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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 07-03-08, 05:39 PM   #1
Nozzle
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Kona Smoke 2-9 owners?

I've been kicking around the idea of buying a new Kona Smoke 2-9 for commuting. It appears to have great bang-for-the-buck considering its steel frame, included fenders, and 700x47 tires.

I've searched the threads and this bike gets recommended by SO many people - but I haven't found more than one person (he's in the Clydesdale category) that actually owns one.

Any commuters here doing the job with this bike? How do you like it? Are you dealing with hills much?
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Old 07-03-08, 07:06 PM   #2
shundaroni
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I don't own one, but I was looking at them very seriously before I bought my Redline 9-2-5. The price was right, it looked like a winner, but ultimately I changed my mind. I decided I wanted a SS (since I already have a geared road bike), and I didn't feel like replacing the handlebars right out of the gate (I liked the Redline's bullhorns, and I don't like flat bars).

I talked to one person who owns the Smoke, and they love it. I really think it's a good option if you want an economical, geared commuter.
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Old 07-03-08, 07:30 PM   #3
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Yeah, that looks like a real good, basic urban commuter. Reminds me a great deal of my 94 Fuji Discovery MTB. Same geometry, triple crank, cp cantilevers, etc. The main difference is in the tires. The Fuji came w/knobbies that I swapped out for 1.75 Kendas from Wal-Mart. Then after a couple of years I got a sealed bb and a single chainring(46t), but everything else stayed the same. Never did get fenders for it, though. Just dealt w/t gunk and spray when it rained. I've still got it, but it's been semi-retired as a commuter. I'd say go for it. Add a rack, bags, lights, toolkit, pump, etc. and you're good to go.
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Old 07-03-08, 07:38 PM   #4
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I've had a Smoke for a couple of years - great bike. I call it an urban bomber. It's a good stout, reliable bike. Also a very smooth riding bike. The 29'er appears to be an improvement on an already great product.
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Old 07-03-08, 07:53 PM   #5
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Love mine. I agree with Ins55 very reliable, smooth riding bike. I added a Brooks saddle and a rear rack and the price was still under $420.00.
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Old 07-04-08, 01:13 PM   #6
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Kona Smoke 2 -9 is the way to go!

I've got a Smoke 2-9, I hadn't used a bike in 20+ years, but after researching bikes...I chose the this one. I haven't had it long, but it's very sturdy, smooth, and quick. You get a lot for you dollar with this bike. Test one out at your local Kona dealer. You'll love it.
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Old 07-04-08, 02:28 PM   #7
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I test rode one. I'm new, and it was a little too small for me, but I REALLY didn't like the grip shifters. That alone turns me off bigtime.
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Old 07-04-08, 03:06 PM   #8
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The Kona brochure I've got - and several other places - call the 2008 Smoke the 'Smoke 2-9 Deore'; yet it doesn't seem to have Deore kit on it anywhere I can find. Anyone shed any light?

I must admit, I was put off by grip shifters.

Does the Smoke feel significantly worse / heavier / slower than the Dew?
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Old 07-04-08, 03:56 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by HF2300 View Post
The Kona brochure I've got - and several other places - call the 2008 Smoke the 'Smoke 2-9 Deore'; yet it doesn't seem to have Deore kit on it anywhere I can find. Anyone shed any light?

I must admit, I was put off by grip shifters.

Does the Smoke feel significantly worse / heavier / slower than the Dew?
The grip shifts can be swapped out for some ez fire's.

I test rode both the Smoke 2-9 and the Dew. I had issues w/ hitting the front wheel while turning on the Dew. The Smoke won't win any road races, but it will basically roll over anything in it's path.

BTW, I don't own a Smoke 2-9, but I do own a Smoke. My LBS gave a choice of 10% off the Smoke 2-9, or 30% off the Smoke. Otherwise, I would have gone with the Smoke 2-9.

Besides, even my noob self could feel the difference in ride. The Smoke's cro-mo steel is definitely smoother than the Dew's aluminum.

Last edited by no1mad; 07-04-08 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 07-04-08, 04:17 PM   #10
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I wanted one and went to the only Kona dealer in my area. He told me they could not get the 2008's anymore. I would have to wait for the 2009 bikes.
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Old 07-04-08, 11:29 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
I test rode both the Smoke 2-9 and the Dew. I had issues w/ hitting the front wheel while turning on the Dew.
This same issue happened to me at the LBS, and it's what stopped me from buying a leftover 2007 Kona Dew Deluxe. They did not have a Smoke 2-9 in stock to try (wish they did).

I'm not a fan of grip shifters either. After some research I'm leaning more toward a Jamis Coda anyway (love steel frames!).
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Old 07-05-08, 02:10 AM   #12
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I had issues w/ hitting the front wheel while turning on the Dew.
Not quite sure what you mean by this. Literally you and the front wheel coming into conflict?!
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Old 07-05-08, 02:18 AM   #13
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Not quite sure what you mean by this. Literally you and the front wheel coming into conflict?!
People complain that during turns, the front wheel hits their feet when the pedal is in the 3 O'clock position.

That happens when the bike has a small wheelbase or "rake" like it used to be called.

Most people keep the pedals at a 6 and 12 O'clock position to take some of the pressure off the crotch area, but a lot of bike riders (especially the long distance riders) like to keep the feet in a 3 and 9 O'clock position.
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Old 07-05-08, 06:03 AM   #14
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People complain that during turns, the front wheel hits their feet when the pedal is in the 3 O'clock position.
Thanks, guessed that might be it but wasn't sure.
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