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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I haven't ridden since my bike was stolen around three years ago or so. I used to ride a hardtail, no shock Specialized Rockhopper Comp. It was a great little bike, but I was never a hardcore rider, mostly single or double track, no real nasty hills, just weekend fun stuff.

So I'm thinking I want to get back into it. And I'm also thinking of trying to get pretty seriously back into it (It helps that a cute lady friend of mine is an avid biker, and pretty hardcore). But I recognize my skills are rusty (and beginner/intermediate at best), I'm a bit older now (31 this year), and have a dodgy back at times. My price range is around $1500 Canadian (about $1100 U.S. or so).

Enter the Kikapu. I was at a small bike shop today (Toronto, Canada), and talking to a guy who worked there was a while. Told him the spiel, and he recommended the Kikapu (over fischers and marins also offered in the shop). He said the bang for the buck was amazing ($1300 can.) I've been reading some reviews, and they sound good. The riding position sounds like it might be a bit easier on the back as well. I was surprised that he even seemed to think the kikapu was a better choice than the dawg.

I guess my question is this: anyone out there, what do you think? I guess Kona riders might be a natural choice, but anyone feel free to chime in. The base Kikapu is actually less than I was prepared to pay, but the jump up to the next Kikipu puts it a bit outside of my price range (plus $2000, which is around what the dawg is as well I think).

It this enough of a bike to buy with assurances it will last, or least be strong enough to keep and upgrade if I ever reach a point where I'm a remotely decent rider again.

The type of riding I would be doing is probably a mix of everything - trail, single track, some downhill (I'm in Ontario though, so nothing too big - though I go to the Maritimes a lot which has some hills). I don't forsee me doing massive 10 foot drops, but 3-4 feet from time to time I'm sure. I guess I want a bike that will grow with me, but will do everything and come panting back for more. Any other suggestions? Or should I bite the bullet and bankrupt my self and get something like the dawg?

Sorry for the rambling post. Thanks in advance to any who read and respond.
 

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black & blue
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I love my Kikapu Deluxe. I switched from a hardtail, and now I will never go back! I got it a few weeks ago, and the Kona brand was highly recommended by my favorite bike shop, The Path in Tustin, CA. The Kikapu Deluxe is a really comfortable, stable ride. I do mostly cross country riding, and the Kikapu is plenty tough to handle any of that.

As you can see, though, I've made a few changes to the stock bike...I got the frame only and moved parts over from my old bike.
 

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That's a sweet new bike cbharping. Welcome to the Clump.

ChoirBoy said:
Or should I bite the bullet and bankrupt my self and get something like the dawg?
Well, I own a Dawg so I guess I'm biased, but I'd say get a Dawg or Dawgmatic which is closer to your budget. The Dawg is $1650 and the Dawgmatic is $1300. I don't know about the bike shops near you, but the ones around me are usually willing to make a deal and sell for $100-200 off MSRP.

Also, the 05 Dawgs are supposed to have 5" of travel rather than 4" now so it might be worth waiting a couple of months for it.

I'm sure I'll wear out my welcome in the Kona forum for saying this, but you should also consider a Jamis Dakar Sport, which is $1000.

are you buying it online? if so where? i'm 5'6 5'7 and thinking 18
Don't take my word for it, but I would guess 16".
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone! Any other Kona vets?

I never thought about frame size. I'm about 5'10'' - 5'11'', and weight around 190 or so. I'm in reasonably shape. I thought about the Dawg, but wonder what the main differences are between that and the Kikapu?

Remember, my budget is $Canadian dollars. A $1600 U.S bike will run me around $2100 Candian, which strains the wallet a bit more than I had hoped.

Great looking bike btw. Thanks again everyone.
 

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ChoirBoy said:
I never thought about frame size. I'm about 5'10'' - 5'11'', and weight around 190 or so. I'm in reasonably shape. I thought about the Dawg, but wonder what the main differences are between that and the Kikapu?
I'm 5'10" 175 and I ride a 17" Dawg. If I were on a Kikapu I would ride 18". I think you would ride the same frame size as me.
 

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Kik = XC, Dawg = Trail

Good to see you're getting back into it. Please take this to heart. Do not make the mistake of missing out on the right bike in order to save a couple hundred dollars. It's worth waiting an extra monmth or what ever to get the bike you'll be happy with.

Any who, I ride a kik deluxe and it's a great bike. Only thing is that it was my first full susp rig and I wish I had something with a little more agressive geometry on it.

You'll notice that with your dualie you're technique will improve significantly if you ride often enough. This has gotten me into some heavier stuff than just XC.

Kona's quality is great, but if you're going to be taking drops, and messing around at all off the main trail I'd go with the Dawg. It's geometry is dialed for pretty much any trail situation and you'll like the extra travel, trust me. On some drops that the aproach is fairly steep you'll notice that the Kik's more XC geometry will , make you feel very endo prone.

And if your back is an issue the geometry and extra travel willmake it easier on you.
ChoirBoy said:
Ok, I haven't ridden since my bike was stolen around three years ago or so. I used to ride a hardtail, no shock Specialized Rockhopper Comp. It was a great little bike, but I was never a hardcore rider, mostly single or double track, no real nasty hills, just weekend fun stuff.

So I'm thinking I want to get back into it. And I'm also thinking of trying to get pretty seriously back into it (It helps that a cute lady friend of mine is an avid biker, and pretty hardcore). But I recognize my skills are rusty (and beginner/intermediate at best), I'm a bit older now (31 this year), and have a dodgy back at times. My price range is around $1500 Canadian (about $1100 U.S. or so).

Enter the Kikapu. I was at a small bike shop today (Toronto, Canada), and talking to a guy who worked there was a while. Told him the spiel, and he recommended the Kikapu (over fischers and marins also offered in the shop). He said the bang for the buck was amazing ($1300 can.) I've been reading some reviews, and they sound good. The riding position sounds like it might be a bit easier on the back as well. I was surprised that he even seemed to think the kikapu was a better choice than the dawg.

I guess my question is this: anyone out there, what do you think? I guess Kona riders might be a natural choice, but anyone feel free to chime in. The base Kikapu is actually less than I was prepared to pay, but the jump up to the next Kikipu puts it a bit outside of my price range (plus $2000, which is around what the dawg is as well I think).

It this enough of a bike to buy with assurances it will last, or least be strong enough to keep and upgrade if I ever reach a point where I'm a remotely decent rider again.

The type of riding I would be doing is probably a mix of everything - trail, single track, some downhill (I'm in Ontario though, so nothing too big - though I go to the Maritimes a lot which has some hills). I don't forsee me doing massive 10 foot drops, but 3-4 feet from time to time I'm sure. I guess I want a bike that will grow with me, but will do everything and come panting back for more. Any other suggestions? Or should I bite the bullet and bankrupt my self and get something like the dawg?

Sorry for the rambling post. Thanks in advance to any who read and respond.
 

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I've thinking about getting a Kik fro a while now, just waiting to get the cash. Now that I've gone to the lbs, I ralized that I should get the Kik Deelux. More money, but better comps. It wiil cost much more to upgrade the Kik in the long run than to buy a bike that is one notch better.
The frame size is an issue. I'd probably want a 17", but they don't make it in that size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow, Great input. A few more questions...

I appreciate everything everyone is adding to help with the decision. I have a couple of other questions. Back when I was rriding a lot (a while ago granted), it was just mountain biking. I lived on the East Coast of Canada, and did a little of everything. Nice quick single track through woods and coastline, fire roads, some knarly technical stuff (for me anyway), trails that would have flat, uphills and downhills.

Since I started looking for a bike again, I've come across so much jargon and specialization, I must admit, it's left me a bit confused as to which bike (or style I suppose) is the right one. I like it all. I've never ridden rails, and bridges, and stuff like you see on North Coast vids and such, but I want a good all round bike. Meaning I can climb, descend, buzz along at a good clip, get a little technical, take a few hits, and have a good time in general. I've never raced, and doubt I would ever seriously, but I do have a few friends who do it for fun, more casual races, and wouldn't mine giving that a try either. When I used to hit peaks and summits I couldn't handle, I used to just throw the bike on my shoulder and climb. Sometimes I could only get a quick ride in, but I loved going for all day sessions on the weekends when I could. It was all just biking.

So, forgive a newbie to the slang, but past rider none the less, but... can anyone explain exactly what the different styles are? The ones I seem to see the most often are xc, freeride, enduro, downhill, trials, epic, and others I'm sure. Can anyone take the time to explain (in painful clarity and if possible), the working definitions of these terms? And geometry means the angles of the frame, correct?

Again, sorry for the stupidity, but you don't ask, you don't learn.
 

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That's a nice setup you got there

cbharping said:
I love my Kikapu Deluxe. I switched from a hardtail, and now I will never go back! I got it a few weeks ago, and the Kona brand was highly recommended by my favorite bike shop, The Path in Tustin, CA. The Kikapu Deluxe is a really comfortable, stable ride. I do mostly cross country riding, and the Kikapu is plenty tough to handle any of that.

As you can see, though, I've made a few changes to the stock bike...I got the frame only and moved parts over from my old bike.
I got the same bike. Was going to get it from Tani, but am living in SW Idaho, so went to IMT for local service. That Path is a fantastic shop though.

I think the bike probably a lot better with that Fox you got on there

I'm looking at getting a 5" Dawg when the 2005's come out, may have Tani ship to me
 

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Help me out, cuz I don't understand then. Why did the Dawg feel like I was in less agressive XC position? What makes the Dawg more of trail bike than the kik?

Acme54321 said:
Ummm the Kikapu has a slacker head angle and seat angle than the Dawg. So saying the geometry of the Dawg is more "trail" doesn't make too much sense.

 

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Hi all
Me: ,6`1" on a 19" Ti Kahuna(hardtail) since 97 and 18" Stinkyes since 01(at present a 03 DeeLux)
Never been on a Dawg or Kikapu , but about the riding positions : The Dawgs have a longer toptube but a shorter stem , so seattube to bar lenght is about the same, guessing Dawg might be a little shorter overall , this puts U in a more "behind the frontwheel" position and Dawgs also have a longer headtube and (guessing here) a handlebar with more rise , which gives U a more upright position as opposed to the Kikapus lower "attack" position.
See if u cant get a good deal on a 04 (with 4" travel) Dawg/Matic/DLux now that the 05 are close to being in shops.
Cheers
 

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thanks for the info. I will say that the Dawg definitely felt like a more upright position.
caspar said:
Hi all
Me: ,6`1" on a 19" Ti Kahuna(hardtail) since 97 and 18" Stinkyes since 01(at present a 03 DeeLux)
Never been on a Dawg or Kikapu , but about the riding positions : The Dawgs have a longer toptube but a shorter stem , so seattube to bar lenght is about the same, guessing Dawg might be a little shorter overall , this puts U in a more "behind the frontwheel" position and Dawgs also have a longer headtube and (guessing here) a handlebar with more rise , which gives U a more upright position as opposed to the Kikapus lower "attack" position.
See if u cant get a good deal on a 04 (with 4" travel) Dawg/Matic/DLux now that the 05 are close to being in shops.
Cheers
 
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