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  1. #1
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    Kahuna and Big Unit (2011-2012) XC/race or trail manners?

    Im building up this frame (20 Scandium SS version) for trail duty. Im thinking of getting a 100/120 fork because I suspect Ill want to slacken things out more than the stock 100mm set up, which yields 71/73 angles on the 20. The taller front/BB/standover shouldn't be problematic. My other bike is a rigid 29er, so Id like to make this bike a burly trail rig yet occasionally race it at 100mm with different tires.

    Im curious if owners feel this bikes handling/descending manners are squarely in the XC/race category, or if it has a more general trail attitude. I know the stock wheels are more XC oriented, but I'm wondering if the frame could handle a more robust build and a 120mm fork. Not many reviews online

    Anybody try a 120mm? Im skinny and not the most aggressive rider, so I figure its safe. The head tube angle would be 70d, which is what the 19" frame normally has.
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  2. #2
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    i can't answer your question, but the frame looks like a great project! Just wondering why a SS only frame has a front der direct mount on the frame? If it was mine, I'd try the 120mm.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by AMfool View Post
    Just wondering why a SS only frame has a front der direct mount on the frame?
    I guess running a front derailleur is an option, but it does make the frame look less clean. At most, I would run this frame 1X9.

    I received the frame via FedEx and looked it over. For a guy who's been riding steel for a while, it's huge tubes look...stiff. Very race oriented. Not sure that's what I'm looking for. But I owned a scandium Kona Kula and never thought it felt that stiff. And I'm thinking of getting a Cane Creek suspension post for longer rides,

    Quote Originally Posted by AMfool View Post
    If it was mine, I'd try the 120mm.
    Yeah, going with a 80/100 really doesn't save me much weight, whereas a 100/120 is more flexible (especially if I later give in to the whole full-suspension trend).
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  4. #4
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    Ryder1 I'm jealous! I want both units too. I haven't ridden the big unit per se, but I have spent time on a 2011 king kahuna, and I thought it was really wonderful (hence the desire for the big unit!).

    It's far from being an all-mountain bike, but how do ou define "trail"? The one I rode had a 100mm Fox, which did make the bike feel more XC. I'd like to try with a 120. Definitely not XC/Race though, more trail than that, more fun. My concerns about harshness were alleviated, even with the stock 2.1 tires. Felt sturdy and true, but compliant. As a strange example, while trackstanding and using the rear brake, the bike felt less planted, and looking back at the brake caliper, I was alarmed to see the seatstay flexing quite a bit as i rocked back and forth, yet the wheel was remaining straight in the rear triangle. Wasn't too harsh or springy or overdamped, felt light and not spindly. So subjective, I know, but I liked the overall ride quality a lot.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JulianPeeters View Post
    It's far from being an all-mountain bike, but how do ou define "trail"? The one I rode had a 100mm Fox, which did make the bike feel more XC. I'd like to try with a 120. Definitely not XC/Race though, more trail than that, more fun. My concerns about harshness were alleviated, even with the stock 2.1 tires. Felt sturdy and true, but compliant.
    Julian, thanks for the great post. By "trail" I mean not XC/race and not AM. In between. Wherever that is.

    I think I'm gonna love this frame once I get over my bigotry against non-steel frames. Except for the occassional race, I'll have at least a 2.3" in the back and a 120mm fork up front, so an aluminum/scandium frame makes more sense to me (and my long spindly legs).

    The 140mm tapered head tube and adjoining tubes look positively stout. The BB junction and chainstays also look beefy and built for stiffness. So it should pedal and steer aggressively and feel very lively. Yet the downtube has a long flat section, which should take the edge off when things aren't pointed uphill.

    Planned build of new/re-used parts: '11 Rockshox Reba XX 120mm 20mm TA, King hubs, Flow rims, XT 180/160 brakes, Stylo 1.1 OCT 180mm, crank, Ardent 2.4/Exiwolf 2.3, Monkeylite DH bar, ESI grips, SPD, Fizik Gobi.
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  6. #6
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    misleadingphotos

    Photos. Its strange how this frame's color is unable to be captured by camera. Every photo I've seen (including mine) makes it look like royal blue, or almost as light as Salsa's El Mariachi, but it actually has some green in it making it closer to teal (but its not teal, which would be awful). It's not as nice as nice looking as photos would lead you to believe, but the color does work very nicely with a white fork, IMO. Unique, too.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Kahuna and Big Unit (2011-2012)  XC/race or trail manners?-bikes-001-50-percent.jpg  

    Kahuna and Big Unit (2011-2012)  XC/race or trail manners?-bikes-002-50-percent.jpg  

    Kahuna and Big Unit (2011-2012)  XC/race or trail manners?-bikes-003-50-percent.jpg  

    Kahuna and Big Unit (2011-2012)  XC/race or trail manners?-bikes-004-50-percent.jpg  

    Kahuna and Big Unit (2011-2012)  XC/race or trail manners?-bikes-005-50-percent.jpg  

    Kahuna and Big Unit (2011-2012)  XC/race or trail manners?-bikes-006-50-percent.jpg  

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  7. #7
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    I love that frame. Wish I would have saw it before you, haha, you got a great deal
    Rudy Projects look ridiculous

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  8. #8
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    I was wondering if you got this bike built yet?

  9. #9
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    on hold

    I haven't and am not sure I will. I put carbon DH bar and fatter tires on my rigid SS and am pretty happy with it as my one bike (right now anyhow). Also, the Big Unit's standover with a 120mm fork and 140mm head tube looks intimidating.
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