I have a 2009 stock Kona Smoke. Unfortunately, my front wheel was stolen yesterday. Feel pretty bummed out about it, but would like to replace it and get riding again as soon as possible. I'm a total newbie and am unsure what a compatible wheel is. Or am I looking for a rim and not a wheel? I know the wheels are 700c, so is any 700c wheel compatible? I guess I need a tire too. I don't care if the rim matches the rear rim or anything like that. Thanks in advance.
If you buy a high end wheel, you might do better online. For a first wheel the advice of a bike store might be better. I'm pretty sure most 700c front wheels are the same width, but if not hopefully someone will correct me on that before you buy the wrong wheel. Yes you're going to need a tire (and a tube) in addition to the wheel. You could probably find the specs for your bike online and buy the same front wheel that comes with your bike originally if that makes you feel more comfortable.
Sorry you had your wheel get stolen. Just so you know (and hopefully don't take it personally) there are a lot of lbs supporters/employees/owners on here so don't be surprised if they attack someone without much knowledge/experience in this area for buying online. People who know what they want and drop $3k on wheels (yes that's each) online don't get as much grief. So, while if you have questions, it might be more reassuring to have people who can actually see the bike help you in a bike shop, don't let them make you feel like you're the bad guy in this whole theft thing because you chose to buy a replacement online.
On the other hand, if you're like me and your bike and public transportation are the only options, sometimes it's easier to order something online than trying to carry a wheel back home on the bus.
Good point about the faster turnaround though, gizzsdad. When I was in college and depended a lot more heavily on my bike for transportation, I really appreciated the way the lbs came through to replace my taco'd wheel in a hurry.
According to Bikepedia you had a Rigida Cyber 10 rim (This probably should be 10R because Rigida claims the 10 doesn't come in 700c) and Velocity hubs. I don't see anyone selling this combonation but it seems to be on the lower end. I'd reccomend getting a quote from your LBS, buying low cost wheels online will have huge shipping costs while your LBS probably pays less in shipping.