Author Topic: Kona Wheelhouse 2018 - reynolds 853 frame, TRC spyre mech discs, Tiagra - £1089  (Read 2098 times)

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter


http://2018.konaworld.com/wheelhouse.cfm

Got this last November and have since been using it for audax, club rides, no proper off roading.

I saw the last one in my size on sale on Chain Reaction Cycles and was entranced by the spec and the price point. I've always preferred mechanical discs on an ease of maintenance standpoint (yeah I know they don't provide that much more raw stopping power than calipers in dry conditions but they're far better in the rain) and tiagra was more than good enough for my requirements.

The wheelhouse is a cheaper edition of Kona's own 'roadhouse' which has a 105 groupo and hydraulic discs (it was on sale for £1589 when I last looked).

The groupset and assembly quality of the bike is spot on. No adjustments needed.

The wheelset is an Alexrims Boondocks 5, tubeless ready disc set. They're not super light but they've been up to the job.

The best point of the bike is definitely the frame. The ride is very comfortable and it provides clearance for larger tyres (I'm currently running 32mm Gravel King SKs, but I think there are room for 35s). It came with Schwalbe 30mm spicer tyres which aren't tubeless compatible (though the wheels are). 'Proper' mudguards don't really work with chunkier tyres but the clip-on ones are prefectly compatible. And frankly it looks really gorgeous.

Recommended!

*Pluses:*

Comfy endurance geometry but can still give its turn of speed - I have no problems using it on club rides - according to the manufacturer the smallest possible tyres on the alexrims wheels are 28mm.

Looks gorgeous (I've since added some personal touch finishing kit which I think helps bring out the best in the bike).

Great VFM (Reynolds 853 steel and tiagra + discs at this price point is pretty good IMO).

Mechanical discs function very well in poor conditions.

Tiagra external BB should keep help the squeaks and creaks away.

Comes with an 11-32 read cassette and 34/50 chainrings for hill busting.

*Minuses:*

The stock tyres aren't tubeless ready if that's your deal.

Might be hard to get hold of owing to selling out.

Limited 'proper' mudguard compatibility when using larger tyres.

YACF touring/audax bargain basement:
https://bit.ly/2Xg8pRD


Blodwyn Pig

  • what a nice chap
that's got to be the longest seat post in the whole wide world. :o

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
People always remark on my long seatposts 💁

It's well inside the length markings on it.
YACF touring/audax bargain basement:
https://bit.ly/2Xg8pRD


Kona Wheelhouse - great name for a blues singer.  Might not make it past 28, though.

Morat

  • I tried to HTFU but something went ping :(
I have the '16 Roadhouse, so you have the updated version of the frame (flat mount disks and nicer drop outs).
I love riding it downhill, the front end is really planted and gives me a lot of confidence. How do you find it?
Tandem Stoker, CX bike abuser (slicks and tarmac) and owner of a sadly neglected MTB.

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Absolutely terrific. I recently did the Kent Invicta Grimpeur which had some seriously hairy descents during Storm Gareth and I felt very safe (bits of York's Hill are steeper than 25%). Albeit this is with wider tyres than stock (32mms). Though I was carrying very little cargo.
YACF touring/audax bargain basement:
https://bit.ly/2Xg8pRD


Morat

  • I tried to HTFU but something went ping :(
I had a feeling you'd like it downhill :)

Depite being far too heavy for Serious Cycling, I've stuck with the stock 30mm S-Ones because I managed to get a set of full length mudguards (from Radial) over them. Just. I run them at 80/90psi F/R which seems to do the job for me. I've only had one pinch flat so far and that was when I hit a pretty big rock going downhill. I was just relieved the wheel was still straight!
I'll go tubeless when I replace the front, the rear is a TL ready but I didn't see the point in getting into tubeless for 1 wheel :)
Tandem Stoker, CX bike abuser (slicks and tarmac) and owner of a sadly neglected MTB.

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
To be honest I'm very tempted to try to race it in a crit! Take some spacers off the steerer tube but I wouldn't be afraid of going fast on it.
YACF touring/audax bargain basement:
https://bit.ly/2Xg8pRD


I do like Konas, although their current MTB geometry doesn't work for me.  They always look good.
Never tell me the odds.

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Did Paris Roubaix on it today and it held up tremendously. Very much on home turf for that kind of terrain.
YACF touring/audax bargain basement:
https://bit.ly/2Xg8pRD


bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
I also did my first cross race on this bike the other week. Unfortunately it was ended early with a pinch flat (I was using some knobbly tyres I'd borrowed and probably didn't put enough air in - perhaps I should have made the effort to do them tubelessly) but it worked very well in the race, albeit in pretty dry conditions. Steel is real!
YACF touring/audax bargain basement:
https://bit.ly/2Xg8pRD


bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Raced cross again. Stacked it pretty badly off a feature but the bike performed fine, jumped back on it no probs. I placed 32/38. Currently lying down waiting for my pepperoni slices to heal up.

In less good news the rear wheel developed a small crack before the race. I raced on it anyway but it's definitely RIP in Peace time for the alexrims wheelset supplied. Chain Reaction are yet to get back to me on my warranty claim but have bought some Mavic Allroads in the meantime. The Alexrims ones were OK but I don't think I'll miss them.
YACF touring/audax bargain basement:
https://bit.ly/2Xg8pRD


bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Had to make a warranty claim on the front Tiagra brifter the other week, after just under a year of use. It seems the internals are kaput, and it wouldn't change up. Chain Reaction sent me a new one in the post.

I had hoped that Tiagra would be a reliable groupo but to be honest, it's starting to wear a bit thin on me - it seems to lose indexing fairly easily, especially at the front. My dad's had ultegra and campy stuff for years that's kept on trucking. Whenever I borrow an ultegra bike it always feels really magical to me.

On the other hand I love the frame and forks so much I would be willing to pay for an ultegra upgrade in the fullness of time. The good news is I'd just need the cable brake ultegra kit to integrate with the TRP spyres.
YACF touring/audax bargain basement:
https://bit.ly/2Xg8pRD


There’s very little (if any) difference between Tiagra 4700 brifters and anything else recent, apart from the name badge.

I don’t know about 4700 specifically, but 5800 was afflicted with an FD design that’s near impossible (often, actually impossible) to setup correctly. I think that’s been fixed in R7000/R8000 generations but there’s no Tiagra equivalent of that yet.