First Impressions: Kona Hei Hei

Kona Hei Hei, size: 19″

Kona sent over their beautiful Hei Hei for us to test. The Hei Hei is a 26″ full suspension race bike outfitted with an 85mm front Reba fork and a 2.5″ inches of Fox rear travel. It is not spec’d with a “weight weenie” build kit but the bike comes in at just about 24.5 lbs for a 19″. Here are the specs via Kona’s website:

Frame sizes 14″, 16″, 17″, 18″ ,19″ ,20″, 22″
Frame tubing Kona Race Light Scandium Butted, 2.5″ Travel
Fork Rockshox Reba Race 85mm
Rear Shock Fox Float RP2
Headset FSA Orbit DL
Crankarms Race Face Evolve XC X-Type
Chainrings 44/32/22
B/B Race Face Evolve XC X-Type
Pedals Shimano M520 Clipless
Chain Shimano HG53
Freewheel Shimano LX (11-32, 9spd)
F/D Shimano XT
R/D Shimano XT Shadow
Shifters Shimano XT
Handlebar RaceFace Evolve Low Riser XC
Stem RaceFace Evolve XC
Grips Kona Race Light
Brakes Hayes Stroker Carbon V6
Brake Levers Hayes Stroker Carbon
Front hub FSA XC-300 Wheelset
Rear hub FSA XC-300 Wheelset
Spokes FSA XC-300 Wheelset
Tires Maxxis CrossMark 26 x 2.1 Kevlar
Rims FSA XC-300 Wheelset
Saddle WTB Rocket V Race Carbon
Seatpost RaceFace EVOLVE XC
Seat clamp Kona QR
Color Ball Burnished/White

I got to take the Hei Hei out to a loop called Chantry Flats about 40 minutes from where I live. This loop has lots of rocks from small little baby heads to big sharp jagged ones the size of our bikes and bigger. It also has a lot of exposure, but we won’t dwell on that too much. Although not a “race” course, the Hei Hei was more then up for the challenge. Here are some of my first impressions on the Kona Hei Hei:

Stiff rear: Kona uses a “Walking Beam 4 Bar Linkage System” that makes for a stiff rear triangle. At 210+ lbs with gear, the rear linkage system never exhibited any flex on our loop today.

The black rocker arm has 2 beams that help to stiffen the rear suspension and keep away unwanted flex

Sweet paint job: Most of the Hei Hei is a glossy white but the front half of the front triangle has a painted raw reflective look. Kona calls it Ball Burnished. I call it purdy!

Front triangle’s front half is “ball burnished” purdy

Enough travel: 85mm Reba up front and 2.5 inches in the rear was more then enough travel for a guy used to riding rigid. In fact for most of my riding, this would be plenty as it takes off the edge but still gives me great performance. I especially like both component choices because of the ability to “lock out” the fork/shock seperately. This made for efficient climbing and comfortable descending.

Just came through those rocks. The suspension performed well

Check back as we put the Kona Hei Hei through a couple of months of testing and write up a detailed review.

Some minor rocks for the Hei Hei to chew up and spit out

For more info on the Kona Hei Hei, click here.

Ready for more stream crossings

One Reply to “First Impressions: Kona Hei Hei”

  1. Wow! This is a nice blog that is related to Kona Mountain Bikes that they are tough bikes which one can take them to mountains and can ride. I recommend that one must have this as it is affordable and can own a common person.

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