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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys! This is my first time in the forums, and I am fairly new to mountain biking. I will be buying my first real bike in the next few months. I had previously decided to buy a Giant Talon 5, which sounded like a pretty good beginner bike. But as I took a look at the trails I will be doing, I am not sure the Suntour fork will handle, and I heard they are not that good. So, I was trying to find bikes with better forks, in my price range, which is up to $700. I found a Kona bike, Fire Mountain 2013, which had Rockshox forks and mainly Shimano components. I also found a Fuji Tahoe 4.0 which also has Rockshox forks. So, my question is, are these brands good compared to Giant, Specialized and Trek?

These are the links:
KONAWORLD
Fuji Tahoe 4.0 Bike Red/White | Fuji | Brand | www.PricePoint.com

Thanks!
 

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They're both fine brands. It is worth keeping in mind that low-end rockshox forks such as the xc28 on the kona are not going to be a huge improvement over suntour, you're likely going to want to replace either one if you start riding seriously. THere's no information about the fuji you linked as far as I can see so I can't say much there.
Overall, I don't know that I could say one is better than the other between the giant and kona. If one is cheaper I'd go with that one and use the savings to replacce parts as they break or become inadequate for your riding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Both Kona and Giant are in the same price range, 550-600 $$. The only improvement I noticed in the Kona are the breaks and the fork. Not sure if it makes much a difference... Thanks for your answer
 

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I like pie.
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. So, my question is, are these brands good compared to Giant, Specialized and Trek?
As many have said and many more will say, what makes a bike good is how it fits your body. I would advise against buying any bike that you cannot personally try out.

Trek, Giant and Specialized all make good bikes.

Fuji is a low end company. I would avoid Fuji. I was pained to see that an $1100 (retail) HT has a claimed weight of over 28lbs. Five years ago 28 pound hardtails would run you $500-$600 retail.

Kona is OK. Personally I would not buy a Kona. Just a personal choice. This despite the fact my favorite bike of all time (which I still own) is a 1999 Kona Explosif. It is a steel hardtail on its third drivetrain and Fork.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
As many have said and many more will say, what makes a bike good is how it fits your body. I would advise against buying any bike that you cannot personally try out.

Trek, Giant and Specialized all make good bikes.

Fuji is a low end company. I would avoid Fuji. I was pained to see that an $1100 (retail) HT has a claimed weight of over 28lbs. Five years ago 28 pound hardtails would run you $500-$600 retail.

Kona is OK. Personally I would not buy a Kona. Just a personal choice. This despite the fact my favorite bike of all time (which I still own) is a 1999 Kona Explosif. It is a steel hardtail on its third drivetrain and Fork.
The weight on the Fuji also bothered me, even though I do not know the average bike weight at this price range. The Kona bike caught my attention due to the hydraulic disc breaks and the Rockshox fork, even though it is a low end one. Do you think the Giant bike would be more trustworthy due to their historic tradition? Thanks
 

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The weight on the Fuji also bothered me, even though I do not know the average bike weight at this price range. The Kona bike caught my attention due to the hydraulic disc breaks and the Rockshox fork, even though it is a low end one. Do you think the Giant bike would be more trustworthy due to their historic tradition? Thanks
I'll put it this way; you can go wrong with Giant, Trek or Specialized. Test them out at your local bike shops. Buy the one that feels the best
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'll put it this way; you can go wrong with Giant, Trek or Specialized. Test them out at your local bike shops. Buy the one that feels the best
The problem is that bikes here are overpriced. I live in Brazil. Here, the Giant Talon 5, which cost 550 dollars is 3,000 reais. So, I have to wait until I get a chance to go to the US and buy bikes there. And, most bike shops here sell local brands, such as Caloi. I will be buying my bike in June, and if I get an opportunity to test ride either bikes, I will. If not, I'll test ride them at the US when I am there. It will be a tough choice! Thanks!
 

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By the way, how does your Kona bike handle intermediate trails?
Just fine, but there are many factors to consider. My Kona is a custom build with a higher end fork. It has a good quality steel frame, which has a better ride quality than aluminum and it fits me perfectly. It weights 24.5 lbs. Has high end wheels and tires and I have been riding mtn bikes since 1992.

Good luck with your future purchase!
 

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Never Forget 9-11
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For that price with the Fuji you will get lower end components and the bike will be on the heavy side. It looks like a 2012 model.
 

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B A N N E D
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The bike that's being sold by Pricepoint is a 26" bike, it's not a 29" bike.

http://archive.fujibikes.com/archivebikes.php?prodid=1985&prodname=Tahoe 4.0

Fuji is a low end company. I would avoid Fuji.
Fuji isn't a low end company, they do have decent bikes and their bikes aren't to be avoided unless it's it's one of the 'department store' quality bikes that can be found with the Fuji name on it.

I was pained to see that an $1100 (retail) HT has a claimed weight of over 28lbs.
Similar age, specs, price & weight as the Fuji: http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/BikeSpecs.aspx?year=2011&brand=Jamis&model=Durango+3

Five years ago 28 pound hardtails would run you $500-$600 retail.
I would of thought that a $500-$600 bike would of weighed over 30 lbs

$665 & 31.5 lbs: http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/BikeSpecs.aspx?year=2011&brand=Jamis&model=Durango+1
$650 & 32.8 lbs: http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/BikeSpecs.aspx?Year=2010&Brand=Fuji&Model=Nevada 1.0

Got any links to the $500-$600 bikes weighing 28 lbs ?

* Very few manufacturers publish weights so it's hard to find more examples.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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I see Fuji as pretty comparable to Giant ten years ago. Solid bikes, very competitive specs, not much of an ad campaign.

Kona has been around for years and years. I think they were one of the first companies doing purpose-built mountain bikes. I'm really enjoying my Hei Hei. At the pricepoint you're looking at, I think they do a little better on forks. That implies a sacrifice elsewhere, but a new fork is a big upgrade to absorb all at once, and more important to the ride than, say, the front derailleur.
 

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Kona has been around for years and years. I think they were one of the first companies doing purpose-built mountain bikes.
Fuji has been around longer then Kona.

Kona started in 1988.

The Fuji company started in 1899, it looks like they started producing bicycles in 1919 and in 1971 they started selling bikes in the US.

Fuji made mountain bikes before Kona too: 1983 Fuji 'Mount Fuji LTD'
 

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Kona bikes are more niche than Giant. I had a '94 Kona Cinder Cone, and now a 2014 Kona Cinder Cone. My girlfriend bought a 2014 Kona Mahuna. What Kona is known for is very well designed frame geometry, some of the best in the business. They generally give higher quality frames for the price point, and to do so will lessen the components. So it's a trade off, yes sometimes you can get a higher speced bike for the same amount of money..but they won't be worth upgrading, as the frame isn't as high of quality. My Cinder Cone was $1300 and came with Alivio components (SLX rear), somewhat under speced for the price range..however I have a plastic formed Scandium frame that really rides like nothing else. Yes I had to upgrade shifters and front deraleur, but in the end I have something really special. Ride the bikes, and make your mind up from there. Giant has come a long way, however are rather common and generic. Kona I have found you either love them, or hate them. They aren't a brand that is trying to be pop..they know their strengths and know their market. They also make some unusual bikes just for the sake of it, much like many smaller niche boutique brands.
 

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At the lower end of the entry-level spectrum, the choices will all be pretty comparable. Most manufacturers will put a halfway decent drivetrain and brakes on the bike and sacrifice a good fork to meet the price point.

The Suntour is definitely not a good fork but will hold up just fine for your learning period. Once you break it, and I'll quote eb1888 here, you can go for the Raidon air fork upgrade for a reasonable price.

To get into the sport, the fit is going to be the most important factor. Which bike feels best to you? While a good fork is nice to have, I'd be looking at the other components more with plans to destroy and replace the fork. If you get one with good a drivetrain, wheels, and brakes, then you get a cheap fork upgrade, you've got a good bike.
 

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Don't forget Scott, they make great bikes too. At that price point your best option is to ride that Suntour fork and then upgrade through Suntour's loyalty program for $200 later.
 
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