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  1. #1
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    Kona/Fastrax AF2 rear shock?

    Does anyone know who manufactures the Kona/Fastrax AF2 rear shock that comes on the Tanuki? Any other info would be helpful as well.

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    It is a taiwanese shock, and as scary as that might sound they seem to be holding up pretty good. They ran them last year on a couple of their bikes. Seal kits are available and some Kona dealers may even stock them. Rebound adjust and lock out and preload adjustements.

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    Very durable...we abused the heck out of a couple and they hold up great!

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    Hey does anyone have a user manual for this shock or a link where I can download one? Thanks

  5. #5
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    Apparently, no manual. You can post on the Kona tech forum for info you need.

    I have two issues with the AF2 on my 2011 Kona Tanuki Deluxe. Is anyone else running into a problem where:

    1) The rear lockout flips back to locked? If I remove the valve cap my lockout will move far enough to stay in place, but with the cap, it easily bounces back to locked on mediums hits.

    2) Or, any issues with front derailleur adjustment or sag setting? Kona suggests body weight for PSI but at 120 PSI (40 PSI under body weight) or more I get very little sag. So little, that the chain sits/rubs across the bottom of the derailleur cage in all but the 3 largest rear gears. How is everyone else dealing with this?
    Last edited by Sh4wn; 12-24-2011 at 07:36 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sh4wn View Post
    .

    2) Or, any issues with front derailleur adjustment or sag setting? Kona suggests body weight for PSI but at 120 PSI (40 PSI under body weight) or more I get very little sag. So little, that the chain sits/rubs across the bottom of the derailleur cage in all but the 3 largest rear gears. How is everyone else dealing with this?
    Normally on a 130mm bike I would run about 30% sag. To set your bike up I would ignore the "recommended" setting and try 30% sag. It's not a bad idea to let most of the air out first and see how far the shock compresses so you know about what 30% is.

    to set sag just hop on the bike and bounce a few times, then stop bouncing and push the o-ring up, gently get off the bike and just eyeball 30%. from there I would just play around with pressure during a ride to get what feels best to you. It's not an exact science, you are the final "decider" of whats the best pressure.
    Kona Wo for Fat Biking, Ibis HD3 for Trail Shredding, Merckx Road bike for collecting dust in garage

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the advice.

    It seems the shock needed to be used a few times before it started to behave correctly. It's possible that I was doing something wrong initially but that seems unlikely. Anyway, Things are well there now.

    I was able to remove the lockout and install it upside down so that it doesn't interfere with the valve. It seems to be more stable that way too and I've only bumped it a couple times since flipping it.

  8. #8
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    I have been looking at the Tanuki DL on Department of Goods / Chainlove, and the price point is just too good to be true. Im curious about your thoughts on the bike.

    How long have you had it, and how much riding have you done? Any complaints / issues other than the shock issues? What is your sizing?

    I appreciate any thoughts / opinions / info you have. Im just not finding too much in the way of reviews on these bikes, but they are specced so nicely for the $ !! And the Kona name, quality, warranty is all good with me.

    Thanks!

  9. #9
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    I was looking for a solid frame with good geometry/suspension design and a lifetime warranty but didn't want to spend much money to get it. The reviews I could find were consistently positive on all those points. The reviews were mixed on the components but I figured that was based on retail price. The way I see it for 50% off retail, I'll just upgrade along the way. In fact, I already have: X9 RD/shifter (XT got damaged last week), 1x9 config with 11-36 cassette, KMC chain, bash guard, WTB gel grips, cut 2" off bars.

    I'm 5' 6" ~29" inseam which puts me in the middle of Kona's range for a 17". Since my inseam is shorter than average and I was still in range for a 16", and I prefer smaller over larger frames, I got the 16" and don't regret it. The bike fits me perfectly with the seat centered on the rails and only a small offset seat post.

    I probably only have 100 miles or so total on the bike so look for Kona threads here and ask for more reviews. But, based on the riding so far I don't expect to have any issues I won't just upgrade and still come out ahead.

    FWIW, the bike looks sharp. That's not a huge thing for me, but it's a plus.

    Kona service has been excellent. Needed help with several things already. Posted on Kona tech forum and response within 24 hours.

  10. #10
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    Awesome! Thanks - just the info I was hoping to find!

  11. #11
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    FAstrax problem

    I am having issues with my fastrax shock on my 11' kona tanuki dl. Just bought it from hucknroll last month. i let all the air out, then repressured it. went on a short ride downt eh street and now the shock isn't returning to full position even with 150+psi. think it may be the coil inside? does this mean it is defective or is there a fix for this?

  12. #12
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    See if the rebound is set to the slowest setting. At that point the shock is almost useless. Dial the rebound the the fastest setting and see if that helps.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateWayne View Post
    I am having issues with my fastrax shock on my 11' kona tanuki dl. Just bought it from last month. i let all the air out, then repressured it. went on a short ride downt eh street and now the shock isn't returning to full position even with 150+psi. think it may be the coil inside? does this mean it is defective or is there a fix for this?
    Sounds to me like the shock is stuck down (air bypassed a seal and now it can't extend the piston fully). Did you compress the shock with no air in it?

    Shouldn't have anything to do with rebound. Rebound simply alters the rate at which the shock returns from compressed to extended. It does not affect overall travel length.

    Only way to deal with a stuck down shock is to disassemble it and service it. Frankly I don't know of anyone who services Fastrax shocks, so you will probably need to replace it.

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    I agree it shouldn't have anything to do with rebound but I own this shock and saw it happen. My shock was stuck down. I rotated my rebound (with some effort) one click and the shock started moving back into position.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sh4wn View Post
    I agree it shouldn't have anything to do with rebound but I own this shock and saw it happen. My shock was stuck down. I rotated my rebound (with some effort) one click and the shock started moving back into position.
    I experienced the same thing on my wife's tanuki. Her shock also need to be run at very low (~70 psi) to have any sag). Hopefully this will improve with break in.

    Sh4wn, when you flipped the lockout lever, did you just loosen the holding screw, move the lever and rescrew?

  16. #16
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    I had to remove the screw and lever completely to change the position. It must keyed in the bore because I could only rotate it 180 degrees.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sh4wn View Post
    Apparently, no manual. You can post on the Kona tech forum for info you need.

    I have two issues with the AF2 on my 2011 Kona Tanuki Deluxe. Is anyone else running into a problem where:

    1) The rear lockout flips back to locked? If I remove the valve cap my lockout will move far enough to stay in place, but with the cap, it easily bounces back to locked on mediums hits.

    2) Or, any issues with front derailleur adjustment or sag setting? Kona suggests body weight for PSI but at 120 PSI (40 PSI under body weight) or more I get very little sag. So little, that the chain sits/rubs across the bottom of the derailleur cage in all but the 3 largest rear gears. How is everyone else dealing with this?
    I have had the same issue with my Tanuki locking out on it's own. At first I thought it I was hitting the lever by accident, but I did notice the lever wiggling back and forth while the suspension cycled.

  18. #18
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    As for the front derailleur--I found getting it to work properly was a total PITA. I was going to just alleviate the Alivio with a SLX but I found that by replacing the large chainring with a bash guard (mostly as a safety precaution for the wife) I was able to lower the position of the FD. That actually made a difference and makes the Alivio somewhat tolerable--for now.

  19. #19
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    Is this shock's lock out fully rigid? Or the shox will work in case of bumping?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by yurkiy View Post
    Is this shock's lock out fully rigid? Or the shox will work in case of bumping?
    When I was researching the purchase I read that it's a soft lock-out and will still move on a big hit, but I haven't confirmed that somehow.

  21. #21
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    same issues with lockout

    Quote Originally Posted by Nandus View Post
    I have had the same issue with my Tanuki locking out on it's own. At first I thought it I was hitting the lever by accident, but I did notice the lever wiggling back and forth while the suspension cycled.
    I am having the same issue with my lockout. I would be midway, if not done my rides when I would notice the lockout would click on its own and I'd be riding hardtail. Before my last ride, i would have to turn the lockout all the way south position to hold the full suspension setting, but after last ride, i can't seem to turn the lockout off at all. Regardless of where I turn the lockout, it's stuck on being locked and won't go back. It has been frustrating. I was going to take to my LBS for a tuneup to see what they thought.

    Do I just have to do what I read earlier and remove screw and try and turn lockout off?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkwingdck View Post
    I am having the same issue with my lockout. I would be midway, if not done my rides when I would notice the lockout would click on its own and I'd be riding hardtail. Before my last ride, i would have to turn the lockout all the way south position to hold the full suspension setting, but after last ride, i can't seem to turn the lockout off at all. Regardless of where I turn the lockout, it's stuck on being locked and won't go back. It has been frustrating. I was going to take to my LBS for a tuneup to see what they thought.

    Do I just have to do what I read earlier and remove screw and try and turn lockout off?
    I wouldn't touch the shock. Bring the bike back to your LBS as soon as you can. You may end up voiding the warranty.

    BTW, my third shock has started to leak oil (I went though two of these shocks so far). Shopping for a new shock (Fox, Rockshox) at this time. I love the bike, but hate the shock. I would have gladly paid and extra couple hundred bucks for a bike with a better shock if I knew this was going to happen.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nandus View Post
    I wouldn't touch the shock. Bring the bike back to your LBS as soon as you can. You may end up voiding the warranty.

    BTW, my third shock has started to leak oil (I went though two of these shocks so far). Shopping for a new shock (Fox, Rockshox) at this time. I love the bike, but hate the shock. I would have gladly paid and extra couple hundred bucks for a bike with a better shock if I knew this was going to happen.
    So I bought a small 1/16th i think allen wrench and was going to try and flip the lockout switch like others said. It turned out that the screw was loose and causing the switch to not turn off. So I tightened it up tightly and was able to switch the lockout off. Solved my problem.

    I too was looking at picking up a fox fork from ebay, let me know what you decide or what fits. I was going to look up dimensions to see what's compatible, but haven't got there yet. I don't trust that rear shock at all. I prob will pick something up as a backup until it ceases to work.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkwingdck View Post
    So I bought a small 1/16th i think allen wrench and was going to try and flip the lockout switch like others said. It turned out that the screw was loose and causing the switch to not turn off. So I tightened it up tightly and was able to switch the lockout off. Solved my problem.

    I too was looking at picking up a fox fork from ebay, let me know what you decide or what fits. I was going to look up dimensions to see what's compatible, but haven't got there yet. I don't trust that rear shock at all. I prob will pick something up as a backup until it ceases to work.
    The rear shock size is 7.5" x 2.0" on the Tanuki. I verified this with Kona's tech support.

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    Had the same issue on my '12 Tanuki Deluxe with the screw loosening itself and the shock locking itself and then not being able to unlock. Tightened the screw and was then able to get it to release but suspect it will end up happening again. Anyone upgraded and have a recommendation?

  26. #26
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    I would think any mid-tune 7.5 x 2.0 air shock would be a good upgrade. Think Float RP series, Rock Shox Monarch series, or X-Fusion O2 series.

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    Hey guys,
    I thought it would be better to bring this thread back to life then start a new one. Does anyone know the recommended shock tune? Also, did any of you swap the shock? What did you replace it with and what do you think of it?

  28. #28
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    I finally gave up the the fastrax shock on my wife's tanuki. The rebound was always absurdly slow and never loosened up. Then the rebound adjustment knob broke altogether.

    I replaced it with a Rockshox Monarch RL, mid tune, 7.5 x 2. It's a huge improvement. No wonder the Kona started spec-ing a monarch on the Tanuki.

  29. #29
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    That's one of the shocks I'm considering. So I suppose it was worth it then? I'll probably grab something used if I can find it.

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    Very timely. I was reconnoitering an extremely rocky trail last Sat morning and working hard on a steep technical downhill when the fastrax decided to lock itself and damn near pogo'd me right over my handlebars. Fought with the damned thing all ride long and decided an upgrade is a must, Monarch is decent price wise so I guess I'll give that a go.

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    This happened to me yesterday. Until yesterday the shock would lock out only occasionally and I was never sure if it was me bumping it. Yesterday it locked out constantly and by the end of the ride was leaking oil. I came here to see if it was serviceable but an upgrade seems like a better plan.

    Is the old shock serviceable? I may fix it and keep it as a spare.

  32. #32
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    As far as serviceability, good luck getting parts. When the rebound adjustment knob stripped on my wife's FT shock, my dealer ordered a replacement knob assembly. That was in june. Still no sign of the part.
    Even if you fix the leak, the shock is going to continue committing suicide by flipping into lockout mode. You can find a new Monarch Rl on the interweb for under $250. Just do it.

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    It would just be a spare but doesn't seem worth trying. Thanks for the info.

    As for the Monarch, I ordered one off Amazon for $220 yesterday. I was never enamored with the AF2 so I'm viewing the whole thing as a win.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinizer View Post
    You can find a new Monarch Rl on the interweb for under $250. Just do it.
    Got the Monarch RL but having trouble seating the bearings. Did you have any issue?

  35. #35
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    You'll need a vice to remove them from the old shock and press them into the new one.

  36. #36
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    A vice . . . thank you for the tech help and the shock recommendation. I rode it today. It's fantastic. (I also road better after a couple weeks on the single speed.)
    Last edited by Sh4wn; 12-12-2013 at 02:05 PM.

  37. #37
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    On my bike (Airborne Zeppelin Elite) I upgraded to a RockShox Monarch RT3 from a RockShox Bar 2.1, and it was a GINORMOUSLY HUGE improvement. I did the upgrade late last year and have ridden the RT3 this whole season. The shock has been flawless and has not given me any problems at all. I highly recommend this shock.

    Here is my detailed review:
    Rock Shox Monarch RT3 Reviews | Mountain Bike Reviews || SINGLETRACKS.COM

  38. #38
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    Need to revive an old thread unfortunately. I have a 2012 Hei Hei with the Kona/Fastrax AF2 shock and it appears to have seized up on me as if its constantly in lockout mode. I've evacuated it, cycled it and aired it back to no effect so I'm looking for options.

    Can this shock be serviced by Kona? If not, would anybody have an eye to eye and stroke measurement for this thing so I can investigate a replacement? Thanx!

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merlin_57 View Post
    Need to revive an old thread unfortunately. I have a 2012 Hei Hei with the Kona/Fastrax AF2 shock and it appears to have seized up on me as if its constantly in lockout mode. I've evacuated it, cycled it and aired it back to no effect so I'm looking for options.

    Can this shock be serviced by Kona? If not, would anybody have an eye to eye and stroke measurement for this thing so I can investigate a replacement? Thanx!
    It probably could be. I'd bet by the time you went to all that trouble you could get a good used shock that will be twice as good though. What's the rear travel? Our Tanuki's are 7.5x2. Your best bet would be to call Kona and ask the measurements. Let us know what you end up doing!

  40. #40
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    FWIW since I revived this thing... Kona has parts in stock and will service the shock under warranty so that is taken care of. FWIW#2.... the Hei Hei shock size is 7.25" eye to eye with 1.75" stroke.

  41. #41
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    Kona/Fastrax AF2 rear shock?

    Does anyone know if the original spacers and bolts will work with a Rock Shox Monarch RL or do you need to purchase additional hardware? This is for a '12 Tanuki.


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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merlin_57 View Post
    FWIW since I revived this thing... Kona has parts in stock and will service the shock under warranty so that is taken care of. FWIW#2.... the Hei Hei shock size is 7.25" eye to eye with 1.75" stroke.
    Had you bought the bike new in 2012? I'm surprised they would honor any warranty on a 2 yr old bike even for the original purchaser. I have a 2012 Hei Hei and the shock is locked/jammed, trying to figure out options...and I did not buy it new.

    -Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by mabrodis View Post
    Had you bought the bike new in 2012? I'm surprised they would honor any warranty on a 2 yr old bike even for the original purchaser. I have a 2012 Hei Hei and the shock is locked/jammed, trying to figure out options...and I did not buy it new.

    -Mark
    I cracked my stay on my '11 Tanuki DL last month and they honored it for a free replacement. I am not the original owner either. Just contact Kona through your local dealer if possible.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merlin_57 View Post
    FWIW since I revived this thing... Kona has parts in stock and will service the shock under warranty so that is taken care of. FWIW#2.... the Hei Hei shock size is 7.25" eye to eye with 1.75" stroke.
    Did you go through a bike shop?

  45. #45
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    I went through my bike shop and they took care of it. Apparently and according to emails I had with Kona tech support, they have parts to service the shock. Not sure what the bike shop did or didn't do with Kona but I have my Hei Hei back and the shock works fine.
    2016 Pine Mountain 2 with a few mods.
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  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merlin_57 View Post
    I went through my bike shop and they took care of it. Apparently and according to emails I had with Kona tech support, they have parts to service the shock. Not sure what the bike shop did or didn't do with Kona but I have my Hei Hei back and the shock works fine.
    So you got your original shock back (not a replacement)?

    I emailed tech support asking if there was a rebuild kit of any kind for the version that came on my 2011 tanuki, and the reply was "the shocks are like a solid state part, ask your shop to contact us for replacement information."

  47. #47
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    Just to add to this thread. After the positive results of others when taking their bikes into a local Kona bike store I took mine in (my rear shock was jacked, adjustments didn't work, was locked for a long time, etc) to a local shop (Alpha Bicycle Company here in Denver). Mine is a 2012 Hei Hei and I am not the original owner (just got it off eBay a few months ago), the shop just called me that they contacted Kona and Kona is going to replace that shock for free. Sweet! They said all I'm on the hook for is shipping my shock to them and the shock "install"...so like $25 total.

    So, any with similar problems...I'd recommend just going to a shop and having them contact Kona and seeing what can be done...

    -Mark

  48. #48
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    I upgraded my shock to a Monarch and love it. This was after I some how stripped the threads on the valve stem I am going to try and take the shock to the local shop here and see if it can be fixed. At least then I would have a back up or could sell on ebay.

  49. #49
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    Re: Kona/Fastrax AF2 rear shock?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hill Country Redneck View Post
    I upgraded my shock to a Monarch and love it. This was after I some how stripped the threads on the valve stem I am going to try and take the shock to the local shop here and see if it can be fixed. At least then I would have a back up or could sell on ebay.
    Which Monarch did you go with? I just picked up a 2012 Hei Hei and am looking putting a Monarch RL on it.

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  50. #50
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    Kona/Fastrax AF2 rear shock?

    Quote Originally Posted by jstrat73 View Post
    Which Monarch did you go with? I just picked up a 2012 Hei Hei and am looking putting a Monarch RL on it.

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    I went with the RL and I glad I did. I got sidelined for a couple of weeks so I really haven't gotten it "dialed in" yet but it is night and day from the factory shock. I need to work with the rebound as it isn't exactly where I want it. Let us know what your wind up with


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