Built specifically for up-and-coming racers and all-round hammerheads, with race-proven geometry and new Scandium 6069 tubing, the Hei Hei 29 Deluxe represents our company's desire to make incredible mountain bikes for incredible riders. Known for its strong and smooth riding characteristics, the bike features a component package that's race-ready, but not overpriced, with 100mm of perfectly tuned suspension that's quick, efficient and surprisingly plush. With a new ultra stiff 142x12 rear axle, this bike is ready to rule.
I own the 2011 2-9 se. After 30 seconds on the bike, I knew that my months long search was over. It just feels great to ride, a pure pleasure. I have been riding this bike hard almost every day for 4 months now averaging 12 to 18 miles per day of single track. It has been getting ridden hard. The "Bike" (i.e. frame and suspension) has held up great and continues to please. Some of the components though have already met the grave yard. I have already had to replace the middle and small chainrings (a chain suck incident); The chain (probably damaged from the chain suck); and the wheels (bent rim from a wipe out).
I also replaced the avid elixir 3 hydro brakes with BB7 mechanical discs after endless (I mean endless) fussing with the elixir's. The elixir 3's do not have a pad gap adjustment and they rub no matter what you do (common complaint). BB7's are perfect; and they are mechanical so I can fix them on the trail if need be.
The Easton ea70 xc wheelset has proven to be too fragile for my riding style. It is a 24 spoke race wheel and I probably should be on a beefier rim with 32 spokes. Before I destroyed the front rim, I had to true about every other week which is not too bad for all the riding I do. Hubs are great.
The Maxxis Aspen tires have no traction in the corners or in steep climbs. They actually scare me a little. They are great for pavement and rail trails though.
The recon fork and fox shock have performed with out fail. I do not see any need to upgrade either unit.
Derailleurs are fine too. I see no need to upgrade there either. Chain suck is a recurring problem that I have not been able to isolate yet. 10 speed chains are narrower which might cause more stick on the chain rings. I don't know.
I highly recommend this bike and brand to anyone looking for a new ride. You will find that the component spec on this bike is higher than other same priced brands.
Strengths: At just under 27 pounds it climbs like it's much lighter. The big wheels roll over all the local chatter with ease.
Weaknesses: After only a year of use I noticed the polished finish on the front triangle spidering in places were it doesn't get abused my dirt or cables.
It's no secret I have been pro Kona from day one but this is by far the best one I have owned. It's amazing how bikes keep getting better and better. My last two race bikes were a 23 pound 2006 Kona Leroi and before that was a 24 pound 2003 King Kikapu. I was hesitant to make the move to a 29er and I thought there was no way this 26.8 pound Hei Hei Deluxe would be faster and more nimble than my Leroi but I was proven wrong. Even tho I have less miles on my legs than when I used to race my Leroi I am posting faster lap times on the Hei Hei Deluxe and I believe the bike has a lot to do with it. I was able to make it to 3 races this season and made the Expert (CAT 1) podium in all three of them with this bike. Now that I plan to return to a full race schedule next season on this bike I am going to spend a few extra dollars making it lighter and even faster....if that is possible. In summary, for a heavy almost 27 pound 29er, this bike carves the local trails like a 23 pound 26" wheeled full suspension bike.
Similar Products Used: My first 29er and frankly I knew the geometry would work for me as this is my 5th Kona bike in 10 years.
Bike Setup: Fox 120 reduced to 100, RP23, XTR shifter and rear Derailuer, Hayes Stroker Carbons, Stylo 1.1 cranks with a 36t, 991 cassette 11-34, Kona post, stem and bar, Oury grips, White Stans Crest with ZTR hubs, silver spokes and red nipples and Schwalbe Racing Ralphs 2.25 on both ends....it's set up as a 1x9
a Weekend Warrior
from Rostov-on-Don, Russia
Date Reviewed: October 22, 2010
Strengths: Light, brilliant rear shock, nice climb and perfect handling
Weaknesses: Mud clearance could be better
The best bike I ever had! It could be your cross country bike, trail bike or just a comfortable commuter.
This is my allrounder. I use it on trails and some amateur races.
Shocks work perfectly, so if you want to climb something - just use Propedal. And when it goes to descending - it's time to rock!
Bike Setup: RS Reba SL fork, CK headset, Formula The One brakes, Shimano XT drivetrain with SLX crankset and front derailleur, Nuke Proof Generator hubs with ZTR Arch rims and Conti RaceKings 2.2"
a Cross Country Rider
from Western Maine, USA
Date Reviewed: August 3, 2010
Strengths: Laterally stiff, climbs really well, Kona geometry
Weaknesses: Actual weight. Luckily, it rides lighter than it is so I'm not quite sure if it is really a weakness.
First off, I really wanted a Salsa Big Mama 29er, but I missed out on those. So, I bought an '09 Hei Hei 2-9, as a frame with no shock, on closeout. This allowed me to put the Manitou S-Type SPV rear shock on it, which I prefer over the stock RP23+. So after getting it built up and riding it for a while I can truthfully say "I love this bike". Rides much lighter than the scales convey and climbs like a goat. Feels incredibly stable when the going gets rough and I have not noticed any lateral flex coming from the rear of the bike. I have nothing but good things to say about the Magic 110 fork and Manitou S-Type SPV rear shock. The frame, rear shock and fork really seem to compliment each other.
Bottom line....great riding frame.
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I am wanting to buy my first FS bike and can't decide on these two. If anybody has ridden or is familiar with these bikes I would appreciate it. I live in central Texas, about 6''3 and ride mostly single tracks because that is all really have to work with.Read More »