Kona Caldera 2002 Hardtail

4.82/5 (17 Reviews)
MSRP : $949.00


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 15 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Aaron a Weekend Warrior from Surrey, BC, Canada

Date Reviewed: September 10, 2007

Strengths:    Good brakes, lockout on front fork, smooth shifting.

Weaknesses:    I've broken the chain once, when it was fixed the first time, they didn't do it right and it broke again. I had it fixed somewhere else and another link broke. Brought it back 1 more time, we'll see how it goes. Front fork could be stiffer. Brakes need occasional repositioning to stop drag. Don't like the hand grips. Factory tires could be wider and better tread pattern, very hard to go up loose gravel hills. I'll be upgrading the tires next season. Paint scratches easily.

Bottom Line:   
Good bike for the money, but with the chain problems and skinny stock tires, I wish i had gone for the norco bigfoot.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $969.00

Purchased At:   Bike Zone Surrey

Similar Products Used:   9 year old nishiki 18" mountain bike, never broke a chain, was super reliable, wanted something newer with suspension.

Bike Setup:   Stock with handlebar riser

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Bjorn Antonsen a Cross Country Rider from Jonkoping, Sweden

Date Reviewed: May 16, 2005

Strengths:    Awesome overall quality for the buck.
Brakes work very well and even stopping power, but a rather long burn in.
Silent braking.
Can use all gears with little noise, 1-9 and 3-1 for example, even though I don't use such wide gears, I feel it's a good sign it actually works, unlike my other bike.


Weaknesses:    The damn disc just won't stay centered between the pads. Great brakes, but the clearance is a little narrow.
The lower headset bearing rusted, broke and locked up due to way too little grease from factory. That's the only low quality part on the bike, small balls and not stainless.
Free replacement of course, but an hour work I should'nt have had to do. The front chainrings seem soft, I've gotten splinters of aluminum when wiping it off. Like on all 29 gear systems the smallest chainring has a tendency to drop the chain whenever I go from 3-1 too quickly.


Bottom Line:   
Even though I had a bad experience with the headset, and the brakes are a pain to setup, I have had to set them up once every two weeks, it doesn't take the top rating off.
It's a lovely frame with nice parts and extremely well balanced weight, I feel I can go downhill without that sensation of falling over, and vice versa, uphill at angles I've never tried before.
I've biked 948km in a little less than three months, and that says a lot about how much fun it's been.

For me, this of bike is the perfect date.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Anywhere fun

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1354.00

Purchased At:   Öoster Cykel

Similar Products Used:   My last bike was my first Enthusiast bike, a CyclePro FR1

Bike Setup:   Default setup

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Graham a Weekend Warrior from Christchurch, New Zealand

Date Reviewed: July 27, 2003

Strengths:    Frame and components give great ride for XC and downhill. Always goes where you point it - no frame flex and no slop in the forks. Feels sure footed at all times. Great components. Hydraulic Disks rock. Can't beat the XT / bomber setup for the price. Similar spec bikes in nz are NZ$1800 upwards (US$1050). Direct import by local supplier cuts the middleman and the price.

Weaknesses:    None yet

Bottom Line:   
Great bike for the bucks - Can't beat the price compared to similar spec bikes. Strong frame with little flex, and the disks are a great confidence booster. A little heavier than some bikes but this makes for a more stable ride, particularly on fast uneven downhills. I feel far more confident on this bike than the stumpjumper, which felt too light and skittery on the rough stuff and the Judy's sucked big time. This bike goes where you point it and holds its line. Handles 3 - 4 foot drops with ease and comfort.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Victoria Park / Bowenvale

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $750.00

Purchased At:   pennysport cycles

Similar Products Used:   98 Specialised Stumpjumer M3, Haro V2 Extreme, Old trusty rigid frame peugeot (13 years and still going strong - can't kill it!)

Bike Setup:   Standard - EXR Bombers / XT rear / Deore front / Shimano Hydrauic Disks.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Marc Fischer a Cross Country Rider from Grand Junction,CO,USA

Date Reviewed: July 2, 2003

Strengths:    XT components with the Bomber fork make hell of a deal. The bikes just loved to jump the XC stuff. Not a DH bike but you know that when you buy it.

Weaknesses:    The tires are way soft. They are showing wear after just one week. I changed to some WTB's and now the bike climbs a lot better.

Bottom Line:   
If you love XC this is your bike. It is not the lightest one I ever had. The geometry is very easy to get used to and so far I had no problem with any trail sections. I have no mercy with the bike and it already took quite a bit of abuse and still no problems at all.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $950.00

Purchased At:   Ruby Canyon

Similar Products Used:   Diamondback APEX '02


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by greg goire from canberra

Date Reviewed: June 26, 2003

Strengths:    rockin' looks and steamin' great components for the bucks - all round a chunky good deal - no trail is safe

Weaknesses:    tires are sound but a bit sad and a jittering noise from the rear hydraulics cable alond the top tube is a piss off

Bottom Line:   
the fattest value at the gig ... there's simply no better hard tail for the bucks! I can't eat up enough trail at the moment and Tips: get the doods at the shop to clean out the down tube so you don't toast the seat post finish and retro fit some tube rubber to the top of the rear derailleur and the right chainstay ... I gotta ride!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   close fast and lumpy

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   maladjusted

Similar Products Used:   trek 6700, apollo cascade

Bike Setup:   stock from Kona

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by David a Weekend Warrior from Little Rock, AR

Date Reviewed: June 18, 2003

Strengths:    It may be a 2001 model of Caldera I have because I don't have the disk brakes. Anyway, I love the one I have. It's my first mountain bike, and with it I've discovered a whole new sport. Everything about the bike has worked great for a year.

Weaknesses:    I suspect that my bike is heavier than some of my friends' bikes, but, hey, it was only $800. Like the guy at the shop said, the more you pay, the less you get. I had several flats until I installed Slimeliner. Now I rarely get flats.

Bottom Line:   
I'd buy this bike again! I ride it on streets and trails. It was a great entry-level purchase, and one I plan to stick with for many years, riding once or twice a week, or 18-25 miles a week.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Camp Robinson (N. Little Rock)

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $850.00

Purchased At:   Chainwheel

Similar Products Used:   Vista 10-speed road bike, circa 1974. Okay, that's not really similar, but it's what I replaced with my Kona.

Bike Setup:   I have occasional lower back problems (age 42), and riding in a bent-over position for long stretches gets to me. So I bought an adjustable stem to raise the handlebar height, then I bought some L-shaped bar ends and positioned them directly above the handlebars, rather than in front of them like they're supposed to be. It looks funny and doesn't help with trail riding, but to be able to sit upright while on easy pavement is worth the fashion citations. Before I ever sat on the stock saddle, I replaced it with a wider, softer one. It's no fun when your butt hurts! Also added a Cane Creek Thudbuster under the seat to further protect my back. Great product. Finally, after riding about a year with cages around my feet, bought a pair of egg beaters. While getting clipped in was difficult at first, I'm loving them now.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Gaston a Cross Country Rider from Toronto

Date Reviewed: May 25, 2003

Strengths:    The XT components are fantastic. EXR Bomber and Shimano Hydraulic Brakes. You can beat the components and the prices of this bike.

Weaknesses:    ohhh God, the seat is a pain. I will change it as soon as possible

Bottom Line:   
I have used this bike for a week. The hydraulics brakes are one of the best thing that this bike have. The frame awsome and the xt components are terrific. I spent more than a month reseratching to get the best bike for 1100 U$S and by far this is the best you can get.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   Sportswap

Similar Products Used:   Giant Rainier, Rocky Mountain Elevation, Cannondale 400, Trek 6700.

Bike Setup:   Marzocchi EXR Fork - Shimano Hallowtech Crank, Shimano Deore Hydraulic Brakes. XT compenents on the rear.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Michael Johnston a Weekend Warrior from Vancouver, BC

Date Reviewed: December 5, 2002

Strengths:    Strong frame, awesome Hayes brakes and Bomber forks.

Weaknesses:    The only weak point of the Caldera is the uncomfortable seat.

Bottom Line:   
This was my first real MTB and I'm very happy with my choice. Looking at similar Norco and Rocky Mountain bikes I couldn't find any that offered the value of the Caldera. I should also mention that I bought the bike at the Cove Bike Shop, definitely recommend them, first class sales and service.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   The Cove

Similar Products Used:   None.

Bike Setup:   Pretty much stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Andrew a Weekend Warrior from UVA

Date Reviewed: October 15, 2002

Strengths:    light, sweet Marzocchi fork, powerful Hayes disc brakes, solid components

Weaknesses:    front end is light when climbing (possibly bad technique on my part), the stock seat makes you feel like you just got out of a Turkish prison, slick stock grips, chainsuck when climbing

Bottom Line:   
All the bike I needed and a good price. For my first decent mountain bike (I still have the Talera) it rocks - sweet fork, strong brakes, etc. I recently moves from Illinois to Virginia and the Caldera is proving its worth in the mountains. One small complaint, though, is that the components and pedals take some breaking in. Overall, this bike rocks!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Walnut Creek

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $950.00

Similar Products Used:   old-skool GT Talera

Bike Setup:   Bontrager Race FS+10 saddle (blk/red), wellgo pedals (red), Oury grips (red), Kore chain reactor, Cateye Endoro 2 comp, Cane Creek ergo control barends

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Cory Mayer from Calgary Canada

Date Reviewed: September 21, 2002

Strengths:    Kick ass bike fairly light great price for the componants fits well tires kick ass looks good rides smooth climbs well I ride my bike everyday in everykind of weather and it is still holding up hardly any problems just riped hole in side wall of the back tire but other than that no problem

Weaknesses:    not many I upgraded my bike so its kick ass it could have hydraulic disk brakes and be a bit lighter oh and the seats uncomfortable

Bottom Line:   
if you have have some money to buy a bike and you want something to last and be worth the money with kick ass components the caldera is for you. I paid 1550 canadian and got 10 x better componants than a rocky mountain oxygen that i was looking at which was 2000. highly kick ass but don't buy it if you wont use it in the mountains

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   cox hill and moose mountain

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $950.00

Purchased At:   Mountain BIke CIty Canada

Similar Products Used:   Rocky Mountain oxygen

Bike Setup:   XT shifters XT front deraileur XTR back derailer WTB seat yety grips red look awsome shimano spd clipless peddels

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Geekie Boy a Cross Country Rider from VIC Australia

Date Reviewed: July 27, 2002

Strengths:    Strength, heaps of good components for the price, responsive handling, comfortable riding, great stopping power, strong rims all round a very satisifying and enjoyable ride, smooth and reliable drive chain, great fork performance.

Weaknesses:    A few creeks in the head set when peddling hard, the clipless peddles are starting to sound a bit ordinary (bearing wise), mud in my face is pretty bad from the front wheel.

Bottom Line:   
I'm real happy! This bike is perfect for what I want; good quality, can go fast on roads over distance, comfortable, great on trails and for hill climbing, I'm looking to do some touring and am confident that it will be great for that. I also use it every day to go to work and zip down the street - great fun everywhere,everyway, everyday.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Horden Vale

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $750.00

Purchased At:   Geelong Mountain and tri centre

Similar Products Used:   Apollo Summit for 5 years. I'd riden dual suspension bikes, but wanted a hard tail to keep moving over longer rides. I've riden road bikes for years and enjoy riding in the bush and smashing into stuff. Looked at Giant Ranier, Specialized rock hopper, canondale$$. I was happy with the feel of the kona, I new I was getting heaps better value than other bikes in the same price bracket. I'd spent alot of time reading magazines and internet reviews It then came down to parting with so much $$ for a bike, its more expensive than any of the 3 cars I've had for the last 13 years. This was the hardest part of buying this bike over a $300 bike which would effectively do what I want to do with this. In hindsight, I'm really pleased I spent the extra $$ and got the kona. I'm enjoying this bike more than any other bike I've owned, and the joy ain't stopping yet.

Bike Setup:   Stock.
I change the seatpost height quite a bit (bullet runs, XC rides, and downhill control and power)

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Aurel a Cross Country Rider from Queens, NY

Date Reviewed: June 5, 2002

Strengths:    Great frame and geometry. Hayes Discs really grip with minimal adjustment. Solid Mavic Wheels

Weaknesses:    Stem, Seatpost and the dreaded saddle ... gotta change that as my butt was hurting after 30 minutes

Bottom Line:   
Great ... great ride. Even though it is heavier than my previous customized Raleigh M-80, the bike flies and feels really solid. For the price it can't be beat! I am changing all the generic Kona parts right away for two reasons. First, I am 6'7" and need a longer seatpost and stem so some new Salsa stuff is coming my way ... second that seatpost that comes with it looks dangerous. I actually think the Tioga rubber that is stock is pretty good and corners well. Bike feels solid as is! Looked at an NRS 2 but since Giant has 0 supply on the bike (is the factory shut down) and needing a bike for the summer, this is a great hardatil alternative. Go nuts ... you'll love it

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $870.00

Purchased At:   Peak Mountain Bike Shop

Similar Products Used:   Raleigh M-80

Bike Setup:   aded XT Rear Derraileur before bringing bike home ... all else stock so far.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Joe Shmoe a Weekend Warrior from I dont care lane

Date Reviewed: May 13, 2002

Strengths:    Decent componets,BOMBER FORK,Good frame geometry, and more stuff that I cant remember.

Weaknesses:    deore & lx sucks, its a tad hevey at 25 pounds,EXR fork need more travel but more than acceptable.

Bottom Line:   
Very good bike for the money! The weight thing is my own insane obseion..... it will get alot lighter with a new wheelset,derailers,disks,seatpost,cranks, and maybe fork. The EXR has saved my life several time though.. with a 160ish pound rider of about a 3-4 foot HIGH jump and one fork leg deflated,landing on the from wheel, all with barely bottoming out? That kicks some A**! The only bike I have tried that comes close is my friends super v 500 and avalanche 1.0! I favor the caldera though because its pretty impossible to compare fs with ht.GET THIS BIKE IF YOU LIKE A CRISP HARDTAIL. heheh i even do some decent freeriding with it!I give this bike a 4.5 overall rating because of the derailers(~but what do you expect on a sub-1000 dollar bike?!~)

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Rockingburns

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $900.00

Purchased At:   Sun & Ski Sports

Similar Products Used:   Cannondale super v 500,Gt avalnche 1.0,trek 800,specialzed fsr xc comp, various other evil bikes

Bike Setup:   completly stock for now

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Srecko a Cross Country Rider from Zagreb, Croatia

Date Reviewed: May 10, 2002

Strengths:    Frame, Marzocchi fork,Hayes Disk Brakes and Shimano SPD pedals.

Weaknesses:    None.

Bottom Line:   
Perfect bike with strong brakes and smooth fork. When you ride, the feeling is so good that makes you ride more and more, faster and faster. The only thing I changed is SDG saddle (after ½ hour ride, you have it enough).I put Velo saddle(with the hole) that is much more comfortable.
For that price you can not get anything better.


Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Sljeme

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $850.00

Purchased At:   Ciklocentar

Similar Products Used:   Scott Atacama Tour

Bike Setup:   Factory except Velo saddle.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Lobo a Cross Country Rider from Orinda, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: April 28, 2002

Strengths:    A truly killer ride for the money. The frame is well laid out, light, and VERY stiff. The Hayes disks are powerful and easy to modulate, and the overall package just begs to be thrashed.. It descends as well as you'd expect from any hardtail, but handles twisty, technical climbs admirably. The component mix is pretty decent for the money, and comparable or better than anything else on the market. This is one of those bikes that you just don't think about while riding it–it allows you to fully concentrate your attention on the terrain and doesn't distract you with annoying little problems or gee-whiz gadgetry.

Weaknesses:    The goofballs at Hank & Frank threw the bike together without tuning the drivetrain, and on my first ride the chain fell off twice, but that's their problem and not Kona's. The EXR fork is taking forever to break in, and the tires kinda suck for hard riding on sand or loose gravel. I'm still not sure whether I like the Shimano M505 pedals or not.

Bottom Line:   
This is probably the most bike you can get for under a grand right now. I've been riding the gnarliest, steepest, most washed-out and rutted trails I can find since I bought it, and I don't think I've seriously pushed the limits of the frame or components yet. It's also reaffirmed my faith in hardtail bikes; I was seriously leaning towards a Giant NRS 2, but changed my mind at the last minute. Buy this bike if you like hardtails and ride terrain with a lot of technical ups & downs. It would also make a pretty forgiving beginner bike for anyone willing to fork over $950 for their first ride. Don't buy it if you're the downhill/freeride/dirt jump type or if you're into shaving ounces wherever possible. There are a few little gripes I have with the stem/handlebar angles and the saddle, but for a bike that's a bargain at list price and that I bought for even cheaper I'm not going to whine. 5 chiles calientes for value, 4 overall because of the tires and just 'cuz I'm hard to please.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   the ones you can ride naked

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   Hank & Frank's

Bike Setup:   Dead stock, but I'm shopping for new tires.

Reviews 1 - 15 (17 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 »

Read More »



 

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