Kona Ute modifications

Kona Ute modifications

Postby just4tehhalibut » Fri Jul 12, 2013 5:18 am

The following relates to mods that I made for someone who'd bought an older model Kona Ute and wanted to bring it up from an urban shopper bike to a cargo bike that can be taken on tours. Although the Ute model has since changed it still isn't perfect. Main mods are pannier racks, double kickstand, dynamo lights and mudguards.
The original Ute racks came with a shopper bag that the owner was too ashamed to even show me, she wanted to be able to mount panniers and maybe a duffel bag or large dry sack. So I made crmo racks that clamped onto the existing racks, allowed 2 rear panniers to sit on either side, a total of 4 panniers. In addition I made a running board for the driveside to carry the dry sack, able to be unbolted at any time but not interfering with the panniers if left on nor with removing the wheel. I made up straps and buckles for the running board, these can be stored in a long canvas bag that I mounted on the non-driveside, room also for a few ocky straps too. The pannier racks can also be removed without affecting the rear light mount or mudguard. I had to use some Tubus seatstay clamps for the rear mudguard. The bike hadn't come with a rear mudguard nor mounts for this.
While I was at it I handsewed (because I'm useless with a sewing machine and canvas) a cordura canvas toolbag to fit in the frame triangle behind the seat. In the pic below you can also see the aluminium clamp on the bottom tube for the double kickstand. This Ute came with a single-legged kickstand, the kind used on the vintage Schwinn cruisers. Later models use a more sensible double kickstand and don't need a beefy metal tube welded diagonally across and blocking anything else from being mounted there. I was allowed to cut off the Schwinn bracket and machine up a chunky but sturdy ali bracket, this'll handle a load and touring.
It was a frame with a small triangle and although there was a bidon mount inside the triangle and another under the downtube there was very little clearance on either. The owner had tried a 1.5L bidon holder inside and a normal bidon underneath, I reversed this arrangement and to do this had to make up an adapter to move the bidon mount holes down by several inches. Hey, I ride 60cm frames and sometimes I have to make up these adapters for my own needs, you'd think when they designed bike frames they'd check bidon cage clearances but no.
The original Kona bars were some sort of shopper bars, riser bars that swept back in a way designed to skewer the rider on sharp turns. We tried butterfly bars but they felt too flexible for a cargo bike so we went with flat MTB bars. The pink barends weren't my choice. The original front mudguard was a shoddy single stay model and poor coverage. And there was no rear mudguard. A set of SKS Bluemels fixed this. Also made a mudflap for the front out of neoprene rubber (thanks BNA for the hint). And because a double kickstand was being used a steering damper would be needed for the front wheel, I used a Hebie damper.
Dynamo lights were needed, for the budget I could only find a Shimano XT hub (T785) with centrelock disc brake mount, not 6-bolt. The hub laced in with the original spokes, you'll find many Shimano disc hubs have the same wheelbuilding dimensions, really handy. I used a KCNC disc brake adapter. Busch & Muller lights fit the quality and budget (as well as came in black), so a Cyo T Senso (the 60 Lux model) on front and Selectra Plus on back and extra long wiring between because this was a longboard cargo bike after all. I use the same headlight for country riding and Audax.
You'll see that the mudguard is mounted nicely but somehow I have to mount the headlight and damper. So I had to make up another bracket.
At least the damper mount won't twist about now.
And to finish it off a mirror and Mr Sharky the bike horn. Same sound effect as those chew toys from the pet store, confuses the hell out of their pet dogs.

Of course the finished bike still isn't as good as my Surly Big Dummy cargo bike, you get what you pay for.
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Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 4:02 am
Location: Spearwood, WA

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