I've tested a few bikes in the last few days. A couple of Stumpjumpers (17-18"), a Cake 4, a HKek, a Trek 8000 and a Kona Kula Deluxe. In terms of feeling right at home, I would say the Kona and Hkek made me feel the most confident. The Stumpjumper seemed like I should be pedalling all out to ride it. Does my impression that it felt more racy make sense? Maybe it was the handlebars, but I felt my weight was really far forward. The Kona and Hkek felt like I could use the rear tire more and carve a turn more. The Stumpjumper seems the best value if I compare parts. the Hkek seems to be specced the cheapest (it costs a few hundred less than the Stumpjumper) and the Kona costs the most. I also noticed that the fork on the 06 Kona has no lockout (Fox Vanilla). This seemed like a great feature for climbing, and the Stumpy had a Fox 80Rl with lockout.
The manager of the bike shop has an 03 Kona that has a 100MM RTL Fox fork (that he claims is top notch), and some other upgraded parts that he would sell me for about the price of the Hkek with taxes. He claims the Deluxe was specced like the Primo back in 03. Anyone have one, and what are your impressions? Thanks, Bob.
Nice Photo, and a great looking bike. I'd like to have tried the one I test drove in that location, rather than Downtown in a park. If you could PM the price it goes for in your locale if you don't mind for reference. I think we pay a lot for bikes in Canada despite the current strength of our currency. Enjoy your new Bike!