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How much travel for a Kona dually 29'er?

  • 2.5"

    Votes: 30 29.4%
  • 4"

    Votes: 48 47.1%
  • More?

    Votes: 24 23.5%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,
First, a bit of clarification. The Kikapu Nine in our 2007 lineup IS NOT a 29'er. That's a European bike that just has the word nine in it, as in nine gears. Different parts of the world want different things, and do accomodate, sometimes we mess with the names a bit. Sory for any confusion.

On that note, we at Kona have been kicking around the idea of doing a 29'er dually. There's one thing we're sticking on as an issue, though. IF we were to make a 29'er full suspension bike, how much travel would you like to see? Most of our sales staff is leaning towards 2.5" in the back, because a 29'er wheel does smooth things out a bit. And it would be an xc bike. We wonder if some people would prefer a 4" bike, though. The major issue to get around there would be wheelbase; we wouldn't want too long of a bike.

So, what do you guys want? You're a very vocal part of the 29'er community, and it will be interesting to see your opinions.

Thanks guys!
Joe

If you have any questions for me, please e-mail me, I don't log on here enough to respond to the PMs that well.
Thanks again.
 

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Recovering couch patato
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(copy by email) Joe, do subscribe to MTBR threads you're interested in. Helps you reminds to log on once in a while.

Hey Kona, cool to have to here, and with an open mind!

First about that (FS opinion to follow), please send a memo to your European branch that 29"er are not just freak machines, bu the fastest-growing market segment since, well, 26". I have heard that there's a personal disinterest by Kona folks in Europe towards 29", keeping bikes out of stock, and off the trails. For now that won't cost you mayor sales perhaps, Europe indeed IS quite retarded with new markets, MTB's only became a hit in the late 80's here.
In the long run though, you can't keep up such an attitude, as clearly the market is changing, whether the coolest mainstream brand likes it or not. Now I hear you talking about FS, with already a very nice line-up of hardtails announced for 2007...there's gonna be a time where without 29"ers, you're going to be a much smaller company.

Very cool that you're looking at an FS 29"er!
You know, there's been some testimonies of riders that would be very interested in a 29" SS FS, like the "A" I think you called it. 3" would be nice.

I don't have first hand experience, and 3" 29"ers do get a "plush" label from riders, but perhaps going 2.5" would be a bit waste of weight, for very little gain.

Why are you so worried about making a bike longer than 26"ers are now? Have you tested long-chainstay bikes recently? The local company that did, actually launched a new model to take advantage of it's traits. The Specialized Epic has a reputation for being one of the longest-chainstay XC bikes. And it wins World Cups. Many 29" FS bikes actually have a shorter chainstay. Chaintays are overhyped. Why else would all mainstream 26" bikes offer more mud clearance than is strictly necessary?
Also consider that the horizontal chainstay measurement doesn't increase as much as actual, due to deeper BB drop, the chainstays sit at a greater angle with the ground.

With a 2.5-3" bike, you'd have to compete with the Fisher RaceDay. That won't scare you probably, but something to consider.

4" is becoming a very impressive category. Lots of high-end offering. Also lots of market, I think. A great travel length for the actual rider riding the actual trails for the action poin tof riding : fitness and pleasure. I'm no expert on suspension technology, but I am not aware of much of a trade-off going from 3" to 4". You get more travel, more plush, and modern designs and ampers prevent it suckin gup extra energy. It there even a weight increase, if you stick to the same intended use?

5" plus obviously is a great seller in the 26" world. It brings excitement with a comfortable safety level, for the adventurous but averagely talented rider. Suits many people.
Many proclaim that a sturdy 29"er with 5" of travel and proper tires could well sweep a pro-level DH race. Because yes, 29"ers offer more shock absorbing and outright control for the same amount of travel. Designed well however, a 5" bike does not have to be a burly WorldCup DH-proof machine. The Lenz Behemoth would be your main challenger, being ridden up the sickest steep climbs, as well as jumped off serious cliffs.
I would vote for a travel/geometry setting on such a bike, to change it's nature to fit the terrain best.

If you worry about length (you have some reason to, as riders have been told by bike comps that short is good for some reason), be the first brand after Surly to use a bent+offset seat tube, to give the rear wheel some breathing room. It does make sense of course, shorter thus stiffer chainstays, lighter frame.
For riding, a longer rear end shouldn't be a bad thing as long as you stay out of the BMX/DJ park and don't do slow drops to flat.

Right now there's a lot of long-term credit to be won in the 29" world by doing things not previously done by others. Like a 6" travel bike with exclusive tires to fit it. Built to kick butt in DH races, and still ready to be ridden up the path under the ski lift. Arrange for a tire company to make you the exact tire you'd like for such a bike, and keep them for yourselves to put on bike and retail. Big Kona logo's all over them. See how Specialized tires are now featured on many 29" XC bikes already. It's like selling selling $40 stickers with your logo to the coolest in-crowd :) It's money, it's promo, it's credits.

If you're only going to make one FS, you're going to have to choose between what is going to make profit most easily short-term, and what the 29" scene could really use right now due to insuffient product selection and supply.
The way you're going to position 29"ers in your brochure will affect a lot who'll be buying the bikes, and how you'll be looked at 5 of 10 years down the road from now. For instance, I know Kona is very much respected for it's investments into bike parks and sponsorships in the extreme bike market. Such a role is still vacant in the 29" world, Trek is limiting fisher to do what it would like.


Hope any of this helps,

J
 

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Said it before but here I go again: there's a gapping hole in the 29'' offer for a moderatly priced FS, and this hole is gapping extremely wide in Europe.

As for travel goes, I guess that a 29'' FS could have short/moderate travel and yet being very versatile.
 

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This is a tough one. My favourite Dualie to date was my (too small) Yeti ASR which would push me towards saying that a 2.5" travel XC 29er would be perfect for rattling around the woods.

An affordable 4" travel Dualie 29er would make a great trail bike and, right now, you'd have the mass market pretty much to yourself. Its probably the space too where buyers' preconceptions of 29er v 26er handling are less important and that plays to the 29er's obvious strengths of stability, rolling etc.

While it would be good to see a big travel 29er the limited choice of forks, rims and tyres might make that a risky commercial venture. Even the boutique manufacturers haven't gone there yet with the exception of the Behomoth. Around here in Southern England I just don't have much need for that much bounce.

So my preferences would be 4, 2.5 and then more

Martin
 

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ozlongboarder said:
I want a 6" AM bike in the 32 -34lb range with 20-29 chain rings and 2.5 font tire.
Why not 22-32 rings with an 11-36 or 12-36 cassette? All it would take it a mid-level SRAM 36t cog to be bolted to the existing 11-32, and perhaps some cog swaps to make it happen. So one cog to make, and some different assembly, that's it. Small chainrings don't turn as nicely, wear faster and chainsuck more, I think.

I have to "amen" the moderately priced FS bike notice. Say, just under the Fisher Caliber/Sugar line. Perhaps base model with 100mm Tora fork, 3.5-4" frame, price $1400 or so.

If you can get a new good fork from Manitou to happen (I know there are haters as well), you'd have something to distinct yourself from the competition. I think on-the-fly front travel adjustment is way cool, I'd love it on a 29"er as well.
 

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I love the idea of a 4" 29er, especially from a company like Kona, which has a reputation for fun geometry. Sounds like the perfect trail bike to me. On smoother stuff the big wheels roll fast and the 4" isn't that much of a hinderance, geometry just on the slacker side will allow it to rip weavy singletrack, and on technical trails, it will make more efficiant use of 4" of travel. So long as it can be in the 28 lb range, that bike will be right on the money.

Quick correction on something Cloxxki said- Surly is not the first company to use a bent seat tube. Kona, of all companies, did it for a few years on many of their dual suspension bikes. as I recall, Living-X bikes used it too.
 

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paintbucket
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I voted 4" but 2.5 would do it as well. For me its a toss up. Nothing more though.
 

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gumby said:
ditto on that....
(I am flexible so I will take one a litttle heavier if needs be :thumbsup: )
If it came in under 35lbs I would be stoked. But there is no reason why a 6" 29er should be heaps heavier than whats available now in 6" 26ers.
 

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Both! Could you do a 29er that offered adjustable travel? But if you do just one, set it at 4" of travel to give balance for a Reba at 100mm of travel.
 

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A Surly Maverick
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MMcG said:
Both! Could you do a 29er that offered adjustable travel? But if you do just one, set it at 4" of travel to give balance for a Reba at 100mm of travel.
I agree!
An all mountain adjustable frame please!:thumbsup:

I`ve had a Marin Wolf Ridge TARA and currently have a Tomac Eli with adjustable rear travel(4/5/5.5").I love the choices this gives me.

Also got a GF 293 with 3 or 4 " rear travel.Never use it with less than 4".

If I could get a 29er frame with "all mountain" travel (ie 5"+) I`d ditch the Eli tomorrow!:D

DO IT KONA!.....you know you want too!:cool:
 

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A 5" or 6" bike, built Kona-tough, would be incredible. Leave the weight-weenie racer stuff for the boutique guys, and build us a solid all-mountain machine that can take a beating and just kill the downhills. Travel amount isn't the sold arbiter of this- frame weight and toughness is important as well, and Kona knows how to make strong frames. So even a 5" all-mountain frame like the Dawg would be great (and would ride more like a 6" travel 26er). There's very little competition in the 5" all-mountain 29er market right now, despite the growing demand- Kona could lock up that market. Instead of bandwagon-jumping with the 4" crowd, or worse yet, building a pointless 2.5" travel fully (does anyone but a very small number of racers even ride bikes with that little travel anymore?), build something that will draw riders away from other brands, and to Kona... 5"!
 

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jbogner said:
A 5" or 6" bike, built Kona-tough, would be incredible. Leave the weight-weenie racer stuff for the boutique guys, and build us a solid all-mountain machine that can take a beating and just kill the downhills. Travel amount isn't the sold arbiter of this- frame weight and toughness is important as well, and Kona knows how to make strong frames. So even a 5" all-mountain frame like the Dawg would be great (and would ride more like a 6" travel 26er). There's very little competition in the 5" all-mountain 29er market right now, despite the growing demand- Kona could lock up that market. Instead of bandwagon-jumping with the 4" crowd, or worse yet, building a pointless 2.5" travel fully (does anyone but a very small number of racers even ride bikes with that little travel anymore?), build something that will draw riders away from other brands, and to Kona... 5"!
They could call it the Big Dawg.

I'd be down with that type of bike from Kona as well.
 

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Me too.

MMcG said:
They could call it the Big Dawg.

I'd be down with that type of bike from Kona as well.
Let me say that I want to see a 5 to 6 inch travel bike. More heavy duty than the dawg, closer to the coiler. But it don't matter much. I don't have a kona dealer in town.
 

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jbogner said:
... Instead of bandwagon-jumping with the 4" crowd, or worse yet, building a pointless 2.5" travel fully (does anyone but a very small number of racers even ride bikes with that little travel anymore?)
I don't. But I badly wish I would. I'm neither weight-weenie nor serious racer but I strongly believe that one can only have two of the three followings:

  1. very smart damping
  2. long travel
  3. not too expensive and yet reliable

Since money is an issue, I'll pick 1 & 3. And I don't fell the need for lot of travel aniway:p
 
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