Kona 1988-1997 – WTF Happened Then?

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  • Kona 1988-1997 – WTF Happened Then?
  • Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    Search me. And I’m with you on the exact year range of coolness, too.

    Kevevs
    Member
    Kevevs
    Member

    I have been modified because I swore that a certain thing good. or some stupid pisstaking rubbish. Get a grip on the freedom of speech equality thing.

    unmodifid then. what’s that about?

    hello modifier! speak to me. I’m not dumb. tell ne how not to speak on a forum?!

    Premier Icon mazdarati
    Subscriber

    Progress, maybe.

    So how, or why were they left behind?

    Kevevs
    Member

    I think it is because I might have used a swear word or said something derogatory. Not to a person I might add. Mostly cos I have an opinion which isn’t useful to making cash. fair enough.

    thanks for making me look stupid btw.

    Premier Icon mazdarati
    Subscriber

    Ok,so was out of biking since in or around 1998 (distracted by college, beer, boobies etc.), born again ten years later. Gotten my head around all the advances, the dead ends, big wheels, small wheels, neon, lycra, purple, freeride, gnar, fartknocking hardtails etc.

    One thing I can’t figure out is WTF happened Kona? Had to go on retrobike to check it wasn’t a teenage dream, but no, a 1994 Explosif still looks cool as ****.

    So can anyone enlighten me as to how a bike co. producing metal as cool as a ’67 Alfa Spider Boat Tail turned into the Kia of the MTB world in 10 short years?

    Premier Icon mazdarati
    Subscriber

    You is opressed to be sure

    Rob Hilton
    Member

    You should write a letter to your MP and the Daily Mail

    Kevevs
    Member

    I am writing right now.

    Premier Icon mazdarati
    Subscriber

    Nah, the mods would probably intercept it. He should just get a group of rockers to kick the shit out of the mods.

    Rob Hilton
    Member

    Does he live in Brighton?

    Kevevs
    Member

    This place has to be kept sharp. Fresh thought, chop the bullshit in half. There is some good stuff on here, that should not be moderated to death.

    Premier Icon mazdarati
    Subscriber

    No, but he visited there once, and suffered erectile dysfunction in an alleyway.

    Rob Hilton
    Member

    Nothing like a holiday romance is there?

    Maybe he’s got that gift like Christopher Walken used have before he took to storing timepieces in his rectum and when he stuck it in her he got a glimpse of her in the future looking like a human-trout hybrid and Mr Floppy came to town.

    Premier Icon mboy
    Subscriber

    So can anyone enlighten me as to how a bike co. producing metal as cool as a ’67 Alfa Spider Boat Tail turned into the Kia of the MTB world in 10 short years?

    Their focus changed IMO

    Where they were once known for producing fine quality steel hardtails, they then started focussing on long travel full sus bikes capable of being beaten up day in day out by BC’s most extreme freeriders. And their hardtails largely followed suit too.

    Doesn’t help that in the UK they started selling them in Halfords a good number of years ago either.

    Kevevs
    Member

    cool. I’m full of shit btw.

    Kevevs – it’s easy; stop typing. We all are (full of shit), but alcohol acts as a laxative for the brain….

    Kevevs
    Member

    it’s so nice that everyone is nice.

    Kevevs
    Member

    If you’ve got nothing useful to say…etc…!

    yossarian
    Member

    The modding on here has become pretty silly but there we are. Anyway, I reckon kona stayed cool until perhaps 2000. Quite apart from the steel hardtail thing do you remember the rasta themed stinky with the bendy downtube? Kona started to drift away from it’s roots after that.

    Yeah, kona’s used to be brilliant, i reckon their peak was 94-97. Their early full sussers were great too, the ones that were just Turner copies. I reckon the new steel kona’s look ace though.

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    what year did Joe Murray go to Voodoo?

    clubber
    Member

    I think Kona just became a bit me too generic. Their full sussers were perceived as a bit basic, the hardtails were no different to other brands and the spec on the bikes was typically not very good for the pricepoint. That coinciding with selling at Halfords didn’t really help either.

    My 95 Kilauea. Still cool as <naughty word I won’t say>

    Premier Icon iain1775
    Subscriber

    1994/5 but prob took a couple of years for his input to filter out?

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    turned into the Kia of the MTB world in 10 short years?

    I disagree.

    Their focus changed IMO

    I don’t think it did.

    Sure, Joe Murray left, but IIRC from back in the day Mr Murray was a bit of a downhiller. Look at early 90s Konas: Unremarkable at the back, but look at that front end! Oversize headset (rare) tough, straight bladed forks, 2.2in tyre when everyone else was on 1.95in. All Kona/Murray branded parts. Now remember, this was when people went downhilling on the same bike they did XC on, and konas were built like that to make going downhill faster and more fun.
    Over the years downhilling gained suspension, more speed, more requirement for toughness, and along came freeriding, which is more of the same really, but bigger!
    Konas bikes follwed on, they got tougher. Even the hardtails did (Hoss) the same.

    Some people have this idea that if a bike is sold in a certain shop, that makes it worse. Wrong. It just meanss you can buy one there, doesn’t it?

    I’ll tell you right now, I’ve had several Konas and loved them all. (I’ve had more Konas than any other make actually) And Right now, I’d choose a Kona over a Giant, Scott, Lapierre, Focus, BMC, Commencal (Any of those Euro brands) Orange, Santa Cruz, Cotic, Cannondale and a few others I can’t think of right now…..

    Premier Icon Coyote
    Subscriber

    I’d agree with PP. I’ve just bought an old steel Kona that I’m really looking forward to building up. I’ve ridden a few Konas over the years and for me they work. I disagree over the looks thing too, the new Operator is a thing of beauty.

    Konas a built to do a job and they do it very well.

    kaesae
    Member

    Kona’s idea of investment over the years, is rather than just having tea, to have honey and buscuits with the tea!

    ianv
    Member

    Kona came out with some pretty iconic bikes post 97. The stinky is a brilliant bike and has been a benchmark for years. The Stab won world cups and world championships.

    Kona might not be as trendy as some other brands but the product is as solid as ever.

    thepodge
    Member

    suspension forks, that’s what happened.

    while some new Konas do look good, its always the classic rigid steel ones that look the best. the lines are messed up by having a higher front end.

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    this is a kona dawg:

    this is a cove hustler:

    spot the difference…

    there’s nowt wrong with konas

    (if anything, i prefer the kona; swoopy tubes and a 1-piece rocker)

    For hardtails imo Kona lost it when they stopped doing the steel framed Cindercone, Kilauea and Caldera. The Cindercone use to always win best budget racer/hardtail then they went to the gopping square/round tube aluminium and for me they were never the same.

    Three_Fish
    Member

    Doesn’t help that in the UK they started selling them in Halfords a good number of years ago either.

    That. ‘Serious’ riders wouldn’t want to be seen on something from Halfords.

    I should add that this is not my position; but perception is primary for many people, including the MTB press, and Kona became a supermarket bike brand. Big shame, really.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    well I still have a 97 lava dome It’s my commuter now
    then I got a 99 mini mula but snapped the top tube as my riding got more ‘free’
    then got am 02 bear deelux which I rode in 2 megavalanches , UK dh races and uplifyt days and xc all over the UK
    then I built up an 02 stab for holographic and dh did the mega on it again then swapped onto am 06 stinky which is my dh bike
    finally retired the bear last year for an 08 scandium dawg
    kona never lost it they’ve kept making brilliant bikes – every one icr owned has been perfect for what it was designed for
    and I’m considering the new operator as the reviews all say its the best value dh bike out there

    kona haven’t lost anything peoples perception of them has changed tho

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    A very similar thing happened with Saracen. Both brands had classic, well thought of steel and Ti hardtails which looked very cool (for the day). Kona then moved into burlier bikes, several changes in graphics and a marked decrease in the quality of components fitted. For Saracen, it was a change of direction into the cheap mass-market end of the spectrum (although Kona sort of aimed there too with moving into Halfords). Whatever you think about Halfords, it’s far and away the UK’s biggest bike retailer but the vast majority of people buying bikes there are doing so at <£300 so for Kona to be selling bikes there priced at £700, it’s a difficult sell. Saracen on the other hand had the <£300 full sus market for quite a while but the serious MTBers went way off the brand.

    Kona used to do all their own brand kit (Curve) which was mostly very good apart from the brakes which were universally shit. When they stopped doing Curve stuff and went to OEM, it was always a peg or two below comparable priced bikes. Specialized/Trek etc at £xxx would have Deore and RockShox, Kona at same price would have Alivio and cheapo Marzocchi which put the weight up substantially. Just not good VFM.

    Combination of high priced bikes in Halfords (compared to the mass of cheap ones there) and poor VFM bikes in normal high street bike shops really damaged the brand.

    Reluctant
    Member


    1999 Kaboom! by Pablo’s Feet, on Flickr

    There ya go…….a post ’97 Kona that’s cool as you like. I understand what the OP is getting at – the clumpiness of a lot of newer Kona’s doesn’t appeal to me either. But they ain’t all bad and maybe a steel comes into fashion again, we’ll see more old skool pretty looking bikes.

    tazzymtb
    Member

    Kona’s are ace, I Love them, they were one of my fave brands from back in the day.

    Like their magic linky jobbo thingymebobins as well

    If I wanted a solid play bike I’d get definitely look at a kona

    Blower
    Member

    old uns,nice geometry compared to alot of the other stuff out there.

    jimjam
    Member

    Things started to go off about ’06 ’07. Kona had invested massively in creating a reputation as a top gravity brand, they had top riders in all the big freeride films and Fabien Barel doing the business on the wc circuit. Then gradually things started to get stale.

    The new generation of freeriders, McCaul, Berrecloth, Hunter, Sorge and co were missed by Kona and started creating amazing marketing for their competitors on progressive new bikes while Kona’s new riders seemed more dj and slopestyle focues. Then Kona canceled their DH race programe. Like it or not freeride and particularly DH are the F1/WRC of mtb. They are what sell brands and Kona dropped the ball. While other companies were trying hard to be seen to be developing new technologies, Kona stuck with the faux bar. Year on year, the only thing to differentiate a new Kona from the old one seemed to be an uglier paint job and a bigger price tag.

    They are bloody expensive for what you get too.

    mansonsoul
    Member

    Kona are amazing. They are still producing some bikes that the biking world needs. And this prototype Entourage is one of the nicest looking bikes I’ve seen in ages:

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 96 total)

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