Which 2012 frame most closely resembles a late '90's explosif?

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  • Which 2012 frame most closely resembles a late '90's explosif?
  • My favourite mountain bike that I’ve owned was built around a kona explosif frame. It was the bike upon which I felt the most comfortable. It climbed well, handled well, and for 99% of the terrain within a 50 mile radius of home it was close to perfect.

    If I wanted to recreate the feel of the explosif but starting with a brand new frame and building up from there what would you suggest adding to the shortlist?

    Are the recent (2010/2011) explosif frames a true evolution of the earlier skinny steel models or have they been tweaked so much over the years that they are now very distant cousins, with different characteristics?

    joao3v16
    Member

    Frame geometry will be the deciding factor regarding replicating the ride characteristics.

    2004 Explosif geometry here

    2006 Explosif:
    Frame Sizes 14″ 16″ 18″2 19″ 20″
    Head Angle 68.7° 68.7° 69.2° 69.3° 69.3°
    Seat Angle 72.2° 72.2° 72.2° 71.3° 71.3°
    Top Tube 21.4″ 21.9″ 23.2″ 23.7″ 24.3″
    Chainstay 16.7″ 16.7″ 16.7″ 16.7″ 16.7″
    Head Tube 3.5″ 3.5″ 4.3″ 5.1″ 5.9″
    BB Height 12.2″ 12.2″ 12.3″ 12.4″ 12.4″
    Standover 27.7″ 28.9″ 30.3″ 31.2″ 31.6″

    2010 Explosif geometry here

    The Sanderson frames were apparently based arround the old Kona’s, they’re also pretty similar to the original inbred. Rides really well but I’ve got a Swift now so no need for 2 singlespeeds (it’s geared frame, but I’ve run it with a tensioner).

    I’ve an 18″ Life I keep meaning to put some effort into selling if you’d be interested. It’s in good consmetic condition, cable rub etc is just starting to be visible, if you want that ‘new bike’ look then I’ve a contact who can do a really good job of powdercoating it for £50, he did my road bike and it’s almost paint quality.

    £185 delivered/posted

    they’re also pretty similar to the original inbred

    Now this might be a bit contentious but I’ve still got an Inbred and it is the least inspiring bike that I’ve owned. Not sure how the different geometry would have affected the ride but whilst the explosif felt lively the inbred feels inert.

    That Sanderson certainly ‘looks’ right. Cheers for the offer.

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    tinas, just sent you a note to the email in your profile.

    Cheers!

    magowen100
    Member

    I may be wrong but isn’t the Soul based around old Kona’s?

    souldrummer
    Member

    I rememeber an e-mail exchange with Cy before I bought my Soul, and he told me the inspiration for the Soul was his desire to put long(er) forks on his Kona.

    eyerideit
    Member

    Buy an expolsif and get a disc mount welded on it, It’s steel so it’s doable.

    There’s a guy on retrobike who runs his ’94 explosif with 100mm forks.

    I’m toying with putting a disc mount on the back of mine and single speeding it, which is currently hiding in the loft.

    souldrummer
    Member

    I have singlespeeded my Explosif. I have put an old 100mm Fox Foat on the front with a disc brake, and I am running a Magura HS33 hydraulic rim brake on the back. In its present guise, it’s a lot of fun.

    I have heard mixed results with trying to retro fit a disc brake on the rear of old Konas. Some have destroyed the rear end. Certainly when I enquired, I was advised not to – hence hydraulic rim brake which doesn’t seem to put too much stress on the seat stays when used.

    peachos
    Member

    what about a charge duster? always thought they had a bit of ‘old school’ about them. might be wrong though, never ridden one…

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    The Sanderson frames were apparently based arround the old Kona’s

    I rememeber an e-mail exchange with Cy before I bought my Soul, and he told me the inspiration for the Soul was his desire to put long(er) forks on his Kona.

    And pretty much every other steel hardtail avalable these days takes some if not most of its inspiration fron 90s Konas. 🙂

    nicko74
    Member

    Check out the Charge Duster, too; the geometry may not be spot on (although it’s built around a 100mm fork, so perhaps not too far off). In addition, though, it’s made of super-skinny steel, like Konas of old…

    Premier Icon ton
    Subscriber

    that soma is fantastic.
    as a past owner of a bontrager privateer, a ritchey tubed fisher hookoohekoo, and a explosif, i reckon this type of bike is the best and comfiest riding bike ever.

    trickydisco
    Member

    how about the voodoo’s? designed by joe murray. Sure my sobo and djab feel like an old kona

    http://web.archive.org/web/20090304111643/http://www.voodoocycles.net/08_djab.htm

    was
    Member

    Either:

    Buy a 90’s explosif, add a disc mount get it powder coated and build with 80mm floats and lightweight kit. I would try to get as much XTR M950 as possible as new stuff looks too “chunky” to my eyes.

    Or get something custom built with the same geo, unlikely to be as cheap.

    Perhaps you are looking bnack with rose tinted glasses. On a 90’s explosif with 60mm elastomer forks you ain’t gonna keep up with the pack on modern bikes unless you are fitter!

    soma_rich
    Member

    I miss my groove 🙁

    Premier Icon mustard
    Subscriber

    as a past owner of a bontrager privateer, a ritchey tubed fisher hookoohekoo, and a explosif every bike ever made, i reckon this type of bike is the best and comfiest riding bike ever.

    FTFY 😀

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    Perhaps you are looking bnack with rose tinted glasses. On a 90’s explosif with 60mm elastomer forks you ain’t gonna keep up with the pack on modern bikes unless you are fitter!

    Have you ridden a 90s Kona recently? I think not. If anything it will be faster and require less fitness…. They are bloody FLYING MACHINES!
    Light, direct, fast, and they climb like a rocket.
    They really are THAT good. That’s why they have such a following 🙂

    eyerideit
    Member

    souldrummer – Member
    I have singlespeeded my Explosif. I have put an old 100mm Fox Foat on the front with a disc brake, and I am running a Magura HS33 hydraulic rim brake on the back. In its present guise, it’s a lot of fun.

    I have heard mixed results with trying to retro fit a disc brake on the rear of old Konas. Some have destroyed the rear end. Certainly when I enquired, I was advised not to – hence hydraulic rim brake which doesn’t seem to put too much stress on the seat stays when used.

    I’ve thought about a magura brake on the rear, but how are they on a steel frame? Do the seat stays flex or have you got a horseshoe brake booster on it?

    souldrummer
    Member

    I have to say that PP has it right. After I had rebuilt my Explosif I was surprised at just how good it was – in fact a lot better than I remembered. Have not done long rides on it as I used to, but for a quick 1-2 hour blast around the North Downs it’s a lot of fun.

    I used to run it with Marz Z2s but it seems to cope well with 100mm Floats quite well.

    how about the voodoo’s? designed by joe murray.

    I currently have a sobo and it’s very close to how I remember the explosif, and it may well be rose tinted glasses as pointed out above but even the sobo doesn’t feel quite as agile as I remember the explosif being. Could be the differance in frame materials or I am willing to concede that it might be me that’s not quite as agile rather than the bike.

    The sobo has had several years use and has amassed a few dings along the way which is why I am starting to think about what its replacement will be.

    I had a quick look and it looks like the sobo is still available from the U.S. This might be problem solved.

    nicko74
    Member

    Or get something custom built with the same geo, unlikely to be as cheap.

    Ye-es – the other thing is it’s not just the geometry that gives them that Kona feel; I tried doing the same with a custom Ti frame and it never felt as nimble or as fun as my old (alu) Kona.

    I’ve thought about a magura brake on the rear, but how are they on a steel frame? Do the seat stays flex or have you got a horseshoe brake booster on it?

    On a steel frame you’d want a brake booster; even with V’s I found my old steel Specialized flexed when braking.

    Premier Icon speaker2animals
    Subscriber

    Weren’t Explosif’s made from nice True Temper steel while to be honest an Inbred isn’t made from the highest grade of steel out there? I’m not trying to put the Inbred down just pointing out that there are other differences than just geometry. Maybe you are feeling the difference in material? Or is it rose tinted specs time?

    yossarian
    Member

    Agree with PP. I’ve yet to find a sweeter handling bike than my 99 explosif. Had a soul that was almost there, but not quite.

    I reckon the chromag sakura might be worth a look.

    eyerideit
    Member

    Mine’s (94 explosif) made from Tange Prestige

    ac282
    Member

    My dad fitted 100 mm forks to his ’95 Kilauea. I think it was better with rigids or 60 mm Judys. You can’t expect a 90’s kona to take a 100 fork and retain the same feel.

    trickydisco
    Member

    I currently have a sobo and it’s very close to how I remember the explosif, and it may well be rose tinted glasses as pointed out above but even the sobo doesn’t feel quite as agile as I remember the explosif being. Could be the differance in frame materials or I am willing to concede that it might be me that’s not quite as agile rather than the bike.

    The sobo has had several years use and has amassed a few dings along the way which is why I am starting to think about what its replacement will be.

    I have a massive dent on mine which is why i’d never sell it. I’ve also got a djab. I borrowed my mates rigid explosif and rode it around ashton court.

    I rang him straight after and asked if he wanted to sell it. He’s also got a 90’s kona hei hei which is equally amazing

    eyerideit
    Member

    90’s kona hei hei

    😯 😯 😯 WANT: a real thing of beauty

    souldrummer
    Member

    I have a horseshoe brake booster on the HS33. My Explosif frame is 853, but I suspect that the rear stays might be more conventional tubes. Even with the booster the stays flex a small amount under heavy braking, but the brake has been on there for years with no adverse effects.

    ontor
    Member

    Have you ridden a 90s Kona recently? I think not. If anything it will be faster and require less fitness…. They are bloody FLYING MACHINES!
    Light, direct, fast, and they climb like a rocket.
    They really are THAT good. That’s why they have such a following

    I second this. Was out on my explosif earlier & it’s a rocketship.

    If I had the money I’d have a hei hei with a disc brake mount and some Ti p2’s with a disc mount welded on.

    Premier Icon ton
    Subscriber

    mustard…………cheers 😆

    Premier Icon ssboggy
    Subscriber

    My 97 explosif is Columbus Nivacrom Max OR, it only weighs 4lb. I had a disc mount welded on by Mercian in Derby about 10 years ago. I need to drop the travel on my SIDs to 80mm and put them on it.
    Its the only bike i’ll never sell

    eyerideit
    Member

    souldrummer, is yours a 98 blue with red decals?

    richc
    Member

    My 98 Kona explosif got knicked, they took that rather than my Iron horse which was odd.

    My 98 Kona explosif got knicked, they took that rather than my Iron horse which was odd.

    A thief with class

    iDave
    Member

    I used to race Explosifs for a few years in the early 90’s. I’ve owned a Soul and now a Duster and I’d say they both have the same ‘thing’ going on but with more travel up front. I don’t think you’d be disappointed with either.

    souldrummer
    Member

    eyerideit – Mine’s 99 – grey with black/red decals.

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