Kona’s do-anything One20 Deluxe is a step up from the entry-level One20 but, oddly, offers little in the way of spec improvement aside from included clipless pedals and an upgrade to hydraulic discs. It has the potential to be an excellent all-rounder, but it badly needs a fork that works – the RockShox Dart supplied simply can’t handle 120mm of travel. The basic One20 would make a better buy.
Ride & handling: Perfect weight distribution and smooth suspension, but fork lets the side down
Kona have a reputation for building bikes that handle well with no vices. The One20 Deluxe doesn’t disappoint in this department, with just-so weight distribution and a feeling that it’ll go wherever you point it without complaint.
The rear end works well too, sucking up momentum-robbing wheel-stoppers on the climbs and smoothing over all but the worst of the hits on the descents.
The bad news is that the RockShox Dart 2 fork all but wrecks everything that we like about the Deluxe. With a 12-stone rider throwing caution to the wind on one of our favourite rocky test descents, we got a measly 80mm out of the quoted 120mm travel.
It feels harsh, twangy and frankly out-faced at high speeds. You can replace the stock spring kit with a softer one, but that doesn’t solve the ﬂex problem.
A magnesium one-piece rocker aids rear stiffness: a magnesium one-piece rocker aids rear stiffness Seb Rogers
Frame: Classic Kona full-suspension design with decent budget shock
In common with its cheaper One20 stablemate, the Deluxe gets a 7005 aluminium tubeset with curved, crotch-clearing top tube and subtly shape-shifting down tube.
The rear end is classic Kona full-suss, with an asymmetric swingarm and straight seatstays driving a one-piece magnesium rocker linkage pivoting just aft of the seat tube.
Rear suspension duties are handled by a RockShox Bar 2.1 air shock. It’s a basic unit with just a rebound adjuster to keep knob-twiddlers occupied, but for a budget shock it’s a decent performer.
Equipment: Decent budget kit – except for the twangy suspension fork
Up front, the RockShox Dart 2 fork’s skinny stanchions and lowers give it a gangly look that’s matched by a noticeably twangy feel through rough sections of trail, and the stock spring is simply too stiff unless you’re both overweight and prone to riding rocky trails with little regard to personal safety.
Clipless pedals and Shimano hydraulic discs are what we’d expect at the price, but otherwise the kit’s all but identical to the base One20 we tested recently – which is to say that it all works ﬁne. The complete bike weighs in at 14.3kg (31.5lb).
There’s plenty of stack adjustment for perfect set up: there’s plenty of stack adjustment for perfect set up Seb Rogers