Kona Cinder Cone XC Hardtail

4.35/5 (81 Reviews)
MSRP : $1149.00


Product Description

Plan on having this bike for the rest of your life, because we designed it that way. We've focused solely on providing you with endless freedom and fun on one of the mountain bike industry's longest-running models. While our 2012 Cinder Cone is by far the most refined to date, with contemporary geometry and a modern look, the legend still has a long life ahead. Feel free to jump on for the ride.

  • RockShox Recon Silver fork
  • Shimano SLX rear derailleur
  • Avid Elixir 1 hydraulic disc brakes
  • Mavic XM119 rims


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

    Reviews 1 - 15 (81 Reviews Total) | Next 15

    User Reviews

    Overall Rating:3
    Value Rating:2
    Submitted by IgorSe

    Date Reviewed: June 29, 2014

    Strengths:    Great light frame with great geometry. Solid fork.

    Weaknesses:    I was very satisfied owner of Kona Cinder Cone cc 2005/6, until it was stolen.
    To my negative surprise this bike is not even in the same league with that one. All parts, except of frame and fork, were better and of greater quality on older Kona. Older Conder Cone was a very smooth and enjoyable ride.
    This bike has really cheap feeling about it, everything feels “off”, maybe Croatian dealer was not able to put it together properly (they were not able to tune rear shifter with few attempts, so I went to other mechanic) . Parts are out of tune all over soon after tuning. Breaks are also cheap and pretty lousy. Parts are not on a level which should be for this price range, and everything should be upgraded which I plan to do next year.


    Bottom Line:   
    Kona is obviously riding on a name and frame quality, but it is not worth the money any more, IMHO.

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Matthew Brown a Racer

    Date Reviewed: June 3, 2014

    Strengths:    2014, Scandium Scandium Scandium!! This frame is super light, and looks awesome..and really stands out with it's plastic formed front end that almost looks like a carbon frame. The pictures are not flattering, and the bike actually looks ten times better in person than any of the stock photos, or dealer pics. The paint is Matte black with light grey on top and bottom tubes that does not show in pictures with a florescent green striping. It is simple, and yet very stealthy/racey looking. The bike looks mean when you see it in person. Rockshox XC30 air upfront are decent, SLX rear is good for the price as well, but overall you are really paying for the exotic frame..and of course the geometry is perfect. It is the best balanced bike I have ridden in a long time.

    Weaknesses:    The thumb shifters for 2014 are Alivio and so is the front deraileur. I have had the bike for two weeks and I already ordered XT shifters, as the Alivio are the bulkiest blockiest looking things ever. I have a 10 year old Univega that came with Deore shifters...that are far better, and I couldn't have an outdated bike with better equipment than my new bike. I also ordered aXT front deraileur as the Alivio are very blocky, and large, and leave about 2mm clearance from the tire to the deraileur. if you change the tire to a more knobby one than stock, it will rub, or if you change wheelsets, or even inflate tires more..you run the chance of rubbing. It's quite noticeable, and obvious. Even the shop was perplexed when I pointed it out. So anyone who buys this most likely will want to swap those parts if you are picky or serious, and you probably should be in this price range..around $1100-1200.

    Bottom Line:   
    This is my second Cinder Cone, my first was a '94 that I bought new when I was 14. With that said, I have had several bikes inbetween, and came back to Kona as the new Cinder Cone is just superbly balanced, and the build quality is top notch. My second choice was a Scott Scale 970, a very good bike. However the geometry on the Cinder Cone won out. It's hard to explain..you just have to ride it, it just feels good. The Scandium frame is lighter, and makes for some really interesting shapes, and joints. As mentioned above, the photos don't do it justice, the bike is soo much better looking in person. It's not as flashy as the Scott..but it does stand out, in the same way the new Batmobile does..it's tough looking. I have had tons of people be like..whao what is that? It's not a common Trek, Giant, Diamondback, or Wallygoose that's for sure. I only wish they had spec it with better thumb shifters, and front deraileur. I would totally have paid an extra $75-100 for that. I had to drop an additional $200 to upgrade these parts, but it's simple, and in the end will have XT, so I can't complain. Eventually I will swap the SLX rear, for XT, and it will be nearly perfect. The price is right, the bike is solid, and it is the perfect bike for customizing, and making your own. At least in Orlando, I have the only one so far (2014 as of June)..so you get some exclusivity as well. There are 8 Trek dealers in town, and only one Kona store. My girlfriend was so impressed she bought a Mahuna a week later.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Santos

    Duration Product Used:   3 weeks

    Purchased At:   Kyle's Bike Shop, Or

    Similar Products Used:   '94 Kona Cinder Cone, Univega Alpina 700, Scott Scale 970. Trek4900 (worst bike ever), Marin Palisades Trail. Marin TEAM CXR PRO. Specialized Stumpjumper Comp 29

    Bike Setup:   So far..SLX rear, XT thumbs, XT front. Eventually will be full XT. Candy 3 Pedals. Prob upgrade fork to Marzocchi down the road.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Adrian Yusuf Riyadi

    Date Reviewed: October 27, 2013

    Strengths:    Super LIGHT frame, I compared it with the POLYGON cozmic CRX1 2013 carbon hardtail edition and I'm surprized that the Kona cinder cone is lighter than that bike. The fork is great, also with the hydraulic brakes.

    Weaknesses:    hard saddle

    Bottom Line:   
    I'm satisfied with this bike

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by Grover

    Date Reviewed: June 4, 2013

    Strengths:    Rugged design with fantastic brakes. Fast on the road with a real smooth ride. Rides well off road especially on washboard dirt roads. Very stable and comfortable, turns sharp on roads and stops on a dime.

    Weaknesses:    Chain slaps on frame and makes a terrible noise on jumps. Dusty roads made my cranks real noisy and had to take it in for maintenance but is still noisy. Exposed gear cables run on bottom of frame where the bike sits on a bike rack.

    Bottom Line:   
    It's my Humvee. I've ridden it real hard and it has taken it like a champ. It's surprisingly fast on the road and makes cracks, manholes and curbs a breeze. It's a real fun bike to ride.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by zpetke

    Date Reviewed: April 2, 2013

    Strengths:    I like the geometry and looks at overall. Basic setup is ok, although ive replaced pedals with Shimano XT Racers, brakes with Avid Elixir 7´s, shifters with Shimano XT M770´s and front derailleur with Shimano XT M770. Fork is great for XC and some trail riding too. Original SLX Rear derail is superb, not the lightest, but durable. The bike got up some value and quality. Also overall performance is now much better.

    Weaknesses:    After the tune-up I´d say fork, but it suites me fine. I ride a lot of XC marathons etc and it is just great. Maybe rear sprocket gets out at some point and i´d replace it atleast with SLX or XT-one.

    Bottom Line:   
    If you still get this 2012 model from somewhere, buy it, upgrade it and youll get a nice piece of racer.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by TH

    Date Reviewed: March 11, 2013

    Strengths:    Solid and light frame
    Nice set of components
    Great value for $$


    Weaknesses:    The seat and pedals are garbage

    Bottom Line:   
    I bought this bike at a local bike show for $750 CDN, which was a sweet deal. The component set is a great value for the money. I've been through the city and the trails with this bike and it's great for wither setting. Replace the seat and pedals ASAP. I bought some Kona Wah Wah pedals, which are some of the lightest and strongest pedals around for the money, sealed bearings always helps to.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Iain Hunter a Cross Country Rider

    Date Reviewed: May 1, 2012

    Strengths:    Strong, tough do-it-all bike that can be ridden hard, week after week, year after year without flinching. Frame is super strong. Wheels are strong too and can take anything from being thrown down rocky paths to multi-day tours fully loaded. Nice bar width as standard and reasonable kit for the money.

    Weaknesses:    A few niggles. Forks that came with my bike ('09 model) were Dart 3's. These broke after a year and I replaced them with Recons (which are now standard). These are a far better fork and offer a much plusher and more adjustable ride. Also the basic Shimano Hydraulics were not great, but again Kona now supply the bike with Avids which are far better. I run BB7's just because I like to know I can repair them on a tour or long ride. Deore gears are fine and SLX rear mech is bomb proof, but the chainset is not of the same quality. It is a little heavy compared with some rivals too if that bothers you.

    Bottom Line:   
    I have had Kona MTB's before and have always liked the way they ride. I run my bike as a do-it-all bike which gets used for just about everything from shopping and rides with the kids to commuting the 35 mile hilly round trip to work, rides in and around the English Lakeland fells and multi-day tours. I run it with a brooks B17 saddle, and a pannier rack which doubles as a rear mud guard. I do get some funny looks from the MTB trail centre snobs, but there again I am a great believer in buying a bike to ride it and not to tie it to the back of a car once a week and nurse it around a ready made trail! It has crossed the country four times now and I have replaced just about every consumable component (apart from the rear mech) at least once. I would heartily recomend this bike to anyone who wants a bomb proof bike that will confidently tackle just about anything.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Local natural Trail (Hutton Crags)

    Price Paid:    $659.00

    Purchased At:   Grizedale Mountainbi

    Similar Products Used:   Other Kona Hardtails

    Bike Setup:   Standard but with Deore Hollowtech 2 Crankset. Avid BB7s, Rockshox Recon Coil Fork, Brooks B17 Saddle, Crudcatcher and Topeak rear rack

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

    Date Reviewed: October 1, 2010

    Strengths:    I've ridden it a few times, about 200 miles in total, and i'm not professional. I love the comfort whether riding trails, gravel, road, the hydraulic braking system is fantastic, gears change easily. It rides light but strong. None of the gearing and braking problems I'd had on a previous Cannondale F5. The shocks are the best I've had after five years of trying different hardtails out. I've seen our city police officers on Kona bikes and decided to try it out. I've seen hard downhillers on them, and I'm a 47 year old arthritic man who hasn't suffered unduly for riding this. It's for everyone, seriously.

    Weaknesses:    It feels like a cheap seat, but this is easily changed with a new one soon enough.

    Bottom Line:   
    THIS is the bike I'll stick with and not want to get rid of. After two back to back century rides last June in a charity ride weekend on the Cannondale F5 where I had nothing but trouble, this is the bike that likes road when necessary and loves the trail. I've found my bike.
    If you're going to trick ride, definitely not for you, but if you ride road, trail and occasionally act like you're 16 on a bike, you'll like this one.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Hamilton to Cambridge, Ontario Rail Trail

    Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

    Price Paid:    $900.00

    Purchased At:   Pieriks Cycle

    Similar Products Used:   Cannondale 2009 F5, Trek 3900.

    Bike Setup:   I love everything.

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by While At ROme a Downhiller from Salt Lake City, UT

    Date Reviewed: July 26, 2010

    Strengths:    Great package, comes with pretty good components for the price. The LX works great when you keep it tuned, the brakes are more than enough for the bike, fork is great for XC.

    Weaknesses:    Personally i like a little more head angle and a bigger fork would be nicer.

    The stock pedals suck (almost an invalid point because you dont test ride in a parking lot with clipless).


    Bottom Line:   
    Great starter bike, and great for the cost.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Bobsled

    Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

    Price Paid:    $750.00

    Purchased At:   Ed's Ski and Cycle

    Similar Products Used:   Specialized Rockhopper, Demo 8, IH yakuza, Giant AC

    Bike Setup:   All stock save the Rockshox bash ring, SPD pedals

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by urbansaint a Weekend Warrior from Roseburg Oregon

    Date Reviewed: July 19, 2010

    Strengths:    light,comes with Rock Shocks DART 3 forks,

    Weaknesses:    De-railer hits frame when you jump, creating a loud banging sound it sounds like something is breaking! I bought a lizard skin but that did nothing so I took a innnertube and cut it just small enough to rap around the frame at the point of impact and held it on with a zip tie. This took the soound down all teh way!!

    Bottom Line:   
    love the bike, i woul like to have some wider tires however. If anybody knows by chance how wide of a tire i can fit using dart 3 forks i would love to know!!

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   North Umqua

    Duration Product Used:   3 months

    Price Paid:    $800.00

    Purchased At:   canyon creek bicyles

    Bike Setup:   shimano doer hydralic disk brakes.... Maxxis ingitor tires...dart 3 suspension

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by mattgeode23 a Cross Country Rider from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

    Date Reviewed: May 30, 2010

    Strengths:    The whole thing!

    Weaknesses:    Nothing really to mention other then the weight and perhaps a more comfortable seat!

    Bottom Line:   
    GET IT, if you do a lot of riding including city and trail. I wouldn't take it on jumps. (it wasn't really built for it. though it could take it) the whole new 2010 set up was really nice, excellent smooth shifting, braking with the hydraulic brakes are a very welcome blessing!
    I found the Kona bike fits nicer then the Rocky Mountain, though I HIGHLY recommend both, and that the fit is up to each and every owner.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   3 months

    Price Paid:    $1000.00

    Purchased At:   River Valley Cycle (

    Similar Products Used:   Other Konas, and Rocky mountians.

    Bike Setup:   2010 version. : http://www.konaworld.com/bike.cfm?content=cindercone

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by asdf a Cross Country Rider from Antartica

    Date Reviewed: December 22, 2009

    Strengths:    brakes, fork, wheelset(strong as hell)

    Weaknesses:    pedals are junk

    Bottom Line:   
    This obviously isnt the lightest bike u can find in this price range. But it definitely rides better than the others. I like the stiff fsa alpha drive cranks that comes with the bike, but after sometime there would be a clicking sound and i needed to tighten the crankarms. Maxxis ignitor were good while they lasted. I tore the sidewall when it brushed against pointed concrete caused by an overgrown tree beside a pedestrain path. The riser bars are really skyscrapers and they are really wide. I like the width alot, but i think the bars rise too much. It comes with a short stem too, probably 50mm. Dart 3 is plush and i can use 80mm of the travel even though i am only 120lbs. Rebound damping could easily be adjusted, but the o-ring could easily be broken. The lockout was broken when my overweight friend humped it while it was locked.. Generally, this bike puts u into a more upright position than other xc bikes. Fast ascends, faster descends. I would say this is a "trail" bike, not a xc bike.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   ??

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Price Paid:    $674.00

    Purchased At:   titanic

    Similar Products Used:   wheeler pro 29(sucks to the core)

    Bike Setup:   my bike is the 2008 version and i bought it in 2009 as there was a major discount

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by LeonardoVZLA a Cross Country Rider from Caracas,Miranda,Venezuela

    Date Reviewed: September 14, 2009

    Strengths:    Strong frame, comes with good tyres(ignitors), deore shift pods and front derraileur.

    Weaknesses:    the brakes simply suck(shimano 486) not reliable while going downhill,bad shifting,rear slx derraileur,the crankset is too heavy all this components make the byke be too heavy.

    Bottom Line:   
    It's an amazing starter byke, i was between the caldera and this one but looking at the price i paid you can see i got ripped off,i'ts like everything in my country....too expensive. but when i realized that the caldera did not have lock on i decided to go for this one, maybe the stock brakes are ok and everything i saw as a weakness is ok knowing that i'm in no position to demand much from an entry level bicycle because i weight 229 pounds. i would recommend this product to anyone.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Streets of Caracas

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Price Paid:    $1000.00

    Purchased At:   D' Bike

    Similar Products Used:   kona caldera 2007(stolen)

    Bike Setup:   kickass avid juicy 5 brakes, rockshox reba race fork,small shimano spd pedals and big heavy spd pedals(depends on the activity), 143 specialized phenom saddle(to protect the nutsack),front and rear xt derraileurs, xt shiftpods,xt crankset,mavic crosstrail disc wheels, kenda nevegal 2.35 f/r and sunline logo lock-on white grips.

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by Mario1973 a Weekend Warrior

    Date Reviewed: August 7, 2009

    Strengths:    Great frame geometry, handles very well, good value for spec.

    Weaknesses:    Pedals, noisy brakes

    Bottom Line:   
    I got this as an 08 model at end of 09 model year hence heavily discounted at £450 from £600 rrp. Was to replace a stolen Trek 6500.
    Find very quick and nimble through the trails, fork performs well for a budget fork (rockshox dart 3), seems very solid and handles my 215lb weight very well.
    Main bad point is the pedals which look very cheap, and once replaced I was relieved to find that a loud creaking noise was coming from the cheap pedals rather than my bottom bracket as feared! Hayes stroker ride brakes squeal very loudly, have ordered different brand pads which will hopefully help. Overall very good for the price I paid!- even adding on about £100 of upgrades.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Swinley Forrest, Bracknell

    Duration Product Used:   3 months

    Price Paid:    $765.00

    Purchased At:   Pauls Cycles through

    Similar Products Used:   Trek 6500 2006

    Bike Setup:   Kona Cinder Cone 08, Easton EA70 stem and handlebars.DMR V8 pedals.

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by cool breeze a Weekend Warrior from Boise, Idaho, USA

    Date Reviewed: June 5, 2009

    Strengths:    Robust and unbreakable. Never flinches no matter the situation or terrain. A lot of bike for the money.

    Weaknesses:    Heavy-ish. Pedals. Cheaper fork shows its age before long.

    Bottom Line:   
    I think I lucked out with the 2004 version of the Cinder Cone. In all subsequent years, they've downgraded some of the componentry to stay more in line with the prescribed price point. If you want a Kona as good as the '04 Cinder Cone right off the shelf, you're going to have to upgrade to the Caldera.

    I cannot believe the abuse I've dished out to this thing, and it keeps coming back for more. There were times when I punished it even more than I had planned on and thought, "Oh man, the bike's not going to be the same after this." Wrong! This thing is a tank. Not even remotely sleek or sexy, it is instead strictly utilitarian and humorless. The Cinder Cone gets the job done, and never expects a "thank you."

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Lower Hulls Gulch

    Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

    Price Paid:    $800.00

    Purchased At:   Idaho Mountain Touri

    Bike Setup:   Stock, except for clipless pedals.

    Reviews 1 - 15 (81 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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


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