Beat the burl back with the ultimate punisher. Because every stretch of tough singletrack needs a hardtail hero, we continue to refine our mean Jean North Shore persuader, the Five-0. Get your gnarl on with a super tough aluminum frame, Marzocchi 55-RS 140mm fork, mad paint, and new this year, an internal headset for a bitchslapper of a front end. Super solid.
a Weekend Warrior
from Tempe, AZ
Date Reviewed: August 12, 2011
Strengths: Very strong a stiff frame. "Playful" geometry.
Weaknesses: Should come with dropouts for ss.
If u can snatch one of these frames up and build it with great components, there is nothing this bike CANT do. I've taken it on downhill runs, hucks, and jumps. But it climbs like a goat, too. If your stable is in dire need of a long travel hardtail, kona produces many steeds that can fill that niche. I almost like their hardtails more than their full sussers...!
from Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Date Reviewed: April 4, 2010
Strengths: Great frame, sweet fork, pretty light, rear derailleur is OK.
Weaknesses: Brakes - very noisy when wet, loses power quickly, lever becomes wiggly pretty quick.
Rims - pretty weak, not saying that they taco, but mine are already bent after only a few days of some small dj's
Pedals - Bearings are garbage.
Front Derailleur - Slow, chain still occasionally comes off when changing from 2nd to 1st even after modifications.
Frame Paint - Looks like diarrhea and graphics are stupid and pointless. Can't even tell you have a Kona. ('09 model)
For the price, it's a great bike. The frame is solid and the fork has lots of travel and good rebound. The rear derailleur isn't bad, no complaints at least.
Might need to change the Hayes hydros for some more responsive hydraulics or even some high end mechanicals! The brakes are the worst part of the bike in my opinion (I'm not surprised that they changed them to the Shimano's for the 2010 model).
The paint job is pretty poor but not really a big deal since it doesn't effect the performance of the bike, obviously.
They should've upgraded the rims considering it is a bike meant for free-ride, light DH, and dj's, not to mention some pretty intense single track.
Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the bike. Couldn't do any better for the price ($880 CAD since it was last years model) and with some simple upgrades you could have a pretty sweet bike on your hands.
Similar Products Used: GT Outpost, Kona Cowan, Specialized P.2, Giant STP 1
Bike Setup: Stock
from melbourne victoria australia
Date Reviewed: March 17, 2010
Strengths: bomb proof frame / fork / bars / stem. Strength to weight ratio is awesome. Great for park, DH and DJ, and heavy trail.
Weaknesses: Stock setup is pretty poor. Wheels = taco's. Cranks, pedals, brakes and derailer are poo if you ride agressively at all. Change these and you will get a nice ride.
A good bike for price, a great bike after modifications. This frame is like th front end of a Stinky welded to the rear end of a Cowan. It manuals like a park bike, and descends like a DH bike up front. After some upgades, this bike will cop a flogging. It is light enough for XC, and definately will put up with anythingu are game to attempt, from drops to jumps to DH. You can get a nice single speed drop out kit from Kona as well.
Similar Products Used: Kona Scrap, scott voltage, Orange ZERO
Bike Setup: Bomber 55's (stock) Shimano XT / XTR derailer/shifters, SLX cranks (surprised these have put up with abuse, DJ and DH!) Juicy 7's, SPANK subrosa rims, Titec seatpost, FUNN saddle, MAXXIS minion F tyre, MAXXIS holy roller rear, cut down bars.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: December 27, 2009
Strengths: Strong frame with some beautiful welds, front rake angle, rear dropouts.
Weaknesses: A boat anchor that won't wheelie or manual at all.
Color is ugly poo brown. Nobody can see you have a Kona, because graphics are so poor (09 graphics). Brakes are very poor, better off with high end pull disks like BB7, rather than low end rubbish fluid like these Hayes stroker things, rear lever brake already doesn't come back out to start position. Bars, pedals, stem, chain rings (appeared to be made out of old cola cans) tires and tubes all very poor quality. Some Maxxis tires are good, but the cheaper versions as on this bike the side knobs just collapse under cornering. Seat and seat post OK quality, but use so stupid 30mm size so you can only buy Kona for it, absolutely no engineering reason for this they just want more of your money. Forks and rims and rotors weigh a freakin' ton. Deore rear Derailer works OK but is as slow as a glacier compared with an X7. Forks are acceptable, but not what you'd call good.
It terms of the frame this bike is good. But it is a one trick pony, good downhill and over some jumps.
If you weigh over 240lbs but you used to be a great rider or BMXer and want to get back into the sport you have some trails near you, and never want to just goof around in a city and you don't mind spending some serious cash on replacement parts over time this bike might suit you.
This bike was such a poor choice. The gains from this bike are so marginal downhill, it just not worth it. The bike is just too heavy and geometrically suited to one style that it becomes a poor choice.
98% of riders, especially those without any kind of jumps or serious downhill trails near them would be better off with something like a Specialized Hardrock Rockhopper SL Pro, sure you lose a little downhill, but you gain everywhere else.
Bike Setup: Had to change nearly everything from stock.
from mountain view, CA.
Date Reviewed: July 27, 2009
Strengths: Quality made frame. dual wishbone mono stays. geometry is spot on for climbing and descending, Awsome paint. stiff BB area, increased top tube clearance for no-footed cans. stable under breaking at higher speeds due to longer wheel base.replacable dropouts. I like the cable routing under top tube looks clean and stays out of way. Zero stack headset is clean too. fair weight for a bigger frame. a whole lb. lighter than my last 16'frame.
Weaknesses: Kona graphix are painted on, kinda weird lookin'. It's a lil' harder to find a 30.0mm seat post for a kona. made in Tiawan:(
I was gonna buy a full susser,but talked myself out of it. I have gone on two rides for a total of 32 miles and 4.5 hours with 4,100 ft. of climbing &13 mi of DH single track. this 18 inch frame fits me great(I'm 6'1') great for bigger guys 200+lbs this is a burly frame. rear end is 1/2 inch longer so little manuals need to be picked up more, but it wheelies/manuals predictably. comfortable geometry on long rides. stays planted while climbing steeps and gets the power to the ground. GOOD steering angle navigates DH thru rocks and roots better than anything else i have had. this thing tracks very well under braking, and turns sharper than I expected. increased self confidance. no problems off more than 30 jumps and drops on the trails. I cant wait for some great rides on this thing. my first 2 rides were EPIC.
Similar Products Used: Monngoose tyax. Haro zero, steelhead, Giant STP.
Bike Setup: I have one MTB for: XC/AM/DH/DJ. DJ3 fork, Profile 3pc. mag30 rim, juicey 7s, e13 srs, 40t/11-34, clipless peddals.
from Devon UK
Date Reviewed: July 17, 2009
Strengths: Money spent in right places on bike.Bike is great in all the places where it matters. Love the front hub, forks and frame which are reasons I bought the bike.
Weaknesses: Some issues with lesser component choices
Other components suck, the pedals are good, it terms of look and grip, they are almost certainly cheap wellgo pedals as the typical left pedal poor bearing quality, even though they are named Kona.
Maxxis High Rollers, why? Too wide, too soft, too slow. Constant puncture headache as always from Maxxis and to be honest I think some WTB tires such as as Prowlers or moto raptors would be far superior. Also tubes are wrong size for tires stock.
Brakes are dumb, the Hayes stroker Rydes are noisy, and provide no more feel or stopping power than Avid BB7's, so are a heavy wate of tome, except all your mates can see you have hydralic brakes.
Bars are too wide but can be changed. Saddle is fine, but not great, grips suck, gears are OK
I you keep breaking XC hardtail bikes with cheaper forks such as Rockshox dart this bike is for
This AM freeride will obviously slow you down but give you more durability so you will need to set it up for your own style and trail conditions.
Similar Products Used: Giant XTC frame self built machine with lots of component changes
Bike Setup: stock
from Santa Monica, CA USA
Date Reviewed: May 12, 2009
Strengths: This review is for the '09 Five-O Deluxe. This bike has been great so far. The Deluxe spec is pretty decent to start out with. The Marzocchi 55r does the job and have had no problems with it, even though I see it has gotten mixed reviews. Stable with great steering response, just point it where I want to go and drive it through rock gardens and drops with no problems. Good acceleration out of corners. The bike feels very playful, again, stable with no sketchiness when I air as I hit roots, rocks and lips while flying down the trail. Climbs well too.
Weaknesses: Color - it's okay, but would prefer something not so drab. Kona QR seat clamp is a b*tch - need to be superman to unclamp that thing.
It has been a very fun bike. I ride aggressively, sometimes leading the pack and easily keeping up with others on full-sussers. It is a burly hardtail and can be made even better as you upgrade it. It's an ideal bike that spans the range from newbies to advanced riders preferring a hardtail or those looking not to spend the cash on a full-susp. but have something that will definitely keep up with them.
from monmouth, or, usa
Date Reviewed: February 15, 2009
Strengths: mid-weight frame with perfect geometry for aggressive riding in all forms. This frame is very stout, climbs like a goat, jumps like a dart, and carves like a serrated blade. Rear dropout/Hanger is very stout. Internal headset is sweet.
Weaknesses: Bike spec sucks. The 55r is a huge disappointment, hayes brakes lick balls and the wheels are taco material. Get it in a frame only, it is super cheap.
This frame is a sleeper. It can ride anything from a 40 foot gap to a 40 mile trail ride. Performance is top notch, about as good as you could possibly get for a hardtail frame. Get the frame only, the modern budget build is a waste of coin.
Similar Products Used: Kona chute, transition vagrant, chameleon
Bike Setup: 5-0 frame, pike, spank rims, saint brakes (the shiz), ardent tires, sram drive, holzfeller isis cranks, saint rear hub, E13 DRS chainguide.
a Cross Country Rider
from Manchester, UK
Date Reviewed: December 25, 2008
Strengths: Good bike for the price, very upgradable. Will handle drops better than any full susser you spend this much money on
Weaknesses: Well specced out bike with a good frame but lacked in all the places you cone into contact with it (grips, pedals, seat, tyres)
In all honesty the bike could have been finished much better. I bought it with the intent of doing it up slightly and i'm glad i did. It came with some cheap innertubes meant for a 1.9" tyre when they roll it out on 2.35 minions. Plus the grips were pretty poor. They were far too long and force your hands into a close grip just so you can reach the gears which isn't so good for whipping through trees because there's a good inch and a half of bar sticking out either side of your hands! Other than that it's a pretty decent bike apart from the heavy wheelset. It's a very fast bike once you've changed the tyres and it handles trails so well that it's put me off the idea of even needing a full susser for a while. I'd rather spend my money putting some saint stuff on here because it's built well enough to last a long long time..
Similar Products Used: Last bike was a Focus Northern Lite
Bike Setup: Factory apart from new Sunline Grips, Schwalbe Nobby Nic tyres, Funn saddle and Da Bomb pedals
a Weekend Warrior
from Québec QC Canada
Date Reviewed: October 21, 2008
Strengths: Perfect steering. Good entry-level quality at the most important components. Responsive and plush fork. Powerful brakes. Massive standover. Felt very light
Weaknesses: The cranks are to close to the chainstay and have left some marks. Easy to solve though. Weird sizing, the 18" frame felt long, yet the 16" would definitely be too short (I'm 5'10")
I tried this bike after riding enduro trails all day and finding a Kona demo tent at the other end of the trail... Suprise ! Even in my worn out state, but the bike was quite forgiving. Easier to push uphills than you might think. Light. Stable in the fast downhills. The front fork eats up what you throw the front wheel over. The rigid rear end suprisingly didn't feel that hard. I mentioned the frame being long (24.1"), but the stem was so short that cockpit space seemed right. With that head angle, I'm not sure a longer stem on a shorter frame would feel so good.
Fun, feels as playful as a full suspender, but stripped down to basics. Interesting option for the the rider who needs to push up before defying the downhills, and yet keep it simple, relatively economical and still capable.
But, Something in between the 16" and the 18" seems to be missing...
Similar Products Used: None. I ride a long travel enduro/all mountain bike + a long history with classic XC hardtails.
Bike Setup: 18" Stock, with my old Shimano DX pedals installed
a Cross Country Rider
from san bruno,ca
Date Reviewed: October 16, 2008
Strengths: its my new bike,so i liked everything on it coz i have not rode other bike's,my friends told me it rocks,some get jealous coz i bought it for cheap
Weaknesses: the bolt on the brake lever comes out thrice,i can't seem to find out how to tighten it,so i put a paper to prevent it from loosing out
i just bought it yesterday from a kid with his dad
it was used for 4 months and its in a good condition
i like it you can check it in this thread
Strengths: It is long and pretty slack for a hardtail. That makes it good for the descents and high speeds too. It isnt' too heavy at 32lb stock. It is easy to climb if you raise the seat. Its a greatt all around bike, from dh to am. I ride almost all trails at northstar on it and it is fine. the forks are super plush too.
Weaknesses: nothing so far. wheels are a bit weak
Great bike. Wheels are a little weak and need to be trued but other than that it is a really good and dependable bike. It is good for all around and takes DHs and FR like a champ for a HT.
a Weekend Warrior
from mildenhall uk
Date Reviewed: August 30, 2008
Strengths: price, bomb proof
Weaknesses: weight, brakes a bit noisy and rear wheel has lots of slack rear in the hub.
i have put about 500 miles on this bike in the last 2 months since i have had it. it is great all around bike. the wide low stence makes it a pleasure to ride I am 240 lbs and take 4 foot drops with no problem. this bike is bomb proof. the only problem is the stock components are crap. if you plan on upgrading the drive train in time this bike should give you years of hard riding whithout a problem. all and all i love this bike
Weaknesses: seat(ouch!). grips work, but aren't very grippy , low pedals
this is an awesome bike. I would recommend it to any one who like me prefers hard tails to full susers. its great on steeps, + it kicks ass on skinnies (that is if you keep up the momentum. with a little added pressure in the forks, 6-8 ft drops are no problem either ten footers work to, as long as you don't land funny. btw the price = canadian$