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  1. #1
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    Stock Marzocchi MZ-3 on Kona Kikapu Deluxe

    I'm relatively new to the sport after many years riding on the road and track. I just picked up a 2006 close out Kona Kikapu Deluxe and it came with a Marzocchi MZ-3 with 100mm travel. I can't tell if its the bike, the fork, or if its the lousy rider, but as a whole, the bike feels really spongy and squishy, and almost like its gonna fall apart on the front end. My other bike is a GT Zaskar with a 80mm Manitou. That feels a lot smoother and responsive than the Kona/ Marzocchi combo. Everything is tightened but still feels "loose" on the front end and/or fork. Checked the headset, stem, handlebars, skewer, spoke tension. From what I have read, this Marzoccchi model seems to be a extremely borderline fork but I've read good reviews about the company itself.

    Questions are:
    1) Just how bad is the fork?
    2) Is it just a full suspension/ hardtail difference I am feeling?
    3) Any advice on how I can fix this?
    4) Any good options on a replacement fork if needed?

    I would appreciate anyone's input on this and how to address it, no matter how simple it may seem. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Reputation: dingleberry's Avatar
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    Bought the same bike for my wife. I rode it around a bit and noticed the same things you have. I got a good deal on a Rock Shox Reba. It made night and day difference and she loves to ride it now. This fork is well suited for the frame, although I'm sure something from the Fox line in the 100mm range would also be good. The bad thing about the stock fork is that is really cheapish, using double coils with virtually no adjustments. It is also heavy. The Reba is very adjustable and delivers a very plush or stiff 100mm depending on how you want to set it up.

  3. #3
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    Reputation: G-VegasMTBiker's Avatar
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    Another vote for the Reba, great fork for the money. It can be tunes for several different feels/riding styles. If you look on ebay or other bike sites you could probably get a good deal on an 06. Pricepoint even has an 05. (Mine is an 05 SL U-Turn)
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by G-VegasMTBiker
    Another vote for the Reba, great fork for the money. It can be tunes for several different feels/riding styles. If you look on ebay or other bike sites you could probably get a good deal on an 06. Pricepoint even has an 05. (Mine is an 05 SL U-Turn)
    Thanks for the advice and the counseling Vegas and dingleberry. Nice to know I'm not the only one who thinks the fork is junky.

    Kinda tough to stomach the idea of buying a new fork and spending nearly 50% of the bike cost on a fork. Spent a $1000 on the bike so an extra $500 seems like a lot. Wish I knew the fork was crap beforehand.

    I gotta do some research but I'll definately take your leads and check out the Fox and Rebas.

  5. #5
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    Reputation: hallin222's Avatar
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    Another vote for the Reba

    I just upgraded my 2005 Kikapu (very similar build kit to the 2006 Deluxe) to a 2007 Reba Race and am loving it. Besides being over 1.5 pounds lighter than the MZ Comp it replaced (very similar to the MZIII), it just remains more planted to the ground all the time. Better handling (cornering), more stable climbs, and less bouncy on slow techincal decents. It was money well spent. However, I DID ride the stock fork and work on my ridnign skills/speed for an entire year before upgading. I feel like I 'earned' it.

    BTW, my wife also just got a 2006 Kikapu Deluxe and is LOVING it. So far, no complaints from her regarding any component. We'll see how she feels as her skills increase.

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