The Tanuki has eight special traits: a hat to protect against bad weather; big eyes to make good decisions; a sake bottle to represent virtue; a big tail for steadiness and strength; gargantuan testicles for obvious reasons; cash for confidence; a big belly to symbolize decisiveness; and a friendly smile. Everything you need for one of the sweetest bang-for-the-buck dual-suspension mountain bikes in creation.
Strengths: Fun, comfortable, gives you confidence, makes you feel like a rock star
Weaknesses: A bit loose feeling with the old-school QR skewers in the wheels, and feels a bit heavy (compared to my friend's full carbon ones)
I got this bike summer of 2012 when Kona dropped the price for $1299 for their base model. The base model has ofcourse the cheapest components (Deore shifters I believe), Rock Shox fork and some Kona branded rear shock, also some low-end Shimano hydraulic brakes. None of the components are considered great..but they all work...really really well together. Fork is easy to adjust (and has lockout just for fun) and despite it being a cheap fork I have been utterly impressed with how it has handled everything I have thrown it into. Both the fork and the rear shock (also with lockout) have saved me numerous times (and I'm 225 lbs, so when I'm dropping into a rock garden at 20+ mph, that is no joke for those components!). I love this bike...it makes me feel overly confident on the trail, feels very balanced, brakes have great modulation (better than many higher end brakes), shifters work flawlessly (even after beating the tar out of them for over a year now). I love that Kona makes this in many different sizes. When I called a local bike shop they only had the 18" in stock...which was lucky for me because it was perfect, one test ride around the parking lot (hopping parking blocks and curbs) and I was hooked, it immediately felt lighter than it actually is and inspires confidence. Also the tires...Maxxis Ardent...I love these...they friggen stick like nothing I have ever ridden. I had no idea how great they were until I shredded the sidewall of my rear (Roxborough loop in Littleton, CO, long story, not the tire's fault) and put in a temp tire from a friend...some high-end expensive 2.4 one he had...it sucked. I had no idea how good my original tires were until I rode with that piece of junk in the back, it wandered all over, had no grip. Immediately bought another Ardent and life is good again...great tire!
I'm a big fan of Kona and really like this bike!
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: May 5, 2013
Strengths: It is great at both pedaling and handling. The bike is very stable due to its long wheelbase. Accelerating, a very sharp 90 degrees+ corner, accelerating again... I can do it all day long! Groooooooovy!
Weaknesses: A little bit heavy...but depends on the components (give me some light wheels instead of my cast-iron ;)
Maybe it would better have more joints with bearings in its frame?..
The bike is absolutely universal! I used to pedal effectively on XC bikes and corner rapidly on FR or 4X bikes, but with Tanuki I don't need to have many bikes for different experiences. It is a real pleasure to pedal and to take corners!
Here is my biking routine: I am leaving my home, rolling some tarmac roads, then some narrow tracks in fields. Next I'm dodging trees on a forest trails and having a good suspension-shake on roots (some jumps and drops are involved). And here comes the time for heavy off-roading. Up and down muddy hills, through high grass, heavy gullies and so on... Taniki is very talented for all these things above!
OK, I know I am neither XC racer nor big FR fan. I know that this bike is some sort of a compromise. You can be much faster on dirt roads on cyclocross bike, you can be more successful in uphill on XC bike and go down faster on DH bike.
But Taniki is not for races, it's all about having fun! Aren't we riding for this?
Similar Products Used: Merida Mission dual suspension
Merida Matts Sport hardtail
Rock Machine Quake
Bike Setup: Custom build bike on Tanuki frame.
Rock Shox Psylo SL fork
Kore Torsion/DT/SingleTrack-welded wheelset
Michelin 2.0 tires
Some XT/LX stuff... nothing interesting
Date Reviewed: October 1, 2012
Strengths: Brakes are out standing, but do get noisy, good first full sus bike, maxis ardent tyres hook up well have a 2.4 on the front now massive amounts of grip.
Weaknesses: Kona rear shock! have been through 3 of them since ive had the bike, had the bike 2 years went through the 3 shocks in a space of 3months, leaky seals, stroke wouldnt come back out, Kona NZ came to the party and now have a Fusion O2 on the rear am now finding front suspension dosnt quite cut the mustard any more, think its due to riding harder and faster now i have a decent rear shock that works awesomely.
Bike is good for a first full sus bike, have had mine since 2010, is specced allright for the price, just be careful on the sizing im 1.78cm and have a 18 inch tanuki was fitted properly, find it good on firebreaks but when things start to get tight and technical i feel its a little too long, each to there own i guess!, have put a 50mm stem on it and 750mm bars and its helped a bit, overall its a good beginers bike, overall i guess you get what you pay for!
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: May 22, 2012
Strengths: Durability, overall design, shock lockout on front and back, very comfortable ride, nice components for the price, brakes are amazing, great tires, nice seat post
Weaknesses: Seems really heavy after riding a 26lb hardtail for so long, but what do you expect at this price! Handlebar grips are hard....hands were hurting even with gel gloves on...cheap fix. Seat isn't too great...replaced with bonteage SSR for $28 at LBS.
Switching from riding a light hard tail cannondale for 18 yrs, I debated between a light Giant XTC 2 29er and a seat post shock, or this bike. Same price either way. I found this bike to be so much easier to get used to and I am now spoiled by rear suspension! The additional weight is a tradeoff, but it is worth it. The heavier front end makes it easier to climb hills without the front end popping up. I can sit upright on climbs and keep more weight on the rear tire. I'm 6'1" 185 lbs. Awesome bike!
Favorite Trail: Slaughter Pen Tattamagouch - Bentonville, Ar
Purchased At: Lewis & Clark Outfit
a All Mountain Rider
from NJ, USA
Date Reviewed: April 3, 2012
Strengths: Light weight for type of bike it is (33lbs at size 18). Well made hydroformed frame.
Geometry if good for technical trail riding. Climbs and descends very well.
Kona branded WTB seat is light and comfortable. Kona branded seatpost, stem and handlebars are good for what they do.
Decent parts spec overall. Maxxis Ardents hook up very well in the East Coast conditions I ride in.
Kona CS was very responsive when I contacted them.
Weaknesses: Rear shock: Kona decided to spec a Kona branded shock on this bike. I understand that sacrifices need to be made at this price point, but I would have rather had a them made somewhere else.
The shock that came on the bike started leaking oil after one trail ride (The first off road ride on the bike). The shock I received from them via RMA had issues as well. It compressed, but would not go back to full stroke while I was adjusting air pressure. Maybe the third time is the charm, since this shock is not giving me any issues (yet).
Note: Joe from Campmore worked with me though the entire RMA process and ensured the issues was resolved.
I am going to end up upgrading the shock since my confidence on the stock shock has gone out the window (Thus the 3 Flamin Chilis).
Square taper bottom bracket. Really? Are we back in the 90's?
The bike is a great value. For the money, you get a decent parts spec and an upgrade worthy frame.
Bike Setup: Easton EA70 XC wheels, FireXC 2.1" tires, Raceface Atlas AM bar, Ritchey bar ends, Oury grips, Fox 140mm FLOAT FIT, WTB Pure V seat, Kona Wah Wah pedals
a Weekend Warrior
from Wellington NZ
Date Reviewed: April 2, 2011
Strengths: Frame is bullet proof. Shocks are supple, good position for descending, fork lockout has give for unexpected bumps, tyres grip well on loose, feels lighter than it is
Weaknesses: Not so great on the climb, came with shock and fork under pumped, strange frame shape prevents it sitting nicely on bike rack
Amazing bike, have had hard tails that dont climb this well (shock has to be locked or you bounce lots) and the tires soak up almost everything you throw at them, totally recommend this product. You will want to use this if you like heavy cross country/trail riding, would do some freeride or down hill even with the heavy duty tyres, but not too much.
I looking to buy a Dropper seat post for my kona. I keep seeing the same sizes 30.9 & 31.6 but can't figure out which one my bike needs neither online or in the manual. Any ideas where I can find this info? .. Thanks in advance
Sent from my SPH-L900 using Tapatalk 4 BetaRead More »
Just came across a new left over Tanuki Supreme 2011 at a killer price. But i cant find it in Konas archive, apparently the DL was the top model that year. The supreme I found, has an even better buildkit with Fox shocks front and rear amongst other things. Is anybody able to tel me why the model is ... Read More »
Hey guys and gals. Had my 2012 Giant Reign stolen a while back after having it 2 months. Now I need a new bike but can't justify speeding another 2400 on one.
Local guy is selling a 2011 Tanuki deluxe for 1300
Thoughts. .Read More »
My front hub is showing some forward/back play. With the brake locked it has some movement even though the disc stays still.
It got me thinking about a new wheelset and I was wondering what options others have used. It doesn't seem like there are many centerlock options.Read More »