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  1. #1
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    Santa Cruz Superlight RXC vs Kona Tanuki Deluxe

    Hi all, I'm looking to purchase a full susp. 26er, hopefully soon. Does anyone have an opinion about either of these bikes? Both of them go for about 2k.

    The Superlight has mostly XT and the Tanuki has a mix of XT and Deore.
    As far as forks, Superlight has a Fox Float RL 120, Tanuki has a RockShox Sektor TK Solo Air 130mm.
    Both have Avid Elixir 5, but the Tanuki has the larger 180mm front rotor.

    Lots of other details but I'll leave it at that.

    I've always wanted a Superlight, but the Tanuki looks nice and it has the 4 bar linkage.
    My LBS carries both, so I'll likely go test ride them at some point.
    Last edited by cackalacky; 04-30-2012 at 07:41 PM.

  2. #2
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    Bump...

  3. #3
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    I have a 2009 superlight with the RXC build and the RP23 rear shock, the bike is essentially the same as what you are looking at other than the components. I had always ridden HT bikes and my friends convinced me that I needed a FS bike. I like almost everything about the bike but there is one big problem for me. The BB height is very low, one of the lowest of any full suspension bike. I live in the NE and there are a ton of roots and rocks. On any given ride my bottom bracket will hit at 2 - 3 roots or rocks. Thankfully I have great balance but I have been thrown from my bike twice and have had a ton of near misses. As a result I don't ride the bike anymore. So depending on where you live and what you ride - you should think of that in making your decision.
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  4. #4
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    Thanks, I didn't think about that. My current bike has a relatively low bb height as well. Where I normally ride is not real burly, but part of the reason I want to buy a dual suspension is to take it to some of the better riding locations around (ie steeper and rougher). Looks like the Tanuki is almost an inch and a half higher from the specs, but then I guess that depends on tire choice, etc. Sorry to hear you don't ride yours anymore...

  5. #5
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    Also consider that when you don't have the rear suspension locked out, which would be anytime the terrain gets rough, the BB height is going to be even lower as your shock is working. I like the bike but for me it's become a serious enough issue that I don't ride the bike anymore. I never noticed how much of an issue it really was until I got another bike a year later with a significantly higher BB height and then rode the SL again.
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  6. #6
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    My wife has a 2011 tanuki deluxe.
    Overall it's a nice bike, especially for the price (hers was ~$1k). It has nice wide bars and short stem, great geometry, tapered headtube, a decent fork and some solid components like XT rear mech and beefy ardent tires. Hers came with a horrible Alevio front mech but it looks like they've fixed that for '12.

    The only thing I don't like about it: the rear shock is pretty bad. The lockout lever likes to flip itself to lockout and there seems to be a lot of stiction. In order to get proper sag, we're running it about 50 lbs below her weight and it's still overly stiff. With a good rear shock it would be an amazing bike for the $$.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the replies.

    Yeah, I was a little concerned that a 2k bike comes with a cheap(er) house brand shock and Deore FD. I just saw a thread here about the lockout lever, But then I've also read mixed reviews on the Fox shock that comes on the Superlight.

    I was reading the warranty stuff on each website and was surprised that SC doesn't offer a lifetime frame warranty like Kona does. Pretty disappointing if I'm forking over that much money.

    I went down to my LBS this week and they only had one Superlight in stock (not my size) and no Tanuki's so no test ride yet. Said to check back in a few weeks. The Superlight had some pretty cheap looking stickers on it which weren't under the clearcoat. I guess that's how a lot of them are these days but it just looks tacky to me.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cackalacky View Post
    .
    My LBS carries both, so I'll likely go test ride them at some point.
    This.

    Then give a full report and tell us which you liked better.

    ***********
    I own a SL. Love it.

    It doesn't have stickers or a clearcoat. Anodized.

    Must be something new. But still the design is the same.

    Don't stress over the choice. Just ride and buy the one that feels right.

  9. #9
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    Yeah, as soon as my shop gets some in, I'll do that and post back. They are flush with 29ers right now though so I'm thinking it may be a while if ever, even though he said to check back in a few weeks. Maybe I'll keep bugging them about it.

    Sadly, the new santa cruz superlight frames aren't anodized, but instead come in some really basic and ugly powdercoat colors. I would gladly pay more for the anodized, or even just a nice metallic spray job.

  10. #10
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    Nice share everyone..

  11. #11
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    I own a 2011 SL black powdered and I can say is good enough and pretty nice looking. I can't speak for other colors, though. However I must say bright colors aren't made for bikes, too scratch prone.

    Also I must say the Avid Elixir 5 is the worst component on my bike IMO (packed with R xc). The -very- low BB height is second for rough terrain on uphills, but pays off in lowering your center of gravity on descents.

    Given that Elixir 5 junk is on both bikes I'd go and try (notice the try and not the go for) the Kona. I must say also I'm pretty convinced my next bike will be a SC NomadC unless Ibis do very very good efforts to take my money.

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