Thursday, August 09, 2007
Here he is. Some of you may recall my old green Kona Stinky Dee-Lux, an original 1998 model, complete with curved seattube and a whole 5.5" of travel. He was called Konrad (the Kona) and died three years ago in the alps. Well, here's his younger cousin, who I shall name Konrad Junior, or just just Junior, for short.
It's hard not to compare the two frames because superficially they are quite similar. Both are from Kona's 'freeride' lineage, both employ a 'faux' four-bar suspension linkage with the rearmost pivot directly above the axle on the seatstay (as opposed to a truly active fourbar linkage where the Specialized-patented 'Horst'-linkage is in front of the rear axle on the chainstay), and both appear (or appeared) reliably big and burly. But seven year's of evolution is obvious to the trained eye. The curved seat-tube, where Konrad orginal snapped, was dropped from the range several years ago. One of the chainstays is dropped lower than the other, to counter the strong forces that go through that point that snapped many a previous Stinky frame. The downtube and seattube become increasingly box-sectioned as they rise to the junction with the headtube, to improve strength and increase weld area (I'd be surprised if this frame failed in the same way as my old Specialized. Crucially, the main pivot point has been raised and a longer stroke shock used, so travel is a smooth 7" without the need for an extra long pivot arm to create large stresses. All in all it the product of the best part of a decade of product development, and looks very smooth for it.
I bought it second hand from some bloke I met through www.foromtb.com, the buy-sell section of which is very similar to that on southern-downhill.com or descent-world.co.uk. It was a very good deal and, as you can see, it is absolutely mint, and has obviously been barely ridden at all.
My sister Tracey is out visiting at the moment so this weekend we will head off up to the Costa Brava for some snorkelling and sunbathing. But next weekend I think a trip to the chairlifts of Andorra is called for...