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Old 12-20-06, 10:22 AM   #1
crthomps
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Looking for advice on lightest dual-susp. trail bike under $1,100

Hi, all. I'm new around these parts, so thanks for entertaining my newbie questions!

I am getting set to buy my first dual-suspension XC bike, but want something relatively light (as light as I can get for the cheap price range) and I want to make sure I'm making the right decision. So far I have looked at a bunch of bikes that are over 30 pounds and some around 35 pounds. The only one that has really stuck out to me thus far is the Kona Kikapu, being $1,000 brand new, dual-susp., and it appears to be in the 26-27 pound range. Can anyone advse me as to any other bikes that may be similar performers to the Kona Kikapu, similar price range, and relatively light? Thanks.
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Old 12-20-06, 11:05 AM   #2
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i think "lite" "dual suspension" and "under $1000" are kind of mutually exclusive terms.

i know, not very helpfull, you should probobly be looking used.
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Old 12-20-06, 11:12 AM   #3
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If you found a Kona Kikapu for $1,000 new that weighs 26 - 27 pounds then I say go for it. I do recommend taking your own scale with you if weight is that important to you. To me that sounds to good to be true.
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Old 12-20-06, 11:31 AM   #4
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LowCel has a good point. and Kikapu, although not a great choice, is a nice bike at that pricepoint.

I dont know where you live, but if I was looking for a dual suspension bike I would drive to this store (although they sale online) and get any of the following bikes from them (based on components I like and best fit). Call them up and see what they can do for you.

here you go...

http://www.rscycle.com/s.nl/it.A/id....9&category=394
(Iron Horse MKIIIs are one of the best dual suspension bikes I have ever ridden, although my experience with dual suspension is limited)

http://www.rscycle.com/s.nl/it.A/id....?category=2187

http://www.rscycle.com/s.nl/it.A/id....9&category=394

http://www.rscycle.com/s.nl/it.A/id....9&category=394
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Old 12-20-06, 11:53 AM   #5
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check with your local kona dealers for leftover 2006 models. You may get some great deals. One of my local Kona dealers is offering 2006 Kikapu for $699 and Kikapu Delux for $899.... and Kona Dawg for $989

good luck
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Old 12-20-06, 12:03 PM   #6
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I would never buy a $1000 FS bike. Any FS bike at that pricepoint is going to have an inefficient design. All your pedal force is going to be put into compressing the rear suspension, and not translated into rotating the rear tire. For $1000, I would get a nice hardtail.
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Old 12-20-06, 12:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ranger5oh
I would never buy a $1000 FS bike. Any FS bike at that pricepoint is going to have an inefficient design. All your pedal force is going to be put into compressing the rear suspension, and not translated into rotating the rear tire. For $1000, I would get a nice hardtail.
I wouldn't buy a $1000 fs either but the FSR XC has a pretty good suspension design on it for MSRP $1200. I bet you could get one for $1000.

It won't be 26 pounds but you can't have it all at that price point

Last edited by C Law; 12-20-06 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 12-20-06, 12:34 PM   #8
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What is the old saying for bikes - Light, strong and cheap. You can have any 2 of these (but not all three).
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Old 12-20-06, 12:39 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jrobe
What is the old saying for bikes - Light, strong and cheap. You can have any 2 of these (but not all three).
That's pretty much the saying. Bonus if you can remember who originally came up with this saying. He's pretty well known in the industry and still does some races.
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Old 12-20-06, 01:49 PM   #10
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Yeah, i was figuring since my price range is so entry-level, I wouldn't probably be able to get any better than this bike. That having been said, I have heard it's a good bike from a lot of people and that it's a good deal considering what you're getting. considering I will probably go with the base Kikapu, what would be the cheapest and most cost-effective way to lighten the bike?
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Old 12-20-06, 01:55 PM   #11
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Have you thought about looking for a used bike? I just sold my 2006 Stumpjumer FSR for $1250. I paid $1900 (includes some add ons). I rode the bike 10 times if that. The bike was actually better used than new when I sold it (after I got it all cleaned up adn ready for sell) and you can't beat the Stump design and performance especially for $1250 or less. Keep looking, check other bike forums, Craigs List and eBay and local bike clubs to see if there is one for sale. Also bike shops sometimes have posting or have a return bike for sale.

I would spend alittle more, maybe more than I can afford and get a better bike than try to do with cheap especially with a full suspension bike.
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Old 12-20-06, 01:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crthomps
Yeah, i was figuring since my price range is so entry-level, I wouldn't probably be able to get any better than this bike. That having been said, I have heard it's a good bike from a lot of people and that it's a good deal considering what you're getting. considering I will probably go with the base Kikapu, what would be the cheapest and most cost-effective way to lighten the bike?
When buying in this price range you are much better off putting the money you would spend on upgrades towards a better bike. Your money will go much further this way. Once you have the bike the best upgrades to lose weight are typically tires, tubes, wheels, cassette. It just depends on how much money you want to spend and how hard the weight weenie bug bites you. Trust me......it can get expensive!!!
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Old 12-20-06, 03:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LowCel
When buying in this price range you are much better off putting the money you would spend on upgrades towards a better bike. Your money will go much further this way. Once you have the bike the best upgrades to lose weight are typically tires, tubes, wheels, cassette. It just depends on how much money you want to spend and how hard the weight weenie bug bites you. Trust me......it can get expensive!!!

Yeah I know how it feels when the modification bug bites you! I am also a motorsports enthusiast and have spent wayyyyy too much money modifying my sports car. I can't imagine this will be much different.

I really don't want to spend more than $1,000 on each bike (I am also getting one for my girlfriend), and have heard that the Kikapu, even the base model, is a good bike as long as you understand what you are getting. I don't want to spend my money on something that's not worth buying, but it's not like the Kikapu is a bad bike, is it?
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Old 12-20-06, 03:41 PM   #14
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The Kipapu line is pretty good, but just about any new full-suspension bike at the $1,000 pricepoint is going to be pretty mediocore. If I were looking at a FS bike, I'd start around $1,400 or so and look for a 9-speed drive train as you'll have better parts options if you break something or want to upgrade. The Kipapu Deluxe looks pretty good. If a grand is your a hard figure, get a nice hardtail. Are you set on FS and, if so, why?
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Old 12-20-06, 03:45 PM   #15
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kikapu is a decent bike given your requirements.

"I am getting set to buy my first dual-suspension XC bike, but want something relatively light (as light as I can get for the cheap price range)"

you can probably lighten up the bike with some upgrades down the road.

there is a certain amount of snobbery and elitism goes around in this forum. Sometimes its healthy and sometimes its not. dont get discouraged by that. I know its nice to have a $5000 dollar rig when you are sponsored by X Y Z or your mom and dad surprises you with a $XXXX dollar birthday gift bike. but lets face it some of us buy our bike with our own money. and dont do 15 feet jumps and stunts. for us, its Cross Country and general trail riding. we want to have the capabilities but it does not have to be cutting edge or top of the line.

OP..I dont know where you will be riding this bike....and how aggressive your riding style is...but if you are doing general cross country and dont have to climb hills in racing competitions, you would be fine. Sure a $5000 dual suspension rig would be better.....but do you really need it....

bottom line is....Kona makes decent bikes...and their frames are often worth upgrading.....so buy the Kikapu and ride it.....if you dont like something down the road....upgrade it.....
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Old 12-20-06, 03:56 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sherpaPeak
kikapu is a decent bike given your requirements.

"I am getting set to buy my first dual-suspension XC bike, but want something relatively light (as light as I can get for the cheap price range)"

you can probably lighten up the bike with some upgrades down the road.

there is a certain amount of snobbery and elitism goes around in this forum. Sometimes its healthy and sometimes its not. dont get discouraged by that. I know its nice to have a $5000 dollar rig when you are sponsored by X Y Z or your mom and dad surprises you with a $XXXX dollar birthday gift bike. but lets face it some of us buy our bike with our own money. and dont do 15 feet jumps and stunts. for us, its Cross Country and general trail riding. we want to have the capabilities but it does not have to be cutting edge or top of the line.

OP..I dont know where you will be riding this bike....and how aggressive your riding style is...but if you are doing general cross country and dont have to climb hills in racing competitions, you would be fine. Sure a $5000 dual suspension rig would be better.....but do you really need it....

bottom line is....Kona makes decent bikes...and their frames are often worth upgrading.....so buy the Kikapu and ride it.....if you dont like something down the road....upgrade it.....
Thanks...as I said, I am not some hardcore cliff-dropping trailrider. First of all, I live in New Orleans, so that pretty much precludes me from going up any hills. This bike will be for cross-country and general trail-riding and some road/park riding, and my riding style is far from aggressive compared to some of the members of this forum.. I'm not going to say that I wouldn't love some $5,000 carbon-fiber XC bike just as much as the next guy, but there's dreams and there's reality. If the bike is just garbage and not worth buying then I understand, but I have heard some good things about it as a light XC bike, that's it. I think some people on here are getting the wrong idea about how I am planning on using this bike. I am not planning on bottoming the suspension out every time i take the thing out.

Thanks for your reply.
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Old 12-20-06, 07:46 PM   #17
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If you are going to be road riding, most would advise a hardtail to be preferable. In the Kona line throw a leg over the Kula and Kula deluxe. My Deluxe is in the 23.5-24 pound range. Good time to be buying high quality used.
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Old 12-20-06, 07:49 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by LowCel
That's pretty much the saying. Bonus if you can remember who originally came up with this saying. He's pretty well known in the industry and still does some races.
Keith Bontrager what is my prize?
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Old 12-20-06, 09:10 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt Kurt
I wouldn't buy a $1000 fs either but the FSR XC has a pretty good suspension design on it for MSRP $1200. I bet you could get one for $1000.

It won't be 26 pounds but you can't have it all at that price point
The 05 FSR XC Comp with Avid discs and Mavic rims, 17" frame, is exactly 30.0 lbs.
You're right the suspension is great.
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Old 12-20-06, 09:39 PM   #20
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what about the Jamis Dakar?
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Old 12-20-06, 10:08 PM   #21
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Doesn't say weight but it's the same frame as the "race" version.
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ds07RRLOCK.htm
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Old 12-20-06, 10:09 PM   #22
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I should add: If you know your way around a bike, know what size, turn a wrench, fit yourself...
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Old 12-21-06, 12:37 PM   #23
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what about the Jamis Dakar?
Another vote for the Jamis Dakar. Especially considering the original poster's description of how he and the girlfriend are going to be riding. Most of my local dealers have some really good sales going right now. You should be able to pick up a Dakar sport for around $800.
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Old 12-21-06, 01:16 PM   #24
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The Jamis Dakar is one of the best "values" out there. A friend of mine has one and races it from time to time. He constantly reminds me how much he enjoys it.
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Old 12-21-06, 02:02 PM   #25
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even better....if you know how to put a bike together you could do this....

get the frame for $299
http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...ort+Oe+05.aspx

The fork for $199
http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...100120+06.aspx

this wheels and components for $299
http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...Wheel+Kit.aspx

and a quality crankset for $70
http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...ankset+Oe.aspx

or

this one

http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...rank+W+Bb.aspx


so for around $900 you would have a very decent bike
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