Strengths: Magic link! Additional 1.4 inches of rear travel, making it 7.4.
Climbing power delivery is very efficient, best I pedaled at this weight with pro pedal off and when pro pedal is on its climbs even better.
Rolling downhill makes it feel at home, very capable, plush, controllable and precise.
Rear suspension has "coil feel" to it and is predictable, can set it up to have different feel and activation of travel, pedaling power, stiffness.
Legendary Kona 4-bar technology.
Weaknesses: Setting up the magic suspension and rear shock takes patience and time to get to magic right, but totally worth it as this magic will work for you.
Stock Maxxis High Rollers 2.35 were holding the bike performance. Get proper tiers you will never look back to these!!!! Get 2.5 - 2.7 width tiers, only then you will discover what this bike is all about!
Wish it had a fox fork or a dual crown 170-180mm set up.
Cant say its heavy because Im used to downhill dual crown bikes, its definitely lighter ! Around 38 pounds with new tiers.
Wanted to get a bike that can do it all and this one delivers!
I choose the 2009 model because of the frame and travel on it, 17 inch.
The 2009 model is more like stinky but with more travel and more pedaling power this bike more free-ride - downhill oriented than the newer coilair, with proper weight for free ride and downhill, climbs well.
Strong frame design, 4-bar with magic.
The stock setup is basic, I like the fox rp shock, paint gets you noticed.
Switched out the stem and handlebars for more rise in the front and better riding position and comfort, now bike can do bunny hops and get air easier ( not to mention stock cockpit setup is somewhat xc oriented ) .
Maxis High Rollers 2.35 with presta valves had to go, they were holding this bike back, no confidence in turns with side loads, good for drift and kicking the dirt or maybe in summer on the dry smooth trails. Somewhat light weight.
Put on Vee Rubber Ninja DH 2.65 with normal valves and downhill tubes. Changed the ride completely! Fits perfect, rides amazing, rolls very well, great grip and chunky knobs, quite, drift predictably and only when you intent to! HUGE CONFIDENCE now when riding and comfort too!
Why should you buy it? If you want to feel the magic! Its great all around bike, set it up right, get tires that suit your riding. Get sitting position right. Then you will have all the confidence in the world and nothing to stop you going up or down.
Bike Setup: Stock pretty much.
New tiers 2.65 Vee Rubber Ninja DH and proper dh tubes. What a difference do these tires make!
Handlebars - Truvativ / SRAM Stylo with good rise. Got them cut to 640mm.
Stem - forged 70 mm stem with 35 degree rise. Now bike can get air, jumps, hops, proper sitting position and control, comfort.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: September 27, 2012
Strengths: Climbs like a good AM bike, despite the weight. Descends really well for a bike you can pedal. If the magic link is set up correctly for your body weight, it really does its job. I was skeptical and pleasantly surprised. Hard to find this performance for the price.
Weaknesses: Some lateral flex in the frame if you crank on it, most likely a result of so many pivots. The stock Shimano Deore brakes lack stopping power for a bike that takes descents this well. It would be well suited for ISCG tabs, even if it doesn't come stock with a guide.
Great all-in-one if you don't race DH or XC and can only afford one good mountain bike. For an AM rider that like the occasional shuttle day, this is great.
a Weekend Warrior
from north bend, wa, usa
Date Reviewed: December 19, 2009
Strengths: Magic Link: amazing piece of technology. Around here, I do a lot of pedaling to the top of the runs, and the magic link really stiffens up the back end just as if you were on a hard-tail. Going back down, very slack with ample travel (7.4 inches). Takes most of the initial stiffness out of the air shock. Kona really nailed it. Adjusts in 2 positions; one for light/less aggressive rider, the second for heavier/aggressive riders.
Weight: coming in at aprx. 38 lb's, it's not the lightest of bikes, but I find that when going down the heavier bikes take more 'umph' out of the drops and jumps.
Hydraulic disk breaks: great stopping power- I only weigh 130 lb's, maybe 145 lb's with a pack on. Little to no maintenance required.
Gear ratios: 11/34 on the cassette and 24/36 for the chainrings. Tons of power in the granny gear- I can pedal up trails so steep that you have to dismount because you can't stay on the saddle. I hardly ever get the bike into high gear, even on extremely steep runs.
Brake and shifter lines: all cables and hydraulic lines are put under the top tube, out of the way
Fork: saved me a few times from crashing, plenty of travel (6.3 inches)
Weaknesses: These are more or less annoyances, but here they are:
Brakes squeal: brakes occasionally will start squealing then all of a sudden stop.
Shifting: after some hard runs the rear derailment gets thrown out of wack, but that's expected with every bike
Ground clearance: not super, but is aprx. 11 inches
Weight: as stated earlier, this can be a strength, but it sure makes for a lot of work pedaling up a hill.
Cleaning: lots of nooks and crannies to get the dirt out of
Very affordable bike. If you're a freerider who does any pedaling going up, this is the bike for you. If you are lucky enough to have a shuttle to the top of your runs, then I guess there's no sense in needing the magic link, stick with Kona's Stinky or Dawg.
If you're looking at the 2010 models, I would consider the Coilair Deluxe- they've equipped it with hammerschmidt technology, which will increase the ground clearance, plus allow you to dry shift. Look into it.
Similar Products Used: Specialized Enduro S-Works, 2007
Bike Setup: Factory
a Weekend Warrior
from Goleta, California, USA
Date Reviewed: July 19, 2009
Strengths: (2008 Coilair) Very plush fork and shock, sturdy frame, super fast on downhills, and of course, the MAGIC LINK!
Weaknesses: Front derailleur has some trouble shifting to the larger chainring sometimes. Ugly paint job... But that's Kona for you.
This bike really is everything the reviews and Kona says it is. It bombs down hills, carves the corners, and is pretty capable of climbing (within reason for its weight and long travel). There is no chance of the lockout lever on the fork getting turned accidentally, so don't worry about that. I have taken it down a very steep, rocky, windy trails at high speed, and had no problems with horizontal flex. However, I haven't had the bike all that long yet, so I'll write another review in a couple of months.
I don't find clipless pedals particularly useful (or safe) for the kind of riding I do, so I had the stock Shimanos changed out for Kona Jack---- platforms, which are great. The bike is comfortable, stable, and fun! If you want to take on big hills, drops, some jumps, and still climb instead of walk up the hills, this bike is great! Not terribly heavy, either. Find a shop discounting the 2008 models; for the amount you'll save rather than getting an '09, you can upgrade to whatever new components you may want.
Similar Products Used: Specialized Enduro SX Trail
Bike Setup: Stock except for Jack---- Primo platform pedals (screw clipless!)
from Plattekill, NY USA
Date Reviewed: June 21, 2009
Strengths: Great downhill and freeride bike. Takes rocks and roots with no issues. Hard climbing but who needs to climb when you downhill. Comfortable ride. Having major issues with horizontal movement. The flex in this bike is crazy. I road the bike 4 times and the crank began hitting the chain stay. Have yet to resolve the problem. KONA warranty department stated I was too big for the bike, are you kidding. Also they want the bike shop to file down parts. Just want the issue fixed or give me a new frame or bike.
Weaknesses: Horizontal flexing, Noisy brakes and cranks, Basic components. KONA Warranty Department.
The bottom line, It's a great bike and can handle anything you put in its way. It's very comfortable and feels good on short and long drops. The down side is the horizontal flex and the lack of support from KONA. The warranty department is horrible. Good luck on getting anything from KONA. All in all the bike shop is doing the best they can when dealing with KONA.
Bike Setup: Added a shorter XC Kona stem, Wah Wah pedals,Rogue grips,
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: May 19, 2009
Strengths: Durable. Fast. Soaks up everything I can dish out currently. Jumps, lands, carves, and stops well.
Weaknesses: Lack of ISCG tabs.
I had gone down a hill that I was not supposed to do on a rigid 29er. It was fun but BRUTAL. A few months later and I am shopping for a nice, aggressive FS bike to get into the daredevil side of mountain biking. Luckily for me, Cactus Bike sells stuff mainly to be used on South Mountain. This mountain destroys mountain bikes with a passion. I wanted something durable and Steve advised either the Kona or the Giant Reign. I only wanted to spend a grand, but considering what I was looking for, $1000 was not going to cut it. I bought the Coilair because I am a sucker for gadgets and I liked how the magic link could help me get up the mountain on my own; plus it was $500 cheaper than the not top of the line Reign.
Funny thing is that now it is summer in AZ and I have been running with the shuttle guys more than I expected.
The current set up is NOT pedal friendly; but going downhill is awesome! The bike can definitly keep up with most as long as I can hold on. I also have taken it to the NRA pit a couple times and I am falling in love with dirt jumps. It jumps really well, it is stable in the air, and the landings are so buttery.
So far the bike is durable and keeps me very happy.
Only real issue is that there are not any ISCG tabs and the way the chain stay is attached to the frame doesn't make it friendly with any existing chainguide that is on the market. I found that really rough stuff was throwing the chain completely off of the granny gear. A ronnie ring fixed that issue so I can atleast keep going without having to get off and put the chain back on; but a real chainguide would be the appreciated when I need to stay on the middle ring.
5 chilies for value because everything is tough for the money (55 bomber doesn't count but was fixed for free).
5 chilies for overall because I am riding stuff that I didn't think I could do back in Feb '09.
Strengths: It has taken everything I have thrown at it so far. Good shocks, have saved me a couple of times on some rough landings. Absolutely love this bike. I am a little partial because my last bike was a giant yukon. That was constantly having problems. Goes uphill as good as can be expected. Actually have liked all the components so far.
Weaknesses: A little heavy, but that's good if you want to go fast down hill. The brakes get a little squeaky when wet.
A great bike for the price. Plan on keeping this and building up from here. If you want a bike that can do it all, then this is for you. Extremely comfortable bike. Would recommend it to anyone. Well done Kona.
Strengths: great pedaler great downhiller the magic link works perfectly
Weaknesses: the stock crank almost lost a pedal
this bike can do it all pedaling throw the woods or bombing downhill this is my first fully and i am super happy with it can take 5 to 6 foot drops with no problem for a bike to do it all this is it you will not be disappointed
Bike Setup: gravity gap crank 5050xx pedals funn bars and stem
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: April 28, 2008
Strengths: handles downhill like a champ. takes 7 feet to flat no problem and the magic link works perfectly.
good solid bike, very nimble at speed and can take a beating in the back country. a good climber, just raise the seat and the magic link seamlessly integrates the rear shock from dh mode to climb. the only weakness is its weight and it makes it self known when climbing a mountain. but good bike and i highly recommend it to anyone.
Im looking in to getting a new bike, and the kona coilair with magic link and giant reign x2 (maybe x1 if i can pull some money together) are really my only options considering my local shops. Ive been biking for about 1 year now, im 16, and weigh about 115lbs. Il be doing about 45% trails/agressi ... Read More »