In the first two posts, in biking category, I will introduce my bikes.
In chronological order this bike was bought in September 2007.
The Cinder Cone is my XC (Cross-country) bike, and in general the work horse of my roster. Apart from mountain endeavors, the Cinder Cone accompanies me in most of my weekly training and in city missions….. such as the beloved to all of us…. supermarket (FUNtastic).
With this bike I rediscovered biking after an absence of many many years. This bike followed me to my first “new era” epic ride. It was a 45km ride around Kantili mountain (Evia / Greece).
Finally (….it happened to me), with this bike I was seasoned to XC mountain biking and discovered my needs for something more playful (i.e a full suspension machine for Trail and All Mountain riding).
Frame tubing: Kona All-Mountain Butted Aluminum
Fork: Marzocchi MZ Race – 100mm Travel, lockout
Crankarms: FSA Alpha Drive Powerdrive
Bottom Bracket: FSA Powerdrive
Pedals: Wellgo LU-A9 w/Toe clips and straps
Chain: Shimano CN-HG53
Freewheel: Shimano Deore (11-32t, 9speed)
Front Derailleur: Shimano Deore
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore LX
Shifters: Shimano Deore
Handlebar: Kona Riser
Stem: Kona Control
Grips: Kona Mooseknuckle
Brakes: Hayes Hydraulic Sole
Brake Levers: Hayes Sole
Front hub: King Kong KDF2S
Rear hub: Shimano FH-M475 disc
Spokes: Stainless 14g fr/14g rr
Tires: Maxxis IGNITOR 26×2.1
Rims: Sun Black Eye
Saddle: WTB Pure V SPORT
Seat post: Kona Thumb
Seat clamp: Kona QR
Full Specs and Geometry in Kona UK website
Upgrades to the original spec
As a first ride the Cinder Cone was nice. However, as I was pushing my riding to more aggressive levels I needed to do something about cockpit rigidityand transmission rigidity and swiftness. The road to upgrade the bike was inevitable. Below the components of the upgrade.
Saddle: Selle Italia Flite (actually the original was terribly bent in a minor accident)
Handlebars: Race Face Atlas AM Riser
Stem: Thomson Elite X4
Crankset: Shimano XT
Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT
Cassette: Shimano XT
Chain: Shimano XT
Pedals: DMR V12 Magnesium
After the upgrade I experienced the following:
- a significant boost on my riding efficiency, coming from the rigid cockpit (especially when riding uphill while placing my weight over the handlebrs)
- increased maneuverability due to the faster transmission system
- Fork …as I am on the heavy side (poor MZ … it had it with me)
- Brakes …as Hays Sole hasn’t a descent stooping power and needs constant adjustment
- Wheel set… actually this is not 100% necessary because the performance of the stock wheels are somewhat acceptable. But if you change all the above then you need to change the wheels as well in order for all the bike parts to be aligned in terms of quality and performance capacity
What I like About this bike?
- The Frame… Very Very Much. Geometry is fantastic an allows you to ride passively and aggressively, either uphill or down hill. It is not the stiffest frame in the rear triangle ….above average thought. The frame is very reinforced at the front and in the bottom bracket area ( 5 points for KONA) allowing for serious abuse. Kona characterizes this frame as Backcountry / All Mountain, and I believe that they mean what they say. In discussing with various riders and dealers they all converge to the opinion that Kona makes their frame a bit tougher than they state.
- Price to quality ratio for the market proposition is very good. OK it is not a racer’s bike but is a very good all rounder, making it perfect for a first MTB or covering the XC place in your roster.
Path Rider’s Thesis: Recommended – 4 Star bike (performance above expectations).