2017 Kona Hei Hei Trail - First Ride

Aug 4, 2016
by Vernon Felton  


Hei Hei Goes Big-ger

We’ve already covered the big-picture story on Kona’s 2017 line up—the changes to the Process models, the addition of 27.5-wheeled Operators, carbon Honzo hardtails, Honzo’fied fat bikes and more. If you missed all that, check out the story here.

Kona recently invited a host of dealers and media hacks to ride some of the new goods on the trails of Squamish, British Columbia. It was the perfect opportunity to get some real saddle time on another of Kona’s new models—the 2017 Hei Hei Trail.

Hei Hei Trail DL Details

• Intended use: trail riding
• Fork travel: 140 millimeters
• Rear wheel travel: 140 millimeters
• Wheelsize: 27.5
• Carbon front and rear triangles
• Internal dropper post routing
• Boost (12x148-mm) hub spacing
• Sizes: XS/ S / M / L
• Price range: $5,999 (USD)
www.konaworld.com / @konaworld

Kona Hei Hei Trail by Caleb Smith
The Longer-Travel Hei Hei
Though the Hei Hei has been in Kona’s line for years now as a cross-country whippet, the bike returned in early 2016 in a different guise—a sort of streamlined, aggro version that took serious inspiration from Kona’s Process models. The Hei Hei still bore traces of its cross-county lineage, but the bike was slacker and lower-slung than its predecessor. It was, in short, a much more capable flavor of Hei Hei.

Unlike the Hei Hei’s that rolled out in 2016, the new Hei Hei Trail wears 27.5 (rather than 29)-inch wheels and sports a full 140-millimeters of suspension travel, front and rear. While a day of riding doesn’t qualify as a legitimate test by any stretch, it was enough to get a taste of what the new bike is all about. Kona is offering three Hei Hei Trail models this year, ranging in price from $4,199 to $7,499. The model shown here, the Hei Hei Trail DL, is the middle child option and sells for $5,999.

Kona Hei Hei Trail by Caleb Smith
This new Hei Hei Trail model takes things up a notch, so to speak, with an extra 40 millimeters (1.5 inches) of rear suspension. As with the other Hei Hei models, however, the frame relies on the same Fuse Independent Suspension design, which eschews seat and chainstay pivots for a rear flex pivot.

“Flex is actually happening through the whole seatstay—not just at a single point in the seatstay,” says Kona product manager, Paddy White. “The shape and material layup has been optimized to accommodate the flex, which isn’t as much as you might expect—in total, you’re talking about 2.67 degrees of flex.”

Kona Hei Hei Trail by Caleb Smith

Though the Hei Hei Trail frame looks similar to its shorter-travel Hei Hei siblings, it bears an entirely different front triangle. There are also a few new additions. The Trail is the first Kona model to wear one of the new metric, trunnion mount rear shocks, as well as a tidy cable routing port on the downtube that makes snaking dropper post lines less of a hair-tearing venture. The port also holds a spare rear derailleur hanger. Tre’ SWAT.

Kona Hei Hei DL Trail

The Hei Hei Trail’s geometry is surprisingly similar to that of the 2014-2016 Process 134, what Kona is now calling First-Generation Process geometry (the 2017 Process models have grown slacker and longer). While the Hei Hei Trail might seem like a lighter version of the Process 134, Kona is adamant that the bikes are different in a way that geometry charts simply don’t convey.

“This new Hei Hei Trail just isn’t as burly as the Process,” explains Kona marketing manager, Caleb Smith. “The Process comes from an all-mountain lineage and the Hei Hei Trail still comes from a lighter, more cross-country lineage."




Squamish is not a bad place to ride a bike. And by "not a bad place" I really mean, "a ridiculously awesome place to ride a bike, but I'm too jealous of the place to outright admit it." According to Trailforks and local advocacy group, SORCA, there are no fewer than 218 trails lacing the mountains above town and providing riders with 155 miles worth of sheer awesome. You want mellow XC rides? Squamish is your place. You want challenging intermediate trails? Squamish is your place. You want high-pucker factor descents? Squamish is your place.

Our day's ride was centered around Diamond Head. The route included a meandering grunt up Stl’lhalem Sintl’ and Legacy Climb, then a descent down Upper Half Nelson, Recycle, Fred, Tinder, a wee bit of Deliverance, Your Mom and Pseudo-Tsuga Part 3. In short, a good afternoon spent climbing and descending technical cross-country trails. Or, at least, “intermediate XC” by BC standards, which is to say there were still plenty of roots and rocky bits to max out those 140-millimeters of suspension.

Kona Hei Hei Trail Photos by Caleb Smith

I’ve spent a good chunk of the past four months riding the Hei Hei DL—the 29er version, so I’m more than familiar with the general feel of the Fuse Independent Suspension. As with the 29er option, the Hei Hei Trail gets up grades with minimal fuss. It’s a lightweight rig and, though it doesn’t scoot up climbs with quite the same alacrity as the 29er version, you can easily pedal up most climbs with the rear shock run wide open. I’ve noticed a bit of pedal kickback when muscling up rocky trails on the 29er—something that was, if anything, a bit more noticeable on this longer-travel 27.5 model. Not a deal breaker, but one of those things that makes itself known, particularly when you’re running flat pedals.

Kona Hei Hei Trail Photos by Caleb Smith

I’d need more time to figure this bike and its limits out, but at this point I can say that I’d happily take it on most of the trails that I normally reserve for longer-travel models. On one hand, the Hei Hei Trail is lively—a bike that likes to be preloaded and popped around. On the other hand, it feels calm and centered coming into and out of dicey sections of trail. While the Hei Hei Trail doesn’t possess the same outright bomber feel of the Process 134, it’s not as far off the mark as you might suspect, given the weight savings.

Kona Hei Hei Trail Photos by Caleb Smith

How does the 27.5 Hei Hei Trail DL match up to Kona's 29er Hei Hei DL? Both bikes are capable of handling the same terrain, but the 29er feels decidedly quicker on the climbs and rolling sections. The wagon-wheeler also skips nicely over the tops of root balls and rocky sections. This 27.5 version, by contrast, feels spunkier and offers more margin for error when you misjudge a line. Some people will dig the latter. Others the former. Me? I’m more into the 29er, but I can see how someone looking for a more playful version would prefer the Hei Hei Trail. Either way, if you’re looking for a simple, lightweight and capable trail bike, the new Kona is worth checking out.

Kona Hei Hei Trail Photos by Caleb Smith


Visit the high-res gallery for more images from this article.




143 Comments

  • + 115
 Too cheap for my taste! I wish I was in the 10,000 area so that I would seriously considering it.
  • + 7
 comment gold!
  • + 1
 You get what you pay for, so obviously anything but the Supreme model is garbage... More digits = More Kom's! ????
  • - 12
flag goahead (Aug 4, 2016 at 14:04) (Below Threshold)
 $6k for Kona? IMHO, I'd rather get Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert.
  • - 5
flag wolf-amongst-lambs (Aug 4, 2016 at 14:34) (Below Threshold)
 Ha! I just saw "kona" and came straight down here
  • - 1
 @goahead: I can't buy any of it bat anyway just curious what is the difference? They both have trail intended use, both carbon frame, they even both have race face crankset. The three huge differences -
kona - fox shocks, spec - rockshox
kona - both triangles carbon, spec - rear triangle -aluminium,
kona- I haven't found ISCG 05, spec - as I saw has it.
But what is the goal for you?
  • + 44
 Boiled down framework of all Kona Bike Reviews:

1- Pricing and Sizing, etc.
2- Why Kona made the bike.
3- "Yes, it use's time-tested tech and some bikes have their weaknesses."
4- Prove their testing ground was sick.
5- "I spent loads of time on this Kona bike and..."
6A- It works. Good.
6B- Very, Very good.
7- Here are different flavor Kona bikes for different people.
8- Bike rips, check it out.
  • - 32
flag truehipster (Aug 4, 2016 at 7:23) (Below Threshold)
 Just remember That the reviewer is an old guy so the review is not going to be the same as some fast 20 year old! "I am more into the 29er but. . . . . . . "
  • + 16
 I'm sorry, but for $6k I'm not buying a bike with any type of compromised suspension design. Neg prop all you want, but Vernon didn't sound super excited about this bike, and there should be no noticeable suspension feedback on a $6k bike. It's 2016, patents have expired, you have the engineering freedom to design better kinematics.
  • + 13
 Pink bike reviews are pretty much advertorials now. Almost never say anything bad about the products and sugar coat everything they say.

I tend to look at the comments to see a more honest appraisal of the bike. $5000? how much? Bloody boost, sod off. Enve wheels? Maybe I can sell one of my children.

Much more realistic for the average buyer Razz
  • + 4
 @kudos100: I agree. As much as I love PB I don't really get into their reviews as much. There's never a side to side comparison and they really do sugar coat even the negative things as not to offend any sponsors. Sponsors love this and keep shelling out $$ to advertise on PB.

So why is it that other websites like VitalMTB can do this?
  • + 27
 @LiquidSpin, @kudos100: Could it be that there are a lot of really, really good products on the market right now? I can assure you that if something doesn't work, we mention it - I'm not going to go digging to find examples, but they definitely exist. If something sucks, you'll know about it.

As for comparisons, we try to include those in full bike reviews whenever possible, and we've started to do larger scale comparisons of product we've previously reviewed, like this: www.pinkbike.com/news/dropper-post-test-review-six-2015.html, and this: www.pinkbike.com/news/trail-knee-guards-ridden-and-rated-2016.html. There's always room for improvement, but we're certainly working hard to present balanced and unbiased reviews.

Keep in mind that what you just read is a First Ride, not a comprehensive review - that's when we get into things like durability, component spec, etc...
  • + 8
 @SlodownU: I can see how the design would turn off some buyers, even though 'flex stays' are still in use by Kona, Marin, Cannondale and a few others. As this is a lighter, slightly more xc-ish version of the Process I'm guessing Kona engineers chose the path of least resistance and didn't want to mess with pivot designs to keep it simple.

I'm not worried about the suspension feedback as all(?) 140mm bikes with 'active' designs are gonna bob while climbing with the shock in open.

I'd ride the shit out of it.
  • - 2
 @hipster I'm 16, and just bought a following. 120/130 29er and I don't consider myself slow... As much as I love kona I built my x01 Eagle+profile+sixc following for under 6k and the build here is just not keeping up. I understand kona and their choice of sp on DH and Enduro bikes but I agree the same move on the XC bikes Is confusing.
  • + 2
 @truehipster: true bearded bellend
  • + 2
 @truehipster: So only old guys like 29ers...Time to get with the times man.. Lots of sub 20somethings shredding them on my trails... Especially new school get versions!
  • - 5
flag southoftheborder (Aug 4, 2016 at 11:59) (Below Threshold)
 @mikekazimer: Anything north of 5K should feel "good". How about getting off the high horse and jumping on some working man's steed? I bet I could get any dual suspension bike fell good enough if I throw in a top-notch Kashima suspension set, carbon wheels and XTR/Eagle shifting stuff.

Test a bike most of us can afford, give us the lowdown on how the suspension behaves. Then you guys will regain your credibility.
  • + 1
 @bohns1: not the point, Vernon has already decided he is not keen on 27.5's. . . . Coming from a +50 guy I get that but for kona to have him reviewing it seams pointless.
And Siderealwall2@ you want a cookie?
  • - 5
flag southoftheborder (Aug 4, 2016 at 12:32) (Below Threshold)
 @mikekazimer: The, Niner, Fuji and Kona gravitate around the 4K mark. If that's what you consider a working man's steed, you surely get a lot for your daily duties.

Plus, let's count how many other bikes you tested above the 6K limit. I'm sure they surpass your "low end" ones by at least an order of magnitude.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: I agree Mike.. Also one of your examples was when the CB kronolog came out.. Same with the joplin way back when... Examples do exist people..
  • + 0
 @WasatchEnduro: Sorry, but path of least resistance should not be used in the same sentence as something that's supposed to be a premium product, there are so many better bikes in this price range. If your gonna charge $6k for a bike, it had better offer something unique and superior, not a single pivot bike with flex stays.
  • - 1
 @SlodownU: Valid point, if I were ever in the market for a $6k bike (yeah right) this wouldn't be on the list. But if I was in the market and found a bro deal on the base model, then maybe. I'm interested in a longer term review as this one just skimmed the surface. But yeah I'd buy a Yeti for that price.
  • + 4
 @mikekazimer: lol @ $4500 working man steed. I live in winnipeg. Winnipeg north end. I grew up in the 80s and 90s before scrap prices disappeared any traces of back alley bike parts. I built my own bikes since I was 12 with a pair of vice grips and a crescent wrench. Gutted coaster brake hubs so they would freewheel. made 5 speed derailleurs work with 7 speed cassettes... if an axle was too wide for the frame or forks, steel bends real easy.. I made road bike tubes work on BMX wheels. 4500 is what I paid for my first 5 cars. Get real man
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer: I understand this is a "First ride" article my point was for the other reviews. Sure many of today's products are good esp concerning bikes and bike technologies are concerned.

So if every product is good than that would make for reviews to be even more critical and more nit picky right? As readers and potential consumers we need to know "Why is this bike worth $$$$ yet this $$ bike has just as good as a review?"

I do realize all of the PB staff works hard and loves what they do and as much as I did knock PB for their "soft" reviews I certainly don't want to come off disrespecting the hard work you guys are doing. After all, I still visit the site on a daily. But I do REALLY enjoy the stuff going on over at VitalMTB when they do videos of them test riding the bikes.

I also really enjoy when they do reviews that pit the bikes against each other and give low to high ratings. We all may not agree on their reviews but it makes me feel like they are truly trying to give the consumers everything they need to know about said bike before they drop X amount on a bike.

Q: Will Pinkbike consider doing videos of the testers riding certain trails? Doesn't have to show 10minutes of trail riding only certain parts that PB consider valuable to the audience. Maybe we get long term review videos. For example...when this Kona has it's proper testing and it's time for review maybe show us the readers a video of the testers talking about how they felt.

sorry for the long post too Smile
  • + 10
 @truehipster: I have not, in fact, decided that i am not keen on 27.5's. Rather, having ridden both the 27.5 and the 29er iteration of the new Hei Hei model, I prefer the 29er, which I find just as fun, but also a bit quicker. I am not, nor have I ever been, the guy that gets hung up on wheel size. I'm more interested in what wheel size brings to the particular experience of a particular bike model. Some models suck in 29. Some are awesome in 29. Ditto for 27.5. So, again, having ridden both models, I personally dig the 29er. Just giving my two cents. As I noted, there are riders who will dig the 27.5 more. As always, ride them for yourself and decide for yourself.
  • + 4
 @truehipster Keep in mind this ^ is the guy from Bible of bike tests. He voices his opinion on the entire bike not the wheel.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: Find me a review where you have flat out said something sucks.........

I doubt you will find much. Even the stuff that is bad is sugar coated as per the examples you cited.

By all means protest that you write fair balance unbiased reviews, but judging by a lot of the comments the readers (and myself) don't think you do.

It's alright, we understand you can't or are afraid to bite the hand that feeds you Wink

You want to know what an interesting review looks like? Go and watch Top gear and Jeremey Clarkson. Ok it might be over the top and somewhat silly, but no sugar coating whatsoever.
  • + 1
 @kudos100: Have you considered that maybe there are lots and lots of products that have been tested and found to be shitty products, so no review was ever posted?? No need to write a scathing review that pisses off a manufacturer if they can simply say "it wasn't good enough, we are not going to post an article, sorry."
  • + 1
 @kudos100: The reviews used to be better, now they have so much sponsor money riding on this site they tread carefully.
  • + 3
 @mikekazimer: you're doing a good job man don't let these critical dweebs perturb you.
  • + 31
 I'm the only person that seems to have found the most important information in this article. Bike is running a metric trunnion mount shock. The bike shock is also Fox. Therefore from this it can be deducted and seen in the photo that metric Fox Suspension is here.
  • + 3
 Trunion mount looks way stronger than the traditional eyelet bushing
  • + 4
 Good spot.
  • + 2
 This comment needs more attention.
  • + 2
 @skidrumr: And exactly how many frames/shocks have failed at the traditional eyelet bushing?
  • + 1
 @DillonThomson24 good point, but to me only the Fox Trunnion mount is new, there have been other examples before that suggested Fox is going metric.
The question is why are they "hiding" it?
  • + 2
 @SlodownU: Just saying that some frame designs put a lot of stress on the eyelet, which is a narrow section of support, vs the trunion style which spreads the load out across two supported points. Do I have any analytical data on this shock specifically? No. But there has to be evidence of this being an improvement- you don't hear the masses clamoring for a trunion mount shock believing it makes them faster. Sometimes engineers do something right and make things better rather than catering to public opinion.

As an aside, there are failure testing charts for pneumatic actuators that prove trunion mount styles deflect less under load than eyelet styles. It's an industrial standard beyond mountain bikes.
  • + 19
 I'd shag any of the new Konas....
  • + 6
 I'd shag any Kona lol.
  • + 55
 ^don't buy a used bike from these guys
  • + 12
 @chize: Super Tacky compound.... everywhere
  • + 2
 But will it seal tyres?
  • + 2
 @chize: Best internet advice in 5 years! haha!!
  • + 1
 @duffmanth: They do have fat downtubes! Oh... yea... That's nice...
  • + 11
 I'm a fan of Kona's bikes and a fan of the company, but... sweet baby jesus. You want to play? You better bring $4199 to the table FOR STARTERS if you want to have a taste of this bike. It's just too much. I hope bike companies remember that there are a finite amount of people in the sport, and only so many can/are willing to dump $4K+ on a bike that they aren't going to earn a living on. Ouch.
  • + 42
 Which is why kona offers some of the most affordable bikes out there there precept 150 is like 2200 yeesh do you want the bike for free
  • + 11
 I just purchased a 2015 Kona Process 111 for $2800! Great bike!
  • + 28
 oh weird they make awesome hardtails too for people without the cheddar. quit your bitchin.
  • + 15
 I hear unicycles are pretty cheap
  • + 3
 that is not uncommon $ing now a days - and trust me there are plenty of people more than will to pay $4K + for a bike, sold plenty of bikes in that price range working @ LBS's - even those silly roady things with no suspension or disc brakes
  • + 5
 @LuvAZ: I just ride down the mountain on a board with a rope through the front. $7, no maintenance.
  • + 16
 @mikealice It's an expensive sport but all about choices and priorities.

Our 2 cars cost $20k combined. Our house payment is intentionally reasonable cause the Jones's can go fu$% themselves. We don't go to Disney or on cruises or even concerts. We live that way so we can buy expensive bikes (which are more fun than cheap ones) and enjoy life the way we want to.
  • + 3
 Haha, I knew it would be a shit storm for posting this. "Don't want it, don't buy it, idiot" Yeah, I know. And as others have said, Kona DOES bring some good bang for the buck bikes to the field, so this really wasn't meant as a dig on Kona in particular.
It's this sort of bogus ego thing though, this 'If you can't afford, f*ck off, because I can" attitude that let's companies charge $2200 for 'entry level' (the Precept is a turd, come off it). As it sits, for $4200 I'd certainly go with something other than this bike, but the point being it HAS TO do it all, because that is going to be the only bike I can afford. The cost of carbon production keeps dropping, yet the cost of carbon mountain bikes keeps climbing...at some point it would be nice to see the savings passed along to the customer. It's coming, but we're still a few years out on it.
  • + 1
 Gotta pay to play nowadays... Kick ass builds are going to cost ya... Its not going anywhere anytime soon...
  • + 4
 @ryan83: Amen to that! We do the exact same.. People have to make it a priority.. I drive a shittier car so I can rock an 8g bike.. Also you won't see boats, motorcycles, trailers, jet skis in my garage.. I just look at it like an investment in health insurance..
  • + 2
 @thisspock: Yes I do))))))
  • + 11
 No ISCG tabs???

Spotting this a lot on new bikes. As good as NW rings and clutch mechs, are, at high speed on rough terrain, you'll lose the chain. I've lost so much time in races with dropped chains and I now have OneUp guides on my hardtail and race bike. Minimal guide with no weight penalty, and I've never lost a chain since. A quick check here shows every pro running some kind of guide

www.pinkbike.com/news/ews-1-chile-race-bikes.html

BB mounted ones are a pain, especially with press fit BBs. Bring back ISCG tabs please!!!
  • + 3
 The process range has them, at least my 111 29er has. I presume the bigger models do also.
  • - 2
 Like it or not but this may have been the target group driven decision to not scare the crowd that for evolutional reasons hasn't yet accepted the idea of a chain device and instead gets put off by the presence of tabs, thinking, this bike will never make me finish in top 100 at X-Terra or top 200 in Trans-Alp... You know same sort of logic that makes people not want a bashring...
  • + 3
 Super-agree. some of us are hacks, & need to run a bash to prevent buying new chainrings all the time.
  • + 1
 @groghunter: difference between agree/super agree?please humour me.thanks.
  • - 1
 @groghunter: the only reason that I don't run a bash is that I love the looks of spiderless chainring. I am shameless about it. On my hardtail I run a bashring despite having ISCG tabs and a dedicated taco chain guide. In the era of narrow wide chainrings it is simple and Functional.
  • + 2
 @Mrstamper: it's more agree-erer
  • + 0
 I'll just repeat it but little louder... :-) Bring back ISCG tabs please!!!!
  • + 0
 I am surprised nobody is whining about the long stem...
  • + 7
 Looks like a Anthem . Very very nice bike .
  • - 3
 Except that Giants geometry is years behind.
  • - 3
 Funny that i get neg propped. Check it out yourself. 73 degree seat angles, 70 degree head angles...
  • + 9
 @Mattin: Would this bike not compete more against the new Giant Trance than the Anthem?
  • + 6
 @Mattin: The Anthem has a 68 degree head angle, a 73.5 SA, and while the Kona is longer, the Anthem is still quite a capable XC/Trail bike Smile .
  • + 1
 That was my first thought too. It looks like a beefed up anthem.
  • + 4
 @Mattin: Why don't you check yourself the Trance's angles also @ 140mm; tested in here a few days ago.
  • + 4
 @Mattin: funny thing is, the anthem won trail bike of the year back in 2012 and apparently now it's outdated and not any good...
  • + 2
 After trying this 5" fab before it got cool (like I found Process 134 to be the least inspiring of all the Process family), and going back to 160 for everyday riding, I am really interested in renting a proper XC fully, putting on a short stem, wide bars and a bit more knobby tyre on the front. Dropper if possible. I'd become a Strava King without a doubt Big Grin
  • + 2
 @Mattin : getting neg propped because you're flat wrong

www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/bikes/model/trance.2/26030/92812/#geometry

73.5 degree seat angle, 67 degree head angle
  • - 1
 @xeren: The original discussion was about the Anthem:
www.giant-bicycles.com/int/anthem-advanced-27.5-2-2016#geometry

He's not as wrong as you think based on that model.
  • + 1
 @toooldtodieyoung: the anthem is an XC machine, people use it for XC races, of course it has a steeper head angle. as @SonofBovril and @bikegreece said above, it compares more closely to a trance. both the hei hei and the trance are trail bikes
  • + 3
 The bike looks good but its like every other trail bike out there... it seems they just have to put there label onto the frame and throw the same parts on it as all other brands....badabing "OUR NEW WORLDCHANGING BIKE"

iam already tired of the new world bike era... downvote this comment, i dont care cause you know iam right
  • + 8
 You don't ride too many of different bikes don't you Cpt. Suspicious? Big Grin
  • + 2
 Next breath: Whats with all of these new standards? Why is the industry changing things that don't need to be changed? 26 for life brah!! Every bike looks like a session or innovation sucks? Which is it? First of all we are talking about a frame and two wheels. There is only so much you can do to notice visible change but getting out and actually riding these bikes is where you can notice the differences.
  • + 2
 The prices of these bikes have been getting ridiculous for a long time now. Kona's have usually been pretty good bang for the buck, but $6000-10000 for some of their bikes, f*ck off. Brands like Santa Cruz and Specialized are even worse, I saw a Specialized for $14000 last year at a local shop. How mountain bikes can cost as much or more than a motorcycle or car is retarded. I haven't paid full retail price for a bike in a long time and never will again. I love the local bike shows, get crazy discounts!
  • + 1
 Konas are still great bang for the buck, the entry level Process bikes and the Precept bikes are some of the best in their class and still in the 2017 line up. I think it's a mature decision to offer the complete range INCLUDING some nice carbon bikes, and even those don't compare to the S-Works stuff you're talking about in price.
  • + 6
 @thepwnstar39: I agree a lot of Konas are still a great value, the entry level Precept for $2000 or less in some cases is a good value, but any pedal bike costing as much as a car or motorcycle or anything with an engine lol, is simply retarded. The vast majority of these bikes, frames and parts, are made overseas for sweatshop labour rates probably. Even after R&D, manufacturing, shipping/distribution costs, no bike should be $10000 or just shy of. I can understand smaller bike companies where their bikes are being hand built and not mass produced being more expensive, but larger bike companies like Kona, Specialized, Giant, etc. costing $4000-10000+ is beyond comprehension.
  • + 7
 @duffmanth: but haven't you heard? There is no money to be made in bikes. They simply do it for the love of the sport! ????
The process lune is ok bang for the buck, but even then us Canucks are paying 5G for an alloy SLX build. Ouch.
  • + 4
 @CircusMaximus: I know man, US prices are high enough, but us Canucks get f*cked over huge lol. I've been looking at getting a full suspension all year, but can't find any good sales, $200 off of a $3000, score! I refuse to pay full price or anywhere near it.
  • + 1
 Easy there Duffy, suggesting that bike companies could do a better job on pricing of their products is likely to get you booed off the stage! However, I completely agree with you man--it's nutty what the going rate is on a new bike. Go back 10 years and you could get, of all things, a Yeti 575 Race (spec'd with a Fox Talas/XT/XTR and a carbon handlebar) for 2949US. Today, a person is in almost DOUBLE that on an equivalent bike from Yeti, with the ASR at 5799US or a SB5C coming in over double at 6899US. I know things have gotten much better, but can anyone argue that 3mm thicker stanchions, new valving, etc. are worth the price literally doubling in 10 years time? And we can't look at the local bike shops here, they are lucky to make 30 points on a bike most of the time.. I think you've just convinced me to shop used for my next bike, man.
  • + 6
 Eatch me whip whip now watch me hei hei!
  • + 3
 As someone who spent time on the 2016 alloy 29er Hei Hei Trail DL I'd say find a local dealer buy the alloy one throw a 140 fork up front, call your buddies and tell em you got ae extra cash for a bike road trip.
  • + 3
 Nice looking rig. I remember when kona first came around as we sold them at my old shop, the hei hei was a beautiful titanium hard tail.
  • + 2
 2.67 degrees over 17' is .800" of deflection. I would imagine the stays contribute quite a bit of stiffness to the spring rate.
  • + 2
 You would think, but now mention of the new suspension design or how it works?
  • + 2
 im 37 and i ride a process 134. uphill with only 10 speeds and im over 200pds. with no climb switch no carbon. shit works very well.
  • + 2
 Looks spot on, I thought the head angle looks kinda steep by the geo charts but the bike itself just looks dialed. I'd consider one as my next bike for sure
  • + 1
 HA should be fine. I demoed a process 134 with 68 HTA and due to the short chainstays (I guess) and whole bike design, it was insanely easy to lift the front wheel. It felt slacker for sure. CS nice and short on this one too, I'll bet it rips.
  • - 1
 Can't wrap my brain around the "engineered flex", seems like a more accurate description would be "a carefully designed slow motion failure that works just long enough for the frame warranty to not be honored". What happens if that seatstay gets a deep scratch or ding like all of these bikes see in a typical season of riding? At least with a bolt, bearing, or bushing, you see signs of failure before they happen... how do you know it's about to break if it already bends?
  • + 0
 Yeah I'd also be curious to hear from people that have long term experience with this design. I rode a 1st gen Salsa Horsethief for 2 years (~200 rides) and had zero problems with the flex stays and I'm no lightweight rider. Normal trail/am riding including technical terrain and small jumps and drops. But 2 years is one thing, 5 is another. Also that was alu not carbon so your scratch comment is interesting and relevant.
  • - 1
 Man oh man am I sick of hearing people b*tch and troll in the reviews about expensive bikes. This is a FREE publication!! Take what is given to you and be respectful of it! I am tempted to come to all of your work places, have you tell me about something then tell you how you are wrong or dumb or that you need to do it differently. FFS people!!!

Staff of Pinkbike you are doing a great job.
  • + 3
 It's nothing against the staff. Though if they did a shoot out on cheaper alternatives it would probably be greatly appreciated.
  • + 1
 That cable is gona rub on that shock stanction, bad placement of the internal cable routing. Bring back the entourage not this krud
  • + 2
 Its ka$hima, it can handle cable rub...
  • + 1
 The bike looks a little too small for you Vernon. Which size did you ride? The kid flying above you looks to be on the right bike.
  • + 7
 tiger, It's a size Large. Pretty spot on. The Hei Hei, however, does have a shorter top tube than, say, the Process 134. Reach is about the same (Hei Hei sports a longer stem). Dude in the air is on a process, but part of what might make it look weird is the basic perspective of the photo. That and Pops and I generally look like monkeys f*cking footballs when riding. So it goes.
  • + 3
 Super sexy bike! Big fan of the Kona 2017 line.
  • + 1
 New shock standard is metric and trunion mount. So long to eyelet mounted shocks.
  • + 2
 @Vernon Felton the last picture should've been you flying high Wink
  • - 1
 why go from 29 to 650b do they still do a 29 version of has that just been dropped. if it has always been a more xc orientated bike why change it from 26 to 29 and then back to 650b.
  • + 1
 Yes they still do a 29er
  • + 2
 What the hell is "pedal kickback"?
  • + 3
 Its when the rear suspension compresses and pulls hard on the top run of chain, causing the pedals to feel like they jolt or "kick" under your feet. They're actually just rotating slightly in an unexpected way.
  • + 3
 This article explains anti-squat characteristics and pedal kickback pretty well. It also has a video demonstrating how pedal kickback occurs and how the amount of kickback changes with gearing ratios.

www.ridingfeelsgood.com/suspension-linkage-kinematics-basics-anti-squat-pedal-kickback
  • + 1
 The TT seems short compared to whats been going on at Kona lately
  • + 0
 Wow oh wow does this bike look like fun! Super clean as well plus it doesn't cost 10K (cough cough Intense).
  • + 1
 CARBON PROCESS????!!!!! please leave negative comments below.
  • + 1
 I dont think its coming.
  • + 2
 redesign next year, so maybe??!
  • + 1
 People will bitch about it being more expensive than the Hei Hei
  • + 1
 is it me or that guy not going to make that jump and probably die?!
  • + 2
 THat's a hell of a gap jump. Need proper balls and a ton of speed to gap that. Smooth as butter though. However, not a jump to come up short on.....:0)
  • + 1
 yeah good point i wish they made a carbon process though
  • + 0
 68 deg- HA on a bike with 140 travel???
  • + 0
 Exactly my thoughts. Too steep. Should be around 67 so you can slack it out to 66 with a 160mm fork
  • + 0
 super nice bike wish it was a touch slacker though
  • + 2
 Kudos.. But still a beauty.. simple, clean lines!
  • + 12
 In all fairness, for the riding this bike is designed for, you don't need slacker. If your riding style requires a slacker head angle, the Process would be a better option for you.
  • + 3
 @Mattin: glad someone here understands this bikes intensions. There is a market, and a need for models like this. Smart move KONA
  • + 3
 @shmeef45: Kona came to the realization that while the Process makes sense for a lot of us in the PNW, it's more bike (and more weight) than a lot of riders elsewhere either need or want. Regardless of how much travel the Process is rocking, it's a bruiser of a bike. A bruiser I really like, but, again, more than what some people want. The Hei Hei makes sense for those riders and, frankly, is still a very capable bike.
  • + 1
 Its a cross country bike
  • + 1
 No XL?
  • + 0
 I'd say try riding the Large the new front triangles from Kona are fucking looooooong
  • + 2
 I noticed the same thing. Last year's Hei Hei Trail - a bike I own - came in an XL and in the 2017 29er models still have that bigger size. Apparently only short-legged people will buy these 27.5" Hei Hei models.
  • + 1
 Watch
  • + 1
 Is it hi-hi or hey-hey?
  • + 1
 I think its hee-hee?
  • + 0
 140mm bike with a 68 head angle, dumb
  • - 2
 Head tube angle too steep. Should be around 67 so you can slack it to 66 with a 160mm fork.
  • + 5
 Only a noob would put a 160mm fork on this bike. If that's someone's intention they should be on a Process instead. This a trail bike not an AM.
  • - 1
 A new Kona! Oh Snap!
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