Kona Dawg Primo XC Full Suspension

4.39/5 (28 Reviews)
MSRP : $2999.00


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 15 (28 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jason a Weekend Warrior from Indio, Ca, USA

Date Reviewed: April 12, 2011

Strengths:    for the money, great value. Fox shocks, stout, unbreakable frame w/ little-no maintenance

Weaknesses:    LX to sub LX parts, rp23 held up ok, but not nearly as good as when I got it rebuilt by PUSH (dear FOX, why not just make your stuff that good to begin with?!) weight

Bottom Line:   
Can't complain for the deal I got on this. 5 years old and I still ride it like it's new. The shifting is sluggish at this point, and the rear wheel's spokes started popping just putting the bike on my roof rack, but other that that, and a rear shock rebuild (typical for rp23), this has been a trusty bike.

Downside- it's 33 lbs. But despite this, it climbs well, with little-no bob. The 4 bar system kicks anus and the sealed bearings are maintenance free heaven. I keep up with guys on 5 spots on the downs. quick sub 20lbs hard tails can smoke me, but hey, it's a 5" bike and it's heavy. Be a good rider, suck it up, and don't whine about it.

if you're new to full suspension or on a strict budget, this is a solid frame with decent parts that will last you a long time and because it doesn't hold it's value like a turner or a santa cruz, you can get it for way cheaper used. (don't buy new)

Also, there aren't really options for this, but my riding style isn't anything that is an option above. I'm an aggressive XC to true all mountain rider. I've taken this bike to whistler (rented a DH for the lifts, but used my Kona for everything else) and all over CA and AZ. I ride it 2-4x per week, mostly on technical desert rocky loose landscape as well as the sweet swoopy 24hr endurance heaven that is Idylwild, and have been for the last 3 years with a permanent grin on my face.

Value- top notch, 5 chili's
overall? there are plenty of better, lighter bikes (ellsworth, yeti, Turner, Santa cruz...) but not at this price. compared to those I gotta give this a 3, but that's being critical. I'm very happy w/ this bike and would buy again if I was tight on money. Best value I've ever heard of.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Downiville Downhill Classic

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   Craigslist

Similar Products Used:   Ironhorse (crap) demo'ed Ellsworth Moment (amazing) and Turner 5 spot (also amazing)

Bike Setup:   stock PLUS>>>
rebuilt rp23 rear shock by PUSH INDUSTRIES (highly recommend), new rear wheel (XT hub+mavic d517 hoop)

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Larry Smierciak a Cross Country Rider from Bray, Co Wicklow, Ireland

Date Reviewed: March 13, 2008

Strengths:    Sharp responses to inputs, great controllability over a wide varity of terrain. Brakes are great. Frame is a wonder to behold solid as a rock with some pretty exceptional welds. Tires have performed very well on a wide varity of terrain from gravel, to mud and clay as well as rock. Very good gearing, seems to suit the type of riding I am doing. A variety of climbing on logging roads and then singal track both up and down. Terrain ranging from gravel to clay and mud.

Weaknesses:    Chain got very noisy after a couple of days of riding in the muck. Lubed the chain and all was well again(Used Ice Lube). Other than that nothing I can find yet

Bottom Line:   
So far I really can't fault this bike. It rides very well and I haven't had any problems with any of the components. The Hayes Brakes have been stopping me with no problems both in wet and dry conditions. Keeping in mind I am a big enough guy, 220lbs. For the money, the components are brilliant and the bike is outstanding. Kona just seems to have it all right for me with this bike. People saying it's a bit heavy must be used to carbon fibre or something! Climbs very well and the Pro Pedal on the Fox shock works very well. Higly recommend this bike.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Ballinastoe (right now!)

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Purchased At:   Wheel World

Bike Setup:   Bog Standard

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:2
Submitted by alex aldridge a Cross Country Rider from vail, co usa

Date Reviewed: December 20, 2007

Strengths:    Full Fox suspension very plush. Kona frame is solid, sturdy, and works great with suspension set up

Weaknesses:    Hayes hydraulic brakes require constant adjustment, mine got warrantied as well. Cheap shimano hubs crapped out, warrantied those. Derailleurs not very smooth.

Bottom Line:   
When I'm going downhill I love this bike, it conquers for a 5 inch bike. However, I've had many problems with this bike and many unsatisfied rides because of it. Derailleurs, brakes, and wheels really didn't stand up. After one season I want to either sell or upgrade (expensive). I still love the Kona frame and Fox suspension setup, that alone is worth a lot. I recomend either the standard Kona dawg or upgrade to Coiler.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Similar Products Used:   None, but solid season riding hard in Vail

Bike Setup:   Standard 2007 Dawg Primo setup. Replaced wheels with Mavic Rides, replaced saddle.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Sean a Weekend Warrior from Charlotte NC

Date Reviewed: October 1, 2007

Strengths:    Strong frame, plush ride. One bike to do it all! Good for people who cant afford a fleet of bikes

Weaknesses:    Little heavy

Bottom Line:   
I got a great price on a bike that had only been ridden once. I was new and just getting into riding and getting this bike has got me hooked to the sport! I just love being on the bike. It gives a new guy like me a lot of confidence to ride a bike like this

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   White Water Center

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $15000.00

Purchased At:   Craiglist

Similar Products Used:   Test rode Gary Fisher HiFi

Bike Setup:   Stock, with eggbeater pedals

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Chris a Cross Country Rider from PA

Date Reviewed: August 28, 2007

Strengths:    Burly, Versitile, comfordable, affordable

Weaknesses:    A tad heavy, poop brown color

Bottom Line:   
Built this from the frame only as my second bike. I used the parts i had available and a few web special, so this is not a 'dream build', but a good solid set up.

So far so good. Kona has, in my opinion, the most confidence inspiring geometry on the planet. Descends well, and climbs just fine for a 5.5 inch travel bike.

What would I do over? A lighter fork for one. The AM2 is plush, but weighs a ton compared to the RS and fox air sprung forks of the same type.

Kona has succeeded in making a do it all bike that is affordable, and ok at just about evrything from lift serve downhilling to all day XC. Is it the bike of choice for any of these activities? probably not, but it is a fun and reliable everyday XC bike that can be jumped bashed and ridden harder than the average 5 inch ride.

Buy a Kona. they make nice bikes.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   SC Superlight, heckler, 29ers

Bike Setup:   Marzocchi AM2 fork , xt/xtr drive train, fox RP2, Mavic laced to XT wheels Avid bb7s

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by derek a Cross Country Rider from Fairfax, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: July 15, 2007

Strengths:    Great frame, good component set, smooth turning, reliable

Weaknesses:    slippy tires, Fox Float R Fork durability

Bottom Line:   
I have ridden this bike for almost 6 months, I took my bike into the LBS the other day to have them look for some noise up front. It turns out that the crown has bent back a few millimeters which makes the fork sit more upright and has started making some sound. The LBS said they see this quite often with this 2006 fork due to how the fork is built, using glue to hold it together. The fix is 100 in parts alone, I think I am going to buy a different shock that is not GLUED together. The fork issue is very dissapointing. I have always been told of the Fox fork performance and durability but I guess I just got a shock that is prone to issues. I really like the bike overall and prefer it to ride broken rather than my other bikes. It is a very comfortable bike to ride.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1900.00

Purchased At:   Nebo Ridge Bikes (Indianapolis, IN)

Similar Products Used:   Specialized FSR

Bike Setup:   full xtr drivetrain, WTB Timberwolf 2.35 front & WTB Weirwolf 2.35 rear tires

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Nick Shriver a Weekend Warrior from Philadelphia, PA, USA

Date Reviewed: June 14, 2007

Strengths:    Everything. Fox Fork is so plush and rear RP3 will roll over anything. WTB laser is great seat as well. Also very light bike

Weaknesses:    Tires could use an upgrade. Paint does chip pretty easily but honestly who really cares.

Bottom Line:   
This is my first FS bike but so far it rides like a dream. It can roll over anything and takes drops like a champ. Have also taken it jumping a bit and has super smooth landing. I have really noticed that the fs makes climbs smoother and easier and the wide tires help as well. No question that going downhill is where this bike excels. I just point and go and it flys over everything. This is def the nicest bike I have ever owned and It will do great on long epic cross country rides even downhills at a mtb mountain park. Rides like a DREAM!! Anybody looking for a do it all bike that can climb well and excel on Burly descents should look into the Dawg line.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Wissaickon

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1900.00

Purchased At:   Bike Therapy

Similar Products Used:   Giant Reign, Kona stinky, Rocky Mountain ETSX

Bike Setup:   Fox R Fork
Fox RP3
XT derailer + parts
Race Face Crank

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Sebastian a Weekend Warrior from Madrid, Spain

Date Reviewed: March 23, 2007

Strengths:    It handles everything i can throw at.Bombproof.Love the green color.Good set up for the price.Looks ...Love the looks

Weaknesses:    Paint cheaps too easily.Stock tires.Hubs

Bottom Line:   
I had tested some other FS bikes, but this is my first FS bike so I can’t compare too much, but I can say that this bike handles roots, rocky technical so good that I find my self amazed at the end of the trails every weekend, even in places where my brain says no, my bike says yes, and go. In fast singletracks it flows like a dream, and going up …it just goes up, on everything, not as fast as my old HT, but much smoother and easily, don’t feel too much difference with the ProPedal on, but enough to reach the top with a fresh smile. I’m 70 kilos (about 155 Pounds) but in the first rides I bottomed out a couple of times (3 or 4 feet drop) pretty hard and with the right preload on the shock, the solution was to set the shock in the other position (closest to the seat stay) and it worked perfectly, still very linear in the beginning but much progressive in the end of the travel. No bottom out since, even in 5 foot drops and with the right sag. I still can’t find the right tire choice, the stock Nokian are a shame and the Ignitors just don’t grip. Will upgrade some components and save some weight when they wear or break, don’t really like the hubs, but I can live (and ride) with that. I ride epics 3 to 6 hours, with everything in between, more than anything, and this bike delivers, it doesn’t make a better rider, but I ride better ;-) …if you are about to get a 5” travel bike, you should test one of this dogs …it might became your best friend ! …peace

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   too many

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   Mammoth MTB's

Similar Products Used:   First FS bike.Tested some FS bikes only(Spec.SantaCruz.Giant.GT)

Bike Setup:   Stock 2006 Dawg Primo. Maxxis Ingnitor 2.35 tires(not good enough to me)

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ATW from Arvada

Date Reviewed: March 3, 2007

Strengths:    Solid design, strong frame, spot on geometry, good looks, capable.

Weaknesses:    Umm......I think the paint chips a little easy, but thats the only thing.

Bottom Line:   
This review is for the frame only. I purchased this from Kona on EP. I own a bike shop in CO, so I have my pick from a number of companies. This is my first Kona and I must say I am impressed. 5" of plush travel, perfect geometry, and bombproof construction. I can honestly say this thing, can and does handle everything I throw at it. It has been all over the front range, keystone mountain, including racing the superD and downhill at the keystone climax. I've even jumped this thing at lake arbor with no issues. For a all around bike that can climb, descend, jump and rial with the best of them. Oh and I way almost 200lbs, so yeah this thing is tough.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Apex or Mountain Lion

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Purchased At:   Kona

Similar Products Used:   Specialized, Giant, Haro, Transition, Astrix, Jamis, Ellsworth, Yeti, and many more both dual sus, and hardtail

Bike Setup:   2006 Kona Dawg Primo Frame, RS Pike 454, X.0, Truvativ, sun rims, Maxxis tires, Thomson, etc.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Sean a Weekend Warrior from Orange County, CA

Date Reviewed: February 13, 2007

Strengths:    Bullet Proof, what can I say its a KONA. Perfect set up for my type of riding, technical singletrack down hills to the blitzing downhill of the San Juan Trail and heh it climbs pretty decent too.

Weaknesses:    I haven't found one yet.

Bottom Line:   
This is the bike for the person who doesn't want to get stranded. My typical rides consist of 4 to 6 of us throwing everything at our bikes. The bottom line the KONA has never let me down. Nothing major has ever broke and it always gets me home. I can't say that about th bikes my boys ride (Giant, GT, Specialized, Intense).

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   San Juan Trail

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   Buy My Bikes

Similar Products Used:   I had an old school GT LTS-3. I put that bike through torture.

Bike Setup:   Stock Kona Dawg Primo. (2006)

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Jim Siewers a Weekend Warrior from Charlotte, NC, US

Date Reviewed: December 22, 2006

Strengths:    Dependable handling with strong reputation. Bought leftover 2005 Dawg Primo (now supreme) Bike had a great components mix. Added new Industry Nine wheelset at time of purchase.

Weaknesses:    Fox Float RP3 shock already blew in < 8 months(under warrenty). Going past second week and still no response from dealer or fox. Broke spoke off in rear hub that local bike dealer was able to fix.

Bottom Line:   
Vast improvement over last bike. Kona's reputation for durable bikes and local bike dealer was reason for purchase. My riding style and build (+-l90 lbs) is best discribed as physical. Bike seems to meet my needs.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Cawtaba River Front

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $3600.00

Purchased At:   Southpark Cycles

Similar Products Used:   Sent my old "Cannonjunk" Super V 2000 to a reserve role/ friends to use. Replaced everything but the frame at least twice.

Bike Setup:   Ex Moto-Crosser & Rugby Player, Must be real hard on equipment. Upgraded front Hayes 6" rotor to a 8" for improved braking power. Installed longer Race Face Stem for a more X-country layout at time of purchase.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by George a Cross Country Rider from Olympia, Washington

Date Reviewed: November 4, 2006

Strengths:    Coming from a hardtail XC bike that was 11 years old - I'd say everything. FS is new to me so it took some adjusting in my riding style. It sticks to the trail on fast descents and corners and I can navigate terrain that would have previously killed me.

Weaknesses:    That darn RP3 stuck down issue. Mine stuck down on the 4th ride - Fox fixed it and no problems since. The 2007 models have the RP2 so maybe they changed something...this is a Fox problem, not a Kona one.

The grips bite - they were the first thing to go.


Bottom Line:   
Great bike all around - new worlds opened up, bones broken, and riding the muck in Western Washington has never been more fun. I still haven't tested the limits of the bike yet, but think it'll take more than I can.

I traded my old stumpy and some gear in plus a couple of sandwiches for the shop guys and walked away with a new bike - my cost was $30 for the bike, $300 for the E room. $50 for the Orthopedist...

If you're new to FS - get some knee/shinguards and get ready to endo.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $30.00

Purchased At:   Second Ascent in Seattle

Similar Products Used:   Uh...95 Stumpjumper with rim brakes, 92 Cannondale S1000, old school Giant Iguana from 88. GT something or other from 87... you get the idea.

Bike Setup:   Stock except for Oury grips, Chris King headset and XT hollowtech II cranks - also swapped out to platform pedals for now and will add eggbeaters soon.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Rich Ries a Cross Country Rider from Madison, IN USA

Date Reviewed: October 9, 2006

Strengths:    Rolls right through technical sections, over rocks and roots and logs, even going uphill.

Weaknesses:    The weight, although it's less of an issue than you'd think and the tradeoff in increased durability is worth it.

Bottom Line:   
The Dawg Primo has consistent, reliable handling. No quirks. No surprises. Okay, one surprise. The weight (31.8 pounds for a Large/18-inch) is much less of a hindrance than I'd expected. It's slower on extended climbs, but very capable on technical climbs. It's well-balanced and easy to navigate through technical features at low speed, yet stable on fast descents. If weight trumps bomb-proof design for you, shop for another brand. If you want a bike that offers great performance in a broad range of conditions and can survive some rough treatment, try out a Dawg. Also, buy from a really good dealer. I did. Nebo Ridge Bicycles takes countless little steps to make sure the bike is spot-on when you roll it out the door. You can read a full review on the Stuff We Use section of my Web site, www.bigringadventure.com.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Brown County State Park, Indiana

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1850.00

Purchased At:   Nebo Ridge Bicycles, Indianapolis

Similar Products Used:   Most recently a Specialized Stumpjumper FSP Comp.

Bike Setup:   Bone stock, except that I trimmed an inch off each end of the Race Face Evolve DH bars.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Richard a Cross Country Rider from Durango, CO, USA

Date Reviewed: September 19, 2006

Strengths:    Bomber, geometry is stable, goes where you point it. Will make you go faster and smile wider. Fox shox.

Weaknesses:    Heavier than some.

Bottom Line:   
A great trail bike for heavy, aggressive riders like myself. Comfortable for all day rides, yet strong and stable in the air and on the ground for freeride. First ride coming from my hardtail, this bike felt heavy up the first hill. At the bottom of the first downhill I had a grin a mile wide! Now I'm used to the extra weight I feel like it climbs better, if a little slower, than my hardtail - really well balanced and very comfortable. You can point the bike and spin the pedals while the suspension deals with the bumps, ruts, rocks, whatever. RP3 works and means you don't have to keep the shock full of air and stiff to climb quick. Downhills and corners like a beast. Stay off the brakes and relax... Truly point and shoot. Also takes jumps and drops like a creamy dream. A lighter wheelset and tires and this thing could be lighter and accelerate faster, but I'm having plenty fun right now.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Dry Fork/Colorado Trail

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1950.00

Purchased At:   2nd Avenue Sports

Similar Products Used:   None, ridden Cannondale and Trek hardtails for years.

Bike Setup:   Stock - Fox float and RP3, with eggbeaters and Maxxix Minion FR tires (heavy-ish but grippy!)

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Des a Weekend Warrior from Wellington, New Zealand

Date Reviewed: August 26, 2006

Strengths:    Very nice package of components. Raceface! Hayes! Fox! Versatile.

Weaknesses:    Slightly heavy. Versatile. ;-)

Bottom Line:   
I'm reviewing the 2006 model. I'm basically a hardcore commuter and weekend rider, 90% offroad, 8 time Karapoti Classic sport class rider (but not on this bike ;-)

Awesome bike. I love it and will eventually replace with 2008 model.

Kona have put together a very nice package of components. This is ALL good stuff. I'm just coming up to 2000ks and all I've replaced is the rear tyre. In fact, I haven't serviced a thing apart from keeping the chain clean.

Fox forks....stunning!!!

After cracking swingarms a number of times of my DBR with its 2" travel (!), I was skeptical about doing another FS. I guess its hard to provide a lot of travel with low weight. The upright riding position is super comfortable, I don't know why I was previously attracted to "sore back" race bikes....

So lets try and clear this up. You can go fast downhill on this bike, you could race it....you could win if you were any good...but then you'd need to specialize. You can go fairly quickly XC if you wanted to as well. You can cruise the streets and have a darned good time too. Hey, don't take it too seriously...unless you're planning on being the next world champion...or you could drop the weekend lycra and sunnies look and lighten up and just have some fun....

This bike does a whole bunch of stuff pretty well...I'm a nobody who's been riding for 20 years, and its going to take a major shift in pricing vs components to stop me from buying another one.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   2004 Kula Deluxe, 1996 DBR V-Link 3.1

Bike Setup:   Stock + eggbeaters + wireless cateye + gunk guard + tool bag

Reviews 1 - 15 (28 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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


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