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  1. #1
    triple chainring club
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    2010 KONA PH.D -- Review w/ pictures

    WOW what a ride!! I have yet to see another one like it anywhere I go; and I believe I may be one of the first reviewers of this breed. Let's start w/ some basic facts about the bike:

    7005 Aluminum frame (60 cm) w/ internal cable routing for brakes & Carbon fork
    Mavic Aksium 700c wheelset paired w/ 23mm Continental UltraSport tires
    Shimano Ultegra RD paired w/ Shimano 105 freewheel (12-25, 10spd)
    Shimano R773 Triple FD paired w/ FSA Gossamer (52/39/30)
    Shimano SL-R770 10-speed shifters
    Avid SD-5 brakes & FR-5 levers
    It came w/ Shimano A520 clipless, but I ditched them for platforms.
    The full spec sheet can be found here: http://www.konaworld.com/bike.cfm?content=phd

    The only other modern bicycle I can compare this to is a 2009 Trek 7.5 FX which I owned for about 8 months before it was stolen. The 7.5 FX is a truly awesome bike, but I think this Kona might edge it out performance wise (on the road at least). The Ultegra/105 drivetrain on the Kona is super smooth and lightening quick; even more refined than the Deore setup on the FX which is really good too. I think part of the smoothness feeling has to do with running a 12-25, 10spd vs. the FX gearing of 11-26, 9spd; the gaps between gears are much less noticeable on the 10spd. While were on the subject of 10spd, the 10-speed flat bar shifters are the best in the biz, IMO. They are ridiculously accurate and will fly through gears as fast as you can move your fingers. No complaints about acceleration or traction, the 23mm tires build up speed quickly. I've hit 40 mph on a steep short (1 block) residential hill in Queens, and would have kept accelerating if I didn't run out of road (pedaling very hard in 52x12). I'm not sure I really want to go faster than that; especially on this particular hill with some hidden driveways and a stop sign at the bottom, I could feel my rear wheel come off the ground under hard breaking. And while the tires like to go fast they certainly don't appreciate being taken off-road like the 32s that came w/ the Trek. You definitely lose some versatility when riding on 23mm tires. I stick most to paved surfaces so it hasn't been too big of an issue as of yet. The Avid 5 brakes are rock solid, however I only ride in nice weather and avoid all things wet. I'm not a commuter; this bike is strictly ridden for recreational purposes. The steering is responsive and pretty light, which is expected for a bike that is fairly light on its own. I have not weighed it yet but it "feels" as light as or maybe even slightly lighter than the 7.5 FX. I realize this isn't a totally fair "apples-to-apples" comparison because the Phd does cost more $$ than the 7.5, but they are similar bikes nonetheless.

    Overall I am very pleased with the Kona Phd and the components it came with. Comparing similar bikes from other brands within this price range, I feel that Kona gives you a great bang for your buck. The pearl white hydroformed frame w/ the internal cable is ascetically pleasing to my eye. (I like white bikes) I don't see myself doing too many modifications to this bike beyond removing some headset spacers and maybe flipping the stem. Possibly add some Ergo bar ends and some white pedals for the bling factor. Beyond that, this bike should provide me with many miles of enjoyment (150 miles so far). I hope you enjoyed my review. I welcome all comments and would be happy to answer any questions I can about the bike.


    And last but not least, the pictures!!!! (sorry no garage door pic yet)



















    Last edited by ZOINKS; 06-23-10 at 10:22 AM.

  2. #2
    Member furiousbox's Avatar
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    Thanks for the nice review. That's a beautiful bike; it's definitely on my list of bikes to try when I start test drives later this summer.

  3. #3
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    Very nice bike! How much do you suppose a bike like that might cost?

  4. #4
    triple chainring club
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    furious - thank you! Definitely test ride one if given the chance. I never got a test ride because the LBS didn’t have any in stock, but I had a pretty good idea of what type of bike I wanted and bit the bullet and ordered/purchased it sight unseen. No regrets.

    qms - it retails for $1299

  5. #5
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    13 big ones!? Money well spent. Nice ride, not overpriced, I want one.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Roger M's Avatar
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    The LBS has the PHD on sale for $999 right now.

    I was just there today looking at the Dr Dew and Dew Drop. I think the PHD is a better looking bike and has better components. The only drawback for me would be the lack of disc brakes. Other than that, Your bike is on top of my want list. Beautiful...


    Let us know how it is long term, please.

  7. #7
    triple chainring club
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    Roger - wow that's a great price, i wish my LBS was running a sale like that! The Dr. Dew was among my top choices but I really wanted a carbon fork and I wasn't crazy about the color of the frame. It would be nice if they also made the PHD w/ a carbon fork plus disk option.

  8. #8
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    Really nice looking bike there! And, it has pretty darn good components for that price

    One thing that is REALLY bugging me about the pics: That HUGE black dork disc (spoke protector). That is not needed if the rear derailleur is set up properly. My eyes are drawn to it, and its just...ugly...

    But the rest of the bike, looks great! I bet that is super lightweight, too. I think disk brakes on such a sleek bike would just be awkward. V-brakes are also a bit lighter
    2012 Diamondback Podium 2 - Ready for spring! :D
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  9. #9
    Pro Paper Plane Pilot wunderkind's Avatar
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    Wow! A thread that is not about Trek FX for once! Awesomely refreshing. And nice bike. I love Kona bikes! Among the Dew series, I actually prefer the base Dew itself because of simplicity. But this PHD is PHAT!

    Now lose that dork disc!

    Oh, I love white bicycles too.
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  10. #10
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    You're sure right about one thing - that is a gorgeous bike!

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  11. #11
    triple chainring club
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    ^^Thanks for all the positive feedback!

    nymtber - LOL, I knew it would only be a matter of time before someone mentions the mega dork disk!!! Yeah I agree, it does stick out like a sore thumb! I was surprised when I took delivery of the bike because it doesn't have the dork disc in the pics on the Kona website. When I inquired about it the LBS suggested keeping it on as an added measure of protection; but they did admit that it would probably never come into play. I'll most likely take it off next time I get a chance. I gotta say, I'm pleased with the brakes that came with this bike even though I originally "wanted" discs.

    wunderkind - thanks for the comments; good to see another Kona fan on the forum. I feel they get lost in the Trek/C-dale crowd sometimes.

  12. #12
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    I've destroyed a lot of spokes because I'm too cool to use a spoke protector but not cool enough to keep my derailleur in good adjustment.

    THe smooth black one on your bike is the least ugly one I've seen. If it doesn't bother your aesthetic sensibilities, don't worry about it. It might prevent a big problem. I'd probably leave it on at least until the cogset needs replacing.

  13. #13
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    I can understand a spoke protector on a bike with a cheap derailleur that the adjustment screws don't hold, or on a mountain bike, but on a road only bike with a decent derailleur, they shouldn't be needed. If you want a spoke protector disc, at least get one thats only big enough to keep the chain in check, and in clear... haha.

    Only once did I have the chain derail into the spokes, and that was from a stick flipping up and knocking the derailleur a bit, along with the chain (mountain bike). That required all of the "heads in" spokes to be replaced on that side of the wheel...but that was a pretty chance occasion.
    2012 Diamondback Podium 2 - Ready for spring! :D
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  14. #14
    Member specialfx's Avatar
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    That internal cabling is really cool. Are you planning to get a white saddle in the future?

  15. #15
    Pro Paper Plane Pilot wunderkind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qmsdc15 View Post
    I've destroyed a lot of spokes because I'm too cool to use a spoke protector but not cool enough to keep my derailleur in good adjustment.

    THe smooth black one on your bike is the least ugly one I've seen. If it doesn't bother your aesthetic sensibilities, don't worry about it. It might prevent a big problem. I'd probably leave it on at least until the cogset needs replacing.
    Have I got something for you then!



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  16. #16
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    Haha

    I found two mtb wheels with the heads in spokes all mangled up and they both had the same length spokes with nipples that require the red Park spoke tool. I took spokes from one and rebuilt the other. Moved the trailer hitch to the mtb and I'm back in business.

  17. #17
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    That spoke protector is darned cheap insurance.... I have sticks go thru my fenders on a semi regular basis.

    All it takes, is, one to go thru the derailleur...........

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


    Specialized Crosstrail Sport - '08
    Nishiki Sport - misappropriated from my youngest son (circa 1984)
    Marin Stinson - misappropriated by my youngest grandson - '01
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  18. #18
    triple chainring club
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    specialfx - actually I hadn't thought about a white saddle but I think it might look good now that you mention it. I'll have to photoshop one on there first to see if I really like it.

    In regards to the black dork disc, it did kinda irk me initially for the first few days but it doesn't really bother me anymore. The only thing that has smashed up against my spokes so far have been the wheel reflectors which shattered all over the place when they broke. But I can't say for sure if the disc helped prevent any damage from occuring when the rear reflector broke. maybe? Part of me also wants to embrace the dork disc. I was thinking of cutting up small pieces of Reflexite SOLAS tape and arrange them on the disc in some crazy psychedelic pattern or something. We'll see...I'll have to sleep on that idea, lol.

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