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Does Anyone Own a Kona ***** Tonk?

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Does Anyone Own a Kona ***** Tonk?

Old 10-21-08, 09:36 AM
  #1  
Mr_Christopher
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Does Anyone Own a Kona ***** Tonk?

I'm going to buy an entry level road bike this year and the Kona ***** Tonk has gotten my attention. Yeah I know, it's steel so it's about 2-3 lbs heavier than a similar aluminum frame would weigh. The tube down shifters seem interesting.

I plan to join local rides from my neighborhood LBS and ride recreationally on my own. Does anyone own one and what can you tell me about them? Thanks

Chris



Some of the technical stuff:

Kona Cromoly Butted Frame • FSA Gossamer Crank • Cold Forged Vertical Dropouts & B/B • Dura-Ace Downtube Shifters • Continental Ultrasport 700 x 28C Tires


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Old 10-21-08, 10:00 AM
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i don't own one, and people will tell you to upgrade to sti, but that bike won't hold you bike on group rides. If you can find one that fits, enjoy it.
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Old 10-21-08, 10:17 AM
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"people will tell you to upgrade to sti"

What is "sti"? :-)

"that bike won't hold you bike on group rides"

What?

Thanks

Chris
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Old 10-21-08, 10:31 AM
  #4  
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sorry the bike won't hold you BACK on group rides. More money/nicer bike won't make you go faster, the one you've picked out is nice.

STI is integrated shifting so that you can shift the bike without moving your hands
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Old 10-21-08, 10:42 AM
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My bike has downtube shifters, of course it's circa 1991 ;-)

I really enjoy the tube shifters, but I ride alone most of the time. I would not recommend riding in a pack with downtube shifters. Too much margin for error, swerving, chomping on someone's wheel after you reach down to shift.

Even if you become adept at shifts with the tube shifters, the bottom line is you're still removing one hand from the bars to reach down and shift. This is not good when riding in close quarters.

Also, you'd better be certain you are comfortable with the tube shifters before you try extended rides. They don't call them suicide shifters for nothing. I'm sure someone on this board can tell a story about fingers gettling mangled in the spokes after "overreaching" the shifters.
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Old 10-21-08, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Flash View Post
I would not recommend riding in a pack with downtube shifters. Too much margin for error, swerving, chomping on someone's wheel after you reach down to shift.

Even if you become adept at shifts with the tube shifters, the bottom line is you're still removing one hand from the bars to reach down and shift. This is not good when riding in close quarters.


How did people EVER survive before STI?! Oh, the humanity!
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Old 10-21-08, 10:51 AM
  #7  
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I like the name. Does that help?
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Old 10-21-08, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by fasterTHANyou View Post


How did people EVER survive before STI?! Oh, the humanity!
Haha, yeah. Man, the tour must have had so many crashes!
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Old 10-21-08, 11:02 AM
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A Kona WTF?

Anyway, this bike is awesome. It has a smorgasbord of components, ranging from Dura-Ace to Tiagra. Even some mountain bike components are thrown in, just for kicks.
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Old 10-21-08, 11:09 AM
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You could save yourself significant money and get a bike with similar features but better components by buying a used 80's European or Japanese bike. Around here at least they go for $200-$300 for ones that have just been fully tuned, less than half the price of the ***** Tonk. And don't sweat the downtube shifters--while slightly less convenient than STI (integrated brake lever/shifters which are pretty much the rule these days) they work just fine. The only (minor) downside to 80's bikes is that they'll only be 10, 12, or 14 speeds instead of 18.
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Old 10-21-08, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by cedricbosch View Post
A Kona WTF?

Anyway, this bike is awesome. It has a smorgasbord of components, ranging from Dura-Ace to Tiagra. Even some mountain bike components are thrown in, just for kicks.
I'm new to components so I'm not sure if you're being serious or making a funny :-)

Also...For those following this subject...If I go on group rides they will be the slow ones for sure, 12-14mph. I can get one of these for $850 or so which is in my price range. I'm still debating whether to do that or wait longer and spend closer to $1,400 for something with the 105 group set. The price on the Kona is very appealing and most other bikes in that range have the Sora shifters. So it's the down tube shifters or Soras at this price point. And I also like the color of the Kona. I don't care for 75% of most of the bikes I see based on how they look, I realize that has nothing to do with components or performance...But looks do matter, at least to me.
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Old 10-24-08, 11:20 PM
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I've been wondering about the ***** Tonk for a while too. It looks great, and it's the type of bike I've wanted, but I need to see one in person before making any decision.
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Old 10-25-08, 12:04 AM
  #13  
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I would buy it. I am partial to steel and have no problems with downtube shiftera. It'll be a lot more comfy than other alum bikes.
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Old 10-25-08, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by kudude View Post
STI is integrated shifting so that you can shift the bike without moving your hands
STI is the best thing since sliced bread!

I often ride with a buddy who's a much better athlete than I am. His bike has downtube shifters while mine has STI. Despite the fact that he's in better shape, he often ends up lagging behind. Why? The only thing I can come up with is because he shifts much less frequently than I do! With STI, it's so easy to shift that I'm always in the right gear. Downtube shifters are a bit more of a pain, so my buddy often tends to be in a less-than-ideal gear and ends up working harder. After a couple of miles of rolling hills, his legs are starting to feel the burn and mine are still fresh...
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Old 10-25-08, 12:23 PM
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Get it, I love my Kona cross bike and the DT shifters are no big deal and $150 will get you a pair of 105 STI on ebay.
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Old 10-26-08, 12:17 AM
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Finally saw one in person today. Even got a chance to take it for a spin. Just wish I had an extra grand laying around, it'd have come home with me most likely.
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Old 10-26-08, 08:09 AM
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As far as ride quality goes, the ***** Tonk is excellent. Also, as someone who's commuted in both stop-and go and fast traffic for years with DT shifting (and is about to upgrade to Integrated), DT can be a hassle when a situation turns bad and you need to react quickly. Just something to consider.
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Old 10-26-08, 08:57 AM
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I have this same issue with the Surly Crosscheck complete.

The bike comes with non-STI shifters. While this has it's advantages (I prefer barcons), it seems that without STI, the bike should be considerably less expensive.

I want that frame, however.
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Old 10-26-08, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by MONGO! View Post
Get it, I love my Kona cross bike and the DT shifters are no big deal and $150 will get you a pair of 105 STI on ebay.
You mean convert it to STI 105 shifters later?
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Old 10-26-08, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by MrCjolsen View Post
I have this same issue with the Surly Crosscheck complete.

The bike comes with non-STI shifters. While this has it's advantages (I prefer barcons), it seems that without STI, the bike should be considerably less expensive.

I want that frame, however.

I'd like it more if it was in the Kapu color scheme.
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