Kona Caldera XC Hardtail

4.31/5 (55 Reviews)
MSRP : $1149.00


Product Description

One of the hottest all-day trail hardtails on the market today, the Caldera loves it fast and long-the tougher the better. With a new integrated headset for added stiffness, joined to a new extra plush Rock Shox Tora SL Solo Air front fork, and the Caldera's ready to take on all the trials and tribulations the big bad world can muster.


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Reviews 1 - 15 (55 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Richard a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: January 1, 2014

Strengths:    Kona geometry. Weight. Build quality.

Weaknesses:    The paint job isn't exactly stellar in quality and chips and wears quite easily. But then again, it's made for trails and woods... The tyres are rubbish and downright dangerous on wet Tarmac.

Bottom Line:   
Just an excellent bike. Got the 2012 model, the last one. Did over 1000 kilometers on it this summer. Ridden it in terrains and under conditions that are probably too hard for it. Climbing up ski slopes like a monkey and then riding down together w the guys on downhill bikes. Takes all forms of abuse. Balanced and exact. Never a glitch.

Expand full review >>

Price Paid:    $1700.00

Purchased At:   Cyclestore.co.uk

Similar Products Used:   Kona Blast, Kona Fire Mountain Deluxe, Kona Kikapu, Scott Aspect.

Bike Setup:   Original except changed fron original SPD to Kona platform pedals. Changed for an Easton monkey bar but I'm back w the original.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Nick Smith

Date Reviewed: October 21, 2012

Strengths:    Light weight frame, great equipment

Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
What a bike, and great value at the minute now with all the stores discounting it (2012 model)

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by isz astro

Date Reviewed: April 16, 2012

Strengths:    frame lasak.jatuh bukit frame sikit pun tak retak..geometri freme sesuai utk off road.

Weaknesses:    so far fork standart mula mula di beli langsung tk best.rox shox dart3..fork kene tukar..byk kene upgret.

Bottom Line:   
frame best.perlu upgret kepada fork fox,xt 10 speed,rim fulcum,speed bearing hub akan jadi basikal ni jadi lagi best.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by rune a Racer from barrie ontario

Date Reviewed: July 11, 2011

Strengths:    it shocks are amazing and the frame is super derable plus it is very light it has fast wheels on it and the components are the best best bang for your buck nothing can compair to this bike.

Weaknesses:    it is so good looking that you get destracted by it when you are riding

Bottom Line:   
the best bike i have ever rode made by kona and it has a life time warranty so if it brakes bring it back and get a new one

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   buckwallow

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   epic ride orangevill

Similar Products Used:   i have used a trek 9.9 and that cant even compete with the kona caldera


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by eliminator a Weekend Warrior from Ontario, Canada

Date Reviewed: March 28, 2011

Strengths:    2006 Model (Gold Frame)
This bike looks great and has stood up to my abuse for the last several years. I bought the bike new in 2006 and have put many miles on it, mostly on the type of trails that would be more suitable for a full suspension setup. But this bike has survived the test of time. Every year I think about getting a full suspension, but once back on the Caldera, I decide to stay true to this Kona beast.


Weaknesses:    For the price, nothing really. But, the fork really stands out as a disappointment. I replaced the OEM fork in 2008 with a Rock Shox Reba Race World Cup 100mm. Since then, the bike has been a dream. I've replaced a number of other components due to them wearing out. The RaceFace Deus crankset and BB I upgraded to last year has made a world of a difference.

Bottom Line:   
Great bike, great price, Kona puts together a great setup. Rest assured that if you decide to go with a Caldera, you will appreciate the attention Kona has put into this bike over the years.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1000.00


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by monkey-moo a Cross Country Rider from uk

Date Reviewed: July 18, 2010

Strengths:    Frame, weight, spec for price.

Weaknesses:    none so far.

Bottom Line:   
Just got this bike a couple of months ago. Everything so far has been superb. the only issue i had was one of the brakes was empty of fluid when taken out of the box...dealer sorted it out straight away. Compared to my old ride, it's such a step up. The only thing Kona could have done would be to put some slightly better brakes on. The shimano m575's 'aint the best about, but they 'aint the worst neither...apart from that, its the dogs bollocks!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Austrian alps!

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   mountainedge.co.uk

Similar Products Used:   specialized hardrock


Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by smbuergler a Racer from Fayetteville, AR

Date Reviewed: February 24, 2010

Strengths:    -Light frame
-Decent wheels for money
-Decent brakes for money


Weaknesses:    -Fork
-Rear Shifter always sucked (Deore shifters to XT rear derailleur)


Bottom Line:   
The original fork was absolutely terrible. Tora XC 100 mm. I've ridden a bunch of cheaper Konas that had a much smoother front suspension. I swapped it out pretty quickly.

Aside from that the rear shifter never really functioned all that well. Replaced the cable & housing. Cleaned and lubed the drive train and shifters. It simply always had trouble ascending and descending the cassette regardless of the cable tension.

I like the wheels, the weight of the bike, and I liked the brakes. Shimano hydros are easy to bleed and Kona sends you a cup for the bleeder kit.

Climbed very well but the absence of a quality fork made it hard to smoothly whip through flat single track.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Hobbs/Slaughterpen

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1050.00

Purchased At:   Lewis and Clark Outf

Similar Products Used:   Hard Rock

Bike Setup:   Swapped out fork for a Manitou MRD R7 within first few months and races. Aside from that it was a stock set up.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by gelinasbrian a Weekend Warrior from Orange, MA, USA

Date Reviewed: August 19, 2009

Strengths:    Frame is awesome. brakes are(squeaky sometimes)but sill good. fairly light bike. PRICE. Love the murdered out black on black color scheme. Badass looking rig. Takes on hills with ease and rips dh single tracks.

Weaknesses:    Hate the saddle it's to hard. had a small issue with the derailleurs would not shift properly but my LBS took care of that. Going to upgrade shocks, crank/bottom bracket, saddle, f/r derailleurs. weak paint scratches easily.

Bottom Line:   
Bottom line is this bike is great for the money. I looked @ many bikes before settling on this one and I feel I got the most bang for my buck. I would recommend this bike to anyone.
The minor complaints are far out-weighed by the huge value of this rig.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Bachelors, Amherst, MA

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $740.00

Purchased At:   Bicycle World

Similar Products Used:   None

Bike Setup:   Stock

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Thomas a Cross Country Rider from Australia

Date Reviewed: April 30, 2009

Strengths:    Frame geometry and strength
XT rear derailleur
Great value
Climbs like a monkey


Weaknesses:    Marzocchi EXR forks
Stock tyres/saddle
A little overweight (easily fixed though)



Bottom Line:   
I bought my Caldera in Jan 2005 so this is kind of a long term review. The bottom line is that as far as XC hardtail bikes go, this is one of the best value bikes on the market - hands down. The fact is that the setup and componentry of the Caldera rivals bikes $500 to $1000 more. I have easily ridden over 15,000km on this thing in the last five years, and it still feels like new. It eats up the windy and fast singletrack, it is great for climbing, it is great for hitting big logs and technical DH, I can hardly fault this machine considering the price. The problems I've had were mostly caused by me, like I snapped the XT rear derailleur in half when a large stick got caught in my wheel, the rear dropout needed to be replaced when it hit a large log.

I'd recommend changing the forks after a while though, the Marzocchi's aren't exactly the best around, they are reasonably heavy and the teeth of the alan key hole on mine corroded away so I can't adjust the rebound anymore. I'm looking to get a new Fox fork.

Other than that, this bike stands the test of time.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Bike Setup:   Stock except Selle Italia SLR saddle, Ritchey Pro 31.8 stem/flat handlebar, Larsen TT tyres, Cane Creek grips

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ben222 a Cross Country Rider from Collingwood, Ontario, Canada

Date Reviewed: April 8, 2009

Strengths:    Brakes, Frame, Easily-Upgradable, Agility, Seat, Rear Deraileur, Slick-Looking, Value, Quality, and everything else except for...

Weaknesses:    Fork, there are better Front Derailleurs out there, Headset, Tires, soft and easily-scratchable Paint

Bottom Line:   
The Kona Caldera is an excellent, solid bike. You truly get what you pay for with this rig, and it is a lot better than most of the bikes in its price range. If you are looking for a top-of-the-line hardtail, this is the ride you should be getting.

Last year, I had to get a new bike, because I had grown out of my Trek 4500. So, I got a 2008 Kona Caldera for the 4500's replacement. I really started to get into the X-Country riding with this thing, and I feel as if I have tons of room to grow before I need something more heavy-duty.

The Hayes Stroker Trail Brakes kick some serious tush, and the frame is absolutely bomb-proof. The bike is agile enough that you can dominate most terrain, yet slick and durable enough that you don't look like you're riding a tank while doing it. There are a lot of high-quality components on the Caldera, but of course, there are a few downfalls:

The RockShox Tora 302's are less than amazing, but they're not horrible, so I'll probably keep them on the bike until the fork goes. I find that it doesn't take a lot to scratch the soft paint right off, but hey, good looks come at a price, I guess. Finally, the Maxxis Ignitor tires, depending on trail conditions, can be really scary to ride on when it's wet; so I suggest something better. However, it doesn't bother me too much.

In short, the Kona Caldera should be at the top of your list if you're looking to get fairly serious in X-Country riding. You absolutely get what you pay for with this bike, and the $1000 is worth every penny. The quality is top-notch, and besides, you usually can't go too wrong with a Kona. The Kona Caldera should be a no-brainer if you're willing to spend the money.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Kolapore/3-Stage/Loree Forest

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Kamikaze Bikes

Similar Products Used:   Trek 4500

Bike Setup:   Mainly Stock (18" frame), with Shimano M520 Pedals, and OURY Grips

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Storm Miller a Weekend Warrior from Austin, TX, USA

Date Reviewed: May 31, 2008

Strengths:    I tend to be pretty rough on my bikes, and this fella has pretty much handled everything so far. I have wussed out much sooner than the bike has. The brakes and shifters are very responsive, the adjustable forks are awesome, and the bike just generally feels like it wants to play. I weigh in around 215 lbs. and I get no sense that I'm over-stressing the machinery.

Weaknesses:    I have had no major problems so far. I blew out a spring in the rear derailleur the first week, but the bike shop replaced that part on warranty. I also put a pretty good wobble in the rims the first month, but I think that has more to do with me finding a good air pressure than with any weakness in the rims. I usually ride BMX cruisers and freestyle on the streets, so mastering off-road air pressure has been tricky.

Bottom Line:   
This is definitely the most I've ever spent on a bike, but I have no doubt that I got what I paid for. Being an intermediate-level rider, I feel that this bike has a lot of room for me to grow into. I would recommend the Caldera and I feel there is a pretty big gap between Kona and competitors such as Specialized and Trek. To me, this is the bike for someone who is more than a casual rider, but less than the agro MTB monster-rider.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Walnut Creek

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $950.00

Purchased At:   Ozone Bike Dept.

Similar Products Used:   This is my first foray into MTB since I owned a Trek about a decade ago.

Bike Setup:   Nothing crazy, this is the stock Caldera set-up

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Mark B. a Weekend Warrior from toronto

Date Reviewed: April 10, 2008

Strengths:    Nice frame, good brakes. it was the only bike that was all black.

Weaknesses:    Forks are pretty basic, crank and bottom bracket are very entry level.

Bottom Line:   
It's a great bike to build from, have yet to do much riding though. The end result looks pretty killer.I will keep you posted on how it rides.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Don't have one yet

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1050.00

Purchased At:   Sweet Pete

Similar Products Used:   None

Bike Setup:   Monkey Lite XC bars, Easton EA70 stem, Thomson seat post, 08 Deore XT levers, rear cassette and front derail. Marzocchi Corsa WC forks, Cane Creek S8 headset, Mavic Crossride Disc wheels, Ritchey Zmin tires with Maxxis superlite tubes, Truvativ 08 Team Stylo 3.3 crank and bb. Carbon fiber spacer, seat post clamp and skewers. New grips (i forget which ones)

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Brian a Weekend Warrior from Spokane, WA

Date Reviewed: January 26, 2008

Strengths:    Just about everything.

Weaknesses:    Marzocchi MZ II Fork and the rims are hard to get tires off and on of

Bottom Line:   
The stock Marzocchi MZ II (100mm) sucks! I cranked the adjustment as tight as I could but with my 220lbs arse it did no good. I had to ride it partially locked out to keep it from bottoming out. I got a great deal on a Marzocchi All Mountain III so I swapped it out. Now I love it!! I can make the climbs with ease and then bomb down a piece of semi-technical singletrack and not worry about anything. It's great on long hauls too. The only reason I swapped out the bottom bracket was to lighten up the bike. I have plans to lighten up several other components, but its just one step at a time for now. Great bike at an amazing price!!! Woulda gave it all 5 chilis on the overall if I didnt have to swap out the fork cuz of my weight.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Rodalben "F" trail, Germany

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $900.00

Purchased At:   Ramstein Outdoor Rec

Similar Products Used:   Not really similar, but 06 Kona Coiler Deluxe

Bike Setup:   Stock (minus fork and bottom bracket) Went with Marzocchi All Mountain III and a Race Face Dues X bottom bracket.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ryan Hubert a Weekend Warrior from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Date Reviewed: November 22, 2007

Strengths:    2007 Colour Scheme - Black & Grey; very stealthy, most components are great, brakes are phenomenal (once broken in)

Weaknesses:    Within the first 2 weeks one of the front brake caliper piston seals blew leaking brake fluid on the disc & pads (all replaced under warranty), refuses to shift up under load, chain sometimes falls off when shifting too fast

Bottom Line:   
If you're looking for a good bike that you can keep for a while, instead of a disposable like those "department store specials", I'd have a serious look at this bike. Other than some initial teething problems, the Kona Caldera is fantastic. It also doesn't hurt that it looks GREAT!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $950.00

Purchased At:   Cycle Solutions

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Hardrock, various Giant & Gary Fisher bikes

Bike Setup:   Stock

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by kyle from Santa barbara,CA, USA

Date Reviewed: November 8, 2007

Strengths:    I bought this bike from my friend and Im pretty pleased with it! None of the components rattle around like on my Raleigh dirt jumper and the disc brakes are great. I also like the bomber front forks.

Weaknesses:    standard kona pedals strip your crank arms too easy!

Bottom Line:   
This is a great bike if you can get it used but if your going to pay a grand for a bike new then I would get a kona stuff! I am impressed with the bomber suspension and disk brakes. Over all, I think this is a good, dependable bike!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   no trails (elwood jumps)

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   friends house

Similar Products Used:   Raleigh M40 hardtail, Kona stuff

Bike Setup:   maxis high roller dirt tires and custom seat, but other than that nothing.

Reviews 1 - 15 (55 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


KOna Caldera help

I purchased a Kona Caldera 2010 second hand earlier this year and have had a great time riding and since bought a Jamis cyclocross. Recently ive found drivetrain to be noisier and chain skip etc. I asked a friend about condition of gears (seen in Pics) and she indicated they were very bad. So im hap ... Read More »

PSA: Race opportunities on the Valles Caldera

For those that enjoy XC racing, I thought I'd pass along info on a couple races on the Valles Caldera. The Pyro Classic is this Sunday, and the Tremor TT runs weekly on Saturday mornings through Sept. 6. Flyers are (hopefully) attached, as well as a course description. I've no affiliation except ... Read More »

Job Opportunities at Valles Caldera National Preserve

For anyone interested: [url=http://www.vallescaldera.gov/about/employment/]Valles Caldera National Preserve - Employment[/url]Read More »

2005 Kona Caldera- Back from the dead!

A friend gave me the frame, which was striped completely, including BB, head set, everything. Using spare parts, I've starting bringing it back to life. I tried putting disc brakes and a suspension fork back on it, but after a lot of trial and error, I just went with cantilever brakes and a Project ... Read More »

2005 Kona Caldera rebuild

Well, a friend gave me this well used Caldera. I decided to put it back on the trail. But, I went a bit old school with it. I went with a Kona Project 2 rigid fork and cantilever brakes. It still needs a few parts, but considering it was a bare frame, not even a bottom bracket, I think it's comi ... Read More »

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