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2008 Kona Four

Old 07-09-16, 09:49 AM
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Zaphod Beeblebrox 
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2008 Kona Four

I'm just getting back into mountain biking, spent last fall on an old 90's hardtail Trek and this spring I picked up a used '08 Kona Four for $300. I've been having lots of fun on all the singletrack in my neighborhood and have seen some of the new rigs guys are riding and the local shops are renting and wondering if there's anything to be gained by upgrading to a newer bike or if I should just do some minor upgrades to my Kona and use it for a while longer.

The guys at the local bike shops have told me that it doesn't make any sense to upgrade anything on my Kona and I should just get a new rig (from them at full retail, natch.). They've told me a new bike will get me better components and also a better geometry.

What say ye?
I understand what better components will get me, I dont really understand whats changed in geometry between my Kona and some new thing. Enlighten me on what I stand to gain and what i should look at
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Old 07-09-16, 10:44 AM
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What minor upgrades are you thinking of doing? I wouldn't put a $600 fork on it but new tires, seat, pedal, handle bars, that kind of stuff wouldn't bother me. Which version of the Four did you get?

Looking at the geometry I don't think it is really that outdated. The trend today is short chainstays and slacker head angles 66-68 degree and more travel. The Four already has a 69 degree headanle which isn't exactly slack but it isn't the typical old 70-71 XC racer headangle either. Slacker head angles make the bike more stable going downhill but it can also make it harder to climb.
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Old 07-09-16, 10:47 AM
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If you like your bike and it fits you just ride it. The engine is what's important.
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Old 07-09-16, 11:05 AM
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I'm honestly not sure which version of the Four I have, but I was thinking about a 10x1 or 11x1 drivetrain and possibly upgrading the cable actuated brake calipers which are grabby as hell and basically on or off. Maybe a dropper seatpost if I can be convinced its worth it.

The fork and the rear suspension seem adequate and functional.

My main curiosity in a newer bike is regarding geometry. Do I really stand to gain anything? If not then this is a fine platform for whatever else I decide to do.
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Old 07-09-16, 12:11 PM
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If you have cable brakes you have the bottom of the line just plain Four
KONA BIKES - 2008 BIKES
Still isn't badly speced. I'd skip the drivetrain upgrades if you current stuff is working fine, just isn't worth it. Drop the big ring and go 2x9 if you want though. You can upgrade to a pair of Shimano deore 615 brakes for $100 or so. I wouldn't bother going any higher than that. Dropper posts are fun and you can always swap it to a new bike if it is the same size or sale it separately from the bike to get more money back.

If you are happy with it there is no reason to buy a new bike. Keep riding it till you feel it is holding you back then start thinking about buying a new bike.
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Old 07-09-16, 12:30 PM
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Drivetrain works great, I just see these 10 or 11x1 setups and I can see how not dealing with a front derailleur would be nice.

I'm just trying to get an idea of why some upgrade or another wouldn't be worth doing to this bike... when i hear that I imagine it means that a newer/different frameset would be more worthy of an upgrade, but maybe it just means if it aint broke dont fix it.
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Old 07-09-16, 01:21 PM
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The if it ain't broke don't fix it thing is why I say not to bother with the drivetrain upgrades. If you can handle it you can always go 1x9 if you really want to go 1x. I have my rigid setup 1x9 with a 12-36 cassette and a 32 tooth narrow wide chainring. My full suspension is still a 2x9 and my hardtail is a 1x10. They all work fine but when either of the 9 speeds wear out they will be going to 1x11s.
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Old 07-09-16, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
Drivetrain works great, I just see these 10 or 11x1 setups and I can see how not dealing with a front derailleur would be nice.

I'm just trying to get an idea of why some upgrade or another wouldn't be worth doing to this bike... when i hear that I imagine it means that a newer/different frameset would be more worthy of an upgrade, but maybe it just means if it aint broke dont fix it.
Not dealing with a front der might be nice, but it will also mean dealing with bigger jumps between gears. The one thing I've learned from online discussions, debates and name-calling about the differences between gearing setups is that it all depends on where you live and how you ride. Your 3x9 setup is not a bad thing and with the right cassette will give small jumps and a wide range. Hydro brakes would be a good upgrade, even Deore or Tektro level stuff works well and beats cables.

IINM, that's a 1-1/8" steerer tube so current upgraded forks are going to be a little harder to find. That would be the one change I'd consider, but may not be worthwhile.

I dunno, I think you just need to ride the snot out of it and fix it as things break. There isn't anything really wrong with it except maybe improve the brakes.
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Old 07-09-16, 07:55 PM
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So basically ride it til the front shock dies and then replace it
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Old 07-10-16, 04:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
So basically ride it til the front shock dies and then replace it
Rebuild it.
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Old 07-10-16, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
Drivetrain works great, I just see these 10 or 11x1 setups and I can see how not dealing with a front derailleur would be nice.

I'm just trying to get an idea of why some upgrade or another wouldn't be worth doing to this bike... when i hear that I imagine it means that a newer/different frameset would be more worthy of an upgrade, but maybe it just means if it aint broke dont fix it.

I went 1x9. I took my 3x9 (which I almost never used the big or little rings) and removed the front derailleur, went 32t oval chain ring, chain guide, a bash ring, and switched the cassette to a 12-36.
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Old 07-10-16, 09:04 AM
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Oval?? You mean like Biopace?? I thought that was just a crusty C&V thing! (I ride biopace rings on my xtracycle)

That's kinda what I was thinking of trying...i like close spacing for road riding but find I can tolerate wider spacing on my MTB.
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Old 07-10-16, 09:32 AM
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I had 3x9,, A noisy mess of repetitive gears,, what a 27 speed actually has only 14 gears is it ?
I used about 7 or 8 of them.
I did not make good power at 110 plus rpm so the granny ring was no good,
Was never on the big ring, If I had that much speed up I was dropped and tucked over the seat, pedals level,
Always on the middle 32 T

1x11 now, 32T out front Race Face Narrow wide,,no chain keeper/guard, needed
I never drop It.
11-42 out back so I can still climb just fine. I use ALL my gears now and so far have not wanted more.
One shifter and One shifter only is so simple, cleaned up my cockpit to !
Plus the bike dropped 1.1 pounds in chain rings, nuts n bolts, shifter, front derailleur and cables~

I am on the 11 out back now and then on the fire roads, Getting stronger, may need a 34T soon. I have a completely silent drive train now, even took my Lizard Skin off.

Secondary bonus I did not expect, I can hear bikes In front of and behind me much much sooner. I wont ride a rattling bike anymore.

Shimano M8000

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Old 07-11-16, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
Oval?? You mean like Biopace?? I thought that was just a crusty C&V thing! (I ride biopace rings on my xtracycle)

That's kinda what I was thinking of trying...i like close spacing for road riding but find I can tolerate wider spacing on my MTB.
No I mean oval,,, from the Absolute Black website,,

"the biggest difference is in the timing of the maximum radius of said "oval". Biopace align maximum radius of the ring with the crank arm. So when your legs are vertical you experience maximum effort and when your legs are horizontal on crank - minimum effort.
This timing is completely incorrect to what modern science know by now. Read further.

Modern Oval chainrings like absoluteblack have different shape to Biopace, but most importantly different timing. Countless studies show that human can produce most power when his legs are on the crank just below horizontal (crank arm at 4 o'clock) and can't produce power at all when crank is vertical (6 o'clock). So it makes a lot of sense to use this knowledge and locate biggest part of the oval where you can push more and reduce the effort where you can't produce power at all. This is how modern oval rings work. Based on many studies and calculations. Not a guess, like it was in early 80's without a measuring instruments and computer algorithms available now.

Why many people are confused?
Because Shimano advertised Biopace with similar claims that are used in modern oval rings. Thing is Biopace execution was completely wrong to claims they were giving. Biopace in fact did the opposite to the advertised claims.

Now you know."
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Old 07-11-16, 06:25 PM
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Sounds like it was written by a scorned former Shimano marketing exec
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