Kona A'ha 1997 - new BB sorted

al-onestare

Kona Fan
Re:

Future changes will include a different saddle and SPD pedals and longer term a conventional bottom bracket conversion.

Ta-da!

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A-ha!

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A'HA!

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Massive thanks to Pip and a dude called Carlo on FB who provided excellent advice on the right adapter and BB spindle length recommendations (TruVativ and 113mm respectively).

I spent Saturday morning removing the old BB which was quite a task. Long story short, I ended up using a headset remover tool with a hammer and it popped the OG sleeve and bearings out (they were shot as expected). Fitting the adapter was a doddle, especially the second part since the 3 long bolts mean you get perfect alignment and a really tight, sturdy fit.

I'm glad I kept hold of a spare pair of RaceFace cranks as these look the part and perform really well. Although the crank clearance meant the original chain-ring has to sit the other side of the spider arms, it's meant the chain-line is spot on. Long term I'd like to swap that out but for now it's all good.

Today was the first day I could ride her "hard" without anything falling off :LOL: After riding the fleet the past few weeks with, bar the catalogue Explosif, weighty front-ends, it was notable how light it was up front. Really easy to lift the front, especially with the slightly higher and shorter stem. The tyres are great at rolling speeds but sketchy in the corners so you need to keep your wits. Peddling up isn't as hard as you'd think but don't get me wrong, there were plenty of Voeckler faces this morning on the steeper stuff, and anything over 12% is a non-starter unless you have a healthy run-up and it's not long!

In other words, she was super-fun to ride - a completely different experience and one I really recommend to everyone. Since the weather is due to turn over the next few days, I'll be using her more for urban rides on paved tracks. Anyway - smiles for miles :mrgreen:
 

Mortonm

Kona Fan
Re: Kona A'ha 1997 - Kona Cog feature

Glad to see it coming around!

it looks like it would be a great bike for urban stuff and some gravel and lighter dirt paths.

The profile of that frame is great
 

al-onestare

Kona Fan
Re:

Headed back to the Thames path yesterday and found that most of the silly diversions have disappeared, resulting in big smiles as I "cruised" along in the blustery but warm conditions. I've only ever gotten as far as just after Erith (popped to Woolwich before heading up and over Shooters Hill) so next time I've made a pledge to keep going and see how far it goes, presumably to the Queen Elizabeth bridge.

Anyway, the BB is fine. The chain-ring/crank config is not. Whilst it's fine, it's not a long term solution as I found when one of the chain-ring bolts did a runner and 3 came loose; the stresses are on the wrong side.

In the meantime, she'll be the choice of bike this week :cool:

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mk one

Old School GrandMaster
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:cool: Some great pics of London in this thread, an of the bike of course :LOL: Miss going down there, havent been for many years. When i lived in Essex i used to go down every weekend, used to stop at a friends in Charlton so know the area really well. Spent many a day sat on the observatory hill and walking round the museum. Looks to have changed a bit down my the river though.

Anyway, curious to know what was fitted in the bb, was it cups for the bearings like bmx? quite like that design. And the chainring should be fine, not sure why its coming loose :?
 

al-onestare

Kona Fan
mk one":2t9upvmw said:
:cool: Some great pics of London in this thread, an of the bike of course :LOL: Miss going down there, havent been for many years. When i lived in Essex i used to go down every weekend, used to stop at a friends in Charlton so know the area really well. Spent many a day sat on the observatory hill and walking round the museum. Looks to have changed a bit down my the river though.

Anyway, curious to know what was fitted in the bb, was it cups for the bearings like bmx? quite like that design. And the chainring should be fine, not sure why its coming loose :?

It's London, so it's always changing ;) But even the sheer number of developments as you head out east is pretty crazy.

Previously, yes it was a BMX BB, nothing fancy about it. I'm running a modern DXR hub so the spacing is a bit different to the antiquated hub that would have been on it originally (which I never had). So the alignment is a bit different and with the offset or using the original ring, it's putting stress in the wrong places.

I've just ordered 2 five bolt 40T RaceFace rings to try out and see if I can fix the issue without having to use different cranks. More tinkering to come...
 

al-onestare

Kona Fan
Alrighty. After a few more trails and errors, I've finally landed on a crank/chain-ring solution. I've put over 100 miles on it since this change with no issues at all. The solution? Shimano XT M737 cranks, 42T chain-ring and brand new super slim chain-bolts. The alignment is spot on and I think the slimmer cranks look much smarter.

As mentioned previously, she's a transformed ride. It's a mini-fat-single-speed-gravel bike. You can take it "anywhere" and you'll have fun wherever you go. The 42T front ring means you can get some decent speed although anything over 10% gradient is a real challenge!

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The only thing I'd change now are the grips. They were fine for cruising but we're not doing that so much now ;)

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