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  1. #1
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    Satori: too much for this mortal?

    I'm in the market for my first decent MTB - to replace my 34lb/15.5kg hardtail that got me into all this fun three years ago. I'm yer typical middle-aged chap come late to the sport.

    I'm not a very good rider - my sense of self-preservation is fairly advanced. Downhill switchbacks and me are not yet good friends and I avoid airtime where possible. I'm slow. (Take a Strava KoM. Double that time and that's me.) I'm improving, but gradually.

    I love getting out and riding up hills to look at the view from the top before coming down whatever track presents itself. Five minutes ride from my door I'm on to the start of a trail network that I can ride on for almost a full day without crossing my own path. Our trails aren't super-technical though (and I tend to avoid those that are). I quite like dirt roads, farm tracks, and fire roads too.

    What I think need (apart from MTB skills training!) is a more comfortable, confidence inspiring bike. I'm thinking a 29" full suspension thing. Something a lot lighter than my present bike but able to take me more places comfortably and for longer.

    One of our local shops has a great half price deal (converted to USD it's about $2800) on a Kona Satori in my size. I like the look of it - great spec and good reviews; nice slack angles for more confidence on the descent. Unbeatable for the price. But I can't help worrying it's too much bike for me. So heavy; so plush.

    How do people find theirs? Happy riding it all day long? Should I be going for something lighter and with less travel if I'm not going to do technical stuff?

    I'll give it the old parking-lot ride at the weekend... but in the meantime I'd be interested in any input... I've been looking at quite a few other lesser spec'd non-sale bikes at around the same price, but I come back to the Satori over and over...

  2. #2
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    Don't hesitate, once you're sure that it's the right size and fits you grab it and run. Not a Satori owner here, but have read NOTHING but great reviews of the bike and you're absolutely right, a nice slacker angled FS will definitely give you loads more confidence on the DHs to start exploring more technical trails. I love to climb, love, and my main ride is a 34lb +/- FS 29er Banshee Prime pre-production with 13/150mm of travel and sure sometimes the weight gets a bit to me on the climbs or pedally stuff, but I wouldn't swap it for the world when the trail gets technical (which I love) and/or points DH.

    Quote Originally Posted by ealaidh View Post
    I'm in the market for my first decent MTB - to replace my 34lb/15.5kg hardtail that got me into all this fun three years ago. I'm yer typical middle-aged chap come late to the sport.

    I'm not a very good rider - my sense of self-preservation is fairly advanced. Downhill switchbacks and me are not yet good friends and I avoid airtime where possible. I'm slow. (Take a Strava KoM. Double that time and that's me.) I'm improving, but gradually......................
    What I think need (apart from MTB skills training!) is a more comfortable, confidence inspiring bike. I'm thinking a 29" full suspension thing. Something a lot lighter than my present bike but able to take me more places comfortably and for longer.

    [/b]One of our local shops has a great half price deal [/b](converted to USD it's about $2800) on a Kona Satori in my size. I like the look of it - great spec and good reviews; nice slack angles for more confidence on the descent. Unbeatable for the price. But I can't help worrying it's too much bike for me. So heavy; so plush.

    How do people find theirs? Happy riding it all day long? Should I be going for something lighter and with less travel if I'm not going to do technical stuff?

    I'll give it the old parking-lot ride at the weekend... but in the meantime I'd be interested in any input... I've been looking at quite a few other lesser spec'd non-sale bikes at around the same price, but I come back to the Satori over and over...
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
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  3. #3
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    Satori: too much for this mortal?

    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    love to climb, love, and my main ride is a 34lb +/- FS 29er Banshee Prime pre-production with 13/150mm of travel and sure sometimes the weight gets a bit to me on the climbs or pedally stuff, but I wouldn't swap it for the world when the trail gets technical (which I love) and/or points DH.
    You make a good case!

    The lighter (by 6 or more lb) and somewhat cheaper option for me would be a Hei Hei DL but the spec is not as good and it's way more racy… so maybe not as “confidence inspiring” for a relative n00b like me.

    And if in future I do get more technical in my riding the Satori would remain a good choice…

  4. #4
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    Personally I thnk they fit the Trail bike category rather than Am bike. They don't feel very aggressive to ridfe at all. I've also got a Ginat Ax29er with a 120 fork and the handling of te Ax is only slightly quicker than the Satori and i suspect that is more to do with the 20mm difference in wheelbase rather than angles. I've got custom build though. Wheel/ tire weight is what makes or breaks a 29er handling.

    If your coming from a chaep 26" hardtail which tend to have very old school geometry you may find it's a bit of a leap. You will adjust though.
    Where are you in NZ?. Mine works well at both Woodhill and Rotorua.

  5. #5
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    Satori: too much for this mortal?

    Quote Originally Posted by gvs_nz View Post
    They don't feel very aggressive to ridfe at all. I've also got a Ginat Ax29er with a 120 fork and the handling of te Ax is only slightly quicker than the Satori and i suspect that is more to do with the 20mm difference in wheelbase rather than angles.
    I was looking at a Giant Anthem X1 — it seemed like a great bike for light trail duties (i.e. my usage). None in my size to try, close by, and none on sale either! :-)

    Hopefully I can try the Hei Hei as well, at the weekend.

    Quote Originally Posted by gvs_nz View Post
    Where are you in NZ?. Mine works well at both Woodhill and Rotorua.
    Wellington. People tell me that the Satori is overbuilt for our trails here… but that is probably not the case at my skill level.

    I've had a little pootle around Whakarewarewa last year—loved it—but I need more skill & confidence to try some of the more interesting tracks there.

    I also ride in the far south from time to time—around Wanaka (but not Sticky Forest just yet; nor Naseby either). There's lots out there for me still to explore.

  6. #6
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    I haven't ridden In wellington for years So unfortunately can't give any feed back relative to trails. It is versatile but if you've got really tight trails a tighter steeper bike would be more fun.

    Why do they say the Satori is overbuilt for your trails. Are they tight technical trails?Is it the gear like the dropper post[2013] It handles all the grade 3 stuff at Rotorua which can be a little tight compared to my local trails. I find the geometry agile at normal pedalling speed . Steep technical climbs the slackish head angle can wander a bit compared to the Anthem. Personally i think it feels pretty balanced geometry as a do it all trail bike more biased to carving flat turns and down hills.I'd dump the heavy tires for something light trail. That will quicken the handling.

    Jumping straight from a steep angled 26" bike it may feel a little too stable. Even though it may be labelled a AM bike now,I think the geometry and travel is spot on for a contemporary trail bike in future years. I ride 1 x 10 and I would say it weighs about 27 to 28 lbs with lightish wheels and tires.
    In comparison the Ax 29er can be a great trail bike when you run plenty of sag. But i find it runs out of puff on the lazy seated riding over flat bumpy terrain.It's very capable on the downhills if you ride it with a lot of sag. I'd say it was quicker going down the grade 3 trails at Rotorua, which are relatively smooth but undulating.

    All day seated rides on bumpy terrain or really rough terrain ,I'd be on the Satori. Any big smooth climbs it's easy to reach the shock propedal. Not so on the Ax 29er . Both can bob a bit on smooth climbs if you run lots of sag.

    Bikecycle.co.nz has the Cube AMS 29er which is probably even better value than Giant AX or TX. Pretty smooth machine too by all counts. CHCH, so a bit hard to test ride though.

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    I own em both and they are different bikes for sure- but yet I would say they are both great:

    Anthem 29 -punches above its weight class in terms of a mtb on the trail - for me in the really chunky downhills here in CO and UT - it just got a bit unnerving as I pushed it harder and faster - that said - ive ridden all over Fruita, Moab and Grand Junc with it and it can def handle a lot!

    Satori - with the slacker head and short chainstays it feels more nimble in the tight stuff and a bulldozer on the downhills - its prob about 4.5-5 lbs heavier than the Anthem which you can feel over the long climbs and steep climbs - I havent ridden the Anthem since I bought the satori - but mostly that's because Im searching out the trails that have more tech chunk

    both are truly great bikes - if you can demo - im sure the answer will come quickly for you

  8. #8
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    A decision is made.

    Quote Originally Posted by gvs_nz View Post
    Why do they say the Satori is overbuilt for your trails. Are they tight technical trails?
    It was a friend of mine that used his Anthem X quite happily around the same trails for several years until he went singlespeed recently. His riding is probably a bit more skilled than mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by gvs_nz View Post
    All day seated rides on bumpy terrain or really rough terrain ,I'd be on the Satori. Any big smooth climbs it's easy to reach the shock propedal. Not so on the Ax 29er . Both can bob a bit on smooth climbs if you run lots of sag.
    This is what I'd like to be doing, so this is reassuring.

    Quote Originally Posted by gvs_nz View Post
    Bikecycle.co.nz has the Cube AMS 29er which is probably even better value than Giant AX or TX. Pretty smooth machine too by all counts. CHCH, so a bit hard to test ride though.
    Yes! I saw those too. But it would feel better to use an LBS... as well as being able to demo locally.

    Quote Originally Posted by kamper11 View Post
    I own em both and they are different bikes for sure- but yet I would say they are both great:

    Anthem 29 -punches above its weight class in terms of a mtb on the trail - for me in the really chunky downhills here in CO and UT - it just got a bit unnerving as I pushed it harder and faster - that said - ive ridden all over Fruita, Moab and Grand Junc with it and it can def handle a lot!

    Satori - with the slacker head and short chainstays it feels more nimble in the tight stuff and a bulldozer on the downhills - its prob about 4.5-5 lbs heavier than the Anthem which you can feel over the long climbs and steep climbs - I havent ridden the Anthem since I bought the satori - but mostly that's because Im searching out the trails that have more tech chunk

    both are truly great bikes - if you can demo - im sure the answer will come quickly for you
    I didn't get a chance to demo the Anthem (and in any case, the one I was checking out is not currently available locally) but I did try out the 16" Satori (twice), a 16" Kona Hei Hei, and a 17" Merida Big 99 Pro.

    Disclaimer: in these demos I didn't really know what to look for other than comfort and some indefinable feeling of rightness!

    So I didn't like the Merida. I'm sure it's a great bike but it was the wrong size for me.

    I liked the Hei Hei - it felt really good to ride - but the difference between it and the Satori (apart from the plush) was that the Hei Hei felt a bit skittish. Maybe it was the fork/suspension setup or the lower weight, but for me it seemed less dependable somehow. Whereas the Satori felt comfortable and confident, like I could ride over ANYTHING.

    So yeah, I went Satori. Let's just hope my riding improves enough to justify it!

    Thanks guys for your help - it's been really useful. Cheers!

  9. #9
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    I think you'll be damn happy with the Satori and it will most definitely help with your confidence on more technical stuff. Don't be surprised if you're attempting stuff you'd never even dreamed of a few months ago.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    I think you'll be damn happy with the Satori and it will most definitely help with your confidence on more technical stuff. Don't be surprised if you're attempting stuff you'd never even dreamed of a few months ago.
    Ha ha - this happened today on my first ride. I took a alternate line on an old track, forgetting why I'd never taken it on my old bike. Turns out there was a bit of a steep little almost-drop that would have had me doing a faceplant... but the Satori just rolled down and out the other side without fanfare. Win!

  11. #11
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    Hahaha, that's good to hear, vindication for the purchase

    My Prime and F34 saved my bacon today too Came down a trail into a few rollers that hit with enough speed are jumps, saw my bud ahead hit the first and not much air, so I crank and got a nice launch, he hit the next and got better air, so I cranked it up, unfortunately the rear end kicked up and I had on my Lowepro AW200 sportpack with camera, water, tools etc., which weighs about 25-30lbs and it came up on my back, landed right on the nose and luckily rolled it out. Will be designing some sort of under leg strap for the pack like parachutes have to stop that happening again, was not a fun experience feeling it come up and lift me with it

    Quote Originally Posted by ealaidh View Post
    Ha ha - this happened today on my first ride. I took a alternate line on an old track, forgetting why I'd never taken it on my old bike. Turns out there was a bit of a steep little almost-drop that would have had me doing a faceplant... but the Satori just rolled down and out the other side without fanfare. Win!
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
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  12. #12
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    I'll have a 20" Satori and Fox 34 for sale in the classifieds soon. Just need to take pics. PM me if anyone is interested.

    Ridden three times and decided that full suspension is not my thing. Prefer my Raijin for the type of riding that I do.
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    Congrats on the purchase - better to possibly have "too much" bike to work into - than a month later being left with "too little" bike

    and like many - the satori has saved my bacon on numerous trails and situations as it allows me to make mistakes and not hurt me for it

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kamper11 View Post
    Congrats on the purchase - better to possibly have "too much" bike to work into - than a month later being left with "too little" bike

    and like many - the satori has saved my bacon on numerous trails and situations as it allows me to make mistakes and not hurt me for it
    Thanks. I'm very pleased with it. But also I know that I've got a lot to learn!

  15. #15
    Carving the Path of Life
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    Where did you get it from?

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    Satori: too much for this mortal?

    Quote Originally Posted by surfinsmiley View Post
    Where did you get it from?
    From an LBS here in Wellington (NZ). The country distributor sells on consignment, so if your LBS doesn't have it they'll easily get it transferred from another shop elsewhere in the country.

    There's not many left in NZ after the “half price” sale recently though.

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    Satori: too much for this mortal?

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