRAM PC 68
Brake Lever / Shifter Combo: Shimano XTR 8-Speed ST-M950.
Brake & Gear Cables: Gore Ride On Low friction – Titanium
Bars: X-lite XC-2 Riser 35mm
Grips: Kona Mooseknuckle
Stem: Race Face Deus XC 100mm 6deg
Seatpost: Titec 27.0mm x 350mm 12mm layback
Seatpost Clamp: Hope Q/R 31.8mm Red
Saddle: Specialized BG Avatar 143
Bottle Cages: Blackburn Chicane CS-2 Cage Stainless Steel
Wheels: Rear - Mavic 517 Red on Hope Ti Glide c/w DT Revolution 2/1.7mm
Front - Mavic 517 Red on Hope Suspension Ti c/w DT Revolution 2/1.7mm
(Built Nov 2000)
Tyres: Panaracer Trailblaster Blue 26x2.1


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King Kahuna 97RB.jpg
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 Post subject: Kona KK
PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 3:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:09 pm
Posts: 239
Location: London
V nice.... have to ask, what is the story behind that rear mech? Did you strip off the hard anno?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 4:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:47 pm
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Location: Newbury, Berkshire
No stripping involved. I was somewhat surprised to see the XTR RD-M952 in Silver listed on e-bay back in the summer – so I went bidding.

I got the ’97 Shimano catalogue at the time when it became available, and I remember thinking back then how lush the new Dark Pewter XTR range looked. The Rear Mech in that catalogue is listed as RD-M950 so I’m not sure what year the 952 came out.

Once again apologies for the shockingly bad quality picture, but it does show the XTR logo to some extent.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 7:46 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:22 pm
Posts: 7305
Location: Hove
Hmmm, that's two classic 97 Konas with Pace forks in the last few days. We have to give Chris the macho prize for utter blackness, but you pick up some linking the blue points for the Airforce.

Both look quite happy with the length of the fork, decent bb drop, head angle looks ok. Maybe Pace is the fork for 97 Konas then, as long as you don't press the 90mm button.

Very nice build, multi-coloured but not quite too much. My only problem is that I can't look at the saddle angle without feeling a little queasy, but I realise that's just a personal thing.

Riding impressions please. How it compares to other bikes, uphill, downhill, round corners.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 10:58 pm
Posts: 504
Location: the mild mild west
is your saddle angle determined by the titec post?

I have a titec post on my 96 hei hei and with the front adjustment 'nob' bolted all the way down my saddle is just a little nose up.

I wonder if modern rails have a slightly slacker angle than older saddle rails?

;]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:26 pm 
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Posts: 625
Location: Newbury, Berkshire
Thank you Anthony for your comments – and yes Chris’ Explosive is indeed a fine looking machine.

Ah now well yes, that saddle angle – for years I have always had grief with my bony arse rolling forwards off a saddle. I do indeed angle a saddle to prevent this happening, and some saddles stick up at the front further than others. You’ll notice that the Specialized BG Avatar has a fairly flat section where my little butt is perched, but the front section then points up at a bit of a jaunty angle. With each saddle that I try, I initially set it up flatter. Then as I keep slipping forward during a ride I slowly tip it up until I stay in place. That’s the best explanation that I can offer – but you’re not alone with that very same observation and queasy feeling!

I don’t ever recall completing a bike where I have immediately felt so at home and in harmony with it. It took me a long time to sort out my M2 Stumpjumper that I bought from Carl Davis. I love riding that bike now, but the King Kahuna seems to instantly suit me better.

It climbs like a mountain goat – I always do a particular uphill route on each finished bike I have built to compare how they differ. At 51 years old now, I don’t have the same confidence (courage) to fly down any hill in the same manner that I used to, so it’s a little tricky to compare by putting the bike through anything too hectic. My next trip to the Malvern Hills will be over the Christmas period - I know those hills so well that I will be able to get a better idea then.

On the trail it feels really very well balanced and I can corner with confidence. I have owned the Pace forks from new, so I know what they are capable of. I really need some hot dry weather to get on some hard pack – that is where I really shine. I haven’t yet had a chance to ride the King Kahuna and then immediately jump on the Kula Primo, which up until now has probably been my favourite machine to date. I seem to prefer the shorter 60ish mm travel of the Pace compared to my 80mm SID’s on most of my other bikes; and definitely compared to an ample 100mm on my Kinesis Maxlight. I could go into a lot of detail why that may be, but perhaps that would be better in a pvt.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:02 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 1:12 am
Posts: 2461
Location: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
The powder blue decals look nice, I've only ever seen them on the standard Hei Hei. Are they original or copies?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:04 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 1:12 am
Posts: 2461
Location: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
I also note that from the serial number and the cable routing that yours is one of the latter 97 frames.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:40 am 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:22 pm
Posts: 7305
Location: Hove
andrewl wrote:
The powder blue decals look nice, I've only ever seen them on the standard Hei Hei. Are they original or copies?

Andrew, this is the second 97 KK I've seen with blue decals, and the other had down tube rear mech routing. That compares to four with yellow decals, of which yours is the only one with TT routing.

Whether the blue decal was an option, or a mid-year change I couldn't tell you, but considering the variety of the examples I guess option seems more likely.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 7:38 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:47 pm
Posts: 625
Location: Newbury, Berkshire
As far as I'm aware, I'm the 3rd owner of this frame and I would say from the condition that the decals are original. When I received the frame, I sent the details to Kona Tech. This was their reply.
"Tech [tech@konaworld.com]
1997 for sure. All the published pictures show yellow decals but we had a colour option so you could also get blue ones.
Happy Trails!"

I also had a scroll through the MTBR King Kahuna owners page and saw this.
"Early 97 Hei Hei's and King Kahuna's have the rear deraileur only routing on the down tube and late 97 onwards have all cable routing on the top tube."


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