The Kona Kahuna series is meant to be a collection of big, bad, mountain machines, but they do leave a lot to be desired for the average rider. The range features entry-level, midrange, and enthusiast level bicycles, and some models do have some choice componentry. They don’t, however, measure up to Kona’s usual high-quality standards.
Kona has been in business since the late 80s, so you might expect them to be totally on the ball all the time. But every now and then, there are a few bikes that tend to disappoint. The Kahuna series seems to be one such range. We just weren’t too happy with how these cross country cycles stacked up on the trail.
The wheels on these bikes were rather sluggish and quite cumbersome, especially on the uphill climbs. These bikes were slow to start with, but then did pick up some pretty great speeds. The carbon frame King Kahuna has some enthusiast level Shimano Deore XT componentry, the most advanced in its category, and this certainly was a high performer. But it seems to be the only one of the set.
The full suspension bikes had disappointing forks, and it’s just not worth spending thousands of dollars for these specs and poor performance. The weight could also be a lot lighter, though most models are average. We did like the relaxed geometry and look of the Kahuna bikes, but there just wasn’t enough power in them.
Carbon frame King Kahuna has great componentry and performance
Not great for the price
These bikes just don’t come up to par for cross country and trail riding, especially considering their steep prices and subpar performance.
The Kona Kahuna has a couple of good models for enthusiasts, but for the most part, we wouldn’t recommend the entry level and midrange bikes in this range. With mostly average specs, these bikes are just too expensive for their performance.