I’ve been planning on building a nice steel 26er hardtail for a while now. Why? I recently ended up with an old 26″ enduro bike and was reminded of how fun this obsolete historical wheelsize can be. I saw this repainted Kilauea for sale this summer but missed my chance and the bike was sold. Luckily the frameset popped up on a forum soon after and I bought it late this August.
Based on my quick research, I’d say the frame is from ’93 or ’94. I’d prefer the original paint, but this powdercoat is of reasonably high quality and desert tan color scheme has some Radavist type of street cred. I slapped some decals on the blank frame as a finishing touch.
I’ve been keeping my eyes open for a Kona P2 fork but haven’t found one yet, current fork is a Rockshox Psylo SL from the early 00’s. The group set is a bit of a mix ‘n’ match, as these bike-shop-back-room builds tend to be, parts range from a classic Shimano STX RC front hub to a brand new oval chainring. My favourite part without a shadow of a doubt is the Tioga Alchemy stem.
So what’s it like then? On a fast xc trail it’s damn good fun, a really nimble and playful bike – it turns around on a coin and accelerates like nothing else. Compared to larger wheeled modern bikes you kind of go around rocks and roots instead of over them, or you fall down trying. My future plans with the bike include installing a bottle cage and riding like I stole it.
Frame: Kona Kilauea 20″ Tange Prestige
Fork: Rockshox Psylo SL
Headset: Cane Creek S-8
Stem: Tioga Alchemy
Handlebars: Funn Flat Out
Grips: Lizard Skins Logo Dual Compound
Shifter: Shimano M7000
Brake levers: Avid FR-5
Seatpost: Origin 8 PROFIT
Seat: WTB Volt
Pedals: Shimano PD-M324
Brakes: Avid Single Digit 3 V-brakes
Rear derailleur: Shimano XT M781
Crankset: Shimano XT M752
Chainring: Blackspire Snaggletooth Narrow Wide Oval 36t
Chain: Shimano XT HG95
Cassette: Shimano 11-36t
Front wheel: Shimano STX-RC / Sapim / Mavic XM 117
Rear wheel: Novatec / Sapim / Mavic XM 117
Tyres: Michelin Wild Race’R2 Advanced set up tubeless