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I keep toying with an upgrade to full suspension (from a steel hardtail). There are some sweet deals on '05 Dawg Primo or King Kikapu frames right now (750-800), so I'm thinking of a new frame (and fork), and swapping everything else over. I am only 5'6", ~130lbs and while I like very technical rides (up and down), I'm unlikely to be hucking or dropping anything much over 2'.... So, is it worth the relatively huge weight penalty to go with the Dawg, or would the Kik suffice for moderately aggressive and long XC rides? Thanks.
 

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The Kikapu comes in a smaller size.

EvilScience said:
I keep toying with an upgrade to full suspension (from a steel hardtail). There are some sweet deals on '05 Dawg Primo or King Kikapu frames right now (750-800), so I'm thinking of a new frame (and fork), and swapping everything else over. I am only 5'6", ~130lbs and while I like very technical rides (up and down), I'm unlikely to be hucking or dropping anything much over 2'.... So, is it worth the relatively huge weight penalty to go with the Dawg, or would the Kik suffice for moderately aggressive and long XC rides? Thanks.
You can get a 14 inch Kikapu, but no smaller than a 15 inch Dawg. The 16 inch Kikapu may have more stand over clearance than the 15 inch Dawg.

I have done things worse than what you describe above to my Kikapu, and it seems good.
 

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IcePack said:
IMO the Kikapu is the bike for you.
The DAWG is capable of more aggressive stuff and coming from a hardtail I think you will no apreciate the extra weight... :)
Then again notice that he said a steel hardtail. I have an old Giant Sedona steel hardtail that actually weighs the same or slightly more then my '03 Dawg 18".
 

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thephat said:
You can get a 14 inch Kikapu, but no smaller than a 15 inch Dawg. The 16 inch Kikapu may have more stand over clearance than the 15 inch Dawg.

I have done things worse than what you describe above to my Kikapu, and it seems good.
I'm 5'7" and ride a 17" Dawg. The 15" Dawg should be fine or a 16" Kikapu. I would have bought a 16" Dawg if Kona made it. I like a little larger frame though and the 17 feels right for me. Sounds like your riding is more Kikapu oriented.
 

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Warthog said:
Then again notice that he said a steel hardtail. I have an old Giant Sedona steel hardtail that actually weighs the same or slightly more then my '03 Dawg 18".
You might be right, some of my friends thought that my DAWG are actually prety light...
 

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Without a doubt the Kikapu is what you are looking for. The Dawg is overkill for cross country riding, and the Kikapu is 'beefier' than many in its class. I've had a kikapu for 2 years and have not once wished for a heavier bike.
 

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There really isn't a weight difference worth talking about until you get to the highest end of the lines. Otherwise the 2 models will be whithin 1/2 lb of each other. This is from the posted weights on the Kona site.
 

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Take the Dawg and switch the frame geometry by moving the bottom of the shock to the back hole. Shorter cockpit without sacrificing much of the pedaling of the Kikapu
 

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I wouldn't throw out the Dawg...

9.8m/s/s said:
Take the Dawg and switch the frame geometry by moving the bottom of the shock to the back hole. Shorter cockpit without sacrificing much of the pedaling of the Kikapu
The shorter cockpit gives you a more upright riding position. I came from many years of riding Motocross bikes and always hated the stretched out, more road bike feel of most mountain bikes. I mean it's not like your going after lower wind drag like a road bike rider.
I would still test ride the two models and let that help you decide what style feels more comfortable. That will make far more difference than 1/2lb of weight. You also said you would be building up a frame. Components, especially wheels would influence much of the final weight. Not trying to steer you away from the Kikapu, just saying I wouldn't eliminate the Dawg because it's too heavy and sports too much travel. Sometimes that extra travel can add comfort and a level of safety. Ever bottom hard? I've ridden my Dawg on long fast XC rides and never felt better. At half the distance with my previous, more XC oriented hardtail my shoulders were aching.
 
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