Kona Caldera build

Discussion in 'Mountain Biking, Trials and BMX' started by JhnBssll, 23 Dec 2017.

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  1. JhnBssll

    JhnBssll Über Member

    Location:
    Suffolk
    As posted a few days ago in the "Show us your mountain bike" thread I managed to get hold of a Kona Caldera frame from eBay earlier in the week. In this thread I plan to show you lucky people how the build is going. It's not going to be quick as I'm planning on getting a good spec for as little as possible through eBay for a bit of a challenge ^_^ This will mean taking my time and shopping around a bit but I'm in no hurry :okay:

    This is a bit of a trip down memory lane for me as I had an identical Caldera frame when I was about 16 as a replacement for a Hahanna I'd cracked :laugh: The frame was going to be replaced like for like but I decided to upgrade and put some cash in to get the Caldera. Anyway, here's the photo from the eBay advert:


    Condition looks great in the photo's, hopefully it'll live up to expectations when it arrives in a week or so!

    With the frame ordered I sat down and started having a browse of eBay auctions for other bits and pieces to try and work out what spec I wanted and how much it was likely to cost. I started with forks; I'd had P2's on my Hahanna but upgraded to Marzocchi Bomber Z1 BAM's when I moved to the Caldera frame. I already have a full sus enduro style bike in the garage so I figured I'd go down the short travel hardtail route. Z1's were going to have a little too much travel for what I had in mind but I quickly found some early Z2's going at a good price so snapped them up! They look slightly more abused than the frame but the stanchions are supposedly perfect which is a good sign for the internals. As luck would have it the colour looks like it will go quite nicely with the frame decals too :blush:


    I've ordered a new headset and a used raceface stem too so I can assemble it when it all arrives for easier storage (or thats what I told myself...)!

    Since I'd managed to get these items at relatively low cost I decided to roll the dice once more. By this time I'd decided that I'd be going with XTR bits (because why not?) and came across this little lot, hopefully arriving in a week or so.


    I haven't actually checked the parts I've ordered to date actually go together... I could put any of it back on eBay and at least get my money back so I'm not overly concerned at this stage. If nothing else I'll learn something :laugh: Bottom brackets seem to have gotten complicated since I last played with one ~15 years ago :wacko: Used to be cup and cone or cartridge if you were posh :laugh:

    I'm watching some XTR V-brakes now - I'll grab them if the price stays low, otherwise I'll keep my eyes peeled for bargains at a later date. A mate suggested Magura's but they seem expensive for what they are - having had no experience of them I don't know if they're worth the extra money. Any thoughts?

    I've not decided on wheels yet - my old bike had a mavic rim / hope titanium hub combo which would be lovely to recreate but my early browsing suggests these are now quite sought after and command a premium. I don't want to be paying over the odds for 'retro' parts so will bide my time and hope I can grab a bargain at some point :laugh:

    That's all for now - I'll post updates as bits start to arrive and assembly commences :becool:
     
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  2. Hugh Manatee

    Hugh Manatee Veteran

    Magura rim brakes are wonderful. I have a set of HS-33s on my Bontrager Ti Race Light. Smooth with good modulation of power on the later (HS-33) models. The quick release system on these means taking the wheels off is easy and you don't have to deflate the tyres anymore! They also have a funky adjuster on the levers to allow for block wear.
    It is true I haven't tried disks so cannot compare but, I just haven't felt the need.
     
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  3. Elybazza61

    Elybazza61 Veteran

    Have some Maguras on the other halfs' Kona(a Smoke) and they are very good-pain to set up though.
     
    JhnBssll likes this.
  4. OP
    OP
    JhnBssll

    JhnBssll Über Member

    Location:
    Suffolk
    Maguras would have been nice but I've now got XTR v-brakes and shifters en route, I couldn't justify the extra cost. I've noticed parts seem to be better value on eBay US so I've ordered the brakes from there. Including postage and duty they're coming out at about 70% of the eBay UK average price :okay:

    Headset arrived yesterday and bottom bracket now ordered :laugh: I think wheels are going to be the sticking point as I can't see anything I like at a price I'm willing to pay just yet. Patience required on this one I think! I'm starting to wonder if I should buy hubs and rims separately and put them together myself but it's been about 20 years since I last built a wheel :laugh:
     
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  5. OP
    OP
    JhnBssll

    JhnBssll Über Member

    Location:
    Suffolk
    Bit of an update for you as some bits have started arriving ^_^ First to show up was the headset, an FSA Orbit XL II. That arrived last week as mentioned above. The XTR bottom bracket arrived this morning, as did the frame (yay!), some bars and the XTR chainset and mechs that I sourced through eBay. I've excitedly assembled what I could so the bottom bracket is fitted, the headset cups are pressed in to the headtube, the chainset is bolted on and the rear mech is fitted. I've now got to play a waiting game until more bits start to arrive :laugh:

    I managed to get hold of some XTR brake levers and a set of wheels from eBay over the christmas break. The wheels were a bit more than I wanted to pay but seem in good condition and came with tires and a cassette which I would have had to buy seperately - £150 for XTR hubs and Mavic X517 ceramic rims isn't too bad, just hope they're relatively straight :laugh:

    Anyway, here is a pic of my current progress:


    And here are the other bits that have arrived and are awaiting assembly:


    I already love it :blush::wub::blush: Really looking forward to getting my hands on the forks and fitting them up but the stem seems to be about a week away - I might have to attach them with cable ties when they arrive just so I can gaze at it longingly in the garage :laugh::tongue:
     
    Last edited: 28 Dec 2017
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  6. OP
    OP
    JhnBssll

    JhnBssll Über Member

    Location:
    Suffolk
    The bombers arrived this morning, as did the wheels and shifters. Mixed results on this round of eBay "bargains" :laugh:

    I'll start with the positives... The forks look awesome and seem to function ok - they make the same squelching noise I remember my old Z1's making and all the adjusters move freely so all seems good. The colour is almost exactly the same as the Kona graphics - they look like they were made for each other :smooch:


    The shifters also look amazing, hardly a mark on them :becool: Whilst messing around with them I realised I've accidentally bought a rapid rise rear mech so the shifting will be backwards to what I'm used to on the Stumpjumper and previous bikes. That now makes 5 bikes with 4 different shifting methods :laugh: Confusing much?!


    On the downside the wheels were in much worse shape than I had anticipated. The front XTR hub is basically scrap - missing lock nut and bearing seals, bearings shot (cups, cones and balls) on both sides, brown rusty water came out when I whipped the axle out to see why it wasn't turning which is never a good sign :rolleyes: They were advertised as good working order so hopefully the seller is reasonable about it - I have requested a partial refund to cover the cost of a new hub and will rebuild the wheel myself if they accept the proposition :okay: Otherwise I'll be sending them both back for a full refund and will start looking again :sad:

    I can't get over how good the bombers look on that frame :laugh:
     
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  7. OP
    OP
    JhnBssll

    JhnBssll Über Member

    Location:
    Suffolk
    I've now got a new old stock XTR hub on the way from Poland :wacko: It was the only 28 hole one I could find of the right age, I guess even well looked after examples are getting pretty tired after 20 years of use! The eBay seller was very reasonable and agreed to the partial refund so I'll only be a few quid out of pocket with a bit of luck. It does mean I've got to remember how to build a wheel though... :laugh:

    I had a nice little surprise in the post today too - my stem, headset spacers and bomber brake bosses arrived so I've fitted a few more bits this morning ^_^


    Not much more to do now until more bits arrive next week. I think the only bits I haven't ordered are brake cables and gear cable outers but I'm sure there'll be something I haven't thought of :laugh:
     
    ChrisEyles likes this.
  8. Pumpkin the robot

    Pumpkin the robot Über Member

    I like the retro stuff :smile: How much has it set you back so far?
     
  9. OP
    OP
    JhnBssll

    JhnBssll Über Member

    Location:
    Suffolk
    Frame was £90, forks were £50 so pretty good value really. I decided to go down the XTR road which has been pretty expensive, I'm about £700 in now with only grips and cables to go. If I'd gone lower spec it could have been put together for considerably less but if it was value I was after I'd have bought something quite different :laugh: Its a bit of an extravagance to be honest but thought I'd treat myself :blush: Again :blush::laugh:
     
  10. OP
    OP
    JhnBssll

    JhnBssll Über Member

    Location:
    Suffolk
    Brake levers arrived this morning so have been popped on to the bars :becool: Still awaiting the v-brakes themselves and several other bits but I had notifications today to tell me the saddle, seatpost and new front hub have been dispatched ^_^ Hopefully by the end of the month I'll have it all together :becool:

     
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  11. OP
    OP
    JhnBssll

    JhnBssll Über Member

    Location:
    Suffolk
    I put a few more bits and bobs together this afternoon. The front wheel is only loosely fitted at the moment - one of the axle locknuts are missing so if I were to clamp it up it would bend the fork legs in which I don't really want to do..! It'll come off again for a rebuild when the replacement hub arrives ^_^ There's a decent sized wobble in the rear wheel too so that'll need some attention before it gets ridden in anger :laugh:


    Having the wheels on meant i could stand it on it's feet for the first time and free up the work stand until more bits arrive - It does look a bit teeny tiny next to the Stumpjumper :laugh:


    I had to shift a few bits around in the garage to make space for the commuter but it all fits in nicely again now with a decent walkway through the middle. The Aria is going on hooks on the opposite wall when it arrives so I shouldn't have to do much more shuffling for the time being ^_^

     
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  12. OP
    OP
    JhnBssll

    JhnBssll Über Member

    Location:
    Suffolk
    Saddle, seatpost, brakes and front mech now fitted :okay: It's taking shape... Waiting on brake bolts, need to order cables and grips. I'm hoping the hub will show up sometime this week but I need to order a new spoke key and may as well treat myself to a truing stand while I'm at it. I think I'll wait for payday before I order the last bits though :laugh:




    I'm worried it's going to be far too good to use as a pub bike :laugh:
     
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  13. OP
    OP
    JhnBssll

    JhnBssll Über Member

    Location:
    Suffolk
    I ordered cables and grips last night so that should be everything now. Just waiting for the postie!

    The hub arrived this morning and I couldn't wait to see what it looked like built up... Lets just say I won't be needing a new spoke key or truing stand anymore :laugh:

    I was pretty fortunate in that all of the spokes were in good nick and none of the nipples had corroded or seized so I stripped the wheel down in about 10 minutes. I made sure I laced the new hub up with the same pattern so the spoke lengths would still be right then gradually went round and tightened them until they all had a decent amount of tension. A few small tweaks and it's running pretty straight - I'll go round it again once it's settled and take the last little wobble out but I'm really pleased with it since it only took about 45 minutes and is the first wheel I've built in about 15 years :laugh:





    With the new wheel on and tight it meant I could take it for it's first spin - a whole 30 metres around the cul-de-sac :laugh: Lots of twanging from the front wheel at first as you'd expect but seems to have settled. More importantly the bike feels great - I couldn't have asked for a better riding position :becool: It feels longer and leaner than the stumpjumper and the short travel fork feels great. I might give them a quick service at some point but I'm not sure they need it - they were certainly 50 quid well spent ^_^


    Hopefully the next update will be the finished bike :ohmy: It's certainly come together faster than I originally envisaged but I kept finding bargains :laugh:
     
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  14. OP
    OP
    JhnBssll

    JhnBssll Über Member

    Location:
    Suffolk
    Finished her this afternoon :okay: I've even straightened the back wheel out so it's all ready to go when I get the opportunity. I think I'll stay local on the first outing in case I've done something dim during assembly or one of the bargain components turns out to be less of a bargain than first thought :tongue::laugh: I'll try and get some better photo's of her in her natural habitat too :blush:

    New grips arrived - installed in a jiffy and cockpit controls adjusted to comfortable positions.


    The new brake and gear cables also arrived, they took a bit more fettling but the brakes are centred and biting well and the gears are all indexing properly now ^_^


    The finished bike - a slightly upgraded version of my second 'proper' mountain bike but very similar indeed. I could have bought something superior by todays standards for less money but that's not what I set out to do - all thats left to do now is get out and ride the thing :laugh:

     
  15. ChrisEyles

    ChrisEyles Veteran

    Location:
    Devon
    Lovely build!

    Looking forward to seeing some pictures of it good and muddy now ;)
     
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