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  1. #1
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Full 05 Kona Coiler Review

    Current Set-Up

    Stock Except For:
    WTB Weirwolf 2.7 front tire
    Nokian NBX 2.5 rear tire
    XT Front Deraillur
    XT Rear Deraillur
    Ultimax BB

    Climbing
    I ride regularly with a friend of mine who rides a Trek Fuel. Basically the opposite of my set up. He is in better shape than I am, and I consider my self to be in very good shape 5'10", 155 ibs, and 8% bodyfat. I noticed that anything slightly inclined, I significantly fall behind him even on technical single track. I used to own a Gary Fisher Tassajara, and it felt like it had a lower gear than the Coiler on very steap climbs. This could be due to the fact that the Coilers tires are MUCH larger than my old Tassajaras. The Coiler gives me a very good work out on climbs for sure. Physically, it is a difficult bike to get up the hill. But technically it climbs very well. So, if you have the legs, this bike will climb like a goat. Coming from a lighter hardtail, I am still getting used to the additional weight. I have been trying to keep it in the second ring to get my legs strengthened up more.

    Descending
    This is where the bike truly shines, especially on extremely technical down hills where it sticks to loose rubble, and large rocks. I rode behind my friend on the Trek Fuel for a bit, and I noticed his rear tire skidding, and bouncing around a lot. Being on the Coiler, I found very little, to no skidding, and NO bouncing at all. Places where I would have had to go around, I simply float over. The Coiler makes technical downs that would have scared the beans out of me on my hard tail, easy and inspires you to take them with speed. I never felt like the bike wanted to throw me over the bars at all. The geometry is very comfortable on descents.

    Braking
    Hayes Nine Hydros are absolutely awesome. The braking power/modulation is much better that Avid Mechanicals being very good brakes. I like the idea of just about never having to bleed the brakes, although I have done it once due to a ruptured hose. The whole system is sealed, so no more contaminated cables. I did warp a rotor when I spilled on a drop, and hit it on a rock. I was able to bend it back, so there is minimal rotor rub. In the back I cant work out the rub that I have though. At low speeds on pavement it doesnt make any noise, but when I speed up to 15-20 MPH it starts making noise. Oh well, Ill deal with it. I cant hear anything on the trail though.

    Suspension
    I have been very happy with the Marzocchi Drop-Off, and Fox Vanilla R. The Drop-Off doesnt soak smaller stuff well, but is satisfactory. Takes 5fters like its nobodys business. The Vanilla R is VERY plush, and soaks up big hits and small stuff very well. The pro-pedal works nicely, although it bobs a bit out of the saddle. I dont climb out of the saddle much at all, because the suspension, mainly the Drop-Off soaks up too much energy. I havent hit anything more than 5 ft, but the Coiler is well equipped in terms of suspension.

    Shifting
    Its XT, what more do I need to say??? XT isnt stock though.

    Geometry Notes
    It has a high BB, 14 in with my tires which I really like. It corners very well for its BB height, just lean in. I had no trouble keeping up with my friend on the Fuel, on tight weavy single track. Actually I feel like I can corner faster than on my Tassajara. Just a warning, it has a high stand over height, but it does not bother me at all.

    Bottom Line
    The 05 Kona Coiler is a trail and freeride worth bike. It is capable of getting up the hill, if you have the legs to get it there, and will tear the descents up. It inspires tons of confidence. I would recommend the Coiler to anybody who wants a freeride worth bike, or a burly trail bike. You cant beat its value. I got my for $1700 US after tax.
    If I want your opinion, I will give give it to you...

    You got like 3 feet of air that time... -Napoleon Dynamite

  2. #2
    Just roll it......
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    MBX, great review!

    While I don't ride a Coiler, I do ride an older Stinky Primo that also has 6" in the rear......so they're pretty similar in design.

    I think you make several good points about these bikes. These bikes will climb up most anything as long as it's pilot has the legs/lungs for it. Kona's may be on the 'piggish' side of things, but it's confidence-inspiring (for me) knowing my bike will take the abuse that I can dish out. That bike, imo, is designed around the guy/gal that wants to climb to get to the goods, but lives to rip the descents and that is is where the Coiler rocks.

    EB

  3. #3
    North American For Life..
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    Your review was well written, But i have to disagree on a couple of things.I rode the coiler at Galbraith MT. in Bellingham, WA last weekend. I did no hucking or drops,but i did ride trails that involved getting behind the saddle. Two things i would change. First off an 8 inch front rotor would be nice, at least in the Northwest. I found that when i had to use brake durning the more challenging sections. I kept smelling hot rotors. The other thing i would change is the fork. I have never felt so much flex in a fork. I will admit i am a larger rider and this would be a bike most clydesdales who might be looking for there first F/S bike or upgrade what they have. Somehow i think a better fork could have been spec'd with out it affecting the price too much. Other then those two issues. For the money you can't go wrong with this bike.
    Support Go Huck Yourself
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebxtreme
    While I don't ride a Coiler, I do ride an older Stinky Primo that also has 6" in the rear......so they're pretty similar in design.

    I think you make several good points about these bikes. These bikes will climb up most anything as long as it's pilot has the legs/lungs for it. Kona's may be on the 'piggish' side of things, but it's confidence-inspiring (for me) knowing my bike will take the abuse that I can dish out. That bike, imo, is designed around the guy/gal that wants to climb to get to the goods, but lives to rip the descents and that is is where the Coiler rocks.

    EB
    I feel the same as well about how the extra beef gives you more confidence knowing that the bike wont snap on the stuff i throw at it. I also climb for the same reason; for the goods on the way down!
    If I want your opinion, I will give give it to you...

    You got like 3 feet of air that time... -Napoleon Dynamite

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by KNine
    Your review was well written, But i have to disagree on a couple of things.I rode the coiler at Galbraith MT. in Bellingham, WA last weekend. I did no hucking or drops,but i did ride trails that involved getting behind the saddle. Two things i would change. First off an 8 inch front rotor would be nice, at least in the Northwest. I found that when i had to use brake durning the more challenging sections. I kept smelling hot rotors. The other thing i would change is the fork. I have never felt so much flex in a fork. I will admit i am a larger rider and this would be a bike most clydesdales who might be looking for there first F/S bike or upgrade what they have. Somehow i think a better fork could have been spec'd with out it affecting the price too much. Other then those two issues. For the money you can't go wrong with this bike.
    Thus far, I havent experienced the hot rotor smell yet, and I live in the Black Hills of SD. We have some pretty good extended and steap descents, and i have had to trouble yet. I have been happy with the Drop-Off fork, coming from a Psylo SL. The bike suits my needs, and that all I really need. The only 2 upgrades I can see in the future is maybe a Fox DHX coil rear shock, and XT shifters. I just would like a little more adjustability in the back, although I am happy with the Vanilla R at the moment. And thanks for your input!
    If I want your opinion, I will give give it to you...

    You got like 3 feet of air that time... -Napoleon Dynamite

  6. #6
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    Hey mountainbikerextremist, where the heck have you been? I keep waiting for my refill of Rapid City pic's and you've been gone! Anyway nice review! I have always like Kona's, and the Coiler is a sweet ride!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by drumstix
    Hey mountainbikerextremist, where the heck have you been? I keep waiting for my refill of Rapid City pic's and you've been gone! Anyway nice review! I have always like Kona's, and the Coiler is a sweet ride!
    I have been working alot alot alot. Monday thru Saturday and over 40 hrs a week, so i havent gotten a whole lot of chances to ride and take pics. Not to worry, I will get some more pics up as soon as I get a chance to take them. Happy trails!
    If I want your opinion, I will give give it to you...

    You got like 3 feet of air that time... -Napoleon Dynamite

  8. #8
    BGR / MCM #311
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    The Dee and the Primo have larger rotors in front (and a stiffer fork!!)...I don't understand why Kona couldn't put a larger rotor on the base model?? A $0.20 caliper adapter and $2.00 more for the bigger rotor would keep people from having to shell out a lot more bling to step up to the dee or primo.

    sidenote: all stated prices are OEM cost
    Boogers and Birthdays....the more you have...the harder it is to breath

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireboy
    The Dee and the Primo have larger rotors in front (and a stiffer fork!!)...I don't understand why Kona couldn't put a larger rotor on the base model?? A $0.20 caliper adapter and $2.00 more for the bigger rotor would keep people from having to shell out a lot more bling to step up to the dee or primo.

    sidenote: all stated prices are OEM cost
    Because that's the way it is with everything. The faster computer costs no more to build, but they sell it for more! If they include ALL the good stuff on the entry level there would be little reason to move up the line and spend more. It's all about how much you can get for your product and still be competitive in the market. That money helps fund R&D, warranties, demos, the $500.00 your club just got, etc, etc, etc. Eventually it'll trickle down as it always does. Remember when disks were only on boutique bikes?
    Try to pick out anything by itself and you find it connected to the entire universe.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeopardDog
    Remember when disks were only on boutique bikes?
    Yeah...back in my Magura HS33 days!!

    ...and yeah...what the market will bear is what it's all about. If you really want those 8" hayes rotors...you gotta bump up...that's why they call it the deelux and the primo!

    Oh...and the $500 my club got was from an interbike bowlathon...not from the profits of bike sales...at least that's what they'd have you believe.
    Boogers and Birthdays....the more you have...the harder it is to breath

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireboy
    The Dee and the Primo have larger rotors in front (and a stiffer fork!!)...I don't understand why Kona couldn't put a larger rotor on the base model?? A $0.20 caliper adapter and $2.00 more for the bigger rotor would keep people from having to shell out a lot more bling to step up to the dee or primo.

    sidenote: all stated prices are OEM cost
    Kona did throw on 6 or 8 in rotors on front and back "cant tell" of the 06 Coiler model this year, probly cause thats what people wanted. As far as i can tell, Kona is pretty good about doing what the customers ask. Either way, if you bought an 05, you could have had your dealer swap for larger discs for probly little to no extra money. My dealer was very good about doing some stuff like that for me. He threw on an XT rear deraillur, larger tires "the WTB Weirwolf 2.7, and Nokian 2.5, and an Ultimax BB for NO extra money! But I provided an XT front deraillur, and let him keep the Deore. So the moral of the story is to buy from a good dealer, and try to work with him for swaps etc. If you want upgrades, the best time to do it is when the bike is just out of the box. Happy trails!
    If I want your opinion, I will give give it to you...

    You got like 3 feet of air that time... -Napoleon Dynamite

  12. #12
    Just roll it......
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    8" front rotor swap is the best $40 I've spent on my Bear.

    Realistically, you can upgrade to an 8" rotor for $30 and the Hayes 8" adaptor is $12 (online), so it was the best $42 dollar upgrade I've made to my bike with my wider handle bars( that were even cheaper) a close second for the most "bang for buck" addition.

    I avoided the 8" rotor when I had a Fox fork, but the Z1 FR allows me to do it without concern so I went for it a lil' bit ago. Huge difference on fast descents. I think any bike with 5+ inches should come with them standard.

    EB

  13. #13
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    Bonking ... not feelin' well

    Quote Originally Posted by Mountainbikextremist
    I have been working alot alot alot. Monday thru Saturday and over 40 hrs a week
    Wish i had your week! Just finished 28 days straight - 12 hours/day. Didn't get to ride much this month....

    Jawry

    p.s. i go mad in the weeks R&R though!!!!!

  14. #14
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    I would still consider myself a rusty re-beginner, but after a few rides with the Coiler, I have been pretty impressed overall. It is going to take some getting used to with the climbing. I like to climb standing, but the bike likes to climb seated. It bobs quite a bit on steeper climbs while standing. While seated, it seems you have to center your weight as it will easily unload the front or rear by shifting my weight. It seems climbing would be quite a bit easier with a fork that was able to be locked out in a shorter position. I like the brakes, but will be upgrading to an 8" disc shortly. Overall, it seems like it takes quite a bit of extra work to pedal uphill. On the flip side though, getting to go the other way makes it all worth it. I love riding the bike downhill. I haven't really dropped off anything yet (still working my way through the list of Socal trails to try) but the bike is very sure-footed and beefy, definitely making me more confident in my own abilities.

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