I liked two of Kona's full suspension bikes this year, but not really enough to actually lay out $2300. The Stinky had some cheesy components, including a weird 5-inch-travel dual-crown JR-T with last year's stanchions, and it tipped the scales at close to 40 pounds, which seemed daunting to me considering that I like to climb occasionally. Last year's Dawg also could have squeezed into my price range and was around 32 pounds (climb-friendly), but was hampered by a so-so fork (for the price) and some crummy components.
Ok, this is my new object of lust: the 2004 Kona Coiler. Same price as last year's Stinky and Dawg, five-inches of travel front and back, respectable 33 pounds, and it looks like a mean bastard. I want it. Now.
Unfortunately, I discovered it while going to the Kona site to retrieve a link to a very nice conservative hardtail as part of a ranting analogy comparing wannabe freeriders (like myself) to SUV owners who don't need SUVs: "Realized that me buying a Stinky would be exactly like all these SUV wannabes who believe they need four-wheel drive and major road clearance. The twice a year they take the Pathfinder on a logging road doesn't justify the $40,000 price tag and 18mpg gas mileage. A $20,000 Civic will work better for the other 98% of the driving they do in a year, pollutes less, and saves them hundreds of dollars in gas. But of course it always hinges on desire and image...people want to believe that they're hardcore outdoorspeople and their SUVs reflect their perceived lifestyle. I like to think that a Stinky will make me a hardcore rider, but what could be more laughable? Hardcore compared to what? So I figure I need to downgrade my expectations and look into a nice hardtail like..." And then I found the Coiler...shit.
Also found a sweet new version of Ryan's Kona Stuff. Maybe that would be the $1000 compromise that would make me a very happy camper?