House of the Big Wheel

Oct 13, 2011 at 19:20
by Kona World  

Kona has actively been involved in 29-inch wheel mountain bike design and development for eight years now. We were one of the first companies to jump on board the big wheel bandwagon, so it’s no surprise that in 2012, with 13 different 29-inch wheel mountain bike models available, we’re going to do a little bit of claiming.

Top of the Mountain. Photo: Blake Jorgenson


The House of the Big Wheel campaign is built around the four big bike stories of our 2012 29-inch wheel mountain bike program. On one axis we present the Japanese inspired Honzo and Satori: the Honzo being a gravity/all-mountain Kona Cromoly hardtail, the Satori a 130mm technical singletrack trail slayer. On the other axis, the Hawaiian heritage of the Hei Hei 29, our legendary 100mm XC competition destroyer, balanced with the all-new race royalty, the carbon fiber King Kahuna hardtail.

Views: 18,218    Faves: 52    Comments: 7


House of the Big Wheel rolls out in a series of print ad placements in fine mountain bike publications around the world, as well as a two part video series. The first film premieres right here right now, as we introduce the Honzo/Satori edit. Filmed in the wild forests and high alpine of the Coast Range, near Squamish, BC, the edit features two of Kona’s longtime 29 product testers, Kevin Noble and Trevor Porter.

Kona 29 Product testers, Noble and Porter dropping on on Coast Range perfection. Photo: Blake Jorgenson


Porter, who raced on the World Cup Circuit and was the 2005 World Downhill Masters Champion, currently works as a Canadian Kona Rep out of the company's Vancouver Office, and lives at the top of a mountain in a cabin with epic singletrack out the front door. Basically, he shreds.

Trevor Porter. Photo: Blake Jorgenson


Based out of Kona's Ferndale Office, Kevin Noble is a regular long-distance XC trail slayer known for his 100-mile singlespeed sufferfest prowess and Tall-Boy crushed around the handlebar technical descending skills. Noble is Kona USA's Sales Manager, and yes, he shreds too.

Kevin Noble. Photo: Blake Jorgenson


Both riders have been longtime 29-inch wheel development riders, actively putting their long histories in the bike industry, and passion for pushing the limits of 29er mountain bike riding into Kona's fast-growing fleet of Big Wheel Bikes. Stay tuned for Episode Two of House of the Big Wheel, currently in production. Singletrack animals and Team Kona XC superstars Barry Wicks and Spencer Paxson lay down some high alpine BC trail on the Hei Hei 29 Supreme and King Kahuna.

The all-new 130mm All-mountain machine, the 2012 Satori

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63 Comments

  • + 65
 WOW... a kona that doesnt look like a kona
  • + 8
 just give it some time to set in
  • - 1
 kinda looks like a yeti...
  • + 2
 That's right KONA!!! good job! Prove us that we were wrong about us thinking your product will always break!!!!!! Now do the DH bikes a video of how everything works and how they handle Root, Rocks, Air, and Drops! Thanks
  • + 1
 That's right KONA!!! good job! Prove us that we are all right about us thinking your product will always break!!!!!!! Now do the DH Bikes a video of how everything works and how they don't handle Root, Rocks, Air, and Drops! Thanks

Did you see what I did thar?
lol
  • + 2
 Dude just give them a chance! You never know what they will do!
  • + 0
 ya i guess. They need to do something before I change my mind. Doing something does not include changing the look.... The onus is on them to convince us now they no longer deserve the benefit of the doubt after such a long time of sub par bikes.
  • + 0
 Ya just give them a chance you never know what they will pull out just to make people happy and enjoy their products! This is not just for "AREKIEH" this is for all the Kona haters out there! Just give them a chance!!!

@arekieh ment to give you neg. props my the way!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I have ridden both of these bikes. And both with Trevor Porter. The Honzo is the craziest riding hardtail I have ever thrown a leg over. It doesn't feel like a 29er at all on technical trails, but when you hit the rough stuff the big is way smoother than you think a hardtail should be. As for the Satori, it rides awesome as well. It is by no means a DH rig. But as an all mountain ripper it was amazing. It is not as playful as a Abra Cadabra, but was fun in its own way.
  • + 1
 Definitely. I can definitely say the honzo is a crazily capable little hardtails. Climbs amazingly and yet it decends brilliantly. As soon as I can afford it I'll be swapping out my cotic bfe for a honzo in a flash. Faster, better, more playful and fun and just as tough.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 "Shedding" was the wrong word choice, It was more like "pedaling like a cross country rider and over exaggerate your 'steezy' in the corners." Something that I like to call: Pinkbiking it.
  • + 1
 pinkbiking it.. i love it.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Kevin shredding some alpine! I'm really glad to see Kona changing things a up a lot - both on the product development and marketing side of things.
  • + 0
 There was more "shredding" on the HT than the FS...
this is a simple low quality edit but far more shredding on a Bandit 29
www.pinkbike.com/video/218418
[Reply]
  • + 4
 if anyone's interested the music on the cut is by the Yoshida Brothers,it's awesome stuff that i would never really relate to riding but how wrong i was....:-)...N1 Kona!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Do you know what I'm sick to death of these ridiculous 29 inch so called mountain bikes. I've heard all the excuses..the roll better, they climb better, they absorb bumps better. Its all an excuse for people who cant ride a 26 properly and the mtb companies cashing in on the latest fad! I have ridden these stupid things and will never ever buy one. They will disappear along with oval chainsets, suspension stems and elestromer suspension!
  • + 7
 So don't buy one?

Have you ridden one? I suspect not. I haven't either, I'd like to though. There must be some reason they're taking off.

Also, props to Kona for building a more hard wearing 29" hardtail, most of the ones I've seen up to now have been strictly XC affairs.
  • + 2
 You are annoying.
  • - 2
 Lol finally someone pulling cards on 29er geeks. To b honest i see plenty 29s pass by my trails and none are making it over any jumps. Usually they stop by see us hit a couple jumps then leave. I not trying to hate that much but it soo funny how goofball people are on them big wheels. They need to make a 29" X 24" freeriduro bike. Bigtings
  • + 2
 Andy01302, can you even read? Matt76 clearly wrote that he actually HAS ridden some 29ers. You haven't so it's him who has more right to state his opinions. I've ridden a 29er as well and I completely agree with Matt76: 29ers may be good for riders with poor technique because of the feeling of riding "in" instead of "on" the bike. On a 29er all you have to do is hold on and pedal, while on a 26er you have to move your body/weight around to make the bike do what you want. The latter is simply more rewarding for me, why would I bother to go mountainbiking if I didn't have to employ any skill in it? Besides, even the most pro-29er testers usually agree that the more technical and tight the terrain gets, the bigger the advantage of 26es becomes. There's a good reason bigger wheels always were thought to be better for road/cx/recreation than MTB. Now companies finally managed to adapt them to moutainbikes, but this does not make them better yet. It's just a way of convincing you that you need a new bike.
  • + 1
 Ya i agree with you 29 haters. That is an invention for unskilled riders like putting huge wheels on a skateboard. I've seen some skilled xc racers on 29 but when it comes to airtime or dh fugetaboutit. I think the real test of a rider is can you do it on a 24" or even a 20". These newbies cling to suspension and big wheels instead of learning the old fashion way, on a hardtail. Oh well let the wankers blow money while us real riders keep progressing.
  • + 4
 I own a 29er hardtail and a 160 mm travel 26er. Both are great bikes and have different uses. The claim that 29ers make mountain biking too easy is just hilarious. I mean an 8" travel bike makes DH easier than riding a hardtail. Better tires make riding easier. I am all about parts that improve my performance on the bike. Why else do we buy expensive tires and high performance parts? Because it makes riding easier. Easier a bike is to ride = the faster you can ride the bike. Don't hate on bikes because they're different. And I'll agree with the fact that jumps are not as easy on a 29er, but a lot of people could care less about that.
  • + 2
 haters gonna hate. i bet if 29ers were given free, no one would be hating them.
  • + 1
 @bjh0003 i was totally with you right until you said a lot of people could care less. while grammatically correct, i feel that in the context of the point you were trying to convey COULDN'T care less is the phrase you're after
  • + 1
 every time people have doubts about the "shredability" of 29ers, I forward them to a Seb Kemp video filmed in early 2010, of seb shredding the SC Tallboy.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RdPUBiz0JU&feature=channel_video_title
people say, "oh 29ers make going over things easy" but don't realize that it takes more commitment in turns.
  • + 1
 bjh0003 I actually dont agree.. its all rider skill!! I have riddern my hardtail which the frame cost me £170 brand new on many a dh course. There is nothing more satisfying when you blast past someone or jump bigger than someone on a £6000 DH rig. If you can ride a bike and go big you can do it on any bike within reason. "wangamachang" It also always makes me laugh when people put a video of someone who can clearly ride a bike well riding a 29er. This guy will be able to go just as fast on a 26" as he does on a 29er as he has all the right skills he needs. I was racing a DH race a couple of years ago and a guy came 2nd out of 65 riders and he raced on his hardtail.....its all in the rider not the bike unless you racing at high level....29er is just another fad and another way for bike companies to get cash out of you.
  • + 4
 I don't understand the anger and frustration towards 29ers, or any other bikes for that matter. The existence of 29ers is in no way any kind of threat towards 26ers, so who cares if they exist? And who cares if people like them? Why are people so concerned that the bike companies are getting cash out of people? If people want to spend their money on it, so be it. It will only make the bike companies stronger, which is only a good thing, as it allows for more R&D. There's enough people who ride bikes to allow many, many different kinds of bikes to co-exist. Road bikes will not kill mountain bikes. Cruisers will not replace BMXs. Cross bikes will not replace folding bikes. 29ers will not kill 26ers. Spend your money where you want, and respect those who spend it elsewhere.
  • + 1
 smike, spot on! i have 6 bikes in my stable and wouldn't mind having a 29er instead of getting a car.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 if you have two or three bikes, there is no excuse for not having a 29....a bike you love to ride will always make riding easier,...it is the rider in the end
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The video makes me feel like I am watching a car sales video (slo mo suspension shot in the beginning- Toyota trying to sell a Camry for Lexus prices. Hahaha. Good for Kona for changing some direction and new marketing. Now, make a Camry, sell it. Make a Lexus sell it. Don't make a Camry seem like a Lexus and don't put Lexus prices on your Camry's. Smile
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I thought Kona made good vids, judging by the Supreme Operator and Entourage vids, but this one just doesn't do anything for me. I think the bobbing fork gave me a negative impression and it just never recovered. I think Yeti has the trail slaying videos to beat now, with Gwin on the ASR5C shredding some trails in Cali and the SB-66 vids fresh on my mind.
  • + 3
 Yeah, same. I actually like Kona a lot but that video sure made 29" wheels look slow and boring.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 lol For some reason, at the beginning I got the impression of a Mortal Kombat video lol
both nice bikes.

Whay u think? R 29er the mtb future?
  • + 5
 Back back B - FINISH HIM!
  • + 1
 As he rips your heart out! Hahaha. Kano.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 neither of those bikes looked particularly nimble. They are truly mixing their cultural references here. Japanese named bike with Chinese kung fu movie voice over.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Both the bikes look great (actually the entire 2012 line up is a huge improvement), I am especially interested in riding the Satori. Although I do agree, the Satori riding could have been much more "shredy"...
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Kevin and Trevor were killing it. Nice job on the vid!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 satori looks similar to specialized camber in my opinion but quite cool anyway Smile
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I've tried out a honzo, and if you want a do it all bike that won't set your wallet aflame, it is defiantly the way to go, provided you can put up with a 1x9/1x10 drivetrain.
  • + 1
 The Honzo looks like fun. The only thing that sort stands as competition is the Canfield Nimble9 (steel version of Yelli Screamy), but the Kona seems to have them beat on price and features.
  • + 1
 I've always thought that the yelli screamy looked like a 9er 4x bike, maybe we can start having 9er 4x races with these gravity 9ers.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 i recon a 29" operator would be beastly
[Reply]
  • + 2
 thats a much better looking bike than i expected
[Reply]
  • + 1
 reinforces my 29inch wheel concern. air. looks like they would be having more fun on 26
[Reply]
  • + 1
 still rippin it up with the skillz to pay the bills. nice looking bikes Trevor
[Reply]
  • - 1
 Yoooo kona finally trying a different design its a miracle. Too bad its that dumb bottle rocket design but at least they changing it up. Keep thinking diff designs and people start riding kona again. FT29W
[Reply]
  • + 1
 29ers are valid. they are the business end of a mullet. fact. the party end is on 26 out back!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 First trail on the hardtail looked sweet, shame the poor guy didn't have a proper bike, sorry, 26er to enjoy it on.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 He looks like a KID on à bike... 29'er go away...
  • + 3
 Looks like it's here to stay...there's even 25 inch wheels, 650b (whatever that is) and even 22 inch wheels...guess you can choose whatever you want to not find parts for the most now...
  • + 1
 650B is better known as 27.5". I've actually really wanted to get a bike built for them, but haven't found it within my price range yet...
  • + 1
 As long as it stays in an underdog position it's ok for me..
But i stll don't like it... Smile
[Reply]
  • + 1
 it still doesnt make me want to ride a 29.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 00:43, all they are showing is that it gets lots of pedal bob!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 If you are into mountain bikes, a 29' should be in every riders quiver!
  • + 1
 29 foot? Now that would b a big wheel!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Love it........Drunken Master, ha
[Reply]
  • + 1
 that video was not brilliant.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 hmmmmmmmmmm........
[Reply]
  • - 3
 i wouldve never known that kona made a 29" bike if they hadnt said it in the title...
  • + 3
 Yup, I believe Kona has been making 29er frames and bikes for years now.
[Reply]

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