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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just finished building up my 08 Kona Kapu steel frame and back from a first ride. Smooth ride so far. What I like about this frame is that I can build it for speed as I have it or build it to carry a load with the rack eyelets in the back and front. Will eventually get some old school looking panniers from Rivendell to throw on when I need to carry things.

Build went pretty smoothly except for two factors that I didn't know about until buliding. Here they are below incase someone out there is thinking about building up one of these:

1. The frame needs "standard" reach or what some call "mid reach" calipers that are 47-57mm in adjustment range. I assumed it was short reach brakes because Kona's site specs the brakes are Ultegras, but there were referring to the "Ultegra level quality" Shimano R650 mid reach caliper.

2. The fork crown is 1", but it's a JIS 1" not the common 1" so the shop had to trim down the crown to fit the crown race.[/LIST]
 

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That's a pretty bike. The cable housings look unique. What kind/brand are they?

I'm curious, tho...I didn't think it was possible to get a bike that wasn't red and black with some white decals. (rolls eyes, smiles, and puts another log on the fire)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Mr. Versatile said:
That's a pretty bike. The cable housings look unique. What kind/brand are they?
Thank you. The cable make/model is unknown, OEM parts from my other bike I stripped to build this frame. No make or any name inscription on the housing. I had just assumed they were one of the Jagwire colors, but no matching one their site.



 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
AidanM said:
wheres the saddle to bar drop?
I prefer my bar and saddle at the same height.
I don't race or care for optimum aerodynamics. Just do nice long rides so I build my bikes with higher bar height for comfort, and borrowing from setups of touring and randonneur bikes.

I was thinking about Andy Hampsten's personal bike when I was building up my Kapu. His bike is a nice blend of performance and comfort.
 
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That is a really nice bike and Kona need to be congratulated for putting it out there.

My LBS has one in stock which I rode around the lot, really nice. Thankfully it was too small for me.

Congrats on that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
toomanybikes said:
That is a really nice bike and Kona need to be congratulated for putting it out there.
I agree that Kona should get props for bringing out a bike like this. I ride Kona mtn bikes never paid attention to their road lineup until this Kapu came out. They have nice road bikes.

Bianchi is coming out with a similar frame this year too, the Dolomiti.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone.

I was jonsing for a good classic looking steel bike, something that would remind me of the Lemond-Fignon-Hinault days.

Was eager to take it out for a good 50 mile ride this morning, but there is too much smoke and ashes in the air from the wildfires here in Los Angeles (my photos kind of have a warmish yellow tint, that's from the smoking sky).

Will post a report when I get in more miles.
 

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Me Too

I bought the Kona frameset also and am having a problem with the headset. I even bought the the FSA headset listed as the one used on Kona's complete builds. My shop said that to break the chrome and mill the fork was gonna cost me bigtime. Kona was no help with a cheaper solution but FSA is coming up with a 27.0 crown race. Hope it gets here soon!
 
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dougrocky123 said:
I bought the Kona frameset also and am having a problem with the headset. I even bought the the FSA headset listed as the one used on Kona's complete builds. My shop said that to break the chrome and mill the fork was gonna cost me bigtime. Kona was no help with a cheaper solution but FSA is coming up with a 27.0 crown race. Hope it gets here soon!
You need to find a new shop.

A few minutes with a dremel, or a few minutes longer with a file, should not cost "big time".
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
dougrocky123 said:
I bought the Kona frameset also and am having a problem with the headset. I even bought the the FSA headset listed as the one used on Kona's complete builds. My shop said that to break the chrome and mill the fork was gonna cost me bigtime. Kona was no help with a cheaper solution but FSA is coming up with a 27.0 crown race. Hope it gets here soon!
Yes, odd that the FSA Orbit X that Kona specs on the complete bike won't fit.

My shop used a tool made for shaving down part of the crown where the race gets set.
I watched the mechanic while he was doing it, took just approx 3 minutes of him turning this tool and manually shaving with each turn, like a slow motion headset press type motion. Didn't even charge me more than the usual headset install fee.

Over the years, I've noticed that many repair/sevice shops in my area only know the what the dealer happens to sell. Curve balls like a JIS crown race throw them off. Another local shop I went too while building up this Kapu, didn't even know what mid reach Shimano R650 brakes were and told me that I probably incorrectly wrote down the model number to come back when I transcribe the proper model number because they have never heard of the R650 calipers.

But call around to other shops and see if any of them have the tool to shave down a crown race setting area on a fork. it's the same or similar tool that shops use to remove powder coating or chrome plating in that same part of the fork. That's what the wrench told me who did the good job on my headset install.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Brakes
After realizing the frame needed mid reach brakes (47-57mm), I did the research and found that it's mainly just three options: Shimano, Cane Creek and Tektro.

Shimano was pricey at $70 per caliper. Cane Creek only came in black, I wanted silver. Then I found out that Tektro was a common and solid solution for mid reachs.

I went with the Tektro R536, which used to be called the 521AG. Comparing them to my short reach Ultegra calipers, quality and workmanship seems to be on par.

Salsa specs these calipers for their complete builds on the Caserroll single and geared. Rivendell Bikes and Velo Orange vouch for Tektro too. Good enough for them, good enough for me.
 

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is that a 1" steerer? is that stem a 1-1/8" with 1" reducer shim? never seen one installed w/ the flange on the bottom, I guess it would work...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
FatTireFred said:
is that a 1" steerer? is that stem a 1-1/8" with 1" reducer shim? never seen one installed w/ the flange on the bottom, I guess it would work...
Yes, it's a 1" steerer.

The stem is a Performance housebrand Forte 1 1/8" with the provided shim.
I actually had the shim on top, but the shop recommended it on the bottom. Either way it works the same.
 
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