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  1. #1
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    Kona Coiler vs Turner RFX vs 6pack

    Couple questions.....Is there really a difference between the kona coiler frame and the turner 6 pack, besides the 6 pack being crazy expensive?They weigh almost the same, same travel, same linkage system.......Also, the RFX and the 6 pack are the same bike, but different years, right? Thanks in advance
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  2. #2
    FM
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    Lets put it this way, it's kind of like comparing toyota and porsche.
    Either will get the job done, and a brand new top of the line toyota probably handles better than a clapped-out porsche with worn-out shocks.

    Anyways, The profiles look similar but the execution really has very little in common.
    Although they are both "faux bars", the exact locations of the main pivot is what really makes the difference, turners and konas do ride differently. Konas are more active, have a bit more bob, less progressive, is my experience.
    Turner uses igus bushings with grease ports at all pivots, these can go 5+ years of hard riding in wet climates with only an occasional squirt of grease, they stay slop-free and quiet.
    A 2008 medium RFX is under 7lbs. No way a coiler is anywhere near that light.
    Likewise if you compare the geometry carefully, I think you'll find they aren't so similar.
    Turners are made in the USA with tight tolerances. Lots of "little things" here; Turners come with faced head tubes, clean BB threads, reamed seat tubes with correct tolerances, etc.
    Turner customer service is incredible, I bought a used frame, rode it for two years, cracked a chainstay. They sent me a whole new frame with custom paint and a new shock, even shipping was free.

    Nothing against Kona, but Turner is in a different league, in fact I don't think anybody really compares to Turner. Thats why so many Turner owners are such zealots!
    Don't forget the price difference, Kona's are great bikes, Turners need to offer something extra for their higher prices. Doesn't mean it's the right bike for everybody.

    6-pack vs. RFX; from '07 on, the RFX has .4" more travel, lower leverage ratio with a more progressive feel, is a 1/2lb lighter, and has slacker and lower geometry with shorter top tubes and lower standover.

  3. #3
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    another way to approach this is to go ride a Kona that's a couple years old and ridden hard and then ride a similar RFX/6pack. An old used RFX is something you can actually buy and ride with confidence, they are much more solid and when you ride one you'll feel it.

    Lots of great deals out there on used RFX's and a good trade in program too.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by airwreck
    another way to approach this is to go ride a Kona that's a couple years old and ridden hard and then ride a similar RFX/6pack. An old used RFX is something you can actually buy and ride with confidence, they are much more solid and when you ride one you'll feel it.

    Lots of great deals out there on used RFX's and a good trade in program too.

    Or ride a used Turner because that's all most people can afford



    Both bikes are faux bar. I will admit the Turner having higher quality, but not enough to justify the price for ME. You can buy an 07 Coiler frame for a song. I bought my 05 Coiler frame and fork for 400 bucks on Ebay. I would and DID buy a used Kona and DO ride it with confidence. It is more capable than I am and breakage is the last of my concerns when I'm in the air on it. It is essentially a Stinky of yester-year and will handle the hits with ease. You'll be hard pressed for find more than a handful of broken ones. I have not ridden a Turner, but you won't convince me that my Kona is of marginal quality or lacking in any sort of capability when compared to a Turner. Is the Turner more refined? Sure. Is it worth the extra price tag? Depends on how deep your wallet is.

  5. #5
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    is that .4" noticeable?

    -Sp

    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    Lets put it this way, it's kind of like comparing toyota and porsche.
    Either will get the job done, and a brand new top of the line toyota probably handles better than a clapped-out porsche with worn-out shocks.

    Anyways, The profiles look similar but the execution really has very little in common.
    Although they are both "faux bars", the exact locations of the main pivot is what really makes the difference, turners and konas do ride differently. Konas are more active, have a bit more bob, less progressive, is my experience.
    Turner uses igus bushings with grease ports at all pivots, these can go 5+ years of hard riding in wet climates with only an occasional squirt of grease, they stay slop-free and quiet.
    A 2008 medium RFX is under 7lbs. No way a coiler is anywhere near that light.
    Likewise if you compare the geometry carefully, I think you'll find they aren't so similar.
    Turners are made in the USA with tight tolerances. Lots of "little things" here; Turners come with faced head tubes, clean BB threads, reamed seat tubes with correct tolerances, etc.
    Turner customer service is incredible, I bought a used frame, rode it for two years, cracked a chainstay. They sent me a whole new frame with custom paint and a new shock, even shipping was free.

    Nothing against Kona, but Turner is in a different league, in fact I don't think anybody really compares to Turner. Thats why so many Turner owners are such zealots!
    Don't forget the price difference, Kona's are great bikes, Turners need to offer something extra for their higher prices. Doesn't mean it's the right bike for everybody.

    6-pack vs. RFX; from '07 on, the RFX has .4" more travel, lower leverage ratio with a more progressive feel, is a 1/2lb lighter, and has slacker and lower geometry with shorter top tubes and lower standover.

  6. #6
    TLL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim311
    Or ride a used Turner because that's all most people can afford
    Both bikes are faux bar. I will admit the Turner having higher quality, but not enough to justify the price for ME. You can buy an 07 Coiler frame for a song.
    Faux Bar=Specialized marketing department drivel.

    What you mean to say is that is is a single pivot linkage driven bike. Same goes for the Kona.

    You can also buy a used Tuner frame for a song. I paid $1300 for my brand new custom paint RFX off the mtbr classifieds. And the warranty still is in effect. Not so for the Kona, should you buy used. And if I decide I want another Tuner later, I can trade my frame in and receive a $400 credit towards a new frame. Does Kona do that?

    Not knocking the Kona. it gets the job done. But considering Turner actually designed the first round of Kona suspension bikes for the Kona/Volvo team, I think the answer is pretty clear who makes the better bike.

  7. #7
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    I had no idea that there wa such a big difference. Thanks for setting me straight
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    Aside from the already mentioned build quality differences, the geometries of the bikes are different. The Kona is lower and slacker then the Turner and will handle accordingly.

  9. #9
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    all are good bikes. turners are great but very expensive. i have a 2006 coiler deluxe and love it. it is not as exspensive as the ruener and i think it is great but the turner is nicer
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TLL
    Faux Bar=Specialized marketing department drivel.

    What you mean to say is that is is a single pivot linkage driven bike. Same goes for the Kona.

    You can also buy a used Tuner frame for a song. I paid $1300 for my brand new custom paint RFX off the mtbr classifieds. And the warranty still is in effect. Not so for the Kona, should you buy used. And if I decide I want another Tuner later, I can trade my frame in and receive a $400 credit towards a new frame. Does Kona do that?

    Not knocking the Kona. it gets the job done. But considering Turner actually designed the first round of Kona suspension bikes for the Kona/Volvo team, I think the answer is pretty clear who makes the better bike.

    Actually yes, Kona does give you a 400 dollar credit.. only it's not so much of a credit as it is 400 bucks more in your pocket because you pay less to begin with.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TLL
    Faux Bar=Specialized marketing department drivel.

    What you mean to say is that is is a single pivot linkage driven bike. Same goes for the Kona.

    You can also buy a used Tuner frame for a song. I paid $1300 for my brand new custom paint RFX off the mtbr classifieds. And the warranty still is in effect. Not so for the Kona, should you buy used. And if I decide I want another Tuner later, I can trade my frame in and receive a $400 credit towards a new frame. Does Kona do that?

    Not knocking the Kona. it gets the job done. But considering Turner actually designed the first round of Kona suspension bikes for the Kona/Volvo team, I think the answer is pretty clear who makes the better bike.
    A slight to major correction: It's not linkage driven. The Giant VT, various CUBE and Commencal designs, the RM6 Thrustlink, and similar are linkage driven single pivots.

    The "linkage driven single pivot" thing is also from Specialized, as well as Ellsworth. I'm amazed at how they were able to make people believe a seatstay and other components are not there as structural members.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    A slight to major correction: It's not linkage driven. The Giant VT, various CUBE and Commencal designs, the RM6 Thrustlink, and similar are linkage driven single pivots.

    The "linkage driven single pivot" thing is also from Specialized, as well as Ellsworth. I'm amazed at how they were able to make people believe a seatstay and other components are not there as structural members.
    I think you're expecting people to be a bit more precise in their use of the term than most are. It's entirely evident that the seatstay on a Turner or bike of similar design is a structural member, and does not simply exist to actuate the shock. People use linkage driven single pivot to differentiate a four bar non HL from a true single pivot, and while it may not be the most precise, accurate term, it isn't terribly important if people understand how the term is being used. People using the term linkage driven SP to refer to a Turner type design are not thinking of a linkage driven SP in the exact terms that you are, and then interpreting the bike to be designed as such. Rather, they can tell that the bike's design differs from any of the designs you mention as being true linkage driven SPs, but are simply being imprecise in their use of the term. Your assumption that people believe Turners to be of similar design to a Comencal, etc is a poor one.

  13. #13
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by SinglePivot
    is that .4" noticeable?

    -Sp
    The .04" isn't noticable, but the change in leverage ratio and feel are. The '07+'s are more supple on the small hits and far more resistant to bottoming out. I think you only get that last 1/2" on the biggest hits.

    As for price, I just sold my buddies '02 RFX for $400. Considering Turner still warranties these frames, still stocks and sells replacement parts, bushings and derailuer hangers haven't changed etc, thatís a screaming deal. This 6yr old frame was as tight as the day it was made, same for all the turners I have owned, the pivots last forever with almost no maintenance. Having owned an '02 RFX, I would certainly take another one of those over a coiler personally.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardtails Are Better
    Your assumption that people believe Turners to be of similar design to a Comencal, etc is a poor one.
    It's actually not far-fetched, as Specialized, for instance, has put the burden of proof of design or performance on everyone else. They established, along with Ellsworth, that if you don't have a horst link on your suspension, you're not an x-bar suspension and/or you're a single pivot. This sentiment has been conveyed on this forum quite thoroughly, including people grouping multilink non-horst link containing suspensions with such things with high single pivots, such as the Heckler and related.

    You even have people that think the FSR pivot is a suspension design, rather than an element of a suspension design. You also have many claiming the Giant NRS is a "classic horst link", when it doesn't function as one.

    So it's not outside the realm of correctness to do just that, and correct, by displaying examples of what people are talking about. Roughly two weeks ago I posted a correction about the "linkage driven single pivots", a term if applied to Kona, Turner, Ventana, etc refers or implies major structural members in a diminutive fashion, as only linkages, while they are not. As such, it is correct to show what a real linkage drive single pivot is, as made by Cube, Commencal, Foes, and older designs from Giant and Ventana, as well as many others.

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    I personally would not buy a 6 year old RFX for 400 bucks when I could pay like 500 and get a brand new closeout Kona Coiler or Stinky from Wheelworld for under 600 bones (more if you wait for a 20% coupon) but that's your perogative I suppose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    It's actually not far-fetched, as Specialized, for instance, has put the burden of proof of design or performance on everyone else. They established, along with Ellsworth, that if you don't have a horst link on your suspension, you're not an x-bar suspension and/or you're a single pivot. This sentiment has been conveyed on this forum quite thoroughly, including people grouping multilink non-horst link containing suspensions with such things with high single pivots, such as the Heckler and related.

    You even have people that think the FSR pivot is a suspension design, rather than an element of a suspension design. You also have many claiming the Giant NRS is a "classic horst link", when it doesn't function as one.

    So it's not outside the realm of correctness to do just that, and correct, by displaying examples of what people are talking about. Roughly two weeks ago I posted a correction about the "linkage driven single pivots", a term if applied to Kona, Turner, Ventana, etc refers or implies major structural members in a diminutive fashion, as only linkages, while they are not. As such, it is correct to show what a real linkage drive single pivot is, as made by Cube, Commencal, Foes, and older designs from Giant and Ventana, as well as many others.
    I suppose I have a less negative view of the average mtbr user's knowledge base than you do.


    Overall, I think we're mostly in agreement here. Calling a Turner a linkage driven single pivot isn't very accurate. We may disagree on the nature of why people use the incorrect terminology, but that really dosn't matter. Cheers.

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    Yeah, I don't think you and I are as far off as our posts would imply, I agree 100%. I think our basis is fundamentally similar, with outer items being different.

  18. #18
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim311
    I personally would not buy a 6 year old RFX for 400 bucks when I could pay like 500 and get a brand new closeout Kona Coiler or Stinky from Wheelworld for under 600 bones (more if you wait for a 20% coupon) but that's your perogative I suppose.
    You'll still get better customer service from Turner.

    I say that as turner owner, and a former employee of a kona dealer LBS.

  19. #19
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    [QUOTE=FM]You'll still get better customer service from Turner.

    I say that as turner owner, and a former employee of a kona dealer LBS.
    [/QUOTE=FM]

    FM, I'm curious how long ago you worked for that Kona dealer? I'm sure whatever your experience was with the folks in Ferndale 10 years ago, it still holds true today! Also, I can't remember the last time I saw a real mt. bike in said shop.....maybe 7 years ago? Maybe??

    FYI, to the OP.....How well a bike performs, imo, almost always comes down to the rider’s ability. I'll just leave it at that. Buy a bike that fits you (sizing), your style and your budget. If a Kona fits that, then go for that. If an RFX or Nomad or whatever fits that, then do that.

    Just to play devil's advocate, I'll give you some thoughts from the other side of the coin since most threads on mtbr involving any reference to a Turner will be overwhelmingly in favor of that brand. First. Are Turners nice? Yes. Does Dave Turner put a lot of thought into each design? Yes. Does he stand behind his product with exemplary service? Yes. Do they ride well? From my limited experience, yes, they ride well.

    As for Kona, I've owned two Kona's that I arguably rode harder than most turners are ever ridden. I broke a 2 year old chainstay on a 4" Kona Bear (that I had ridden with aftermarket linkage and a MUCH larger fork than spec'ed) and had the beefier replacement within a week. No questions asked from Kona and the LBS even ordered it before I brought my chainstay in for exchange. My ’02 Stinky withstood such a violent casing once that it bent my steerer tube on my 66 and the frame was totally fine.

    I sold that 2002 Stinky this past Fall (weirdly, for more $$ than FM sold our buddies' RFX). Before selling, I pulled the rockers off and the various pivots apart just to see how the bearings were and everything was good.. Super smooth and no slop. I think I put grease in those bearings once (by removing the bearing covers) in the years I owned it. You’ll hear how well Turner bushings hold up, how easily they're serviced and keep the frame laterally rigid, but I rode my Kona’s a lot in the PNW wet weather with no issues (unlike my giant reign ).

    Worth noting, I installed a Pushed shock on both bikes (something any TRUE Homer does) and it transformed how well both Kona's descended and ascended. Ask how many homers are running stock shocks. Anytime a Turner owner has an issue with their bike's feel, the immediate reply from the homers is “get rid of that stock DHX and get an Avy!” or “send that shock in to Darren immediately!”. Just something to consider when getting someone's thoughts on how well a suspension feels on a given bike.....

    Turner’s warranty policy is second to none. Go ahead and break your rockers / chainstays once, twice or even three times and they’ll be happy to replace them. I gotta question whether that policy is factored into the cost of the frames since I’ve known more than a few guys that have broken parts on their Turners. The good news, however, is that you always have a replacement within a week or so – which is pretty damn unbeatable. The fact is they stand behind their product regardless how old it is or whether you’re the 2nd, 3rd or 5th owner......not many brands (any?) will do that.

    On that note, FM’s Highline didn’t just “crack”. Both chainstays on his bike came completely apart on a drop…….and bent his shock in the process. The rider that it happened to (Jubilee) was very lucky he didn’t get injured where it happened. Did Turner take care of FM? Yes, but he also was without his bike for a bit while Turner was busy re-engineering the next "version" of their chainstays.

    Now, does that mean that things don't break on Kona's? NO. In fact, they tried to reduce the weight of their '07 stinky and had some issues with rockers breaking due to removing too much material. Any of those that broke are instantly replaced by Kona....no questions asked.

    If you're on a tight budget and it fits your criteria, I'd say a Coiler (or other production brand) is a good option. You could always use the $$ savings to upgrade the suspension (PUSH shock and a quality fork is a massive difference), wheels, etc. If you look at most Kona owners, they buy a stock bike and often ride them exactly as they were purchased. That's just the reality of Kona's being a "value" brand. Then, a lot of people compare those bikes' performance with their full custom valved boutique bikes which is a big oversight, IMO. Another option.....take the cost savings and take a trip to Whistler, Moab, etc. You'll get more enjoyment out of either bike if you're riding it in a great location.

    Summary:
    If you got the dough and it fits your criteria, an RFX is a very nice bike (especially at the current Go Ride sale price!). The Coiler, however, shouldn't be overlooked if you build it up properly.

    Just my 3 pesos.

    Cheers,
    EB

  20. #20
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebxtreme

    FM, I'm curious how long ago you worked for that Kona dealer? I'm sure whatever your experience was with the folks in Ferndale 10 years ago, it still holds true today! Also, I can't remember the last time I saw a real mt. bike in said shop.....maybe 7 years ago? Maybe??
    yep, about 12 years actually!

    I won't go into the details but I did actually purchase a kona "prototype" frame while I worked there, it broke almost immediately, I can't say I was totally happy with the outcome...



    Quote Originally Posted by ebxtreme
    On that note, FM’s Highline didn’t just “crack”. The rider that it happened to (Jubilee) was very lucky he didn’t get injured where it happened.
    You're right, I nearly landed on top of him
    He almost caught on fire anyways, in fact I think he did!

    EB's got some valid points, he's certainly beaten his bikes down hard, and they've all faired very well (Kona, transition and giant). He's also a light smooth rider, I've seen bigger guys who maybe don't go as big have issues with the same bikes.

    Really it comes down to expensive brands vs. cheaper brands, there's nothing wrong with either and many of the reasons to go with an expensive brand won't effect the ride. Things like higher resale value, better customer service, country of origin, more sizing & color options, etc etc.

    So neither's better or worse, it just depends on what the buyer wants to spend and what they expect. The point of my original thread is that you do get what you pay for, bigger companies like Kona do cut a few corners to make their bikes less expensive. Whether or not those differences matter to you, or effect your riding experience, only you can decide.

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    Wow, thanks for all of that information, you have a ton of valid points. I have to do some serious thinking about this..........thanks again
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    hmmm?

    I can't hold back. Sorry FM.. Just Google broken Highline and broken Coiler. There's your answer. Everyone always forgets how dangerous it could be to have a bike break at the wrong time. Kona's are solid. Flame on!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    yep, about 12 years actually!
    Dude, you're old!

    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    He's also a light smooth rider, I've seen bigger guys who maybe don't go as big have issues with the same bikes.
    Phock, you should've seen how smooth I was last night! Hit the right hip on Kim's line with decent air and pulled an accidental one footer. Got the bike back under me, but landed on my saddle and broke one rail and bent the other. I've had that one for less than 2 months and it's destroyed.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebxtreme
    Dude, you're old!
    I'm so old, yo mama used to call me daddy


    Quote Originally Posted by Largextracheese
    I can't hold back. Sorry FM.. Just Google broken Highline and broken Coiler.
    10,000 posts by fabio can't be wrong!

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    check it out.,

    You and EB are 18 posts apart. That really makes me wonder about you two? I'd assume you both actually work from home.

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    another difference

    you'll never see this on a turner because while they may share a suspension design its all in the execution of the design. Not to mention all the other qualities that make a Turner what it is.

    http://www.konaworld.com/dope.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by aixelsyd
    you'll never see this on a turner because while they may share a suspension design its all in the execution of the design. Not to mention all the other qualities that make a Turner what it is.

    http://www.konaworld.com/dope.htm
    So you're saying that Turners' faux bar doesn't have brake jack?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dowst
    So you're saying that Turners' faux bar doesn't have brake jack?
    By design, it has a slight amount of squat. Apply the brakes and there is a small, to some, imperceiveable, load that slightly biases weight back for technical riding at low speeds, like standing over rocks, for instance.

    And Specialized really did a number on you too. You weren't around for their original marketing campaigns where they made the first round of people think certain things didn't exist on a bike if it didn't have the FSR pivot, and now we're two to three or more generations off.

    That's what I call great marketing and advertising propagation.

    Here's a quote from just a few minutes ago in another thread I'm not viewing:

    Quote Originally Posted by xxxxxxxx

    Cannondale uses single pivots and what are essentailly faux bar designs. How are they better suspension designs than the Motobecane faux bar?
    I responded, such as the INCHES of difference between the main pivot locations, number of locations, etc. So for hardtails are better, it might not be so farfetched to want to use proper terminology and also to sometimes assume people are "bought" by an ad campaign and looking to derive things in the simplest form, since that quote came from a fairly known member.
    Last edited by Jerk_Chicken; 08-08-2008 at 11:25 PM.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    I responded, such as the INCHES of difference between the main pivot locations, number of locations, etc. So for hardtails are better, it might not be so farfetched to want to use proper terminology and also to sometimes assume people are "bought" by an ad campaign and looking to derive things in the simplest form, since that quote came from a fairly known member.
    Damn. I've not paid a whole lot of attention to these sorts of discussions, so maybe I'm overestimating people here.

  30. #30
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    FWIW, I've had discussions with the local Kona folks (Kona HQ are just down the road from me) and they claim Dave Turner worked closely with Kona in selecting the pivot locations on Kona bicylces. Not sure if they are identical, but he did have some input on Kona's designs.

    I'd pick the bike that fit the best.
    Extreme stationary biker.

  31. #31
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    This thread is worthless without pics

    So to recap, neither brand will make you a better rider or cause you to have more fun!

    But here's a picture showing the kind of detail you'll get for that extra money. Check out how the rockers are curved inward to meet the top of the shock underneath the top tube. This means the shock is mounted to less than 1/2" of exposed bolt between the rockers. Less flex, less wear on the mounting hardware, and less chance of bending or braking a shock bolt. Also means a lot of extra machining, which drives the price up.

    On konas, the rockers are "flat", which requires a longer shock bolt and over an inch of bolt between the rockers. Saves a lot of money I suppose. Most every kona owner I know has bent or broken a shock bolt at some point, good thing they were'nt injured when it happened!
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    So to recap, neither brand will make you a better rider or cause you to have more fun!
    this about sums it up. Like others have said get what suits you, what feels right.

  33. #33
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    Sorry for bringing this thread up again, but it is better than starting a new one...Can an 06 Specialized enduro handle light freeride, and a little downhill???I only weigh 130. Another question, Im 5'10", would I be better on a medium or a large? I have a 31 inch inseam, and my last KHS was a large, and I was leaning forward quite a bit with a short stem on it.Thanks
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  34. #34
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    it could...but i wouldnt do it. you would be better off with something else
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    I've got something to contribute here. I have ridden the 07 Coiler and my RFX head to head long enough to comfortably say this. Let me assure you the Coiler is good solid ride. However the RFX just blows doors. Plus, mine is 5 years older and you can't tell at all.

    Here is how I see it. Like a supermarket apple pie and homemade they look alike for the most part. But they just aren't. I'm a cheap bastard but in this case I'd bust out the $ and pay this man. Because, he has a real winner here. Oh, and the CS is as legendary as the ride it gives. And that is if you ever will need CS the cause the thing owns in quality and crazy reliability.
    I can't wait to see the new 09 version. I have zero reason to part w/ mine. But, it ought to be interesting. Never say never I guess.
    PS If it got stolen tonight Blitz II is my safety pick.
    All about the ride

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    hah!

    On konas, the rockers are "flat", which requires a longer shock bolt and over an inch of bolt between the rockers. Saves a lot of money I suppose. Most every kona owner I know has bent or broken a shock bolt at some point, good thing they were'nt injured when it happened! [/QUOTE]

    So a broken shock bolt is equal to having your chainstays snap off a drop?
    A buddy of mine had his chainstays snap off the high side of the Rutabegga rock (8-10 ft to almost flat) at Whistler a few years ago on his ironhorse. His face ate the handlebars and he was a hurtin' unit. When a bikes chainstays break it can oftentime be like slamming on the brakes suddenly and throwing you forward over the bars or worse. Not anything like a shock bolt breaking. Ironhorse redesigned the chainstays and the bike is still throwin' down. Same with my SXT. They redesigned the chainstays only once and it stuck. The Highline is on it's third revision of it's chainstays? I own a boutique bike ( Intense m3 ) as well as a made in Japan SXTrail. The whole "made in america" is crap from a quality standpoint for most high end bikes compared to overseas production bikes. The welds on my SXTrail are just as nice as my Intense. Do I like that it was made in America...yes. Does the boutique ride twenty times better...hell no! The main reason these bikes fail is the design not the weld quality. I also own a Kona Stinky (my wifes) and just looking at it right now it is built pretty burly and the welds look damn good. Have any of you seen the welds or the rockers on the imported Transition bikes? They are very nice. I'm on the same page as EB. You can pretty much take any of these "budget bikes" and swap the suspension components to something nicer and you have the ride quality of a boutique as long as the design is solid (like a Kona). It still cracks me up how Turner stopped using the Horst link that was so "key to their performance" and now that he doesn't use it (financial reasons)the bikes actually still ride fine or better than before??? Did you also know that Turner spelled backwards spells Ellsworth? Buy the Kona and spend the extra cash on your girlfriend. You'll have a great ride on the trail and at home!

  37. #37
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    Both sides here are arguing about certain points and missing the crucial one. I posted this in a recent thread on the Titus forum:

    What really matters is where the designer and test riders are. They all have a certain terrain around them. A problem, if you will. They design their bikes to be the solution to that problem, whether it's "Turn X" with this type of negative slope and gradient down or if it's "Rockgarden Z" and pedal strikes, or even just play area [insert park name here].

    What it all seems to boil down to is where the test courses are and what angle of them the designer wants to tackle. As the trails evolve and riders have different needs, the designers have to move forward and see what people are doing. So similar frame layouts will ride incredibly different.
    It's not always about price, especially since Kona is targeted towards a different price group, but are the savings worth a damn if the unit as a whole doesn't work right? Also, out here, Konas are way expensive, so being a bit less myopic and North American-centric will help widen the scope of the situation.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Largextracheese

    On konas, the rockers are "flat", which requires a longer shock bolt and over an inch of bolt between the rockers. Saves a lot of money I suppose. Most every kona owner I know has bent or broken a shock bolt at some point, good thing they were'nt injured when it happened!
    So a broken shock bolt is equal to having your chainstays snap off a drop?
    Well, the point is that turner actively tries to design bikes to address shortcommings, such as the use of long bolts that tend to bend. With every bike I've owned that had "flat" rockers or an excessively long shock bolt, I've bent the bolt. I ride hard, but don't do huge drops to flat or anything. So what you get with a bike like the Highline (or any other turner) is something that is designed to address these areas. On the other hand, with my Foes, Azonic, IH, etc, I was sh*t out of luck.

    You don't just get a "bent bolt", you get a bent bolt that could eventually start rotating and then wearing out the bearings in the shock, causing play, and then ovalizing the mount, and then you're screwed. Your $(enter price here) frame is now virtually worthless. That doesn't happen in every case, but it does happen, and that's just one issue.

    The highline has needle-bearings at all of the pivots. That is expensive and difficult from the design/cost aspect. It also keeps the bike extremely laterally rigid. The skate-board bearings that most other companies use usually don't deal well with lateral loads, as they were originally designed to spin at several hundred, if not thousands, of rpm. So what you get with a turner is something that is designed specifically for a certain use.

    The highline did have the chainstay issue, but of course turner sent out new ones to all of the owners and I think only one version 2 broke, hence the version 2.5, but the overall point is that if there's a deficiency, turner goes out of their way to get you back riding. It's a level of commitment that doesn't exist in many other companies.

    So, things like the one-peice block-of-metal CNCed pivot/shock-mast/bb, formed tubes, BB width for proper chainline, needle bearings, short shock bolts, geometry, pivot location, and so on are all specific traits that differeniate it from the kona or some other bike that seems to have the same travel and/or usage.

    I have both an RFX (well kinda, it has some 6pack parts) and a highline now, and I've screwed around with (owned) many brands of bikes over the years, such as specialized, diamondback, rocky mountain, azonic, mongoose, cheeta, iron horse, foes, and a few others, but none were designed as well as the turners, even the foes had some huge shortcommings with the huge-long bolt required for the scissor-link. A well designed bike will give you the least amount of headaches and provide great service and performance for more than just a season. If you are planning to dump your ride after a few months, it may not be the right bike for you, but if you want to ride it for a few years, put new and different parts on it, and never have to really worry about it, then it might be for you. Otherwise, get a kona.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  39. #39
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    am I on crazy pills? since when is this low end?

    http://konaworld.com/09_coilairsupreme_u.cfm

    fwiw the coilair is a F**king amazing bike, super fun whippy and such on the descents, and climbs reasonably well. In all fairness, I'm on a glory and so the times I've ridden the coilair for XC it blows my mind.

    anyway, looks like you've got some cool choices! best of luck with whatever you get

  40. #40
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    Everyone on here talks like Kona's closest competitor is Huffy. WTF? Just because they're not fancy or expensive doesn't mean they're bad bikes.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by William42
    am I on crazy pills? since when is this low end?

    http://konaworld.com/09_coilairsupreme_u.cfm

    fwiw the coilair is a F**king amazing bike, super fun whippy and such on the descents, and climbs reasonably well. In all fairness, I'm on a glory and so the times I've ridden the coilair for XC it blows my mind.

    anyway, looks like you've got some cool choices! best of luck with whatever you get
    No one is saying the kona is a "bad" bike, but let me ask you this: 3 years down the road, when you kill the frame for whatever reason (because aluminum can only do so many cycles and some people ride hard enough that it's only a matter of time) will Kona warrenty it?
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  42. #42
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    Turner has a great warranty as others have said. I'm a turner Owner but worry if I have warranty issues past the warranty period which is only 3 years. Kona has a 4 year warranty.

    I know that Turners warranty is great, I just wished it was for 5 years instead of 3 years, but maybe that is unheard of in the mtb business.
    Last edited by Single Track MTBer; 08-17-2008 at 11:26 AM.

  43. #43
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    They have a good warranty because you're gonna need it. Kinda like when you see those Kia commercials with the unlimited 100,000 mile warranty. The warranty is a major selling point because you're gonna need it. I don't really believe this but I wanted to post it anyways.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    No one is saying the kona is a "bad" bike, but let me ask you this: 3 years down the road, when you kill the frame for whatever reason (because aluminum can only do so many cycles and some people ride hard enough that it's only a matter of time) will Kona warrenty it?
    maybe? that or crash replacement

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Largextracheese
    I don't really believe this but I wanted to post it anyways.
    No matter, I think it kind of goes along with this theme:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Largextracheese
    They have a good warranty because you're gonna need it. Kinda like when you see those Kia commercials with the unlimited 100,000 mile warranty. The warranty is a major selling point because you're gonna need it. I don't really believe this but I wanted to post it anyways.



    Both fit a market both fit anyone depends on you as always base it on some reality do your research on the bikes the company the rest will be clear if you really need some peace of mind!

    Ive owned raced ridden crap out of both, enjoyed both brands heaps!

    This whole discussion is worthless they're not apples for apples, its like chicks talking about cars when the only thing they can tell the difference about is color!

    1: they're different price points!
    2: they're aimed at a different markets / read point one!
    3; execution is different!
    4: there's lots of tiny differences that make up a larger sum, if you've been around bikes for awhile or ridden bikes for awhile you'd see this!
    5: this is what you're paying for usually, best of tubing, best on each part for its sum vs mass manufacturer saving costs but putting out the highest quality performing product possible for price range!

    Learn about the differences first before foot in mouth or HOC, let that speak for itself..

    Before even talking about suspension design if you've ever ridden a bushing rear end vs a bearing rear end there is a difference significant difference, it took me time and ownership to understand this with Turners before I truly understood how it rode different to my HL bearing bikes including my Kona!

    All bikes ride well have there selling points!

    If ya got a tight budget want a hard hitting bike that can have as much fun as any other bike and ya don't mind the new colors, prefer the old ones myself marketing and colors have gone ugly on lots of brands of 08/09 imo! then get a Kona or something else in its price range! Geo is normally dialed they handle well ride well for there purpose better is always subjective, the designs are still rocking after all this time, ya have the history already so ya know where they came frame aye!

    If you want a frame and want to build your own specc to fit your style have the budget and want something unique, because of its execution application, that's been refined over many years working with local racers at a high level and WC standards, no marketing BS, have the budget to fit then go for Turner it will last and pay for itself over time, Geo's are dialed everything works if you apply the specc each frame was intended for you will love it and most likely if into it get another to add to the stable in time, specc is usually where people can go wrong with frame only options these days, so much product on offer easy to go to light not enough fork or shock weight over sense etc etc can all affect ride and application of the frame!

    Turners CS is not a selling point it is legendary cause of their business ethics not the need to sell frames,and how they have handled and looked after there frame owners, I'm sure they want to sell as many as possible but the right way for them, one of main reasons I support DT/Turners I live on the other side of the world and its one of the few brands I'm confident in being supported directly by and I have no concerns about it, plus the more I ride them the more hooked on them, only a catastrophic event would have me sell my Turners, got close, but they're still here..

    Make your own mind up do ya research its all out there, internet comments and opinions are only that, including mine, help but only opinions most uninformed, take what works for you and ditch the rest!

    Everything breaks, low end high end, its a hard sport get over it! Everything is not for everyone!

    Ride what suits you and inspires some passion for riding!
    Just riding a muddy trail. . ..

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  47. #47
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    I agree both are good bikes. Just depends on what you want to ride. And how much coin you are willing to part with. My RFX was used (<$500) so I can't speak to spending the $$$$ to buy a new frame. But, now having owned one I promise you I will bust on the wallet w/o hesitation. Totally, totally worth it IMO.

    The Kona Dope looks cool. I kind of pre-brake once I know the trail though and float then sort of rest. Good if you get yourself in trouble I bet.
    All about the ride

  48. #48
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    WTF, ho did you get an RFX for 500?(frame right) THe lowest I see them now are 700......
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    used

    It was used. bought it on an idea after riding a DHR rental DHing. The Turner just felt"right" to me so I took a chance. Glad I did. I'm sure there is other stuff out there. like I said the Blitz looks promising too. But the RFX is a killer IMO.
    All about the ride

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