Kona Hei Hei 29er Full Suspension

4.62/5 (26 Reviews)
MSRP : $1899.00

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Product Description

Budding big-wheel-loving, up-and-coming riders of the world unite! Everything we've learned from seven years testing, training and trail destroying on 29ers comes together in this well-priced XC ripper. Built with perfectly refined geometry and precisely tuned suspension, the Hei Hei 29 features the incredible lightweight, strength and smooth riding characteristics of Kona Scandium 6069 Butted tubing.

  • RockShox XC 32 TK 29er
  • SRAM X5/X7 10-speed drivetrain
  • WTB SpeedDisc All Mountain 29er rims
  • Shimano hydraulic brakes

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    Reviews 1 - 15 (26 Reviews Total) | Next 15

    User Reviews

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by James

    Date Reviewed: March 5, 2015

    Strengths:    This bike has it all right out of the box. Excellent for XC racing. I've done several endurance length races on this bike and it's held up to the challenge with no problem. Very smooth and consistent. Climbing on this machine is a charm.

    Weaknesses:    Cheap brake levers, but they'll work fine

    Bottom Line:   
    Highly recommend, it's a great ride.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Dave

    Date Reviewed: November 24, 2013

    Strengths:    Weight, handling,

    Weaknesses:    only one water bottle mount ( which seems to be pretty much standard on FS bikes now.)

    Bottom Line:   
    I love this bike. I have upgraded the wheels to Stans Crest Tubeless for offroad, and put some slicks on the original wheels for road. I get a lot of comments on the trail about the Kona. It's different from the run of the mill Giant/Trek bikes. I am faster on this bike than I was on my 26 FS ( according to Strava ), though they are both fun to ride. With my wheel changes, and replacement of seatpost/bars with carbon components from my prior bike, it's under 25 lbs with pedals.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by FloriDave a Cross Country Rider

    Date Reviewed: March 20, 2013

    Strengths:    Value for Price
    Same spec frame has higher spec models
    Good blend of X5 and X7 components
    Quality tires

    Weaknesses:    None really that I've found, the concessions like heavy wheels, house brand rear shock are there to hit a price point and they do exactly that. Other brands are the same or worse speced for the money as far as I can tell.

    Bottom Line:   
    I'm loving this bike, though I did do a few upgrades right off the bat, before even riding it. At this point, I have about 15 hours, 150 miles of single track on the bike. Much of that rocks and roots, the Kona has eaten it up.

    I set the stock wheels up with Kenda Komfort tires for road riding, and mounted the Maxxis tires on a set of Stans Crest wheels for my off-road setup. Running them tubeless. Removed the stock fork and put on a REBA RLT fork on it. Also pulled carbon seatpost, stem, flat handlebars with short bar-ends from my other bike. As I have it setup right now, it weighs 25.1 lbs with pedals, bottle cage, bar end on the handlebars, and the not lightweight tires, i.e. ready for the trails.

    29 wheels are awesome, the Kona branded shock is actually working great for me, took about 4-5 hours of riding before it loosened up and started working though. For a while I thought I was going to replace it, but after 150 miles of single track I've put on it, it's working well and I'm keeping it.

    Sram shifters are working great, as are the brakes. I will be racing this bike later in the year, and next year, I can easily get the weight into the 22-23 lb range by going to a 1x10 setup, and lighter tires/seat. I may not even bother though as the current setup seems to be working so well.

    I definitely would recommend this bike to anyone looking for a 29r Full Suspension cross country bike. Others I considered were the Salsa Spearfish and the Giant Anthem, but I'm glad I got the Kona Hei Hei. I'd buy it again if something happened to this one.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Ocala/Santos

    Duration Product Used:   150 miles single track

    Price Paid:    $1400.00

    Similar Products Used:   GT I-drive

    Overall Rating:2
    Value Rating:2
    Submitted by ANDREW

    Date Reviewed: January 26, 2013

    Strengths:    weight

    Weaknesses:    hubs

    Bottom Line:   
    I just purchased the Kona Hei Hei DL and I am very disappointed. I just found out that the bike is not compatible with any bike trailers on the market due to the different size hub.

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:3
    Submitted by Bill a All Mountain Rider

    Date Reviewed: September 30, 2012

    Strengths:    Climbs like a beast! Very fast, very well built. I've owned mine for 5 months and have really beat on it. Besides the wheels no issues.

    Weaknesses:    Stock wheel set. Easily gets knocks outta true. Had to have m wheels trued probably 5-6 times so far. Crabs brothers iodine are in the future I think. It is an xc race bike. However I ride mine like an all mountain bike, that being said it can be alittle slow in down hill/ techy corner situations.

    Bottom Line:   
    Great bike. Handles everything I throw at it. With a new wheel set it'd be pretty bullet proof. As much as i love this bike I think I woulda been even more happy with a satori.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by sweetp a Cross Country Rider

    Date Reviewed: June 18, 2012

    Strengths:    Geometry, ride, handling, climbing.

    Weaknesses:    Tires, brakes, wheels

    Bottom Line:   
    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.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Mohican State Park - Ohio

    Similar Products Used:   Salsa Spearfish, Trek Superfly 100, BMC, Giant, Niner

    Bike Setup:   Just the way I like it.

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by TxStateMTB a Cross Country Rider

    Date Reviewed: April 25, 2012

    Strengths:    2012 Base Model - Durable components. Rear 12x142mm thru-axle - stiff, prevents mis-alignment and slip-out. Rock Shox XC 32 TK 29 - user serviceable & locks out with only a small amount of motion when out-of-the-saddle-climbing. Kona-Fastrax AF2 rear shock locks out and has a bypass if you hit a hard bump.

    Weaknesses:    19" frame & base model components weigh in @ about 32 lbs. Shimano M446 Hydraulic brakes have relatively weak grip after initial burnishing (I weigh ~170) also, they have a tendancy to rub and groan.

    Bottom Line:   
    I ride it on rocky XC limestone trails around central Texas and it absorbs the ledge drops/climbs and rolls over the babyheads in the rock gardens with less likelyhood of an endo due to the larger wheels. I changed the Speed Disc wheelset to my road set with 700x28c road tires on it and lock the suspension out completely for distance training. I have a lightweight wheelset, setup tubeless, for XC.

    My Kona dealer tried to get me the frame only, but Kona refused. I figured I would sell the stock components but I decided to keep them until I could slowly upgrade the Kona components and keep my 2011 Niner E.M.D. 9 hardtail with all the higher quality, lightweight components.

    Bonus: Kona provided Shimano XT rear hub and cassette (at least on the bike I received).

    Expand full review >>

    Price Paid:    $1899.00

    Similar Products Used:   2002 Cannondale Super V 500

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by Goat a Cross Country Rider

    Date Reviewed: April 10, 2012

    Strengths:    +Weight--22 inch frame at 27 pounds
    +Parts Spec is hard to beat
    +Rear suspension is efficient climbing and pedaling, while still being active and smoothing out the ride
    +Formed Scandium tubing is beautiful

    Weaknesses:    Just a general comment as I shopped around quite a bit before committing to this bicycle; how did good bikes get so expensive? I felt this part spec for this price was a good buy. I looked hard at Specialized Epic and Camber, Trek/Gary Fisher Superfly 100, and the new Cannondale Scalpel 29er. I happily ended up with this bike. But dang stuff gets expensive quick!

    Bottom Line:   
    Kind of long story....I in fact wanted the Kona Hei Hei Supreme. I worked with my local Kona dealing bike shop, and found Kona had no more 22 inch Supremes to ship for the season. So we got the Hei Hei Deluxe frame, and swapped all parts out so that except for the color of frame (silver/black/lime green), I in fact ended up with the Supreme part spec on a 22 inch frame. Much kudos to my local bike shop for their flexibility and resourcefulness.
    This is my first dual suspension bike, after riding hardtails for 18 years. Now that I am 35, I find my back stiffens up after 2 hours in the saddle. Hands go numb after rockgardens. So why not try to get double the relief by getting a 29er with full suspension. So far, my plan is working perfectly! The ride is amazing. The ProPedal mode on my Fox RP23 is very cool for those long ginding climbs. My swapped out Ergon grips helped with the hand fatigue, and how about those 29 inch wheels? Pretty cool difference noticed in the momentum I keep on flats coasting. I feel less scattered in rockgardens as well.
    Research your bike purchase, ride/demo if you can. And one place you should look is the Kona Hei Hei 29 Supreme/Deluxe.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Stewart Land Preserve NY

    Price Paid:    $3899.00

    Purchased At:   Beacon Cycles

    Similar Products Used:   Barracuda A2M and Rocky Mountain Reaper

    Bike Setup:   Factory except for Ergon GS2 grips and Thomson Elite seatpost.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by kona 95 a Cross Country Rider from Los Angeles CA

    Date Reviewed: November 19, 2011

    Strengths:    everything! after a solid year of riding it on dry fire roads, rock single track, roots, mud, etc., I cannot believe that it takes what i give to it and doesnt let me down. I look at Ellsworth Evolution and the suspension is similiar and this suspension design works better as a 29er than a 26! Kona and I got lucky!

    Weaknesses:    Honestly, i cannot find anything once you get it dialed in. the stock FOX fork is so responsive ( way better than my reba), the FOX shock and pro pedal are still sealed and absorbs the little stuff. the frame is bomb proof.... i cant find any weakness now that i have the drivetrain aligned and clean.

    Bottom Line:   
    Ive been riding since '93. Yep, getting old, but I am still super picky about how a bike makes me ride and feel. Some are slow and go, some are rip and fall, and some are fast, smooth ,and in control and enlightening.This bike is on the enlightening category. This Kona has grown on me to the point where I am NOT upgrading to a new carbon fiber 29er. Im going to really take care of it and upgrade to a light tubeless wheel set and add carbon bars, stem, seatpost,cranks, etc. I dont give out high ratings without using a product, so after a solid year of riding it 3-5 times a week, it deserves it. Its snowboarding season, and I still miss riding the bike, can't wait for spring.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   tsali

    Duration Product Used:   1 Year

    Price Paid:    $1499.00

    Purchased At:   wheelworld

    Similar Products Used:   Tallboy, Dos Niner, Truth, rip 9, pivots, spearfish

    Bike Setup:   SLX stock cranks, Full XT group drivetrain ( except cranks) XT brakes, XT hubs, Salsa Delgado Rims, Salsa seatpost, Salsa 100mm stem, KMC chain(amazing),Maxxis Ignitors

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Air Bomb a Racer from SE Michigan

    Date Reviewed: November 16, 2011

    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.

    Bottom Line:   
    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.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   1 Year

    Purchased At:   HIB - New Old Stock

    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

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by lmtslt a Weekend Warrior from Amarillo, Tx

    Date Reviewed: July 16, 2011

    Strengths:    I'm a big guy at 6'4" and 260 lbs. This 2009 has a frame that is as solid as they come, with all XT components. I would recommend this for anyone over tall and 220+ lbs.

    Weaknesses:    The wheel set bit the dust but it was probably more because of my weight and size than the product. I replaced it with the Sun Pringle charger pro 29er and there awesome. There a all mountain wheelset that is wide and has little flex in it.

    Bottom Line:   
    I don't see how it gets any better then this. Worth every penny to me. I feel like this bike will last me forever with some up grades here and there. Did I mention that it only weighs a little over 27 lbs. for a full suspension 29er, not that it matters to me. I can't think why anyone would not like it as long as you have done your research and know you want this or something close to it. When it comes down to it it just has to feel good and it does.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   United States

    Duration Product Used:   3 months

    Price Paid:    $1500.00

    Purchased At:   Ebay

    Similar Products Used:   none, before this I had a 26" Specialized Hardrock with a 21" frame, it was pretty basic.

    Bike Setup:   22" frame, Fox front and rear shocks, all XT components and brakes, Chris King headset, Acid 2 pedals, Vigo WTB seat, Easton seat post, Sun Pringle Charger Pro wheelset, Geax Gato tubeless tires.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by cg61doc a Cross Country Rider from Annapolis, MD

    Date Reviewed: February 19, 2011

    Strengths:    Bike Geometry, initial component group, strength vs weight, black and blue paint job is sweet (plus it matches my bruises)

    Weaknesses:    Narrow rear chain will only support about a 2.25 tire without rubbing.

    Bottom Line:   
    Love the bike. I've got nothing bad to say other than this bike has deepened my addiction. Drank the 29er Kool-Aid about 4 years ago and it was goooood. Upgraded to the FS this year. I'm 6'6", 225lbs and ride the 22in frame. Where I always felt cramped on even a 24 inch 26 frame, this bike feels like it was built for me. Inspires confidence. Light, quick and soaks up the trail chatter. During twisting downhill single track, this thing rides like it's on rails no matter how tight the switchbacks. I've been getting 60-80 miles a week on the trails, where I could only get maybe 20-30 on the hardtail (cause I'm getting old). The Fox 29 and RP23 shocks have so far been bullet proof and trouble free. Still running the small block 8 on the rear as I like to drift the back end sometimes. I looked for a 22 inch 29er FS for about 6 months. Spoke with Rod at Pedal Pushers, he made a few calls and found this one. Apparently it was on loan to a magazine. Kona called it back in and Rod sent it to me. Showed up on my island without the compression ring for the headset, contacted Kona and they had a whole new headset sent out to me within 2 weeks. I've gone through 4 seats as the beating I'm giving this bike has resulted in the seat rails bending. This thing is just plain fun to ride.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Anne Arundel High

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Price Paid:    $2700.00

    Purchased At:   Pedal Pushers

    Similar Products Used:   Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 29

    Bike Setup:   Stock except for the following: 4" Gravity Dropper Seat Post, 2.35 Panaracer Rampage on front, Dapper Dan Ergo clamp on grips, Shimano M324 Rodeos

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by bobochko 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

    Bottom Line:   
    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!

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Price Paid:    $700.00

    Purchased At:   eBay

    Similar Products Used:   Surly Karate Monkey

    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"

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Steven 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.

    Bottom Line:   
    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.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   it doesn't have a name

    Duration Product Used:   3 months

    Price Paid:    $525.00

    Similar Products Used:   Niner Jet9 (demo'd) & EMD

    Bike Setup:   20" frame w/a Manitou S-Type SPV rear shock, White Bros Magic 110 IMV 29er 20mm TA fork, XTR deraillers w/Sram trigger shifters, Hayes Stroker brakes 180 fr & 160 rr. SunRingle Charger wheelset, Conti Mountain King 2.4 tires....

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by joek9999 a Cross Country Rider from San Jose, CA

    Date Reviewed: July 29, 2010

    Strengths:    bottom bracket height, amazing support welds (not sure about the terminology), pro pedal, scandium, hydroformed tubes

    Weaknesses:    Its really tall (BB height) Can be a weakness for some

    Bottom Line:   
    Bought this frame without even seeing it. I was a little nervous at first, and I don't recommend ever doing this, I worried a lot about the fit and weight, but everything turned out fine in the end. I am 6'1" and I bought a 20" frame fits like a glove. It weighs about 6.1 lbs.

    I have used MTBR for a few years and have found the reviews very helpful. I watched a video on this bike and read all the reviews and was very pleased with their accuracy.

    If you ride over or through rocks and roots a lot, this bike is king. It has the highest bottom bracket I have ever seen, practically parallel to the hub height.
    That is a huge advantage over other 29er full suspendos.

    Because of this, I now run a Gravity Dropper seatpost. It was damn scary descending standing up that high. This is another key to this bike being world class. If you are taller this might not even be an issue for you.

    The chain suck issue that you read about in the reviews is real. I now use 0 (zero) spacers on my Bottom Bracket. That is the key. I have not had a single chain suck since I removed all the BB spacers.

    Seat stay gets a lot of chain slap. Wrap it up with some cloth tape.

    Kona knows how to build bikes very well. Their welds are big, the forged pieces are mega stiff and strong, and I love the s-bend stays in this frame.

    Descending is incredible, the wheelbase length is somewhere in the middle, but it is deceptively snappy in the corners. At high speeds, this thing leans way over. The rider is positioned well between the 2 axles.

    Climbing is very stable, the geometry allows you to evenly get your weight over the front wheel without skidding the rear tire. Pro pedal is 10 times more effective than the Gary Fisher.

    The bottom line is if you're tall you can ride this thing. If you're short, the BB is too high for you. Its a helluva bike!

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Demo

    Duration Product Used:   3 months

    Price Paid:    $600.00

    Purchased At:   Wheelworld.com

    Similar Products Used:   Fisher HiFi 29 Pro, Hardtail 29ers, Niner Air, Razzo, Gunnar, Surley

    Bike Setup:   Purchased frame only, Easton DH Handlebars, Gravity Dropper seat post, Reba Team 29er Lockout Remote, U turn and thru axle

    Reviews 1 - 15 (26 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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