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  1. #1
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    Help making decision

    First post here guys. I am a new Kona customer, I just bought a 04 FireMountain for my son for his Birthday. He'll be getting it soon. I've been looking at Kona's for myself for a couple years but had to part with a dirt bike to even start to look at higher end Mt. Bikes (wife appeasement you know). I am looking at a few models. The Kikapu Delux, Dawg and Dawg Dee Lux. I swung a leg over a 17" Dawg and it felt perfect, I will ride one when the weather cooperates. I also tried an 18" Kikapu and it felt long on the handelbar reach aspect. This is strange because the specs show the Kikapu has a .3" shorter top tube length. Trying to also stay in my budget, sub 2k, the Dawg is looking like the way to go but I wonder will the extra change be "worth it" to go to the Dee Lux? Kona went to the light blue used on the coiler for the Dee Lux instead of the stupid creme and it looks pretty sweet. Haven't seen a Dawg in Platinum yet. The LBS owner said he could work with the price a bit because I bought another Kona from him already. Riding style-wise I am more cross country oriented than back country but coming from an MX background there is no telling what kind of stupid stunt I might try. I am also still considering StumpJumpers from the big red S in the comparable price range. Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    I think the kikapu is more of an XC bike and the Dawg is more of an all mountain trail bike, a bit heavier and beefier, perhaps more rear travel.

    The extra length in the reach could be in the stem length. If you are uncomfortable on it, your LBS should work with you on swaping out for the right size. The Dawg likely also has a higher front end more slack head angle adding to the shorter feel and more upright bdoy position. The longer top tube on the Dawg good be just because it is more angled to give more standover clearence...not sure how they measure it.

    Whether to go with the Dee-Lux over the standard model is just a componentry prefrence. If you want better components and see your self upgrading rgardless, it's probly better and cheaper to go with the Dee-Lux from the beginning rather then the std model. You get a pretty good deal on components when you buy a complete bike, so to bring a std up to Dee-Lux on your own would probaly be much more expensive.

    Over course color goes a long way in the decision, but it depends on how fat your wallet is and how much you care about such things as color.

    Good luck, have fun!
    I love my Kona Unit SS

  3. #3
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    Just to clarrify

    The more compact feel of the Dawg may be because the steering head could be a bit higher than the Kikapu which would cause you to hunch over less. Just a guess, I have yet to measure it. I wish the LBS had a 16" Kikapu to try. The owner is real cool and will swap out whatever I need and only charge the difference. He definately is focused on service. They totally disassamble new bikes and go through them to ensure they are lubed and adjusted properly for no added cost.
    I typically won't upgrade anything unless it is broken or worn out. That's one reason I was looking at the Dee Lux. I am just wondering If the extra 500 is really worth it. The LBS isn't talking down the equipment on the Dawg at all and in fact say they like the Marzochi fork that comes on it. The big Q is will the Fox fork, lockout shock and some next level up components be worth the extra change. I guess I am coming from the angle of is there componentry on the standard Dawg that is inferior enough to the Dee Lux that it would be a poor performer or worse yet troublesome.

  4. #4
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    check the Damping system the Marzocchi comes with. Zokes can be very different forks. You want HCSV damping system, not SSV. I've heard the SSV damping system feels like crap and should be avoided. What fork is on it exactly do you know? The Marzocchi web site has all the specks of every fork, OEM models that come stock on bikes, and aftermarket models.

    If you know the model year, you should be able to cross refrence the Kona web site spec list with the Marrzocchi web site and check on the fork. Zokes are great forks if you get the right one.

    What Fox fork? The Vannila is a great fork.

    I would recomend lock out if you find yourself [pedeling up long hills for long periods of time. It will reduce the bob effect. personaly i am a lockout guy, cause I ride up long logging roads alot.

    I'd say the shocks are the most important consideration, you probly also get better derailures (XT vs LX) which is nice.

  5. #5
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    The Dawg uses the Marzocchi EXR Pro 120mm and the Dee Lux uses the Fox Float R 130mm. I'll check the Marzocchi site out as well. One of the other differences is the Dawg has Deore levers and FD and the DL uses LX. Both use XT RD's. For comparison the Kikapu Delux uses the Marzocchi MX Comp 100mm and the same levers/brakes,RD and FD as the Dawg. They are also the same price and the Dawg yields 1" more travel.
    I am still also considering a Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 100 Comp Disc and the Expert Disc. Both look to be the same or better set up component-wise at the same list. The other LBS is doing 20% off list even on special orders. I've heard mostly good things about Kona and don't know much about the Specialized reputation.

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