Kona

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by unskilled, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. unskilled

    unskilled Monkey

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    Since I got into biking a few years a go I have noticed alot of people saying that Kona's are a bunch of crap and have had reliability issues. Now i am not considering a kona purchase but i was wondering how these opinions came about and when? I did go to a shop and sit on a coilair/stab/stinky/5-0 and saw the brand new bass and I didn't think the build quality was lacking. Is it something that happens over time?
     
    #1 -   Jan 2, 2008

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  2. jcook90

    jcook90 Turbo Monkey

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    They're not a bunch of crap, mine's been great, just there's nothing new about the suspension (2008 is different though) and thus people like sundays more.
     
    #2 -   Jan 2, 2008
  3. ThePriceSeliger

    ThePriceSeliger Mushhead

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    Not even close. Have you ever used a Sunday on a DH course? It rides amazing, it has nothing to do with it being new.
     
    #3 -   Jan 2, 2008
  4. jcook90

    jcook90 Turbo Monkey

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    Ridden one once and yes, it was very nice.

    I change my statement then, 4-bar linkages (kona-esque, cuz dw/VPP/maestro are all 4-bars as well) are an tried and true suspension design that works but is out-done by many other designs that in the eyes of many are better. yes?
     
    #4 -   Jan 2, 2008
  5. ThePriceSeliger

    ThePriceSeliger Mushhead

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    Closer, but nice backpedal.
     
    #5 -   Jan 2, 2008
  6. .Pit Steelers.

    .Pit Steelers. Nostradumbass

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    There fine bikes, im sure you read that some where like pinkbike where people have bike battles between norcos and konas.. Anyways a problem that i had was the shock bolt kept bending i bent atleast five. But i bought a M8 bolt i think it was it lasted longer but not real long. Also my bearing in the rocker kept poping out. These was on a 03 stinky de-lux. Im sure the bikes are better now.
     
    #6 -   Jan 2, 2008
  7. Cult Hero

    Cult Hero Chimp

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    well, if it is built by someone other than Kona. Say transition etc then it is the bees knees, but any four bar linkage by kona is sub par according to the masses. I for one, avoid the masses.
     
    #7 -   Jan 2, 2008
  8. unskilled

    unskilled Monkey

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    I thought there was specific problems relating to the quality of the kona builds in general. headtubes snapping off, bearings never working properly. I was trying to get at those topics, not really the performance of the 4-bar suspension as a system.

    I'm not even sure how people got on to talking about 4-bar considering i didn't mention that at all in the original post.
     
    #8 -   Jan 2, 2008
  9. Cult Hero

    Cult Hero Chimp

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    I have two kona's and the quality is fine. One is a Stinky Primo and one is a Dawg Primo. Zero problems.
     
    #9 -   Jan 2, 2008
  10. ire

    ire Turbo Monkey

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    People are saying they suck in comparison to some of the other designs out. I had an older Stab Primo (circa 2001), and I liked it but I don't feel it would make a good race bike (the design has been refined since).
     
  11. jvnixon

    jvnixon Turbo Monkey

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    Wherever you read that is where you should be asking this same question I think if you're looking to find out why they think that.

    Sitting on a bike doesn't tell you too much about how it rides or holds up over time. I don't think its a case of the bikes being bad by any means but until recently, their dh bikes while capable of going down the hill just fine, there was better bikes out there to do it.
     
  12. DBR X6 RIDER

    DBR X6 RIDER Turbo Monkey

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    I think the whole Kona sucks sentiment is due to the amazing amount of groms that rode them several years back. Of course they'll suck if you don't know how to ride...as will most any bike out there.
    They can't be that bad of a bike if most resorts use their brand for rental bikes. IFO am seriously considering a Stab Deluxe (or a Supreme if more coin becomes available) for my DH/heavyFR rig...not just because I can get a screaming deal on one, either. I've ridden one and it felt fine - even jumped well for a sled.
     
  13. rogue22

    rogue22 Chimp

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    the "resorts use them" argument cracks me up, most resorts will use any reputable brand that lowballs everyone else for a fleet of bikes, you think the general manager of most ski resorts knows or cares what makes a bike good? I think new konas feel cheap, and aren't worth the price. My first real mountain bike was a kona, a steel lava dome, that bike was amazing and still is. I think that it was way better than konas of today.

    Oh I also spent a few days on a stab supreme at snowshoe, and after riding the same trails on my bullit, and a DB strike, I can say the kona was the worst riding bike of the bunch.

    that said, all bikes are personal prefference so get what you want.
     
  14. William42

    William42 fork ways

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    :huh:

    uhh...

    so like... i think the best way of responding to this is: no. Kona is a single pivot, dw/VPP/Meastro are all floating pivots, which are completely different from single pivots.

    edit: and no, kona's don't suck. They're single pivots. they have a different feel. They have a lower price range. why are people shocked when a $5000 dollar bike doesn't come with as nice of a component spec as a $6000 bike? And why do people lust over Oranges, Moorwoods, DHR's, and a gagillion others, and then call kona's crappy.

    But they're probably right, its not like kona has a history of making great freeride bikes or winning world cups or anything, I mean a bike has gotta be race proven to be good, right?

    ugh, *rant over*

    ps: i dont like the feel of single pivots, but go ride some and make your own decision.
     
  15. ChrisRobin

    ChrisRobin Turbo Monkey

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    My take on the history of Kona and Ridemonkey for all the newer/ish members:

    For a good long stretch of time, from 2001-ish to up to the point where they flipped the rocker arm on the Kona DH bike and gave the Stinkies that weird top tube, they didn't change a single thing except trading one ugly paint scheme for another! Other companies were coming out with new ways of doing things or at least tweaking their designs but Kona just sat there.

    Feel free to add on to this.
     
  16. William42

    William42 fork ways

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    's true, but that doesn't mean the bike sucked, plus they tweaked the newer ones a bit and thats what the OP is concerning. just sayin.
     
  17. DBR X6 RIDER

    DBR X6 RIDER Turbo Monkey

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    That is essentially what it all boils down to.

    The Stab is not the #1 choice on my want list *cough*DHR*cough*, but it's on my list all the same.
     
  18. NateH

    NateH Monkey

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    why has no one pointed out that in no way is a kona a single pivot?
     
  19. SPDR

    SPDR Monkey

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    Because that's exactly what it is?

    :disgust1:
     
  20. Tom Church

    Tom Church Monkey

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    A bunch of friends own them and love them. The only problem that one guy had was bending the shock bolts. He is a big guy though...

    The Kona design is basically a single pivot, it has an extra linkage in there but there is only one pivot point on the bike for the "swingarm". The new "magic link" is different but I am not sure how that works. Even Turners and Treks are essentially single piviot bikes. Just because it has a linkage does not change the basic suspension design of one poviot point on the bike. Mastro, VPP and DW are not single pivot as was mentioned before. They have a floating/virtual pivot point that is created by using multiple linkages. Basically the point of piviot changes as you go through the suspension.

    At least thats how I understand it...I am not a suspenstion expert...

    Tom
     
  21. TA..

    TA.. !

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    Lots of opinions not much fact

    Fabien Barrel won 2 world championships on the Stab
    nearly beat hill coming back from a broken ankle after one month with hardly any riding on one of the thoughest courses in the world @ Fort William! and beat many VPP and other high budget teams and designs, ok I know allot of this has to do with the rider but at that level equipment is paramount, Nico was so good cause he was so far ahead with his suspension his bike designs he had the very best around him, look at any top world champion, equipment to training they usually innovate, refine and lead all areas not just talent.

    The Stab is well proven design, I raced mine for a seaon with no issues except for the ****ty saint rear derailuer which is fine for FR but not good for DH imo, with setup changes to gearing and shorter cranks my 2007 Stab is right up there with what Ive competed against, the bike may not pedal quite as well as some but it corners great, is very stable, jumps well, and sticks to the ground with the dope system as well as any other design, at this level the only other thing I think is a major is setting the suspension correctly and most peopleare way off and thats the difference in times or ridng fast or riding ragged, difference between 1st and 5th allot of the time..

    I think Kona comes in for allot of critisim because theyve refined Dave Turners origonal design over the years instead of following marketing trends, it works for there target market and keeps cost low for mass produced OEM market, components are the othr half of the equation and you can always upgrade when you get a complete bike so cheap as parts wear out.

    I for one am disapointed Fabian has left Kona for this season but everything must move forward.
    Omo
     
  22. psychobiker

    psychobiker Monkey

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    i have an 06 stinky, ridden on xc, dh, fr. raced at nationals. handled diablo and snowshoe with ease. idid crack the rockers but kona sent the 07s no problem. props to kona
     
  23. KavuRider

    KavuRider Turbo Monkey

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    I personally don't like the feel of Kona's rear suspension.
    They are also heavy.
    On the plus side, they are bombproof and (were) cheap, great bikes to get people into the sport. Three guys I ride with regularly ride Kona Stinky's and they beat the crap out of them all the time.
    As for the innovation argument - I don't believe companies should change their design just to change them - but Kona hasn't really improved their design either. There are far better feeling/performing bikes out there now and with the new 2008 prices, cheaper options as well.
     
  24. William42

    William42 fork ways

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    :lighten:


    the swingarm connects the rear wheels axle directly to a single pivot mounted to the frame.



    unless theres some extra pivot between the rear axle and the frame that everybody has been missing since kona originally came up with the design that magically hides itself, its a single pivot.

    but no, seriously, i'm just joking, kona suxk0rz single pivots are good like honda and moorwood and turner and ventana and chumba and orange and transition and cdale and all those, but kona sux0rz cause n00bs get them because they rode them at a resort and liked them!
     
  25. NateH

    NateH Monkey

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    so all four bar designs are single pivots? Interesting turn of events, the demo is now the most complicated single pivot ever!
     
  26. William42

    William42 fork ways

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    :huh:

    i learned to count to 2 awhile ago, so my memory may not be perfect, but i'm pretty sure theres two pivots right there



    thats how like....uhhh... every fsr bike...ever...works...

    :huh:
     
  27. NateH

    NateH Monkey

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    Ok I'm gonna make this breif cause I have other things to do. I went ahead and edited your earlier pic so that it is correct. A Kona is a non-patented version of the FSR design, by mounting the pivot on the seat stay and not the chainstay they avoid the patent while still maintaining most of the characteristics of the specialized design that was originated by amp research back in the day. I went ahead and pointed out the rest of the pivots for you. Next to the walking beam design of the Kona I put a true single pivot, a Morewood. This is a single pivot because there is One pivot (period) and one lever acting on the shock. The lengths of each member of the kona, or any other multi-bar suspension system as well as the locations of the pivots have drastic effects on the characteristics of the bike. In addition the length of the swingarm and position of the pivot on a single pivot effect the ride of the bike.

     
  28. Transcend

    Transcend My Nuts Are Flat

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    Nate, your Pivot 2, has no pivot. It is above the swingarm, and thus does not affect the axle path.

    The pivot 3 and 4 simply actuate the shock. The rear axle is, in fact, attached directly via one lever to the frame. The wheelpath is a perfect arc.

    You could connect a really long rod to that second pivot and mount the shock to the top tube and it would do the same thing as the morewood or an Orange. The rocker link on that is simply used to tune the shock ratio.

    Image stolen from Kona.

     
  29. NateH

    NateH Monkey

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    I completely agree with you about the axle path, but the pivots and suspension members do have an effect on many of the characteristics of the suspension, if we are talking axle path that is one thing but suspension quality and characteristics are very different from simply axle path.
     
  30. HaveFaith

    HaveFaith Monkey

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    Finally some truth. Lets clear this up. There are true single pivots (IE Morewood, orange etc), single pivots with bell crank actuated shocks (Kona, Turner, Ellsworth), and Four bar linkages. I lump VPP, DW, FSR etc. all into four bar because they are all essentially the same thing, with pivot locations and bar lengths tuned for specific handling characterisitics. There is no mysticism behind all the suspension systems out there, its all pretty simple. Dont let the companies confuse you with marketing junk.
     
  31. Transcend

    Transcend My Nuts Are Flat

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    It doesn't matter how you rationalize it, it's still a single pivot.
     
  32. TheInedibleHulk

    TheInedibleHulk Turbo Monkey

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    NateH- The term "single pivot" may be a slight misnomer, but in the bike world it refers to any bike that has one pivot between the mainframe and the rear axle. This includes the obvious ones like orange and morewood but also so called "faux bar" bikes like the kona, turner highline, or my transition. If you are going to be technical about it, even an orange has 3 pivots, one at the swingarm and one at either shock eyelet. You could somehow make a linkage with half a dozen members to drive that shock and it would still be a single pivot. Basically what a kona does is takes a "moto-link" like you see on a turner DHR or Foes, and blows it up way bigger and makes it out of tubes. All the seatstays and rocker are doing are driving the shock, they have no effect on the wheel path. You can use these members to tune shock rate and add rigidity, and thats exactly the reason most companies do as opposed to the very basic high-forward single pivot (orange, morewood).

    Kona's biggest problem among the racer set, which is this web site's main demographic, is that they are ugly, on the heavy side, and have never focused on making a good race bike in terms of geometry and spec. They arent as bad as some would say, theres just no real reason to get one next to all the other bikes availible around the same price.
     
  33. General Lee

    General Lee Turbo Monkey

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    Sorry Nate, the kona is still a single pivot; the wheel is monted directly to the swingarm.

    where the Kona differs from the Morewood is that the later does not use a linkage to actuate the shock and the former does. The kona is essentially working much like your DHR just with a much bigger and more obvious linkage to look at.

    FSR designs, where the wheel is actually attatched to the seat stay and not the swingarm are not single pivots even though they look very similar.
     
  34. NateH

    NateH Monkey

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    I was just going to add that grouping a bike like a kona, or even a bike like a turner which is a very stright forward single pivot with an orange or a morewood is a terrible comparison. The suspension on a true single pivot relies exclusively on the location of the pivot and the shock. The ride of a kona, turner, etc also depends on these but is also affected either greatly or to a lesser extent by the linkages. If the question is "why don't people like kona's?" and the answer is, "because they are a single pivot" that is not helpful.
     
  35. General Lee

    General Lee Turbo Monkey

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    Actually it has 2, one at the swingarm and the other at the rear axel.
     
  36. NateH

    NateH Monkey

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    Not trying to argue here, sorry to backpedal but i guess that a Kona is a single pivot, but that is not the answer to the question, "Why don't people like kona's?"
     
  37. jvnixon

    jvnixon Turbo Monkey

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    Its already been answered a few times, TheInedibleHulk answered it as well.
     
  38. Transcend

    Transcend My Nuts Are Flat

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    Post #32 covered that pretty well.
     
  39. General Lee

    General Lee Turbo Monkey

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    so what's the difference between relying on the position of the shock and the position of the linkage? the biggest difference in feel between an Orange and a Turner isn't the fact that one has a linkage and other does not, it's the vastly different swingarm pivot placement each design uses.
     
  40. TheInedibleHulk

    TheInedibleHulk Turbo Monkey

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    got me.

    Someone back there was saying that a kona is not a 4 bar. This is incorrect. The term "4-bar", which has been used in motorsports long before mountain bikes ever came around, simply means that the suspension has 4 members. In the case of a kona, seatstay, chainstay, rocker, shock. In the case of a DHR, swingarm, 2 links, shock. Still a four bar regardless of anything else, the term is just highly misused in the bike world to refer to bikes like FSR or VPP that have 2 pivots between the axle and the mainframe. In cars they call that independent suspension.