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  1. #1
    GMF
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    2003 Dawg - riding a relic?

    Hello Kona folks,

    I'm wondering if full squish technology has changed that much over the last 8 years... I have an '03 Dawg that has been a very good/fun bike to me and has tolerated a lot of different riding conditions (Vancouver north shore stuff, to california dusty XC). Have Kona bikes changed that much since my bike came out? I have not been keeping up with the mtb technology too much...

    I'm not in a position to buy another bike anytime soon, and I recently refurbished the bike (all new frame bearings, Pushed the shock, new fork), but I'm just curious... am I really missing out on anything?

    Thanks,
    -Damon

  2. #2
    mtbr member extraordinair
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    If you ask me...no. I still have my 03 dawg, and I have an 07 dawg, and looking at the newest kona's, nothing has really changed in their design. Sure, newer bikes have newer tech, longer travel, etc, but the overall design is the same.

    I'd still be rocking on my 03 dawg, but It developed a crack in the headtube. I had it re-welded, and passed it down to my daughter (who wont be riding it real hard anyway)
    Grit, spit, and a whole lot of duct tape!

  3. #3
    GMF
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stupendous Man View Post
    If you ask me...no. I still have my 03 dawg, and I have an 07 dawg, and looking at the newest kona's, nothing has really changed in their design.
    Is the only reason you bought an 07 dawg because of the cracked head tube?

    And what did you do to crack the frame ? I've been pretty brutal to mine with a couple nasty crashes, and everything is holding up...

  4. #4
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    Yes, it was a hairline crack directly in front of the head tube, coming up from the bottom. I dont know how it happened, and I don't even know how long it was there before I noticed it. For all I know it could have been there a long time. I continued to ride on it (being more careful!) for about a month before I found the 07 dawg (used) and bought it.
    Grit, spit, and a whole lot of duct tape!

  5. #5
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    The other "problem" I noticed with it, is that the 03 did not have a bushing surrounding the bolt running through the top of the shock. This eventually led to the bolt "grinding" into the shock mount, eventually causing play in the suspension. The only way to fix this is to replace the shock. The later dawgs fixed this design. The 07 has a replaceable bushing that takes the grinding instead of the shock.
    Grit, spit, and a whole lot of duct tape!

  6. #6
    GMF
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    Thanks for the feedback, and the information on those incremental improvements. My bike is still a lot of fun to ride, so i'll just keep an eye out for those signs of aging (and more)... and just enjoy it for now

    -Damon

  7. #7
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    As long as you are having fun on it and it does what you need there really isn't much reason to continually jump on the latest thing.

    I'm running a 2003 Gary Fisher hardtail and a 2008 Dawg. The Fisher is still a great bike that I still ride but I felt the need for a dually on some of the rougher stuff.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by archer View Post
    As long as you are having fun on it and it does what you need there really isn't much reason to continually jump on the latest thing.
    And "fun" is the word. Just took the 8 year old Dawg out for a 2.5 hour ride yesterday and it handled everything i threw at it. It ain't the lightest bike out there, and probably not the best pedaling, but it was a ton of fun! The only thing yesterday's ride did (the first dirt ride in 6 months or so) was to switch me from bike envy to upgrade-itis .

    Fun bike, fun day, fun hobby!

  9. #9
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    I rode a 2002 Bear (in 2003 they renamed it to the Dawg) up until last year. The frame was solid and bombproof. Their design hadn't really changed in years. THe only difference in later frames was they incoporated some hydroformed top tubes, and slackened the geo a tad. I thought the 2010 Dawg was their best iteration yet, with the 67.5 HA and 140mm front and rear travel, but then they discontinued the bike and now the Tanuki is supposed to replace it I guess. Not the same bike though.

    so if the frame is in good shape, it's a fun bike.

  10. #10
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    i just bought an 03 kona kahuna deluxe that rides awsome! minimal bob with the float r ava, climbed very well and is about 30 lbs. im going to rock this bike for a long time!

  11. #11
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    Still loving my 2005 dawg deeluxe. Suspension design has advanced in Kona's and other brands but Kona's still sells basically the same design. dawg does the job so I'd just keep riding yours. Have fun!

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