Kona come home - 1990 CinderCone Campag Rebuild


Dirt Disciple
I bought my Kona CinderCone in 1990/91 from Libra Cycles in Stockport, I think it was £500, sounds a lot back in 1990. I think it was a purchase on the back of selling a car and softened by also buying an eternity ring for my wife.

It was white with blue/red splatter paint and Suntour XCD components.

I did a few MTB races and some trails in the Peak District but was still a roadie in the main through the 90’s and to date. Mountain biking was too slow and didn't clock up the miles that you got on the road. Too much time for not enough miles.......

Sometime I swapped out the thumb shifters to Gripshift and probably in the 2000’s I changed the bars too drops and Campag ergo shifters which didn't work well with v brakes....but an example of an early gravel bike with skinny tyres also fitted.

Later it became a single speed with a locked out rear mech and 1 x chainset as pictured above.

My brother had it for a few years with very little use through the 2010’s then I retrieved it about 18 months back.

Through last summer lockdown it nearly got binned altogether having lost/binned/given away all the components…..but I held onto the frame/forks/stem and bars for posterity if nothing else. By now the frame was is a poor state, very rusty around the BB area. The BB was seized and the lh crank had to be cut off as the internal thread was stripped.

Into the ‘winter 20’ lockdown and I found a renewed interest in doing something with the frame, maybe rebuild it back to original or similar.........

So, I found a local blasting/painting firm who repainted the frame to a bare white and the stem/bars to black for a whole £60.

I got hold of set of decals from Retrodecals (excellent) and so the rebuild starts……..

I’ve always used Campag road kit once I learnt a bit about road riding, so an option was to go for Campag MTB items.

Started looking on eBay, found some bullet shifters and brake levers, a graphite chainset, some nice cantilevers, a Kalloy stem (as original build) which polished up well, both mechs and a pair of Hope hubbed wheels (need a Campag free hub!)

So far just done the decals and polished a seat post and dabbled with splatter painting on an old plastic pipe - planning on making it red and green inplace of red and blue.......so to match the Italian flag colours.


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Retrobike Rider
BoTM Triple Crown
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Rocky Mountain Fan
Brodie Fan
Great that you've had it since new and have held on to it. I'm looking forward to seeing more of this.

mk one

Old School GrandMaster
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Kona Fan
:cool: nice, liking the plain white. Their are a few threads on here about splatting Kona frames for reference if you need it. The choice of red and green sounds interesting too.

Looking forward to updates and more pictures :)


Dirt Disciple
Umm.......not sure about leaving all white, will look at the spatter techniques

Some parts, so far.......all very heavy, esp the rear mech! The cage side plates are so thick, some drillium needed:LOL:

The chainset is the graphite version, but needs fettling, may strip and polish, as I've done with an old Record chainset, which had 5 years on the turbo and had become very pitted - a good few hours with some files, a wet/dry paper and a buffing wheel, looks good now. Just need the decals.
The front mech is a campag 28.5 band-on, may need a bit of work to get it to fit the Kona down tube which is a touch bigger, maybe the paint?


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Retro Guru
I always wondered how those Campy gripshifters work. I remember seeing them in the early 90's on Kleins. They are definitely the coolest looking gripshifters, being they are not a halfgrip. Do they ever shift by accident?


Dirt Disciple
I always wondered how those Campy gripshifters work. I remember seeing them in the early 90's on Kleins. They are definitely the coolest looking gripshifters, being they are not a halfgrip. Do they ever shift by accident?
I have yet to find out how they shift in use. Hard enough getting them off the original bars.
Remove rubber grip, then long allen key into the end and try and undo the expander bolt, one can off, one snapped the ball end of the allan key (only 4 mm). then undo the more obvious clamp bolts

Took one apart to see how it worked - fiddly to get back together, springs and positions to figure out😬

Dr Dremel

Fat Chance Fan
I always wondered how those Campy gripshifters work. I remember seeing them in the early 90's on Kleins. They are definitely the coolest looking gripshifters, being they are not a halfgrip. Do they ever shift by accident?
Yep, you pull to much- it shifts. Bunnyhops only possible if you intentionally shifted to the end stops. Later ones had a wing nut where you could dial in the friction, but imho they were still just suitable for "touring". BITD I "upgraded" from XT 730 to Centaur/Bullitts. Took all of 5 mins to figure out that I should have bought XT 732/Hyperglide😖. Much later (2005?) I bought some Campy thumb shifters, still bad performance. Campy outer cables just fold like an accordion and for even marginally precise shifts you need the OEM (and now very rare and $$$) Rohloff chain. But oh so beautiful ...


Dirt Disciple
So, had a go with the splatter paint, using some Tamiya model making acrylics, but first I knocked together a dummy frame using sold old plastic waste pipe and a glue gun, roughly cut mitre and lots of glue, but it's quite sturdy :)
Then just had a go with couple of brushes, got more paint on the backing sheet than the frame and go too close with the brush. Initial green was too thin and ran a bit, so just went with paint straight from the pot, no thinners.

Reasonably happy with test piece........ only get one shot and the real thing.....maybe tomorrow 😧

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