Kona Explosif 2003 out and about

bikeworkshop

Retro Guru
This came with one of those horrible kona oe loose ball aheadsets and mechanical discs and a few other poor quality oe bits, but otherwise nice and usable. Screenshot_20240223-132448_eBay.jpg
I made up a hope headset from tatty parts in the headset spares drawer, and some shimano br-mt200s (these are such value - especially compared to what you could buy in 2004) hydros off a colleague's surly.
There was an ugly but appropriate race face isis chainset in the box (the square taper shimano item on the bike is more valuable to the shop - I mean who buys replacement isis when their isis chainset has just fallen off a new £40 bb?)
Then out for a ride...😍 20240223_122435.jpg
It's interesting that it was covered with disappointingly cheap kona specific parts (bar, saddle, headset, post, seat clamp, stem, pedals) and then midrange (4s&deores) shimano, the gearing, hubs, calipers - apart from the rear xt mech, the showpiece.
20240223_122831.jpg
Of course before this model explosif they'd gone aluminium🤯, and after, the geometry moved towards the more modern long travel short stem wide bar style - so I consider this model the peak of usable steel konadom (the earlier matt paint 95 ones look the best tho imo) - although there's another adjacent year without these silly sliding dropouts😢
 
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Yea indeedy its 2004 my, offered as frame only?
Possibly purchased late 2003 by p.o. but in the 2004 catalogue clear as day.
2003 looks like similar paint and decals, but the (tidier) vertical drops.
 
Original kona parts when bought:
Bar
Stem
Post
Clamp
Saddle
Pedals
Headset

All horrible.
I know there's kudos in originality, but these parts are all lower in quality to items we sell new in 2024 for £20 - functional and inexpensive. Clamp a fiver.

Given I've found an Easton stem for it, I should dig around in the
bikeworkshop vintage parts mine
for ea50 stem and post.

I don't think I'll buy aliexpress/amazon/ebay fakes😉
 
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Yep, in this era for Kona, steel and the Explosif were mere side-shows and the spec echoed that.

That all said, the core, the frame, even if it's not a fancy custom tube-set, is a dependable, solid, fun basis of a bike.
 
I think the sliding dropouts indicate it was primarily for custom build, so you could have a geared hub or ss if you wanted, with quite a shallow head angle to allow shortish rigid forks.
The kona branded components this came with were exactly what you'd get on a hahannah. Usable yes, but you'd struggle to find lower quality parts in a bike shop, maybe even Halfords!
 
I think the sliding dropouts indicate it was primarily for custom build, so you could have a geared hub or ss if you wanted, with quite a shallow head angle to allow shortish rigid forks.
The kona branded components this came with were exactly what you'd get on a hahannah. Usable yes, but you'd struggle to find lower quality parts in a bike shop, maybe even Halfords!
I'm assuming you know that at this point, Kona's were sold in Halfords...
 
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