What can I say about the Kona Tanuki? I’ve had it for 6 months and love it so much that I don’t want to give to give it back. Do I even need to say any more?
Words and photos: Julia Revitt
I’ve ridden the Tanuki to work every day, on UK trails and in the French Alps and it has been very difficult to fault for my riding. It is comfortable, well balanced, looks ace and is a very capable bike.
The Tanuki climbs exceptionally well considering it’s not exactly designed as a lightweight XC bike. I opted for the 15″ frame, which is 1″ longer than my previous bike – an Orange Five Diva. Before I took delivery, I was a little worried that it might be too big but it was a revelation. The extra length means that I no longer get back ache and there is less weight pitched forward onto my wrists, making it altogether more comfortable than my Five. This has helped with my balance on the trails and made long days in the saddle more enjoyable.
The Kona is great in the descents too. My Five was custom built with a lot of expensive components but the off-the-shelf Kona matches it punch-for-punch. The RockShox Sektor forks work well at soaking up the Alpine rocks and roots, and the extra balance I feel gives me great confidence on the bike.
The frame is hardwearing and hasn’t marked much, even where I put my heavy-duty bike lock on and off every day. The cable routing is neat and the extra green touches here and there make it look like a much more expensive bike than it is.
So, the man from Kona wants his bike back but I’m not giving it back. No, I’m not running off with it to the Alps never to be seen again – I’ve bought it! Yes, with my hard earned cash. So now it’s mine I plan to make a couple of changes to it; I want a riser seat post and I’m going to change it to a 1×10 gearing as I have problems with trigger shifters using my left hand due to an old motorcycle injury. Not much eh?
Watch out for me on the trails both here and abroad ‘cos I’ll be riding MY Kona Tanuki into the sunset.
Read about Julia’s adventures with the Tanuki here:
Note: For 2014 the Tanuki is replaced with its evolutionary sibling, the Precept. Click here if you are looking to purchase a brand-new model.