To all you Kona detractors out there.

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  • To all you Kona detractors out there.

    mtbtomo – Member
    It seems Kona are getting slated, cos people don’t like the current look. The suspension design is essentially the same as Cove Hustler, older Trek Fuel EX’s and numerous other faux bar designs no doubt.

    It’s similar to a Hustler and the older treks? Unlike Kona, cove haven’t tried to use virtually the exact same design on every bike regardless of purpose. They diversified their designs for their freeride and dh range with the peeler and the playmate (which were horst likn??), and then they have changed them again with the shocker and std which I can say are both great bikes.

    Trek have developed their active braking pivot to enhance the faux bar design, which apparently is a big improvement but I wouldnt know. They also totally revamped their freeride and dh bikes.

    Turner have licensed the DW link to develop a new range of bikes. Spesh might be sticking with the horst link but they have been creative with the way they’ve applied it.

    Giant have developed the maestro system, Orange have started do diversify somewhat with the Blood, hardly revolutionary but it least it shows they are considering differing pivot positions for different types of bike.

    Even Banshee have moved away from the faux bar system. Rightly or wrongly I think Kona are in the minority here as far as sticking with one platform across all bikes is concerned. You can applaud them for it or criticise them, and at the end of the day you dont have to buy the bike but if you compare them to cars for example – you wouldnt pay the price of a new car if you knew that it was exactly the same model the manu had released ten years ago, with the same engine bhp, fuel economy, no abs or air con etc etc when their competitors were releasing much more powerful and more efficient cars for the same price.


    You’re applauding other companies little developments, but make little acknowledgement Kona have made little developments like the Magic Link, that braking arm thingy, used different shaped tubes albeit not as radical as everyone else.

    Like it or not, Kona’s always get good write ups in the magazines for how they ride. Rarely good value, but they always ride well. If they ride well or should I say people enjoy riding them, old technology or not then I don’t see the problem.

    Kona are a business. If they are selling bikes and people are going back for more, then business is fine. R&D costs a lot and can easily be money down the pan, licensing another design costs too.

    But, at the end of the day, you don’t have to buy something you don’t like. Even if you do buy something you do like, there will always be someone faster and more skilful.


    I’m not applauding other companies little developments, I was replying to a post which seemed to say that innovation or change in bike design was not the norm outside of the bigger companies. Anyway I’d hardly call a smaller company like cove or Banshee bringing out radically different bikes from what they had become synonymous with as small changes.

    Did Kona actually invent the floating brake arm idea? I have no idea. As for the magic link, it seems to be too little too late. Look at those support beams between the seat tube and the down tube on the magic link, that is not the type of thing I want anywhere on my mtb, never mind a burly am/freeride bike.


    this years dawg deluxe looks well nice in the flesh. the bars/stem are gunsmoke and it seems nicley finished.


    Comparitively speaking, no they do not.

    As a matter of fact they do… Any 125/130 kona bike I have tried is riding as well as my rocky mountain. I have yet to try a HT that ride as well as my hoss
    HJ nope not as fast DH.
    Indred nope not as flickable
    456 too long.


    Thats kind of the point, what about people who don’t just pootle about and actually get somewhere near pushing the design a bit, then konas can show themselves to be lesser than some of the competition

    Well interestingly over here I see a lot of kona. All the DHers/freerider rides stinkees but hey maybe the rock garden know as the south Alps is not good enough to push a bike t it’s limits.

    Kona have always been in advanced to other companies. The first dawg (called the bear) was actually a ‘light’ stinky 2001 (like the golden one). The second dawg with 130mm of travel was exactly the 2001 godlen stinky. Kona was the first company to produced a dirt/dual HT.
    They were the first company to provide factory racers with Ti and risers for XC and so on and so on…


    if you compare them to cars for example – you wouldnt pay the price of a new car if you knew that it was exactly the same model the manu had released ten years ago, with the same engine bhp, fuel economy, no abs or air con etc etc when their competitors were releasing much more powerful and more efficient cars for the same price.

    At the end of the day it’s simply a wheel moving around a pivot. It’s not that difficult. Everything else you read is window dressing.

    Premier Icon molgrips

    but maybe they should have come up with a design of their own?

    Why? Wouldn’t that be spending money just for the sake of it? If people like the way they ride then that’s good enough, surely? All the better then to spend your R&D budget on new bikes in other areas.

    and more importantly geometry that suits your riding

    Exactly. No point getting to obsessed with the mechanics of how suspension works. If the only measure of a good bike was how sophisticated its suspension was, we wouldn’t be riding around on Orange 5s and Cannondale prophets – both really well loved bikes that get great reviews. The geometry is the main reason I love my Heihei. It just begs to be thrashed like a naughty servant 🙂

    I may not be winning races since I’m too fat to climb well – but it gets pushed to the very limits on singletrack and downhill sections in races – and comes back for way more. Which is much more than you can say for most XC race bikes that I’ve tried.

    It’s unfair to compare Konas to 10 year old cars because they have been tweaked over the years. The Heihei didn’t exist before 2007 or 6, and it was a fairly unique machine when it came out I think. There are a few other short travel XC race FS bikes now I think. A better comparison would be to say VW. Their diesel engine design hadn’t changed fundamentally for 10 years or so but they were still good cars that people liked to drive, and that sold well.

    Premier Icon BigDummy

    I am inclined to give Kona some credit, as yourmothercookssocks does, for the AfricaBike, and also for the Ute.

    They used to make fantastic XC hardtails. Then they made some lovely chunky full-sus bikes. Apart from utility bikes though they’ve made nothing that has wowwed me since about 2004. I’d be perfectly happy with any of their output (I’m not a good rider) in functional terms but I need them to be substantially better value at the moment.

    Premier Icon molgrips

    and also for the Ute

    Well you would 🙂

    If I had more money and space in the garage, I’d be sorely tempted with a Ute. And a Jake the Snake. And I lust after a PhD too. Maybe a Sutra as well.

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