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  1. #1
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    Are Dawgs and Kik's agile or lazy??

    I am still weighing the differences between the Specialized StumpJumper FSR and either a Kikapu Deluxe or Dawg Dee-Lux. One major diff is the head angle, 68 and 68.5 Dawg to Kik respectively and 70 on the SJ. My current ride is at 71 I believe and I find it too twitchy.
    I rode the SJ in a parking lot. It felt ok but I wonder how well it would do a descent or push through some sandy sections or track through the cobbles. We all want a nimble rid too. I guess in a compromise position I would side a bit more towards a stable ride.
    Any rider opinions on how you like your Dawg or Kikapu would be appreciated. I will be riding both hopfully this week, but a parking lot doesn't tell much.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeopardDog
    I am still weighing the differences between the Specialized StumpJumper FSR and either a Kikapu Deluxe or Dawg Dee-Lux. One major diff is the head angle, 68 and 68.5 Dawg to Kik respectively and 70 on the SJ. My current ride is at 71 I believe and I find it too twitchy.
    I rode the SJ in a parking lot. It felt ok but I wonder how well it would do a descent or push through some sandy sections or track through the cobbles. We all want a nimble rid too. I guess in a compromise position I would side a bit more towards a stable ride.
    Any rider opinions on how you like your Dawg or Kikapu would be appreciated. I will be riding both hopfully this week, but a parking lot doesn't tell much.
    Here are some outtakes from a review in Mountain Bike Magazine's 2005 Buyer's Guide comparing several bikes...

    Kona Dawg $1699
    "It rocks if you ride like your name is Joe Burly, but not if, you're a perfectionist when the trail turns technical."

    It goes on to say...
    "this bike is meant for abuse, and with it's 68 degree head angle, it's meant for ripping steeps too... "

    More details...
    "The Fox Float R shock does a fine job of flattening out single track bumps on rolling terrain, though the Marzocchi EXR Pro fork, when mated to that slack head angle, isn't great for smothering faults in the earth. Over washboard especially, the nose of our Dawg wanted to walk sideways; on compound washboard with turns, we had to turn the speed dial way back. That slack nose also created problems for climbing slippery terrain. When we stayed back in the saddle, as one must do to keep rear wheel traction, the nose lifted. When me moved forward to compensate, there's no way to tame back tire spin."

    Finally it says...
    "The fix we found for all of this? We went downhill, my man, and our grins widened"



    Now about the Stumpjumper from the same article...
    Stumpjumper FSR Expert Disc 120 $2600
    "It rocks: A lot of bikes have 5" of travel front and rear, but even with the added compliance, the SJ still keeps its quick reflexes. During test riding, the SJ didn't feel ponderous on climbs,thanks to its proprietary Fox Septune shock with adjustable 7-position propedal..."

    The downside...
    "But not if: You'd gladly sacrifice itchy trigger finger reflexes to keep a little more coin in your piggybank..."

    In all fairness, there's a huge difference in price here, so they aren't exactly comparing apples to apples. Geometry aside, I'd imagine if they compared the Dawg Deluxe or Primo, with better rear shock and forks, it might change their opinion of the climbing and technical ability of the Kona. I don't think the DAWG is THAT bad on climbs, just compared to some of the lighter bikes in it's class, it might fall a little short. But, as many have said in other reviews, it flies downhill!

    Personally, I own a Dawg, and my reasoning for getting it is because it is built like a tank to handle abuse, yet still be a "very good" all around kind of bike. It does everything I need it to do, and that's all I can ask. I think maybe the Kikapu might be a better climber, but at the cost of not being as burly. I'm 210 lbs and really wanted something that would hold up to my extra weight. The Kikapu might have a different geometry and be more agile as well, but you'd probably need to verify that by checking specs on the Kona website.

    Good luck with your decision!

  3. #3
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    I'm a bit of a newb but FWIW.. I have a '04 Dawg Primo with a 5" fork. I demo'd a Titus MotoLite and that thing had a 70.5ยบ head angle and even I could tell a huge difference in cornering, the Titus steered much faster.

  4. #4
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    Being a tank ain't all bad

    I keep reading that the Dawg is built real heavy. I checked Kona's site and they list the Dee-Lux at 28.8#. The Kik Delux they list at 29.2. You get a full inch more travel in the Dawg as well. I wish I knew what the StumpJumper 100 weighed in at but from the grab and lift method I would say just under 28. I wish the Mountain Bike review had actually used comparable models but that is fairly typical of those kind of mags. Reading between the lines in all this I think the SJ would be a slightly lighter, more technical ride that may require you stay on your game. The Dawg sounds more like the slam through the crud, go like hell, don't fear the downhill or a 6' drop and walk away from it all. Not trying to make the SJ sound less durable at all but it seems like more of a trials bike compared to an Enduro. Dirt bike guys will know exactly what I mean. I still have to decide what kind of ride I want, and no I can't have both. It will be a tough one.

  5. #5
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    I have a Kikapu with a 130mm fox up front. Sure it steers slow but it's stable as anything on the DH and through the rough.

  6. #6
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    I have an '03 Dawg with 105mm (DJ III) up front and it just plows. I love it.
    Team Elevate Cycles - www.elevatecycles.com
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  7. #7
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    Maybe today

    Hopefully, weather permitting, I'll get to test ride a Dawg and a Kikapu. I'll do a bit of parking lot slalom to see if the more slack head angle really bugs me. It's probably like most other things, once you get used to it it's hard to go back to what you once had. I do like the sound of the ride being real stable in the rough and down hills though.

  8. #8
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    Ride both bikes one after the other

    and you will be able to really tell the difference between the two. I bet (now not a lot of money) but I bet you will like the steering and the way the Kona feels over the specialized.

  9. #9
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    Shoulda double downed Scoob

    Just got back from the Kona dealer which is about 2 minutes from work. I know the owner pretty well. Went in talking technical and all, you know, head angle, seat angle blah blah blah. He only had a leftover Dawg Matic in a 17 so he handed it to me and said just ride it. So shirt and tie and the whole office uniform I go out and climb up wet grassy hills, storm back down, cruise up and down hilly brick pathways trying to menuver around every obstacle. Bottom line is the damn thing felt like an old pair of shoes! Did everything I asked of it and never felt unstable. I think there's gonna be another Dawg in the house...

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