Thursday, March 15, 2012


Saw this on Pinkbike:

I generally think that the above statement is a pretty crummy and unfair thing to write on your cast. I also generally think it's a pretty funny thing to write on your cast.

A little history: When I was 14 and loved skinnies and stairgaps, I really wanted a Kona. When I started racing, I suddenly didn't want one as much. I attribute that change in perception as much to Kona's suspension performance, bike weight and geometry decisions as I do to their choice to sponsor this Commie, freedom-hating, Sam-Hill-and-Steve-Peat-Gold-Medal-at-the-World-Champs-denying Frenchie:

Fabien at the peak of his Frenchness and Kona-ness

However, with age and maturity, Fabien and Kona both grew on me. I don't know how to say this politely or in any politically correct manner, but Fabien seems so much more genuine and nice and kind-hearted in interviews, and so much less... French.

See, he's actually a pretty nice guy. Maybe I've even grown enough to see his French identity as a positive, distinguishing attribute, that highlights the important similarities we all share as humans, despite our outward differences. Okay, scratch that last part. That was dumb.

France is still < America

In the same vein, the Kona Operator is actually pretty sweet. It wouldn't be my first pick for a race bike, but it represents a HUUUUUUUGE shift in Kona's product, brand, and thinking:

Just to review, this:

Is waaaaaaaaay sweeter than this:

Plus, Kona sponsors NW enduro ripper and all-around badass Matt Slaven:

The point is, Kona probably deserves better than the cute, marginally witty message you put on your shitty cast, random guy on Pinkbike. Yeah, Kona has a nasty reputation on the internet for having headtubes rip off, especially among the 13-year-olds on pinkbike. And who would doubt anything you read on Pinkbike's forums?

Then again, you can find a picture of the head tube ripped off of just about any bike that exists. I've seen pictures of V-10's with the headtubes ripped off, Demo-8's, Devinci's, GT's, and even the old Giant Glories. And I thought those old Glories were invincible. Here's a simple rule: When you see a crack, YOU SHOULD STOP RIDING THAT BIKE. If you see a crack, and then keep riding, Kona didn't do this to you. You did this to you. If you never saw a crack, then you probably weren't looking for one, which also isn't an excuse. You should always check your frame for cracks, just like you should always check your spokes for tension. On the other hand, if you're not smart enough to check your frame for cracks, then you probably suck at life and we'll all benefit from your death. It's a win-win.

Unfortunatley for Kona, it was really hard for me to find photos of various bikes with the head tubes ripped off. I tried. I went through pages and pages of photos (75, in fact), trying every search term I could think of. "Headtube," "Head tube," "ripped," "snapped," "broke," "broken." Didn't find all that much. On the other hand, when casually scrolling through the comments for the "Kona did this" cast picture, I found a comment where some guy hyperlinked to nine photos of Kona's with the headtubes ripped off. And reposting all of those was way easier than combing the internet for a bunch of pictures of non-Kona's with the headtubes ripped off. So enjoy the fruit of my laziness.

DISCLAIMER: plenty of people were hurt in the making of this blog post.

Okay, in the name of journalistic integrity, here's a picture of one not-a-Kona:

Now this article is officially fair and balanced.


Uncle Cliffy said...

Not a single "Clump" usage?

Frog said...

France still have 2 of the best robots ever made : Nicolas Vouilloz and A.C. Chausson.
Unless you think human can win 10 or more world cup or switch to olympic bmx races and then be back on MTB.
I grant you, since CG the production line don't work this good.
But I remember you posting on this blog a french trail you wish you could ride. Can you put yourself on your own kill list ?

Anonymous said...

I forgot that you've never ridden a bike that tore in half... going down cannonball

duesche said...

funny coincidence on all those konas that were broken, 888's? i think not.