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2014 Kona Explosif Bike (discontinued)

Average User Rating: (Spectacular)
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2014 Kona Explosif

Rating: Featured Member Review
The Good:

Price, SLX/XT Spec, Party Geometry, Tubeless Ready Wheels

The Bad:

Rear Tire Clearance, Deore Shifters

Overall Review:

As soon as this bike was released, I knew I needed one. Having wanted a steel hardtail for the last couple seasons to complement my quiver, a quick review of the numbers on the Explosif confirmed my initial impulses. Missing the mid-season release of the 2013, I promptly ordered a 2014 for Spring delivery.

The important components are spot on with a complete SLX build and a XT rear changer. The only miss on the mechanical components in my opinion are the Deore shifters, which do not allow for inboard adjustment when married to the brake levers. Regarding the cockpit spec, the stock Kona parts will work for a majority of riders, however I quickly went full Canadian and threw a 50mm Atlas stem and an uncut Fubar on to increase the party factor. The Ardent tires were a good spec as well, but I strapped on some Hans Damfs and removed the tubes for extra plow-ability.

Regarding the frame itself, the geometry is on point for loose, rowdy hardtail rallying. Paragon sliding drops make for easy attitude adjustments and the rear thru-axel is confidence inspiring. The only issue I have with the frame is the rear tire clearance, which is tight with the high volume Hans Damfs. If I lived somewhere where it actually rained, this lack of clearance would be an issue.

Overall, I couldn't be more pleased with my purchase. Never having ridden a wheel size other than 26, I did not notice the larger wheels at first, but am starting to notice the subtle benefits of the 27.5 with increased roll on the buff and better plow through rocks. From slickrock to singletrack, flow trails to chunder, this bike has exceeded my expectations on every adventure I've taken it on in the last four months. In my 20 years of riding singletrack, I've never had more fun on a bike- hardtail or full suspension. I'd recommend this bike to anyone who is on a budget and looking for maximum fun-factor. The Explosif is a mountain biker's mountain bike.



Product Kona Explosif Bike
Model Year 2014
Riding Type Cross Country
Rider Unisex
Sizes and Geometry
15, 17, 19, 21 View Geometry
Size 15 17 19 21
Top Tube Length 22.52 23.50 24.49 25.51
Head Tube Angle 68° 68° 68° 68°
Head Tube Length 4.13 4.53 4.92 5.31
Seat Tube Angle 73° 73° 73° 73°
Seat Tube Length 15.00 17.01 19.02 20.98
Bottom Bracket Height 1.73 Drop 1.65 Drop 1.65 Drop 1.73 Drop
Chainstay Length 16.54 16.54 16.54 16.54
Wheelbase 42.44 43.46 44.49 45.55
Standover 30.16 31.26 32.36 33.46
Reach 15.20 16.06 16.97 17.87
Stack 23.94 24.29 24.69 25.04
Wheel Size 27.5" (650b)
Frame Material Chromoly
Frame Material Details 520 Butted Cromoly
Rear Travel Hardtail
Rear Shock N/A
Fork RockShox Recon Gold RL, Tapered, QR15
Fork Travel 120mm
Head Tube Diameter Straight
Headset ZST NO. 10/7B/44
Handlebar Kona XC/BC Riser
Stem Kona XC/Road
Grips Kona Race Light Lock-On
Brakes Shimano SLX, 180mm (Centerlock) Front, 160mm (Centerlock) Rear
Brake Levers Shimano SLX
Drivetrain 2x
Shifters Shimano Deore
Front Derailleur Shimano SLX
Rear Derailleur Shimano XT Shadow Plus
Cranks Shimano SLX
Chainrings 24/38 Tooth
Bottom Bracket Shimano SLX
Pedals Shimano M520 Clipless
Chain KMC X10
Cassette Shimano Deore, 11-36 Tooth, 10-Speed
Rims WTB ST i23
Hubs Shimano Deore
Spokes Sanvik Stainless, 15g Front / 14g Rear
Tires Maxxis Ardent 27.5"x2.25"
Saddle WTB Volt Comp
Seatpost Kona Double Clamp with Offset
Seatpost Diameter
Seatpost Clamp Kona Clamp
Rear Dropout / Hub Dimensions 12mm x 142mm
Max. Tire Size
Bottle Cage Mounts Yes
Colors Matte Raw Steel with Orange Tint
Warranty Lifetime
Weight N/A
Price $2,237
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