Corsair has been around for a while and so has the Konig, a bike that has earned a cult following among park riders, as well as slopestyle and gate racers. According to the Taiwan-based design group, our Konig 4.6 test bike is targeted at freestyle and gravity riders searching for a playful, versatile machine that is as happy shredding DH trails as it is sessioning jump lines. The Konig 4.6 is sold as a frame with a Fox Float X shock for $1,499 USD (£1549). In many regions outside the US and Canada, complete models are also available.
The Konig 4.6 is a bit of a shape-shifter, with both adjustable wheelbase and suspension travel. Depending upon which shock the bike is ordered with, the chassis can be configured with either four inches of rear-wheel travel for gate racing and slopestyle, or five inches for park and all-mountain style riding. The Konig's sturdy welded-aluminum chassis, with its single-pivot rear suspension and tunnel-shock configuration is a proven, albeit, slightly dated design - and its geometry follows suit, with numbers that are moderately low and slack by contemporary gravity standards. Corsair says that by switching dropouts (included in the kit), the Konig can accept either 26 or 27.5-inch wheels (ours had 27.5"). Like many slopestyle bikes, only medium and large sizes are available.
• Purpose: all-mountain, park, slopestyle, gate racing
• Frame: aluminum, 4" or 5" rear-wheel travel.
• Shock: Fox Float X (standard) or Cane Creek DB Inline
• Adjustable rear dropouts allow 12mm chainstay length adjustment
• Wheels: 27.5" or 26" (dropouts included).
• Rear spacing: 135mm, 12mm through-axle
• Threaded, 73mm bottom bracket, ISCG 05 mounts
• Accepts forks from 130mm to 160mm
• Sizes: medium or large (reviewed)
• Weight as reviewed: 30.12 pounds (13.69kg)
• MSRP: $1,499 USD (frame with Fox shock)
• Contact: Corsair
Geometry for 143mm suspension and 160mm fork. (*Measured)
|We like to call the Konig our Aggro Bike. It can do just about anything.|
- Lance Tueller: Corsair
Corsair has been making the Konig in one form or another for a number of years, so while its chassis may fall short on wow factor, its design elements are well proven. The seat tube shock tunnel and swooping top tube keep the weight centered low in the frame, and its triangulated, single-pivot swingarm is designed like a DH bike, its main-bearings encapsulated by a rigid, hollow box-section that ties into its threaded bottom bracket shell. Cables and housings are old-school - external and full-length, as is the routing for its dropper post.
As mentioned, Corsair ships the Konig with two pairs of rear dropouts: one for 27.5-inch wheels and another pair that corrects the geometry for 26-inch wheels. Slots in the swingarm allow the dropouts to be positioned 12 millimeters fore or aft providing chainstay lengths ranging from 429 to 441 millimeters (16.9 to 17.4 inches). Shock mounting adapters are also included should Konig owners decide to reduce the travel from six to four inches by selecting the optional shorter-stroke shock.
|The compact nature of the Konig's chassis is well suited to its playful mission statement.|
Large and medium sized Konig frames share the same head tube length, seat tube length, chainstay dimensions and geometry. The only difference is their top tube lengths and wheelbases. The reason is to minimize the height of the top tube and handlebar in an effort to optimize the chassis for slopestyle riders.
With a 160mm-stroke RockShox Pike fork, 27.5-inch wheels, and 2.5-inch tires, the stand-over clearance is only 27 inches (68.5cm), and the stack measures 23.6 inches (60cm). We checked the reach of our large-sized chassis at 410 millimeters, which is adequate, and while not generous by present standards, the compact nature of the Konig's chassis is well suited to its playful mission statement.
Corsair does not sell complete bikes in North America, but they assembled our large-sized test bike in keeping with how it is sold in other places. Our Konig was configured in the six-inch-travel option with the Fox Float X CTD shock and a 160-millimeter RockShox Pike RCT3 Solo Air fork. Wheels were by Atomlab, a sister brand to Corsair, with 30-millimeter ID aluminum SL Race rims and Pimplite hubs. Cockpit items were also Atomlab, with a 760-millimter width bar, clamped to a 30-millimeter stem and paired with a branded saddle. The dropper post was a RockShox Reverb with external hose routing.Unusual parts:
The drivetrain was not your typical mix, with a Truvativ Descendant crankset powering a SRAM Type-2 X9 ten-speed derailleur and a SRAM cassette boosted with an Atomlab 42-tooth cog. The Konig's Bengal Ares Pro brakes
were new to PB, and we were curious as to how the Taiwan-based brand's premium stoppers would perform.
|In the context of its intended role as a slopestyle, gate-racer and fun-bike, its numbers are squarely in the plus column.|
Setting up the Konig 4.6 was a walk down memory lane in some respects. It's thick-walled, tubular-aluminum chassis looks and feels sturdy. It maintains momentum well, but its response to acceleration is muted by its beefy construction and linear-feeling rear suspension. It has a ten-speed drivetrain and, like old-school DH bikes, its 135-millimeter rear-axle spacing has no provision for centering the 12-millimeter through-axle into the hub, so you'll need to hunt around to replace the wheel. I was reminded why the Reverb Stealth was so revolutionary after the externally routed hose of the standard Reverb seatpost roped my shoe the first time I lowered the saddle. In defense of the Konig - it has been in Corsair's inventory for a number of years and its cable routing and other quirks predate many improvements that marched in with the dropper seatpost.
The Konig's chassis feels a little old school as well, with a compact front-center and an offset seat tube with a laid-back, 62.4-degree angle that, in the lowered position, emulates the cockpit of a DH bike, and when extended, provides the pedaling ergonomics of a classic trailbike. Short chainstays and a kicked out, 66.5-degree head angle keep the front of the bike planted, while allowing the rider to flip the rear of the chassis around at will. On the subject of stability (as well as the roominess of its cockpit), our large-sized model felt more like a contemporary medium. Corsair does not bill the Konig as a competitive enduro racer, however, and in the context of its intended role as a slopestyle, gate-racer, and fun-bike, its numbers are squarely in the plus column. More about that later.
|Test riders learned quickly to engage the Fox Float X shock's low-speed compression lever before cracking the whip to top a series of rollers, or for any extended climb.|
Climbing and Ergonomics
Once up to speed, the Konig 4.6 requires only a few strong pedal strokes between corners to maintain pace. Getting up to speed, though, requires some effort. Test riders learned quickly to engage the Fox Float X shock's low-speed compression lever before cracking the whip to top a series of rollers, or for any extended climb. Point the Konig downhill and it feels playful and eager to please, but when it's time to work, Corsair's slopestyle poster child powers uphill with the enthusiasm of a longshoreman at the Port of Los Angeles. It gets the job done, but it's not going anywhere in a hurry.
Paradoxically, the Konig's short chainstays and supple rear suspension transfer a lot of weight to the rear tire, which means that (providing you have the leg power) it can scratch its way up some nasty technical climbs. With the adjustable rear dropouts slammed forward as-delivered, the weight transfer was a bit much - and the front tire became uncontrollably light when pushing hard up a steep pitch. But, with the axle set back one centimeter, the front end was properly weighted - a simple modification that did not seem to affect the bike's downhill performance.
Downhill and Technical
The party starts when the Konig is pointed downhill - especially so if the trail has a good flow and plenty of features. Park riders should love the Konig. Like the Kona Entourage, the Konig 4.6, with its gravity-based geometry, mid-travel suspension and relatively efficient pedaling, it spans the gap between sometimes-cumbersome DH bikes and lighter, perhaps less-durable AM/trailbikes.
|The party starts when the Konig is pointed downhill - especially so if the trail has a good flow and plenty of features.|
The Konig is at home on fast, park-style gravity trails, where its ability to carry speed out of corners and air anything that resembles a jump trumps big bikes (at least for the fun factor) down all but the most aggressive lines. At mach speeds and over chunky terrain, the Konig quickly runs out of suspension and stability - but it is not afraid to go fast, and is well suited for shredding the decently manicured pro-lines that most parks have in abundance.
Body position is key to getting most from the Konig. The compact reach and wheelbase that give the Corsair its light steering and sharp maneuverability can also bite you if you get too far over the front or rear of the chassis. Stay low and centered, and the Konig feels at the ready for jumps, corners, drops, lofting a wheel, or for hard braking events - and you will be well-positioned over the crankset to make more powerful exits. When jumping, I only had to think nose high or nose low, and the Konig would make it happen. Cornering and Steering
Riding the Konig up and down chunky technical trails like an enduro bike left me less than impressed, but my story took a positive turn the moment I ran it down a tight, heavily bermed trail with a few kickers along the way. In its element, the Konig literally leaps from berm to berm, and when pressed beyond reasonable grip, rather than wagging its tail and burning off speed, it breaks into a neutral drift and maintains its line. Turn in early and occasionally the front tire will push for an instant before the bike settles into its arc, but it does so in a predictable way. Compress the suspension at the apex of a corner and it will set up for an opposite turn entry almost automatically. Eliminate the berms, however, and the Konig reminds you that it isn't a DH sled. You'll need a small measure of skill and concentration to keep it on line when burning flat corners.
To push the Corsair to its limits, I handed the Konig off to local shredder Andy Paul, who looked like he owned the Konig after hitting only a handful of turns and features. Andy's input was instrumental in this review, but one need only look at the images to read his thoughts on the bike. Corsair bills the Konig as their do-anything aggro bike, and that pretty much sums it up, as long as you are going downhill and your favorite trails have some degree of flow. It doesn't climb well, and it doesn't explode out of the gate, but give it a little speed and point it downhill at a bunch of features, and the Konig can be a beautiful thing.
Bengal Brakes: Our first impression of Bengal Ares Pro brakes is that they have a good feel at the levers, although the modulation is a bit soft. There is no grabbiness at the calipers and stopping power is about 85-percent of what a similarly rigged Shimano XT brake puts out. The rear brake was all over the place, with its engagement point constantly changing until it had been bled properly.
Sturdy, wide, and with lots of spokes to keep them that way, Atomlab's SL Race wheels are well matched to a bike that is destined to hit the ground from a variety of angles. Plus, the howling sound that emanates from the Pimplite quick engagement freehub ensures that everyone will be notified when you are airborne.Atomlab Booster Cassette Cogs:
Most riders would not want to climb anything resembling steep without the assistance of the Konig's 42-tooth cassette cog, but there are better shifting alternatives out there, in addition to a new crop of wide-range 11 x 42 ten-speed cassettes available from at least three makers. Old-School Hub Spacing:
Used as directed, the Konig is going to be burning through wheels, and few riders will have spares with a 135mm x 12mm hubs laying around. The Konig would be better served by a 142 x 12-millimeter rear hub so that almost any spare wheel will do in a pinch - and that would make wheel changes a bit easier too.Pinkbike's Take:
|Cheers to Corsair for servicing a devoted community of riders who have been marginalized by enduro mania. The Konig 4.6, with its compact chassis, capable suspension and fearless demeanor, is tailor-made for sessioning gravity zones, jump lines, and park trails. And, while it won't win any awards for climbing efficiency, the Konig can access a lot of trails that would be hell to reach on a big bike. Corsair was smart to make the chassis compatible with 26 or 27.5-inch wheels, but it needs some further modernization to attract contemporary customers. Truth be told, if you are looking for one bike to handle most of your aggro-riding needs, a good 160-millimeter enduro-style trailbike would be far more versatile. But, if you were born with a shovel in your hand, and raised on jump-lines and secret gravity trails, Corsair's Konig 4.6 may be the better tool for the job. - RC|
View more images in the Konig 4.6 gallery
About the Rider:
Stats: Age: 25 • Height: 5'11” • Weight: 150lb • Industry affiliations / sponsors: iMountainbikeAndrew Paul spent time as a kid riding and maintaining a set of rundown dirt jumps and quickly became obsessed with gravity racing, getting faster, and building bigger and better trails. His real passion is digging - creating something fun to ride that is visually appealing and inspires others. When Andy doesn't have a shovel in hand, he's out with friends, pinning it somewhere in San Diego.