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  1. #1
    Senior Member AraJudge's Avatar
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    Would like a second opinion.

    Okay, I'm pretty sure this is the best place to post this...

    Im not terribly new to bicycles but i am definitely new to the mtn. biking. With that i have a friend that is giving me a little guidance and helping me get started in mtn. biking. We went out looking at bikes and i got educated for the most part and i gave a little test ride to a few bikes. Out of the ones that i had the chance to ride (which was a few) i REALLY liked two of them. I was wondering what you guys thought about the two and an "i like that" or "i like this" would be fine but i'm really looking for the because, so that i can learn about the equipment and what the differences are by opinion

    The Novara Ponderosa 2009
    http://www.rei.com/product/776817

    Or the Kona Blast 2009
    http://www.konaworld.com/09/09_blast_en.cfm

    Thank You!!!
    Last edited by AraJudge; 01-16-10 at 11:56 PM.

  2. #2
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I am a Kona man- but looking at the specs of the two bikes-I would opt for the Novara. Saying that- I have not ridden either of these models and That is the main thing to think about. On top of that- Are they priced the same?

    Both bikes would give a start in Mountain Biking without letting you down- but the Novara does have the edge on components.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  3. #3
    Senior Member AraJudge's Avatar
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    Pretty much the Novara would come out to about $660 and the Kona $620

  4. #4
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Gets back to test ride. Hopefully one of them would stand out as being the better bike for you.

    Saying that- The next one up in the Kona range- The Cindercone is worth looking at. A bike that has a good pedigree and is well proven.

    I ride a Kona Explosif that would if it were still made be in the hardtail range of Kona but way up above these. My only problem with modern Konas is that they have been on the Pie's. They are a bit heavy.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  5. #5
    Hey guyz? Guyz? Wait up!! Siu Blue Wind's Avatar
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    I am a fan of Konas and have not really seen any complaints about their frames. Since it is not really known who builds the frames for REI,(I started this thread out of curiosity) and Kona has a reputation of over building their frames, I'd go for a Kona. Never know if the same factory that builds Xmart has a contract with REI. Granted some Xmart frames can take some abuse, my concern would be the over seeing of quality control, fit and finish.

    To second what Stepfam says, the ride and feel is very important as well. Since this is a bike used for your entry into mtb, I think the Kona's components might fit the bill for you.
    Last edited by Siu Blue Wind; 01-16-10 at 12:17 PM.
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  6. #6
    "STAT" -_RebelRidin'_-'s Avatar
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    I've ridden a Kona Blast (that exact model)
    It seems to be a very solid bike, and was fun to play around on, has a more aggressive feel than I thought it would.

    I have a Kona Dawg, and have no complaints about the frame, solid.
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  7. #7
    I have senior moments... bikinfool's Avatar
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    To me the biggest consideration on a hardtail at a given pricepoint is the fork. They both have the same fork, a POS Dart 2. Personally I'd spend a bit more money to get a hardtail with a better fork spec...
    suum quique
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Smallguy's Avatar
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    I'd buy the Kona because I'm familiar with the brand

    what is your budget and what type or riding are you intending to do? local trial names would help for those familiar with your area

  9. #9
    ÖöÖöÖöÖöÖö Dannihilator's Avatar
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    I would go with the Kona, from what I've heard the mechanic @ REI basically lied about who made the frame and that should be a major turn off.
    Last edited by Dannihilator; 01-16-10 at 07:50 PM.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member AraJudge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smallguy View Post
    I'd buy the Kona because I'm familiar with the brand

    what is your budget and what type or riding are you intending to do? local trial names would help for those familiar with your area
    My budget... is being pushed by these bikes in itself, but i am a outdoorsy kinda guy and i like to be out adventuring, full of wanderlust one might say. Threw boy scouts and working up to my Eagle i have done much adventuring and much walking, but i would like a little different way to transverse the land. For now i just want something simple to get me into the field and get conditioned so to speak. Biking has always been a small joy of mine, and im ready to take it to the next level.

    Thank You!! as well to all of you for helping me and giving me a little advice in my start super helpful

  11. #11
    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    Does the sizing on either of those bicycles work better for you?

  12. #12
    Senior Member AraJudge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Does the sizing on either of those bicycles work better for you?
    To honestly answer that question i would have to try them each out again... from what i can recall from what i did ride that day the novara and the Kona both felt really good.

    ummm also nothing to do with the sizeing and i dont know if this is something that is big enough to grip about.... but i really hatted the way the shifters worked on the Novara the levers felt really weird having to thumb both up and down were the Kona was thumb and index, which felt really natural.

  13. #13
    Hey guyz? Guyz? Wait up!! Siu Blue Wind's Avatar
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    Koooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooona.


    Oh and customer service is key too. Think about that as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Buddha
    We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.
    Quote Originally Posted by making View Post
    Please dont outsmart the censor. That is a very expensive censor and every time one of you guys outsmart it it makes someone at the home office feel bad. We dont wanna do that. So dont cleverly disguise bad words.

  14. #14
    Senior Member AraJudge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siu Blue Wind View Post
    Koooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooona.


    Oh and customer service is key too. Think about that as well.
    Being a little bit bias here hmmmmmm all in all i think my heart is reaching out for the Kona but a little more deliberation is needed

  15. #15
    Hey guyz? Guyz? Wait up!! Siu Blue Wind's Avatar
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    I bet they can change the grips to purple for you.

    *yawn*

    It's a good thing I didn't have this...



    ...or I'd be up all night. Gotta go, have to wake up at 230am to be in the warehouse by 4am.

    Toodles!
    Quote Originally Posted by Buddha
    We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.
    Quote Originally Posted by making View Post
    Please dont outsmart the censor. That is a very expensive censor and every time one of you guys outsmart it it makes someone at the home office feel bad. We dont wanna do that. So dont cleverly disguise bad words.

  16. #16
    Senior Member AraJudge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siu Blue Wind View Post
    I bet they can change the grips to purple for you.

    *yawn*

    It's a good thing I didn't have this...



    ...or I'd be up all night. Gotta go, have to wake up at 230am to be in the warehouse by 4am.

    Toodles!
    hmmmmmmm.... That is SUPER tempting

    Yuuuum Medium Roast!! haha

  17. #17
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AraJudge View Post
    i am defiantly new to the mtn. biking.
    Who told you not to try mountain biking?
    "Well, I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want... Sooner or later, these kids aren't going to have anything to read or write about." (Richard Dreyfus as Glenn Holland)

  18. #18
    Senior Member AraJudge's Avatar
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    OOPS! hehe totally meant to put definitely not defiantly... fixed now

  19. #19
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Hehe. Well, I might as well throw my .02 in as well. Kona is a name brand with a good reputation. Novara is a house brand, but it also seems to be liked by those who buy them. I feel that X7 is higher end than Acera components, but both are decent for a beginner to intermediate rider, so you just gotta decide what is more important to you.
    "Well, I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want... Sooner or later, these kids aren't going to have anything to read or write about." (Richard Dreyfus as Glenn Holland)

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikinfool View Post
    To me the biggest consideration on a hardtail at a given pricepoint is the fork. They both have the same fork, a POS Dart 2. Personally I'd spend a bit more money to get a hardtail with a better fork spec...
    I agree with this. It's all in the fork, son. Darts suck whether they be 1, 2, or 3 models.

  21. #21
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    the novara has way better spec than the kona. worth the 40 bucks. swap the fork later

  22. #22
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AraJudge View Post
    My budget... is being pushed by these bikes in itself, but i am a outdoorsy kinda guy and i like to be out adventuring....
    I don't know your comfort level with used stuff, but I live in your area and just bought a bike off CL.. There are a lot of nice bikes going cheap right now, and you can really get some bang for your buck buying used. You'll have to expand your list of desirable brands, though.

    For example - there was a very clean Iron Horse Warrior Expert in Walnut Creek that went through 3 CL cycles @$350 before the ad disappeared. I don't know what it finally sold for, could have been less.

    That being said - if you're just hitting local fire roads and "bike hiking", I don't know that you'd notice the Dart fork is that bad. Between these two - if you can feel a difference in ride quality, go with the one whose shifters fell better to you. You're going to be doing a lot of that.
    Last edited by bigbossman; 01-17-10 at 10:57 AM.
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, it’s the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

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  23. #23
    Senior Member AraJudge's Avatar
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    ya, my buying of used stuff ends at TCG's im not a big fan of used stuff especially when you get into the hundreds of dollars i would rather spend a hundred more dollars for something fresh built and just put together then something that could possibly be macgyver'ed by the previous owner but Thank You!

  24. #24
    I have senior moments... bikinfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reptilezs View Post
    the novara has way better spec than the kona. worth the 40 bucks. swap the fork later
    While this sounds good, it's cheaper to spend a bit more now on a new bike with a better fork than buying a better fork later. As to the Novara having a better spec, I'd agree.
    suum quique
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  25. #25
    Senior Member AraJudge's Avatar
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    (little confused by the picture up loader... if this doesn't come out then i will find another way to put it up non the less)

    I found the bike for me i shall start the breaking in of the bike very soon as i have tomorrow off i super exited and i cant wait to get a different pair of pedals on it and out there getting dirty. AAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!
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