One of the world's most trusted, durable XC suspension bikes returns refined to blast the world's great pantheon of singletrack a new one. Outfitted with Fox's new boost valve RP23 rear shock, which improves suspension performance with better compression damping, we've also added numerous new features to hop up the base model Hei Hei. A new, lighter RockShox SID Race 80mm front fork, new cable routings and internal headset for a more robust front end. For the true definition, look up Hei Hei in your Hawaiian dictionary.
Strengths: Super fast, amazing feel, total control of climbs descents and geometry is perfect. Fast and light FS XC or Racer
Weaknesses: Current stock set-up needs enhancements.
Carbon HEI HEI Supreme. I bought this bike with a little hesitation and found heaven does exist after all. I raced the Gary Fisher 29er when know when had one and loved the bike in 2008. Rode hard tail my life and than decided to go FS this year. I have ridden them all Santa Cruz, Niner, Specialized, Jamis, to name a few and all have good qualities that are debatable. I have seen Kona out on the trails and seldom on the race scene the last several years so was hesitant. The bike always has an amazing loyal base and thought to much 420 was in play. I bit the bullet and bought a Niner Hei Hei Supreme and have the following components on the bike. E-Thirteen cranks 1x10 32-42. Formula R-1 carbon brakes from Italy. Stans Crest rims and hubs with Racing Ralphs tires tubeless 28-29 psi front 26-28 rear psi. Crank brothers carbon bars and clip ins. Fox rear and Rock Shox XX front 100mm. X-9 rear with exact actuation thus, no more chain slap and super firm chain. Carbon Niner post and Fizik seat. Thompson 90mm stem. The bike stock out of retail is around 27 pounds for a large and I got mine down to 23 pounds and it is lighter than my sons Hed Jet Carbon RDO medium. I wanted a bike for trails and a couple races in Xterra XC for fun. I'm not expert rider but know bikes and have ridden the fleet for my life at 49 years of age. The bike rides like a dream. I grew up on hard tails and decided with age and lack of time that comfort was needed but not giving up speed. I found the bike to be so amazing that I was blown away. First ride was 2.30 hours with fresh legs. On my hard tail with white knuckles a 1:45 hour ride on hard trails was destroying my legs for running and swimming. This bike rocks. My first statement was do not have peddle bob. I have a clean peddle stroke and can hammer flats easily at 18.4 mph with comfort and did not want to give up speed. In my flats the bike railed like a rocket with zero bob. I was so happy because so many have that Cadillac feel when hammering the flats. My strava data proved it was right there. On the climbs I put the rear shock in the middle which is basically all around and it still stuck nice and tight. On the climbs it was smooth as butter and climbed fast. The amazing feel of the bike is that you do not lose time on the hills. The geometry was perfect for sitting in and hammering over the rocks and when I wanted to stand and get acceleration the balance was perfectly neutral. I love to stand and climb and this bike I did not have the need to stand over the bars to get the climb moving. I can stand and climb those quick steep rocky or fire trails with comfort, balance, and speed. The descents are perfect as well and one could just let the bike flow with clean lines and if a mistake happens no penalty of OTB or misguided tree's. This bike is fast and the reliability is amazing. When riding sounds are important and nothing is worse than a creaking or squeaky bushings. This bike is quiet as a mouse in midnight and the sound you only hear is your heart rate and breathing. From the visual one would think this is a all mountain bike without race qualities but when you ride this gem it flies as fast as you can peddle with zero flaws. The geometry and fit are beyond perfect and you need no body corrections to find that perfect equilibrium while riding. The design for the rear system is older than most current standards but nothing needs to be done. A round wheel does not need to be changed and this bike needs nothing of modern sciences to prove with worth and value. I have taken this bike with my buddies and they are blown away at the bike on how smooth and unique the design is. I gave this bike a perfect score with the components that I have transferred over from my last bike and you can get this bike at least 1-2 pounds lighter at around 21 pounds with $500 more bucks from my list. I might not be able to race like a pro but we all know what we like and what is top quality. This bike is the best quality I have seen come across my line of bikes and way ahead of my original thoughts and perceptions. The reviews from the bike pro's said it was soft. The stock american classic rims are not worth a dime so, throw those away and get a couple upgrades and you have a world class bike. I thought I was going to build it out and ride it for a short season and sell it. I have decided to keep this bike because I found heaven on wheels. I cannot wait to race this bike and see my old times disappear with new PR's and 1/2 the training load of yesteryear's. If you are exploring a top level FS bike give this a shot and unlike your past experiences being unhappy with the cost of new bikes this is worth every penny. The carbon frame is top material and my shop that built it out said the carbon design and materials are just as good as the specialized S-works epic. The frame absorbs all the pounding but is firm and responsive. You will feel this bike during your ride with pleasure and perfection.
Bike Setup: Niner HEI, E-Thirteen crankset 32-42 1x10. X-9 Stans Crest Crank Brothers carbon bar, Niner Carbon post, Rock Shox XX, Fox Rear, Formula R-1 Carbon brakes. light fast strong reliable.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: January 17, 2013
Strengths: kona covered every aspect of this bike impeccably, the bike is a dream machine in comparison with other bikes in the same category. With how light and responsive the frame is, climbing is a breeze...use the propedal and wait for your buddies on top. PLEASE note that i bought the frame and built this bike myself with similar but higher up components
Weaknesses: stock wheels are a bit weak for it to be on their "race" category but i'm sure Kona did this to keep the bike well priced
The hei hei 100 I've built is far from stock but the soul of this great bike is in the frame/shock combo.
I don't have to repeat what others have said in previous reviews for this bike because everything is pretty much covered.
Buy a nice tubeless wheelset and a solid set of tires to go with it and find yourself in the woods riding the crap out of this bike, and don't worry "IT'S A KONA"!!
a Cross Country Rider
from Presscott, AZ
Date Reviewed: October 26, 2011
Strengths: Suspension, SLX and XT components, sizing
Weaknesses: None yet
My last bike was a GT Marathon, tipped the scales at 32+ pounds. I wanted a faster, lighter bike with better handling and components. I found it in this bike. The suspension design is awesome, 4" that doesn't slow you down and keeps the bike in contact with the ground at all times. The fit and finish of the bike is perfect, Kona knows what they're doing. I love the pro-pedal feature on the rear shock, however, I notice myself in climbs without even thinking about it because of the way it rides. This bike has me looking forward to my next race to see the difference this quality bike will make.
Similar Products Used: GT Marathon, Specialized Rockhopper
Bike Setup: Stock except for Eggbeaters and front fork mod making it 120mm.
a Cross Country Rider
from Tampa, Florida, USA
Date Reviewed: January 4, 2011
Strengths: *** This is a Review of the redesigned 2011 model***
Responsive,Stable and Quick handling.Great looking frame, Light
Weaknesses: None so far.....maybe the stock build is a little down spec.
This is a race bike that is tough enough to handle the tough stuff. For 2011 Kona has reworked the tried and true 4 bar suspension it has used for years. They have managed to keep the ride plush and at the same time stiffened the platform and changed the leverage ratio in such a way that it leaps up short climbs and out of fast turns. If you like to ride quickly, this is a great bike for you.
Similar Products Used: 2005 Kona Hoss, 2008 Kona Four Supreme
Bike Setup: Hei Hei 100 Frame with Fox RP2 rear shock
Rock Shox Recon Gold Solo Air 100mm w/PopLoc
Industry Nine Wheel set w/Stan’s Arch ZTR rims
Sram 990 Cassette
Sram 991 Chain
Shimano XTR M970 Crank set
Crank Brothers Eggbeater SL pedals
Salsa Skewers front and rear
Hayes Stroker Carbon Brakes Front and Rear
Bontrager XXX Lite Riser Bars
Thomson Elite X4 110 mm stem
Oury Lock on grips
Kenda Kozmik Lite II tires front and rear
WTB Pure V SLT saddle with Ti rails
Shimano XTR rear derailleur RD 971
Shimano XTR front derailleur FD971
Shimano XTR shifters, right and left
Floating 2 piece Brake rotors
Titanium Bolt kits
a Cross Country Rider
from Whidbey Island, WA
Date Reviewed: April 25, 2010
Strengths: Frame, shock, fork. Almost light for a full suss. Excellent trail manners on most technical trails, up and down. Capable of light freeride if the mood strikes.
Weaknesses: Wheelset and many stock components that need upgraded to be really considered a race rig. Included pedals are not needed, apply more effort on wheels or cassette. Cup and cone bearing headset.
This is typical Kona in an old school design that just works. All the naysayers about Kona not staying up with the times just need to ride one. It goes up, it goes down and no issues whatsoever with either. I was surprised at how well it hooks up when going up technical trail sections. It feels much lighter than it is (about 25 lbs) when riding and inspires confidence on the rough stuff. Flickable when needed but also forgiving when making hasty ride line decisions. The Fox Shox RP2 in Pro Pedal mode is certainly needed for long ascents but not a big deal once you develop the muscle memory for hitting the PP lever when required. This suspension design will bob if you hammer on it going up. However, with PP on and the fork locked out it ascends much like a hard tail and you can stand on it for long stretches when required. When the PP is off and you are descending, it is nothing but buttery love over everything and anything.
Great frame/shock combo and RockShox Recon SL fork is a proven design with rebound, compression and air dampening. The only thing I would have liked to see was more higher end components included with the stock bike, I would have gladly paid more money for this. Several of the stock components are barely adequate for this beautiful scandium frame and I immediately upgraded several of them before even leaving the shop. 5 for value, 4 for component selection, could be 3 but the ride makes up for that.
Similar Products Used: Kona Dawg, Specialized FSR, several hard tails.
Bike Setup: Mostly stock added so far - WTB Ti saddle, Hayes Stroker Trail brakes, Easton Monkey Light carbon bar, XT cassette, XT shifters
a Weekend Warrior
from State College, PA, USA
Date Reviewed: April 12, 2010
Strengths: This is an amazing bike. Plush yet nimble, light but sturdy, and so on. I am very happy with this bike. The stock WTB saddle was pleasantly comfy too.
Weaknesses: The only snag I've run into is that the seat post won't stay put no matter how much I tighten the collar. I haven't have this issue on any other bike.
Full suspension sure has come a long way. This bike has no bobbing when hammering away, but the suspension magically works when you need it. There is a lot of darn good engineering in this bike. Very impressive (I'm a mechanical engineer). I am very glad that I wound up choosing this cross country bike (as opposed to one of the monster travel setups) because it is very light weight, but still handles the terrain like a champ. The Fox shocks are quite nice BTW.
Bike Setup: Stock. The Supreme comes with a great setup.
a Cross Country Rider
from Victoria, BC, Canada
Date Reviewed: January 15, 2010
Strengths: Climbs great. Soaks up the bumps without feeling 'cushy' like a 5+5, very responsive. Light steering but not jittery.
Weaknesses: The stock tires aren't so good for the wet, rooty, rocky, muddy conditions during winter on the West Coast. Shift levers too short and causes you to have your fingers jambed up against the brake housing, will need to remedy this. Can't adjust the placement of the brakes/shifters to accomodate more room for the hands.
Love the increase in stand over height, this allows to me to ride and 18" which gives me a lot more room in the cockpit. I was surprised that the 18" fit as I came from a 16.5" on my Kikapu.
The bike at first seemed adequate at first but after the first ride and making the necessary adjustments for my preferred postion it is really growing on me.
I was surprised that it came with the SPD pedals and would have preferred instead to have some upgraded components for the cost of the pedals.
However, I'm looking forward to getting to know this bike and race it in the BC Bike Race in 2010.
Bike Setup: Stock at this point other than Thompson seat post and seat, will be swapping out the tires asap.
a Cross Country Rider
from Holmfirth, Yorkshire England
Date Reviewed: January 19, 2009
Strengths: Super lightweight anround 10kg. Pedals great with propedal on. Usies its travel perfectly. Superfast.
Weaknesses: Forks are scary. The sid race flexs like mad and i have just had to send mine off because they have broken internally. Warranty is covering it though.
This bike is brilliant. The weight and pedaling ability is superb as you fly up the hills and knock minutes off your PB's. Although there is only 65mm of travel at the rear you wouldn't know as it uses it optimumly. You will be amazed how much it actually does. I raced it in my first ever xc event and finished 3rd in the Midlands xc. I would recomend putting a pair of nobby nics 1.8 inch tyres on it as it makes it super fast through anything and means you can ride straight through the deepest bogs. Absolutley love it.
Strengths: Super stiff on sprints, short travel perfect for most xc races, Lots of nice cable routing options. New 08 design is more slack and feels more stable than the 07 model. Clean Simple.....Fast
Weaknesses: At 5.1 lbs it could be a little lighter for a 3inch travel bike.
Similar Products Used: Santa Cruz blur and superlight, Litespeed softail etc.
Bike Setup: Sram XO fox x100 dtswiss 1540 wheels Formula puro brakes RP23 xtr cranks Richey WCS cockpit
a Cross Country Rider
from QUITO, ECUADOR
Date Reviewed: December 19, 2007
Strengths: Light weight, suspension works great, really confortable and handles great on decents and a good climber. Its a fast bike !!!!!!
Weaknesses: None found yet
For the price paid this bike is really awesome. It not only provides a confortable ride but the bike handles really good. Comes with a R.S. Reba Race fork that works great on roots and rocks. A great climber as well. I feel very confident on how it grips the trial. I really enjoy riding this bike.
Strengths: Super light and looks amazing. Suspension feels like a DH rig on the decents.
Weaknesses: The bike is a little flexy. Can't tune the shock not to bob when pedaling hard. My old Element was super efficient but the Kona isn't nearly as efficient.
This bike is super light (frame under 5 lbs). Looks amazing. Bombs decents and carves corners a new one. Really good value for what you get. I wish the bike pedaled a little better but its still smoking fast. Bottom line...almost as fast as it looks!