Kona Coilair Supreme Review

Pro Reviews


Article Originally Found On Mountain Biking by 198
Review by Robb Sutton
Original Article: Kona Coilair Supreme Mountain Bike Review

The Kona Coilair Supreme is a controversial mountain bike. With the Magic Link “6 +1″ suspension that automatically changes from 6″ of rear travel to 7.4″ of DH glory, the Kona Coilair is marketed as a park bike that can be ridden to the top of your favorite hill without the need of a lift assist but still bomb the DH like you would be used to on a 7.4″ travel rig. With statements like this from Kona…

“For the discerning free-crosser, that soldiered soul who climbs to the huck-and-hold goodness of advanced mountain cycling, the Kona CoilAir Deluxe does everything good. XC one day, dirt jumps the next, shuttle-descents on Thursday to mega alpine assaults all weekend long, thanks to our Magic Link technology, the CoilAir has the instinctive ability to change geometry, suspension performance and length of rear travel depending on your type of riding and the terrain at hand.”

…the Kona Coilair Supreme is going to have some big shoes to fill in its quest to be the do-it-all rig.

The Build

The Kona Coilair Supreme comes nicely spec’ed with some of the best from Fox Racing Shox, Shimano, Race Face and Mavic. The Supreme was Kona’s top build for 2009 and for around $5,799 retail, you get a bike that has some of the best components in the industry. This build weighs in around the mid 30’s range which puts it right in the fight for DH capable all-mountain bikes.

Highlights:

  • Fox Racing Shox Talas RC2 w/165mm Travel and Tapered Steerer Tube
  • Fox Racing Shox RP23
  • Race Face Atlas Cracks setup 2×9 (32T/22T)
  • XTR Rear Derailleur with XT Components Rounding Out the Rest of the Group
  • Mavic Crossmax ST Wheelset
  • Race Face Bars, Stem, Post

The bright orange and white definitely gives this bike a unique, in your face look that might not be for everyone. If you are looking for a bike that will not go unnoticed…this orange will do the trick. Within the front triangle, you will see the nuts and bolts of the Magic Link suspension setup. Each Kona Coilair comes with a detailed manual on suspension setup as you have many more variable to deal with than normal. Luckily, this rig came setup for my riding weight, so all I had to do was make sure that each of the adjustments equaled the correct sag and ride quality. In total, there are 5 adjustments to the rear suspension based on your riding weight.

  • Fox RP23 air pressure
  • Secondary shock spring rate (replace per riding weight)
  • Secondary shock spring preload (turning preload collar)
  • Secondary shock elastomer stiffness (replace per riding weight)
  • Secondary shock position (based on rider weight)

With everything setup correctly on the Kona Coilair Supreme, I was ready to hit the trail to see how this bike was going to perform while climbing and in the rough stuff.

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  • mountain_bomber156 says:

    That second video is EPIC! Good job!

  • rsutton1223 says:

    Thanks mountain_bomber…I had some fun making that one.

  • adam says:

    2 of 5
    2 of 5

    - kind of harsh don’t you think?

    You say this – “Surprisingly, the Kona Coilair climbed almost as advertised. With very little pedal induced feedback, the bike seemed to just motor up the hill. It climbed a little bit slower than most 6″ travel all mountain bikes but considerably faster than any of the 7.5″ + rigs I have ridden up to this point.”

    But then turn around in say this in your Overall Thoughts.
    “It is going to lean more towards the downhill end of the spectrum based off of climbing performance and weight.”

    So which is it? You seem a little confused?

    I guess I just don’t get it.

    The only thing I can understand knocking the bike for is for the flex in the rear. But 3 chili’s off for that? The freaking Commencal DH bike has rear triangle flex, but those who I know who ride them don’t seem that bothered by it.

  • Colin says:

    Here’s another unbiased review… also wasn’t glowing remarks – so who knows on the new updates for 2010.

    http://nsmb.com/3248-review-kona-coilair-supreme/

    “Summary
    The Coilair Supreme’s strength is downhill performance. It continues with Kona’s tradition of making bikes that are plush descenders but average on the uphills. My opinion is that the Magic Link should not be a factor in choosing whether to buy this bike: I simply could not tell whether it made a difference. It is, however, a bike for someone who wants a reliable ride, who wants to attack descents and is not afraid to haul around some metal on the climb.

    Pros:
    * Decent downhiller
    * Tuneable front and rear suspension that’s very plush
    * Superbly spec’ed for its intended purpose
    * MagicLink is seamless
    * Creative suspension design, nice to see something “new” from Kona

    Cons:
    * MagicLink is so seamless I can’t tell if it makes a difference. How much weight can you save off the frame by leaving it off?
    * Frame design lends itself to poor ground clearance (seems to have been re-designed for 2010)
    * Unexciting plodding climber”

  • adam says:

    Brain -

    That list of pros and cons is slightly in contrast to yours. Though you both agree not a great climber, even though you say earlier “Surprisingly, the Kona Coilair climbed almost as advertised. With very little pedal induced feedback, the bike seemed to just motor up the hill.”

    I suppose that two negative reviews does say more then two negative reviews with some contrasting points.

  • LeeL says:

    Well i suppose I could chime in here since I wrote the other review. I’m only 155lbs so am pretty light.

    Boy did the Coilair wallow uphill like a energy-robbing pig. A bike with this much light bling should be a lot lighter and be at least comparably better at climbing then other 6 or 7 ” travel bikes.

  • Robb Sutton says:

    I’ll chime back in too.

    It climbs slower than any 6″ travel rig I have ridden and a tad bit faster than all of the 7.5′s. Much better than a DH rig for obvious reasons.

    So…it climbs almost like advertised as it does get up the hill better than a DH rig…but it does not climb like a 6″ bike (advertised claim).

    This bike leans towards the downhill spectrum but it is claimed to be a AM bike and DH oriented bike. It falls short on its AM standing and isn’t quite stiff enough for pure DH duty.

    I am bothered by a lot of rear end flex as most DH riders (or XC/AM for that matter) are. The rear end of mountain bikes that are going to be taken through rock gardens and hard cornering need to track straight (ie…no flex).

    I do think that Kona will have a lot better results with the shorter travel version of this linkage.

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