Kona Coilair Supreme Review

Pro Reviews

Overall Thoughts on the Kona Coilair Supreme

The Kona Coilair is not going to be your singletrack all mountain bike that you can play xc with and then take to the downhill course. It is going to lean more towards the downhill end of the spectrum based off of climbing performance and weight. On the flats and slight inclines, the bike has a hard time keeping pace without the aid of gravity to get you going. This is to be expected out of any bike in this rear travel range, so – basically – there is no such thing as a do-it-all bike.

The end result on the trail is a bike that is a slow climbing 6″ travel rig that does not descend as quickly as a dedicated 7.5″. Kona tried to fill a gap in between these two disciplines of mountain biking, but it is my belief after riding this bike for sometime that they are going to have better luck with their new Cadabra that changes from 105mm to 160mm. The needs of a 6″ travel bike and a 7.5″ travel bike are so drastically different that it would be difficult for ANY bike company to marry the two together. What you end up with is a flexy 7.4″ travel descender that has an overly complicated suspension setup…and for most riders out there…it is going to be too much to deal with when they just want to set and forget to ride.

What I liked about the Kona Coilair Supreme

  • Great build list for the price
  • Front end tracks well and is stiff
  • Kona stuck their neck out there and tried something new
  • Respectable weight
  • Plush suspension

What I didn’t like about the Kona Coilair Supreme

  • Not a stiff enough rear end for a 7.4″ travel suspension setup
  • Climbs slower than most 6″ travel mountain bikes
  • Suspension setup is overly complicated
  • Bright orange may put off some riders
  • Tapered steerer tube limits fork options
  • More pivots and moving parts means more maintenance over time

While I commend Kona for trying out the Magic Link to give riders another option when it comes to park/AM/DH riding, I don’t think they are there yet. They need to make this bike “Kona stiff” before it will be able to tackle the terrain as advertised.

Performance:

Value:

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

Video Overview of the Kona Coilair Supreme with Suspension Action
Video Shot with a V.I.O POV1.5

Kona Coilair Supreme On The Trail
Video Shot with a VholdR ContourHD

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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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