• This topic has 80 replies, 67 voices, and was last updated 3 months ago by Kuco.
Viewing 40 posts - 41 through 80 (of 81 total)
  • Concern for Kona as staff take down stand at Sea Otter
  • breadcrumb
    Full Member

    I have an oldish Kula frame in the rafters and a 2014 Unit, that may get a set of drops whacked on it at some point.

    I used to lust over them in the early nineties. Back when Marins were a bit more special too.

    BearBack
    Free Member

    Weird history.

    Whistler bike park rental fleet for close to a decade. You could buy an ex rental bike for pennies on the dollar so they flooded their own market.

    R&d became “Kona launches new paint color “

    They had a bit of a revival in 2016-2018 with the process and carbon bikes then went stale again.

    Then, last year they were doing direct sale 2 for 1 bikes.

    Never a good sign when your selling product at 50% off..always hard to sell back at rrp after a deal like that

    Mounty_73
    Full Member

    Very sad news. My first proper MTB was a 1994 Lavadome, followed by a Caldera and a Coiler as my first full suss.

    timbur
    Free Member

    They were a “lust” bike in the 90’s but always the bridesmaid after that for me. IMHO they always traded on their name too much. Spec was always a group set down compared with the competition and then they tied up with Halfrauds :o( The Colin McRae was a bit of a low point.

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    oldfart
    Full Member

    IMG_20240419_075820359_HDR

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    oldfart
    Full Member

    IMG_20240419_075800157_HDR

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    oldfart
    Full Member

    Glory days 😎1st proper MTB was a ’97 Caldera , always lusted after a King Kahuna or Hei Hei , in 2012 when they did a 250 worldwide frame launch of the Ti Raijin I remember asking Kona if they would make it in a 26″ , early days of 29″ . Bought one of those frames and it’s still going strong best I hang on to it and the ’97 stars n bars Aha , that paintjob is gorgeous 🔥

    When Dan and Jake stood down it felt like the bean counting Mike Ashley types were circling the wagons and picking at a corpse . I really hope along with others than someone with integrity and ethos can save them .

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    DickBarton
    Full Member

    Doesn’t Utah have some very suspect business practices?
    They’re not all saints.
    deserves more credit ! 🙂

    “They’re not all saints.”
    Don’t worry about Kona – I just know that something good is gonna happen.

    You wanted the best, you got the best…

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    steamtb
    Full Member

    Regardless of anything else, my daughters Kona Process 24 was the central part of many glorious family days for us; lots of miles and smiles, so thank you Kona. We would have got the next size Process up but they couldn’t be had for love nor money.

    IMG_8998

    hot_fiat
    Full Member

    First bike with proper Boing! was a  ’97 Manomano. That was such a lovely thing to ride. Replaced that with a Stinky in 2002. With some judicious component upgrades that went to 160mm front and back and lasted me well over 10 years, seeing out several trips to the alps.

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    5lab
    Full Member

    Then, last year they were doing direct sale 2 for 1 bikes.

    Never a good sign when your selling product at 50% off..always hard to sell back at rrp after a deal like that

    that hit the headlines, but some of last years bikes have been half price for as long as I can remember (with the exception of covid years). Taking a quick look at leisure lakes, they have bikes from Whyte, specialized, transition, trek and orbea all on >40% off. A quick look at treds has lappirre, specialized, giant, orbea, mondraker and konas.

    nickc
    Full Member

    Didn’t everyone feel this was inevitable?

    Yes. Kona and GT seem to have been stagnant for years now. Both a shadow of their former selves, in both innovation and ‘lust-a-bility’ from an ownership perspective.

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    hot_fiat
    Full Member

    Yep that’s more than shop margin, that’ll be agreed with the distributor.


    @nickc
    check out the map of Kona dealers – there were more back in 1992 when Lister and I went searching for a Cinderconekona

    slackboy
    Full Member

    Everyone saying how sad, but when was the last time you considered buying a Kona and how many of you own one?

    I just bought a Kona. Unfortunately its 30 years old and cost £50.

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    jimthesaint
    Full Member

    It’s not sad to see the brand go as it won’t go. It’s sad for the employees but the brand IP is too strong to just disappear.

    It was sad for the brand when Kona started making cheap’ish bikes specifically for Halfords. Kona also let Halfords have access to the entire range without having to stock any, I think this all happened in 2000/01. Needless to say UK IBD’s dropped Kona when customers were coming into stores to try out a Kona and then purchasing it from the local Halfords who would get them one in and charge them less. Fast forward just a few years to 2003/04 and Halfords are displaying and purchasing next to no bikes from Kona as on the performance end Halfords are targeting road bike sales, and IBD’s won’t touch them. The same happened to GT.

    jimmy
    Full Member

    One of my biggest regrets was not buying a Kona as my first “proper” MTB back in 1993. Instead, I was wooed by the gunmetal colour of a Shogun (a f***ing SHOGUN!!) and regretted it instantly. I think it was because I could only afford the lowest spec Kona (Hahana?) and wanted the next one up (Cinder Cone?) so cut my nose off to spite my face.

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    ayjaydoubleyou
    Full Member

    As always, feel for anyone involved in a tough time. Employees, dealers, someone who’s just ordered one and now isnt sure if its going to show up….

    But its an odd thing to hope to trade on your name. Did they make very good (“something special”) bikes in the 90’s, apparently so.

    But those bikes have nothing to do with the current offerings. Thinking a 2023 process will be, or should be, good just because a 1993 cinder cone was is bizzare thinking.

    Their mtb offerings appear to be in a bit of a purgatory. Can’t compete (due to choosing not to, not because of any engineering or manufacturing limitations) with the highest quality offerings in either Carbon or Alloy. Can’t compete on price, at least not in europe, with the direct sales brands or the mega brands.

    What is their target market now that all bikes work well? “Perfectly adequate and functional but not good value at RRP” isn’t the greatest tag line.

    jamj1974
    Full Member

    Still have a Kona – still love them.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    Yea, they’ve definitely been very cyclical as a brand.

    90’s steel hardtail era

    2000’s lots of fairly rubbish FS bikes and the spec was always really poor value with lots of Marzocchi MZ forks and still fitting 8speed Alivio to supposedly mid range bikes.  Barrell raced DH for them, but was riding a bitsa-Kona, A supreme with a slackset and the linkages reversed? But then again he was talented enough to probably win the World Champs on a Unicycle. That success seemed to spawn some new models (Operator? There was a race one and a privateer/park bike versions IIRC that was popular).

    The Process, but wasn’t than a catalogue frame? Must have made them some money though as it seemed to spawn a whole range,

    To me they always seemed like a huge company run by passionate cyclists, but not necessarily the engineering/design/business skills to back it up.

    hot_fiat
    Full Member

    Eww, looks like the parent company also now own Arbor snowboards (I’m sure they used to be an employee owned collective). Was hoping to replace my Element later this year with another of their French polished coffee tables.

    adds
    Full Member

    I too hope they survive but the industy appears to be a very difficult place. There is just so many bike’s companies have in their range im suprised some don’t just focus on what they do well.  I’ve always thoguh my next bike (FS) could be a Kona but possibly not.

    My first proper MTB was a Caldera, still have the frame and half the original parts on it hanging on the garage wall. BB shell wore out a bit as the BB & crank came loose on a ride without me realising. I loved the back did alsorts on it, its still rideable ish, LBS put a saint DH BB in due to the BB shell issue and once that goes i think the frame is toast, it also has years of frame wear but i still love that cream paint job.

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    wheelsonfire1
    Full Member

    I’ve just bought a Kona Wo, reasonable specifications and a fantastic orange sparkly finish, I love it so far!

    ajt123
    Free Member

    Seems to be a lot of storied mid-sized brands that have gone to the wall over the years – GT, Cannondale, Gary Fisher.

    I wonder if there is space between small, nimble brands with a regional following and your Giants, Treks, Specializeds, Canyons.

    Norco are still killing it and Marin has made a partial recovery. I’d worry a bit about Whyte, but they’ve made some shrewd decisions about culling the range, so expect they’ll do well.

    My Kona Rove is a good road bike, but they haven’t done anything innovative since the early Honzo and Process bikes- which must be 10 years at least.

     

     

    kimbers
    Full Member

    The Process, but wasn’t than a catalogue frame? Must have made them some money though as it seemed to spawn a whole range,

    G2 was developed in house, but after Chris Mandel left- he designed the G1 process  (actually there was an earlier process that was a variation on their Dawg bikes)

    There’s a G3 process due this year but that was designed before the Kent buyout, it’s not much different to the G2.

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    TheGingerOne
    Full Member

    Still have my Joe Murray autographed poster from the Bike Show at Alexandra Palace circa 1991. Always wanted a 90’s Kona hardtail, but never did ☹️

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    misteralz
    Free Member

    I’ve had three bikes stolen in my lifetime, but the one that hurt the most was my 2013 (or ’14?) Explosif. It was Kona’s own demo model that I tried at one of Cyclehighlands’s legendary demo days and I just instantly gelled with it. I pretty much begged the boy to sell me it but he was having none of it. I spoke to Rich and said pretty much the same. I want that – order me one in please. About a week later he phoned me saying Kona didn’t have any more stock, but did I want the demo one for (IIRC) a good bit less? Yes. Yes I did. I racked up somewhere around 10,000km on that bike – all the local trails, the willows, heartbreak ridge, Tarland, and it hung off the back of my car when we moved to NL and got ridden around everywhere here as well. I chained it up one evening in the secure parking at Alkmaar Station when I was away to Amsterdam for a meal out, and when I got back it was gone. I was heartbroken and I still am.

    I built up a 2016 Explosif from scratch over the course of a year afterwards, and although it feels similar, it’s not the same. So yes, I’ll miss Kona.

    pondo
    Full Member

    “Everyone saying how sad, but when was the last time you considered buying a Kona and how many of you own one?”

    Bought one (e-bike commuter) last summer, I have two. :(

    dirtyboy
    Full Member

    Who are you? I just know something good is gonna happen.

    stcolin
    Free Member

    Hopefully they don’t disappear. I lusted after a Fire Mountain when I was a kid and I think I still have a 90’s Kona catalogue somewhere back at my parents house. Their original Process was quite progressive when it was launched, but they seemed to just fall away from the scene, at least here in the UK at least.

    ampthill
    Full Member

    I’ve never been tempted by a FS Kona

    But the Unit x and sutra are a nod to their heritage and are tempting.

    darksideby182
    Full Member

    Is this potential news down to Kona being the April singletrack world calender sponsor.

    Kip
    Full Member

    Mr Kip had an early 90’s Joe Murray Lava Dome but sold it for £100 quite a few years back. He instantly regretted it!


    @matt_outandabout
    , lovely colour frame but surely that head tube deserves some invisframe?

    rickon
    Free Member

    Scroll down to the comments, there’s a comment from a Kona employee. It looks BAD. https://bikerumor.com/what-happened-to-kona-bikes-sea-otter/

    irc
    Full Member

    Still using my Kula.

    IMG_20240416_144950

    t0mislav
    Full Member

    Anyway it’s all over, Kent Outdoor is selling Kona. You know the other site to check.

    kerley
    Free Member

    Everyone saying how sad, but when was the last time you considered buying a Kona and how many of you own one?

    I have owned two in my life. 1990 Cinder Cone and a 2011 Major One (Scandium framed signal speed CX bike) both of which I loved.

    That is irrelevant though.  It is sad to see them go because they are a part of MTB history.  Not crying sad but sad nonetheless.

    beagle
    Free Member

    Glad I got my hands on an ESD frame when I did.

    Sad times.

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    Mark
    Full Member

    I have an update on this story which includes some interesting developments. I’m currently at a skate park in Warrington but will get it published in a couple of hours.

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    cynic-al
    Free Member

    Weren’t Kona (/Murray) responsible for mainstream acceptance of sloping top tubes on their original release (89?)

Viewing 40 posts - 41 through 80 (of 81 total)

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