Designed specifically to be an excellent-value, entry-level mountain bike, the Mahuna ("green beans" in Croatian) is a 29-inch-wheel hardtail perfect for those with a curiosity for jumping on the big-wheel bandwagon. Built using Kona's sweet-riding 29er geometry and 7005 Aluminum Butted tubing, the Mahuna is all about keeping things simple and fun, with components selected to keep the Long Sweet Ride going for years.
Weaknesses: Pedals: These ones will break after a few offroad rides.
Suspension: Feels just too soft. Bounces a lot if you jam hard.
I tested a Hardrock, a Rockhoper, Trek Mamba and Wahoo and I went for Kona.
Purchased this bike 6 months ago. It has delivered. I am 6"6 and I gotta say one of its strongest points it´s the design. This bike feels great for a big fellow. I ride it offroad on weekends and I commute daily about 7 miles. So far I have no complaints.
This is the kind of bike that needs to be perfectly adjusted and afterwards it will ride very smoothly. Invest some time checking everything, adjusting brakes, gears etc. If you adjust everything perfectly it will last that way.
I tossed everything I could at this bike and it wants more. Rocks, stairs, roots, drops. You name it. Everything works perfectly. Being a hardcore rider but not having a lot of money I recommend you this bike. I am positive It wont dissapoint.
Broke a pedal on my third ride offroad. (Probably my fault)
Flat Tire. (Meh)
Adjusting the rear brake can take a while.
Similar Products Used: Hardrock 2013, Trek Mamba and Wahoo, Cannondale sm500.
Bike Setup: All stock but pedals.
Date Reviewed: August 17, 2012
Nice handling frame
Very stable downhill
Weaknesses: Paint really is very bad, chips extremley easily.
I also experience strong vibrations from rear brake, brakes need constant caliper adjustment
My rear stock tyre also got replaced because it was too wide for the frame
Suspension fork is very basic, but for this price ok I guess
Well, it seems that i wrote a lot more weaknesses but I think this bike is a good deal and a joy to ride.
Despite everything, I'm happy with it.
Date Reviewed: July 19, 2012
Strengths: Good strong and light frame, hydraulic disc brakes, strong rims with decent tires, comfortable cockpit for a tall guy, good price compared to similar bikes.
I bought this bike in Feb. 2012. I purchased it after test riding several other bikes (Specialized, Cannondale, GT, Trek, and others). I paid $699.00 for the bike which I thought was a great deal. I am a tall guy and felt most comfortable on the Kona versus the others. The components are similar to other brands at the same level except for the brakes which are far better than the competitions. The paint job is a dissapointment, any stick, pebble, dirt ball or what not takes chips out effortlessly. And do not lean it against a post or bike rack either. Even the brake and gear cables have rubbed through to the metal. The rear tire is too big for the design. The 29x2.20 rubs the front derailleur no matter how you try to adjust it. After about 2 months of arguing Kona agreed to replace my tire for a narrower one that fits and at equal value (Kenda 29x1.90). Talk to the bike shop about that problem before purchase to avoid a headache. The rear disc brake needed replacing as well; it vibrated terribly. That was a warranty covered upgrade as well. Apart from those 3 issues I love the bike. It climbs like a beast and handles extreme downhill very well. I also commute about 4 miles a day in it no problem. I have about 350 miles on the bike and expect to get many more. It also has the same frame as the Kona Kahuna Deluxe, so with a few upgrades in the future it could be even better. I would recommend it to a friend if they could get that tire problem fixed before purchase.
Weaknesses: The paint is very fragile, rear brake squeaks.
I finally chose this bike based on several weeks of research and the recommendation of a friend who rides competitively (he is sponsored by Specialized- go figure). Anyway, I rode the Mahuna, a Kona Splice and a 2011 Specialized Hardrock 29er. The Splice and Hardrock both had cable disk brakes which just did not compare to the Avid Elixir 1's. Apparently, even low end hydraulic brakes perform better than mid level cable disk brakes. There are other bikes nearly twice the price that have the same brakes and bikes at 3X the price that have brakes one group higher. The drive train components were pretty similar on all three bikes, low end, but not terrible. I have upgraded all but the crankset so far, but not because I had to. The Sram X4 group would be just fine for most people. I was able to find great deals on Sram X9 components so I decided to go for it. The wheels and tires are pretty decent. They aren't super light or anything, but are pretty strong. The tires do well on and off road, adjusting the pressure helps boost performance in both scenarios. The fork is pretty blah. It's not horrible but I did see the same fork on a Schwinn at Target the other day if that tells you anything. Probably will be my next upgrade. Probably my least favorite thing about this bike is the garbage paint it is covered with, which is a shame because I love the color. It is so soft it's laughable. I once learned it against an unpainted wooden post for a minute. I must have slipped a little bit because it scratched the paint. The bike and the post were both clean so it wasn't abrasion. Lots of other thing have dinged it too. The supplied touch up paint cures to a dull matte finish that looks great on a bike with a clear coat finish. Basically, I think this is a good frame surrounded by components that are good enough to last until you upgrade them, lose interest in the sport or just upgrade to a more expensive bike. If you're considering buying this bike, there is nothing that you will actually regret about doing it. I plan on building this bike into a very solid entry level race bike. The only stock item left will probably be the frame, but the oem stuff will be just fine until I reach that goal. I have 700 miles on this bike since I got it 2 months ago with no major issues.
Strengths: Great brakes, solid frame, firm and solid bike for the buck
Weaknesses: Seat; It is too hard
Front derailleur issues: The factory rear tire is just huge, so huge that the front derailleur will touch the tire when trying to adjust the lower position of the derailleur. So be ready to change the rear tire to a narrower one.
Suspension fork: It is just right for the price. On a bumpy trail it suffers a lot. next upgrade?????
I'm also having some issues with the chain sticking tho the chairing and not shifting gears properly.
I need to do my research on that.
I love the bike.
Best bike for the buck!
Entry level? I think it is more than that.
Strengths: Very LITE Kona 's race lite frame is really strong and stiff, really well put together . Had one problem with gears , guys over at Mock Orange Bikes took care of that . Overall for little over 700 dollars its worth the buy. Not to mention you get Avid Elixir 1 brakes,with are hydraulic hard to find on entry level bikes.
Weaknesses: have none
FIND IT BUY
a Weekend Warrior
from Vancouver, BC, Canada
Date Reviewed: April 9, 2012
Strengths: (This review is for the 2012 Kona Mahuna) Lightweight, Comfortable, Smooth, Good Brakes, Easy to ride.
Weaknesses: Squeaky forks
An entry level mountain bike that doesn't have top of the line components, but is very good. A good price for a 29er with hydraulic disk brakes. If you are a casual rider who bikes in the city and the trail, this bike is for you.
a Weekend Warrior
from Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Date Reviewed: September 30, 2011
Strengths: Rock solid frame (my welder buddy was particularly impressed with the welds), great brakes and workman-like drive train--and wicked cool aesthetics to boot. And frankly, based on 3 solid months of leg work and research into the local market, you'd be hard pressed to beat the value.
Weaknesses: The seat wasn't terribly comfortable. Also, the forks are nothing to write home about. They are probably the first thing you'll want to upgrade.
If you're not willing or able to drop $1600 at one time for the next couple of levels up (The Big Kahuna), the Mahuna is a great way to get your foot in the 29er door.
A couple of notes: With a bit of breaking in and retuning, the Avid BB5s provide braking power that far outstrips the rim brakes on my Trek and will likely be fine for all but the most heavy downhill trails. Secondly, the Suntour fork will probably serve for a couple of years of commuting and light trail riding, but beyond that, I'd recommend putting three or four hundred bucks into a RockShox Tora TK 29 100mm or Recon TK Solo Air 100mm that comes standard on the 2011 Kahuna or Big Kahuna.
Similar Products Used: My last bike was a 2007 Trek 3700 (26 inch wheels, Rim brakes, 7 speed).
Bike Setup: Stock 2011.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: September 25, 2011
Strengths: Smooth ride, like a cadillac after a VW bug. easy shifting,
easy traversing obsticals. 15% more effective than smaller tires. The gear shifters seem to need no continual fine adjustments. These are sram components.
Weaknesses: Came with tubes for thin valve (forgot the name). Had them drilled out for regular no-hassle stems. Extra heavy tubes and pleanty of slime. No flats at the far end of the trail.
8" disc breaks on front are the best. Ride is easy and natural. I do no extreme riding. If you do, then you may need another bike. Gotta say, the 29 " wheels have made my ride a fun workout but not the hard slog like the other bikes.
Love this bike
Similar Products Used: No 29er but had a trek 820 and a specialized hardrock pro. This bike is a pleasure. I have to find more trails as I finish my regular ones and am not yet tired.
Bike Setup: Stock
a Cross Country Rider
from New York, NY USA
Date Reviewed: August 23, 2011
Strengths: Stability, size and (of course) PRICE.
Also (and most importantly) it seems tough enough to handle midtown Manhattan during rush. No small feat.
Weaknesses: A little too "entry-level" for me component wise. Also, Kona's product photo shows components (SRAM X7 RD, crankset and pedals) NOT on the bike at the time of sale (the tech specs, however, were listed correctly).
I upgraded the drivetrain to SRAMs X7 9-speed (incl crankset). The pedals are upgraded to Tioga Spyders. I replaced the seat with a WTB Laber. I will prob. upgrade the fork and the brakes to hydraulic disc in the immediate future. I love my bike! I just couldn't stand to look at it with the stock pedals and crank. They looked like something on a bike I would have bought for $100 at KMart. After one ride home in the rain, the CS sounded like it was breaking apart with every pedal stroke. Agony!! Coming off a Fisher (imho the Cadillac of MTBs), it was as tough sell at first. I ventured into a different bike shop in NY (Zen). They were terrific and so customer service oriented that I trusted their vision for me and bought into the Kona. Glad I did ... and I will prolly stay with Kona for quite a while.
Bottom Line: the Mahuna really IS a great entry-level 29er bike. But if you are not entry-level with MTBs, aim a little higher in the Kahuna line. There is definitely something there for you!