2012 Kona Entourage - Review

Sep 11, 2013 at 2:59
by Cameron Rose  

After 3 months without riding my saviour came, a rather large (and late arriving package) turned up at my door. All possibility of making an unboxing video was abolished as I tore away the duct tape that stood between me and my brand new 2012 Kona Entourage. My immediate impressions on opening the box were of great enthusiasm and excitement and this didn't stoponce I rolled the bike out and began assembling the various detatched parts. Chain Reaction sent not only the Kona however, also a pile of free crc goodies. So time passed most of which consisting of deciding on handlebar angles and a suitable shock preload but eventually I got to a stage where I felt comfortable on the bike.
2012 Kona Entourage
Well there we go I've said it; comfortable is a perfect word to describe the feeling of the geometry of this bike, once stepping on the pedals you'll find it very easy to adapt to the bike and the 170mm of plush coil suspension are very forgiving on your first few rides meaning you can get used to the bike very quickly. Upon inspection of the cockpit we find Kona's very own 780mm downhill bar which is complemented by a matching stem and an array of SRAM equipment, namely Avid Code R brakes and a SRAM x5 shifter. The stock Kona grips are rather bland and after one ride I realised that there was no threading on an otherwise functional looking bar end clamp, this didn't make any difference to me because I already had planned to change the grips immediately. The wheelset is bombproof, it isn't light but if you can manage to break a wheel then you deserve a medal. The 2.5" of Maxxis rubber front and back are pretty standard these days so I should'nt need to comment.
2012 Kona Entourage
Now onto the squishies. It's a well known fact that the damping unit it Rockshox Domains isn't the greatest ever produced and this leads to a false fear that the ride may be bad however, straight out of the box the Domains are plush, of course they don't incorporate many of the features that the more expensive forks have although the essential rebound facility is found in the usual place on the bottom of the fork beneath the beefy 20mm Maxle dropouts. Most of the same can be applied to the rear shock, the Van is by no means Fox's greatest feat however, it does provide a surprisingly plush ride and easy to use preload and rebound settings. The drivetrain is quite standard, the previously mentioned SRAM shifter is laced into an x7 short cage rear mech which when aligned well provides near instant shifting through the 9 gears. Up front there is a pair of FSA Moto cranks which a paired with a 34t single chainring provide very good transfer between your feet and the rear wheel whilst still allowing gears suitable for short climbs. Holding the chain in place is the E-Thirteen Freechucker guide, a robust and simple chain device that functions admirably. Beneath your feet again, are Kona's basic downhill pedals which are more than you would expect from stock pedals. The seat is a slim WTB/Kona branded seat and is unsurprisingly uncomfortable but you won't be sitting down much, Kona have again used their self branded seat post which is VERY long, after some debate I cut 2 inches off mine and it's a vast improvement.

Overall the 2012 Entourage is a wonderful bike, the geometry and component spec are insane and this shows through in their team rider Graham Agassiz who swears by the Entourage. At it's current (11th September 2013) price on Chain Reaction it's a steal too for a complete bike. I'd assure anyone considering buying one to go for it, you won't regret it.

Here are a few photos of mine so far:

Fresh clean fresh grips amp bar ends. Feeling awesome

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19 Comments

  • + 1
 you running a tire for the DT guard? i think my buddy gave me those same pedals for my build as youve got as well. cept theyve been sand blasted, so they match me frame very well..

i might switch em out for some plastic ones, since im big on those. but ive herd people complain about how the better plastic pedals (like deity) flex like a SOB when youre going through some rocky sh!t... i guess ill have to do some field testing!
  • + 1
 Yeah I am its an old bmx tyre as the smaller diameter fits the curve in the tube better. Fair enough man sounds cool I can get Hope pedals for free but I don't really like them, I'm going for the Brendan Fairclough DMR pedals as they've been my dream pedal since their release. Plastic would certainly save some weight but I'd be worried about cracking them, I imagine they would flex a lot on rocks but they'd probably be nice on flowy stuff
  • + 1
 if you ever want a frame guard, hit up the user 'boostedrt'.. he sold me a pre molded one for 40 bucks. although im sure the tire method works very good as well. hopefully i get my guard in the mail within a couple of days. if youre interested, let me know, and ill let you know how it is when i get it in the mail.

anywho, as for the plastic pedals.. pro bmx riders do crazy ass sh!t on plastic pedals. granted theyre not hitting rock gardens at 20+ mph, but i think it can be done.. i just like plastic more than alu, cause it feels so much better on your shin, the added weight loss is nice too Wink
  • + 1
 Yeah? Actually would be interested in knowing how good it is, the tyre works well but I'll be looking for something a little better looking.

Fair point actually and they have no suspension to ease the blow, could work nicely then, come to think of it I've seen quite a few new pedals coming out as plastic composites in the past year (Nukeproof, Crank Bros, etc) feel 'better' you mean not as bad haha Wink
  • + 1
 sweet, ill letcha know how it goes! so far its been fairly smooth. the guy called me when he shipped my guard out. seems like a good dude, so im hoping for the best tup
  • + 1
 Awesome man! Sounds good! Does he do overseas?
  • + 2
 sorry i never replied, im fairly certain he does.

edit:
nvm, i see i replied on the bottom.. damn mobile!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Congrats on the new bike. Looks wonderful. Happy hucking mate!
  • + 1
 Thanks a lot man! Salute how's your Fuji running?
  • + 1
 Like crazed japanese. Razz Runs wonderfully. I started pushing more and more, and hitting jumps. Climbing on paved roads is sluggish because of the fork, but off road, the Marzo just keeps traction like mad. Just need to get some better rubber. Big Grin
  • + 1
 Sounds awesome man! Glad you're liking it!
  • + 1
 I'm probably gonna run this frame for a year or two, and then I'll get a DMR Bolt Long and just repack the parts onto it. Smile
  • + 1
 Sweet! I'll keep an eye out for that then tup
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Owww my eyes !!! pink, gold and blue, really?
  • + 1
 Nothing like standing out from the crowd! There is a rough plan to swap the pink for glow in the dark and cut the gold down to only a kmc chain.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I believe so. Sorry I can't reply to thread. On mobile!
  • + 1
 Awesome Razz no problem man
[Reply]

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