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  1. #1
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    Kona Big Kahuna vs. Giant XTC 29er 1

    Okay boys, suggestions on which you like better and why? I have narrowed down the field to these two frames. Both are the exact same price for me (Kona dealer will give me 10% off MSRP, making it the same price as the Giant.) Both have (nearly) identical specs. I have peddled the Giant and loved it. And rode the same size frame of Kona, but a step down model and liked it as well. The Kona has a scandium alloy which is apparently lighter. But I've heard some people say it's softer and more prone to dents and scratches? Is that true?

    Thoughts? About me: 6 feet tall, well into the 200lbs'. Getting back into biking after a decade break. Looking for a nice hardtail 29er.


    Kona Big Kahuna

    Giant XtC 29er 1

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquayonex View Post
    Okay boys, suggestions on which you like better and why? I have narrowed down the field to these two frames. Both are the exact same price for me (Kona dealer will give me 10% off MSRP, making it the same price as the Giant.) Both have (nearly) identical specs. I have peddled the Giant and loved it. And rode the same size frame of Kona, but a step down model and liked it as well. The Kona has a scandium alloy which is apparently lighter. But I've heard some people say it's softer and more prone to dents and scratches? Is that true?

    Thoughts? About me: 6 feet tall, well into the 200lbs'. Getting back into biking after a decade break. Looking for a nice hardtail 29er.


    Kona Big Kahuna

    Giant XtC 29er 1
    We sell both of those bikes, and it really comes down to which one you like the ride of better. I am a little taller, and I am right between the L and XL on giant, and the 19 and 20" konas.

    They are both great bikes, but it should come down to riding both. I prefer the giant wheelset, set up tubeless.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusSommers View Post
    We sell both of those bikes, and it really comes down to which one you like the ride of better. I am a little taller, and I am right between the L and XL on giant, and the 19 and 20" konas.

    They are both great bikes, but it should come down to riding both. I prefer the giant wheelset, set up tubeless.
    Man, and I really digged them both. Any issues with the scandium on the Kona scratching?

  4. #4
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    You know, while I think both of those bikes look nice, (the bling factor), I look at that components, and the components just don't equal up to the totally cost of the bike. Seriously, with just a little effort you could build an awesome bike made with much better components for the prices they charge for those bikes!


    F!

  5. #5
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    I would choose Giant, set up is worth the money, maybe push a deal and swap the rims.
    Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion.

  6. #6
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    The 1.5 degree slacker headtube angle and longer wheelbase on the Kona will make for a different ride on the trail when compared to the Giant.

    Different people would prefer the characteristics of one over the other, depending on whether or not they prefer stability over agility.

    Also, the headtube length of the Kona is over an inch longer, which may be a problem if you prefer setting up your handlebars in a lower position.

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    I don't know what the cost of the frame is or anything else about your situation, but Chainlove was blowing out complete nice build kahuna's a bit ago (maybe they have at dept of goods). If I could have hid from my wife, I'd grabbed one. Looked like like a high end Niner on the cheap (1,200).

  8. #8
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    Big Kahuna, for the thru-axle rear end. Worlds of difference, IMHO, and future-proofs the bike a little.

  9. #9
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    New question here.

    Quote Originally Posted by antonio View Post
    The 1.5 degree slacker headtube angle and longer wheelbase on the Kona will make for a different ride on the trail when compared to the Giant.

    Different people would prefer the characteristics of one over the other, depending on whether or not they prefer stability over agility.

    Also, the headtube length of the Kona is over an inch longer, which may be a problem if you prefer setting up your handlebars in a lower position.
    You're saying the Kona would be more stable, but less agile because of this? Or the other way around?

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    Standover on Kona was a dealbreaker for me. They make their frames way too high for my comfort.

    I got a Giant XTC Composite at the end an am very satisfied so far with the geometry and fit - the only thing you should look at.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquayonex View Post
    You're saying the Kona would be more stable, but less agile because of this?
    Generally speaking, and all things being equal, yes.

    It's all relative, tho. Imperceptible differences to one rider may be glaring differences to another.

    Keep in mind that handling characteristics can also be impacted by stem length, bar width and height, tire width, etc.

    Personally, I'd take the Kona over the XTC, but I'd try my best to ride them on trails first.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goran_injo View Post
    Standover on Kona was a dealbreaker for me. They make their frames way too high for my comfort.

    I got a Giant XTC Composite at the end an am very satisfied so far with the geometry and fit - the only thing you should look at.
    I did notice that too. They seem a bit high. I have more stand over room on a 20inch Giant than the 19inch Kona. Granted (as others stated) stand over is not everything.

  13. #13
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    I rode them both and the Kona felt slower and heavier. The Giant felt much racier and lighter. No comparison in my book and the salesman was pushing the Kona.

  14. #14
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    Giant all the way, and honestly if you can swing the extra few bucks for the Composite, do it!!!
    Depending on the shop you can get a very sweet deal on a Composite...

  15. #15
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    The composite is def. too much coin for me. Man... I just can't decide. Literally every Giant shop I talk to is so douchie, and the Kona dealer is just slightly less douchie. The local Specialized shop is hands down, the best, but I can't stand their bikes for some reason.

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    Work out what you dont like about the specialized, shop WAY more important than brand. Are you sure you dont like the stumpjumper evo? That thing is hot, and my local specialized dealer is the wouldnt put him out if he was on fire type of guy.

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    Aquayonex,
    Depending on where you are located, I know I can get you hooked up with a shop that really has no ****** factor, and will give you a great deal on a Carbon XTC 1...

  18. #18
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    I have a Carbon XTC 26" and love it , but have never rode Kona.
    One thing I didn't like is the Elixir 5s. Mine have been troublesome.

    Quote Originally Posted by A-Ray View Post
    Aquayonex,
    Depending on where you are located, I know I can get you hooked up with a shop that really has no ****** factor, and will give you a great deal on a Carbon XTC 1...
    Last edited by Snugglesthemonkey; 03-06-2012 at 07:48 AM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by weedkilla1 View Post
    Work out what you dont like about the specialized, shop WAY more important than brand. Are you sure you dont like the stumpjumper evo? That thing is hot, and my local specialized dealer is the wouldnt put him out if he was on fire type of guy.
    Yep, shop is way important than the bike itself.

    SJ has six more cm of standover than the XTC. Guess the shop will saw it off.

  20. #20
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    Hey the Kona is the only one that is bolt up front and rear, the Specialized has the most standover clearance, the Giant probably has the best spec for the money. Yes the bikes are all different, but OP has been out of cycling for a decade. He needs good reliable advice on gear, tyres, repairs, etc.
    I stand by what i said, be sure you dont like the Specialized if you like the dealer.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goran_injo View Post
    Standover on Kona was a dealbreaker for me. They make their frames way too high for my comfort.
    If you ride around with your nads on the top tube....

  22. #22
    tkj
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    Brand and geometry aside, the kona is a way better bike for the money. It has all the latest and greatest. Tapered head tube, 15mm front, 142mm rear, 2x10 drivetrain. Giant is 135mm rear and 3x10. Kona has Easton wheelset over Giant house brand, and Ikons over RR tires. Plus the scandium frame is lighter and if it breaks, Kona has a lifetime warranty!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by weedkilla1 View Post
    the Specialized has the most standover clearance
    Pls read with understanding - Spec has the lease standover clearance, has 6 more cm of top tube in the way compared to XTC

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    Quote Originally Posted by R+P+K View Post
    If you ride around with your nads on the top tube....
    For me standover clearance is like wearing a helmet. You don't expect to fall, but it can happen, and when it happens you are better of wearing one.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkj View Post
    Brand and geometry aside, the kona is a way better bike for the money. It has all the latest and greatest. Tapered head tube, 15mm front, 142mm rear, 2x10 drivetrain. Giant is 135mm rear and 3x10. Kona has Easton wheelset over Giant house brand, and Ikons over RR tires. Plus the scandium frame is lighter and if it breaks, Kona has a lifetime warranty!
    Can you post the weights please? I would be interested in the Kona frame weight.

    You state that Kona 2x drivetrain is a benefit, but failed to mention that it is 26/39 with 80/120 BCD so you can't go lower than 26T in front, and the poster hasn't been on a bike in 10 years, so may miss the option of lower gearing.

    Giant has a lifetime guarantee - so I can't see that as a benefit.

    Easton wheelset is same weight at Giant - 1950gr, but Easton has 24 straight gauge spokes compared to 32 DT Competition butted of Giant. Again, can't see the benefits.

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