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Thread: hei hei 100

  1. #1
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    hei hei 100

    Any impressions on this offering for 2010.

    Is it a rebadged FOUR or something new?

    I am in the market for a new bike. Thinking about moving from my 100mm fork HT to a light full suss to help my butt stay in two pieces. 4" travel is likely as much as I need for everyday riding and occasional endurance race. My big rides involve lots of climbing and mostly natural technical stuff. Don't need a "trail bike" or anything that weighs 30 pounds. 25 or less is the goal. I see that the HH100 has some upgrades that could be added from the base model to get it down to 24 maybe. It is an attractive option since I am a PNW rider and my LBS is Kona.

    Experiences appreciated.

  2. #2
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    OK bump due to the fact that I just said screw it and bought the Hei Hei 100. Maybe I am one of the first persons to have one of these? I can provide a review for others interested in this bike. I have had it for about a month now and have several rides and a race on it now.

    The first thing I did when I ordered the bike was to replace some of the stock components. Out of the box it is a beautiful frame with some lower/mid end components attached to it. This was done to keep the price point down obviously. It still rode perfectly fine but was definitely on the chunky side for an "XC Race" bike. Again, my goal was 25 pounds so some of the stuff had to go.

    1st week photo:



    Upgrades so far since purchase:
    Brakes: Hayes Stroker Trail
    Wheels: American Classic MTB Disc set
    HBar: Easton Monkey Lite XC
    Stem: Salsa Moto Ti 100mm
    Cassette: XT 11-34
    Post: Thomson Elite
    Shifters: XT
    F der: XT
    Saddle: WTB Rocket V Ti

    It has lost a couple pounds with these items alone. Later after my wife gets done stomping a mud hole in my butt I will do the cranks and fork which should approach low 24 pound range. Very good I think for a FS 4" bike. Again, the frame and ride is worth the effort.

    Ride:
    This is my first FS bike so I don't have a lot of long term experience with them. I have ridden several FS bikes for demos and short ride fun however. I have been on a HT of some sort since the early 90s on all sorts of terrain so dues have been paid in full. The first thing I noticed on this bike over the HT was lack of fatigue after longer sessions. The next thing was the speed. FS makes you take direct lines not normally considered on the HT, but I like it. As expected, with the rear shock in full squish, this thing hauls ass on the down and especially when there is some technical stuff involved. For most FS riders, you already know this. Kona frequently gets negative reviews about their old school suspension designs but I don't care, it works fine and is buttery smooth. It has a 7" rotor up front and braking is immediate when required. I did notice some brake jack in some cases under hard braking but if you just ride it like a HT and know the back end will float occasionally it is not a big deal. Body position will maintain traction under braking but I would figure folks who are not long term HT riders could possibly skid the rear a lot under heavy braking and end up with wider lines in corners.

    Climbing I was surprisingly impressed. I figured the HT would beat it hands down but I purposely tried to kick my own ass on known hard technical climbs and this bike would do them without much drama. Putting the shock in propedal mode worked for long less technical climbs and standing climbs but the bike works best on the harder/steeper climbs in full squish mode with the seat jammed up your butt HT style. The back wheel just grabs and you wish you could fall off but can keep pedaling anyway until your heart explodes.

    And speaking of wheels, the bike came stock with Maxxis Aspen tires. These are fairly light racing type low tread height tires. I figured they would suck but low and behold they are great tires with amazing traction. Even in muddy conditions I was still able to fanagle them up stuff without much more spinnage than my usual Nevegal tires. On dry stuff forget it, these tires haul butt.

    The RS Recon SL Air fork is adequate for the bike and works well. I do have a problem however with the lockout knob moving too far past it's stops which results in the shock being locked out when the knob is in non-lock out position. I have to physically move the knob past the lock out position to reposition it properly and then move it CCW to the full squish position to restore operation. Not fun when you are racing. My hands went numb for about 15 minutes while I was racing before I figured out that my fork was partially locked out even though the knob position indicated otherwise. Could be that I have a defective fork, dunno but a light touch is definitely required on the knob. (insert sexual innuendo here).

    Overall this is a great bike. It carries roots to the early Bear and first Dawg designs when those were considered freeride bikes and can handle fairly aggressive riding. Out of the box, the HH100 is a great trail bike and is more than adequate for 90% of real trails. With some weight loss it is a worthy sport or in my case "old guy" race bike. I managed 5th out of 25 in my first race with it. Not too shabby considering that I haven't raced a MTB at all for about 6 years. Not sure if it was me or the bike but I do know that after the race my neck and back and other usual sore parts of my body were not sore like usual and that I do attribute to the bike.

    This could be the do it all bike for most XC/Trail riding conditions. There isn't much that normal people ride most of the time that this bike could not handle. It is a classic timeless Kona design that is proven and works. I'm liking it more and more each ride.

  3. #3
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    Big log, ferns, moss.....are you in he Pac. NW or up in the mountains down here in the SE US?
    "Bikes aren't fast--people are fast. Bikes are overpriced. It's an important distinction."---BikeSnob NYC

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrantB
    Big log, ferns, moss.....are you in he Pac. NW or up in the mountains down here in the SE US?
    PNW and that is actually a small log.

  5. #5
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    I figured the PNW. Small log indeed. Sweet.
    "Bikes aren't fast--people are fast. Bikes are overpriced. It's an important distinction."---BikeSnob NYC

  6. #6
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    I have a 29er Hei Hei that's awesome.
    Ocala Mountain Bike Association - www.omba.org

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