What does Kona
do best? Maximize the fun factor – and its latest 26-inch-wheel shredder promises to do just that. Kona designer Chris Mandell says the Process was developed from the start with a “keep it simple” mentality. That means Kona welded up-to-date geometry to its tried and true aluminum chassis and rocker-link rear suspension. This should be good news for top bike-handlers in the market for a 150-millimeter trailbike. Kona’s longer rocker link and simple single-pivot swingarm is perfectly suited for longer travel suspension – and nobody knows the burlier side of trailbike design better than the slug poppers of Bellingham.
Kona 's base model Process shares exactly the same frame as the DL model and is reported to be a serious ripper for 3000 usd.
The Process’ aluminum frame is slimmed down by the use of heavily manipulated tubing. Chris says that complete bikes come in at 30 pounds, which is respectable considering that the Process is intended to handle everything an experienced rider may see in the Pacific Northwest, from drops and stunts in the park to all-day singletrack stints in the woods. Other frame niceties are an offset swingarm pivot to give the bearings a wider stance, a swingarm-mounted front derailleur for shifting precision, and an intelligent mix of internal and external cable routing to protect the lengths where necessary, while allowing easy access to the rest of the control conduits. The Process will be offered at two price points (Process DL $5,499 and $3,199 for the standard model) that share exactly the same frame.
Kona uses a sturdy clevis type dropout pivot and a 142/12mm through-axle to keep the rear end of the Process flex free. The bottom bracket pivot of the swingarm (right) is offset to the left to give the bearings a wider stance.
The Process uses a 66-degree head angle, which is on the steep side of DH and the slack side of XC/trail. All sizes use the same, 60mm stem and Mandell adjusted the top tube lengths to keep the front-center proportional throughout the size range. The bottom bracket is set at 13.7 inches (348mm), which is low enough to keep the bike cornering sharply, without being so low that the pedals are playing polo with every rock on the trail. Pedaling effectiveness is ensured by short, 16.7-inch chainstays and a power-friendly, 73-degree seat tube angle. Kona also offers a full range of sizes (small, medium, large and X-large) and the performance of the bigger sizes is virtually assured by the fact that Mandell is a well known shredder who tops six feet with altitude to spare.
The more affordable Kona Process uses a 160mm-stroke RockShox Lyrik R coil fork ( left) and the new Crankbrothers Kronolog dropper post. The fork is impressive. The post? We shall see
Components are mainly SRAM with 2 x 10 cranksets and RockShox suspension. The DL gets the Monarch HV RC3 reservoir shock, with a 160mm Lyrik DH3 Dual-Position fork, while the drivetrain is X.0. The standard Process is driven by a mix of X.9 and X.7 components and is suspended by a conventional Monarch shock with a high-volume air can, and a 160mm Lyrik R coil-sprung fork. Both bikes roll on 2.4-inch Maxxis High Roller tires, but only the DL gets the lightweight Stans Flow EX wheels. Kona did not forget the most important item in the all-mountain category – the DL sports a RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper post, while the Process uses a Crankbrothers Kronolog dropper.
Kona Designer Chris Mandell stands with his favorite bikes - the 150mm travel Process DL (top) and the more-affordable Process.
The bottom line for the new Kona was expressed well by its designer. ‘We wanted to make a bike that feels balanced at both low speed, where sharp cornering and maneuverability is essential, and still give it the ability to go as hard as its rider wants to push on the descents,’ Said Mandell. ‘The longer front-center and short rear stays help us achieve that balance.’
A closeup look a the Process DL. The frame is decidedly Kona, and its numbers and parts spec are spot on for a trailbike that is expected to go big or go home.
The Process’ numbers look good and the component picks are spot on for both models, so we would have to agree with Mandell. As promised, we expect Kona’ s new ripper to be a blast to ride. We'll probably be testing this baby soon.