1998 Kona Explosif...


Kona Fan
Really cool build. Love the Kona colour and decals from this period. Very nicely done mate 👍

thank you for the kind words, it is a lovely colour for sure.

Small update on this to come as a later generation set of crossmax's have been sourced to liberate the gen 1's for my Hei Hei.


Kona Fan
About time I got round to putting up a thread on this, I have had the frame sat around for a while and had been slowly gathering the parts to build it but never fully got going with the project until late last year, subsequently I finished the build a few months back.

Growing up I had always lusted after an Explosif and its this model that ignited my love of Kona's. I picked the frame up on ebay last year and was pleasantly surprised with its condition.. Original factory paint, original decals and only minor chips & scuffs consistent with its age. First job was to clean the frame, polish & give it a couple of coats of Dodo Juice supernatural wax making it easy to clean whilst protecting the paint. I had originally sourced an OEM Z2 Atom Bomb fork and Syncros stem but quickly decided on going the Project two route and imo the Syncros stem is just too chunky for this frame so I sourced a cnc stem on ebay, its a lovely bit of kit but I have no idea of the brand so if anyone recognises it please let me know.

View attachment 551023

This was always going to built up with a 1x drivetrain, I like the simplicity of a setup like this and a bonus being its cheaper as less parts to source & its Lighter! I liberated a chainring from a sram Force 1x chainset and filed it down slightly so I wouldn't have to run the chainring inboard on the RS3 chainset, I think it suits the overall build well and doesn't look out of place with the theme being OEM+..

View attachment 551021

When it came to building the bike I had forgotten the mech sourced had an SS cage so instead of purchasing another or trying to find a gs cage I fitted an A2Z extension hanger to allow use of an 11-34t cassette. The extension hanger is subtle and does the job perfectly, I also switched out the original heavy xt lockring for a modern lightweight Ultegra r8000 alloy unit.

that's enough waffle for now, here's the full spec list and various images during the build/parts acquisition:

Frame: 1998 Kona Explosif
Fork: 1996 TB Project Two

Headset: FSA Orbit MX
Stem: Unknown Brand, CNC Machined
Stem Cap: FSA
Handlebar: X-Lite Titanium
Grips: DMR Deathgrip

Brakes: XTR BR-M951
Brake Pads: Ceramic
Brake Cables: Shimano
Brake Levers: XTR BL-M950

Shifter: XTR SL-M952
Rear Derailleur: XTR RD-M952 SS
Derailleur Cables: Shimano
Cassette: XT M760 11-34T, Ultegra R8000 Lockring
Chain: KMC X9-SL
Cranks: Middleburn RS3
Crank Bolts: FSA
Chainring bolts: Sram Force CX1
Chainring: Sram Force CX1 44T (customised to fit rs3)
Bottom Bracket: Genetic Karyotype
Pedals: BBB ClassicRide (reflectors removed)

Hub Skewers: A2Z Ti/Carbon
Rims: Mavic Crossmax Gen 1
Hubs: Mavic Crossmax Gen 1
Spokes: Mavic
Tyres: Michelin Taiga
Tubes: Hutchinson

Saddle: Setlaz Kevlar
Seatpost: Syncros
Seatpost Binder: Kona

View attachment 551026
Interesting, I prefer that first build. It looks absolutely ready to shred 👌


Kona Fan
Interesting, I prefer that first build. It looks absolutely ready to shred 👌

i still have the fork & stem tucked away for a rainy day but the syncros stem aesthetically just didn't work for me.

i have since bought a later generation set of crossmax's but haven't got round to fitting them yet!