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  1. #1
    Junior Member jamisgirl's Avatar
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    Kona or Santa Cruz?

    I am a woman about 5'4 and 115 looking to get a new bike. I've narrowed it down to 2 Kona Dawg or Santa Cruz Juliana. What do you guys think? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    Ride both and get the one that fits best.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  3. #3
    bikegeek campayne's Avatar
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    santa cruz for sure
    KILLA CAM

  4. #4
    I Dig Hardtail Ludovico's Avatar
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    Ride them both and decide

    but Kona's are sexier.

  5. #5
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    Kona Dawg "Supreme" got a great rating in MBA, but I don't know what the major differences are between the regular dawg and the supreme dawg.

  6. #6
    Senior Member juliebeanpie's Avatar
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    Santa Cruz for sure. The Heckler is better than the Juliana, though. I've ridden both. The Heckler has a sturdier frame than the Juliana, and a stouter rear triangle, although mine is a few years old; I don't know if they've changed them since then. By the way, I'm 5'3", 115#s, and the small Heckler frame is just right. I think the Konas are style over substance, and Santa Cruz is the opposite. Have fun, either way!

  7. #7
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    My 2 cents - one of the finest bikes out there - although not the most expensive is the Santa Cruz Superlight/Juliana. Great all around cross-country bike especially with the right fork and shock.

  8. #8
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    I have a couple of questions.
    campayne,Why should she get the Santa Cruz?
    Julie,why is the Kona style over substance?
    I think for trail riding the Juliana would be fine.The Heckler is gonna be more weight to pedal around and unless your hard on equipment or ride tech burley trails the juliana would be fine.
    Last edited by mtnbiker66; 07-07-06 at 04:22 AM.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  9. #9
    Senior Member zx108's Avatar
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    i would have to say kona. the dawg has been around for a good long time and has gotten rave reviews as a great trail bike. and its a kona frame so, enough said. with lockout it should pedal fine. i am not familiar with the santa cruz but i beleive its a single pivot(stop me if im wrong)and the kona is a faux bar which is a little better.

    like everyone else said. ride em and some back with some details.

  10. #10
    Senior Member concernicus's Avatar
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    a "faux bar" is not better than a single pivot suspension design. thats also preference

  11. #11
    mmm... chicken! Funkychicken's Avatar
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    at 5 4 and 115lb would weight may be an issue for you? if so, i'd say factor this into your decision, konas are known to build 'em like tanks - just as tough and just as heavy. compare the weights when you test ride both. kona does make a women's specific FS bike - Lisa DS, i'd suggest you check that out too unless small travel isn't your style.
    That's a lie.

  12. #12
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    I used to have a Superlight, loved that bike. Still to this date I believe it is the best full suspension cross country bike for the money. I feel the same about the Juliana. One of my teammates / friend's has been riding / racing the Juliana for four seasons now and she still loves it. She is finally doing some much need upgrades but other than that plans on riding it for another season or two.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  13. #13
    Senior Member juliebeanpie's Avatar
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    In response to a "faux bar" suspension being better than single pivot, that is not necessarily true. A four bar can be very plush feeling, however, in the long run, single pivot will last you longer. Single pivot suspension can tolerate all kinds of force, unlike the four bar which can't take the same torque without being bent out of shape (ask any engineer). But, in the end, it is all a matter of preference. I agree with mtnbiker66. Ride both and pick the one that fits you best. Mtnbiker66: I said she should get the Santa Cruz, when I've never ridden a Kona (sheepish grin), so I should have just said that I LOVE MY HECKLER and that we are similar sizes and weights, so I knew for sure that a Santa Cruz would work for her build.

  14. #14
    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juliebeanpie
    In response to a "faux bar" suspension being better than single pivot, that is not necessarily true.
    I agree - a "faux bar" is fundamentally the same a single pivot, at least in terms of axle path.

    Quote Originally Posted by juliebeanpie
    A four bar can be very plush feeling, however, in the long run, single pivot will last you longer. Single pivot suspension can tolerate all kinds of force, unlike the four bar which can't take the same torque without being bent out of shape (ask any engineer).
    I disagree with this one, especially when it comes to lateral stiffness - there's this thing called "moment" an engineer once told me about. Basically, the longer the lever (distance from pivot to dropout), the greater the force on the pivot and resultant flex at the rear. This is not to say single pivots can't be designed stiff (e.g. the Honda DH bike, any single pivot with a swing link), but generally, a "faux bar" will have more side to side rigidity.

  15. #15
    DNPAIMFB pinkrobe's Avatar
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    The component spec is sorta similar for a D-level Juliana and the Dawg, but I think they're going to ride quite differently. The Juli only has 90mm rear travel for small/medium sizes, while the Dawg is listed at 125. THe Kona Lisa DS is 100 mm rear travel and is a better comparison with the Juliana. There's a review of the Lisa from Dirt Rag in issue #120 [link from the Lisa DS page on Kona's site] written by a 5'3" woman.
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  16. #16
    Indiana Joe
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    Bought an '05 Dawg Matic this Spring, and couldn't be happier. Learn how to set up the suspension and it's a highly versatile bike. It will handle a flat, fast xc course one day, and a hard riding, backwoods trail the next.

    It climbs well, but it is more of an all-mountain design. Rebust frame, relaxed geometry, wide bars. Just lean back further and go faster than you're used to, and it handles anything you can throw at it.

    If the weight is a concern, ride the Lisa or the Kickapoo side by side with the Dawg. Good Luck!

  17. #17
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkrobe
    The component spec is sorta similar for a D-level Juliana and the Dawg, but I think they're going to ride quite differently. The Juli only has 90mm rear travel for small/medium sizes, while the Dawg is listed at 125. THe Kona Lisa DS is 100 mm rear travel and is a better comparison with the Juliana. There's a review of the Lisa from Dirt Rag in issue #120 [link from the Lisa DS page on Kona's site] written by a 5'3" woman.
    One of the reasons I mentioned the Superlight with the Juliana is because of the spec differences. I would actually consider getting the Superlight over the Juliana because you get 100mm of rear travel and if she can handle the price should get the R kit. The Superlight is a "small" bike so a small should fit. I wouldn't get the Juliana unless you really need the shorter top tube.

  18. #18
    Senior Member juliebeanpie's Avatar
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    "faux bar" - the debate continues

    Gastro, your polar moment of inertia concept is valid, but a fellow Heckler rider tells me that a four bar can have up to eight pivot points (not including shock and link), which means more parts to fail, and loss of symmetry in the rear triangle, resulting in premature hub and bearing failure. I think maybe it is a matter of how hard someone torques their bike around, and how often one wants to replace one's suspension bushings. I rode a four bar around for a while, and I have to admit the suspension was amazingly cush. But my Fox Float is the bomb, and perfect for me because it is air and thus lightweight, which I can get away with since I'm light. All this is stuff I should have said in the beginning on my reply to jamisgirl when she asked what bike to get, since we sound like we're the same build.

  19. #19
    I'll ride for free MudSplattered's Avatar
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    I have a Juliana and LOVE IT, no complaints at all. I had it built up specially for me. It weighs about 23 lbs, weight is actually an important part of the fit. I have a heavier Cannondale, weighs about 30+ lbs, takes much more effort to get it up hills and handling, expecially on technical and long rides. I tried a Kona, but the cockpit was stretched out too far for me to be comfortable and not as easy to handle. Compare the geometry between the 2 bikes, if you are longer leg/shorter torso, a shorter cockpit (between the seat and the bars) may be better for you but if you have longer torso/shorter legs, the opposite may be best. I have been able to "pull out" of hairy situations on my Juliana where I would have gone down on my Cannondale. I have never had any issues with the travel being shorter than other bikes, probably because I went from a hardtail to the Juliana. I have researched the juliana and never read a bad review. Plus you get to pick your color!!

    I've read that the Kona Lisa doesn't really have any "women specific" frame changes, same frame as the men's Kona's. The small and medium Juliana do have "women specific" frames, the large is the same as a Superlight and isn't really "women's specific".

    As for the Kona being sexier, I disagree, I get lots of complements on my Juliana, it's sexier to ride a bike that fits/works with you better than to fight a "pretty" bike.

    Good luck,
    Michelle

  20. #20
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    Some of the discussion here is a little off the mark. The Dawg and the Juliana are tough to compare directly on points like durability. Sure there's more pivots on the Dawg, but it's also a somewhat tougher design due to it's intended market. I don't think you can fairly compare them directly in that respect.

    Jamisgirl, the Dawg is a longer travel bike designed to take some bigger hits, while the Julianna is lighter. There's a lot of overlap in the type of riding you can do on both, but I think they're distinct enough you should be able to decide based on a good test ride. Perhaps if you'd like to compare more similar bikes, you should also consider Kona Kikapu or Lisa or the Santa Cruz Heckler. While I don't know what kind of riding you have in mind, I would expect that a light rider like you could doing some tough riding on the XC-oriented rigs (Kikapu, Lisa, Juliana), but the all-mountain bikes (Dawg, Heckler) will let you push the limits a little more.

    By the way, I have a Dawg Primo. Extremely fun bike. It's a tiny bit heavier than I'd like, but not bad at all considering it's beefiness. I also noticed some brake jack on rough trails, but I've learned to time my braking so it's not a real problem. I understand the single pivot designs are similar in that respect. I've test ridden the Heckler, too and it's every bit as good as the Dawg. I can't comment personally on the XC bikes.
    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

  21. #21
    Senior Member Rancid's Avatar
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    Just out of curiousity, did you check out the Kona Lisa DS? Its one of Kona's only women's specific bike, just throwing it out there
    I've been here since 2004? I've never felt this old before.

  22. #22
    DNPAIMFB pinkrobe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rancid
    Just out of curiousity, did you check out the Kona Lisa DS? Its one of Kona's only women's specific bike, just throwing it out there
    Post #15
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  23. #23
    Mullet Boy! Pink_Ninja's Avatar
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    santa cruz
    Bansheeeee!

  24. #24
    Junior Member jamisgirl's Avatar
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    Wow thanks everyone, I plan on taking test rides soon. I will post my thoughts then.

  25. #25
    Banned
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    the standover on the Kona may be a bit high...Mrs. M. is 5'6", has a 30" inseam and rides a 17" (small) SC Blur...has a Kona HT but its for sale.

    we looked for some time before she found a FS that she could actually stand over

    BTW...Mrs. M. did look at a Kona Lisa but thought that the components were a bit cheap for the price, also the WD bikes take into account that most women have longer legs and shorter arms when compared to men...this doesn't work for all...my daughter rides a WD bike, Mrs. M. needs a men's

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