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  1. #1
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    Please help ... I am so confused. I am in the market for a 29'er

    I am debating between the 2013 Kona Kahuna. I can get it in a local bike shop and therefore have that relationship moving forward. However, according to what I have read, the components aren't as good as the other 29er I"m looking at.

    I am also looking at the Motobecane Fantom 29. This bike has better components but I have to buy it online with no test ride and hope for a good fit. There isn't a dealer within 100 miles of here, so if I go this route I am committed.

    The Motobecane has the Rockshox Recon, the Kona has the xc32
    The Motobecane has Sram and the Kona has Shimano.

    The more I read about them, the more I get confused. I like the look of the Kona, and the idea that if I buy it from a local shop I'll have that relationship moving forward. I can also demo it. The only thing keeping from pulling the trigger is that the Motobecane seems to be a much better bike.

    I will take any advice I can get. I am sooooo confused.

    Thanks so much

  2. #2
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    Re: Please help ... I am so confused. I am in the market for a 29'er

    If you are new to the sport and you are somewhat mechanically challenged, then going with the Kona may be the best route (especially if you are unsure of sizing). You can always upgrade parts as they break or wear out.

    Mail order bikes like the Fantom and Airbourn Goblin are excellent values for someone who can look at the geometry chart and pick the correct size and able to wrench on their own bikes. A LBS will certainly work on them but you probably won't get the same level of service (free tune up etc).

    Personally, I fit into the second category. I own a 29er hardtail and a Road bike from Bikes Direct and a Salsa 29er FS from Universal Cycles. I do all my own tune ups, wheel truing, and maintenance. To me, that's a part of the sport I enjoy.

    Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by GEARHEAD_ENG View Post
    If you are new to the sport and you are somewhat mechanically challenged, then going with the Kona may be the best route (especially if you are unsure of sizing). You can always upgrade parts as they break or wear out.

    Mail order bikes like the Fantom and Airbourn Goblin are excellent values for someone who can look at the geometry chart and pick the correct size and able to wrench on their own bikes. A LBS will certainly work on them but you probably won't get the same level of service (free tune up etc).

    Personally, I fit into the second category. I own a 29er hardtail and a Road bike from Bikes Direct and a Salsa 29er FS from Universal Cycles. I do all my own tune ups, wheel truing, and maintenance. To me, that's a part of the sport I enjoy.

    Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2
    Thanks so much for the reply. I have been riding a while now. I have a Specialized Stumpjumper that I bought used. This will be my first "new" bike, as I 've always bought used. You are where I want to be ultimately. I would like to learn to work on my own bikes, and perhaps the process of upgrading the components on the Kona over time will give me those skills. I keep gravitating to the Kona myself. It's not top of the line, but seems like a great bike.

  4. #4
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    Re: Please help ... I am so confused. I am in the market for a 29'er

    Out of curiosity, what year is your Stumpjumper? That Is a really good frame so depending on what year it is, it may be worth learing to wrench on it for a while yet and save up for a higher end Kona or an even the Airbourn Goblin as you get more expierenced (I'm pretty impressed with their builds).

    For learning bicycle maintenance look at parktool.com for a free reference or pick up their Park Tool; Big Blue Book or the Lennnard Zinn; Art of Mountain Bike Maintance is also a great reference.

    Also, if you look around you may be able to find a close out model at the LBS and save quite a bit over the latest 2013. My Salsa Spearfish was nearly 50% off of msrp for a closeout 2012.

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  5. #5
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    The Stumpjumper is a 2001. When I bought it that back tire had been rubbing, but didn't notice. One day it rubbed so bad it locked up the back tire. I took it in to have it looked at, and the tire had actually rubbed a hole in the frame. It's a decent size. I continued to ride it a while, but I'm thinking it's not a good idea to continue. Also, I'd like a 29'er, and something a little larger.

    Thank you for the tips, I will definitely check them out!

  6. #6
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    Re: Please help ... I am so confused. I am in the market for a 29'er

    That is too bad about the Stumpjumper. Technology has changed quite a bit in the past 12 years, namely in suspension and brakes. I can see why you're looking for a new ride.

    The only part I really would really worry about upgrading on the Kona Kahuna is the XC32 fork (Dart). Its a coil fork with a lower performing damper so when hitting bumps you'll get bounced around more (think pogo stick).

    The Recon silver has stiff sanctions and a more adjustable solo air (no coil springs) and tuneable damper. The Recon Gold is similar but with lighter weight uppers (about a pound less). I've seen them sell around $250 for the Gold on Ebay, so keep that in mind.


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  7. #7
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    I was in the same position as you a couple of months back. I brought the Kona,really like it and they're not to common either..Nice bike but are slowly learning the weak points. The shifters are pretty horrible and I've just found my brakes are giving me problems yesterday but haven't looked in to it yet.My plan was to always ride it and upgrade as I need to. The life time frame warranty is a real bonus I thought.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by GEARHEAD_ENG View Post
    That is too bad about the Stumpjumper. Technology has changed quite a bit in the past 12 years, namely in suspension and brakes. I can see why you're looking for a new ride.

    The only part I really would really worry about upgrading on the Kona Kahuna is the XC32 fork (Dart). Its a coil fork with a lower performing damper so when hitting bumps you'll get bounced around more (think pogo stick).

    The Recon silver has stiff sanctions and a more adjustable solo air (no coil springs) and tuneable damper. The Recon Gold is similar but with lighter weight uppers (about a pound less). I've seen them sell around $250 for the Gold on Ebay, so keep that in mind.


    Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2
    Thank you. I am relieved because that was my biggest sticking point with this bike. I had planned to see if the shop would switch to either the Recon or the Reba. So, that will be one of the first things I do. Other than that, you like?? Thanks again for the help!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by beater32 View Post
    I was in the same position as you a couple of months back. I brought the Kona,really like it and they're not to common either..Nice bike but are slowly learning the weak points. The shifters are pretty horrible and I've just found my brakes are giving me problems yesterday but haven't looked in to it yet.My plan was to always ride it and upgrade as I need to. The life time frame warranty is a real bonus I thought.
    Thank you - I have read reviews on the brakes and they haven't been horrible, but not great either. I have heard that after riding them a bit, that they need to be bled and that helps. Really, my goal is to upgrade over time so that I can learn to work on my own bike. The lifetime warranty on the frame is a huge reason I like this bike. It will give me time to learn how to wrench on the components.

  10. #10
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    I just re-read your first post. You say the Kona has Shimano ?? Mines all Sram stuff.

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    Re: Please help ... I am so confused. I am in the market for a 29'er

    Quote Originally Posted by beater32 View Post
    I just re-read your first post. You say the Kona has Shimano ?? Mines all Sram stuff.
    I think he ment the Kona is SRAM X5 and the Fantom Elite is Shimano XT/SLX

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    From BD I like the geo of the Gravity Point bikes. Slack 69 head tube angle and a 445mm chainstay are close to Trek and Scott. The 460mm chainstays on the Fantom will slow up the turning response like some older 29ers used to be like.
    The point 6 is a 2012 and comes with XT/XTR and a dual air Reba, you can't get that anymore-- Sram downgraded to solo. The shifters and the fork are worth it. Ride some Trek X-Cals or Marlins to see what your size is. Kinesis builds the frames for Trek, Kona and Bike Direct among others.
    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Gravity 29Point5 29er Mountain Bikes
    Last edited by eb1888; 05-10-2013 at 08:42 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by GEARHEAD_ENG View Post
    I think he ment the Kona is SRAM X5 and the Fantom Elite is Shimano XT/SLX

    Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2
    Yes, that's correct. I had them backwards

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