Kona Kula Deluxe XC Hardtail

4.56/5 (34 Reviews)
MSRP : $2599.00


Product Description

The ultimate hardtail cross-country shred machine. Featherlight, power hungry, speed addicted, the Kula Deluxe incorporates a new integrated headset for more stability in the front end, our lightning quick, crazy light and super durable Kona Race Light Scandium Butted frameset, and top of the totem components. The perfect ride for discerning cross-country lungbusters.


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Reviews 1 - 15 (34 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by carlos123 a Cross Country Rider from Melbourne

Date Reviewed: February 17, 2011

Strengths:    Yep it is crazy light, stiff and responsive

Weaknesses:    Super long stem making bars way too far forward.

Bottom Line:   
super happy with how fast this thing transitions from corners, standstills and uphill bursts. I definately had to change the bar setup though. I got the 19" large and am 5,11" and still found the bars tough to reach. once i had swapped them it still held a great line and you can still get heaps of power if not more through your pedals without breaking your neck and back. The original stem is 120ml and the bars almost flat which are the only out of box mark downs from me.

I got mine for 1,400 aud which is a crazy bargain so don`t think they`re not out there.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   you yangs

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1400.00

Purchased At:   s/h bicycleexchange.

Similar Products Used:   piece of junk i built 1 yr ago from fluid, shogun and other bits... almost worth doing to appreciate this one in hindsight???

Bike Setup:   mavic rims, swapped 120ml standard stem to a more ridable 90 ml and added 1 spacer to take it up to 4 in total, also got some 40 ml pro down hill bars and chopped the ends 10 ml coming to around 670ml from memory.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Antoine a Cross Country Rider from France

Date Reviewed: October 13, 2010

Strengths:    Lightweight/Strong/ride well/Cool to watch

Weaknesses:    ...

Bottom Line:   
Bought this Kona Kula with Easton Ultra Lite Tubing 10 years ago. I used other bikes but i always kept my old kona kula cause i love it. It had a lot of different setup but always feel good.
It is really good to ride it, with good maneuvring abilities and excelent performance. It is quite comfortable and allow ultra light bike.

There are other brand that make good frame on this market but the kula is as good as the best with two cool different things:
The ultra sloping look (at least in 1999 it was revolutionary in XC) and the painting is cool too. Mine is metallic purple red with big Kona Tagged on bottom tube and a nice looking fork axle with a forest draw. It as a lot of scratch everywhere to prove it thousands ride !

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $500.00

Similar Products Used:   Specialized S-Works HT

Bike Setup:   Mavic CrossRoc XTR

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by mafalf a Cross Country Rider from Houston, TX

Date Reviewed: June 24, 2010

Strengths:    Handles phenomenonally, lightweight, XT components, shifts crisply, looks good, holds up.

Weaknesses:    Rarely ever use the smallest front ring, should have an option without it to save weight.

Bottom Line:   
This is the bike that made me ride more, use it for regular rides and races. Scandium frame has held up excellent, have dumped the bike enought times and not problems it. Very fun, very fast bike, good components on 2008 model too.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Memorial Park (can ride to it)

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   Blue Line Bike Lab

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Stumpjumper

Bike Setup:   Stock, felt great out of the box.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by pete a Cross Country Rider from belgium

Date Reviewed: February 23, 2010

Strengths:    super light, great geometry

Weaknesses:    haven't found it yet

Bottom Line:   
This bike flies. My last 3 bikes have all been hardcore hardtails (Kona Scab, Norco Bigfoot, Santacruz Chameleon), but then I crashed and wrecked my shoulder. So I decided to stop going airborne, shed some weight off the bike and start doing cross-country. The combination of Kula frame and carbon forks is virtually weightless, and the geometry is spot on for going fast. Addictively fast. In fact I'm getting as much of a speed kick as I used to from getting air. Only been riding it a few weeks, but love it. Don't think I'd pay full price for it though (frame and forks cost me 320 pounds off ebay)

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Bike Setup:   Kula scandium frame, On-One carbon forks, WTB rims, Shimano Saint cranks, shimano deore etc

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by S3dINS a Weekend Warrior from North Wales

Date Reviewed: November 16, 2009

Strengths:    Great all round set up with very nice spec. I found the frame, wheels (FSA XC 300), brakes and forks all worked well together.

Took me a whle to get the forks ideally tuned to my weight and riding style but once they were sorted the ride was very smooth.

The stock wheels have taken some pretty brutal punishment since I've had the bike but they still run absolutely true.

The brakes were strong straight from the box but there was a small warp in both discs which I will put down to the facing on the hubs being incorrect, since I've refaced the front wheel and the warp has disappeared. After bedding the discs in the brakes have just got better and better.


Weaknesses:    Stock tyres where very skittish on roots so I replaced them with Continental Mountain King 2.2s but haven't ridden it since replacing.

The ride position was way to streched out for me due to the very long stem and almost flat bar, so I have replaced the stem with a raceface eveolve stubby stem and will be throwing away the bars in favour of some 2" risers.

Squeeky discs due to bad hub facing.


Bottom Line:   
As an out of the box product, this bike has suprised me. I thought I would need to upgrade or switch out more items than I have. The controls were really the only thing letting it, and me down.

Ideal for racers and able XC riders alike. Price would put off anyone who rides less than once/twice a week on a good trail.

Don't buy this bike unless you intend to be a regular rider or you'll be throwing your money away.

If you suffer with back problems be prepared to changw the controls to better suit you.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Llandegla

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $2180.00

Purchased At:   Paul's Cycles

Similar Products Used:   '99 Kona Lava Dome, '95 Marin Nail Trail.

Bike Setup:   Stock other than the controls http://www.konabikes.co.uk/2008/kula/kula-deluxe.php

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by keekabump a Cross Country Rider from uk

Date Reviewed: September 19, 2009

Strengths:    light weight

Weaknesses:    its unbalanced the front feels very weak maybe the forks

Bottom Line:   
it doesnt feel right when i cycle it

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   edinburgh pentland hills

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   sunset bikes

Similar Products Used:   none


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Life and Liberty a Racer from Washington DC

Date Reviewed: April 6, 2009

Strengths:    This is a fantastic hardtail. I have had it for 4 years (I own the 2004) and I just started racing it after I replaced the drive train and wheels. This bike rolls strong. I have gone through 5 derailleur hangers & this bike keeps on truckin.

Weaknesses:    The stock wheels were not so hot, so I rode them into the ground (broke the front axle, and burned out the cones and inner faces on the rear, broke 3 spokes on the rear)and replaced. All that wear and tear still took 4 years. Over this time period I went through 2 different bottom brackets. So given that I rode a lot, and was hard on my equipment I still managed to get some substantial wear out of my wheels.

Bottom Line:   
Now, I do ride a lot, and I am hard on my gear. However, this bike frame has stood the test of time. Kona makes some frames that ride distinctly, and when I say that I speak of the 69.5 head tube angle. Not quite as steep as many modern race hardtails, but you can tell when you take small jumps and barrel around corners. The bike tracks exceptionally well.

Buy this bike if you want a hard tail you can put through any kind of XC punishment you like. I never took this bike into the "All Mountain" territory and beyond, so that may account for why this bike has held up so well. As far as I can tell, this bike will ride forever if it is not abused. The newer models are made with Scandium. That is more-better from my perspective. It is stronger & lighter, so that is a safe bet. The bike I have is the Easton Ultralite, and I never met a bike made of that ally I did not like.

This has been a dream bike for me - a very enthusiastic rider on a budget. Buying things that last makes sense, and that is why I went with a Kona.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Patapsco, Gambrill, Fountainhead

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Purchased At:   Proteus Bicycles

Similar Products Used:   I rode a Schwinn High Plains before I got this bike... so I have not used anything similar. I started mountain biking on a huffy in 1995. I been riding a long time & have tried out a number of different bikes.

Bike Setup:   At present, Paul Thumbies hooked up to XT front and Rear Deraillers. XT hubs laced to Mavic 717 disc rims. Kept the Stock Hayes 9 brakes, Continental Supersonic Race King tires. Stock RaceFace Evolve crank, replaced with Team Canada Rings. Thompson Post, Stem, Carbon Flat Bar.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ben a Cross Country Rider from Portland, OR

Date Reviewed: January 11, 2009

Strengths:    Frame weight and geometry, not to mention the beautiful TIG beads; Hayes Hydraulic HFX-9XC disc brakes-stops on a dime even in mud; and the Fox Vanilla shocks, the travel and the positive comments by others who used my bike.

Weaknesses:    A noise made by either the rear derailleur (Shimano Deore XT) or ?. I can't figure it out. It could have been the kid at the bike shop who bent it 'back' into shape during a tune up. However, it does not take away from the smooth ride.

Bottom Line:   
A very complete mountain bike. No problems going up and down hills. Great control. After 2+ wonderful years, it still rides smoothly. Even though I own a road bike, I use the Kona as a 26 mile commuter (round trip) to work. I wish I owned this bike during college because it can handle earth as well as concrete.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   McDonald Forest (OSU) Corvallis, OR

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   Fat Tire Farm (Orego

Similar Products Used:   None. Sorry, my other bikes are a lot different (road, bmx, and full sus.). The other mountain bikes I've tested (or owned) do not compare. When I purchased the Kona, it came down between that and a Rocky Mountain (it has been a while, forgot which model...my bad).

Bike Setup:   Stock, well, whatever else was done at the Fat Tire Farm (I consider it stock if I didn't add to it after purchase-they gave me options!). Other than that, I haven't replaced anything major (just the usual tires and tubes)

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:2
Submitted by jobrienau a Cross Country Rider from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Date Reviewed: November 24, 2008

Strengths:    Great light Frame, awesome geometry

Weaknesses:    Most of the parts on it except for the Hayes Nine brakes and Shimano LX running gear are garbage.

Bottom Line:   
This bike is exceptionally fast. The geometry is not for the faint of heart. It will rail corners at entry speed provided you have great handling skills to hold it there. It is a single track race bike. However the Sun Rims are close to dangerous they are that bad. I had a front wheel fold up on a steep decent at speed without hitting anything too major. The rear rim has held together for a while although it is now splitting through the centre at every spoke hole! and it hasn't done much dirt track work.All the Easton EA30 gear such as seat post and stem have broken with not much excuse for doing so. Great frame just upgrade these parts. This bike is aimed at entry level with parts to make it cheap but the geomtry and frame is for advanced racers.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Wombat trail

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   Yarra Valley Cycles

Similar Products Used:   Steel hardtail

Bike Setup:   As per OEM in Aus. LX gears Hayes 9 shifters, Sun DS2-XC wheelset with Shimano hubs-worst rims ever!!!!

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Chip a Cross Country Rider from chippearsall@sbcglobal.net

Date Reviewed: November 24, 2008

Strengths:    Great components, nice stiff frame. super light.

Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
This bike is the best hard tail ive ever ridden, i have been riding and racing for 15 years. the bike comes stock with mavic crosstrail wheels, i had just bought some easton XC one wheels, there were lighter so i put them on, with those wheels bike weighs 23.5 pounds, sprints and climbs like nothing else ive ridden. the frame is nice and stiff for sprinting and climbing, yet supple enough not to beat you up on 40 mile rides. this is a 2009 model. i test rode alot of hardtails this one blew them all away in the 2k price range.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Flume Trail Tahoe Ca.

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $2200.00

Purchased At:   Bicycles Pleasanton

Bike Setup:   all stock except for wheels

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by bob salter a Cross Country Rider from toronto

Date Reviewed: May 24, 2008

Strengths:    I bought this off singlespeedfreak on Ebay. It was a 29er with a rigid fork. I changed it back to stock type spec with a Fox RLT and some crossmax wheels and X0 twist shifters. It has been a fantastic bike. Hasn't skipped a beat, always fun to ride, great brakes, great handling. love to throw it in a corner.

Weaknesses:    Looks too pretty. Must keep very high security on it or it will be gone.

Bottom Line:   
Still haven't tried a full suspension bike I liked, but I haven't tested many of them. I think the Kula Deluxe is a great package of quality components and light weight. Their frame geometry makes the bike entertaining. I wouldn't ever want to jump this thing or ride it over ramps (my abilities are lacking) but once in motion it feels great at speed.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   donvalley

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   Tested all the competing hardtails from the usual mfger's. This one was the funnest for me.

Bike Setup:   See singlespeedfreak's review, as I have only swapped a few parts.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ryan a Weekend Warrior from Wilmington, DE

Date Reviewed: May 12, 2008

Strengths:    Nice components. Shimano XT rear derailleur shifts very smoothly. Hydraulic disk brakes are powerful (I'm still transitioning from cable brakes). Very lightweight. Looks good. Came with clipless pedals, but I don't have shoes yet, so I switched them out for some aluminum pedals and held on to the stock pedals to use at a later date.

Weaknesses:    Lock out is not 100% ... but it's still pretty solid and does the job just fine.

Bottom Line:   
I was looking between this bike, a Cannondale F4, and a Gary Fisher Piranha. Both of the other bikes were slightly less expensive, but I'm happy with my choice. I'm still working towards becoming an advanced rider, but this bike just feels great to ride.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   Wooden Wheels

Similar Products Used:   Trek 6000


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Grant a Cross Country Rider from Macon, GA, USA

Date Reviewed: August 11, 2007

Strengths:    The geometry is killer. Carves well. Holds a line at speed. Descends very well. Very well balanced bike.

Weaknesses:    Flaky paint. The same geometry that makes descending and blasting along so cool may take some getting used to when climbing.

Bottom Line:   
I was coming off a similarly sized Cannondale to this frame. On paper the 68 deg. head angle appealed to me since I was tired of fighting the twitchy Cannondale in the tight and technical stuff. My hopes that the odd (by today's standards) Kona geometry would make for a more mellow handling bike were met and exceeded. This is an incredibly difficult bike to knock off line at speed. You can almost feel the front end stiffening up as you accelerate. Carving sweeping corners is a blast. The flow on the downhill is quite nice, too. I am completely mystified as to why the 71/73 numbers are aped by so many manufacturers when the "slack" angled Kula rides this well.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   online

Similar Products Used:   Klein Attitude, Cannondale f2000.

Bike Setup:   '06 Kula Deluxe frame built with older XT/XTR, WTB wheels, 100mm Manitou R7

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Nick a Weekend Warrior from Seoul, South Korea

Date Reviewed: June 12, 2007

Strengths:    Most of the components are very good. Many people say positive things about the Easton frame. It seems very strong and light with immaculate welds.
The price is keen as well. Ask for a discount, you'll get one.


Weaknesses:    The Hayes brakes don't seem quite as powerful as I'd liked, but they probably need adjustment. The rear lever is gooey already....

Bottom Line:   
No-one had reviewed an actual 2007 model, so here's the first!

With very good forks, frame, shifters and changers (LX and XT), this bike is a good bet.

I paid 1540000 won, which is £835. Bargain compared to England and the only reason I like Korea!


Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Still looking round here!

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1657.00

Purchased At:   Chung Cycle, Sinsa, Seoul

Similar Products Used:   I looked at Merida, Trek and Specialized in the same price range before buying this

Bike Setup:   Standard for now.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Mattman a Cross Country Rider from Harleysville, PA

Date Reviewed: February 12, 2007

Strengths:    weighs nearly nothing, good component set, great climber, well balanced/very comfortable to ride, fork is amazing!!

Weaknesses:    I had some problems with the Hayes brakes at the beginning but i think that might have been more assembly error then component problem. The original Nokian tires that came on this bike are HORRIBLE! more pinch flats then i could imagine and the "light weight" tubes didn't help much either. get rid of them quickly or buy a set of shoes that are comfortable to walk in.

Bottom Line:   
After 2 years of some pretty rough riding i can certainly say this bike has proven itself. this season i'll finally be replacing the bottom bracket (because it's finally getting noisy), the chain (because it just should be done), and the rear der. (because it's been bent back into shape a few too many times). i never owned an aluminum bike before this one. would i buy another? for the right price, yes. just a few weeks after i got this bike i crashed pretty hard, bounced off a rock, and put an impressive dent in my seatstay. sure...it dented pretty deep, but i think the real triumph is after 2 more years the frame is still structuraly sound! a great XC-er! DON'T however, dirt jump or trials ride it. a 23 pound bike just isn't made for that. i can tell you exactly how much it'll cost you!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Ralph Stover/HighRocks

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   Nestors

Similar Products Used:   the old ride was a pre-trek bontrager XC. similar? not really...but it was a bike.

Bike Setup:   aside from the tubes and tires we're still bone stock roughly 2 years later! now thats a tribute to kona!!

Reviews 1 - 15 (34 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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


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