Ti Tuesdays with Kona

Ti Tuesdays with Kona: Jame’s Ti Humuhumu is a Triple Threat

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

I’ve been into mountain biking since I was a kid and to this day still have some sort of working relationship in the industry. From hanging out at local shops to working at local shops to managing a local shop, then repping top products and now owning a company that deals directly with most of the major and not so major brands. I’ve always loved the Canadian manufacturers and Kona was always the bad-ass brand and just seemed to fit me just right.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Back in the day I splurged for a 26er Ibis Ti Mojo that I loved and rode in every condition. I fell in love with the durability of Ti but the suppleness of steel. A friend of mine still has that bike and rides it with his kids.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

With some old school Tomac influence I put a drop bar and some Retroshift / Gevenalle brake levers on a steel 650B 1×9 mountain bike and answered discovered that yes, it is possible to have two bikes in one.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Keeping my eyes out for something unique in Ti bike and something I could utilize for all riding seasons I came across a Ti Humu Humu in the Kona booth at Sea Otter Classic and new I just had to have one. I had a steel Kona Unit at home with sliding dropouts built up as a sweet XC machine. I quickly got a hold of legendary Kona sales rep Dik Cox and found out if I could get one of these bad boys. Within a couple weeks I had the frame delivered to my local shop. It took some tinkering and swapping parts and pieces out, but it all came together.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

The bike pulls triple duty now, some days it’s a cool cruiser to kick around the city and commute to work on, in the spring its a gravel bike until the trail dry up then its a full on XC trail machine for the summer months.

It’s so cool to have such a fun riding iconic looking bike with up to date specs and a wheel size that does it all. All this wouldn’t have been possible without the simple and elegant design of the frame and its sliding drop out and single speed or geared hanger.

The Cruiser set up uses Kona Project 2 fork, Stans Arch MK3 rims set up with purple Hope Pro4 hubs mounted with Maxxis skin wall Ardent 29 x 2.4 tires and a single speed conversion kit. The cockpit has a Kona stem, Humuhumu cruiser bar and Key grips. The Race Face Next SL carbon crank is used for all options and they are paired with the sweet light weight Wah Wah II composite pedals. The build is wrapped up with a Easton EC90 Carbon post along with a traditional Brooks b17 saddle.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

The Gravel set up gets a unique set of very light Holzfelgen wheels, they are a wood rim inlaid with carbon and they are laced to DT Swiss 240’s with a 29 x 2.0 Tufo XC2 plus to make the ride smoother than melted butter on the roughest terrain. An Easton EC70 carbon handlebar and Retroshift CX brake levers and shifter allow me to run a single speed or 9-speed cassette. Recently I picked up a Dura ace 11 speed bar end shifter for more gearing in the future.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Caleb Smith | KONA COG

The Mountain Bike set up gets a Fox 32 Anniversary edition with beautiful top cap. A Shimano XTR 1 x 11 drive train and brakes with the Crusier Stan’s and Hope wheel setup and a Ritchey carbon Bull Moose one piece bar for nostalgia with the EC 90 carbon post and Chromag saddle. 

Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Kona Dream Builds: A Raijin Ti that’s sure to catch your Eye

If you are a fan of Titanium Hardtails, then brace yourself as this one is set to make you go weak at the knees!

This Raijin Ti 29er Singlespeed custom build was put together for one very lucky customer by the guys at the Kona Bike Shop in the U.K. Rich the mechanic there said that it was ‘built with love’ as he spent hours carefully slotting together the pieces of this pretty awesome puzzle. Only the finest parts were used and the result is most certainly an eye catcher.

Rich also mentioned that the customer wanted a lightweight, simple hardtail and that he was set on it on the Raijin as thanks to the sliding Dropouts, it allowed him to run it Singlespeed.

Ben Hazell | KONA COG
Ben Hazell | KONA COG Beautiful in it’s simplicity . . .
Ben Hazell | KONA COG The combination of Silver/Gold and Orange works so well
Ben Hazell | KONA COG The super Lightweight XC Focused Raijin Titanium
Ben Hazell | KONA COG Fox Factory 34’s provide some serious squish at the front end
Ben Hazell | KONA COG The golden Kashima coat ties in nicely with this colour theme
Ben Hazell | KONA COG Carbon Sram XO Crankset keeps the weight down
Ben Hazell | KONA COG Sliding Dropouts allow the Raijin to be set up Singlespeed without the need for a Chain Tensioner
Ben Hazell | KONA COG Orange Hope kit is plentiful on the Raijin, including V4 Brakeset & Pro4 Hubs
Ben Hazell | KONA COG Braided Hoses too for that extra stopping power
Ben Hazell | KONA COG Rotors that perfectly match up to the Hubs – perfection
Ben Hazell | KONA COG Maxxis Ikon Skinwalls not only look fantastic, but also keep the weight and rolling resistance to a minimum
Ben Hazell | KONA COG Kashima coated Fox Transfer Dropper Post looks well at home on this build
Ben Hazell | KONA COG Renthal Bar & Stem make up the cockpit
Ben Hazell | KONA COG

Ti Tuesdays: Molly’s Forever Ti Honzo

“I brought the frame when I first moved to Bellingham, I figured if I was going to work for a bike company then I should give myself a bike I would always keep. It’s my Forever bike.” If you ever bought anything from our website over the past year, chances are Molly had a hand in it, whether it was helping with production, taking your order or heck, even packing it. When a dream teaching job came up in Flagstaff, Arizona that was too good to pass up, Molly sadly left Bellingham and Kona, but not without taking a stunning piece of Titanium with her. Molly’s Ti Honzo is her forever bike, and I’m sure a bunch of you would like to make it your forever bike also.

Up front, it’s rocking a Pike RCT3 fork and its rolling on a set of DT Swiss XM 481 rims laced to Hope Pro 2 Hubs (Molly handbuilt them), it’s shod with a Maxxis Minion DHF and a DHR.

Thanks to some trickle-down tech it’s running a still very rad SRAM XX1 1×11 drivetrain, complete with Sram XX1 carbon cranks and Sram X-Sync 34t chainring

Avid XO1 Trail brakes slow things down and Race Face’s SixC 31.8 carbon bar and our in-house 40mm stem keep things tracking true.

ESI Racers Edge purple and blue silicon grips handle the key contact points.

The tried and true KS Lev Integra 150mm dropper is topped with WTB’s Koda saddle (a lady’s best friend).


Ti Tuesday: Barry Wicks Ti Kona Coaster Brake for #SSWC

For this weekends Single Speed Mountain Bike World Championships in Bend, Oregon, Team Racer Barry wicks built up a unique bike, borrowing parts from all periods of his race career. Here is his story on the build.

This is actually the bike from my first year as a “pro” on the Norba National circuit. The frame was built in 2002 by Mike Desalvo in Ashland, Oregon. I’ve hung on to it all these years because it is a pretty special bike. Mike told me he had never built a frame this big and had to order a special down tube for a tandem to make it work. It has a 26″ long top tube, and custom geo based on the old Gary Fisher Genesis Geometry, with a long top tube and short stem. Pretty ahead of its time I think. I rode this labeled as a Desalvo for my first pro season, then once I got signed to Kona the next year, it became what it is now.

The build I have currently on the frame is for the 2018 Single Speed World Championships in Bend, Or. Last November I went to New Zealand for the 2017 edition of the race with a few other folks from Bend, and we won the Hosting Rights for the 2018 edition. I wanted to build up a bike that was cool, but also guaranteed I didn’t win because I am tattoo adverse.

I dug through my various crates of parts I have accumulated over my racing years, and built what I think is a pretty unique setup. The cranks are the XTR M960 iteration, which have a proprietary BCA and a huge spider, so I took a dremel to them and gave them an “update”

I went with flat pedals because #flatpedalswinmedals but also for when I need to bail and run fast (away from the tattoo guy).

The coaster brake looks gnar, but I’ve recently taken it apart and fully rebuilt the insides so it works well, for the most part.

For me, the build highlights include an original Hite-Rite seat post-spring, various vintage Shimano XTR bits, and some brand new WTB tires, because #26aintdead.

The original Flite saddle used to be my go to, but now I find it very uncomfortable.

Custom Desalvo/Kona Ti frame
Kona Project Two Fork
Highly Modified Shimano XTR M960 cranks with 32T ring
Un-branded Coaster Brake hub with 16t Cog
Thompson Seatpost
Original Flite Saddle
Hite-Rite seat spring
Pro Tharsis Stem and Handlebar 50mm/800mm
Front Brake XTR M9000 (I’ve been trying to convince myself to take this off, but I am scared)
Front Hub Shimano XTR M960
Tires WTB Trail Boss 26×2.2 TCS Light/Fast casing

Ti Tuesday: Alan’s zippy Single Speed Ti Raijin

Alan’s Ti Raijin isn’t a big showy head turner of a bike. It’s been built up as durable zippy single speed for Alan’s local trails at Sports Swap in Toronto. Closer inspection reveals a thoughtful parts selection that will truly go the distance and perhaps last as long as this Raijin Ti frame will. The Stan’s Crest wheels laced to Paul Components hubs are a case in point. The Cane Creek 110 headset and Spank Subrosa bars are another.  The smattering of SRAM and Avid bits and pieces show their age, but also an element of if it ain’t broke… The carbon Truvative XO cranks (with North Shore Billet spider and ring), Avid Juicy Ultimates and 100m Reba forks are all super solid and reliable choices that round out this solid single speed steed.