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  1. #1
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    K2 Sidewinder (purchased)

    Background: Im a younger guy who recently got back into biking. I knew I wasn't going to put $2k+ into a bike until I knew how, why, etc... I saw this as a great learning opportunity


    Anyone who has looked noticed that there is practically NO info out there about this bike.

    K2 Sidewinder was released as a big box sporting good store special. It is surely as entry level as they come, but packs some quality. It is a Full Suspension, single pivot setup with Disc brakes. Pricepoint was $600+ (full retail) but was on sale for only $350.

    I found one while browsing sports authority and after a few minutes of looking at its components (and googling on my phone) I decided to give it a shot. What the hell, $350..


    Front fork: RST Gila pro T8
    Rear shock: Tough Shock FD
    Brake lever: Shimano V brake (st-ef50)
    Derailleur: Shimano Acera
    Shifter: Shimano Alivio
    Cassette: Shimano
    Crank: Suntour
    Brakes: Promax Disc setup (160mm)
    Tires: Kenda Klaw xt
    etc......

    It shares alot of components and almost (if not exactly) the same frame design as the Iron Horse Maverick Pro


    First look/feel:

    It is very soft (suspension)
    After tuning, it shifts and brakes fairly well. I am a BIG guy (6'4 & 230) so I can't give a fair review compared to most guys, but almost everyone will agree that an upgraded fork setup will be a MAJOR improvement. (Im hunting around for a replacement rear spring at the moment)

    I'll be running it through its paces when the pouring rain stops.

    SO what everyone always wants: PICTURES!

    (I am a bit too detailed for my own good here, so enjoy (or dont) the random close up shots too coming soon)
    Last edited by wyker; 03-15-2009 at 05:57 PM.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    I recently bought a K2 Sidewinder for my wife this past weekend as well. Hers is a used older model though. I got it cheap off ebay! The frame is different but most of the components are the same. My wife's bike doesn't have disc brakes and the fork is the old JudyII. The drivetrain is the same and let me tell you, it shifts very smooth. I tried to find some info on this bike just like you but I couldn't find much at all. I figured my wife will never be the avid mountainbiker that I am so this bike would suffice. I own a K2 Lithium 4.0 and am 6ft. 220lb. You WILL want to change the fork. I would bottom out on the old one all the time.

  4. #4
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    Ah, there is signs of life!

    Yeah, I haven't taken this out of the driveway so far, but just sitting on it I feel the rear shock is at almost full sag. Does anyone have info on replacing springs for the rear? (possible, are they model specific, etc.) Im shopping forks now. I want a long travel with a high spring rate.

  5. #5
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    I have the RockShox 318 Coil Air. Works great for me. As for rear shock, you have to measure the eye-to-eye. It depends on you whether you want a spring or an air shock. For the most part it's an easy swap. Sometimes the bushings might be different but nothing a local bike shop can't replace.

  6. #6
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    I'll revive this thread for anyone interested in hearing more feedback.
    Im 6'2" 210# and I've ran it through the single track paces for the last 8 months here in the Santa Cruz Mts. and such. Overall its not a bad bike at all and has held up surprisingly well. There is noticeable frame flex when pushing it which is probably and inherent flaw of the rear suspension linkage design (needless to say the stock shock/forks are soft as well). Brakes are very good and have shown little fade on descents. I have developed a creek in my crank that is nothing more than annoying at the moment when climbing but I suspect this will have to be remedied at some point. Probably due to the cheap square taper design of the lowers. Tires suck! Swapped out for maxxis, though heavy, they wear and grip well. All in all I would spend the money all over again to get into this hobby.
    Oh btw, nice write up and pics by the OP.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
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    I have this bike and it is laying in my garage now. I bought it on March 2008 in Sports Authority for about $400. I really liked riding it but after one year of riding the weld on the frame has cracked and i got it welded up. After about 1 month of riding the frame broke again but this time the weld broke on both sides. Since then it has been siting in my garage collecting dust.

    This is how it looked when i got it:





    This is the second time it broke:


  8. #8
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    I've had this bike for about 10 months and overall I love it. I used it completely stock for about 6 months, then decided to upgrade. I now have a 2010 RockShox Tora 318 U-turn fork, WTB DualDuty FR wheels, shimano deore rear derailleur, specialized tires, and pedro locking grips. I use it mostly for trails and XC, but I have done dirt jumps and up to 5-foot drop off with it. Holds up well, the only problem was I went through 3 Acera derailleurs before I ordered a beefier hanger and the Deore.

  9. #9
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    I have had the same bike for 3 years and last week i snapped the same weld from the rear suspension, i figured it wasnt worth welding back as i see it'll break again so i just gutted it parts, i'm thinking about getting the sette ace fram & tranplanting the parts!

  10. #10
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    It must be a production mistake so people that have this bike looka at the weldsoften when you ride this bike hard!

  11. #11
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    I was thinking about upgrading the rear shock, brakes, and crankset on my sidewinder (pictured 2 posts above) for Christmas. Instead I decided that I would just get a new, lighter, better XC frame. I settled on a 2004 Specialized Epic frame with a Fox Brain rear shock for $300 on eBay. I stripped my Sidewinder for parts to throw on the Specialized, and will upgrade the crankset and brakes soon. The mechanic at my LBS said the bottom bracket he took off the K2 was about the heaviest he had ever seen, and he seemed satisfied when I mentioned getting the Specialized. Now my K2 is completely stripped, and all my parts are sitting out, waiting for the Spesh frame to arrive in the mail. The k2 was good while it lasted, but my endurance and skills are improving and I need a better frame to carry me.

  12. #12
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    I neglected this thread after its creation.. oops.

    Im glad to see others chime in on the subject.
    I rode it for months before winter without many unusual. I just got it back out and stared at it for awhile contemplating what I want to do for this "season".

    It is not meant for me, period! Being 230lbs+ and wanting to be able to go from singletrack to 4ft+ drops and more just wont work with this. Mostly due to the suspension. I have done all of this and the frame hasnt shown any damage, but I'm bottoming out the rear without even leaving the ground.

    I need to get educated on suspension designs and options and determine my next steps.

  13. #13
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    Is it me or is a brake pad missing on your rear brake?

    I'm looking at the 13th pic in post #2

  14. #14
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    everyone says the front fork is terrible but i've been riding on it for two years and have had no problems with it. whats supposed to be wrong with it?

  15. #15
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    Smile

    this bike is very smooth its my first entry MTB. i have had this bike for a few weeks and shows no sign of creaky noises or stress on any part...could not be happier that i bought this bike...plan on upgrading parts in the future. i have the orange one..its newer version of the blue one i think..

  16. #16
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    I have had this bike for almost a complete year and have ridden it extremely hard, it has held up very well for the price, the only thing I've had to replace was the bottom bracket because the bearings just wore out; I have the warranty but no sense in replacing with the same thing. I plan on replacing the rear shock with a fox, but the original is still working fine. I would definitely buy this bike again as my first bike to explore the sport.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by michalt95
    I have this bike and it is laying in my garage now. I bought it on March 2008 in Sports Authority for about $400. I really liked riding it but after one year of riding the weld on the frame has cracked and i got it welded up. After about 1 month of riding the frame broke again but this time the weld broke on both sides. Since then it has been siting in my garage collecting dust.

    This is how it looked when i got it:





    This is the second time it broke:

    my girlfriends little brother has a specialized full-suspension and the same thing happen to him. Idk about k2 but from what i hear most mnt bikes are hand welded so every weld is different. If you took it to a machine shop to get welded it could just be that they dont know how to weld aluminum. Im not saying you are wrong just throw it out there fro thought

  18. #18
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by michalt95
    I have this bike and it is laying in my garage now. I bought it on March 2008 in Sports Authority for about $400. I really liked riding it but after one year of riding the weld on the frame has cracked and i got it welded up. After about 1 month of riding the frame broke again but this time the weld broke on both sides. Since then it has been siting in my garage collecting dust.

    This is how it looked when i got it:





    This is the second time it broke:

    This happened to me too but i got a new frame because i was 4 days before my warranty ended yay

  19. #19
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    I have a 2010 model Sidewinder and the weld is different. It looks like they improved on the design by welding the bracket to a plate and the plate is welded to the frame tubing. I have over 3000 miles on mine and love it. I have upgraded the rear shock and fork within the last month. Those made a BIG difference!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails K2 Sidewinder   (purchased)-p1010153.jpg  

    K2 Sidewinder   (purchased)-p1010154.jpg  


  20. #20
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    About how much does the sidewinder weigh?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by gatecityhotrod View Post
    About how much does the sidewinder weigh?
    Mine tips the scales (almost breaks it) at 38 lbs.
    It's heavy but that just means I'm getting a better workout, right?
    Going on 3.5 yrs and this bike keeps tickin'. My back yard is Santa Teresa Co Park which has some pretty good single track littered with rock gardens which punish equipment at any pace. Frame & wheels are still strong and though fork stanchions are covered in fork oil (blown seals) the suspension gets the job done.

    Doing the math....
    probably have 1000+ miles on it,
    paid $350, spent another $200 on accessories/parts.
    That's .55 cent/mile and dropping.....Talk about cheap fun!

  22. #22
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    mine weighs 36 lbs.

  23. #23
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    K2------>

    Hey Guys,
    Has anyone had any issues with the disc brakes not stopping correctly? Read a few reviews where people were saying they were undersized. Then, how would someone size out a new rear shock? Any particular brands or types should I get?

  24. #24
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    I can tell you what I have done.... I have Promax brakes on mine and they are pretty durable. I use the Avid CPS caliper bolt kit. That lets me align the brakes perfectly. I also use the 'Kool Stop Promax Mechanical Disc Brake Shoes, KS-D720'. (BIG Difference!) They come with one pad thicker than the other. The easiest thing to do is sand down the thick pad a little to make an easier install. Use thicker pad on the inboard position.

    On the rear shock, measure from center to center on the two mounting bolts (eye to eye) to get the dimensions. I think mine was 6.5". I have used a Cane Creek Cloud Nine and Rockshox Monarch RT3 series. You need the appropriate mounting kit available from Amazon. 'RockShox Rear Shock Mounting Hardware-3-Piece Set' You need to measure the width of the original bushings to get the correct sizes. Good Luck!!

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