Great shape, excellent standover, lively and forgiving ride
Kona Mahuna doesn’t feel as bomber as the Shred, it’s just as much fun to ride with great shape, excellent standover and a lively and forgiving ride.
We’ve tested the Kona Shred two years on the bounce and each time our conclusion was ‘great geometry and handling, poor quality parts.’ This year Kona sent a new bike, the Mahuna, which on paper looks much better spcced.
To save weight, the frame is made from a double-butted aluminium and, while the welding and finishing is neat on the outside, internally the seat tube wasn’t reamed out properly and it scuffed the seatpost the first time we lowered it and continued to abuse it throughout the test.
The SR SunTour XCM suspension fork on the Shred always topped out badly and, although there’s still a little bit of a knock in the RockShox 30 fork, it’s less of a pogo stick.
Kona also fits a Shimano Deore mech on this bike but it now has a clutch mechanism. It hasn’t stopped the chain pebble-dashing the chainstay but at least it’s not banging on the drop out.
It also has some of the best tyres on test, the WTB Trail Boss have tons of grip and are quick rolling.
If it wasn’t for the unfinished seat tube and lack of fork travel (this bike really needs a 120mm fork to match its aggressive attitude) we’d have given the Kona Mahuna a runner up spot.