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  1. #1
    Reputation: Jisch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Kona Big Unit - first ride impressions

    I got a '13 Big Unit as a crash replacement for a '07 Unit (I think - the purple one). The purple Unit was my first 29er and was supposed to be a back up bike to my full suspension 26er, it didn't take long for the Unit to overtake my 26er as my main ride. Once I started rolling the big wheels I found it hard to use the 26er - even though it was a full suspension. That situation quickly worked itself out and I ended up buying a Niner RIP9

    I broke the chainstay on my RIP and I'm awaiting feedback from Niner so the Big Unit got the nod for today's ride.

    (I put my Reverb on the bike after that picture was taken.)

    I haven't ridden a hardtail in over 2 years, so it was a bit of a wake up call. The BU was great, its a light bike that easily whips around on the trails. The place I rode today is rocky, technical and hilly - just like all of the rides around here. It definitely took a few miles to get my hardtail skills back - but once I got that figured out it was a lot of fun.

    The BU is easily 4 pounds lighter than the RIP so climbing - no problem. Its really hot and humid so I didn't push it too hard, but the bike just scooted up the hills like it had a motor. Even technical descents weren't too much trouble, I just had to pick smoother lines and actively ride. The one place where it was painful (to the point where I really wished I was on my RIP) was on the fast rooty sections, the bike was practically vibrating underneath me, like riding a jackhammer.

    Anyway, very happy with the bike, I wish I had a better fork for it, which I'm sure would help on the faster stuff, but you gotta go with what you have sometimes. I'll probably be on the BU for at least a few weeks, I look forward to becoming really good friends.


  2. #2
    Reputation: Jisch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Second ride last night - this was at a place that was a bit less technical and more twisty - the BU definitely handled the tight turns much better than my RIP9. The shorter wheelbase and steeper head angle probably help out there. I rode a couple of rooty downhills at speed and kept control - I guess I'm getting used to it and remembering how to use my knees as the suspension.

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