Kona and Saint Present the 2012 Supreme Operator

by Kona World 
 

Views: 134,723    Faves: 918    Comments: 73


When we set out to design the 2012 Supreme Operator, we considered all of the many facets today’s downhill bike are exposed to. It has to be a bike that can attack the pressure, speed and precision needed to compete on the World Cup race circuit. At the same time, the bike also needs to be able to handle the unpredictability, improvisation and playfulness that comes with riding big nasty lines in the middle of nowhere.

Heli bike in Bralorne BC for Kona bikes
Aggy dropping in on mega big Bralorne, BC burl. Photo: Blake Jorgenson

To show the diversity of our 2012 Shimano Saint-equipped Supreme Operator, we figured the best way to show the incredible range of the bike was to document both extremes. Lucky for us, we have some of the most talented gravity riders on the planet to take us there.

Heli bike in Bralorne BC for Kona bikes
Aggy sculpting the BC backcountry, getting ready to Operate. Photo: Blake Jorgenson

Armed with the exacting standards of Shimano Saint components, coupled with a suspension platform that’s tough but light, plush but quick, and laterally stiffer than a skyscraper in a windstorm, we start our adventure where clocks and race tape rule the roost.

Mitch Delfs in Leogang, Austria. Photo: Ale Di Lullo

We end up where no one is watching, save the ravens.

Heli bike in Bralorne BC for Kona bikes
Aggy and Sherrard. Photo: Blake Jorgenson

To World Cup stops in Leogang, Austria, and Fort William, Scotland with Kona Team Rider Mitch Delfs railing muddy, rider beaten courses full of technical turns, roots and rock drops, where the Supreme Operator turns gnarl into flow.

Heli bike in Bralorne BC for Kona bikes
Sherrard sending roost. Photo: Blake Jorgenson

Then jump on a plane then a truck and some quads to a helicopter and we find ourselves deep in the rugged wilderness of BC’s Chilcotin Mountains. Kona Team rider Graham Agassiz and Grassroots rider Dylan Sherrard take the Supreme Operator (and themselves) to the edge on the steep, shale and rock ridden big mountain faces on some of the sketchiest lines this side of burlville.

Heli bike in Bralorne BC for Kona bikes
Aggy and Sherrard into the big white. Photo: Blake Jorgenson

It all comes out golden. Quite “saintly” actually. The 2012 Saint-equipped Supreme Operator. From big races to big mountains, one bike to rule them all.

Heli bike in Bralorne BC for Kona bikes
Saint Supreme Operator at sunset. Photo: Blake Jorgenson


Must Read This Week

138 Comments

  • + 66
 I love the operator frames Drool one of my favourite bikes, despite what kona haters say
  • + 21
 I could ba considered a Kona hater `cos i ride Spec, but I don`t have anything bad to say.. Good bike, sick vid, gnar riding.
...need.....some.........more.
  • - 101
 everything looks like trek theese days...
  • + 7
 riding a different company doesnt make you a hater, just screaming "KONA IT WILL SNAP" despite never having ridden one is hating. i mean mym cowan has snapped twice but that was my doing and i'm surprised it's lasted as long as it did.
  • + 58
 @hucker03 you have it mixed around cause trek took Konas four bar linkage and made there bikes so it would be every thing looks like Kona these days
  • + 13
 Kona's looking better. I was a total Kona hater a couple years ago. Honestly I still think those frames back in that day were crap but now, they are actually looking better.
  • - 69
 probalby gonna get a lot of neg props but i dont care that last shot of the linkage looked like crap, and Saint is becoming out of date i think its kinda foolish of kona to do all the components with it. just my opinion.
  • + 33
 how is it becoming outdated when all the stuff works plenty good enough to be used at a world cup level? the Athertons don't seem to mind.

@yeahbro, why complain about getting neg props when you've gone through everybody else's comments and neg'd them? hypocritical much?
  • - 63
 read it again i said i dont care...
  • + 15
 Doesn't answer you you're being suck a d*ck and negging everybody else, not cool at all.
  • + 14
 i had my 08 stiny for 2 years and went huge on it, didnt snap. really depends on if you can ride your bike properly and set up your shock. stop hating on kona people!!
  • + 5
 my cowan has snapped twice and i still love it Big Grin
  • + 6
 @JJ-The-Scott

i got nothing against Kona BUT a bike shouldnt break when you cant ride or set up your shock awesome, lol
  • + 10
 i have an 07 coilair delux that i beat the snot out of and its still solid. I think all the people who hate konas have never ridden one cuzz if they had, they would find out that they are just as good as any other bike on the market.
  • + 5
 Indeed, my '06 Stinky is still going strong despite having done thousands of miles and being beaten to hell. Although I would like a new one now. :/
  • - 4
 i did like them until i watched a boys snap at the headtube :/
  • + 4
 @views that is true but if you go and huck 20ft and bottom out massively and dont hang of the back enough, most modern frames would go "qqhhhEEEHHccchh" sooner or later. sorry if i didnt make my point clear Smile
  • + 1
 i would like to try the new kona's . they look sweet.
  • + 2
 Had a Kona my self along with the large majority of other local riders in my area, like every one we all had a Kona once. When I went other too A specialized I became a complete kona hater down too the shoddy state i'd seen frame reduced too after comparing it with the standard my specialized up held, its seems nearly all of the Kona hard core bike range from 2007 till now went serioulys down the pan think of how many kona bikes from that area you see broken on here ! the new operator on the other hand looks like it could be a major turn in the Companys rescent track recornd ! aint seen a dinged one yet !
  • + 1
 thats because they're new Wink
  • + 2
 i like them but the one i seen snap wasnt on a huge gap it was on a slighty rocky straight
  • + 4
 Never ridden one as I didn't get the chance but if you search a little on the web you can find several snapped frame pictures of pretty much every model of every brand. Are they all shit? I don't think so. Anyway, Aggy has been sending unreal stuff on them, more than you ever will in your wildest dreams and he doesn't seem to complain.
  • - 2
 Im not sure who that was aimed at but I wasnt hating.
  • + 3
 The snapped 2012 one had been ridden about 15 times a day at a bike park for a month
  • + 1
 Used to have a Hahanna years ago (and I mean YEARS) and I loved it. For an entry level hardtail I think it's one of the best I've ever owned.

@hucker03: You think this looks like a Trek? Get two images and compare the Trek used by Gwin and the team and the Konas. They don't look the same to me. I personally think the Konas look hot!
  • + 1
 kona is baaaaaaaaad
  • + 2
 I haven't ridden any of the new ones since 2009 but I hated those frames. I'm not really a "Kona Hater" but I've never really looked into buying a Kona when I look into bikes.
  • + 1
 I have a kona hoss deluxe from '03, on which i have been riding my local Freeride and downhill trails up to may 2010 (when i got my new bike) and i even took it to bikeparks on several occasions and it has'nt snapped yet (it only has a tiny dent in the top tube but thats not from riding it)
  • + 0
 I'm now less ashamed to be called Konakid!
[Reply]
  • + 16
 Is it just me of a Kona doesn't look like a Kona without Marzocchi forks!!!! Still love the brand!! Would ride Kona and Norco bikes any time of the week over any other brand.
  • + 2
 Yeah, they were working with Marzocchi for something like 10 years or so, and now Rock Shox? They were looking wilder with the bombers in front! Big Grin
  • + 2
 Maybe kona is trying to drop some weight. All I know is my brother has been rocking Konas for about 6 years and he always pulls the marzocchis off and throws on a RockShox Domain. He's not worried about weight, but the adjustability and reliability, not to mention cheap repairs and simple maintenance, are what keep him going back to RS.
  • + 14
 the 2010 onwoards Marzos are perfect
  • + 5
 Yeah Marzocchi ftw.
  • + 2
 ive had marzocchi since i started riding and will always go back to them. more reliable, strong and light! it is a real racers fork these days!
  • + 0
 Now, that's why I like this one. Don't like Marz.
  • + 1
 jj-the-scott, I have heard they have been great lately, am not so sure about the light part. I know the 66 weighs even more than the Domain and boxxer. But I haven't looked much at the others. Also the rear shock the Rocco Air seems to perform pretty well, but is super expensive to have rebuilt and get bushings for and Mars is not a great company to have to deal with based on my experience. For example, I sent my fox rp23 back to fox since the propedal lever literally did nothing. The next day my brother sent his rocco air in for a rebuild. Both shocks got a rebuild in the end, but mine took 2 weeks, his took 2.5 months. Even if the performance is good that kinda thing can bring a company down.
  • + 1
 On further comparison there are forks with competitive weights across the spectrum by both companies.
  • + 1
 People, stop saying kona sucks. most of the time i bet you guys just need to loose weight so it wont snapp hahahahahahaha...
  • + 1
 I didn't say kona sucks. seems like a lot of great riders rock a kona and my older brother has ridden nothing but konas for about 5 years I think. I even had a dawg briefly.
  • + 1
 Good friend only weighs 60kg snapped the headtube of his stab after 1 year. Not hucking, just keeping it low. Hopefully the operater is better, but know 5 broken frames in the last year. Good warrenty!!! Everybody got a new one!
[Reply]
  • + 10
 Kona haters? how is there such a thing.
I admire Kona's, their are kind of like that fat kid in PE who tries really hard at every sport but sucks until they put him at prop in rugby or the defensive line for al you yanks (i think) and then excels.
Plus what an awesome video, regardless of what bike company
  • + 5
 Kinda hard for me to talk badly about a company that invests so much of it's money into creating bike parks. Maby u havent heard of the kona groove approved program maby u have. I dont see specialized, giant or trek forking out money to build trails and they are the biggest companys. Kona bikes might not be the most desirable on the market but are still nice bikes. At the end of the day everyone should at least give those guys props for making mtb what it is today. As I remember it was the og stinky that kinda started the freeride craze oh and the Cowan was the first short travel jump bike. So we can all thank kona getting the other company's to open there eyes and start making other cool bikes
[Reply]
  • + 10
 I still think the Joe Smith vid they put out for the release of the Operator last year was the coolest mtb promo vid I've ever seen.

Straight James Bond sh*t.
  • + 1
 agree with you on that one dude.
[Reply]
  • + 8
 when will you f*cking kiddies learn something about suspension design and stop crapping how it looks like (insert another frame here)?
[Reply]
  • + 6
 Not a whole lot of info in the advert on what changes have been made or what is actually going on in terms of suspension, angles etc that would make their product superior. The video was a lot of fun but in terms of describing the product didn't do much. I wish companies would stop telling me their product will make me piss lightning, conquer the free world and set all land speed records and have enough respect to tell me how or why in a realistic way. Realistically Aggy, Delfs and Sherrard could put together a video of them whipping Pink Tinkerbell themed walmart bikes in a way that would elicit at least six drops of WTF incontinance. I love watching that but am not foolish enough to believe I could do similar if I had a similar product. Rather, just tell me the advantages, novelty etc. of the product please.
  • + 4
 ^^^^
"Realistically Aggy, Delfs and Sherrard could put together a video of them whipping Pink Tinkerbell themed walmart bikes in a way that would elicit at least six drops of WTF incontinance"
Best mental picture ever. Just think about it for a second.
  • + 2
 I agree that when it's all bling and no content it kind of makes you wonder what's the point of all this really. On the other hand, it seems that when most companies focus on "content" it all becomes a game of bullshit marketing that no one really buys anyway

- Best linkage system ever (insert cool acronym)!
- Best funky rear shock system!
- Best geo on the market!

All with endless explanations (with hardly ever enough data to back it) trying to prove that they reinvented the wheel but in the end it doesn't add much, if anything to the riding.

Sometimes, just guys having fun with their bikes says more than anything else.
  • + 2
 Thank you PLC07, that's what we're going for here. If you want to find out more about our bike, we have tons of info available. Our dealers are all super savvy with the Operator, not to mention there are tons of independent reviews online. This is purely a piece to get people stoked on riding and show the world the range of intended use we used to direct the design philosophy behind the Operator platform. You can check out all the detailed specs and geo of the bike here: www.konaworld.com/gravity_dual_suspension.cfm?content=supreme_operator
  • + 2
 I can agree with that. I personally would have prefered a bit of a mix of jaw drop media and practical descriptions. It's not a shot at Kona at all (I think Kona has one of the better websites for describing their bikes). It was just kind of a bit of frustration at bike marketing in general. Hype is fun and I want to see these guys ripping and showing me all that these bikes are capable of but coupled with information on what that looks like for me and why. Some of us do care about frame geometry, specs, and technical features and have spent enough time on a bike to notice that. Is there a happy medium? (For example: www.pinkbike.com/video/75195) If I'm going to spend that kind of money on a bike, I'd like to know what I'm getting and how that differs from what I'm not getting... as subtle as that often is. By the way, I did go to the website after watching the video to check out the specifics on the bike so in that regard the ad worked for this impressionable not-so-youth.
[Reply]
  • + 6
 Nice photos/video! And I would give a leg for a bike like this!...but than I couldn't use it, so maybe it's not a good idea Big Grin
  • + 3
 1st picture is truly amazing!! . . . Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin
[Reply]
  • + 4
 "One bike to rule them all." Whatever, I find it funny that these bike companies come out with a new bike the shoot a video with the some of the best riders in the world and basically say look what these guys can do with our new bike because it's better than anything else out there. As if we are such cultural zombies to believe such a thing. What they should do is take total noobs and see if those guys can impress with the bike ;-)
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Too bad they don't have any footage of Delfs riding his 2012 frame last season...b/c it was stolen.

Sweet vid though. I have ridden Demo 8's, 951's, and now a 2012 Supreme Operator. My first hand experience....the bike is pretty rad.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 "stiffer than a skyscraper in a windstorm"

modern skyscrapers are actually built with a large amount of flex in their frames for wind / earthquake safety.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Personally you wont see me on a kona in a long time. They barely just started to get their shit together. This is only an oppinion though
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i like joe smith's operator vid from last season. video was better IMO. haven't ridden a Kona so i won't go yay or nay, but i am stoked for my v10 Razz
lord of the rings reference was prime, but does the bike turn you invisible?
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Can't comment on the bike but there's no denying that was a sick video
[Reply]
  • + 3
 wow our world is so beutiful riding our bikes in the wilderness ! love it pease keep telling stories of ridring living enjoing our bikes and friends
[Reply]
  • + 4
 i know i am very much an orange person but i think the next bike i shall be getting will be a kona operator !!!
  • + 2
 Same here dude , if my Gambler was to fail on me ( unlikely yes ) this is the bike I would aim for .
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Love my 2011 Operator FR. A little disappointed that they turned it into the Entourage for 2012 and left it an orphan - but it's a great little bike. I've crashed and bashed it a fair amount this season (my first in a bike park) and it's held up awesome, very impressed.

My Dawg I have thrashed for three seasons now, that bike's taken some huge offs and is still rolling strong.

The way some of these people talk, you'd think that Konas were the only frames that ever break. I'd only have to look as far as my friend's garage and his trashed Giant and Jamis frames to know that ain't the case ...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 still always the rider....and a patiently set up bike...as you evolve in your riding, you know , different angles, ride heights, tires and pressures,...combine them and like magic, your bike rides like a dream
[Reply]
  • + 3
 aggy and dylan getting some kool lines....and the operator is looking good!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Anyone else think that if Kona's not doing it already it's time to show Dylan the $$$$$$$$?
  • + 2
 If not for his insane skills, at least for his manly beard.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I have never sat on a Kona....that's probably the only DH bike i have not tried. I think i am going to have to because they look awesome. The pictures were cool! KEEP IT COMMING
[Reply]
  • + 3
 was hoping for more of a review then a promo but still improving the standard kona have set for themselves lately i hope
  • + 2
 What is new, besides the hype? Flashy videos don't cut it because we want the real lowdown before our "not grown on trees" liquids start to flow in your general direction. I used to sell Kona Bikes. For the love of Kona, tell us what you have done to these contraptions since 2011. Thank you.
  • + 3
 Shorter rear end lower BB height and lower stand over height.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 i dont really like konas even tho ive got one. but i have to say the 2012 range looks pretty damn sweet! the operators look awsome and ive heard quite alot about how quiet they are when riding the ruff stuff. i would consider getting one! Smile
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Personally I think this bike is lame. It is just a modified single pivot (out of date). It also has a crazy seat post angle, and a funky looking fame that just looks weak. It also looks like it has a beer gut for some reason. I'm sure it rides just fine, but there are many other options that would ride better for the same (or better) price. Gota say the video and pictures are pretty sweet though.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Looks ace! Great video & photos as well
[Reply]
  • + 2
 One bike to rule them all, kona has a sense of humour and still managed to make dope looking bikes
  • + 4
 One bike to rule them all - Until you try to ride them uphill. Good luck with that Razz
  • + 3
 its a dh bike....
[Reply]
  • + 2
 One Bike to rule them all, One Bike to find them, One Bike to bring them all and in the darkness bind them. RULZ xD!
  • + 5
 One bike to rule them all is alot to say. But I'm glad that Kona has confidence in what they now produce, because confidence will definitely show on their products. So far so good Kona.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 again another sick looking bike from kona but must admit the video for last years model was better and made me want to buy an operator more still sick though props to kona
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Yeah Dylan!! Good to see you getting more exposure!! Great vid and company- I personally have a FEW friends that work for Kona.....they all are hard-core bikers and shred!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 "Welcom to Kona may i take your order?" Yeah ill have the 2012 supreme operator and a side of the sickest bike being made right now.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i don't care what the haters and such say, i hope that bike wins some races because it looks sick. shows that kona is getting pretty legit.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Not normally a kona fan. Never liked the bikes both aesthetically and the linkage. But had a shot of a mates 2012. And what a difference. Really nice bikes. Smile
[Reply]
  • + 1
 old konas are best starter bikes that can get trashed around and will still last Smile
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'm waiting on a "one does not simply shred into mordor" comment, I though the Lord of the Rings theme was pretty chill tho
[Reply]
  • + 1
 It seems that kona does some real effort to cr8 good bikes and this starts from 2010 models.I just like them! GJ !!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 2012 Saint? Kinda looks a lot like 2010/11 Saint....when are Shimano going to re-vamp this groupo??
[Reply]
  • + 2
 effective video. i now want one
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Well i got mine and I think the bike is awesome.no complain till now.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/7396999
[Reply]
  • + 1
 awesome video but not so awesome bike but still cool-tommorows vod (kona już o to zadbała -.-)
[Reply]
  • + 2
 stiffer than a skyscraper in a windstorm? so it moves 6ft then?
  • + 10
 yes, if the wheelbase was 120 stories long.
  • + 2
 haha, good answer Smile
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Very nice, best bike on earth!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I might just have... Sorry gotta wipe off my keyboard, brb
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Cool, now, uh, whens the slope bike released?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 what happen to dope system????
  • + 1
 yeah, where did that torque arm go... Mine still works fine, even after 5 years of hard riding! My Garbanzo Delux might not win beauty contests but it always comes back home in one peice and begs for more.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Looks like a Kona
  • + 3
 Probably because it is a Kona...?
  • + 4
 well it not a golf Wink
  • + 1
 Haha! Aren't most of the cars in that ad golfs anyway? :s
[Reply]
  • + 0
 first thing i thorght wen i saw it was KONA = SNAP hahahaha and it will poor buggers who race on them Smile
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Has there been eny change at all to the 2011 frame for 2012?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 kona the bike to have full stop,the operator just rocks
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Love that song, anyone know the name and/or artist?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 sick video best video ive seeen in a while
[Reply]
  • + 1
 really cool, any news on fixing the problem with snapped toptubes?
  • + 1
 Im not sure how many people that has happened to. the one cracked one that i saw had apparently been in an insane crash.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Almost as good as their vid with Joe Smith. First picture looks very flat.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I am not big kona fan but this video was amazing.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Great bikes, Great vids..thanx
[Reply]
  • + 1
 great location so the bikes
[Reply]
  • - 1
 Sick video! Best looking Kona Ive ever seen! Although I wud rather spend the money on some other bike...it doesnt look as good as the other top dogs out there...
[Reply]
  • + 0
 is crashing and then getting stuck good advertising for a bike? not exactly a high point to finish on.. nice bike though!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Too bad the frame snaps where the down tube meats the head tube otherwise I wouldn't mind riding one.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 getting the operator dh 2011 about a month from now... STOKED
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i pearsonaly dont like the feel of any of the konas iv ever rode
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Awesome vid, awesome bike.... loving KON@ !
[Reply]
  • + 1
 unreal, Aggy is The Man
[Reply]
  • + 1
 excellente vid!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 OMG aggy got some teeth!
[Reply]
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