The Buddhist term for enlightenment, what's considered a first step toward nirvana, Satori epitomizes the sensation you'll get from our new 130mm travel 29er dual suspension mountain bike. Using a swing link version of our legendary 4-Bar linkage, we're able to create an aggressive all-mountain trail bike with relatively long travel for a 29er, while still keeping a short wheelbase and compact chainstays for quick acceleration, great trail handling, lots of standover and awesome rider fit. Featuring a stiff 142x12 rear axle, tapered headtube, ISCG 05 tabs, direct-mount front derailleur and cartridge-sealed bearings, take the Satori step. Nirvana is pretty sweet.
Strengths: Great descending prowess, perfectly balanced suspension and solid parts.
Weaknesses: Very rear-weighted geometry, not good for technical climbs. Must stand up to get over most uphill obstacles as the nose of the seat isn't far forward enough to take the weight off the rear wheel. Bike frequently was stopped dead in its tracks going uphill by the rear wheel halting progress on a rock. It can get exhausting trying to stand up for EVERY rock on a long climb. Grips are too thin and need replacement asap. The rest of the parts are fine.
I took this out as a rental for a 4 hour ride in Durango, Colorado. The parts were very impressive - great shifting, braking, and very well balanced suspension with easy to use lockout on both shocks while riding. The ride was uphill for 2.5 hours then downhill for 1.5 hours. The uphill portion was tolerable, but generally frustrating, leaving me wondering what was wrong with my bike skills. Most technical ascents ended with walking the bike (even in the easiest gear) as the bike would simply lock up the rear wheel on larger rocks. The larger 29er wheels and rear-weight bias made turning while going up the switchbacks also embarrassingly awkward and fail-prone. I'm not used to being thwarted by any uphill technical obstacle, so this was a bit more of a shock to me than it would be to other riders that are more used to free-ride-oriented all-mountain bikes. On the downhill though, the bike's true purpose became evident. It ate up all obstacles in the way and was fairly good at scrubbing off speed when things got too hairy. It never crashed no matter how fast or out of sorts the situation got, but it did give my hands a good thrashing during the rock gardens while I held on. It felt like a good jumper, but sadly, there weren't many jumping opportunities, just speed and small to medium rocks.
Similar Products Used: 2005 Rocky Mountain Slayer 30
Vassago Jaberwocky (fully rigid)
Klein Attitude Comp
Bike Setup: Stock
Date Reviewed: February 19, 2013
Strengths: geometry, geometry, component selection (at least on the 2012), tires, seatpos
Weaknesses: weight. this bike is a little heavy in the rear end.
I was dared by a friend of mine who is a shop manager to take a 2012 Kona Satori out for a weekend. my other bikes are a Yeti ARC and Turner 5 Spot. both wonderful, both capable and both proven. My purpose of trying an all mountain 29er was to prove that big wheels were bad. however - once home with the Kona I took a quick spin in my driveway and was immediately intrigued. here is what I was told and what I found:
Climbing (steep/lose) - I was told that this would be challenging if not impossible.
what I found: This bike will climb anything that my hard tail or 5 spot will climb...and more efficiently.
Descending - I was told that the wheels tend to wash and that cornering was tempermental
what I found: i'm not a huge agro DH junkie. i'm a technical trail XC rider. this bike did everything I needed it to while pointed downhill and more. loose gravel - great, loose dry dirt - great, mud - great, roots - great. little jumps (under 4') - great.
summary: I sold me turned and picked up a Satori and am very pleased.
the SLX groupset is fantastic. better than my old XT, and so far flawless! get one, enjoy it. ride!
Weaknesses: Stock grips are thin. Weight (for some XC types I guess)
Where and what I ride: Southern California, Southwest Utah and Arizona. Long fire road climbs that lead to technical single track descents, some chunk. Not a hucker, but will boost a lip now and then. Not worried about getting from A to B as fast as possible.
2013 Kona Satori: Solid and Smooth
This thing is a beast. After testing many new 29’ers this one simply crushes them. Kona nailed the geometry on this bike (slack HA – short chain stays). From the first few pedal rotations I knew I made the right decision.
It doesn’t ride like any of the 29ers I tried; it rides similar to my 6” Giant Reign. I rode tight switchbacks with no issues, hit some large rock gardens and simply plowed over them, truly a “point and shoot” type of ride. Really odd to me that this 29er rides so similar to an all mountain 26er…just faster.
Flick-ability you ask? YES!
3-4 foot jumps? Balanced in flight and composed on landings.
Steep drops? Hang on and let it rip.
I stormed up some long fire road climbs and really didn’t notice the weight. The front end doesn’t wander on steep climbs. It’s the same weight as my Reign (about 30 lbs) but rolls so much faster over everything. I tried all the CTD settings on the shocks and left them in the Trail mode. Downhills are super fun on this bike, the faster it goes the smoother it feels. Stable and doesn't deflect off rocks. I even did a few miles of pavement to get to a trail head and it rode much faster than the Reign did.
The suspension design is simple, effective, very active and smooth throughout the travel. I thought it would be less plush than the Maestro design but it’s not. One nice thing about this design is that it’s really easy to clean compared to the Maestro with all its pivots and close tolerances.
Most bikes I test rode were too nervous or had just an odd feeling to them, not the Satori. The only bike that was the most similar was the Yeti SB95. I wanted that bike but thought the ride quality and parts value of the Kona made it a much better deal.
If you want a no nonsense great neutral handling bike that instills confidence in technical terrain, this is your ride.
If you're looking for a weight weenie XC racer-boy bike look elsewhere.
Yup, I drank the New Generation 29’er Kool-aid, and it’s very tasty!
Strengths: Great ride and price. A very playful 29" bike that is more versatile than most 29ers in its price range.
Weaknesses: Wish there was more than one accessory package available. The sizes seem to run large. I usually fit an 18" frame but felt like the satori in 18 was too large for me. I went with the 16 since there isn't a 17 option, and it fits well.
Great entry level fs 29" bike that will and can do as much as higher end bikes.
44-year-old skinny guy here. Wanting some summer activity to keep the ski muscles in tune, so I'd like to get into some trail riding. I have an ancient (10 year old) Scott Teton front suspension bike that has never felt really comfortable to me, so I don't ever ride it. I feel like I'm perched on to ... Read More »
[url=http://classifieds.mtbr.com/showproduct.php?product=87318]Small 2012 Kona Satori Frame. 29er. - Buy and Sell and Review Mountain Bikes and Accessories[/url]
The 2012 has a threaded BB shell, not the press fit like newer frames. 130mm travel. Only ridden for 4 months, but went back to 26 inch ... Read More »
[QUOTE][B]Sneak Peek: 2014 Kona Process
Kona is poised to release three all-new shred sleds under the Process name [/B]
[I][B]Here's a look at a prototype Process 111, one of three new bikes in the range. It offers ... Read More »