Kona Kahuna 29er Hardtail

4.52/5 (33 Reviews)
MSRP : $1229.00


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Product Description

"Priest, sorcerer, magician, wizard, minister, expert in any profession." That's how the Hawaiians define "Kahuna." Our Kahuna is the same-master of all. Made of high-grade 7005 Aluminum Butted tubing, the Kahuna comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame and a blend of smooth functioning components. This fantastic 29-inch-wheel hardtail mountain bike is designed specifically for those looking to add a dash of speed to their wilderness wanderings.
  • Fork: RockShox Dart 3 29 80mm
  • Pedals: Wellgo LU-A9
  • Handlebar: Kona XC/BC Riser
  • Brakes: Shimano M486 Hydraulic Disc
  • Spokes: Sandvik Stainless 14g


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    Reviews 1 - 15 (33 Reviews Total) | Next 15

    User Reviews

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by Big baldy a Weekend Warrior

    Date Reviewed: September 6, 2014

    Strengths:    It's a kona

    Weaknesses:    Pedals

    Bottom Line:   
    Big Funtime. Riding feels like you're in it not on it.
    A smiley ride and does what you tell it.
    It's alive.
    It feels.
    Nice one kona.

    Overall Rating:2
    Value Rating:3
    Submitted by RG

    Date Reviewed: January 18, 2014

    Strengths:    Everything other than WTB components. Solid mid-level bike, let down by WTB components.

    Weaknesses:    Everything WTB, seat rails snap, rear rim cracks.

    Bottom Line:   
    Used on mountain trails, no jumps, average 120km per week. Have owned since Nov12 and still enjoy riding the Kahuna with quality replacements for seat and rear wheel.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by guyute42 a Weekend Warrior

    Date Reviewed: June 3, 2013

    Strengths:    frame, hydraulic brakes, price

    Weaknesses:    pedals, saddle, low BB causes the pedals to hit rocks

    Bottom Line:   
    I've been riding the heck out of this bike and I am thoroughly pleased. Granted some of the parts are less than stellar like seat and pedals, but those are easy to change out. Yes it isn't top of line, but what do you expect for $1200? For the money I think it is a worthwhile bike and riding it has been a pleasure. It is surprisingly light considering it is an aluminum frame 29er, but definitely not carbon fiber light. Overall, I'd say it is one of the best bikes in its price range and is well worth a look at if you are in the market for a 29er hardtail just over $1000.

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by Scooby Carolan a Cross Country Rider

    Date Reviewed: May 3, 2013

    Strengths:    excellent mid-level bike. killer front fork. shifts smooth.

    Weaknesses:    Feels big even compared to other 29ers the same size. front tire is iffy

    Bottom Line:   
    I haven't ridden a mtn bike in about 8 years. Before that I rode signletrack for hours like a mofo. When I decided I was gonna ride again I wanted to check this 29 thing out. I was expecting the SRAM 5/7 combo to be weak, but its held up ok. Some seeking in extreme gears, but ah well. The fork is a work of art and its got a great WTB seat. Its an excellent platform to start with and then customize. That front tire scares me though, I feel like its gonna wash out a lot and I know as soon as I'm not scared of it I'm gonna get hurt. Easy to fix though. If you're an intermediate level rider and want to get on a 29, do it. You'll dig it.

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:3
    Submitted by Gordy6040 a Weekend Warrior

    Date Reviewed: April 12, 2013

    Strengths:    Very comfortable, climbs well. Frame sizes.

    Weaknesses:    Rear tyre clearence. Some parts are not as good as similar price Cube and LaPierre.

    Bottom Line:   
    I have the 2013 verson of this bike. Its my first new bike in more then 15 years. When I was going through the process of choosing what bikes were worth test riding I nearly passed over this one. On paper, there is nowhere near the value the European brands like Cube and LaPierre are offering. This would have been a mistake though, after riding a few different bikes, most of which had better parts, I was struck by how comfortable the Kahuna DL was to ride, Konas many frame sizes mean that you are more likely to get the right fit rather then have to compromise if your body shape has a more between sizes proportion. I find the bike climbs well and also does well on the flat on any type of terrain, so far its been on fire roads, snow, roots and rocks on a mix of technical singletrack and forest trails. Desending is a different story though, not sure how much of that is the bike and how much of that is me, I suspect the latter :-) I have a bit of fine tuning to do on the handlebar width and some other minor adjustments that should help. The tyres are best suited to the summer if you are from the UK or Ireland, not a whole lot of thread depth there. The forks are a highlight, at this price though I would have expected a remote lockout as most of the other brands are supplying them. They work well, the 100mm travel has been enough for what i've thrown at it. They are easily adjusted and the travel is very smooth. The 15mm axel is a nice touch, it makes them feel secure and the steering really benefits from it. One thing I am slightly concerned about is the lack of tyre clearence on the back, makes me think Kona had a dusty riding environment in mind rather then a muddy one when it was being designed.
    I won't review the components, pleanty of detail around that on the web and reviews by people a lot more qualified to talk about them then me. In summary, if you are looking for a good all round comfortable bike thats good in a mix of terrain than I'd say its a good choice, If you are looking for an out and out race machine or a agressive hard tail then maybe better options out there. The price below is in €€ BTW.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   4 months

    Price Paid:    $1550.00

    Bike Setup:   Everything is stock, except for a set of DMR V8 pedals.

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Trcseb a Weekend Warrior

    Date Reviewed: April 2, 2013

    Strengths:    Smooth rollin'-- well built and extremely solid

    Weaknesses:    Rock Shox xc32 is a bit under performing and sluggish
    Some components can use some upgrading


    Bottom Line:   
    I was looking for a 29er HT as an all around bike- some mountain, some commuting, and some cruising around with my son in town. This was the perfect fit! the bike fit great, looks great, has very smooth shifting and is just super fun. My LBS gave me a great deal and now i'm sold on Kona.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Annadel

    Duration Product Used:   1 month so far

    Price Paid:    $900.00

    Purchased At:   Breakaway Bikes (Roh

    Similar Products Used:   2012 Stumpy fsr (not so similar)


    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by martyn

    Date Reviewed: February 26, 2013

    Strengths:    When was the last time you accelerated up a hill on a 26"? Chews up the climbs compared to the 26" hard tail it replaced it really has blown me away how enjoyable hard tail riding can be. Living on the west coast of NZ where we have really root trails I was amping for a new full-suss bike to take the edge of the things. However I took the plunge and purchased a 29er hard tail and having ridden it for 3 weeks, it is a thing of joy, so much so that I am sure my excitement is impairing my ability to write coherently.
    90% of my riding is done sitting on the seat, a novelty on a hard tail, I am able to roll over much of the trail I was confined to grimacing through on the 26". The geometry on the bike is awesome and allows me to really attack the trail and hills, when was the last time you could accelerate as you ascend? The forks are plush (I am a fan of Reba), why they didn't throw in the poploc in the deal is daft!
    The bike is agile, you could easily believe that riding a 29er would be like riding a penny farthing, but in reality its seriously good at tight switchbacks, the acceleration you get in the bike too, speeds this technical bit of riding too. The brakes are great, good control. Gears are awesome, the sram shifting is intuitive and highly responsive.
    I have competition coming up and am really looking forward to being competitive again. If you are thinking of going full suss as you age gracefully (I am 36), then think of this bike as an alternative. It's rejuvenated my riding and made me smile, and I can wipe the floor with my mate on his 29er Anthem X (that makes me smile too).


    Weaknesses:    The tires seem to suck a little, especially as you drift across trails that are un-consolidated (gravel roads), I have spilled a few times. The pop lock, such a useful little device for the reba for XC riding should be included. The rear hub has broken, but the warranty is 1yr, so they are fixing it up.

    Bottom Line:   
    I have never written a review, but I feel compelled to do so by this great bike (apart from a few little teething problems).
    I can't imagine riding a 26er again or a full suspension bike for that matter, my days of jumping and throwing myself off stuff never happened in the first place and ain't starting now. A great XC bike, thanks Kona.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Jason W a All Mountain Rider

    Date Reviewed: February 21, 2013

    Strengths:    Solid overall. Great geometry. Good fork. Tires. Brakes.

    Weaknesses:    Seat. Pedals.

    Bottom Line:   
    I would recommend this bike to anyone getting started in mountain biking, anyone who needs an all purpose or cross country bike, anyone interested in a 29er, or anyone with a BMX background (frame geometry feels much more responsive then my old 26 hardtail and therefor more like a 20inch)

    Good bike overall. Definitely most bang for you buck in the price range. Only HT 29er in my arena with wheels not made by the company who makes the frame. (id rather ride WTB wheels then specialized or giant wheels). Very comfortable and solid. People are hating on the forks, but they work great for the price range. Derailers both work flawlessly in all conditions, so do the brakes.. Haven't had to touch them. Tires are outstanding, haven't let me down once in off-road conditions. Amazing traction.

    The bad things are definitely the seat and the pedals. For me personally the seat was horrible. Where I live you spend about half your ride or more with your butt on the saddle climbing til your legs burn, for a XC rider or someone who lives somewhere that is a little more flat the seat might be fine. The pedals are cheap, not even platform or studded. They look just like the ones on a target special. But considering some people clip in, others like large platforms, some people dont, I guess I can understand not adding more price for pedals since they are likely to get swapped out anyway. Kona markets the smaller "rear triangle". This makes the bike very rigid over bumps, but the trade off is more stability and traction in the rear as well as a more responsive bike overall. If your sitting down over bumps in the first place, your doing it wrong, but just something to think about.

    If you are considering this bike, do yourself a favor and buy it. Its great. I tested every other bike in the price range and this one blew them all away. Very satisfied customer here.

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

    Date Reviewed: January 31, 2013

    Strengths:    Very easy, very fast to drive
    It is my first Kona and 29er and I am really impressed. Very good build quality, comfortable to drive, you have always control over the bike


    Weaknesses:    The whees could hve a better grip

    Bottom Line:   
    I like really these big. No problem with anything - only the grip of the wheels could be better

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   1 Month

    Price Paid:    $2000.00

    Purchased At:   Hibike, Germany

    Bike Setup:   current 2013 model

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by thallibu

    Date Reviewed: December 27, 2012

    Strengths:    The bike is super quick yet comfortable. It gives you a lot of confidence and really lets you tackle some sections that otherwise would be sketchy. Overall, a fantastic race bike.

    Weaknesses:    The wheels. I blew out the rear hub completely after only 4 months of riding. Definitely do an upgrade

    Bottom Line:   
    Overall a great bike. With a few upgrades, wheels, cockpit, post, saddle, etc it is a fantastic bike that great for long hauls or racing and everything in between.

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by El Noriega a All Mountain Rider

    Date Reviewed: November 17, 2012

    Strengths:    Great fork and thru axles front and rear.
    New elixirs are strong and quiet


    Weaknesses:    38 tooth big ring seems tall for 29er.



    Bottom Line:   
    Just picked up a 2013 model at a great price from my lbs and had my first proper trail ride on it.
    Have been using a 120mm dually for casual club level Xc races and wanted something a bit racier but not super aggressive all out x c.

    First 29er I have owned and first hardtail in a while but really impressed with it. It weighed 12.1kg out of the box with the included shimano pedals and tubes in the tyres on a parktool bike scale.

    Rear traction is a real highlight and is nothing like a 26 hardtail. I dropped the stem down for a bit more aggressive front end and it grips great at the front. Maxxis ikons are really grippy too! Ive run these tubeless on a 26 before with mixed results so happy to keep the tubes for now. I run 32 rear and 30 front. The wheels are a tad heavy but seem like good quality. The stickers say they are hand built and they feature a loud and proud freehub, sealed bearings and thru axles front and rear. The Reba fork is super plush and uses all of its travel without bottoming out.

    Shifting between the chainrings is a bit of a big jump and the 38 tooth seems a bit tall to me but if you ride on the road it would be good. Direct mount front mechanical is a nice touch.

    New elixir 5s are a huge improvement, a great confidence booster. 180mm disc front and 160 rear.

    The frame is gorgeous with its compact rear triangle and stealth paint job. It has a normal threaded bottom bracket, not a press fit as the website states.

    The stock grips are only single bolt but look and feel like ODI ruffians.

    Overall really happy with it and looking forward to putting more km on it.

    Expand full review >>

    Purchased At:   aldgate bike shop


    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by Dustin Dever

    Date Reviewed: November 1, 2012

    Strengths:    Light weight, excellent geometry, not to steep and short enough chain stays, feels very natural, super fast and stiff but also comfortable.

    Weaknesses:    Parts could be a little better, but with a crank upgrade and wheel upgrade it would be an unstoppable weapon. I would rather the chainstay length to be 436-438mm to make it perfect.

    Bottom Line:   
    Took a long time to convert but i have finally gone to a 29er. I was worried that it would not feel natural as so many 29ers i have rider feel crap! The key angles to think about are the head angle and the chain stay length. No longer than 440mm on the chain stay length and 69-70 degrees on the head angle allows for a comfortable and trail riding feel. But this is really a race bike with the amazing carbon frame. I have a local loop i do which is only 2km. My time was 7:15 and after a 10min warm up for my first ride on this bike i did it in 6:45. 30sec faster!!! This was coming from my charge duster with full xt buildkit which was a pretty good little bike. I put this down partly to the carbon frame and the 29er wheels. I am still thinking of taking the spacer out to get 110mm which would make the head angle about 69.5 (just slightly more trail orientated). The bike is built well and looks amazing. 142mm rear spacing and tapered head tube keeps things very stiff. The only other brand that compares to this is scott scale 29 carbon, pivot les, or the whyte carbon 29, all of these were more expensive. This review is for the 2012 model but the 2013 is the same just with a tubeless wheelset. I love this bike!!!

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by ORiles

    Date Reviewed: October 17, 2012

    Strengths:    Brakes work awesome, lightweight frame, awesome fork, fast shifting

    Weaknesses:    None I have experienced. One thing I have noticed is the rear tire is awfully close to frame and derailleur parts being a 29er. Haven't had any problems yet.

    Bottom Line:   
    Bought this bike about a month ago for $1390. I use this bike as a commuter, as well as for some trail domination. Very light bike. This thing climbs like a champ, and the Recon fork glides over roots and rocks on the descents. If you are looking for a great all-around bike in this price range, it doesn't get much better than the Kahuna. The Trek Cobia is something to consider being similar and cheaper, but the Kahuna Deluxe has X7s rear derailleur rather than X5s, comes with Shimano M505 clipless pedals, WTB wheels, Maxxis tires, and the nicer Avid elixir3 brakes.

    Overall Rating:3
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by Triaxtremec

    Date Reviewed: May 9, 2012

    Strengths:    At this price point this big give you a lot of bike just like Kona has always done. The frame is the star attraction of this bike, very stiff and responsive. Brakes are good but nothing fancy, and the fork although not great performs really well especially if you do the reba upgrade.

    Weaknesses:    Weakness has to be the wheels, extremely heavy and slow. I recently lightened mine up with some Rovals and it really woke the bike up.

    Bottom Line:   
    Great bike for someone that wants a solid performer or something that needs a good platform to build upon. Not the flashiest bikes but not everyone wants a neon colored bike to go tear up the trails. You won't be disappointed with this beast!

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by R+P+K a Weekend Warrior from Wellington, NZ

    Date Reviewed: May 17, 2011

    Strengths:    Super stable, overall good components, strong enough for a clyde.

    Weaknesses:    Low-end fork, basic pedals

    Bottom Line:   
    As soon as I took this 29er out for a test ride around the car park, I was hooked. I have the '09 model which is essentially the same spec as the '10 model but for some slight variations in the frame design.

    I'm 6'2" and got an 18" which I thought might be too small, but it has worked out just right for me. I bought a longer seat post so I had a bit more "meat" in the frame to carry my clydesdale-sized body.

    Speaking of being a clydesdale, the brakes and wheels have held up admirably to my weight. I don't jump the bike, but they sure take a beating when the bike hits the rough stuff.

    The cockpit is a nice mix of Kona-branded parts with a roomy 660mm riser bar and 90mm stem. Being a bit old-school, I have moved the controls and grip in a bit and added some stubby bar-ends.

    I got mine in a 40% off sale so it was too good an offer to pass up.

    If I were to upgrade anything on this bike it would be the pedals to SPDs and the forks to anything else. The forks are Rock Shox Dart 3's which are OK, but they won't set the world on fire. They come with the stock medium spring which is a bit too lightweight for me. I would probably recommend upgrading at the time of purchase.

    Retails in NZ for around $1900NZ.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Makara Peak

    Duration Product Used:   1 Year

    Price Paid:    $1485.00

    Purchased At:   Bike Barn

    Similar Products Used:   None

    Bike Setup:   Stock except for a 400mm Ritchey seat post

    Reviews 1 - 15 (33 Reviews Total) | Next 15

    Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


    Any Kahuna riders out there?

    Hi all, longtime lurker. Wife and I been shopping around to buy her a bike. We've rode different bikes from just about every major brand (Spec. Camber Comp; Marin Nail Trail; Giant Talon; Jamis Dragon 650). Yet, for some reason we come back to the '14 Kahuna DL, the budget requirement is fulfilled w ... Read More »

    2014 Kona Kahuna DL or 2014 Norco Charger 9.1?

    Hi everyone----I'm looking at one of these two bikes as my next purchase. They're very close in specs, with the Norco having an SLX rear derailleur vs the Kahuna's Deore rd, otherwise they're pretty much Deore all the way. The Kahuna is notably more expensive---around $300. Can anyone weigh in on ... Read More »

    shocking must-see Kahuna 29er pedal question!

    sorry couldnt resist,stupid Yahoo is rubbing off on me.. got my first 29er, the Kona Big Kahuna... race Sport class, always dead last but still hv fun..but i found im much better bike handler on 5/10s with flat pedals...but lose certain percentage climbing and on the flats not being clipped in.. ... Read More »

    Read This: Of Old Barns & Unicorns - One-Of-A-Kind 1996 Kona King Kahuna

    If you want to read an interesting story about a truly lovely, truly unique bike, go here: [url=http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=291534&sid=c4dc1ae3f54739a471f4421018f4b810]READ THIS: Of Old Barns & Unicorns - 1996 Kona King Kahuna | Retrobike[/url] It's here in the US, and ... Read More »

    140 fork on kona kahuna?

    Looking to upgrade the fork on my 2012 kona kahuna. Aiming to get more travel and a bit more slacked out. On the stock 100mm fork it has a 70 hta. Trying to make the bike a bit more all mountain capable, as I am riding less XC now a days. I am eyeballing a fox float 34 140mm. Will going to a 1 ... Read More »

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