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  1. #1
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    Is this Kona Kikapu build worth it?

    I'm in the market for a bike to replace my 2004 Klein Palomino. It's been great except that I've recently come to find that whoops - it's much too small for me. Most XC rides become an exercise in misery and frustration. Not to mention the front shifter issues, which after spending several hundred on the recommended derailleur and upgraded mono-link, are still the same as always.

    A local outdoor shop has a Kona Kikapu for sale. I don't know what year it is, the color scheme looks like this: http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/B...kapu&Type=bike

    I might take that to mean it's a 2004. They aren't sure. They are selling it on consignment, the guy who owns it also owns a bike shop somewhere near Atlanta. The bike itself looks quite sharp, clean, no obvious defects.

    The asking price is $1000. From the looks about it just about all of the components (possibly with the exception of the crankset which is a truvativ) have been upgraded.


    Front/rear brakes: Magura MT2.0 hydraulic discs (looks like ~160mm)
    Front fork: Rock Shox Argyle RC
    Rear shock: Fox Float CTD
    Front/rear derailleurs & shifters: Deore XT
    Cane Creek headset
    Wheelset: Shimano XT w/ 20mm front axle.

    The grips are some nice looking lock-ons, didn't catch the brand but will probably replace them with my ODIs anyway. Handlebars/stem/seatpost/saddle are also upgraded though I didn't catch the particulars.

    Is this a good bike for $1000? I'm more concerned with the frame at this price point, though in my eyes the component spec seems solid for the price. I'm agonizing over whether to buy a bike but I just cannot enjoy riding mine anymore, and this looks like the best bet so far.

    My biggest concern is the Argyle RC which is more of a DJ fork. As long as it functions well enough for XC/AM use for a few months I can always replace it and stick it on my urban assault bike - needs a new fork anyway.

    According to the shop I have 3 days to get a full refund if I'm not satisfied with something. That will give me plenty of time to take it on a few rides. Main thing for now is just to make sure that it's worth the asking price.

    As for me, I'm 6'0", about 220 lb (though that is expected to go down to around 180 this year), and I ride mostly XC type singletrack since that's all that's really available to me in GA, though given the choice I much prefer all-mountain type of trails. There ARE a few areas within an hour or two of here that have some fast descents and I hope that the Kona is strong and stiff enough to handle these without much issue.

    Any help is very much appreciated, thank you!

  2. #2
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    Re: Is this Kona Kikapu build worth it?

    That's an awful deal imo. Nothing on that spec sheet warrants such a high price. For that kind of money you can get the same specs or perhaps even better, on a much newer bike. Why don't you take a look at craigslist, pinkbike and ebay? I'm sure you'll find some sweet deals there.

  3. #3
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    If it is that colour, then it is a 2004 framed Kikapu, I had one of them. Rear travel is only 3.75", and mine had to have two seatstays replaced due to cracks on the tabs where the linkages bolt through. In the end I had to get it welded as parts were getting hard to find. Other than that, the frame had no other issues, and lasted me approx 6 years before I sold it.
    Even with the upgrades $1000 seems a little bit on the steep side for a frame that is essentially nearly 10 years old. Whether you think the individual components are worth the cost is up to you really.
    I don't crash, I just have slightly uncontrolled dismounts!

  4. #4
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    Well that's discouraging....

    Good point about it being a 10 year frame. What would be a reasonable price for this build then? I can try to talk them down a bit, but it's ultimately up to the seller (i.e. the guy who put it on consignment).

  5. #5
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    How does this look? 2012 Giant Trance X3

    I'm also considering this: Trek Fuel Ex 9 Mountain Bike

    Both have good reviews on mtbr but the part spec on the Giant looks a bit more solid. I would probably replace the brakes with my old school Hayes set in case the Elixers aren't very good. I've also got an Azonic outlaw wheelset that has held up extremely well (though a bit heavy) that I can toss on there.

  6. #6
    I'd rather be on my bike
    Reputation: TenSpeed's Avatar
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    6'0" on an XL frame? I am the same size, and ride a 19" large frame. I know that not everyone is built the same, but that seems like it would be too big of a bike.

  7. #7
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    I figured XL was still within the right size range for someone my height. Are there any reliable fit calculators online that I can use to double check before I'd actually go and look at it?

    I offered $750 for the Kona in the OP, we'll see if the guy agrees...

  8. #8
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    It's within the realm, but even myself at the same height as you, and I am all torso, I would be stretched out on that frame. Anything more than a direct mountl stem would probably put the bars too far out.

    You should try to find out the ETT of the frame, and go from there. Find a bike that seems to fit you well, and measure for the ETT (Effective Top Tube) length. This will help you decide if the frame is too big. Pictured is a road bike, but you get the idea.


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SVFeingold View Post
    Well that's discouraging....

    Good point about it being a 10 year frame. What would be a reasonable price for this build then? I can try to talk them down a bit, but it's ultimately up to the seller (i.e. the guy who put it on consignment).
    I got that exact bike 3-4 years ago for $400. That price was absolutely ridiculous and frankly it isn't that good of a bike anyway in terms of travel/weight/efficiency. Things have changed significantly for the better since 2004 for Konas and most other bikes. The others you showed look better. My personal inclination is to get the best frame/shock/fork combo and then if you actually use it and desire you can upgrade parts as you go. I am 5'11.75" and I would not want an XL/21.5 frame myself. 18-19" would be my pick.

    Here is a size calculator
    Fit Calculator - Competitive Cyclist

  10. #10
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    Point taken about the size. I've been focusing on making sure I can get the proper leg extension (horribly cramped on my current bike) but I'd also hate to have back pains or other weirdness from being stretched out over the bike.

    I found something else on craigslist that looks quite good for $1100: Kona one20 full suspension mountain bike- Custom Build: Fox, Sram

    More recent frame, good components though I'll put 2 or 3 chainrings up front.

  11. #11
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    Only issue is that the owner of that bike has put a 160mm fork on a frame that was designed for 120mm forks, so the handling is likely to be a bit weird to say the least. Also, the top guide on the front chainring is so high up that it is not likely to be able to keep the chain on. Both of these suggest an owner that doesn't have much of a clue as to what he's doing, so I'd be wary of that one as well, especially for $1100.
    The Trance you linked to is a much much better buy IMO.
    I don't crash, I just have slightly uncontrolled dismounts!

  12. #12
    1/2 fast or 1/2 assed?
    Reputation: Koppuh Klyde's Avatar
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    So the asking price of the Kikapu is $1000 and the MSRP back in 2004 was $999 (courtesy of the Bikepedia link), a red flag didnt pop up? $750 still too much. Keep looking and good luck.
    I'm a ******bag in real life so I dont have to be one on the interwebz.

  13. #13
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    Buy a Durance or used ML8 and be done with it, Kona's Faux Bar suspension sucks, end of story, Hell, everything with a four bar design [aka FSR] needs a platform shock to resist bobbing, inferior design, Or upgrade your Palomino with a new ML7.2 shock and a Aluminium MonoLink.

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