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  1. #1
    TheGoat
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    Session 8 or Operator DH?

    I am looking to buy my first downhill bike. I am looking at the Trek Session 8 and the Kona Operator DH. I have to stay with these two brands and models because I have a hook up at my local bike shop. I noticed that both the Session 8 and the Operator DH have the same Fork and Shock but the Operator Dh is $1000 less MSRP. So the question is, is there a reason I should get the Session 8 over the Operator DH.

    Thank you in advance to the responses.
    The Goat

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: bxxer rider's Avatar
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    much better design, more research, more technology put into designing it, plus probably better spec (without looking at spec sheets)
    Quote Originally Posted by [Orge
    ]
    This problem could quite simply be solved if people would stop buying Konas.

  3. #3
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    Reputation: daisycutter's Avatar
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    Go with the Kona better spec and price 6100.00

    Frame Material Kona DH 7005 Aluminum 200mm Travel
    Sizes Small, Medium, Large
    Rear Shock Fox DHX RC4
    Fork RockShox Boxxer WC 200mm w/20mm TA
    Crankarms Shimano Saint
    Chainrings Shimano Saint 36T
    B/B Shimano Saint
    Pedals Kona Wah Wah
    Chain Shimano Deore XT
    Freewheel Shimano LX 11-28 9 spd
    F/D E*13 LG1+
    R/D Shimano Saint
    Shifters Shimano Saint
    Brake Calipers Shimano Saint
    Front Brake Rotor Shimano Saint 203mm
    Rear Brake Rotor Shimano Saint 180mm
    Brake Levers Shimano Saint
    Headset Orbit 1.5 ZS NO.57-1
    Handlebar Easton Havoc
    Stem Easton Havoc
    Seatpost Easton Havoc
    Seat Clamp Kona Clamp
    Grips Kona G-LOG
    Saddle WTB Devo Team
    Front Hub Shimano Saint
    Rear Hub Shimano Saint
    Spokes Sandvik Stainless 14g
    Rims Mavic EX 729
    Front Tire Maxxis Minion DHF 26x2.5
    Rear Tire Maxxis High Roller 26x2.5
    Paint Color Red Polished
    Extras available as frame only






    Session 88 6300.00

    Frameset Trek session
    Sizes S, M, L, XL
    Frame Alpha Red Aluminum w/Aluminum Armor, ABP, Full Floater, alloy EVO Link, E2 tapered head tube, integrated fork stanchion bumpers, oversized pivot bearings, replaceable derailleur hanger, ISCG03 mounts, 203mm travel
    Front Suspension Fox 40 Fit RC2 w/Ti coil spring (16/17.5" blue; 19" green), hi/lo speed compression, rebound, internal travel adjust, 1-1/8" steerer, 20mm thru axle, 203mm travel
    Rear Suspension Fox DHX RC-4, custom "DH race tuned" w/externally adjustable velocity sensitive damping, bottom out force adjust and bottom out progressiveness, external rebound; 8.75x2.75" (S 400lb; M 450lb; L 500lb; XL 500lb spring)
    Wheels
    Wheels Bontrager Big Earl Disc wheel system, 32 hole, 20mm front hub, 150x12mm rear hub
    Tires Maxxis Minion DHF, 26x2.5"
    Drivetrain
    Shifters SRAM X.0, 9 speed
    Front Derailleur MRP G2 SL
    Rear Derailleur SRAM X.0
    Crank Shimano Saint, 38T
    Cassette SRAM PG-970 12-26, 9 speed
    Pedals Wellgo MG-1
    Components
    Saddle Bontrager Evoke 4, titanium rails
    Seat Post Bontrager Rhythm Pro, 31.6mm, 5mm offset
    Handlebars Bontrager Big Earl, 31.8mm, 25mm rise, 9 degree sweep
    Stem Race Face Atlas direct connect
    Headset Cane Creek Frustum SE Light Edition, E2
    Brakeset Avid Elixir CR Carbon hydraulic disc brakes
    Accessories
    Extras Trek fork sag meter, aluminum armor

  4. #4
    For The Win
    Reputation: StinkyFTW's Avatar
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    The only thing with the Operator, it's a brand new design so no one really knows what its strengths and weaknesses are. If you're willing to be a test rat, go for the Kona. Plus it has a better spec (Saint group) and a better price tag.
    Slow is cool too, right?

  5. #5
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    The latest issue of Dirt has a review of both the Session and the Operator

  6. #6
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    go for the operator better specs and i personally prefer kona so yes the kona's better

  7. #7
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    First dh bike?

    Save some money and buy used. You can get just as rad a bike but spend thousands less because it has dirty tires, needs cables and housing, and might have a scratch on the frame or two. Your first bike will probably get pretty banged up unless it's a garage queen so you might want to save some coin to replace parts down the road.
    The arsonist has oddly shaped feet!

  8. #8
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    better spec? I have a 2010 boxxer team right now, and have owned a 40rc2 (09). I like the boxxer in that its reliable and I get support from RS if something happens, where the 40 was neither (and got a "you're up sh1t creek, buy $500 worth of parts at full retail" from fox). But the damping in the 40 is better. It is also not as sticky. I don't think anybody will argue that session doesn't have some of the most dialed suspension on the market. You're getting an off the shelf RC4 vs a custom tuned for the frame RC4. Frame/suspension/company support all go to trek, 100%, and while I have saint shifters/der/brake, I'll make fun of the first person to say x0 isn't 100% quality.

    Pretty much only only place I give the edge to the kona is the wheelset. I just rebuilt and relaced my fifth big earl rim within a year. Its a light weight race wheelset with rims made of cheese.

    Anyway, I hate to make fun of Kona because I think they're awesome bikes, but every time my roommate and I go out riding, he with his 2010 stab and me with my 09 session, he wants to ride my bike. They didn't change the geo much and the pivot got lower like the treks, they just changed the look and dropped the floater and some weight. I donno, I'm sure the operator will rip, but I don't think its in the same class as the session.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
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    Um... I am pretty sure the OP is referring to the Session 8 (eight) $4k, not 88 and the Operator DH ($3k model) not the Supreme Operater ($6k model). Especially since it is his first DH bike.

    I would offer more, but I don't know much about either bike.
    Last edited by Evo.; 02-04-2011 at 08:23 PM.

  10. #10
    TheGoat
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    Yes Evo is correct. I am looking at the Session 8 $4k model and the Operator DH $3k model for my first DH bike. So those are the 2 bikes I am looking for advice on buying as my first DH bike.

    Thanks
    The Goat

  11. #11
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    Working at my bike shop which is a primarily Trek shop, I have heard nothing but good stuff about the Session 8. Its a great bike with awesome geo and parts for the price. But, even though I could have a Session 8 or 88 at cost, I still buy used bikes. To be honest there is no better deal on a new bike than buying one that is a year old and ridden a little bit. Everything is usually dialed in and it will cost you at least a grand less than buying new. And for $2k you can get a damn fine bike used. Learn to work on them yourself and you will be rolling dude.

    My .02. Take it or leave it.

  12. #12
    lives to ride
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    Session 8. Rode one last year and loved it.

  13. #13
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    Go used and take your time. Being your first DH bike you don't have to buy your dream bike first shot. I finnaly pick'd up my first "big bike", a hardly used 09' Bighit for under 1k. It wasn't even on my radar but you got to remember to take steps and not run.

  14. #14
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    Buy the Session

    I Did !! 2010 Session 8 is my first DH bike. Fitted an Avalanche Cart to the BoXXer Race and it became a real fork, works like they're supposed to. A bike like this will build your skills quickly. Really inspires confidence, very stable, pedals/accellerates well. Buy new if you can. Second hand can be a nightmare, plus no warranty! The Kona is a "new" bike, let someone else test them and find the problems!

  15. #15
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    All these people talk about used bikes. but when you buy used do you get the warrenty on the frame?

  16. #16
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzguitarplayer
    All these people talk about used bikes. but when you buy used do you get the warrenty on the frame?
    No warranty on used bikes...

    That is one of the concerns when buying used. I was looking at used bikes before I bought new.

    Most of them seemed over price to me.

  17. #17
    Stand back
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    Quote Originally Posted by 181picklz
    Go used and take your time. Being your first DH bike you don't have to buy your dream bike first shot. I finnaly pick'd up my first "big bike", a hardly used 09' Bighit for under 1k. It wasn't even on my radar but you got to remember to take steps and not run.
    The OP is getting a shop discount. Buy new and help the economy!
    And I'd take the Trek anyday over the Kona, but that's just me - I have no idea where it will be ridden or by what type of rider the OP is...
    Golden Bike Park

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  18. #18
    the giant.
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    Trek Session 8

    Frame Alpha Red Aluminum w/Aluminum Armor, ABP, Full Floater, alloy EVO Link, E2 tapered head tube, oversized pivot bearings, replaceable derailleur hanger, ISCG03 mounts, 203mm travel
    Front Suspension RockShox Boxxer Race w/coil spring (16/17.5" red; 19" blue), rebound, low speed compression, rebound, internal preload, Motion Control IS, 1-1/8" steerer, Maxle DH 20mm, 200mm travel
    Rear Suspension Fox Van RC, "DH tuned" w/rebound; 8.75x2.75" (S 400lb; M 450lb; L 500lb spring)
    Wheels Bontrager Big Earl Disc wheel system, 32 hole, 20mm front hub, 150x12mm rear hub
    Tires Maxxis Minion DHF, 26x2.5"
    Drivetrain
    Shifters SRAM X.7, 9 speed
    Front Derailleur MRP G2
    Rear Derailleur SRAM X.9
    Crank Race Face Respond DH, 38T
    Cassette SRAM PG-970 12-26, 9 speed
    Pedals Wellgo BO-87B
    Components
    Saddle Bontrager Evoke 2, chromoly rails
    Seat Post Bontrager Rhythm, 31.6mm, 5mm offset
    Handlebars Bontrager Big Earl, 31.8mm, 25mm rise, 9 degree sweep
    Stem Bontrager Big Earl, 31.8mm
    Headset FSA NO.57E, E2, ACB sealed bearings
    Brakeset Avid Elixir R hydraulic disc brakes

    Kona Operator Dh

    Frame Material Kona DH 7005 Aluminum 200mm Travel
    Sizes Small, Medium, Large
    Rear Shock Fox VAN RC
    Fork Rock Shox Boxxer Race 200mm w/20mm TA
    Crankarms Gravity GAP
    Chainrings 36T
    B/B FSA
    Pedals Kona Wah Wah
    Chain SRAM 951 PowerChain
    Freewheel SRAM 950 PowerGlide 11-28 9 spd
    F/D E*13 SRS
    R/D SRAM X-7
    Shifters SRAM X-7 (RH only)
    Brake Calipers Avid Code R
    Front Brake Rotor Avid G3 Clean Sweep 203mm
    Rear Brake Rotor Avid G3 Clean Sweep 185mm
    Brake Levers Avid Code R
    Headset Orbit 1.5 ZS NO.57-1
    Handlebar Kona DH
    Stem Kona DH
    Seatpost Kona DH
    Seat Clamp Kona SeatClamp
    Grips Kona G-LOG
    Saddle WTB Speed V Sport
    Front Hub 20mm Formula Disc
    Rear Hub 12mm x 150mm Formula Disc
    Spokes Sandvik Stainless 14g
    Rims Sun MTX 33 Welded
    Front Tire Maxxis Minion DHF 26x2.5
    Rear Tire Maxxis High Roller 26x2.5


    personally ide go for the kona. better price, better brakes, and the rest seems roughly the same?

  19. #19
    Rider, Builder, Dreamer
    Reputation: sambs827's Avatar
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    Since it's your first bike, I would say go with the Kona without a doubt. Most of the spec is comparable, the geometry is comparable, and not having been on downhill bikes much in the past you probably won't find any shortcomings on the Kona.

    The DH snobs bash them for being heavy an old-fashioned, but by being sold at lower prices they make it easier for people in your situation to get a bike and still have gas money to get to the top of the hill.

    Buy the Operator and use the saved dough to pay for a trip, or save it for when you need to replace something.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by sambs827
    Since it's your first bike, I would say go with the Kona without a doubt. Most of the spec is comparable, the geometry is comparable, and not having been on downhill bikes much in the past you probably won't find any shortcomings on the Kona.

    The DH snobs bash them for being heavy an old-fashioned, but by being sold at lower prices they make it easier for people in your situation to get a bike and still have gas money to get to the top of the hill.

    Buy the Operator and use the saved dough to pay for a trip, or save it for when you need to replace something.
    I agree.

    Save the extra $1000 for season pass to your local park and trips.

    You won't be able to tell the difference between a $3k bike or a $5k bike at this level.

    Kona will back up there product.

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