Kona Kula XC Hardtail

Kona Kula XC Hardtail 

DESCRIPTION

The time to shred is upon us. Mountain biking has a handle on you. You're thinking race. You're pondering major mountain epics. Laying the hammer down. Nothing will get you going quicker off-road than the race born Kula. Using Kona's paradigm shifting sloping top tube technology, super light, tight and true riding Kona Race Light 7005 Aluminum Butted frame, dressed with components that won't slow you down, like a Shimano XT rear derailleur and RockShox Recon SL Solo 100mm front fork, but modest enough so there's money for post podium beers.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 18  
[Feb 04, 2012]
P-Tron
Cross Country Rider

Strength:

Fairly light bike that's well-suited to my local trails. Components are good throughout. After 1000kms of mostly singletrack & rooty forested trails (which included a half-dozen crashes) nothing on the bike has had any problems. Everything works like the day it was new. It's a quick, fun bike :) I really like having the bar-mounted remote lockout.

Weakness:

Nothing that I've found yet. I may try shortening up the cockpit a bit with a stem, but minor fit adjustments hardly speak to the bike in question.
Oh...the brakes squeal like mad if you spill Powerade on the rotors - haha!

A solid bike. While not elite-level stuff, there are no 'garbage' components on this bike. The frame is a fine hardtail platform, especially paired with the nicely-adjustable fork. The 19" seems to be a good fit for my 6 foot, 165-pound frame.

It's all relative though, if you're a casual rider on gentle terrain that would be well-served with an entry-level Kona Blast or Nunu, then the Kula might be a (relatively) more bike than necessary. At any rate, this bike should be great for someone that rides a couple of times per week.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Apr 25, 2010]
SGexpat
Weekend Warrior

Strength:

Climbs like a monkey, decent components, fast on the track

Weakness:

Water-absorbent paint. That's it!

Great fun on fast or tight single tracks, keep up with almost anything, can be thrown around (this thing carries me up the climbs!). Need to learn to turn in early on this bike but once you get used to Kona specialised single-track geometry nothing else I've tried feels as good.
Local shop has a Kula Primo 2007 in my favourite orange with super light Manitou R7mrd forks .. Feeling upgrade fever coming on as that 23lbs setup is way lighter than my std Kula!
Only downside is matt paintjob seems to absorb rain going patchy when wet - ok once dry but also marks easily. Not sure if gloss paint from 2008 onwards has fixed this issue.
Top bike, would buy again or upgrade to Easton/Scandium frame w same geo.

Similar Products Used:

Kona Explosif, Louis Garneau XC Bart, Gary Fisher HooKooEeKoo

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Nov 16, 2009]
coldpack
Weekend Warrior

Strength:

Light and Stiff. Clean lines, stable at both fast and slow speeds. Way better climbing ability. Will never go back to full suspension.

Weakness:

Paint chips easily which led to the rear Salsa Skewer to come out on a hard climb. Need to remember to grind of paint in rear dropout before installing rear wheel!

A nice light build. Next step beyond this would be a Ti frame, but this bike is perfect....for now!

Similar Products Used:

Leader 515 (19.5), Rocky Mountain ETSX (20.5) (full susp.)

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Jan 19, 2007]
Jeff
Cross Country Rider

Strength:

Light weight, but durable frame and components.
Reliable fork (2005 model Fox Vanilla R). Stable on the climbs and smooth on the downhill with no brake shimers
Reasonable price range (40% off near the end of the season)

Weakness:

Tires. I'd have to agree with other reviews. Tioga tires had very soft sidwalls and tended to flex when cornering and snakebite easily on rocks.
My seatpost bent from riding with a pack on.
Brake rotors warped easily ( I can't remember what make they were).

If you are not riding overly rocky trails, this bike can handle almost anything in terms of endurance and all mountain riding. The trails where I live in Japan are clay and as a result they are smooth and fast. I've ridden this bike on downhill trails as well as all mountain conditions. Even riding on Lava rock was not a problem. However, for endurance riding the Rocky Mountains, I think I would prefer a softail.
The one thousand dollars I paid was money well spent. It got me into endurance racing and has been my sole means of transportation for 2 years. I think I have ridden it almost every day. Its light enough to carry on the train so I can explore new trails and still get home before dark.
The new Kula has been downgraded to make room for the Kula Dulux and Supreme. After looking at the components I am a little dissapointed they moved away from the Fox fork as that was one of the main selling points for me. The Reba on the Kula Dulux might be alright (I've never ridde it), but I am not impressed with the Kula's new fork it doesnt feel the same.
Overall Kona has put a nice package together. I would like to see them make the bike a little lighter in the future with a better wheelset and carbon frame.

Similar Products Used:

Rocky Mountain Blizzard, Schwynn Mesa

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jan 04, 2007]
Kev
Cross Country Rider

Strength:

I have a 2005 model.
Looks good, strong brakes, quality components. I bought this to replace my Giant Rainier as I wanted a lighter, less common bike than a Giant, and I was very unimpressed with the Ranier's cable disc brakes. Konas are quite rare in Australia, Giants are everywhere! Tried an Avanti but it lacked character. The Kula instantly felt nicer to ride.
Nothing has broken and all I've had to change is a chain and cassette.

Weakness:

Not as light as I thought, after trying a Giant XTC1, brake pads worn out after 6000km (or is that normal?). I'm selling it to pay for a new Ibis Mojo - my old backside needs a smoother ride!

A good bike, but possibly a little heavy compared to the cometition. I've gone off hardtails and am going for comfort - not a criticism of the bike, just my old age! Has done over 6000km of commuting and the occasional trail without complaint.

Similar Products Used:

Giant XTC1, Giant Ranier, Avanti

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Sep 18, 2005]
Lee
Weekend Warrior

Strength:

This bike is very light weight for a disc-brake hardtail. It climbs like a mountain goat, and the Fox Vanilla-R fork is very capable and smooth. Oh, did I mention that this is one sexy bicycle?

Weakness:

Other reviewers have noted that the paint finish chips very easily, and I may have to concur with this assessment: On my first off-road ride -a 70 miler on the North Country Scenic Trail- I noticed a paint chip. But fear not, fellow hyper-sensitive and metrosexual cyclists, the paint chip in no way affects the Kula's ride quality.

This bicycle is simply resplendent: the Kula will serve well as a daily commuter, while keeping up (nicely) with much more expensive bikes on the trail. The frame is one of the most beautifully crafted ones that I've seen for the price range (and I'm used to beautifully crafted frames as my road bike is a Klein Quantum). The equipment mix is just smart, and the seat is sleek and very comfortable too. Kona's love of mountain biking culture really shines through this finely crafted bicycle.
I would recommend this bicycle for the serious weekend warrior and/or the daily commuter like myself. But hey, don't take my word for it; try the Kula for yourself.

Prosper & Be In Health

Similar Products Used:

Kona Cinder Cone; Specialized Stumpjumper; Trek Fuel.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Mar 12, 2007]
Mark E
Weekend Warrior

Strength:

As a long-term retro Kona rider - pleased to "feel at home" with this classic geometry - great climber. Amazing Hayes 9 brakes. Strong wheels. I have the 2006 model with Marzocchi Gran Fondo 1s, they have had bad press but I am really pleased with them - good plush all rounders.
Very confident and "chuckable" at speed.

Weakness:

Feels a bit twitchy at low speed (I must swap back to original rider bars!) Tyres are great for dry trails but lethal on wet rock - swap 'em asap. Although XT rear mech - the cheaper Deore front mech tends to require tuning regularly. Standard SPD pedals are pretty poor.
No major weaknesses.

Good solid-feeling but also racy hard tail.
If you got the skills, this bike can deliver.

Similar Products Used:

Kona Cindercone / Explosif / Kilauea (love steel hardtails!)

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[May 05, 2006]
Timmy
Weekend Warrior

Strength:

This bike is really light. First impressions are great brakes are strong, the geometry makes it soo much easier to climb those unbelevibly steep hills, when i mean easier i mean... really easy. The forks are pretty much the lowest spec in the fox range but work great.

Weakness:

The paint job as said chips very easily i recommend that you should cover it in clear tape to preserve the frame. Tyres are absolutly usless. Change them immediatly. The easton riser bars are way... to wide for me ( i am planning to cut them )but the riser in the bars is great dispite the rather wide width. Downhills are done definatly out of the saddle. In rough rocky sections the hardtale design seems transfere all the bumps 99% through the bike and into your body.

This is definatly a bike for cross country ers.. 101% pedal efficency. Great on steep long before seemed unacheivable climbs.

Similar Products Used:

Giant youkon (lasted me 3 years suprsingly)

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Mar 26, 2004]
Dewi Jones
Cross Country Rider

Strength:

Great for tight and twisty single-track. Climbs like a dream.

Weakness:

After 4 years of serious abuse the weld joining the top tube and seat tube failed. But a week later Kona had replaced the frame and I upgraded to a Kula Primo.

The Easton Ultralite framed Kula which I owned for 4 years was a great bike. Great in tight single-track and a very good climber. Could be a little skittish on bumpy downhills, but then it's a hard tail after all. The Scandium framed Kula Primo I now own is just as fast uphill and through the single-track, and is also less harsh over the rough stuff. I love this bike to bits. If you buy a Kona you won't be dissapointed.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Sep 05, 2005]
Dave
Racer

Strength:

Fantastic when it gets technical, pretty good climber, all parts are solid and durable. Love the paint job! The frame itself is a work of art.

Weakness:

Slightly weighty. This may be down to the fact that Kona have speced a very strange fork for the intended use. Why a Vanilla when you can have an FRL or a Float? I replaced the tyres immediately.

Solid performer. Bought it because of the price, got it for £1000, very good compared to what the opposition had to offer, it is a very solid performer, i race on it and love it. When it gets technical it is truely a fantastic machine, its just a bit weighty. I immidiately replaced the tyres for something lighter and better, then i added a flat bar and bar ends.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 18  

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