July Fourth

I spent yesterday morning in the woods with a couple of guys on mountain bikes. Jeff, Jason and I woke up early to hit up the local trails at Veteran's Park. Jason's been nursing an injured wrist from a wreck he had a few weeks ago. So this was his first ride on the new trails out there.
He rode a Kona Hei Hei 29 from Bike Green Lexington, where he's the manager. It's their demo bike (for anyone that wants to try it) and it's a blast to ride.

Here are some of my thoughts on the little bit that I rode it yesterday (which was very limited because I was wearing shoes with clipless cleats on the bottom and the Hei Hei was rocking platform pedals)...

I love riding a 29er. Yesterday wasn't my first experience on one, though. I've always loved it. I had the option to go 29er when I bought the Troll. It's brother, the Ogre, is the exact same setup with 29er wheels versus the Troll's more standard 26". I opted for the more common size to have more opportunities for swapping out later. But I do love 29" wheels on the trails. They really feel like the roll over everything so much easier.

Full suspension? I liked it. Of course I liked it. Do I feel like it's necessary for the riding we do here in Kentucky? Probably not. Once again, I err on the side of versatility. It's great on those rooty, rocky, bumpy sections when you want to zoom over them. But riding this bike made me appreciate my decision to go with the fully rigid Troll. Perhaps it's just because it is my bike, that I still prefer it over this high dollar rig, but I do still prefer it for my everyday riding conditions. 

Hydraulic discs? Here's where I get a little envious. Yes, they did take a few minutes to get used to. The fine touch of braking is different than v-brakes or mechanical discs. But the consistency... oh, the consistency. You don't have that cable stretching sensation that you do with mechanical discs. The amount that you pull on that lever is the amount that you brake. No more. No less. I certainly enjoyed my few minutes with those brakes.

Overall, the Hei Hei felt awesome. But if anything, I was never thinking about evaluating a Kona Hei Hei. I was only evaluating those three aspects; 29er, suspension and hydraulic discs. So if you want an honest opinion of that specific bike, you can head to Bike Green Lexington and check it out for a demo yourself :)

Get out there.


  1. I agree with you on just about all points. I bought a Cannondale Trail SL 2 last fall and I carefully chose 26 over 29 and only front suspension over full. The unforeseen perk was the hydraulic brakes. And I agree it takes just a bit to get used to them, but once you do...oh wow!

    I now fantasize about retrofitting my Xtracycle with hydraulic disc brakes every time I ride it.

    1. I think hydraulic discs would be perfect for the Xtra. I've always had braking issues with mine. It works, but not like I want it to. I theorize that most of that is from cable length/stretch. I bet hydraulics would be perfect. Maybe someday!