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

    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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    I'm also looking at an XTC versus Big Kahuna, although I'm looking at the XTC 0 (not composite)

    I'm 6'3", 250, so quite a bit larger. What did you decide?

  3. #3
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    I hardly qualify as a clydesdale, but I rode the '12 XTC composite yesterday and liked it...although it felt slow in steering vs. the Trek X-Cal I rode right after just for sheets and giggles. The X-Cal was quicker steering (more what I'm used to on my 26er). I believe Giant covers their frames for the lifetime you own it, so being a bigger guy you might want to go with a company like Giant, Trek, etc that provides lifetime warranty.

  4. #4
    Former Bike Wrench
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    There are things I like and don't like about each so I'll detail those out

    Kona Likes-Frame uses a "standard" zero stack 1 1/8" to 1.5" tapered head tube which will give you more replacement options down the road. Frame also uses standard bottom bracket shell which again gives you greater options.

    Kona Dislikes-XC 26/36 low gearing not great for steep climbs. Easton wheels are not known for their Clyde worthiness.

    Giant Likes-Triple crankset with 22/36 low gear for those steep climbs. Giant rims are bomber, perfect for a Clyde. Comes with tubeless ready tires.

    Giant Dislikes-Overdrive 1 1/4" to 1.5" is currently used only by Giant and may limit available upgrades. Pressfit bottom bracket shell has less upgrade/replacement options.

    Both have near identical parts spec's and lifetime warranties on the frame. I'm leaning towards the Giant mainly because I don't think the Easton wheels on the Kona are up to the task of surviving under a Clyde. Scandium enhanced aluminum is actually harder and stronger (all things being equal) but due to it's properties there is often less used which is why the frame is lighter. Thinner walls in the tubes would be easier to dent than thicker walls.

    If you can at least test ride them that would be best and see which one you are more comfortable on. If you like them both then my recommendation is probably the Giant due to the better Clyde wheelset and mountain lowering gears.

  5. #5
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    I found a new 2011 Kong Big Kahuna with an new upgraded Reba RLT fork for about $1000 less than a 2012 Giant XTC 0 (non carbon frame). I think given the price the Kona is a much better buy. I could ride the Easton wheels until they die and then replace them for something more able to handle my 250lb clyde weight.

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