Kona Process 111 DL - Review

Nov 4, 2013
by Mike Levy  
 
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REVIEWED
Kona
Process 111 DL

WORDS Mike Levy
PHOTOS Amy McDermid

What should take priority when it comes to choosing your next bike: how much suspension travel it has, or its geometry? If you picked the second option, you just might be thinking along the same lines as the minds behind Kona's new Process 153, 134, and the shorter travel 111 reviewed here. Instead of simply deciding that they wanted a 160 or 130mm (or any other nice even number) travel bike that easily fits into a set category, they chose to let the bike's geometry define how much suspension it would have. In the case of the 111, that means that they ended up with 111mm of travel due to the bottom bracket and chain stay lengths they settled on that play a major role in how the bike handles. Despite its relatively short travel, this ain't a purebred cross-country bike - it has been designed to get just as rowdy as any enduro or trail bike rig that more easily slots into said categories. So, which marketing tagline best describes the 111? There might not be one, actually, but Kona is confident that there is a market for a rig like the 111, with them citing the mostly positive response to our ‘The Argument for Short Travel Bikes’ article that aired in November of last year. ''It was a powerful confirmation that the Process 111, a dual suspension trail bike with 'too little travel' and no front derailleur, was a bike that mountain bikers would embrace,'' Kona's Chris Mandell explained to us. ''And that we were not alone in our desire for a bike that prioritized aggressive geometry and a stiff chassis over checking a 'category box'.'' No, Kona isn't the first to mix low and slack geometry, a short rear end and a relatively long front end (paired with a short stem), but the 111 is surely one of the most extreme examples of such thinking. Does it make sense on the trail? Read on to find out.


Process 111 DL Details

• Intended use: trail/all-mountain/enduro
• Rear wheel travel: 111mm / 4.3''
• Wheel size: 29"
• Frame material: aluminum
• ISCG 05 chain guide tabs
• Tapered head tube
• Press Fit 92 bottom bracket
• 12 x 142mm Maxle
• Internal or external dropper post routing
• ''Trail/enduro Kona sizing and fit''
• SRAM XX1 drivetrain
• Lifetime warranty
• MSRP: $5,599 USD



Geometry First, Travel Second

Stand back to take the 111 in as a whole and there's one point that likely pops into your head right away: damn, that thing looks low and clean. And it is. Tidy would be a good way to put it, with a dramatically sloping top tube that matches the angle of the bike's seat stays to create one continuous sight line from front to back. The top tube's exaggerated downward angle meant that Kona had to create a seat tower of sorts, with the seat tube extending up well above the tube tube and supported by a long gusset. The result is a hell of a lot of crotch clearance, even on our large sized test bike. In fact, the large and extra-large 111s sport an ultra low 667mm/26.2'' stand over height, which is just 7mm taller than the small and medium sized models. The seat tube length of our large 111 comes in at 460mm, and potential buyers should take this number into consideration because the medium, the size we would have assumed would make the most sense for our 5'10" height, sports a 435mm seat tube length that wouldn't have allowed us to raise the seat up high enough for our longer than average legs. At least that means that we didn't end up waffling between which size of bike we wanted.

Kona Process 111 review test Photo by Amy McDermid
  The 111 won't accept a front derailleur due to its short rear end that sees the rear wheel tucked up behind the bike's seat tube, and a small port just above the bottom bracket (left) serves as an entry point for the KS LEV Integra's internally routed cable. Kona has really raised their game when it comes to finishing details, as evidenced by the elegant forward shock mount (right).


You might also have noticed the 111's rather long looking top tube and short stem, a somewhat weird combination on a bike with so little travel. This is probably the most extreme example of Kona's "trail/enduro sizing and fit'' philosophy that sees them pair a long front-center with a 40mm stem, and Kona says that the 111 has been designed to be used with stems between 35mm and 50mm. This is only part of the equation, though, with the 111's slack (for a short travel bike) 68° head angle and 430mm/16.9'' chain stays making up the rest of the picture. ''Trail/enduro bikes currently on the market are still subject to the traditional fit and sizing mountain bikes took from road bike sizing standards, whereby seat tube length defined the sizing, and stem lengths increased with frame size, '' Kona explains. In contrast, they claim that their approach with the geometry used on the Process lineup creates a ''trail worthy balance of long reach, short stem, slack head angle and short chain stays.'' The 111's rear end is so compact, with the wheel tucked up close to the front triangle, that the lack of clearance means no front derailleur can ever be fitted to the bike. That's right, Kona has sacrificed the front derailleur in the name of geometry, meaning that the bike will always utilize a single-ring drivetrain.
bigquotesWe traded off travel for shorter chain stays and more bottom bracket drop, with a bit less travel giving us a few more millimeters of bottom bracket drop and a chain stay length that was shorter. We examined every possible configuration, prioritized geometry, and found what we think is the best balance in the Process 111. - Chris Mandell, Kona


Kona Process 111 Photo by Amy McDermid
  The Process' 111mm of rear wheel travel is controlled via a single pivot and linkage design, with the stout rocker arm sporting a carbon fiber bridge that ties its two halves together.


The 111's Suspension Explained

Kona has long employed a single pivot and rocker arm arrangement on their bikes, sticking with it while many other brands abandoned such layouts in favour of any number of dual-link designs that have popped up over the last few years. That isn't to slight any format - most have their merits - but it is interesting to see that Kona have not only stuck to their guns, but also worked hard to evolve the simple single pivot setup into something that rivals anything found on the market when talking about fit, finish, and execution. The 111, which takes its name from how much travel it has, is a perfect example of this, and it bears little resemblance to the Kona's of the past. The bike's chain stays wouldn't look out of place on a downhill bike, and they are in fact created using the same tubing as found on the back of the 200mm travel Supreme Operator, with a large diameter aluminum pivot axle tying it to the front triangle. That main pivot also uses an extremely wide stance, so wide in fact that Kona has gone to a Press Fit 92 bottom bracket shell in order to gain the necessary clearance, with Kona aiming for all-out lateral rigidity at the back of the 111. They have pursued that goal to such extremes that the balance between chain stay length, tubing diameter used, and heel clearance has become a very fine line - note the scuff marks in the photo above. The burly looking but hollow 12 x 142mm axle clamps, along with the clevis style dropout and rocker link pivots, also contribute to what Kona says is one of the stiffest full-suspension bikes they've ever created

Kona Process 111 Photo by Amy McDermid
  Clevis style main pivots at every location, save those that rotate off of the front triangle, along with burly chain and seat stays, ensure a laterally rigid rear end that puts an emphasis on removing as much flex as possible from the frame.


Again, the battle to balance the 111's rear end length, travel, and geometry is apparent by the bike's seat position that actually sits forward of the bottom bracket shell and is angled back to put the saddle in the right neighbourhood when at full extension, something that had to happen to make room for the rear wheel to come up as the bike goes into its travel. This has necessitated the use of a 'U' shaped pivoting extension off of the rocker arm and serves as the rearward mounting point for the bike's Monarch RT3 shock, an element first used Specialized's 2009 SX Trail and now employed on many bikes in the marketplace.


Specifications
Release Date 2014
Price $5599
Travel 111
Rear Shock RockShox Monarch RT3
Fork RockShox Revelation RTC3 Solo Air, 120mm
Headset FSA Orbit 1.5 ZS No.57
Cassette SRAM XX1 11-42
Crankarms SRAM XX1 w/ 34t X-Sync ring
Bottom Bracket SRAM Press Fit 92
Rear Derailleur SRAM XX1
Chain SRAM XX1
Shifter Pods SRAM XX1
Handlebar RaceFace Atlast FR
Stem Kona, 40mm
Grips Kona S-LOG
Brakes Avid X0 Trail w/ 180 front, 160mm rotors
Hubs Hope Pro 2
Spokes DT Competition Butted Black
Rim Stan's Flow EX 29''
Tires Maxxis Ardent 29" EXO, 2.4" front, 2.25" rear
Seat WTB Volt Race
Seatpost KS Lev Integra
Kona Process 111 Photo by Amy McDermid






Riding the
111 DL


bigquotesThe 111 forces you to recalibrate how you think a short travel bike should perform, and Kona is taking a real chance by asking consumers to look at the bike's geometry and think outside the box rather than zone in on how much travel it possesses.

Climbing/acceleration: It's fair to say that we fully expect a bike with just over four inches of travel to ascend in an efficient and speedy manner, and the Process doesn't disappoint in this regard, even if the boys from the Northwest have penned the 111 with more fun in mind than grinding out a climb. Step on the pedals hard and the bike jumps forward better than any five or six inch travel rig could ever dream of doing, and although it doesn't quite have the urgency of a true cross-country whippet (which it clearly isn't intended to mimic) when its little RockShox Monarch RT3 shock is left at full-open, we still only flipped the compression lever to a firmer setting when either starting our rides with a commute to the mountain behind the handlebar, or turning circles up a boring logging road to access the goods. And for a machine that has been designed to be an all-out hooligan on the trail, the Process surprised us with just how comfortable it was in such situations, even after a few hours of gaining elevation. The 74° seat tube angle plays a part, especially for riders who prefer to sit and spin their way up things, but it's the bike's roomy cockpit that really does wonders - it simply doesn't force you to assume a hunched over position nearly as much as other bikes that have been fitted with a such short stem. This left us feeling fresher and more relaxed, and we even partly attribute the lack of usually persistent lower back pain to the spacious front end as well. The 34 tooth XX1 chain ring that comes stock on the 111 might have the opposite effect on some riders' legs, though, so make sure you get your shop to swap it out if you require something smaller.

It wasn't the Process' climbing ability on less technical terrain that surprised us, after all, any short travel trail bike worth its salt should feel like a thoroughbred on a measly logging road, but rather the agreeable body positioning that the bike puts you in. Things aren't quite so clear when poking your way up anything technical - more on that below - but Kona might have inadvertently created mountain biking's equivalent of a 125cc shifter kart that has been fitted with a Tempur-Pedic mattress for all day comfort. And yes, we realize how silly that would look, but wouldn't it be fun? That image sort of sums up the 111 on long climbs: sporty but ludicrously comfortable.

Kona Process 111 Photo by Amy McDermid
  You'll need to plan ahead when approaching technical climbs aboard the 111, although it can scale all sorts of walls under the right rider.


Technical riding: Taking the 111 to your personal limits reveals Kona's singleminded approach to creating a bike that does exactly what you ask of it, so long as you're not pointing straight up the hillside, that is. As always, it's all about tradeoffs, with a bike that excels at one task often not showing so well at the contrasting job, and this is very true when talking about the 111. Let's cover the good news first, which is that the Process might not have any peers on complex terrain that angles down. And that sentiment applies regardless of whether we're talking about 26", 650B, or 29" wheeled bikes, although wheelsize isn't the story here - this bike is the 29er that 29er haters should all be forced to ride. It's a bike that forces you to recalibrate how you think a short travel bike should perform, and Kona is taking a real chance by asking consumers to look at the bike's geometry and think outside the box rather than zone in on how much travel it possesses. That geometry, along with the firm suspension and laterally rigid chassis, brings about a ride that redefines precision when riding at a good pace. The fact that you don't have to pull up through two or three inches of sag to get the bike's wheels off of the ground lends itself to moves that would simply require more effort when aboard a longer travel steed, and the overall package lets you get yourself into some seriously interesting places on the trail. Huge manual? How about picking the back wheel up and off of the deck to get around a tight switchback without coming to a near stop to perform a janky wheel pivot? Pop up and over that rock with a nice flat table? Done, done, and done. You get the idea: the 111 rides like it was created by a gifted BMXer who woke up one morning and decided that cross-country riding was his new calling in life. Strange? Maybe, but strange has never been so fun.
bigquotesIt exhibits many of the traits that a five or six inch all-mountain bike is guilty of on tricky singletrack climbs, with a bit of a light front end that requires a slightly exaggerated forward body position to keep it from lifting, and it pushes a wide arc through tight switchbacks that will have you looking for more real estate.

Should we expect the short travel Kona to climb like a proper cross-country bike, or would judging it against bikes of similar travel be a bit unfair given how we've spelled out that the 111 is much more than its travel? The fact is that you'll undoubtedly be disappointed if you throw a leg over the Process and expect to climb tricky sections like you should be wearing white bib shorts and a Breathe Right nasal strip - the flip side to the 111's technical prowess on the downs is that it can be quite a handful on the ups. It exhibits many of the traits that a five or six inch all-mountain bike is guilty of on tricky singletrack climbs, with a bit of a light front end that requires a slightly exaggerated forward body position to keep it from lifting, and it pushes a wide arc through tight switchbacks that will have you looking for more real estate. Sure, a strong technical climber might not have much trouble scaling their local singletrack chess match, but those who don't shine at such tasks could feel like they're biting off more than they can chew on the Kona. The 111's saving grace, though, is how much traction its rear end delivers, with the stubby (for a 29er) 430mm/16.9'' rear-center length contributing some serious bite and propelling it up all sorts of sketchy walls. Just concentrate on pointing in the right direction before putting all the traction to use.

If it sounds like we're painting a grim picture of the Process' singletrack climbing abilities, it's only because we don't want potential 111 owners to think they are getting a cross-country flier simply because it has a similar amount of travel to such machines. The 111 compares equally to a ready-for-anything five or six inch travel bike in such settings, which isn't a surprise when looking at its geometry numbers. Climb with this in mind and you'll get it, but forget that fact and all you'll get is frustrated.

Kona Process 111 Photo by Amy McDermid
  This isn't the kind of terrain that many four inch travel bikes would feel at home on, but the Process can actually deal with it better than many bikes with more travel.


Downhill: If the 111's technical climbing was a wakeup call that travel figures can mean next to nothing, its descending prowess cements that concept firmly into our minds. We often talk about things like grip and balance, and while those are always valid talking points, the Process takes another deciding factor to new highs: fun. If that important f-word could be quantified somehow - possibly by counting the number of times we shouted out a different f-word each time we pulled something off that we shouldn't have been able to - the 111 would surely top the list of bikes that inspire one to be an absolute delinquent on the trail. The Process 111 is, without a doubt, a hooligan through and through. Trails that we've ridden for well over decade and could probably navigate safely while blindfolded suddenly had new lines popping up in front of us, such is the bike's level of exuberance. Sure, they were usually small things, a mini hip out of a corner and across the trail here, or maybe a cheeky little inside line into a drift, but it's those little moments that put the exclamation point on our rides, isn't it? If that's true, and we firmly believe that it is, then the 111 is everything that is right about a fun handling bike.
bigquotesRiding the 111 on the rivet lets you feel the edge of traction much more than you ever could when on a longer travel bike, and it's almost like the trail is telling you exactly how far you can push things. That feeling doesn't come as easily on any of today's carbon fiber, six inch travel do-it-all bikes, although it might be an awareness that some riders aren't looking for.

It is also a bike to ride accurately rather than lazily. With 120mm on tap up front from the RockShox Revelation RTC3 Solo Air, and 111mm courtesy of the diminutive Monarch, you'd best not be chucking yourself blindly into toothy bits of trail with the expectation that you'll get away with it like you might when aboard a longer legged bike. The funny thing is that the 111's low position, short rear end, and rear-ward weight bias will quickly have you thinking that you can do exactly that - it really is an inspiring combination of numbers that allows you to wring the bike's neck, continually grab a taller gear, and look for options that your buddies are blowing by without a second thought. Alright, we admit that we did get put on the ground a few times due to the bike's geometry allowing us to either push harder than its travel would allow for, or because we ended up on a line that might have been a bit much for the Kona, but the truth is that no other bike in this travel bracket would have had us attempting such things to begin with, let alone a rig that can be comfortably pedalled for five or six hours at a good clip. Steering at speed requires a lighter touch than you might expect, and the longer than average front end did have us unconsciously leaning forward more than we do when riding a bike with traditional geometry. This isn't something that we had to work at - it just seemed to happen - and the bike didn't exhibit any washing out of the front end that wasn't fully deserved.

Kona Process 111 Photo by Amy McDermid
  You'll be looking for the smallest of lips to send the 111 airborne, with the Kona preferring to search for grins instead of KOMs.


We honestly can't think of a local trail that we wouldn't happily point the 111 down, something that we can't say about all 29ers or even all 26ers of similar travel, and the bike was surprisingly confidence inspiring on sections of trail that we'd use a downhill bike on without shame. Picture the steepest of rock rolls, wet and rooty chutes that have a defined point-of-no-return, and even some decent sized gap jumps. Because the 111 has less built-in forgiveness (i.e., travel), it thrives on commitment. Hesitate at the wrong moment and you'll quickly be reminded that there is a direct correlation between how often you hit the ground and how much suspension you have under you. Get it right and the 111 can roll down anything and everything, though, and you'll quickly be showing your riding buddies that less can be more. Having said that, the bike's relative lack of suspension travel can be felt when the speeds pick up, demanding that you place a priority on smoothness over directness (maybe we should be doing this anyways?), and carrying too much speed into a rough section of trail, say braking bumps into a corner or a minefield of rocks, will show you the limitations of the bike's suspension. And while the bike's Revelation fork does well given its 120mm of stroke, we can't help but fantasize about a Pike lowered to the same travel, an upgrade that would be worthy of the 111's handling. Never happy, are we? Out back, the Monarch RT3 was strangely invisible to us, with no moments of "well, we certainly hit bottom there''. Proper setup is always important, but that has to be even more true on a bike with so little travel and such rowdy intentions.


Technical Report

• The Process rolls on a set of Stan's Stan's Flow EX rims laced to Hope's lovely Pro 2 hubs, a lightweight and reliable combo that approaches the weight of a carbon wheelset without bumping the bike's asking price into the stratosphere. In fact, given how ridiculously easy they are to setup tubeless, their competitive weight, and the ultra-dependable Hope hubs, we'd likely choose the Process' no frills wheelset over a number of questionable carbon options on the market.

• Kona chose to spec the Process with KS' internally routed LEV Integra telescoping post that, with its clutter-free appearance and full 150mm of drop, seems to make a lot of sense on paper. Unfortunately, the Integra doesn't live up to its potential in the real world due to a design that depends on housing tension as opposed to cable tension for operation. It worked well for the first few weeks of riding until an issue arose when we adjusted the height of the post in the frame, which caused the post to stop working due to the change in the housing tension. Pulling or pushing on the housing where it entered through the port on the seat tube would sometimes fix the problem for awhile, and we ended up using an extra zip-tie to hold the housing in one place for a time until we swapped the Integra out for a different telescoping post.

Kona Process 111 Photo by Amy McDermid

• The Process is the first XX1 equipped bike that we've managed to bend an X-Sync chain ring on, with some solid contact at the top of a steep rock roll pushing it in towards the chain stay enough to come within a millimeter of making contact (we were able to mostly straighten it with a crescent wrench, though). Sure, the bike's relatively low bottom bracket might have played a part, but the tweaked 'ring also reminded us that it might be wise for some riders to run some sort of guard depending on where and how they ride given that they retail for around the $100 USD mark depending on size. There are also less expensive narrow/wide 'ring options on the market, of course, but we'd put that money towards MRP's nifty XCG integrated skid plate before we had to replace the stock XX1 chain ring.

• Speaking of XX1, the eleven speed drivetrain from SRAM is still impressing us with its longterm performance. Full marks again for not a single dropped chain despite the complete lack of any sort of guide, and the rear derailleur on our Kona stayed on point despite some serious war wounds that showed it made contact with a few immovable objects during our time with it. The same can be said of the carbon fiber XX1 crank arms, with them sporting some cosmetic damage from rock strikes but no terminal damage.

• One of our biggest gripes with the Process 111 has to be the sole bottle mounting location that sits low on the underside of the down tube, a location that makes it pretty much unusable when on the go. There are few things that feel better than leaving the backpack at home to head out for a short ride with only the essentials, of which we'd certainly put water into that category. That liberating act isn't really possible with the Process, though, which is a real shame given how much fun we had on it during short blasts, but we also admit that suspension design should come before water bottle placement on the priority list. Tradeoffs.


Pinkbike's take:
bigquotesThere is always an urge to try and classify a bike by putting it into one category or another, and while we often make fun of all of the marketing friendly catch phrases that stem from this approach, those defining labels can make it easier for consumers to decipher a bike's intentions. The thing is, what about a bike that defies those descriptions? The fun loving Kona does exactly that, with a personality that will bring out the good times from even the most mundane trail. When pressed about what exactly the 111 is by riders at our local trailhead, we ended up calling it a 'down-country' or 'fun-country' bike, which usually brought on some confused looks. And despite the tongue in cheek expressions, those might be the best way to illustrate the 111's temperament.- Mike Levy

www.konaworld.com

274 Comments

  • + 154
 Still trying to *process* the amount of shredabilty this bike has
  • + 65
 Did you just
  • + 69
 Yes... Yes I did
  • + 19
 That was dirty.
  • + 14
 am i the only one that sees the HUGE wear on the seatstay and chain stays from rubbing? holy shit the test riders shoes must be wore out, seriously am i the only 1 too see this , how fast can you climb when your rubbing every stroke on the left side. the left isde thank god is not carbon or the protective clear coat would be long gone.
look like PB should have tested the axo ankle protectors at the same time
  • - 19
 *side
And for close to $6k, seems like they could've thrown a Pike on there...
  • + 18
 @Lilshredman - There is no 120mm travel Pike on the lineup right now.
  • - 8
 Lifetime warranty...Kona.. that's a good one. They wouldn't help me with the most simple requests. Even a new shock bolt was like pulling teeth, I would like to pull their teeth out. Years ago it was lifetime then they changed it to limited 5 year, then no warranty, and now full circle to the lifetime claim. Your probably not going to have too many problems, specially with a 29eerrr like this, but if your jumping alot this issue might come up.
  • + 7
 Specialized gets a 120mm Pike on the carbon Camber Evo. Unfortunately, you have to buy a $6000 bike, keep the fork, and re-sell it with a Float!
  • + 1
 @bikesrlame: Indeed, that looks to be quite an issue. I'd like to know if that's to do with the XX1 cranks though and which Q-factor they're supplying... @mikelevy?
  • + 4
 the new pike can be modified with the 650 internals in the 29er fork to change travel to 120 but they don't seem to sell the fork in 120 out of the box
  • + 2
 @sortah ... not sure what was going on with kona for you, but from back in the day a bit till just a couple years ago (last I was riding a kona), their customer service was pretty darn good w/me! ... all industry has got the hit or miss issues tho! ... hopefully if you are jumping a lot and issue do arise, then they'll be the 'hit' and not the 'miss' of the issue and warrant / provide service for an expensive machine !
  • + 2
 Bikesrlame: I rode the process. Yes the CS is pretty wide, but not so excessive that I was hitting the CS often. No more than my Mojo HD actually. I have tons of rub on my CS SS on the mojo, in fact I have the same rub on my Honzo! I think it depends on your foot size and the biomechanics of the persom (ie heel in).

That being said on the review... The flow ex hope hoops are HEAVY, nearly 2000g. Bomber for sure, but if you are rich, you could go lighter, but maybe that takes away from the intended character of the bike?
  • + 1
 I have the XO1 and for the first time ever i'm seeing wear/discoloration on my cranks , i don't feel it when riding bit it is sure there!
  • + 1
 @kl, Helicopter tape. Go.
  • + 7
 Wear on your crank arms????? Never heard of anything like that. You should blow those arms up or trash them for some shiny new joints.
  • + 2
 it the wear on the chain stay and seat stay that im talking about crank wear is pretty normal but the stays are getting polished
  • - 2
 I was running a stinky delux for many years with no problems. One of my favorite jump bikes of all time actually. Towards the end I did a few massive hucks and bent that top shock bolt, like everyone does on lawill frames. I'm very capable of getting my own hardware but use these situations to test out a companies customer service. Here's one bolt that costs Kona 10 cents, that I myself can buy for $1.50, and they had to send a rep out to investigate. The gas and time it took him to check my bolt was 450 times the cost of shipping me a new bolt from China. Guess what it was bent and he had no replacement or solution. I end up buying a new one and bushings in ten seconds online but now know who not to call if there's any issue with my Kona. I ended up selling that frame years ago and getting a Giant.
  • + 5
 @SORTAH I don't believe that for a second for a warranty claim all it requires is a picture and a description there is no reason why they would have a warranty rep drive down to investigate that is bogus.
  • + 1
 @killerlaffy are you using clippless pedals? if your using clip in pedals then you might need a wider qfactor crank, if your using regular flats you might want a wider platform
  • + 0
 Ya believe it or not this is what happened in my case. I even cracked one of the old top linkage plates and they wouldn't even talk about replacing that. Lucky for me you could purchase aftermarket plates back then. These days lool good luck.
  • - 1
 I miss 26 inch bikes.
  • + 0
 How much does this bike weigh? I just happened to way my "xc/trail" bike, and it weighed 41 lbs.
  • + 3
 @bikesrlame - There was certainly some good shoe rub on there! I should mention that I tend to rub my shoes on the stays of most bikes, but not when just spinning circles, only when using a lot of body english. A lot of this is due to my cleat positioning on my shoes and some ankle injuries that force me to run them that way, but I did let another rider take the 111 out for a spin and he noted the same thing.
[Reply]
  • + 52
 Holy shit! This is a really well-written review...
  • + 53
 I agree. I was struck by how well Mike is really getting to adapt his reviews to match large sections of his audience's lack of knowledge about their chosen pastime:

1) "with the 111's slack (for a short travel bike) 68° head angle".
2) "Because the 111 has less built-in forgiveness (i.e., travel), it thrives on commitment."
3) "with the stubby (for a 29er) 430mm/16.9'' rear-center length "
4) "it doesn't quite have the urgency of a true cross-country whippet (which it clearly isn't intended to mimic)"

I for one really welcome that, since it preempts and edits out (hopefully) a whole bunch on inane comments, leaving space for people to build on what in is the review, rather than spend ages mud-slinging about definitions. I would love to try a Process; I wouldn't be any better at climbing than I am now, but I'd love to try one and see; that is after all what a review should be right: it should help you decide if you want to try one out or move along. Great review.
  • + 2
 I agree. What I got from that article was that Process is a XC bike that does amazingly well on downhills and is super fun to ride. Even though it has little travel it rides down well but that comes at the price of climbing Fair enough!

Unlike many other reviews all over the internet where all I read is: "bike has brakes, handlebar and most importantly: wheels". Then you got to love those two expressions: "after the short time we had on it we were very impressed" and: "it is when the terrain points down, the (bike) starts to show it's intented use". Surprisingly it is all those recent 650b AM bikes that get such beige treatment from journos.
  • + 5
 Looks like a full suss version of a Honzo, which is a good thing.
  • + 1
 I like the idea of having a pre setup build to my bikes but sometimes it doesn't fully offer what I want which is why I prefer to pick and chose the components. I have yet to ride this bike but from what I hear they are pretty sick. what i am trying to say is I don't care about the technical stuff if it rides well and fits right I like it.
  • + 5
 yep, best review ever! Most reviews talk about how Bike X is a "true all-arounder: Climbs like a billy goat and descends like waterfall" or some crap like that. All bikes are designed with trade-offs and I really appreciate Mike acknowledging the shortcomings.
  • + 1
 Eelax yes, but some bikes are like that, perfectly in the middle, next to no character. I own a 26" equivalent of that bike, Blur TR and it is fantastic. It's a bit like riding an HT and having suspension exactly when you need it. Previously I had a Nomad which was fine but after 5 years things started loosing taste Smile now riding is quite spicy again
  • + 2
 I rode the 650B version of this bikes for a short while yesterday. It was just incredible. It takes off like a rocket, and then you go down a hill, stand up and it feels almost like a Downhill bike. My next bike for sure.
  • + 1
 Which one hoolydooly? 134? Judging by geo chart and componentry Kona has really stepped it up, I am sure they will cause some stir in the bike world. If enough, that might be worth the gamble, as many companies just released their new bikes with conservative geometry. Even Spec does not go so far with their EVO series. Short rear, long front sounds interesting! I'd toss a 35mm stem on it directly. If my Blur TRc cracks where it seems it will in a matter of a year, I'll get it on warranty and sell directly to buy this Kona.
  • + 1
 Im pretty sure it was the 153. Im 6 foot 3 and the XL geo felt awesome.
  • - 1
 But 153 is a Enduro bike and 111 is a trail bike... where were you for the last year? Big Grin
  • + 1
 I have no idea
[Reply]
  • + 30
 I think this is the first Kona that I've wanted to throw a leg over based simply on looks / design in a LONG time.
  • + 3
 I hear that, first glance I thought this thing is a monster that can conquer anything.
  • + 24
 In a long time? Let me refresh your memory: stwww.bikemag.com/files/2013/04/KONA-7145.jpg
[Reply]
  • + 16
 Please, this time don't hate a bike without trying them in real life just because of it has extraordinary wheels. I have a 26" bike and I love it, the idea of changing wheel size of my bike is nothing close to me. But this doesn't mean I have to hate other wheel sizes. I mean maybe this is the bike of your life, how can you know about it without trying it out? Maybe 111mm travel and a pair of big wheels are all you need?
  • + 127
 "Pick you favorite wheel size, and be a dick about it."
-Matt Dennison
  • + 4
 looking forward on argument for small wheel bikes,
  • - 17
 looks like a stumpjumper witch is probably a good thing considering they are one of the most popular trail bikes out there.
  • - 38
 Why does kona have to choose such a specific mm of travel? I'm sure it's a great bike but wouldn't it be fine if it had a few mm less or more?
  • + 31
 Clearly you did not read the article. It was the most travel they could fit given the geometry they wanted. A specific travel figure wasn't their goal.
  • - 56
 blah blah blah, i stopped reading after the 2nd paragraph. Kona mustve given your crew an early christmas "bonus" for this review ehh'
  • - 30
 Looks a little to advanced for a Kona
  • + 12
 Andrew: here you go. It was in the first paragraph in case you missed it.
" Instead of simply deciding that they wanted a 160 or 130mm (or any other nice even number) travel bike that easily fits into a set category, they chose to let the bike's geometry define how much suspension it would have. In the case of the 111, that means that they ended up with 111mm of travel due to the bottom bracket and chain stay lengths they settled on that play a major role in how the bike handles. "
  • + 23
 if this bike wont win me strava KOM's i'll pass... my strava times are far too important to be on a fun bike...
  • + 1
 Good times are overrated. Gotta get that KOM title back for the poodle path crit.
  • + 2
 i don't get the chirps that it is a "Kona", they stepped it up, this is good!
  • + 2
 That's what I'm saying
  • + 1
 now we need kona to come out with a wicked slopestyle!
[Reply]
  • + 11
 props to Kona. finally a company sizes a bike with the frame rather than a steering component(aka a stem). after 20 yrs of sizing up my frame size and looking for standover in that bigger size....finally. its great to see them go to those "lengths" to keep the stays short. I think we've been sold 17+ chainstays in a large part because of companies selected suspension systems inability to make them shorter. hard to beat a bike that's dimensions just feel right. really like to try the 150ish 27.5 bike. maybe a review........
  • + 1
 Its interesting that kona is really pushing this new way of sizing now. This first came up with them when they designed the operator and entourage. Granted I guess its more of a big deal on these bikes then for the gravity bikes.
  • + 1
 Yeah, I always wondered why companies always seemed to start designing a bike with the assumption that front and rear travel should be equal. I never seem to use as much of my rear travel (or use as much as frequently) as my front, and I love the responsiveness and flickability of my short-travel 26er. Especially with the 29" wheels it seems like there would be even less need for extra rear squish. Good on Kona for trying something like this out; I know if I had the money I'd love to get my hands on one.
  • + 2
 Here you go won-sean-animal-chin....the review of the 153. www.pinkbike.com/news/First-Look-Prototype-2014-Kona-Process-153.html
  • + 1
 thanks Dave. nice looking spec on that one. sounds promising
[Reply]
  • + 9
 This solidified my decision. Ive been waiting for another opinion of this bike and you nailed everything that ive been thinking. Its gonna be sad to watch my 26 process go but this will be a much more efficient bike for the miles i usually put in. Gonna miss the long travel but itll be good to freshen things up a bit. Hurry up and heal AC joint! I want to ride!
  • + 2
 Going to be selling that 2013 DL eh? Sweet bike... have been thinking about one of those for a while....
  • + 2
 PM me and throw me an offer if you'd like! I'd be happy to work with you
[Reply]
  • + 11
 Such a good review. And a sick bike. But I'm waiting for the 153 review they said they'd be doing in the first ride article.
[Reply]
  • + 6
 Looks pretty rad for as Kona and a 29er! Anyway, all these wheel size haters, just get out and have fun! I've had a 650B for four years, 29er for one & 24's 26s's 700c road wheels & you know what - I love them all, because I LOVE BIKES Smile
[Reply]
  • + 7
 I would like to point out that not all short travel bikes are XC bikes. It's the geometry that makes a XC in the first place.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 good review, I think, interesting spec on the Revelation, shame they dont do a 120mm 29er Pike!

Im loving my 153, similar seat angle but doesnt have the problems with climbing on the front, although the 2.4 high rollers are a draaaaag

I must admit the back end being so stiff really is confidence inspiring, you can feel it in corners and rooty stuff but a 100k of muddy rides and my seat/chain stays are starting to look scuffed too, they really are wide at the back!- hellitape now applied!

the stiff rear end and firm feeling (but active over bumps) suspension - and the Pikes make my 153 feel super smooth, id love to try a 111 though
[Reply]
  • + 9
 not carbon at $6k is too much
  • + 1
 I have to agree I noticed the price then had to pick my jaw up off the floor lol
  • + 1
 holy shit i just read this then, intruiged, scrolled down to see what the price was. Oh. My. God. I was expecting half that at most. What the hell makes this bike worth 6k? It's pretty much designed not to win races. Yeah it may be fun. but 6k is a lot for fun.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Great looking bike and great write up Mike! Unlike many in the field, Kona seems to have decided to grow some balls and release a bike that has a character. I'm surprised though about the comment about "uphillability" of short chainstays. If you sit on yer bum, then yes such short CS might cause some problems in navigation, but as soon as you lift your bum and find the balance point for the given slope and grip, it becomes irrelevant. My HT has 405mm chainstays in 26" and I don't complain. For instance the using big forks on up to 5" bikes compromises climbing handling much more.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Pretty much agree with everything in this review tallying with my 153, just the funnest bike ever. Only came home from my first ride because cuz the weather made it impossible to carry on. Need to get some dual air pikes for the tight steep switch backs and it would be perfect. I can't beleave how fast this thing descends and corners on rails, whole bike feels so light and flick able, despite at a standstill feeling of average weight 14-15kg, and yes the 650b does roll noticeably quicker than a 26, none of that speed sapping chatter that you can get in certain kinds of rock gardens.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 A 29er 4x bike. I have often thought i would like to shorten the travel of a good AM bike, though i wonder whether a 29 can pop as much as i'd like on a bike like that. The short stays certainly are atractive. I gotta try it, which is not something i always say about konas, or pb review bikes in general.
  • + 3
 You can pop a Stumpy Evo 29 from a pube dropped by squirell so there ahould be no trouble with this one with stays shorter than a lot of 26" trail bikes. Wheel size is overrated...
  • + 1
 You mean to say "wheel size is misunderstood".
  • + 2
 I meant overrated - people bring too much attention and give too much power to the diameter. 26er can be made a freight train and 29er can be swift and playful. Same bike with different wheelsets might be a freight train a speed demon or a rubber woman
  • + 1
 haha. Sounds like a great name. The 26" Waki Rubber Woman.
  • + 2
 If you rubber woman does she get jealous?
  • + 1
 I used several love companions in recent years and ones you fill with warm water are the best. Ulrika from Banghouse Solutions is the Murcielago of sex-rubber world. Comes in 3 heights, 3 weight classes and 3 breast sizes. I go for Medium in everything, I'm not a perve. Inflatables are faster to use if you are in a sudden mood for love, and there's less mess afterwards, but they are less reliable. And don't go for latex if your wallet allows you, silicone is the carbon fiber of rubber lassies. Real hair is awesome too, make sure it has adjustable leg and arms positions - no clips, they are rough and ruin experience of acarresing her body, proper stuff has magnets which get warm. Lately I upgraded Ulrika with Hydrogina Mk2 which squeeze your Johnson depending on how deep you are, applying pressure to most important parts. There's also Hydrobum and Hydrolips if you'd like to switch a bit sometimes or invite your best buddy - but I don't know, anyway whatever you think - who are you to judge alright? Nevermind - It's pure hydraulics powered by thrusting of your hips - no electronic Joe-shmo stuff that can fail anytime. Nothing is more annoying than failure just before you reach the state of ascendancy. It has two valves allowing for progressive feeling and certain degree of adjustment. You can upgrade it with voice module but I think that's for wankers - my favourite gadget though is the Ipad holder that you can put to her mouth or the head band to strap around her head if you want to do it from behind. Allows you to watch a movie or slide show while you're making love to her.
  • + 5
 You spend way too much time on pb
  • + 1
 I know - help me!
  • + 3
 NOTE: read the entire reasoning or piss off.

A 29er will never be as poppy as a 26er with comparable geometry.

Point is the bb height and its effect on both pop and cornering. For a bike to be popping off lips you need a bb that sits high relative to the axles, for tight cornering you need a bb low above the ground. With a 26er it's possible to combine these things i.e. find a bb height that's both high enough for proper jumping but is low enough to ground to be able to corner properly as well. Unfortunately with a 29er you can't have both so you have to find a compromise between the two, since 29ers are primarely built for trail riding the emphasis will be on cornering and therefore pop will be compromised.

That said you can gain back some poppiness by adding super short CS (think Kona Honzo) which will make it easier to get off the ground but as anyone who's familiar with bmx geometry (until a few years ago west coast builders like S&M used relatively long cs and high bb's, east coasters like FBM vice versa. These days everyone has settled at high bb's AND short cs) this will feel different.
  • + 2
 hahahaa Waki. That is probably the finest (and most worryingly in depth) review i have ever read on PB.
  • + 1
 Agreed! He had me at "Murcielago of sex-rubber world".
[Reply]
  • + 8
 Do a review of the longest travel version. please?
  • - 7
 that and a review of the scott genius LT... that bike looks incredible
  • + 3
 @ Shredjekyll, They already reviewed the Genius LT, Here is the link www.pinkbike.com/news/Tested-Scott-Genius-LT-275-2013.html
  • - 3
 sweet thanks
[Reply]
  • + 8
 To me it is the first 29" bike that I would really like to try out.
  • + 4
 Their Satori also looks nice and has 130mm travel.
  • + 1
 My buddy owns a Satori and he's very happy with it. Wish it had smaller wheels though Razz
  • + 1
 yeah, I've ridden Satori several times and it did a pretty good job. But I still have to say that in my own taste, I'm not that into big wheels...
  • + 1
 honzos are amazing as well
[Reply]
  • + 8
 Cool bike. Props to Kona's new mtb guy turning the company around.
[Reply]
  • + 6
 cue someone to steal the "this bike only has 153mm of travel, I wanted 154, better keep looking" joke...
  • - 10
 Cool, thanks! this bike only has 153mm of travel, I wanted 154, better keep looking...
  • - 8
 This bike actually has 111mm but nice try dirtnutbag
  • - 9
 @shredjekyll Uhh did you read the comment above... I was being sarcastic haha
  • - 10
 in that case that was horribly, horribly not funny.
  • - 8
 Except this bike has 111mm of travel
  • - 2
 little late ebobc
  • - 8
 i didn't see that.
  • - 8
 Sorry to disappoint
  • + 23
 these guys ^^
  • + 8
 :head explodes:
  • - 11
 I was actually going to make that comment, but it was going to be "too bad it only has 111mm, I was looking for a bike with 112mm". I already made a "153 vs 154" comment on the Process 111 DL's longer-travel brother. It seemed to be pretty well-received.
  • + 1
 Well 400+ props speak for themselves.
  • + 3
 alrighty then bud
[Reply]
  • + 3
 If i could neg props this entire comment section i would, apart from 1 or 2 sensible posts, the rest is drivel, name calling and general bullshit. Some of you kids really need to grow up.
  • + 9
 Welcome to the PB comments. 70% attitude, 30% knowledge.
  • + 1
 Usually the comment threads are more informational and entertains than the articles !
[Reply]
  • + 2
 For anyone wondering about weight - I have a medium Process 111DL with Shimano DX clip less pedals and the bike weighs 30.2lbs. I have not converted to tubeless yet. Hope that helps anyone wondering. If you are wondering about the ride experience all I can say is you need to try one before making any assumptions. It is an extremely capable bike. I demo'd the non DL version prior to purchase and found for some of the trails in my area the 34 tooth chainring a bit steep. With the XX1 and the 42 tooth "pie plate" on the rear cassette I have no issues at all.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 the med seat tube is 405mm and the large is 450mm, xl 465mm ....not as stated in the review.....that makes the xl an 18" ? i owned the large and while it fitted me on paper i needed 30mm more of frame to get my leg extension correct...the xl's extra 15mm would not help.....gutted , i love the way it jumps and rails and descends..but seat tube is too short....i had the honzo and the idea of this being a short travel honzo was very appealing.....have to sell it now
[Reply]
  • + 2
 GT sort of pioneered this idea by marketing the distortion as a do-it-all trail-bike with slack, jumpable geometry. I have one and it's a BLAST. I took it downhilling last month on some gnarly east coast double black runs at Snowshoe, then yesterday did a 12-mile XC ride, and both were awesome. I love the idea of a short travel bike designed to just be fun on the trail.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 When I was a the bike shop a few weeks ago, I was struck by what nice looking bikes the new Processes are. I've always been totally meh on the looks of Konas (and I've owned two ...), but some of the new ones are handsome bikes. I'm not a 29er fan at all, but after reading this review, I'd ride one of these ... something to put on the list for Outerbike next summer.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Nice job Kona for getting rid of the Front Derailleur. Designs of full suspension bikes have been restricted for too long, trying to accomodate derailleur clearance.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 This was such a great article. Not only was it well written but it did a wonderful job of answering questions before they could even be brought up. Kudos. That being said it would be great to see the 134 and 153 also reviewed to compare the whole line. That would be the best way to see if Kona's thinking actually proves itself even within its own longer travel options, and give me an excuse to read another two stellar articles. chop chop boys.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 This weekend I demo'd the 2014 Kona Process 134 DL round Llandegla and what an amazing machine it is. My first outing on a 650b and I'd deffinately look into getting one to replace my XC bike in 12 months or so.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Wow, I just finished building a 26er with the same exact intent/concept as this bike.

I think "XC bike with teeth and balls" may replace the "AM hard tail" for 2-bike-stable guys; I'm so glad I did, anyway.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Could this put Kona back in the game??? Well written article as well as the story behind why Kona created this bike sounds like they're on th something.... I still don't care for 29ers, but this one is cool...
  • + 1
 I hope so. They are good people (Africabike project, local support, grassroots sponsorships) and now the bikes are up to date as well.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Looks a lot like a fun little bike.
However I had two thoughts almost immediately after seeing the pic.
A) Kona have FINALLY updated their age old suspension design. Thank God. That excessively long top rocker was not very capable at keeping the back wheel in line with the front end. But why oh why did they not take the opportunity to put the brake on the seatstay (ie make it an FSR) there really is no reason not to. It would just make the bike better.
B) that main pivot and rocker pivot on the seat tube are veerrrry close together. That'll be a lot of twisting loads going through those points. Not good for bearing longevity....
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Looks like you could base a sick slope bike off this
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Top job Kona. Love it. Please review the 153 though as I need a big bike.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 I like that a company is spec'ing a 40mm stem on a bike. Well done.
  • + 2
 Remember that it works because of the longer than average front-center length. The 111 with a more average top tube and a 40mm stem would be a different story altogether.
  • + 3
 ..which is awesome. That said, I wonder why it took so long for the industry to ditch (or at least start to ditch) these long stems and other roadie shit that has no place on a real mountain.
  • + 1
 mikelevy - I think (thankfully!) a lot of manufacturers are heading that way. I'm seeing several bikes for 2014 designed around longer top tubes/reach.

idi-amin - Totally agree. I'm sure there's a place for stems 60mm, 70mm and longer but I for one don't understand it. For me, a short stem has been life altering, right up there with dropper posts and wide bars.
  • + 4
 Isn't this towards the concept behind the Mondraker's? Seems like they get a lot of scoffs, but did they just take it too far with the zero length?
  • + 1
 it is the same idea as mondraker's forward geometry, just not taken to that extreme. its interesting that kona still uses standard reach numbers and standard DH length stems (40-50mm) on their DH bikes, i wonder why they stopped at DH with the kona version of forward geometry...
  • + 1
 I think having a too short stem will compromise grip/position on the bike as you have to lean forward more to keep traction which can be difficult on steeper or rougher sections. I went from a 50mm to a 40 on my Honzo and I did notice I had to reconfigure my position a bit to keep weight on my front tyre so personally I think that this Forward Geometry will result in either an unnatural riding position or too many front wash outs.

I can be wrong though, Barel seems to know what he's talking about. Either way it can only be a good thing the industry is re-thinking geometry and set up with technical riding in mind.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I had the same problem with my lev integra. I ended up spinning the post around 180 degrees in the seattube and running it backwards so the actuation pulled the opposite way. Instantly fixed my problem. Haven't had a single hiccup since.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I've followed a couple of these around Galbraith and they are the real deal. Like giant bmx bikes you can climb on.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Something amazing is happening. Kona are making multiple desirable bikes and Pinkbike's reviews are getting better and more balanced. I'm excited Big Grin
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Translated version will be released very soon!
各位天朝用户,简体中文版测评即将发布,敬请留意哟!
  • + 1
 真贱!!!!
  • + 1
 来咬我呀~~~
  • - 32
 So is Kona China making cheaper identical bikes, or is it making something inferior for cheap?
  • - 39
 nahh they just copy it like everythig else they do, heck whoc knows. maybe you can get mail-order babies from china one of these days
  • + 32
 Thanks for your attention @abzillah. We are the distributor of Kona in China. And please show some respect. Yes, we admit that there are copycats and low quality products here. But, if you don't like China or any Chinese products, please just stay away from it/them. Thanks for your cooperation!
  • + 6
 You're right @viatch. You want to order an exact copy of yourself? We can do that! And it's really cheap, cheaper than everything else on the market. If you want to order, please contact us at +86 46-3825-877353.
  • + 22
 some people never change... America doesn't make great stuff either bud, get out of the 60s
  • + 1
 111为什么不可以是个很好的选择嘞?我觉得就挺好滴嘛。
  • + 11
 Ignorant a*sholes are the best aren't they?
  • + 2
 是的。而且文章写到:之所以没有把行程设定为一个整数,是因为设计师完全把整车的角度放在了第一位。把角度设计得更便于骑行,然后由角度决定行程,而不是为了实现某个行程而让角度做出让步。
  • + 3
 I think there is a misunderstanding @KonaChina The Google translator translates ‘真贱’ into 'cheap'. So @abzillah was asking if it's identical... Actually ‘贱’ means base here. @gaoxiang89 was just fooling around.
  • + 1
 Thanks @alavan. I can understand that @gaoxiang89 was just fooling around about my tone in that "translation version to release" comment. But I don't think @abzillah was asking as what you explained. However, I really want to hear what @abzillah's explanation would be. If he didn't mean that, I can apologize.
  • + 17
 China will have respect when it starts respecting international copyrights and patents! nuff said
  • - 4
 ..
  • + 4
 let's talk about Tibet

(sorry for that)
  • - 1
 why tibet...why tibet...
  • + 7
 Zede, let's not start that argument. Beside's, just because you're from China doesn't mean you're a member of the Communist party and simply because you're American doesn't mean you're obese and ignorant.
  • + 1
 @captainsnap
I know that (although i don't totally concur about obesity) (and altough being communist is not so bad), i was just trolling
  • + 1
 Hey, I like copied stuff if its copied good. It's not like the major corporations don't copy off the little guy who is still in the process of submitting his technology patent application. As long as this makes the bikes better on the market for cheaper it's good. Maybe China can use the profit from all the bikes they sell to protect endangered species from being eaten?
  • - 2
 @milanboy, thanks for the number but no worries i already got it from your mother-------and sister last night.
  • - 1
 c'mon @viatch, don't show off your poor IQ any more and just leave this good review article along. Thanks!
  • + 0
 @KonaChinaunlike china, we do have freedom of speech. you even know what that means?
  • + 0
 OK. You've got the freedom of speech to show off your ignorance. Congratulations! YOU WIN!
  • - 4
 thanks braaaa! btw ignorance also applies to copyright infringement, blatant plagiarism and human rights violations. nuf' said ?
  • + 4
 Yep. Message received. Thanks for bring that up again and again. Let's just stop ruining this.
  • - 1
 this viatch guy should remove all his China made components/parts off his bike... let's see what he got left..canadian undies?
  • + 1
 @yustian- HUH ?
  • + 3
 As obviously rude and offensive as viatch may be being... I do have some serious reservations about having any dealings with China at all, due to their government, not their population.

Do 2 or 3 minutes of research into what they are currently doing to Falun Gong practitioners, it is beyond sickening. And trust me, im not easily sickened.

The fact that any government or company (in this case Kona) still has any dealings with China while this (and a huge number of other serious human rights interventions) is going on is as good as condoning their actions in my opinion. Sorry Kona China, you are probably all nice guys, and if Kona did stop selling bikes in China, you would most likely all be out of jobs. But when innocent people are being arrested, and then murdered so that their organs can be sold, not even on the black market, but directly to hospitals, something drastic HAS to be done.
  • + 1
 interventions? I meant contraventions. Me Tired. Brain go slow today.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 We have these as shop demo's! Rides amazing but very similar to the kona satori. Both solid bikes but somewhat overlapping performance
  • + 3
 they don't make the Satori anymore, so it doesn't overlap in the current product line
  • + 3
 Yes they do. I just sold one the other day, check kona's website under "trail ds"
[Reply]
  • + 1
 After 10 years of riding DH bikes, I got the chance to ride one of these Process 111 bikes. I climbed to the top of Tzouhalem Mt like a champ, I was skeptical of the ride back down almost concerned. It flew, I was ripping it up with all the confidence I needed. I came home quite surprised and considering purchasing this bike. Next to test out the Satori and some of the other model Process bikes.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Lots to think about here. I have an Enduro 29er and seriously love it. I'm so converted to this big wheel long travel thing that I've started to look for shorter travel options that are still slack but with less travel. This Kona is the first to fit the bill. Very interesting stuff. Especially love that there's a proper XL and incredible standover. That being said, they really did borrow liberally from the Knolly 4x4 linkage on this one.
  • + 1
 Definitely going to check this bike out. I have an enduro 29 and a Canfield Yelli Sreamy. The Process looks like a kindred spirit.
  • + 0
 Someone downvoted me for praising the bike?
  • + 4
 maybe you got downvoted because the linkage is completely different and much better looking than Knolly's
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Really liking the concept and execution of the 111, just about the perfect bike for me and the way I ride, but no front deraileur mount? Damn you Kona! The 134 has the deraileur, but no top-tier driveline option, damn you again Kona!
  • + 6
 It's a 29er: you dump the FD for more clearance and the shortest CSs. You don't need no FD w a single ring. But the base 111 would be a grunt: 11-36 casette paired with a 34T. After a year of pain, you'll climbing like Clementz.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Maybe I missed this somewhere, but where is the CS length measured from on this bike? Center of axle to center of BB as it should be, or to the back of the BB like a few other companies have been doing?
  • + 1
 center of BB
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I've been waiting for a short travel bike with slack angles for a while. However, $5600 seems steep for alloy, and I'm still skeptical of the single pivot design.
  • + 4
 Single pivot is nothing to worry about. You are not going to notice it.
  • + 1
 they make a lower spec'ed version for $3700
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Never been a fan of Kona´s design but I think I am really starting to like their Process lineup and theyr carbon DH bikes =)
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Seems like a nice bike, but... Kona seems to redesign their bikes quite often, which in my opinion reduces their perceived longevity a lot. For example if looking at the AM/enduro category, in 2012 they had Magic Link (Cadabra, Abra Cadabra, Coilair). For 2013 they introduced the Process line. Now for 2014 they do a complete redesign again. I like companies like Santa Cruz more, because when they introduce a bike it's gonna be current for at least three years. For that time you will be riding their latest model and also resale values will be better because of that. But when looking at a Kona from three years ago, it is several generations old.

My other critique is about the review: "The Process rolls on a set of Stan's Stan's Flow EX rims laced to Hope's lovely Pro 2 hubs, a lightweight and reliable combo that approaches the weight of a carbon wheelset". Please, I have these same wheels myself. I don't remember the exact weight but I think it's pretty close to 1950g. Enve AM wheels that typically come with DT 240S hubs and DT Aerolite spokes are something like 1550g. That difference is night and day!
  • + 3
 So is the price difference. For the money, that's a nice weight if you keep in mind Hope hubs will last for ages.
  • + 1
 mehukatti youre talking bobbins,magic link line was running for 5 years, last process for 2, now the new one, maybe theyll change it next year, maybe they wont, dont really care as my 153 is an amazing bike!
  • + 1
 Kona have had some of the most instantly recognisable bikes for many many years. The reason why? Apart from the magic link, they have barely changed the general layout of their suspension designs since about 1999.
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  • + 1
 This is the only 29er id ride..thinking about picking one up for an "XC" bike when my giant reign is too much..would be nice to not have to adjust the fork height for climbing and descending..
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  • + 3
 Give it to meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. it looks so much fun, kona should have called it the grin machine.
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  • + 3
 Nice write up! Any plans to review the Process 153?
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  • + 1
 Really like the look of this. Refreshing to see the hope/stans combo too - really getting the spec choice dialled compared to previous years, keep it up!
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  • + 2
 I see the KS Integra dropper-post, but where's the control lever and cable? =)
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  • + 2
 Gettiby my 153(standard model) tomorrow!! Can't freakin wait. I'll let ye know how it rides
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  • - 1
 6k for a Kona? Looks good but is the upmarkety approach going to work for bottom of the barrel Kona brand?

Best looking Kona with the Knolly rearend which most likely is the single most important thing making this bike comfortable to ride because the damper does not bind and can be run on low pressure. Note to Spec: It helps to understand how suspension works.
Sadly Kona left out one rockerarm in the patented Knolly design.

Problems in keyaeras: going up, down or around corners. Wrong wheel size, not enough travel are holding this bike back. Kona carving out a new niche is going to leave you with - a niche bike - ill fated marketing and next years Kona 111 will be called 172.
  • + 2
 Errrr. this is no more similar to a knolly rear end than it is to any other fsr or split pivot. not that similar at all apart from aesthetically basically.

"Note to Spec: It helps to understand how suspension works." Yes. Yes it does. it helps a lot. For example it helps you to spot that this bike is nothing like a knolly.
  • - 1
 Of course its a rip off design. Kona is not inventive - its a boxmoving marketing entreprise peddling what China inc has on offer in its catalogs. It is a Knolly - missing one important rocker arm, though. Most likely they left it out because they did not know better while copying. So what you have here with the Kona is more binding inside the damper than is really necessary. Look at how the dampereye is horizontal and what that will do to damper action - that makes it almost as bad as a Spec.
  • + 2
 1) The Knolly (I assume we are talking about the Podium?) is an FSR. The Kona is a single pivot.

2) The important rocker arm on the Knolly has a pivot where it joins the shock. The pushrod on the Kona has no pivot where it joins the shock. You can essentially imagine the pushrod is not there and the shock is just much longer than normal. this doesnt work for the Knolly. Due to this it does not really matter which way the damper eye is oriented. This is also true of all pushrod driven designs by Specialized. And the Sunn Radical.

3) Damper binding will be somewhat reduced by the extra linkage on the Knolly. It will not be eliminated, and to be honest is not a massive problem in the first place. There are also some disadvantages to the extra linkage. eg, increased unsprung weight, more bearings to go wrong. And then when the bearings do go loose, suddenly shock binding is going to be massively increased. This will be much less of an issue on the Kona.

Both are good designs. But they are about as different as it is possible to be, without using some sort of floating bb arrangment. Seriously, performance wise a DW link could be argued as closer to the Knolly than this Kona. Visually the Kona does look a bit like a Knolly, but visual is as far as the similarity goes.
  • + 1
 The fact that it is "missing" an entire rocker arm just shows that it really is a different suspension design than the Knolly. Less is more, there's an engineering saying that it's not when nothing more can be added that your design has reached perfection, but when nothing more can be taken away. And really although it "looks" different than Kona's previous suspension setups, it is essentially the same approach which they have always stood by, which is a single pivot design with a rocker activated shock.
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  • + 4
 IDK why all companies don't post weights on their websites under "specs" like Scott does on their website... doesn't take much effort and is very crucial for many consumers.
  • + 5
 Most likely because they don't want weight weenies to compare bikes on pounds/kilos alone...?
  • + 3
 Probably yeah.. whatever it is, it sucks. I'm not a weenie either I'm just curious and like making informed decisions.
  • + 2
 I agree,
Think the consumers have a right to know this. If they dont want us to factor in the weight of their heavy bike/ frame. Then build a lighter bike....
Weights are becoming important now days. From DH to XC. Its part of the spec. Even more so with the price of some bikes.
  • + 2
 I guess they most manufacturers don't put weights on as part spec can change throughout the year they are produced which will change the weight. I imagine customers would be more angry about the fact that their bike doesn't weigh exactly 12.79kg than the fact that they have a change in the fork or whatever. Also weight shouldn't determine whether you purchase a bike or not.
  • + 3
 13.94kg (13.19kg DL version)

bikemagic.com/gear/kona-process-2014-first-ride-from-fiss-austria.html/2

fwiw my process 153 was 15kg without pedals
  • + 2
 Overall weight is relatively insignificant. Two bikes with equal weight, one with a heavy frame and light wheels would perform differently than a light frame with heavy wheels. Since the reciprocating weight is the most important place to save weight, and the most expensive, overall weight comparisons are mute. Many DH bikes are weighed with XC tubes and single wall tires for this reason. Not a rideable weight, but you can knock 2-3lbs off of the advertised weight this way.
  • + 2
 Thanks for the numbers, they might not say because of different tires weights, changing tires can mean 1.5 lbs .. one might have a dropper one might not, so many different variables , but it would be nice if the had the weights posted of all the different kits.
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  • - 1
 Honestly, this is the best looking 29er I've seen. But look is where I will end my admiration. If it is attempt for a aggressive cross-country/trail bike, then it might take it, but from my all rounder bike I would expect more travel and less inches of wheel size. I don't know how funny it is, but I don't see a lot of fun with this bike in a bike park for example. And no front derailleur possibility? Does that means I'll end up stucked with XX1 drivetrain for the end of my life?
  • + 3
 True, you'll never put a two or three ring drivetrain on the 111, but with lower priced versions coming from SRAM and the rumor of something from Shimano that might not be a big deal. As always, it will come down to whatever kind of gear ratios you're looking for. The single ring might not be for you, in which case neither is the Process.
  • + 1
 The cool thing is you've got options, with the Process 134 and Process 153 each coming in with longer travel and smaller wheels.
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  • + 2
 Outstanding specc, sorta like it! Well done Kona doing your own thing, refreshing!
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  • + 2
 Hey Mike, wouldn't having the KS post cable and housing a little bit longer solve this problem?
  • + 4
 There was plenty of length to play with. It was more an issue of the tension on the housing changing between the actuator at the bottom of the post and the lower housing guide just before the line enters the frame each time we changed the post's height in the frame. The extra length let me tinker with it enough to get it working most of the time, but it did ruin a few rides.
  • + 5
 I have had the same problem with that post on one of my customers bikes at the shop i work at. personally i like the standard LEV the best. So what if it isn't routed on the inside of the frame? At least it's accessible and easy to work on.
  • + 0
 Mike, does this thing have ISCG tabs? Otherwise, I'm wondering how you're planning on fitting that MRP XCG with a pressfit BB...
  • + 2
 @groghunter - It does have tabs. Check the bullet points near the top of the review.
  • + 2
 ahhh, didn't see that, mea culpa. Peaked my interest because I noticed this weekend that MRP seems to be the only company that has figured out that a top guide with a taco is a good idea, gonna get one of those AMG guides soon.
  • + 1
 HI Mike, just on the sizing front, I'm 5' 10" with a 32" inside leg. Would I be better with a medium or large?
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  • + 1
 Love everything about this bike - but - the water bottle mount. Seems like a ridiculous place to hold a bottle.
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  • + 1
 So it's a Devinci Atlas Carbon minus the carbon, for a similar price no less? Hmmm.
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  • - 2
 I was a Kona fanboy and was really really stoked about the process 111 as I was planning on upgrading this year. I loved the design philosophy behind the process line. Then I saw the price. The other process bikes are priced like their competition at a ‘fair’ price but the 111 29er version came in $1100 more than an entry process 134 (27.5 version) While the 111 is spec’d a little better it is not spec’d $1100 better. I was crushed. I still am. I went out and bought a completely different 5 inch travel enduro 9er that I am very happy with, Kona has lost my fanoy loyalty in one swoop. Now I have to get the Kona emblem trampstamp (tattoo) removed… What a pain in the azz.
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  • + 0
 So magic link dead?

Also, why no horst link? It would help with braking, and have nearly no effect on the suspension anywhere else.
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  • + 1
 I don't understand how much part there is in this linkage ; is there somewhere where I can see this linkage in action?
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  • + 1
 This is exactly what I want out of a bike. Maybe I'll just throw a revelation on my Hei Hei 100 though Razz
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  • + 2
 Thats the coolest 29er ive ever seen...and thats saying something
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  • + 1
 Wow! It doesn't look like Kona at all! Very edgy ride...
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  • - 1
 we ended up calling it a'down-country' or 'fun-country' bike >>>
enduro bike ?maybe this bike is wrong review it has to be a slopestyle bike
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  • + 2
 Fun-country! I love it!
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  • + 0
 did anyone measure the travel, actually I mean if it was only say 109 mm Id feel like totally short changed...
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  • + 1
 29er Santa Cruz TRC style bike? Great idea from Kona, looks like a blast
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  • + 1
 Thank god the sizing is, "enduro specific".
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  • + 1
 Uma bicicleta extraordinária
Parabéns Kona
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  • + 1
 trying to get my hands on the 153
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  • + 1
 Finally a modern looking Kona!!
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  • + 1
 Anyone else thought it was a Slope style bike at first sight?
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  • + 1
 I like the Process but haven tried it yet.
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  • - 2
 Is it just me or does this bike seem very similar to the 2013 120mm transition bandit 29? a bit longer up front, a bit shorter out back, but extremely close
  • + 6
 the Process has a 1° slacker HTA, 12mm shorter CS, no front derailleur, but most importantly, a longer reach by about an inch in every size, allowing a much shorter stem. the shorter rear and longer front may seem like small changes, but they make the bike ride completely different. the Kona also has a much lower standover.
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  • + 1
 looks shred-able...
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