Category Archives: Kona

The ugliest bike ever

The Specialized Hardrock.

Specialized Hardrock

Specialized Hardrock

Now, I just found this bike on kijiji, so if you happen to be selling it, please know that I’m not saying that your Hardrock is the ugliest bike ever. It looks like your bike is rather smartly set up to roll around town, and that’s fine.

In fact, it’s not even really the Hardrock that’s the ugliest bike ever, it’s this style of bike that’s ugly.

Actually, it’s not even this style, it’s the thinking behind it.

I’ll explain.

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A retro classic returns

You will find no large bicycle company making bikes from steel these days.  Aluminium is easier – ie cheaper – to work with, and it’s lighter.  I’m sure it’s much easier to sell a light bike to the average bike buyer, than it is to try and sell the ride qualities of a steel frame.

All of which makes this bike a real surprise.


The 2014 Kona Explosif.  Reynolds 520 steel frame, 27.5″ wheels, 120mm Rock Shox fork with 15mm axle, 142 x 12mm rear end with sliding dropouts, and a retail price of $2300.  Old skool frame tubes, new skool design.  It’s a mass-produced Chromag Aperture.

I bought the Mountain Bike Action Buyer’s Guide recently just to see what I could buy with $2500.  I don’t have $2500 by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s a dollar amount I could comfortably amass after a year of saving.  I didn’t see this bike in the Guide, but it’s my clear winner.

If only Rocky Mountain would bring back the Blizzard in this style…