Utility Cycling - improving Kona Ute
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I've had one for a year now, replaced the 170mm double with a 175mm triple and longer stem with bar ends , MKS clipless platform pedals, OMM front rack. I added the front rack because the front end felt too "loosy goosey" with a full tail load but it just doesn't seem right. Anyone else familiar with the Ute and have an opinion about it's front end handling? I'm wondering if it needs a different front fork. Basically it feels like it can get into a big shimmy if I get out of the saddle or if I take a tight turn the front tire wants to "scrub" out of line.
11-02-09, 11:35 AM
Bought my Ute in summer of '08 - green edition. Changed the bars to Mary's OnStar, changed the pedals and seat post, got a pair of those orange bags. Most important, added a pair of Schwalbe Marathon Supreme's 50's:thumb: to roll over ANYTHING. Got the same front rack as you. You gotta remember, this bike IS NOT built to carry extra-heavy loads like a BD or the Extra-cycle get-up. While my bike does quite well carrying a full load of groceries, or a couple bags of soil stuff and plants, put more than 70,80 pounds on the tail without loading the front is going to goose your steering. Don't think a different fork will help unless it has considerable weight - would not make sense.:eek: I took my bike touring this summer, Port Angeles, WA to SF. With weight on the front, water, stove, light; and bag, tent, clothes on the back, it drove like a cloud. Stock gearing was excellent for some ass-kicking hills. Have also rode a BD. So heavy, but for it's purpose - has to be. Rode a friends Extra-cycle, on a Trek. Too much flex - a real goofy ride if you ask me.:roflmao2: Both the Surly and Ex are great if you carry loads on a routine basis - but for normal weights and a normal feel - Kona did us right.
port angeles to SF? wow. The Ute works ok for a full load of groceries in front and back but it's handling just seems odd compared to the LHT. I don't overload it, just wondering if anyone else thought the front end was "off". did you have any shimmy problems on your trip?
11-09-09, 08:13 AM
I've ridden both the BD and my friend's Ute. I liked the Ute much better. The BD is unreasonably heavy and awkward to steer in traffic. At three times the cost of a Ute (BD), I can see no good reason for buying one.
11-09-09, 01:34 PM
Lee - If your comparing the Surly's, LongHaulTrucker to a UTE. you'll get a more conventional ride/steer from the LHT - as it is a HD Touring frame. As far as a shimmy, yea, if I shake the bars as a "sprinter" might during a bike race - I get some shim'in. But as far as an everyday problem on the UTE - I don't feel it. I have noticed riding upright without hands-on-the-bar can get wiggly:eek:. Hope this answers your question, and the trip south went pretty smooth. No issues with bike itself:D, as the heavy stuff was placed on the OMM rack with 3 dry bags - one per side and one on top. Cheers:).
thx, I guess it's the nature of rear loaded bikes.
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