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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know if 'The King' can handle a slightly larger person with a fairly aggressive XC riding style? I'm about 5'11" 190#'s and I feel like I have a pretty heavy riding technique.

That said, I don't plan on taking any drops greater than 3' or 4' feet. I definitely don't 'need' the racing bike, but I would like something that will help me keep up with some of my racing buddies going up the hills. I've thought about the 'King Kikapu' but don't know how much the extra weight will hinder me on the ascents?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Good question. Do you tend to break things? Is there a long line of taco'd rims and sheared derailleur hangers in your past? At your size and riding style, I'd say you're pushing the envelope with any lightweight racing bike, but from what little I know, scandium tubing has a great reputation for combining lightweight, durability, and great ride quality. And of course, Kona has a reputation for building durable bikes. So what does it all mean? I know a guy that's 130 dripping wet, but somehow manages to beat the snot out of his bikes - breaking stuff on a weekly basis. I, on the other hand, am pushing 200, ride just as aggressively, and rarely even get a flat. If you're hard on equipment and would rather have a pointy stick shoved in your eye than ease off on your riding style, then you should probably look at a different bike. But if you tend to go easy on equipment then I'd think the King would handle your weight and aggressive riding with no problems.

hakeem said:
Does anyone know if 'The King' can handle a slightly larger person with a fairly aggressive XC riding style? I'm about 5'11" 190#'s and I feel like I have a pretty heavy riding technique.

That said, I don't plan on taking any drops greater than 3' or 4' feet. I definitely don't 'need' the racing bike, but I would like something that will help me keep up with some of my racing buddies going up the hills. I've thought about the 'King Kikapu' but don't know how much the extra weight will hinder me on the ascents?

Thanks in advance!
 

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I would honestly say you'd be ok other than the 3-4" drops you plan on taking. That really sounds more like a Dawg style manuever. For general trail riding, I wouldn't say you are too heavy. The King is pretty beefy as far as XC frames go. Even the King Supreme (full scandium w/ 2.5" travel) and the Leroi (last years "the king" with 2.5" travel and carbon seatstays) weigh around 5.5 lbs. I consider that a bit heavy for a high end XC race frame. I am not saying that is bad though. I like Kona's design philosophy of building bikes to last not to break. That is what happens when their DH and FR prowess trickle down to the lighter weight bikes. That might have something to do with my 2004 Kikapu with fairly light parts spec weighing in a little over 29 lbs. Kona has a way of making the extra weight disappear once you get on the bike. Of course, at 250 lbs, I both make my whole bike disappear, so I might just be feeling my own weight on the climbs, haha.

If I were you, I'd go with a Dawg Supreme or Primo (depending upon your budget). They still climb amazingly well, aren't too heavy out of the box, and will stand up to you doing 3-4" drops.
 

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What bikerboy said.

Yeah, a King might be able to take those size of drops, but it's really dependent on how smooth the rider is and whether those are to flat or trannys. My thoughts are that, while burly for a true xc rig, the King isn't really designed for that type of abuse. That's Dawg material fo sho.

Chers,
EB
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you much for the responses.

I have broken some components in the past, including a rear derauiller hanger, but I would chalk that up more to sloppy riding than to anything beyond what my bike was able to handle. A lot of my past problems have also stemmed from poor bike maintenance on my part.

I have previously given a lot of thought to the Dawg series, but I have always been concerned as to how well it would climb. That said, I know I would enjoy the slacker head angle and more comfortable seating position. Another reason for getting a Dawg over a Kikapu is that I already own what I would deem a capable X-country hardtail. So, the Dawg series would fill a niche that my current bike (or Kikapu series) could not fill. On the other hand, I sort of look at The King as a MAJOR upgrade to my X-country hard tail.

Shamefully, I've been waffling for a few months now on the Dawg vs. Kikapu debate. At first I was leaning towards the Dawg series because of the reasons above, but recently, I have been leaning towards the Kikapu series, as I feel it is more suitable to my evolving riding style.

Are the lighter components on The King more susceptible to breaking than the King Kikapu or Dawg Primo components? For example, carbon brakes and an FSA wheelset? Is an MSRP of $2999 a fair price for The King?
 

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I was stuck in the same position as you were, but I decided to go with a Dawg Primo frame and build from there. The main determinant for me was the fact that a) I have a 5" travel Fox fork already and b) there's nothing like having enough squish under you to help save you when you make a mistake occasionally.

I also liked the idea that the Primo was burly as hell and will stand up for a long, long, LONG time of hard riding. And the frame with the RP3 was only 750 bucks at wheelworld as well, so that made somewhat of a difference as well.
 

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Although you may not beat your XC racing buddies going uphill with a Dawg you'll certainly pass them with a Sh*t eatin grin on the way down! Seriously the Dawg pedals uphill a lot better than the specs would lead you to believe. It's plenty nimble in the tight stuff too. I know your dilemna well. I don't regret getting the Dawg, it's so much fun and so capable as an all mountain rig. Not an XC racer but a fun do-it-all bike that should give years of reliable service. A Dawg with your current XC hardtail and you have a lot of bases covered IMO.
 

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I have a custom King with a fox RLC up front and it has held up well for a few seasons now. I ride XC mostly, but every Friday I take it out on an urban assault ride. Every week I hit the same wall drop off to a flat landing from about 3 and 1/2 feet without any problems. My wheels are starting to show signs of a few bad landings, but the frame and shock are fine. I am 6'1" and about 175. My lack of skills and abundance of balls have defenitely yielded a few hacked maneuvers, but the king is still fine.
 

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hakeem said:
Does anyone know if 'The King' can handle a slightly larger person with a fairly aggressive XC riding style? I'm about 5'11" 190#'s and I feel like I have a pretty heavy riding technique.

That said, I don't plan on taking any drops greater than 3' or 4' feet. I definitely don't 'need' the racing bike, but I would like something that will help me keep up with some of my racing buddies going up the hills. I've thought about the 'King Kikapu' but don't know how much the extra weight will hinder me on the ascents?

Thanks in advance!
How much extra weight does the King Kikapu have over the King? I suspect not too much. Same basic frame, same scandium material, the only difference is the amount of travel...am I correct?

I built up my 05 King Kikapu to be about 23 pounds on the dot, depending on the tires I happen to be running, and this is with a Fox fork.. I personally like the flexibility of having a race ready full susser that can handle all mountain riding, endurance events, and a wee bit of freeride type stuff. If the course is non-technical, I'll use my even lighter hardtail anyway. Short travel full sus bikes are too specialized and their niche is pretty small. I'd go with the four inches of travel.
 

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bikerboy said:
I would honestly say you'd be ok other than the 3-4" drops you plan on taking. That really sounds more like a Dawg style manuever. For general trail riding, I wouldn't say you are too heavy. The King is pretty beefy as far as XC frames go. Even the King Supreme (full scandium w/ 2.5" travel) and the Leroi (last years "the king" with 2.5" travel and carbon seatstays) weigh around 5.5 lbs. I consider that a bit heavy for a high end XC race frame. I am not saying that is bad though. I like Kona's design philosophy of building bikes to last not to break. That is what happens when their DH and FR prowess trickle down to the lighter weight bikes. That might have something to do with my 2004 Kikapu with fairly light parts spec weighing in a little over 29 lbs. Kona has a way of making the extra weight disappear once you get on the bike. Of course, at 250 lbs, I both make my whole bike disappear, so I might just be feeling my own weight on the climbs, haha.

If I were you, I'd go with a Dawg Supreme or Primo (depending upon your budget). They still climb amazingly well, aren't too heavy out of the box, and will stand up to you doing 3-4" drops.
I am considering the King Supreme(frame) and saw your comment about it being heavy for a high end XC frame. From what i have looked at it seems to be in the same weight range as most of the others. Trek Fuel, Titus Racer X, etc. I know the Litespeed Sewanee is way lighter, but way..... expensive and have saw reviews about it being real flexy. I am fairly light and easy on bikes, what lighter frames are available that are good performers?
 

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hakeem said:
Does anyone know if 'The King' can handle a slightly larger person with a fairly aggressive XC riding style? I'm about 5'11" 190#'s and I feel like I have a pretty heavy riding technique.

That said, I don't plan on taking any drops greater than 3' or 4' feet. I definitely don't 'need' the racing bike, but I would like something that will help me keep up with some of my racing buddies going up the hills. I've thought about the 'King Kikapu' but don't know how much the extra weight will hinder me on the ascents?

Thanks in advance!
Well now, I'm 6-3 and 250 lbs kitted to ride. I have A 21" KK. I ride the bike nearly every day. My daily commute takes me across about 5 miles of track and trail with a bit of tarmac at each end, and back again. Not an epic ride for sure. No weekend bike, this is all year round in the UK. Mud and water and rocks and bumps as fast as I can go at it. No big drops but the bike gets a hammering. Oh, and a couple of decent pile ups in there too! Do cleaning and maintenance once a week. I was sceptical about how a full sus XC was going to last under these conditions. So far I'm 9 months into this routine and its holding together well. Eats chains in these conditions, I'm on bigger tires than original (2.0 front and 2.3 rear) and a new set of wheels. 5-11 and 190lbs? I'd say no problem.
 

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hakeem said:
Does anyone know if 'The King' can handle a slightly larger person with a fairly aggressive XC riding style? I'm about 5'11" 190#'s and I feel like I have a pretty heavy riding technique.

That said, I don't plan on taking any drops greater than 3' or 4' feet. I definitely don't 'need' the racing bike, but I would like something that will help me keep up with some of my racing buddies going up the hills. I've thought about the 'King Kikapu' but don't know how much the extra weight will hinder me on the ascents?

Thanks in advance!
Dud, you got to stop worrying about the weight and enjoy the ride. get a bike that can keep up with your riding style not your buddies. My last bike was a King Kikapu with a RS duke, awesome bike but I broke the duke's spring twice, and I'm 145, you can only imagine what you will do to a king. So now I own a Dawg with a RS Pike, and I'm getting so fast with it I'm scared to ride with out a full face helmet. Of course I'm the last in line when climbing, but who cares, I have so much fun ridding downhill that nothing else matters.

anorexic bikes suck
ride hard and enjoy

Pablo Hill
 
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