Kona AA 26" BMX Cruiser

Jun 13, 2019
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This bike doesn't have much in common with what most folks on this site start out with. But it was cheap.
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And at least the tubing that the frame was built from was made in the U.S.A.
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The plan, as you may have heard, is a 26" BMX styled cruiser.

Not sure how much I want to invest in this. But it should come in well shy of a Firemans Texas Cruzer or a Mongoose KOS.
As always, I'll keep an eye peeled for cheap, suitable donors. But I may have to drop some coin on new parts to speed up the process and give it the look I'm after.
 
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The plan most likely includes paint. Because the frame is pretty scratched up.

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Or maybe a shade lighter if I can find something I like. A candy lime metallic might be nice.
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With a satin clear of course.

And a generous amount of polished aluminum and chrome, along with a few select pieces of turquoise-ish blue anodized parts.

Or I could flip that.
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And add a few select pieces of green ano.

Something to give it that calming beachy feel.
 
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Easton frame tubing and Kona make very desirable stuff. I'd invest in some good parts for it. Awesome find.
Thanks!
I probably killed the resale value with removing the cable guides on top of the frame. But I don't care because one was already buggered up, and I just don't like'm up there.
Also I plan on keeping this bike. Should be a fun, agile, lightweight cruiser when I'm done.

Anyway, I'm lookin at BMX style stem, bars, and 29'er forks to start with. Or maybe I could beef up the RockSkox with stronger springs.

Not a lot of rigid fork choices that I've seen. P2 and Landing Gear. And some cheap bike takeoffs like the Schwinn Midway.
I feel like it would have to be a 29 fork to keep the same geometry.
Like the looks of the Landing Gear. But I don't know if it has as much rake as I would like.

Wheels may go on the backburner for a while, as I actually like the look of the cheap black steel wheels with the current paint scheme. Or I may put one of the two sets of 7x wheelsets that I have on there.

Biggest issue right now is finding a 27mm layback seatpost.
I destroyed the seatpost that came with it trying to remove it. Had to drill a hole through the middle and stick a 3/8 or so allen wrench through it to hammer it out.
Who knows.....might put a nanner seat on it.:cool2:
 
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You can do that...but, by using a half-link and/or stepping up or down a tooth on the sprocket has resulted in a magic ratio with sufficient chain tightness for me.
Thanks for the advice!
I'm hoping to use the large 42T chainwheel that came on the Sugino up front. Or might buy a 39 Porkchop ring down the line, for some added color.
Hopefully I can make it work without a tensioner. I'm not nearly as agressive a rider as I used to be... Although with a super light bike I might be tempted to be a little more daring.
 
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Gt made a slightly layback style post in 27.0 from the era. Also a suspension corrected fork may suit your needs. But will have a ‘mtb’ look. So as mentioned the 29er fork may be a good move. Like @RustyGold said, you can figure out the golden ratio and avoid a tensioner for a way cleaner look.
Rad project and good starting point!
 
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Gt made a slightly layback style post in 27.0 from the era. Also a suspension corrected fork may suit your needs. But will have a ‘mtb’ look. So as mentioned the 29er fork may be a good move. Like @RustyGold said, you can figure out the golden ratio and avoid a tensioner for a way cleaner look.
Rad project and good starting point!
Thanks for the info. Actually saw a GT...or I think it was a Dyno(whole bike) from that era for sale last week for a pretty good price. But it's gone now. Will keep an eye out for that seatpost.
The one that was in the bike, not original, must have been a 27.2mm. Who'd'a'thunk 0.2mm make such a difference, but that sucker was stuck good.

I believe the Kona Project2 fork is one of those suspension corrected forks. But it's really thin and doesn't really look right to me on the large aluminum tube frame.

I do think the Landing gear forks would look good. And I've seen the correct 29 fork on sale right now for $80. Might should go ahead and get it. But still twice what the bike cost :D
Not that I have a set budget. Just trying to not end up spending what a new bike would cost in parts.
Although I do think this has the potential to be a really nice finished project. And somewhat unique.
 
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Now thinkin...:39: I might can clean up and paint the RockShox, and cut the springs down to give it more of a BMX stance while also increasing the spring rate.:bigboss:
Might have to see if I can cut the upper shock tubes down for this to work.
 

RustyGold

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There are cheap(ish) carbon or aluminum forks on the ebay that can work...for a more 'modern race' vibe. Also, depending on tire selection, a FGFS fork might do the trick (I have a couple leader forks that look great for a 26" bmx application). More older 26" Redline Monocogs are hitting the CL lately...those are very bmxy looking suspension corrected forks...and you can fit 29s in them on a non suspension frame as well (also several Salsa forks, Raleigh XXIX and GT Peace9r...those are both 29" suspension corrected...so very long). If you want a beefy looking old school fork...LG are great, but GBP forks are a great bang for the buck 26" chromoly fork (and you can space the fork below the head tube to level out the bike)...

cheap ebay carbon...
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cheap ebay aluminum...
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FGFS...the ones that I normally see on ebay I can't find right now...they look a bit more bmxy...
fork.jpg

Also, rigid DJ forks...
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Just some ideas
 
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There are cheap(ish) carbon or aluminum forks on the ebay that can work...for a more 'modern race' vibe. Also, depending on tire selection, a FGFS fork might do the trick (I have a couple leader forks that look great for a 26" bmx application). More older 26" Redline Monocogs are hitting the CL lately...those are very bmxy looking suspension corrected forks...and you can fit 29s in them on a non suspension frame as well (also several Salsa forks, Raleigh XXIX and GT Peace9r...those are both 29" suspension corrected...so very long). If you want a beefy looking old school fork...LG are great, but GBP forks are a great bang for the buck 26" chromoly fork (and you can space the fork below the head tube to level out the bike)...

cheap ebay carbon...
View attachment 100536
cheap ebay aluminum...
View attachment 100537

FGFS...the ones that I normally see on ebay I can't find right now...they look a bit more bmxy...
View attachment 100538
Also, rigid DJ forks...
View attachment 100539

Just some ideas
Thanks for the ideas.
The carbon fiber forks do look interesting. And they might counter the aluminum rigidity some.

Old Redline stuff would be fantastic.

I think I was looking at that FGFS earlier. With a little yellow sticker.
I noticed they listed it as a 29. But from the pics with the tape measure, a 29 would maybe just barely clear.

I really don't mind paying for the LG. It's a nice looking fork. And I wouldn't even mind a 26" if I knew it wasn't going to be too straight up and down and extra close to the frame. But I haven't seen where they list the offset.
Would like a chrome BMX look in a 26 really. But one with a decent amount of rake to it.
I would just buy one and try it out. But this is the only 26" bike I have with the threadless 1 1/8 steerer.

I'm going to look around and see if I can find some numbers on some different forks. Or at least a picture of a similar frame with a similar fork.
Thinking I would like something that leans towards road fork rake, but with room for a wide tire.
 
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So I pulled the springs out of the RockShox to see how it would sit with a 26" rigid fork.
Actually, the damper was missing out of the right side. Which explains why it didn't have much spring rate to begin with.
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But I think I'm likin that stance!

Anybody got a preference on threadless BMX style stems for 7/8 bars?
I kinda like the top load style for those in my fairly loose budget.
 
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RustyGold

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Thanks for the ideas.
No problemo...I love big BMX cruisers :thumbsup:
Old Redline stuff would be fantastic.
The cheapest I've gotten a 26" monocog for was $80 for a compete. I see them somewhat often on the local CL for ~$150...but, often with a suspension fork instead of the stock fork.
I think I was looking at that FGFS earlier. With a little yellow sticker.
I noticed they listed it as a 29. But from the pics with the tape measure, a 29 would maybe just barely clear.
I believe that's the one. Most FGFS forks will only fit sub 2" 29s...but, will usually fit a good size 26". I think my Leader Reaper will take a 2.3" 26.
I really don't mind paying for the LG. It's a nice looking fork. And I wouldn't even mind a 26" if I knew it wasn't going to be too straight up and down and extra close to the frame. But I haven't seen where they list the offset.
Landing Gear, 26 and 29, are both 29mm offset...I believe. There is a Black Ops chromoly bmx fork that comes in both 26 and 29 with a 40mm offset.

The FGFS forks are usually a pretty tight offset...like ~20mm or so.
 
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What about a triple tree fork?
You could adjust them to give you the stance you prefer.
Would also give it a DH/Moto look

Just spitballing....


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That might not look bad. I got the ones on the chopper parts bike that I could cut down.:D
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But they are heavy. And I want this bike light and agile, within reason. Still don't mind a touch more wheelbase for high speed stability.
 
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