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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.

  16. #16
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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...-taronmariachi.jpeg  

    Don't hear much about the Taro yet...-img035.jpg  

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


  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.

  35. #35
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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.

  37. #37
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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?

  39. #39
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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?

  42. #42
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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.

  46. #46
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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.

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