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Kona Entourage vs Trek Session 8

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by T-Man86, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. T-Man86

    T-Man86 Chimp

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    Hi,

    Ive been downhilling for 12 years or so now with hardtails. I love jumping and downhill equally but after braking two frames this year I think its time to convert to dual suspension.

    Ive done alot of research on lots of bikes and the industry and I want to support my local bike shops by buying new. My best options atm are a 2011 trek for 3G, or the 2012 kona with upgraded front forks for a couple of hundred more. I'm the test dumby with mates when it comes to hitting new stuff so I want something indistructable. Keep in mind I consider myself a beginner - I won't be racing.

    *I did read the other thread comparing the operator to the session found it confusing... pretty much a bitch fest. I would appreciate any comments as I'm pretty tied.

    Cheers
     
    #1 -   Jun 6, 2012

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  2. 4130biker

    4130biker PM me about Tantrum Cycles!

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    My impression is that the session is a race machine-light, but maybe not quite indestructable. Kona is a freeride bike, probably heavier, but probably a better choice for Long-term durability.

    Have you read Brad Walton's review of the entourage on Pinkbike?
     
    #2 -   Jun 6, 2012
  3. T-Man86

    T-Man86 Chimp

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    Thanks mate,

    yeh I read the review and to be honest I'm kind of leaning towards the kona... It's just that the majority vote seems to go the way of the trek. Theres nothing really definitive that can make this an easy choice (for my situation at least)
     
    #3 -   Jun 6, 2012
  4. Wa-Aw

    Wa-Aw Monkey

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    Aren't they completely different bikes? Session 8+" DH rig, and the Entourage a 6.7" freeride bike?

    Sessions don't have problems with durability. Sure they dent at the downtube if you don't wrap it up but so does every other modern hydroformed bike, just put a fender over it.

    Never ridden an entourage but don't really need to when you're narrowing your decision between bikes that are so different. Got to think about what you really ride most of the time. Entourage would probably be more fun on bike park features and the Session being more equiped to excell at DH and technical trails.

    But to be honest the session is pretty poppy and light riding for a downhill bike and I'm having a hard time thinking of a situation in which I would rather have an entourage than a session.
     
    #4 -   Jun 6, 2012
  5. T-Man86

    T-Man86 Chimp

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    Yeh they are very different, but the konas' aparently a downhill podium worthy bike... the fella who won our state masters rode one. I know I'll be drawn into 4X, and might even hit some dirt jumps every now and again even though I probably shouldn't... is the session strictly DH only??
     
    #5 -   Jun 6, 2012
  6. 4130biker

    4130biker PM me about Tantrum Cycles!

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    I've seen people hit the whistler dirtjumps on clapped out dh bikes, it's just a matter of what you're going to be most happy on.

    both seem pretty legit- but if long term durability was the aim for the type of riding you're talking about (test dummy :)), I'd go with the Kona.
     
    #6 -   Jun 6, 2012
  7. norbar

    norbar Turbo Monkey

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    That's very far from the truth.

    To be honest if you are a total hack I wouldn't choose any of them. Yes they don't have problems with durability but none of them has that extra beef to them so than can live through missed landings and such. Though if you won't be racing and the trails you ride are mostly jumps an entourage being more agile may be better. Though it depends on your riding style. Do you want a more agile bike?
     
    #7 -   Jun 6, 2012
  8. T-Man86

    T-Man86 Chimp

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    Well I've got more balls than brains, so I can just about guarantee quite a few stacks. But here in Aus we aparently have a bit of a supply issue, particularly in my state and my price range (3-4.5G). I'm still open to alternative suggestions...
     
    #8 -   Jun 6, 2012
  9. Wa-Aw

    Wa-Aw Monkey

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    Sorry, I somehow managed to get the impression you were comparing the Trek Session and the Kona Entourage. Early morning reply back then. I now suppose you're talking about the Kona. Operator.

    Still very different bikes but for reasons you wouldn't know until you tried the Trek's ABP stuff. It's got it's perks but I wouldn't call them all advantages. The ABP makes the bike track really well under brakes and it's great for faster courses and riders who like to brake late into corners and rough stuff. It always finds braking traction. The bike is also very stiff, the stiffest one I've ever ridden rear-end wise. This may sound all good but it has some weird side effects too. The bike doesn't like to get wild. I have a really hard time with it on tight tracks as you can't skid. When you hit the the brakes the rear doesn't like to fly out. The stiffness also means it tracks pretty well so it's hard to make the rear dance around. Durability wise, I still stand by that you don't have to worry about it. The metal may feel thin but on the trail it feels very solid. Noticeable more solid than an Intense M9. Only weakeness is if you bang your frame on rocks, but no frame is designed to take that well. The traits of the Session are pretty visible in the riders that ride it, even world cup wise. Notice that rear end doesn't like to dance around much.

    The Kona on the other hand, never ridden one but seeing people ride it looks to be a more fun bike to ride but probably a bit less stable. Not much else I can say about that though.
     
    #9 -   Jun 6, 2012
  10. bizutch

    bizutch Delicate CUSTOM flower

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    You can literally buy Brad's Entourage on Pinkbike right now for $1200 if you want. Can't seem to find retail on it, so no idea if that's a good deal.
     
  11. 4130biker

    4130biker PM me about Tantrum Cycles!

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    I was tempted by that one. Decided the dent and his burly riding would decrease my confidence in it and passed. Very sweet deal though. Frames only on that bike are going for that much right now.

    edit: it's already gone!
     
  12. Downhillbiker23

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    Do you want to snap another frame this year?

    If so go with Kona!
     
  13. T-Man86

    T-Man86 Chimp

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    Thanks for all the advice and comments. I think I'll get the kona, it'll probably suit my needs best. Cheers
     
  14. weedkilla

    weedkilla Monkey

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    Really? Over a session? Is this actually a comment about the entourage or just a hate all Konas comment?

    To the OP, I think the Entourage is wicked fun and perfectly suited to most of the dh tracks I have ridden in South Oz. For racing it would be a tough choice between the two here in Adelaide, and I doubt there would be much in it, for mucking around I think the entourage is heaps more fun.
     
  15. worship_mud

    worship_mud Turbo Monkey

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    the operators are very popular around here and seem to hold up to quite a bit of abuse so far... the owners i spoke to were all very happy with the bike. on the other hand i've seen quite a few treks that just didn't make it. and although everybody says, that trek have sorted out the problems with the rear triangle i'm just very skeptical about that particular bike.
    i'd go with the Kona.
     
  16. William42

    William42 fork ways

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    The trek is one of the better frames on the market coupled with mediocre components for a hefty price tag.

    Luckily, since most bike companies have their sh1t dialed and there isn't a great deal of difference between most bikes unless something is a total lemon, Kona frame is decent, with decent components, for a very reasonable price.

    Suiting your needs? I'm not sure about that... If you can ride an operator somewhere, you can ride a session in the same spot, and you'll probably have just as much fun on either. I'd go with the operator if just to give trek a minor slap in the face and a shake of the shoulders and a shout of "you're charging too much!"
     
  17. Aedubber

    Aedubber Chimp

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    I ride a 2012 Kona Operator and it tracks very well , its def not a super light bike but its lighter then a lot of 8inch travel bikes . The bike needs to go fast, yes its VERY stable and rails berms easily . Depending on how your suspension is setup you can make it poppy for the jumps or super plush for the techy steep rocks in DH . I have put my bike thru abuse , im not a smooth rider also lol so i tend to just plow.

    I have noticed around very tight switchback style turns its a bit tricky due to the length of the bike and the slacked out HA . It feels good in the air, drops are taken with ease , tabletops take a little more effort tho , but you can easily clear them once you figure out the proper body position and compression etc .

    I have crashed in some sketchy rock gardens and there are no dents on the frame , the angle just feels right for me too . I can keep up with people on Demos or sessions with ease .

    1 thing i dont like is the chainstay protector it comes with lol , sucks ! other then that everything else is good !
     
    #17 -   Jun 9, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2012
  18. DirkaDirkaJack

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    the 2012 size medium operator has a wheel base 5mm shorter than the medium demo. and the CS are only 4mm longer...not really a long bike, especially compared to something like an M9.

    same HT angle as the demo too, which is a "steep" 64 degrees ;)
     
  19. Aedubber

    Aedubber Chimp

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    Im just sharing my experience with the bike that i own , i have not been on the other bikes but most people ride demos and i can keep up with them, thats all .. Might be shorter then those bikes but its also longer then some others .;)

    But then again im not the best techy rider .. Just started downhill this year .


     
    #19 -   Jun 9, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2012