Kona Lana'i Reviews

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Kona Lana'i
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written by Thor_Watson on 29/06/2012

Took Kona 65 days to replace a broken frame and they told me it would be 21 days at the most. New Kona Lana'i replacement bike has only seen 6km of road. And already there is many problems with it. Pedals needed to be replaced after first ride. Breaks are Trashy, rear break seems like I got used and next to dead break pads, it screams and grabs on at random times during the ride. Front disk wasn't attached properly so it sits crooked. The rear de-railer never stays in the selected gears. I advise anyone who is looking for a good bike to avoid this one.

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“It's a Kona... but not as you might know it”


written by gazza883 on 25/10/2011

You know how it is with the web, you get a bit of interest in something and before you know where you are you're comparing website prices and specs. Well I have a few bikes in the garage - both motorised and me powered - but I'd fancied a Kona for a few months: it's a manufacturer with a bit of street cred, they have 'heritage' too in the world of MTBs and they have their marketing spot on. I'd been looking at second-hand models, you know how it is, the usual eBay searches and comparisons. Bid on a couple and then watched in amazement as people paid far too close to the new price (eBay is brilliant but it's changed beyond recognition - great place to sell, not the right place for a bargain any more though I fear). I'd decided I didn't mind a bit of work on a used bike but when I came across a 2011 'ex-demo' Lana'i for £220 from those nice people at Rutland Cycles it seemed worth a punt. It's a £350 machine which you could find in sales for £250/£260 if you looked hard but another 30 quid off made the Rutland deal the one for me. Better still, I signed onto the site, held off ordering for a night, and Rutland sent me an email offering another £10 off my next order. So £209.99 for an "ex-demon" Lana'i. Brilliant deal. Or so I thought... When the bike arrived to say I was disappointed was an understatement. The poor Lana'i was knocked about, the logo transfer was completely stripped on one side and the paint was grazed and missing on the left chainstay (probably from the fitting of a kickstand I guessed)as well as numerous chips and scratches to the laquer. A little more careful research revealed the "ex-demo" actually means "ex hire" and Rutland Cycles proudly boast the largest hire fleet in Europe. Oh dear. So let's get this right, and so that you are clear dear reader: A company runs a fleet of Lanai's for a year, allowing any cretin to ride off around the, undoubtedly picturesque, Rutland Water lakes for 20-odd quid a day. Then the operator of said hire fleet stores those bikes each night in containers all bundled in together, and then - as the season comes to an end - you sell the bikes for £130 below new list price? Now that is brilliant business. Rutland's website states: "All our ex-demo bikes are striped down and re-assembled by our cytech qualified bikes mechanics, we fully service and check every bike and replace the tyres and any component so the bike will come to you in as nearly new condition." Well, my bike certainly wasn't nearly new (unless it had been used by front-line rebels in Tripoli)but as we've established it wasn't really "ex-demo" either. But it had been stripped and reassembled by someone who appeared to know what they were doing. It came with Shimano crank arms (not standard but still beautifully worn in by ex-hirers' boots) a nearly new CRC rear tyre worth about £5 and some brand new Wellgo plastic pedals. But it all worked beautifully straight out of the box (the biggest I've ever seen and the TNT delivery guy told me the bike was rattling about inside). There was still mud dust in the bottle cage-mount bolts and the underside of the Kona seat was spattered with it too. I had a VERY long chat with a nice young man in Rutland's sales office and basically the outcome was "they're all like that Sir" but they did offer to come and pick the bike up and refund my cash and promised to amend the wording on the website. In fairness it rode pretty well. So I've kept it - the component parts just about add up to my outlay I reckon. The wheels are 'disc ready' which really means you have to stump up another 50 quid or so to put discs on it - my tip, get a Kona with discs to start with, it'll work out cheaper. The V brakes are pretty ropey and unprogressive - but they work. The front Suntour V3 forks earn criticism from the off-road aficiandos who really do believe that you need to spend the price of a decent bike on forks alone. They're crazy folk, but with the exception a lockout (which is handy for road riding because it saves the rider effort) the Suntours perform really well, firm and progressive for my 13 stone bulk (work it out in lbs yourself my cross-Atlantic chums, there's 14 to the stone) and it's a sweet little ride. Light and easy to chuck about. The Altus rear derailleur also comes in for a bit of kicking from cycle experts. But it works well enough and I'll happily substitute it for an Acera (also cheap and also hated by most of the UK bike press, yet now found on hybrids costing £800 plus and it works brilliantly on my Dawes Vantage tourer - the Acera is a hugely underrated bit of kit. Fact). I like Kona, though the company's prices have gotten stupid thanks to the weak pound sterling, but if you want to join the club on the cheap you could do a lot worse than the Kona Lana'i. When Rutland get the price down to say £150, then you have a deal, if not use and re-use search engines and eBay. My tip would remain, move up to at the least the NuNu or the Blast and wait to buy a last year model or second hand but make sure you haggle. Price: I reckon, sadly, half the list price is about right for a last year model of almost any bike in the £350 to £750 class.

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