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  1. #1
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    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...

    Hey guys... I was browsing Kona's site and came across the new(ish) Taro. From what it sounds like, it's a Honzo but in Aluminum form and has slightly less quality components. However, the price difference is huge ($1899 to $1299 for the Taro).

    Has anyone had a chance to check out this bike? I am curious about it. I am not too sure that 1x9 would be the way to go in my area with some of the climbs but would love to hear some real-life feedback/opinions on this bike. It's very close to having everything I would want in my next bike with an awesome price tag.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Local shop said they were bringing some in for the spring season, but not until March at the earliest. I might check it out, but am not interested in owning one since there's no provision for single speed.

  3. #3
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    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...

    Good to know... maybe half of the shops haven't seen that yet!

  4. #4
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    check out latest issue of bike magazine

  5. #5
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    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...

    Is their an online version?

  6. #6
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    I looked quickly; I didn't find one. I wouldn't call a Bike Magazine review "real-life feedback/opinion" though, for what its worth.

  7. #7
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    There is one at the not so LBS in the next county down from me. I took it for a "test ride", I was told stay out of the dirt. Seemed like a good ride. I know a lot of people in the NWestern part of the NW that ride a 1x9. I think it will do good with that price point.

  8. #8
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    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...

    As I posted in the other Taro thread that was bumped... my only concern with that bike is the 1x9. I am wondering how well I will be able to climb with it. I've never ridden a 2x9 or 1x9 setup (always had standard 27 speeds) so I don't know what it's like having or climbing with a 1x9 in the lowest gear.

  9. #9
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    true-dat
    If i remember correctly, the bike I tested had a very large cog in the rear. Something like 36t.
    Our local hill requires us to ride up before we can ride down, having that x-large cog would help

  10. #10
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    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...

    Everything I ride requires me to go up a lotta hills before I can enjoy the ride down. I need to learn more about the rear cogs, I think. I don't understand what all of it means yet. The only thing I have to reference is gearing on a 3x9. If someone can give me an idea of how the lowest gearing on a 1x9 (Taro) compares to a regular 3x9 setup it may make more sense. Forgive my noobness.

  11. #11
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    well as I don't have ten posts yet I cannot post the link to the reviews of Taros older brother: the Honzo. The Honzo is also 1x9 and a steel frame. I don't know the weight of her. If i had to guess it would be just as if not heavier.
    In all of the reviews not one of the weakness' listed had anything to do with climbing, although climbing was mentioned elsewhere in the review. check it out.

  12. #12
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    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...

    Good call. I'll have to read about that one.

  13. #13
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    Just like the Honzo; a direct mount front mech should work with a Problem Solver adapter. I'm about to find out, having ordered one...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haggis View Post
    Just like the Honzo; a direct mount front mech should work with a Problem Solver adapter. I'm about to find out, having ordered one...
    That is awesome. The day I rode the Taro, I had a pocket full of cash, but ended up not going for the impulse buy. I really like steel frames and would have rather continued saving for the Honzo, which was parked right next to the Taro.

  15. #15
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    I'll be building it light-ish, so steel isn't real (necessary). Hopefully it works out to be fun commuter/winter ride.

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    I got my Taro a couple weeks ago and have been out on it a few times since then. I can tell you that climbing hasn't been an issue. My buddy has a Salsa El Mariachi 2 and I can keep up with him no problem on any technical/ longish climbs. Your lowest gear in the 1x9 (32T chainring and 36T on the cassette) setup is essentially the same as the middle ring and lowest on the cassette on your normal 3x9 (32 and 36 again on on the Salsa for example). The only issue that I can see with the 1x9 setup is that if you ride a lot of fire roads or stuff that you usually use your big chainring on a 3x9 setup for, you might not like the gearing setup because you don't have the top end to really get going fast.

  17. #17
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    Hey Matt - any idea what the complete bike weighs?
    Thanks!

  18. #18
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    I don't have an exact figure... But it is pretty heavy. I got a medium and my lbs told me that it was just under 31 lbs when they built it up with the heavy platforms that came with the bike.

  19. #19
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    Medium weighs 12.7kg, no pedals. WTB wheelset weighs 2440g bare.

  20. #20
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    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...

    What do you Taro owners think of the Sektor fork?

  21. #21
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    I'm digging the Sektor so far. It's very responsive and with the solo air it's crazy easy to adjust the pressure. It has very smooth travel throughout and the rebound adjust is great too. Love the 20 mm axle as well. Is there anything specific that you were wondering about it?

  22. #22
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    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...

    Well for some reason (forgive me, I'm a noob), I thought the Sektor was coil vs. air. I must be wrong.

    All of the other bikes I am considering (which are more $$) come with a Reba or Recon so I was wondering how it compares.

  23. #23
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    Both the Reba and the recon are more xc style forks. They will generally be a little lighter and less durable. They also have a shorter maximum travel (120mm for both). The Sektor is basically a cheaper version of the Revelation, and both of these forks are more trail oriented which means they have more travel (150mm max on the Sektor) and are generally a bit tougher. It does appear that rockshox makes a Sektor in a coil version but the one that comes on the Taro is the solo air turn key lockout model.

  24. #24
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    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...

    Interesting. Makes me want to look into the Honzo and the Taro a little more. I was set on something like a Specialized Carve or Trek Stache. Seems like those are more 'XC' than the Kona's I would be interested in.

    How's climbing with the 1x9? That is my main concern. I am a bit worried that I'll be climbing too much for a 1x9.

  25. #25
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    Sektor TK29 Solo-Air is 120mm only (no spacers to remove, can't make it longer). It seems a nice fork all the same, and only weighs 1904g inc the 114g 20mm Maxle. I was surprised to see the air-piston is lube'd by grease and there is only a sniff of oil in the lowers (5-8ml of 30w according to manual). Probably means more regular service interval than the older Revelation/Pike/Lyriks used to require....

    Trek Stache would be a nice ride.

    Can't comment on the Taro stock gearing as I haven't really ridden it (waiting on bits). I will say the FSA/ISIS interference-fit crankset sucks balls, as the drive side was near impossible to remove (no anti-seize/grease used during assembly). Park tool stripped the extraction thread nicely - ended up having to use a 2-jaw gear puller, 12" spanner and a copper head hammer to get it off. Was almost at the 'fetch the grinder stage'...

  26. #26
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    I really wouldn't worry about the climbing. I've had the Taro out 8-10 times now on mostly steep rocky stuff here in the Colorado Rockies. It takes a little bit to get used to not having the granny gear to fall back on but I don't even notice it anymore.

    Thanks Haggis I didn't know that the 29 doesn't have the removable spacers.
    Last edited by Mattmillertime; 03-18-2013 at 06:47 PM.

  27. #27
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    Custom Build Taro

    I rode a Honzo and loved the angles but not the weight. Already have a SS, although the Taro would be perfect with dual drops. Worked with the best LBS in the land on this custom build and I think we're at 26# with pedals on a M frame. Short stays + slack head angle = super fun.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Don't hear much about the Taro yet...-p1010024.jpg  

    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...-p1010027.jpg  


  28. #28
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    You bet me to it! Still waiting on a few bits for mine, which will hopefully be 2x10.

    26lb is good, what's your build list look like?

  29. #29
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    Build List

    CHAIN GUIDE: MRP G3
    CHAINRING: e*thirteen 32t guidering
    CRANKSET: Shimano SLX
    SHIFTER: Shimano M780 (XT) 10spd
    CASSETTE: Shimano M771, 11-36 (XT) 10spd
    REAR DER: Shimano Zee 10spd
    BRAKES: Shimano SLX w/ 180mm front 160mm rear Ice Tech rotors
    BARS: Deity CZ38 Special
    STEM: TruVativ AKA
    GRIPS: Deity Classic
    WHEELS: WTB Frequency Team i23 TCS rims laced to DT 350 hubs w/ DT 14/15 spokes, alloy nipples
    TIRES: Conti Mt. King 2.2 Tubeless

  30. #30
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    ^^ Dig your bike santa cruz, looks sweet. love the green bars. Here's mine, all stock except I put some crank brothers acid 1 pedals on it.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Don't hear much about the Taro yet...-img035.jpg  

    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...-img041.jpg  

    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...-taronmariachi.jpeg  


  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santa Cruzing View Post
    CHAIN GUIDE: MRP G3
    CHAINRING: e*thirteen 32t guidering
    CRANKSET: Shimano SLX
    SHIFTER: Shimano M780 (XT) 10spd
    CASSETTE: Shimano M771, 11-36 (XT) 10spd
    REAR DER: Shimano Zee 10spd
    BRAKES: Shimano SLX w/ 180mm front 160mm rear Ice Tech rotors
    BARS: Deity CZ38 Special
    STEM: TruVativ AKA
    GRIPS: Deity Classic
    WHEELS: WTB Frequency Team i23 TCS rims laced to DT 350 hubs w/ DT 14/15 spokes, alloy nipples
    TIRES: Conti Mt. King 2.2 Tubeless
    Solid build. Still using stock headset? Noticed last night there's not much rear rotor clearance - looks like a 180 would barely fit but haven't confirmed yet...

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haggis View Post
    Still using stock headset?
    No... Upgraded to sealed bearings. I believe it's FSA ACB.

    I didn't try for a bigger rear rotor as already had 160. With hard tail, seems tough to keep rear down enough to use bigger - except maybe on pavement.

    Forgot to mention fork: RockShox Revelation RCT3 Dual Air (2012).

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattmillertime View Post
    ^^ Dig your bike santa cruz, looks sweet. love the green bars.
    Thanks! Justin at Life Cycle Eugene found & ordered the bars knowing I'd love the color play. Have to say photos don't do them justice. Match is near perfect in daylight. Nothing turns heads like these green bars! 760mm works well as I'm on big end of range for M size frame.

  34. #34
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    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mattmillertime View Post
    I really wouldn't worry about the climbing. I've had the Taro out 8-10 times now on mostly steep rocky stuff here in the Colorado Rockies. It takes a little bit to get used to not having the granny gear to fall back on but I don't even notice it anymore.

    Thanks Haggis I didn't know that the 29 doesn't have the removable spacers.
    I'm kinda wondering if no granny gear may be better for me. When riding my old Gary Fisher I found myself using the granny TOO much and spinning out quite a bit.

    The price point on the Taro is really good. I could easily convince the wife to approve of the Taro vs. the $1700+ Carve Expert.

    Do you guys think a novice rider like myself would even notice the difference between the 'lower grade' brakes (elixir 1's on the Taro vs. elixir 3R on the Carve) or the 'lower grade' of components (Deore and Alivio on Taro vs. Sram X7 and the Deore XT on the Carve)? While the nicer components are always nice, I am wondering if it would be worth it.

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    Gouda, that's exactly why I went with the Taro. Price point is amazing, yes you would probably notice a difference with the higher quality components. But to me it came down to the fact that Taro was at least $500 less than any other bikes I was looking at (honzo, stache, carve, or custom) and for the money it seemed to have everything I was looking for (120mm shock, short chainstays, hydraulic brakes) and I liked the geometry numbers the best on the Taro. The first thing that I'll probably upgrade in the future is the derailleur to something a little better as I'd like one with a clutch and this year's deore doesn't have one. Other than that everything has worked flawlessly for me so far, and I'm not exactly babying this thing. Gone down/up some pretty gnarly stuff and the bike is no worse for the wear yet... Granted 10 rides isn't exactly a durability test...

  36. #36
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    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...

    Matt, do you ride on the street at all? I'll probably go on street rides from time to time and am curious what the top speed is. I know it won't haul ass due to the 1x9 but I don't need to go fast on my rides unless I'm riding down the side of a hill.

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    I usually ride my road bike around town, but I have taken the Taro on pavement a little bit. It's not too fast but its fine for just putting around town, hopping curbs and stuff like that. We have a pretty extensive paved trail system in my city and I've ridden it a bit there too. Like I said though it won't be too fast but it's fine for commuting. It'd be better to have a second wheelset with some less aggressive tires if you plan to do a lot of street riding.

  38. #38
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    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...

    I won't be doing THAT much street riding. Basically to and from the trail systems near my house. Thanks for the input. I am going to try and check out a Taro this weekend.

    Noob question - are you able to adjust the shock air pressure on the Sektor like you can on the Reba?

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    Yeah, it has the same solo air system. You adjust the pressure in both tubes via one schrader valve so both of them stay at the same pressure all the time.

  40. #40
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    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...

    Awesome! I am going to go check out the Taro this weekend hopefully. Thanks for all of your advice!

    Main thing I am curious about still is the climbing ability since I am a wuss.

  41. #41
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    @Santa Cruzing: How tall are you? 175mm cranks? I guess the Rev is at 140?

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    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...

    LBS has a 2012 Honzo leftover for $1200. What do you guys think of that?

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    That seems pretty awesome. The honzo has sliding dropouts so you could convert it to single speed easily if you wanted to in the future, and you can change your chainstay length a little bit to tune the handling to how you like it. It also has rockshox higher end trail fork the Revelation. Honzo will probably be heavier than Taro. I'd most likely end up with the honzo especially if I could get it cheaper than the Taro... mostly for the steel frame and the better shock. But I'd say ride them both and see which you prefer.

  44. #44
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    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...

    I need to call and see what size it is before I get too excited.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haggis View Post
    @Santa Cruzing: How tall are you? 175mm cranks? I guess the Rev is at 140?
    6' even, yes, yes.

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    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...

    Rode the Honzo this morning... definitely nice. A bit out of my price point though so I'll likely go with the Taro. I was really digging the 1x9... nice and simple.

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    I am getting ready to grab a new ride and just found the Taro... Santa Cruzing your setup looks sick! I was looking at the Airborne Goblin but am now leaning towards something a little more aggressive in the 'all mountain' category over the XC... Just wondering how the stock components are holding up? The Goblin has a pretty sweet setup for an XC at the same price point so trying to talk myself into going with the lower end components for a more aggressive ride!

  48. #48
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    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...

    Everyone that I've heard from are not having any issues with the components (yet).

    I think I am pretty set of the Taro, mostly because it seems like the best bang for the buck. I figure I'll run the components into the ground and upgrade as necessary. I'm used to modifying cars (in my younger days) and bike upgrades are DIRT CHEAP in comparison.

  49. #49
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    How much less does the Taro frame weight than an equivalently sized Honzo? Just wondering.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MakinMoves417 View Post
    Just wondering how the stock components are holding up? The Goblin has a pretty sweet setup for an XC at the same price point so trying to talk myself into going with the lower end components for a more aggressive ride!
    So far the Taro is holding up really well. I have had it out on about a dozen rides now and just took it in for the free new bike tune up at the LBS. I did need the wheels trued and the derailleur needed to be adjusted a little bit, but other than that everything has held up amazingly well.

  51. #51
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    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...

    All of that is to be expected though.

    Matt, kind of a silly question but do you think there's a need for a chain stay protector on the Taro? Not sure if the chain hits much with a 1x9. Figure if I buy the bike I can pick up some accessories while I am at it too (that being one of them).

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by p4nh4ndle View Post
    How much less does the Taro frame weight than an equivalently sized Honzo? Just wondering.
    My M Taro frame was 4.25 lb. I seem to remember the Honzo was about 2 lb heavier, but I didn't measure it myself.

  53. #53
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    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...

    IIRC, the Honzo frame (not sure what size) was at least 5.75 pounds.

    What's the easiest way to shed weight from the Taro? Wheels? Pedals?

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    Gouda, I got a chainstay protector when I got my bike... I'm not sure how often the chain would slap anyway but it's awesome when you're going down rough stuff or hit a jump cause the landings are almost silent. Plus I figured that I was spending so much anyway, what did another $7 for a chainstay protector matter and it'll protect your frame.

    I think the easiest way to shed weight on the Taro would be to change out the wheels and go tubeless. The heavy wheels aren't that great but that's probably where they save the most money from the Honzo. Lighter pedals would also be an easy/ cheaper than wheels upgrade. That said, I believe that when you upgrade most components the new ones will be lighter, for example the elixir 1 front brake w/ rotor is 415 g while the elixir 7's are 350 g.

  55. #55
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    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...

    Matt, sounds good. Thanks for the info on both weight savings and the chainstay protector. Which one did you end up going with?

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    I just got what the LBS had in stock, it's a lizard skins black chainstay protector. Works pretty well.

  57. #57
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    Taro is built to a pretty tight budget, and if it serves purpose in stock form, then ride it as it is. Once you start upgrading stuff it becomes a different exercise entirely and you may be better off just buying a Stache 8 etc.

    However if you're going to spend $$$; there is some heavy kit worth upgrading: wheelset, crankset, and pedals and the stock wire-bead Ardents. (eg. knockoff ~900g with Arch EX/Hope/folding bead Ikon 2.3/2.4 Ardent tubeless upgrade)

    Cockpit is quite lightweight and well designed, fork is fine. 1x9 setup is not any heavier than equivalent 1x10 (excluding crankset) unless you go $$$.

  58. #58
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    If you are going to consider a Stache 8, look at a DB Mason instead. It's closer to a taro in geo and has a much better build on it, Fox 34 and a dropper post plus more all for $200 less than the stache 8.

  59. #59
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    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...

    Quote Originally Posted by Haggis View Post
    Taro is built to a pretty tight budget, and if it serves purpose in stock form, then ride it as it is. Once you start upgrading stuff it becomes a different exercise entirely and you may be better off just buying a Stache 8 etc.

    However if you're going to spend $$$; there is some heavy kit worth upgrading: wheelset, crankset, and pedals and the stock wire-bead Ardents. (eg. knockoff ~900g with Arch EX/Hope/folding bead Ikon 2.3/2.4 Ardent tubeless upgrade)

    Cockpit is quite lightweight and well designed, fork is fine. 1x9 setup is not any heavier than equivalent 1x10 (excluding crankset) unless you go $$$.
    You have a point, although I can't imagine spending that much $$$ in upgraded parts to equal a Stache 8 @ $2000+.

    I think the Taro fits the bill - decent build and it won't break the bank. My goal would be to ride it as is... maybe upgrade the pedals to something better and add a few small accessories over time. Other components I would consider would be brakes and a rear derailleur (assuming the stockers crap out eventually). I would hope that would be years down the road.

    The only other bike I am considering is a Specialized Carve Comp or Expert. Both of those bikes are $200-$500 more and seem to be completely different bikes than the Honzo or Taro (more XC from what I understand but I'm still a noob).

  60. #60
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    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...

    I guess I should've clarified that when I asked the question about shedding weight I was not referring to doing all of that immediately after purchase.

    I re-read my post about that and it was a little misleading.

  61. #61
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    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...

    Any other new Taro users out there?

    Still looking for additional input as I learn more about these bikes.

  62. #62
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    Re: Don't hear much about the Taro yet...

    Picked up my taro a few months ago and im loving it!










  63. #63
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    Re: Don't hear much about the Taro yet...

    Im still a new rider and have a lot to learn. Still need to get comfortable with it but it can do it all. Its definitely a great started bike. Although i dont know what upgrades i can do on it.

  64. #64
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    Re: Don't hear much about the Taro yet...

    Picked up some bling for the taro. The jackshit pedals suck and dont keep your foot in place. These go well with the bike.






  65. #65
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    Nice thread guys. New here but also looking at the Taro...Right now I ride a simple setup: 2008 Komodo 1 but shes taken a beating the past couple years and I think I'm ready for an upgrade.

    I ride a good amount of street during the week when I don't have time to make it to the trails. My local shop has a Taro and I really like the simple 1x9 and the Sektor fork, but my concern is losing agility with the 29s. Will curb hoping and stairs be the same?? Don't know if I could go on without that.

    So the next option would be to get a Kona Shred- good trail bike, good street bike.

  66. #66
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    Re: Don't hear much about the Taro yet...

    Yeah kne thing that sucks is ability to pedal quickly but its a fun bike for sure. I recomend it.

  67. #67
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    If I were you, I'd be on the lookout for a '12 Steeley complete. It's everything that the Shred is, but better.

  68. #68
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    I was looking at the Steely...I like the 1x9 option on the 26' but looked past it because of the Taro is aluminum and I was considering weight.

    But thank you for the insight...do you know if you can still get last years models from Kona? I could check with the local Kona guru too and see what he knows.

  69. #69
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    Hey Will, the Taro is a super fun bike. The short chainstays make it super easy to manual/wheelie. I do some urban riding on mine and I have no problem riding stairs or jumping curbs. It's not as easy as a 26" bike, but it's by far the easiest of any 29er I've ridden.

  70. #70
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    Can any of you Taro owners comment on frame clearances? The Honzo folk claim that a 2.4 tire can be squeezed in, though, I think the Taro's chainstays are just a bit shorter than the Honzo's at full extension. Also, is there room for anything larger than the stock 32 tooth chainring? 32 is probably sufficient for most cases, but it's nice to have options.

  71. #71
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    Seems to be enough room for a 2.4 Ardent, judging from my brief trial, and >32T chainring-chainstay clearance is also fine on the stock 1x10 crank. (I'm running 2x10, 22-36T on a SLX M675 crankset which is also fine, although the FD pivot is close to the tyre on the 22).

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by fred lagunas View Post
    Picked up some bling for the taro. The jackshit pedals suck and dont keep your foot in place. These go well with the bike.
    Nice flats, although this lime green ano finish would have been perfect.

    konahonzo

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by eurospek View Post
    Nice flats, although this lime green ano finish would have been perfect.

    i agree but they were on sale and didn't have that color. would've been nice though.

  74. #74
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    I've had my taro for a few weeks now. I've now gotten everything sorta dialed and I'm starting to really bond with the bike. It's taken some getting used to swapping over from a 160mm travel AM bike to this thing... but man it pedals nice.

    So far I've done:
    -Shimano XT m775 brakes
    -200mm front rotor, 180mm rear
    -x9 cranks with NSB 28t chainring
    -MRP micro chainguide
    -WTB pure V saddle
    -Bottle Cage and Bottle

    Next up I'll be putting a KS-900r on it and rebuilding the internals of the sektor over to a relevation moco unit so I have some compression control.








  75. #75
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    Heh, I know what you mean about adjustment from a long travel fully - much reduced rear braking traction, back wheel blocking on techy climbs, lower speeds through the rough....

    On the plus side, it accelerates brilliantly and handles like a BMX bike. I'm also quite impressed with the Sektor... it does everything asked of it, quietly and without fuss.

  76. #76
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    Original bits
    - 2013 Kona Taro frame, med
    - RS Sektor TK29 fork
    - Avid 180/160mm rotors
    - Kona 60mm stem
    - FSA headset
    - Kona lock-ons

    New bits
    - Shimano SLX M675 groupset:
    - 22/36T chain rings
    - 11-34T XT cassette
    - GS+ rear derailleur
    - 2x10 SLX FC-M675 front derailleur with Kustom mount

    - Hope Hoops - Evo Pro2 SP, Flows (running tubeless)
    - Michelin Wildgrip'r 2.25 / Schwalbe RR 2.25
    - Dirty30 bar, 25mm rise
    - Fizik Cyrano 400mm post
    - Nukeproof Ti saddle
    - Shimano 540 pedals
    - Sixpack Cockring seat clamp
    - XT QR rear wheel skewer

    26.6 lbs

















    Last edited by Haggis; 05-27-2013 at 05:12 AM.

  77. #77
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    wow that thing looks amazing and light. I bet it rides like a champ. Did you make that front derailleur hanger yourself? Got any links on where to get it if you didn't? Any shots of your rear tire clearance?

    I order revelation internals for my sektor. Going to rebuild it later this week and give it a shot.

  78. #78
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    Cheers. The FD adapter was lathe milled from an aluminium block, with SS band - 60g and gives perfect positioning. Has plenty of clearance in big ring (about 8mm) and less in granny (4-5mm ) but its only the corner of the pivot so isn't a problem in mud.
    I don't think the Rev damper offers much over the Sektor, although its been a couple of years since I owned one.

  79. #79
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    Ok so here is my Taro. I just got it about a month ago. It is the first time in a long time that I haven't had a 6in fs bike as my main bike but it is also the first time in a long time I haven't lived near any mountains. I am even hard pressed to find a decent hill... but I have been super happy with the Taro. Great price point as I wasn't thrilled about the build kit on any of the other bikes with similar geo. So I figured the Taro has the same geo with budget room to spare.

    So so far...

    XT M785 Brakes
    XT shadow rear Derailleur
    Oury Green lock on grips
    Deity Cinch green seatpost clamp
    Rockshox dropper post
    Sektor 130mm dampener internals
    Crankbrothers Candy C's (not pictured)

    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...-img_0060.jpg

  80. #80
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    So here is a question I am scratching my head about. I'm 6'2" 200lbs and like to ride aggressively. The rear wheel is already causing small problems. ie: starting to go out of true, hub skipping, flex, and I have read some pretty awful reviews about these wheels. Its only been a month and I can only imagine its going to get worse. So tomorrow I'm ordering a WTB i23 rear wheel with XT hub from my LBS.

    Now this LBS also has a some take-off XT shifters and XT cranks/bb. Its $170 for all of it (which is duh a steal)

    In your opinion do I:

    A) Buy a matching set of i23's for $350

    B) Buy a rear i23, xt cranks/bb, and xt shifters for $350

    C) buy a rear i23 for $180 and save the rest for a rainy day when something actually needs fixing (or a better saddle or whatever)

  81. #81
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    Don't know much about i23 rims, but XT freehubs can be unreliable.

    Did you put a longer air-spring assembly into the Sektor? Do you have a part number? RS manuals don't mention the Sektor TK29...

  82. #82
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    Re: Don't hear much about the Taro yet...


  83. #83
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    Yeah the i23's I have read some great stuff about. Even several reviews of people swaping their flows for them and being happier. Which is interesting because I was originally looking at the Charger set (which is stans). Just from experience I am not to worried about the Hubs because I have never had problems with any hub ever in all my years of riding with lots of different brands. I guess im just lucky so its not something i think about. That doesn't mean I shouldn't though...

    And yeah for the fork... Behind Bars Bikes in Minneapolis sold me the bike and their tech Matty has a good contact at Sram through which I found out that the Kona OEM Sektor internals only go to 120mm (duh), have no spacers inside, and they have a few less seals so they have potential to need more service. I wanted more travel out of it so I had them switch it to the Rockshox stock dampener which is 130mm with some beefier seals.

  84. #84
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    [QUOTE=Haggis;10428789]Don't know much about i23 rims, but XT freehubs can be unreliable.

    And by the by Ben Cruz just took 6th at the Punta Ala enduro world cup race on what looks like i23's. Which is another surprise for me because normally i don't think to highly of WTB. It seems they have stepped it up lately

  85. #85
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    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...-img_0002.jpgNew pic. with Xt crankset/bb and WTB frequency i23 rear. Its sub 30lbs now (dropper posts weigh a lot!)

  86. #86
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    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...-eos11206-edit-2.jpg

    This is my Taro - pretty stock so far, but I have big plans for the future...

    Oh, and if anyone's interested I have done a quick review on my blog

    Review – Kona Taro | Traction Bike Blog


  87. #87
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    Slow Sunday ride

    200mm of rain in the last week or so has turned trails, and some hillsides, into porridge... nothing for it but a road circuit (and the subsequent picture-heavy post)
















  88. #88
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    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...

    Quote Originally Posted by Haggis View Post
    200mm of rain in the last week or so has turned trails, and some hillsides, into porridge... nothing for it but a road circuit (and the subsequent picture-heavy post)
    Lovely day for it! Is that in the hills behind Port Chalmers (or were you on the Peninsular)? Lots of nice gravel roads to be had, anyway.

  89. #89
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    Otago Peninsula - great spot in a howling southerly.

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    ... and if we just ...

    Finally got my Taro ready and took it for quick ride last night. Did few changes:
    I wanted new shadow + rear derailleur -> had to go for 10spd
    wanted lighter wheels, since this is my XC bike. I have Process DL for Enduro.
    I'm 6"1 and went for 18" size, so I wanted little longer stem, again, this is my XC bike. (I never thought I'd change longer stem to a stock bike)

    Changes to the stock bike:
    - Rear cassette to 11-36 XT
    - SLX Shadow + rear derailleur
    - Shimano 105 10spd chain
    - Pacenti TL28 rims on superstar hubs.
    - Superstar 10mm bolt trough rear axle.
    - rear tyre to new tubeless ready maxxis ardent race
    - fitted that original ardent 2.25 up front tubeless
    - Thompson 4x stem 70mm
    - Shimano PD-m530 pedals

    I'm not really fan of ISIS cranks and wanted to change them and already bought Deore cranks, but my ISIS crank tool just broke the treads on the original FSA cranks when tying to pull them out.
    So will be riding those until bottom bracket breaks and then have to get them off. If you plan to change cranks, be prepared with good quality tool, and possibly heat/cold treatment.

    With these changes 12.7kg/28 lbs incuding pedals.

    Really fun thing to ride! I think my full suspension will not see much trail riding anymore. So much fun to ride this thing.
    Only thing where I find it slower than my enduro bike is rocky and rooty downhill sections, but even those are fun still on this bike. I'm surprised how nible and yet stable it is.

    Only thing I will still need to change is longer seatpost. With my long legs I need 400mm post, or maybe should go for reverb.

    Few notes from first ride:
    - rebound adjustment knob on RS Sektor rattles little bit.
    - 10spd chain works without problems on that FSA chainring
    - Maybe need to change chainring to 32 or something. (original is 30t?)
    - Surprised how powerless those elixir's feel in comparison to XO Trails on my Process. Huge difference.

    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...-999340_10151513186752963_461000425_n.jpg

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prestige View Post
    I'm not really fan of ISIS cranks and wanted to change them and already bought Deore cranks, but my ISIS crank tool just broke the treads on the original FSA cranks when tying to pull them out.
    So will be riding those until bottom bracket breaks and then have to get them off. If you plan to change cranks, be prepared with good quality tool, and possibly heat/cold treatment.
    Same! My Park tool stripped out the drive-side threads instantly - FSA crank threads are rubbish, but the main issue was that they had been installed with zero grease on the spline & were well frozen on. I had to use a 2-jaw gear puller (3-jaw doesn't fit spider), & a heavy hammer on the centre bolt to break the bond. It was a two person job... Non-drive side came off fine.

  92. #92
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    Re: Don't hear much about the Taro yet...






  93. #93
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    newb question, has anyone gone tubeless on the stock wheels?

  94. #94
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    Mine came off ok. Replaced it with XT stuff. saved a ton of weight. I did notice that their was no grease on mine also. I guess i just got lucky.

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    My FSA bb that is...

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    Also... I really really like this bike but can we all agree that this color scheme is terrible. I was so bummed when I discovered that the decals were under the clear coat. seriously though... lime green and grey? the new Honzo is ugly also. Gold and poop brown? The blue Honzo was really cool. Both the bikes are awesome and huge props to Kona for doing something edgy with the geo of these bikes but WHAT HAPPENED WITH THESE COLORS???

    i don't mean to be a dick (I ride my Taro a ton!) I'm just sayin.

  97. #97
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    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...

    Quote Originally Posted by jtaves View Post
    Also... I really really like this bike but can we all agree that this color scheme is terrible. I was so bummed when I discovered that the decals were under the clear coat. seriously though... lime green and grey? the new Honzo is ugly also. Gold and poop brown? The blue Honzo was really cool. Both the bikes are awesome and huge props to Kona for doing something edgy with the geo of these bikes but WHAT HAPPENED WITH THESE COLORS???

    i don't mean to be a dick (I ride my Taro a ton!) I'm just sayin.
    Not with you on this - I think the retro font and minimalist graphics match the nature of the bike perfectly. Simple yet purposeful. Throw on some Deity D30 green bars and a few choice ano upgrades and it really comes together. Put it next to some god-awful Trek/Giant that's been designed by a Power Ranger and you appreciate the difference. I guess I've always liked simple graphics, like Intense does so well.

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haggis View Post
    Not with you on this - I think the retro font and minimalist graphics match the nature of the bike perfectly. Simple yet purposeful. Throw on some Deity D30 green bars and a few choice ano upgrades and it really comes together. Put it next to some god-awful Trek/Giant that's been designed by a Power Ranger and you appreciate the difference. I guess I've always liked simple graphics, like Intense does so well.
    I feel ya. the simplicity is real nice. you have a point there. And I did put on A Deity ano green seat clamp and Oury Neon Green grips that match the logos real nice.

    Just personally im not into lime green/grey

    O well. theres no point in complaining because I guess I can't change it without spending a lot...

  99. #99
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    Haggis, what's the story with your FD attachment - looks like Kona's "K" on the band. Is that a D-type adapter, and is it by Kona or someone else?
    Every rose has it's thorn.

    enjoy the ear worm

  100. #100
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    I personally don't like the green. I chose to go with Ano Blue on the bike with hints of silver. I think the green is great where it is, "on the logo" other than that i think the metallic grey paint looks awesome with blue.

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