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  1. #1
    Senior, Senior Member ExMachina's Avatar
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    New FS MTB--Kona or a Horst linkage (Specialized)?

    I'm buying a new FS bike, and have $1300 to spend (but don't need to spend it all).

    None of the bikes in this price range really screams out to me, but two models do keep catching my eye: the '05 Specialized FSR XC and the '05 Kona Kickapu.

    Right now, am at the point of trying to figure out which has the better frame/linkage, and this will probably decide the bike for me. I'd rather pay for a good frame/linkage design and step up the components bit-by-bit

    I know that a lot of people here love the Horst linkage that's on the Specialized, but being a noob to FS bikes, I have no idea if the advantages offered by the Horst design would be noticeable or important (I mean plenty of racers uses non-Horst linked FS bikes, right?).

    Can anybody preach the gospel of the Horst linkage. Would someone then follow it up with some heresy

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    I say unto thee, rideth the bikes and buy the one that feels good unto you!
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  3. #3
    sarcasm meter: jerk mode santiago's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, David Turner has selected the Horst linkage for his bikes. I have a vague recollection that he was involved in the design so he may be biased. In either case, Turner bikes are (in my opinion) the bee's knees and they have Horst linkage then that is the design I would expect to be tops.
    First Class Jerk

  4. #4
    Senior, Senior Member ExMachina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker66
    I say unto thee, rideth the bikes and buy the one that feels good unto you!
    and i retort unto thee that nary a bikeshop hither nor yon posess in their stables the steeds of my desire.

    so on bened knees must i entreat ye merry fellows to instill unto me what wisdom ye can-ith muster, lest i verily perish out of confunsin in a fortnight's time hence.

  5. #5
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by santiago
    For what it's worth, David Turner has selected the Horst linkage for his bikes. I have a vague recollection that he was involved in the design so he may be biased. In either case, Turner bikes are (in my opinion) the bee's knees and they have Horst linkage then that is the design I would expect to be tops.
    Doubt it. The design comes from motorcycles and was migrated over. By who, I don't know but the design idea had nothing to do with mountain bikes.

    As for the 2 bikes vs each other. I am partial to fsr. Good design, no brake jack, better than average active suspension while pedalling and decent at eliminating bob.

    say unto thee, rideth the bikes and buy the one that feels good unto you!
    Exactly. If you can't test ride em, well I wouldn't take the chance. I know precisely which geometry I like, so I can buy online. That isn't for everyone. BEyond that each will fell different. I really wouldn't take the chance without testing something.

    Good luck with your decision.

  6. #6
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Some history

    http://www.amp-research.com/see/horst.asp

    Looks like 1981 was the beginning of the horst linkage as used on motor bikes (only going by patent pics) which was then transferred to mountain bikes when specialized purchased the patent in 1996ish? Interesting

  7. #7
    Senior, Senior Member ExMachina's Avatar
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    Hey lookie what I found at the patent office website:



    Looks like a brand new rear suspension design by Herr Leitner

    You can see all his patents here:
    http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-P...Leitner&d=ptxt

  8. #8
    Senior, Senior Member ExMachina's Avatar
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    Well, I guess I'll go w/ the FSR is nobody has anything positive to say about the ride of the Kona...

    BTW, how much of a negative is "break jack"?--is it merely annoying, or is is potentially dangerous?

  9. #9
    SNIKT! Karldar's Avatar
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    Can't really comment on the rear suspension designs, but I prefer the Kona for looks(well, except for color). Main reason for my post was to mention that there's a Kona dealer in Franklin. Have you checked them out? Plus, Nashville Bicycle Company sold Specialized last time I was in there. Think they've got a shop in Nashville and Franklin(they closed the one here). Good luck, whatever you decide!
    I like pie!
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  10. #10
    Senior, Senior Member ExMachina's Avatar
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    Thanks Karldar. I haven't been down to the Franklin store yet (guy on the phone said they didn't have any Kickapus in the store, so I haven't been in a big rush). I too like the looks of the Konas slightly better (plus the wife has a S-lized RH and I like to be different)

    Still, the more I read about the FSR's ride characteristics over other bikes (at least in it's price range) I think it's really a no-brainer. Looks like the '05 FSR will be ordered soon (and I'll probably get it, just when the specs for the '06s come out!)

  11. #11
    mmm... chicken! Funkychicken's Avatar
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    not sure this helps, but on my kona i don't feel pedal bob unless i stand, and no experience with brake jack. I do however feel slight pedal feedback from the suspension but if you're looking at a xc bike i dont think you'll have to worry that much unless you're doing lots of drops.
    That's a lie.

  12. #12
    Senior, Senior Member ExMachina's Avatar
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    Thanks Funkychicken--that's exactly the kind of information I was looking for. Since I've never ridden a FS bike (for more than a test ride) I have no feel for all those things that the Horst linkage supposedly compensates for. So it sound's like, you have no real problems w/ your suspension design. So, if you were buying another FS bike, would you stay w/ Kona?

  13. #13
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExMachina
    Well, I guess I'll go w/ the FSR is nobody has anything positive to say about the ride of the Kona...

    BTW, how much of a negative is "break jack"?--is it merely annoying, or is is potentially dangerous?
    If you are going fast and riding the breaks it is VERY annoying to the point of losing traction because you are being bounced around so much (depending on pivot location too btw, not all single pivots act the same) The good riders get away with a single pivot because they understand brake usage and ride the front brake, not the rear.

  14. #14
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    I like the single pivot bikes. You just have to adjust to them. I am about to get the bike I've been wanting for a long time(Bullet,Sherman slider,X7,Single trac,Avid) good old single pivot.Having said that the FSR is still one of the best on the market.
    Oh,The bullet is ROOTBEER and will cost me no $$$$$$. I'll post pics when I get it.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  15. #15
    Senior, Senior Member ExMachina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom
    The good riders get away with a single pivot because they understand brake usage and ride the front brake, not the rear.
    Thanks for the clarification.

    Being first and foremost a roadie I'm used to using the front brake almost exclusively, so maybe "the jack" wouldn't even be an issue...

    I've got to say that I took a test ride on an FSR this evening and man, that bike is SWEEEEET! The rear shock was cranked up to my weight and (riding in the parking lot) it felt almost like I was pedaling a hard tail, the power transfer was that smooth. I might venture down to look at whatever Konas the local store may have in stock, but I think I'm getting sold on the FSR.

  16. #16
    mmm... chicken! Funkychicken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExMachina
    Being first and foremost a roadie I'm used to using the front brake almost exclusively, so maybe "the jack" wouldn't even be an issue...
    be careful there, in many situations rear brake is what you clamp on first , those are sit'ns when you might go over the handlebars if you use front brake 1st. technical and singletrack is (i gather) when you use front brake more b/c of brake jack issues, this allows rear wheel traction/suspension/power when going fast round corners. i guess this explains why i havent really had brake-jack problems?

    bottom line is still try before you buy. But i think there's another (not necessarily mutually exclusive) philosphy that says "grow with your bike"
    i wouldn't worry so much about the technicalities of suspension design, just so long as one feels nicer than the other. this means take into account all other factors and preferences. for me the choice of bike was based on intended purpose and geometry + the price was right. specialized didnt have a bike that fit so nicely into what i wanted.
    That's a lie.

  17. #17
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    For my tastes there is no substitute for a FSR

  18. #18
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    FSR XC or Stumjumper FSR? Which modle are you looking at, base, comp, pro?

  19. #19
    Hazardous biker Ricardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker66
    I say unto thee, rideth the bikes and buy the one that feels good unto you!
    I second that.

    Ricardo

  20. #20
    To be continued Dannihilator's Avatar
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    Kona tweeks the suspension design more on their xc bikes for pedalling efficency, mate that with the Fox Float RP3 shock and you have a very capable pedaler.

    But with you being a roadie as well, I'm not going to suggest either. Instead I'm going to reccomend a bike that pedals better than an FSR can, I'm going to reccomend a Kula Primo, which is a hardtail that is mated with a Fox FX 80 fork.
    Strike like an eagle and sacrifice the dove.
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  21. #21
    Senior, Senior Member ExMachina's Avatar
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    Konarider, Can't find the Primo on Kona's site--is this an older model of the Kula? Anyway, looks like even the base model Kula is out of my price range

    Why specifically a hardtail for a roadie? The thing I like most about the FS bikes is their ability to climb like the dickens.

  22. #22
    To be continued Dannihilator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExMachina
    Konarider, Can't find the Primo on Kona's site--is this an older model of the Kula? Anyway, looks like even the base model Kula is out of my price range

    Why specifically a hardtail for a roadie? The thing I like most about the FS bikes is their ability to climb like the dickens.
    Meant kula Deelux, the primo is a frame only, the base line kula isn't too far out of your price range if it's that har pressed, the Caldera is in your price range as well.

    XC Hardtails handle closer to that of a road bike, also they allow you to learn line selection and proper riding techniques.
    Strike like an eagle and sacrifice the dove.
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  23. #23
    Senior, Senior Member ExMachina's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestion Konarider. You're playing to my uncertainity over whether I really should insist on a FS bike anywhere near this price range--a Specialized S-Works or Stumjumper FSR Pro, or a Titus Racer-X sure, but an entry level FS with third tier components (or worse) and I'm thinking my money might be better spent on a HT...

    You're also playing to my lack of resolve on my price point (and my Kona dealer will do lay away)

    Well, I should close this topic now since I'm now looking at a 2006 Rockhoper Pro or a Kona Caldera (my gawd, is it really painted gold???--maybe I'll have to spring for tha Kula!)

    Thanks guys.

  24. #24
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KonaRider24
    I'm going to recommend a bike that pedals better than an FSR can, I'm going to recommend a Kula Primo, which is a hardtail that is mated with a Fox FX 80 fork.
    That's about the only way to get one that pedals better

  25. #25
    yes... You're on my left jstream's Avatar
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    FSR XC
    Here's my little bit. I went with the FSR XC and haven't regretted it at all. The bike rides great. It really wants to turn, handles fairly rough trails with ease, doesn't hurt my back at all (that's the really important part), rides very well on pavement (bike trails or city streets), and accelerates quite well for all the suspension travel. If you like mud, you might want to consider replacing the v brakes with discs, but that's up to the individual (I'll be doing that this fall - I like the feel of discs).

    As far as the "dreaded pedal bob" goes, the only time I ever feel it is if my pedaling technique goes to crap... If I'm bouncing on the pedals, the suspension will bounce. If I'm pedaling smoothly, no bounce. The suspension is wonderfully active. It took awhile for me to figure out what all was going on while riding, but now I'm tuned to the bike enough to know. There is (as advertised) no restriction to the suspension (or drive train) while pedaling, in other words, it doesn't tighten up or go slack. I feel no change there at all except for the shock moving and my back not hurting. Some things, like cracks in the road, and some tree roots will defeat the suspension - barring a much more expensive rear shock - that's just going to happen with any bike, but when you're on a bumpy trail, and those bumps have no effect at all on cadence, the result is a very happy rider able to ride much farther than he thought he'd ever be able to go again.

    All that being said, I do plan on switching to Avid mech discs this fall, and will consider a rear shock upgrade over the winter. Oh yeah, and some Candy-C's (to match the color). But if you haven't guessed already - I LOVE THIS BIKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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