After months of debating on my new bike and trying everybody's patience here on the forums, I just pulled the trigger on a 2005 Kona Cinder Cone. It took me a while to decide on this over equivalent Cannodales and Specialized, and I couldn't be more happy. This bike is so smoooooth and the geometry is absolutely dialed.
I was previously a cannondale guy but I picked this over even an 04 F-600 that the guy at a competing shop was going to give me for the same price, but the Kona feels that much better, It even climbs better in spite of being a few pounds heavier.
Thanks again for the advice. This is by far the most fun I've had on a bike in a long time.
I was the same way with Bianchi MTBs for a long time and now I ride Kona...
I ride a Kona "Hot" and while its aging, I have test ridden 100's of potential replacements and nothing feels even close to a similar ride....
I guess its just what you get used to...
Kona Cinder Cone (2005) / Cannondale T700 Touring (1994)
I, too, have just purchased a 2005 Cinder Cone and am finding it great so far. My last mountain bike was a 1996 Diamond Back ?? which my son destroyed in an accident in 1998. Luckily he survived but the scars will always be there. I digress. My other long time bike is a 1994 Cannondale T700 touring bike on which I have logged over 55000 km. Its getting old and worn out and me being even more old and worn out have decided on another mountain bike -- odd choice. After a lot of research I decided on the CC (goes well with the other CC, doesn't it -- Canadian Club rye whiskey!!). Of course this is already becoming my all-round bike that I will use for commuting, easy trail riding and for touring. I have already put a front bar bag on it and will be setting it up for a week long tour on Vancouver Island this summer. What I like - the Hayes Hydraulic disc brakes are awesome, the Shimano clip in pedals came stock with the bike, the Deore/LX front/back components are quite adequate. Still looking for a decent rear rack (hard to find racks that can be used with disc brakes) and of course the front rack is even more difficult to find because it needs to work with the front suspension fork AND disc brakes.