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Kona Cadabra

MSRP: $3,150
June 2011
by ConsumerSearch
Kona Cadabra

  • Adjustable suspension
  • Handles the most rugged terrain
  • Good performance on climbs
  • Lifetime frame warranty
  • Expensive
  • Heavy

Reviewers say the Kona Cadabra all-mountain bike is a good pick for riders who frequently venture to rough and rugged trails. Testers are impressed with the Cadabra's Magic Link system, which automatically adjusts the bike's travel from 4 to 6.3 inches. The suspension is maintained at 4 inches for better pedal responsiveness, but the system automatically adds additional inches to absorb big hits or rough downhills. The stiff scandium frame has a lifetime warranty. For 2011, the Kona Cadabra has been updated with Avid Elixir 5 disc brakes, an adjustable Fox Talas fork and a redesigned bottom bracket and top tube. On a negative note, reviewers say the bike tends toward the heavy side, although all-mountain bikes are usually heavier than other types of mountain bikes. We also saw one report that the brakes could be more responsive. If you don't need this much suspension, the Trek Fuel EX 8 (MSRP: $2,470) gets excellent reviews for its performance on a variety of terrain.

A variety of sources test the 2010 Kona Cadabra, including, Men's Journal and Outside magazine. VeloNews magazine editors also include the Cadabra in their 2010 buyer's guide, but their review is brief. Unfortunately, we haven't found any reviews for the updated 2011 model.

Our Sources

1. gives the Kona Cadabra an overall rating of 3.5 stars (out of 5). Guy Kesteven is impressed with the bike's performance on technical climbs, but the brakes aren't as responsive as he'd like.

Review: Kona Cadabra, Guy Kesteven, Jan. 31, 2010

2. Men's Journal

Men's Journal says the Kona Cadabra is the "best downhiller" of the six mountain bikes it tests. Testers like the Magic Link suspension system, but they think the bike is too heavy for long climbs.

Review: Everywhere Bikes, Doug Schnitzpahn, Sept. 28, 2010

3. Outside

Outside magazine editors select the Kona Cadabra as one of the best mountain bikes of the year. Testers like the Magic Link suspension, although they acknowledge that it adds additional weight to the bike.

Review: Kona Cadabra, John Bradley, April 2010

4. VeloNews magazine

VeloNews magazine editors highlight the Kona Cadabra in their latest buyer's guide. Even though it costs much less than the Kona Coilair Deluxe, the Cadabra offers the same Magic Link suspension system, which editors say offers "capable climbing and supple, bottomless descending."

Review: 2010 Buyer's Guide, Editors of VeloNews, April 12, 2010


Only a handful of owners have reviewed the Kona Cadabra so far at, but the bike earns a 5-star rating. Performance is good on climbs and descents, and the bike handles well even with over 6 inches of travel.

Review: Kona Cadabra, Contributors to

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