a Cross Country Rider
from Atlanta, GA
Date Reviewed: July 26, 2002
Strengths: Super quick handling and lightweight design for fast climbing. It will carve turns like its on rails. Climbs like its a squirrel on caffine. Great geometry for an all day ride without fatigue. Downhills are fast but in total control and no jaw shaking jitters.
An excellent all conditions cross-country bike that will handle anything you throw at it. Great bike that you want to have for a very long time. I hope this will last me the rest of my life. Love it!
Similar Products Used: Cannondale F4000, GT Zaskar LE
Bike Setup: Mavic D521 rims with XT hubs, XTR throughout the rest, except the cranks which are XT. Flite Ti Saddle and Azonic/Race Face/Chris King control center. Roox seatpost.
a Cross Country Rider
from columbia mo
Date Reviewed: June 7, 2001
Strengths: great clean welds (nothing comparied to a moots but its certinly better than a litespeed)cool dropouts nice tastefull decals good ol ti brushed finish
Weaknesses: a little bit of bb flex just enough to make my f.deralier rub ever so slightly
this is the best fitting bike i have ever ridden and i love it. when you push it into a corner it just wants to go faster, has a realy stabil, consitant ride all the way round the best part is that i bought this bike with the money i was supposed to fix my totaled out car with dont regret it a bit
Similar Products Used: cannodale cad3 specilized fsr many steel frames
Bike Setup: raceface xt marzoccki z3
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: September 17, 2000
Strengths: At 6'1"/170lb the 'Medium' is amazing!!! The geometry is perfect for aggressive XC riding, way stable on those fast downhills.
Weaknesses: I assembled the bike out of the box and found the bottom spindle bearing rather heavy and cheap, not to mention the shimming necessary to center the spindle-swapped out for a lighter unit later. And since the bike came with hydro brakes, swapping to center pulls made cable routing in the rear "creative". My only two gripes!!! Oh, the stock tires SUCK on the SoCal hardpack!!!
I've never had the Hei Hei fail me in it's handling. I could probably go for a slightly stiffer tubeset, but I might lose the soft ride that I love about this bike. The ride is SO smooth compared to a CroMo frame. The only time the BB flex is a problem is on those gnarly climbs, but it really is minimal. If you want a hardtail that becomes an extention of you, and won't beat your ass, this is your bike! As I always say,"Once you've had Ti, you never go back!!!"
Bike Setup: Judy SLw/ Ti springs & Rissi damper, Mavic/Hugi/DT, XTR drivetrain/X-Ray shifters,Avid levers/Critical centerpulls,Cook Bros. crank, XTR pedals, Easton bars/ControlTech stem,Syncro post, Velociraptor/Psycho
kona boney boy
from Victoria B.C., Canada
Date Reviewed: June 8, 2000
Strengths: Extremely strong/light frame, beutiful welds, well-engineered "all-round" frame geometry that accomodates fast XC racing AND technical/free riding, Sandvic product, quality specs
Weaknesses: Non replaceable der. hanger (not that I'll ever bend 6/4 Ti)
Bought my Hei Hei frame in '96 and built it up over the years. It's no Stinky Delux in terms of the "boing" factor but as an all-round XC racing/technical hard tail it's the real deal. I've hammered my trusty Hei Hei in many BC Cup, Test of Metal and other local races and it's not even starting to feel tired.
Great bike for technical/rocky/rooty west coast trails but also a real stable rocket at high speeds. You can buy cheaper Ti frames/bikes these days but I guarantee you won't find a better all rounder than a Hei Hei. Quality, pure and simple.
Bike Setup: Heinz 47: XTR rear der., Suntour XC Pro front der., XT V-brakes/cranks/hubs/headset/BB, Sachs Extreme 8 sp. shifters, Syncros seatpost, Brodie stem, Richie bar, Shimano SPD's, Rock Shox Indy SL (cheap/light/no-hassle/works great), Conti tires, Selle Italia Gel saddle
Weaknesses: requires extra initial attention to prevent bottom bracket squeaks
This is the best bike I've owned and ridden. It's very similar to the Voodoo except you don't have to worry about the paint scraping off and it's a little more plush. The Kona has certainly helped ease my lower back pain from long rides.[This is my honest opinion of the bike, however, Kona does provide me with limited sponsorship a.k.a. price breaks.]
Favorite Trail: Mont-Sainte-Anne (the whole thing)
Duration Product Used: 3 months
Similar Products Used: Nothing even comes close
Bike Setup: 99 sid xc, xtr, race face crank and hset, xt thumbshifters (unbeatable).
a Cross-Country Rider
from yarmouth, me
Date Reviewed: July 24, 1999
Strengths: my bike kicks ass! kona has a great bike here, one that almost carves thru turns....i used to ride a stiff (and indestructable) GT alum, and the difference is just amazing. i saw a 3 year old merlin today, and after inspecting welds had not a twinge of jealousy. kona's geometry is comfortable yet still quick, and it RIPS in the fast downhill stuff. if you want a boutique ti frame withourt the boutique price, check it out. i LOVE my mountain bike.
Weaknesses: cable routing could be a little better thought out.
try to find a handmade ti frame with clean welds and certified sandvik tubing for under 2500 bucks, and let me know if you see a better bike than the hei hei. 120 miles a week, it rocks.
Similar Products Used: used to own a GT aluminum, test rode lots & lots before buying my hei hei.
Bike Setup: marzocchi Z1 BAM,travel reduction kit brining it back to 4 activel, heavy duty springs installed. (SICK SICK SICK fork - you gotta try one) chris king headset, raceface cranks/ chainrings/stem, xt brakes & shifters, 517's, xtr drivetrain, titec bars, thompson post, etc...none of it matters without the fork. marzocchi is the way. if you weigh more than 160 and ride more than once a week, you're wasting your dough on SID. 'zochhis been building 'em for a long, long time, and it shows the first time you ride one.
Date Reviewed: July 12, 1999
Strengths: Killer frame!
For killer riding on the Shore that isn't on a Stinky Dee Lux this is the bike for crazy chutes, drops, wheelies, ramps, logs and everything else Vancouver riding can dish out!
Bike Setup: North Shore set up: long travel Bombers, Maguras, Roox bar and stem, Mavic rims, XTR everything
from Quebec City, Canada
Date Reviewed: March 9, 1999
Mine is the King Kanuna Hei Hei witch is made out of ovalized tubes rather than staight gage. I love this bike so much my girlfriend is jalous ! Seriously, this bike is everything you'd want from a hardtail. It climbs like a squirrel and descend very well to. On the flat ground, the light weight is obvious as soon as you stand for an acceleration. The ride is comfortable too. This is the big advantage of titanium over steel as far as I am concerned. The riding position is the big thing with this bike, as it is for most Konas. I mean I can be stretched out and relaxed even on a tree days stage race. During this race last fall I never felt uncomfortable even at the end of the day. I spec'ed it with a XTR gruppo and a Judy SL,Avid brakes and Titac parts. The 95 model was even better with a 6/4 ti rear trianle!!! A super climber!! Mine was stolen and the guy brobably don't even know what a sweet bike he is riding...
Date Reviewed: March 6, 1999
I have a Hei Hei and I love it so much. I give this bike a 5/5. It is so light and i will never have to buy another hardtail bike again.
Date Reviewed: December 5, 1998
I had this bike for 2 years now and I never had any problems with the bike. I am a converted full suspension rider. This bike is built with XTR on the drive train ad XT on the hubs and shifters. I'm running Sun CR17 rims. This bike never let me down like the Full suspension bike I had... I will never give up this bike. Also I forgot., I am also riding a USE suspension seat post. All you hardtail riders sould try these. They make the ride even sweeter!!!! The only problem for some is the geometry., Try one befor you get one..
a cross-country rider
Date Reviewed: November 17, 1998
The bike performed super chaps, it gave an incredible ride of weight ratio and gain. The riding position was o.k but did not alter my enjoyment of the ride as the performance is undinably the best I have ever ridden.