Julia's Kona Tanuki DL

Julia Revitt, our nutritionist, is also quite handy on a bike and rides regularly in the UK whilst devoting her summers to riding in the Alps. She rides all sorts of bikes and styles from XC to DH and is now helping us to get stuck in to some bike testing. Julia’s just taken delivery of her test bike – a Kona Tanuki DL – and has beamed over her initial impressions.

This model has been around for a while, it isn't brand-new, but it is perfectly fitting with the trail riding/all-mountain/enduro racing trend that is taking off right now.
This model has been around for a while, it isn’t brand-new, but it is perfectly fitting with the trail riding/all-mountain/enduro racing trend that is taking off right now.

Kona say ”it’s a ridiculously fun bike” and aimed at those on a budget who want a full-suspension mountain bike that does it all, which is why we wanted to get one in to test. The range of sizes available is also impressive – there are seven sizes in total ranging from 15 to 22. The DL (Deluxe) is the higher end model at £1899 but there’s also a cheaper model, the Tanuki, at only £1299. This could be a great bike for those ‘getting into it’ then.

Who’s ridden one or owns one? Let’s hear what you make of it and then we’ll see how the testing pans out once Julia gets some good trail time.

KONA TANUKI INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

Words: Julia Revitt
Photos: © Julia Revitt

Ooh, look what the nice man from Kona has sent me….the stunning Kona Tanuki DL.

Julia's Kona Tanuki DL test bike. Initial impressions: good stuff.
Julia’s Kona Tanuki DL test bike. Initial impressions: good stuff.

I think you’ll agree that’s a lovely looking bike – here it is fresh from the box. Great colour coordination and well proportioned. It’s not a ‘girls’ bike as such but the 15″ frame fits me perfectly (I’m 5ft 4″) and I don’t think I’ll even need to change the saddle from the WTB Volt Comp.

It’s a well-built bike and initial impressions are good – I immediately noticed the rear suspension (with RockShox Monarch RL shock) to be more active that the single pivot bikes I have ridden recently. The cable routing is particularly good with guides ready for a dropper seat post.

Smooth lines and sensible cable routing make the Tanuki one good looking bike.
Smooth lines and sensible cable routing make the Tanuki one good looking bike.

It also has a decent component spec with Shimano finishing kit including Deore brakes and 3×10 XT/Deore drivetrain. Maxxis Ardent 2.25 tyres front and rear seem like a sensible choice for a ‘do it all’ mountain bike as well. There are some Kona own-brand bits on there (handlebars, stem, grips, seatclamp etc.) but all the important bits are from distinguished product manufacturers.

I love the name too – a ‘Tanuki’ is a mythical Japanese racoon dog, which is said to bring good luck and strength. There is an interesting Japanese poem about the Tanuki, which you should look up if you have a moment – too rude to publish here!

I will be bringing you a full review of the bike once I’ve had a chance to put it through its paces later in the year but in the meantime you can check out more from Kona here.

Price: £1899.00

What Kona says

“Named after a mythical Japanese raccoon dog that symbolizes everything radical in the world, our 130mm, 26-inch wheel all-mountain Tanuki DL is intended for cyclists requiring both excellent value and unparalleled performance in a dual-suspension trail bike. Tough enough to ride down technical singletrack and fast enough to race your buddies on the ups, the Tanuki DL’s great standover, masterfully crafted Kona Race Light 6069 Aluminum frame, and quality component selection constitutes a bike for the ages.”

  1. paulhaysom

    Nice looking machine that. Not too sure about the electric balls though!

  2. James McKnight

    Nice looking bike eh?

  3. dave

    1 sweet bike

  4. Joe

    I have a 2012 Tanuki that I have been upgrading. Threw on an X-Fusion Velvet RL to replace the heavy Rockshox fork that came on it, and now the Kona brand rear shock is the next to go. Components are a little weak, but the chassis is definitely upgrade worthy. Very fun, nimble trail bike.

  5. Mike

    Here’s my ’11 DL….. way ready to rock!
    http://www.pinkbike.com/photo/8897549/

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