Living Single - Kona Style|
Monday, December 13, 1999
Single-speed bikes are the latest craze to hit the two-wheeled industry. No, single speeds aren't anything new. In fact, single speeds are a retro tribute to the good ol' days when one speed was enough.
With only one fixed gear, single speeds are bikes reduced to their simplest form. They lack the multiple chain rings, cogs, derailleurs and shifters found on most bikes today.
This mechanical simplicity is what attracts many riders. Some like the minimal maintenance, some like the improved aesthetics, and some are driven by the stigma attached to these minimalist machines. No matter what the attraction, Kona's Kaboom is the perfect rendition of this elegant simplicity.
This simplicity translates into big savings. At $849 the Kaboom is more gentle on the pocket book than its more complex brethren.
The Kaboom is quality throughout. It's light and stiff aluminum frame is complimented by such components as Race Face cranks and a super comfortable SDG saddle.
The aluminum frame along with its rigid fork makes for a harsher ride than today's modern mountain bike. This stiffness, however translates into an extremely responsive and lively ride. The Kaboom just begs to get up and go.
The Kaboom features platform pedals adding to the bike's hop on and go image. However, the generic pedals included lack the necessary traction for any kind of aggressive riding. The traction knobs are rounded smooth and painted so they can't bit into your shoes for grip. Of course being rounded the knobs won't bite into your shin either.
Another issue that arose was a problem with the stock cable routing. Because of the shape of the Koski stem's 4-bolt end cap, the rear brake cable would routinely catch and pull out of the cable stop in the frame. A simple rerouting solved the problem.
The Kaboom is well built for the recreational rider and the off-road enthusiast alike. While most single speeds rarely see any significant dirt, the Kaboom is built to aggressively take on any stretch of singletrack. If you're looking for a way to add a new challenge to your favorite trail or a simple and elegant low maintenance commuter then the Kaboom is a definite contender.
Who's it for
A commuter or a bike addict looking to add another rig to their collection.
Who Isn't it for
Someone looking for a mountain bike to be their only bike.