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  1. #1
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    Kona Hei Hei 2-9 vs. HIFI deluxe 29 input please

    I am wanting to buy my first FS bike and can't decide on these two. If anybody has ridden or is familiar with these bikes I would appreciate it. I live in central Texas, about 6''3 and ride mostly single tracks because that is all really have to work with.

  2. #2
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    If you're a bigger guy I'd say Kona all the way. Much tougher bike. Very balanced bike. I use mine for endurance races but have run it more AMish with a 120mm fork with long offset and it still rides great.

  3. #3
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    Well, I just got my Hei Hei 2-9 put together, and it does seem burlier than the GF. However, I have not ridden the HiFi, just looked.

    I like the way the Kona rides myself, and the looks are better in my opinion (more of a classic double-diamond look. Plus it's shiny!

    Take 'em both out for a weekend if you can, and get a feel for how they work under you for more than a little parking lot spin.

  4. #4
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    I've been on my Hei Hei since last June. Started with the recommended 80mm fork and found it a bit twitchy for my liking. Upped to a 100mm TA fork and the bike balanced out really well. I really dig it. Corners well, handles predictably.

    I'm 6' 1" and about 220 and find the bike to track really well. The rear end is pretty stiff--not much, if any, discernible flex. I like it as an XC/trail bike. Very supple, active 4-bar. I have the RP2 from last year and if there is one thing I want to upgrade, it would be the shock--I want the new RP23 that the 2009 has.

    I bought it frame only and built it:

    XT cranks
    Hope/Flow wheels
    SRAM X9 drivetrain and twisters
    Thomson stem and post
    Answer carbon riser bar
    Avid Juicy 7 brakes, 160mm rotors
    Manitou Minute 100mm TA fork

    Never rode the HiFi so I can't help you there.
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  5. #5
    Harmonius Wrench
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    Here's my thoughts having ridden both these bikes......

    HiFi Deluxe- More XC-ish. Stiffer feeling rear suspension action, but a bit of rear swingarm flex will be felt at your size. Tire clearance for 2.3- 2.4" isn't as generous as I'd like to see in case of mud. Very balanced suspension front to rear. Easy to tune to taste. Handles very well on single track.

    Hei Hei 2-9 Deluxe- Definite Trail/AM slant to this one, stiffer laterally than the HiFi, tire clearances okay, suspension unbalanced front to rear with the rear feeling far more plush than the Fox fork did. (I'd swap out to a current Reba to get a better balance on the suspension.) The bike handled slower/more stable than the Fisher in a very noticeable way. Great for down hill and technical terrain, but not so hot for tighter single track.

    Stock versus stock set up, I'd opt for the HiFi. If you don't mind swapping out the fork for something that performs like the rear end of the Kona does, than the Kona would make a better bike on chunky, more technical terrain. Buff single track, tight trails, or mostly dirt with some roots/rocks, then the HiFi would be my choice.

  6. #6
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    A lot of love for the HiFi Pro here. As GT already said a firm suspension and xc type ride, which would be perfect for flowing single track. I frequent rocky/rooty trails intermixed with smooth single track and it fits the bill nicely for that as well. I haven't had problems with mud clearance with the stock bonty ACX tires that came on mine (2.2), but Ted's right, you wouldn't want to go much bigger, especially if you are heavier. There have been complaints of flexy rear ends from heavier riders, but I don't notice it at 165 pounds. Steers pretty quickly and I have been very impressed with the climbing ability. If you are a "stand and mash" climber the rear end can lose traction, but if you mostly climb seated, like I do, it hooks up well. It's also pretty light for a stock 29er, and the price was pretty competitive for the parts on the 08 model. My size L pro weighs in at 27.85 pounds with eggbeaters. The weight of the deluxe model was very similar on the 08 models which had the same frame.

    Don't know the Kona, so can't comment.

  7. #7
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    Why upgrade forks from 80mm to 100mm? How to you determine what fork is best suited for you on a 29er(80mm, 100mm, 120mm? The Fisher uses a 100mm while Kona is running the 80mm why do you think that is? Sorry about all the questions just trying to gain knowledge about what fork length is best. I am about 200 lb and ride rocky terrain with roots, steep includes, central Texas riding, etc..

  8. #8
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    The Kona is spec'ed with an 80mm fork--they mean it more for XC type stuff. I found that the 80mm fork made the bike want to "fall into" corners quicker than I liked. A little too quick and twitchy for my taste. I upped to the 100mm based on the DirtRag review that said the 100mm really stabilized the bike. I agree with DirtRag. It's much nicer for me in technical terrain with a lot of large rocks, log-overs, etc. It corners better, in my opinion, and is nicer to control over large obstacles and down steep stuff. I don't think the bike handles any slower--I think it handles better.

    So, to answer your question, the reason often depends on your riding preference, handling preference, and the actual bike.

    Kona spec'ed the Hei Hei with an 80mm for a good reason, I'm sure. I just happen to prefer it with 100mm on the front end.
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  9. #9
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    Some good info. here. I'd agree that the HeiHei will be much stiffer. 73mm BB shell, the rear end of that bike looks a lot like the 5" Kona Dawg rear ends.

    I've run my HeiHei with 07 100mm REBAs, Manitou Minutes 100, 120mm. Steering wise I liked the Minute forks b/c of the longer offset. Slacker HA with the 100/120 forks on the HeiHei plus the longer offset works pretty good for me.

    Btw, My HeiHei is built to 27.5lbs. The frame weight for a large is about 6.6lbs which is about average if you look at the Turner Sultan, and Ellsworth Evolve. The HiFi will definitley be a little lighter on the frame but they're really 2 different bikes. HeiHei is more an all arounder and the HiFi more racier. With that said, I just did 12hour race and put 73miles on my HeiHei and it was all smiles. I ride SSpeed too and often stand to use different muscles and the bike climbs decent out of the saddle with the RP2.

    Both are fine bikes, but at your size I'd go HeiHei. My buddy is about 6'4" with long legs and he bought a XL HeiHei. It's huge, nice long headtube and seatube. First bike he's had where he didn't have to run a 410mm seatpost.

    Sorry if I'm pimp'in. I just like my bike. I still think 29" tires and that geometry it's still the most balanced bike I've ever owned.

  10. #10
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    Pho'dUp--I'd like to know the rest of your build on that bike. I'm on a L, too, I think (24.5 ETT) and mine weighs in around 29.5. Wondering where the other 2 pounds came from!
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  11. #11
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    Im around 6''3 riding a 23'' rock hopper that seems to be too large for me. When riding up steep ledges and rocks the bike seems to be off balance and unstable, but it could be me though. Not sure if I should go with the 22" or 20" frame on the Kona Hei Hei. I will not be able to demo any of the bikes unless its in the PK lot. Any advise?

  12. #12
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    Compare the Effective Top Tube lengths between your rock hopper and the two Konas and see where they fall. That's a starting point, anyway.

    This is only pretty useful if you already like the way your current bike fits. But it will give you a useful comparison between the frame sizes.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lugboot
    Pho'dUp--I'd like to know the rest of your build on that bike. I'm on a L, too, I think (24.5 ETT) and mine weighs in around 29.5. Wondering where the other 2 pounds came from!
    19" Kona HeiHei 29
    Manitou Minute QR Fork
    XT Crankset with Light BBG Chainguard and 20t Ti actiontec granny
    XT Cassette
    SRAM XO RD
    Shimano XTR FD
    Sette Stem (White) 25.4mm
    FSA Carbon Bars DH bars 25.4mm
    SRAM XO Twist Shifters
    Lizard Skins grips (cut)
    CK Headset
    AM Classic Wheelset/QR Skewers
    Sworks Capitain 2.0 Front tire
    Fastrack 2.0 Rear Tire
    26" standard no name innertubes.
    FSA Carbon Seatpost
    WTB Pure V Race Saddle
    2007 SHimano LX brakes
    160mm Hope Floating Rotor F/Old Hope Mini Rotor 160mm non-floating R
    Shimano XT 9speed Chain
    Stainless Steel CK Water Bottle Cage
    OEM Seatcollar

    This setup on my scale was 27.55lbs.

    With my other wheels (Hope Arch) and Burlier tires tubes I think the bike was about 28.5lbs. But the Am Classic wheels and the Sworks tires saved about a 1lb.

    I also like the Bonty XR for light tires under 600gms but like all light tires they have some thin side walls.

  14. #14
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    Ah. I see.

    My frame's a 20"
    My fork's a TA
    My post is a Thomson 410
    My wheelset is heavier, with straight gauge spokes and Rampages running tubeless.
    My grips are Ergons

    That would all add up,plus whatever other little variances there are.

    Thanks for the info!

    I plan to lose my big ring for a bash guard. That's all it is, anyway.
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