Kona Launches New 2017 Models

Jul 5, 2016
by Vernon Felton  
2017 Kona Bikes

Kona has been on a tear of late with new bike releases. We've already reviewed their new Carbon Honzo and profiled the aggressive version of their Hei Hei race bike--the Hei Hei DL. Today, Kona continues the trend, rolling out several completely new models. There are some plus-sized hardtails in the mix, a Honzo-fied version of their previous fat bike, and a new 27.5-wheeled Hei Hei Trail, which rocks 140-millimeters of travel front and rear. If you were expecting completely re-designed Process models, well, no dice there, though the company has tweaked the Process formula a bit. Finally, the Operator gets an entirely new frame that's burlier than its predecessor and which rolls on 27.5 hoops.

The Changes--At a Glance
• Most models decrease slightly in price
• Operator gets 27.5 wheels and burlier frame
• Reach on Process models grows (on average) 15 millimeters
• All new, rowdier Hei Hei Trail features 140-mm of travel
• New Plus-size Honzo debuts
• There's now a Plus-size Unit for bike packing
• New Wozo model (fat bike with Honzo-esque geo)
Kona Bikes / @konaworld

2017 Kona Bikes

Operator Goes 27.5
No more 26-inch wheeled Operators. For 2017, Kona has three Operator models sporting new aluminum frames and all of them wearing 27.5-inch wheels. The bikes range in price from $3,199 (USD) for the base level Operator to $7,499 (USD)for the Supreme Operator. In other words, the entry level price for a Kona Operator drops a little more than a thousand bucks for 2017—good news for anyone who wants to race DH, but doesn’t have a swimming pool full of money sitting at home.

2017 Kona Process 2017 Kona Hei Hei Trail 2017 Kona Operator 2017 Kona Wozo 2017 Kona Honzo 2017 Kona Big Honzo

The mid-level Kona Operator DL.


Why the move to 27.5-inch wheels? I put the question to Kona's social media ninja, Caleb Smith.

“Well, it is kind of the march-of-progress thing," says Smith. "For a lot of downhillers these days, riders focused on every second on the clock, if the bike isn’t 27.5, they feel it’s a real disadvantage. The Operator is a downhill bike squarely aimed at World Cup racing. The input on the bike came from Connor [Fearon], Tegan [Molloy] and the rest of our gravity team, so that’s the direction the bike is going. We showed the bike last year in Bellingham and expected it to bring it out earlier than this, but there were some things we wanted to tweak and take further. As a result, this version is also much burlier. It’s super overbuilt....it’s just pretty cool. ”

Were you guys also concerned that some riders might be leery of continuing to buy a 26-inch version of the Operator, given that a growing number of new wheels, tires and forks out there are specifically 27.5?

“Sure, that’s part of it and that matters to some riders," says Smith. "But a lot of the changes to the Operator just came down to building the bike that our World Cup riders wanted to race.”

Kona product manager, Ian Schmitt, summed up the rationale for the Operator's changes this way. "27.5” Wheels are fast. Connor is fast. 27.5” wheels and Connor are VERY fast. We also feel that the downhill bike needs to be the pinnacle of speed. The longer reach, slacker head angle and larger wheels (compared to 26” Operator) allow the bike to go faster on more severe terrain.


2017 Kona Bikes
Kona scaled the Process line down to five models (from eight in 2016). They also added reach to the bike that already popularized the long-reach trend of late.

Process Grows Longer, Slacker
It's not as if Kona invented the long top-tube and short rear end layout. Specialized had been carrying that torch for years and Gary Fisher's entire late `90s credo (Genesis Geometry) was all about the reverse mullet. And, yes, there were frame builders doing that waaay before Gary. So, no, Kona didn't dream up the long, low and slack thing, but their Process bikes did a hell of a job of embodying it and changing the way other bike companies approached their own re-designs in recent years. Well, Kona is going a bit further for 2017 on the Proces models. On average, the bikes gain about 15 millimeters in reach and lose up to a degree in head angle. Seat angles change as well, steepening by a degree on the 153 and half a degree on the 134 and 111 models.

2017 Kona Process 2017 Kona Hei Hei Trail 2017 Kona Operator 2017 Kona Wozo 2017 Kona Honzo 2017 Kona Big Honzo
The Process 134 DL--all purpose trail slayer. As with all the Process models, the 2017 version rocks a slacker head angle, longer reach and, not surprisingly, longer wheelbase.

Okay, geekery aside, what does all this re-jiggering of the geo do to the Process' wheelbase? As you'd expect, it lengthens it by roughly an inch on each model. A 2017 size Large Process 134 features a 47.1-inch (1198-millimeter) wheelbase, whereas a Large 2016 version of the Process 134 sports a 46.1-inch (1172-millimeter) wheelbase. There are some subtle tweaks to the models as well. The Process 111, for instance, gets a longer fork in 2017 (130 millimeters of travel versus 120 millimeters for the 2016 iteration).

Kona's Schmitt had this to say about the new Process.

"We had noticed that a lot of our customers were purchasing large bikes instead of mediums, even though they were closer to a medium frame fit. We built some prototype frames that had longer reach and slacker head angles to make sure that the new longer reach wouldn’t be an issue. All of our test riders found that the longer reach and slightly slacker head angles gave the bike a roomier feel but did not make the bike feel cumbersome in tight sections. This shift is the natural progression of our bike geometry. It is also interesting to note that the current Hei Hei models have a geometry that is very close to the original Process geometry. This new geometry shift for Process helps us further define the Hei Hei as our XC Trail range and the Process as our aggressive all mountain/enduro machines."

Perhaps the biggest news is that there are three fewer Process models in 2017. For the most part, it looks like a smart culling of the herd, with less obvious replication. It's also nice to see retail price drop a bit on all the Process models. That said, the loss of the Process 167 is a drag. The 26-inch wheeled, mini park-bike has a cult-following and is undeniably cool. That said, "cult following" is also a bit of a backhanded compliment that could just as well be summarized as "We really only seem to sell this bike to riders who work at bike shops" In short, the Process 167 probably didn't set any sales records.

"The 167 left the range for this year as the sales numbers just weren’t there to keep it in the line," confirms Schmitt. "We have a lot of models and a varied range of product all the way from our Dew models to the Operator. We have to be very careful to not spread ourselves too thin with the number of models that we make and the 167 just didn’t make the cut this year."

Kind of makes you wonder, though, how Kona will go about filling that niche in the near future....

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the 2017 Process models all feature 142x12 rear ends.


2017 Kona Bikes
More Hei Hei models? Yep. The latest is a rowdier-flavored model with considerably more suspension travel.

A Rowdier, Longer-Travel Hei Hei
The sheer numbers of Hei Hei models kind of says it all--this is a bike Kona thinks makes sense for a lot of riders, particularly since they've expanded the range from purely cross country (Hei Hei Race) to aggro cross-country (Hei Hei DL) to rowdy trail bike (the new Hei Hei Trail).

Since we've already covered the Hei Hei DL, we'll focus on the three new Hei Hei Trail models. As with their shorter-travel predecessors, the Hei Hei Trails eschew the Rocker Independent Suspension design found on the Process models. Instead, Kona outfitted the Hei Hei Trail with the simpler and lighter Fuse Independent Suspension design. Fuse features a rear flex pivot rather than an actual seat or chainstay pivot. The big difference between this new Hei Hei Trail and the other Hei Hei models is tha it wears smaller 27.5-inch wheels and sports 140 millimeters of front and rear suspension--considerably more travel than the shorter the versions that debuted in 2016.

2017 Kona Process 2017 Kona Hei Hei Trail 2017 Kona Operator 2017 Kona Wozo 2017 Kona Honzo 2017 Kona Big Honzo
The top-shelf Hei Hei Trail Supreme 27.5 wears a SRAM Eagle XX1 group. It's also available, frame only.

The Hei Hei Trail's geometry is surprisingly similar to that of the Process 134. Obviously, the rear suspension designs are entirely different, the top tube is shorter on the Hei Hei and the Hei Hei Trail frame is carbon, but the actual angles are only off by about a degree and the Hei Hei sports a lower bottom bracket and shorter chainstays. What sets the two bikes apart--in terms of actual ride quality--out on the trail?

"Well, you wouldn’t race the Hei Hei Trail in the Enduro World Series," says Kona's Caleb Smith. "In some ways the Hei Hei Trail is not the perfect Northwest bike, the way the Process is, but the Hei Hei Trail is the perfect trail bike for pretty much everywhere else: It has the right amount of travel you need, with the right fork. It’s a very versatile bike and it can handle being ridden aggressively, though we’re definitely not pitching it as a bike for doing monster hucks on. Whereas you do see people doing double-duty with their Process bikes at the bike park and on the trail. This new Hei Hei Trail just isn’t as burly as the Process. The Process comes from an all-mountain lineage and the Hei Hei Trail still comes from a lighter, more cross-country lineage."

There are three Hei Hei Trail models for 2017. All three feature carbon frames. The Hei Hei Trail models all rock Boost 148 rear ends, as is the case with the five other Hei Hei models that were released in 2016.


2017 Kona Process 2017 Kona Hei Hei Trail 2017 Kona Operator 2017 Kona Wozo 2017 Kona Honzo 2017 Kona Big Honzo

Honzo Line Gains Plus-Size Versions
Kona has been steadily growing the branches on the Honzo family tree. For 2017, there'll be no fewer than seven complete Honzo models and two frame-only options. A few weeks ago saw the debut of their new, lightweight carbon Honzo. Today, Kona rolls out two more aluminum Honzos. This time around, the Honzos are wearing plus-size tires. The Big Honzo DL will sell for $2,399 (also available as a $499 frame). There's also the more affordable ($1,699) Big Honzo (shown above). Both sport WTB Scraper STP i40 wheels paired with Schwalbe Nobby Nick 27.5x2.8 tires.

2017 Kona Process 2017 Kona Hei Hei Trail 2017 Kona Operator 2017 Kona Wozo 2017 Kona Honzo 2017 Kona Big Honzo

A "Rad" Fat Bike?
And last, but not least, 2017 marks the debut of the Wozo--a cross between Kona's Honzo and their Wo fat bike. In a nutshell, the $2,399 Wozo brings some of the Honzo's long and slack geo to the fat bike world.

"It’s a more aggressive bike," explains Kona's Caleb Smith. "For starters, there's the Bluto fork, but the longer and slacker geometry also make it more trail oriented than most fat bikes, which really generally take their design cues from the touring background and have a steeper geometry that is really not that conducive to getting rad. The Wozo is definitely taking things in a different direction.”

"Wozo feels like a fat Honzo," say Schmitt. " We didn't want to just put a suspension fork on our Wo and call it the ‘trail’ version. We used the Wo frame tube set and built a new CS yoke to allow the chainstay to be as short as possible with the fat tires. We see the target customer as someone who rides a variety of terrain but wants to have a bike that still feels like a proper trail bike."

Is there a need for a radder flavor of fat bike? Having ridden precisely zero fat bike models to date, I'm the last person on earth qualified to weigh on that one, but if nothing else, it's proof that Kona continues to march to the beat of their own drum.


MENTIONS: @konaworld




287 Comments

  • + 140
 The loss of the 167 process it's not a good move.
  • + 116
 Yes it was selling so well that it threatened sales of 27.5, so an assassin from the industry came at night and put a chopped off Grizzyls head into Chris Mandels bed as a warning to stop selling 26" wheels. #26forlife #samhilllegend #hardcoredh #flatpedalscanstoprainfromfalling
  • + 13
 26'' for life Smile
  • + 118
 There's a lot of bikes like that, though - the ones you're sad to se go, but wouldn't actually have bought. Kona clearly didn't sell enough of them, so that's the end of that,
  • + 44
 When a brand cancels a model, it is usually due to it not selling (as they said with the Process 167). If it's not selling, why should they keep it around? For the 20 shop employees or super niche riders who want it, who will probably just buy a used bike anyway? Honestly, it's not worth the investment or time on Kona's part to keep it hanging on.
  • + 97
 guys, enrico clearly knows more than kona, and he says its a bad move. #trustenrico
  • - 19
flag lawnweenies1 (Jul 5, 2016 at 7:53) (Below Threshold)
 26 is dead
  • + 21
 @WAKIdesigns: Chris Mandel doesn't even work for Kona anymore....
  • + 7
 Yep, but luckily I already have one!
  • + 84
 How many people are going to whine about the loss of the 167 but don't own one or ever planned to buy one? Or probably ride 27.5 right now...
  • + 5
 @WAKIdesigns: It's Ian Schmitt now.
  • + 10
 @mackg: Yeah why would Kona kill off their best selling model? So weird.....
  • + 34
 I love how opinion of the loss of the 167 process is a sad day. If everybody who thought that bought one, they'd still be making them.
  • + 11
 @enrico650

Did you buy one?
  • - 31
flag endurocat (Jul 5, 2016 at 8:40) (Below Threshold)
 @lyophilization: At least that process 167 was more reliable than your Stinky. #theyallbreak
  • + 2
 They won't cut it off if it sells well. Even all the commeters above and below buys one. It will not justify the sustainability of the model.
  • + 10
 A company might not sell a bike because it´s not updated, that doesn´t mean they should cut it off, just find a place for it, and the process 167 is one of those bikes that in my opinion many brands should have.I would have just made in 27,5 it would´ve been the right move, such a sick concept of bike, it´s hardcore enduro, those are the ones that can really take on bikeparks and jumps, not standard enduros. It´s like the enduro evo or the intese uzzi, sick bikes. Would buy one any time. When a bike brand doesn´t seel well a bike that awesome it should ask itself why. The intense spider alu was another one sad to see go.
  • + 28
 IN THE AAAAAAAARRMS OOOOOOF THE AAAAAAANGEEEEELLSSSSS....
  • + 5
 @lawnweenies1: not as long as there is a dirt jumping/4x/dual slalom/slopestyle
  • + 12
 The 167 sits in an odd spot. Too big/heavy to be pedal friendly but too small to be a DH rig. I can understand some people like it but it isn't hard to see why it wouldn't sell, as it can only please a very tiny niche of people and the sale records seem to back me up.

Also the issue with 26" wheels (that I ride) is that most of the new rim/tires/forks aren't made in 26" so 26" bikes are kinda stuck in 2013, which is rather annoying when you own one.
  • + 5
 But... you can't hold on to an old standard if EVERYONE else leaves it behind. Jenson USA had a 167 frame sale and looking at parts to build it up I kept running into dead ends because there are so few 26" component options compared to 27.5". Not that I had the money anyways but it was a real downer that I couldn't even dream-build the bike.
  • + 6
 @bschleenbaker: in Europe you can comfortably build anything in 26", as long as you have the frame: from junk dirt jumper to top of the line carbonated Enduro bike
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: you can do it in NA too, you're just not going to get the new tire thread patterns/techs, most new forks, a tiny range of 30mm rims and the such. If you have a 26" already, you can get by but building a new one... I love 26" and I wouldn't bother honestly.
  • + 30
 @PLC07: I disagree man.

I was one of the few to buy a 167, and am completely happy with the bikes performance on the climb and descent. It climbs as well as a 153DL when set up properly. I'm not winning any races uphill - but i'm not disappointed either. And I can tell you forsure - it's a Coyote Wail better than a 153DL on the downhill Smile Grins all day long.

The problem with the 167 is that the potential buying public is scared to drop new bike money on "old" "outdated" technology. The problem most buyers face is - head in sand syndrome. Just because Jenson USA no longer stocks it, must mean it's discontinued... right? Wrong. Maxxis just released the Minion SS Enduro Bro tire in 26". And many quality manufacturers are still building 26" stuff.

Kona, like magazine editors and the buying public may also have their heads in the sand. If a bike has 5" or 7" travel, it won't ride any different uphill - if setup correctly. I'm not sure what the push for small travel bikes is... Why limit yourself to 130 or 140mm? I went from 130mm 29er to the 167mm 26er, and couldn't be happier.

Not adding 27.5" wheels to the bike, and rather canning it was likely a rushed move on Kona's behalf. Magazine hype is a big thing, and you gotta meet the deadlines for the July launch of 2017 models.
  • + 3
 Was thinking the same thing
  • + 0
 @PLC07: So you insist on 30mm rim width but refuse the physics of a slightly larger wheel? This is biggest foul of the 26 for life argument. If 26 is still fine then why not Minion tires? What's the actual problem here?
  • + 17
 Lets skip the wheel size debate for a second and jump into conventional wisdom.

The reason for the wheel size change, is to gain overall rolling diameter.
Overall rolling diameter is what allows that supposed "feel" everyone is talking about.

-With a 26x2.7 Minion DHF on my Process 167, it stands within hairs of the 27.5 x 2.4 Minion DHF on the wifes Process 153DL.
-I've swapped rear wheels on our bikes, and I fit a 27.5x2.4" tire on my 167 without any tire rub to frame.

So let me ask this... Is it wheel size that is making the difference?
Or is it ALL sales hype? The buying public is scared of possibly owning something which might become "extinct". In turn moving bike sales.
  • + 2
 @cstishenko: which brings us back to who cares? I can put a 2.5 on my 650b and it will be bigger than that... Engineer the bike around any wheel size and if it rips, I'll ride it.
  • + 10
 Just buy a 27.5 frame and stick your old 26" wheels in it
  • + 10
 @DARKSTAR63:

Who cares you ask? Apparently some care enough to completely drop models from the lineup, and some care enough to run away from 26" with their hands in the air.

You are right. If it rides well... Rip it!
I just don't see why everyone has to "run away" from something that has been an industry standard for the last 30 years.
  • + 6
 @cstishenko: Good call bro.

I have always gone along with 27.5 being hype. To us mere mortals the difference between 26 and 27.5 is negligible. 29ers are a different story - there are definitely advantages and disadvantages to 29ers.
  • + 5
 For the record i'm riding both 26" and 29". I am currently sitting on the fence wrt wheel size on a new bike but am tending towards a 140mm 29er.
  • + 1
 @lyophilization: you forgot TheDude88.
  • + 6
 I was really hoping that they would make the 167 available with interchangeable dropouts for 26 or 27.5. The frame already has clearance for 27.5 wheels so it would just need to compensate for the raised bb, this would keep all the 26 4 lyfe people happy as well as the endurbros.
  • + 1
 @cstishenko: They dropped it because it did not sell. It's not running away, it's just business.
  • + 2
 @Gvus2001: I am surprised they didn't do that given the move to longer travel enduro bikes. There are a few now pushing 180mm of travel. I do see enduro rigs getting more travel in the rear than the "default" 160mm.
  • + 3
 It's probably because mini-DH bikes / park bikes have lost popularity, pretty much eclipsed by enduro bikes. Maybe thats why Kona replaced the Entourage with the 167 in the first place, and why Transition got rid of the TR250. For the record, I love my Entourage.
  • + 3
 @TheDude88: I love 26 too
  • - 7
flag fecalmaster (Jul 5, 2016 at 14:59) (Below Threshold)
 They can launch that whole line up into the bottom of the ocean.
  • + 4
 @Ragsdog1: I love lamp
  • + 0
 @cstishenko: I'm curious what suspension set up you have on your 167. I agree with @plco7 though as far as new tech goes, sure I could buy a tread I don't want or go for a shock just because it fits but as I look for parts for my 4 year old 26" wheeled process the options continue to decline.
  • + 4
 @bschleenbaker: I have a new DB CoilCS on the back and the stock air lyrik up front. I'll either put a charger damper in the stock one so I still have a 20mm front axle or simply buy a new 180 lyrik. You can run a 26" wheel with a 27.5" fork without any issue. Your options shouldn't be limited at all.
  • + 5
 The Process 167 was the only one out of the Process line I would've considered actually owning. I was really hoping for some updates this year to make me actually consider it a viable option. For those those of us who only have one bike, but still like to get rowdy, ride the chair and/or shuttles, it was a decent "mini-DH" option. Oh well.... Frown
  • + 2
 Maybe they'll bring it back in a 27.5" next year!!! Smile
  • + 0
 @cstishenko: I measured the tire from tread on my 27.5 trail bike, 26er AM/Enduro bike, road/CX bike and front wheel of my motorcycle......and guess what? They are all within a cm of each other.

Wheel size, particularly if you're talking about anything other than 29ers has much more to do with tire profile and tread design. But the marketers and noob buying public are taking far too much notice of what is a tiny difference.
  • + 1
 @cstishenko: I ride a 26" and I ride it very much. I was looking for a heavy duty single ply tire and I had to forget about the minion SS or any Double Down Casing options. Basically anything coming out now @ maxxis isn't available in 26". Schwalbe has some decent SG options but their "2.35 but more like 2.5" tires don't fit in my frame. I had to go with a Michelin Wild Rocker 2 advanced because that's the only brand who seem to make HD tires in true 26x2.35.

I was looking for new wheels and most of the 30mm ID options aren't available in 26 and those that are often are too expensive or too heavy. Same for forks, a lot of models only come in 27.5/29" now. You could argue you can get a 27.5 fork but I'm not sure the C2A dimension would be too wonky, already riding a 160mm on a bike meant for a 150mm, I don't want to bring the front end even higher and if I get my bars lower my shifter pod mangles my top tube when I crash.

So yeah, the difference between 26" and 27.5" is so marginal that I'm not going to get a 26" "out of principle" next time I buy a bike if it means I'm locked out of any post 2013 product. It's only going to get worse. I guess frame manufacturers won their bet.

@DARKSTAR63 Not sure what you're referring to by saying I'm refusing slightly larger wheels but I'm not using minions because they don't last in the trail conditions I ride and Double Down casing isn't available for 26" so I'm never putting anything made by maxxis on my bike again.
  • - 4
flag b26-4-Life (Jul 5, 2016 at 19:27) (Below Threshold)
 26 is dead
  • + 2
 @PLC07: Check your Facts. Minion SS is available in 26x2.30"

As for DD Casing.. That is relatively new. I ride hard, and have never gone "damn, I wish I had a DD casing". DD casing i'm suspecting is primarily marketing again.
  • + 2
 @cstishenko: yeah I googled before posting and it gave me the DH version, which is 27.5" only. Its not available in DD for 26" so it doesn't matter. I broke a single ply kenda nevegal / ardent exo / butcher grid / magic mary trailstar on my last 6-7 DH rides so I think it is safe to say 600-700g tires aren't for me. So far the 1000g wild rockr is holding up, it was my last try before going dual ply on the rear.

I know some would say "yeah but single ply tires aren't made for DH" and my answer is: I'm trying to live the "1 bike dream" and so far, it is full of compromises...
  • + 1
 @PLC07: And as for wheel size? The Process 167 comes with WTB i27 Team's. 27mm internal width. That's 3 mm from 30. After a brief search it looks like ENVE and Derby offer Carbon variants, along with a few other aluminum manufacturers. No options??? More options than I can afford to buy.
  • - 1
 @cstishenko: There are some, but Enve, are you serious? I'm not putting 3k$ on a wheelset, at that point I'm gonna add an extra 2k$ and get a full 650b bike instead. I'm not saying they don't exist but most wheel press release these days have no 26" options. You can still ride the stuff that used to be made but you aren't getting most of the latest tech (kinda like the turbines who came out last week). So far my stans are holding up but they're 25mm ID iirc.
  • - 2
 @PLC07: isnt that life though... think the dude with the lambo can throw 5 bikes and 4 dudes in his car and hit the dirt?

If you are tearing up 700g tires, man up and pedal a HighrollerII uphill. It still rolls well, but will hold up to your weight/ riding style better.
  • + 3
 @PLC07: stans just brought out a 29mm id 26 rim and spank released the spike race 33 (29.5 id) in 26.... there's actually quite a lot of good 26 stuff out right now (minus frames, those are more limited).
  • - 1
 @patrick2cents: Thanks for the heads up, that must be new, when I ordered one last fall I don't think these were available, only the 25mm flow ex.
  • + 0
 If all you of complaining about it would have actually bought a NEW 26" Process last year than Kona would have kept it in the lineup.

Sales=product placement.

Gotta say thought, the lack of a carbon front triangle Process is pretty disappointing... it's not like people aren't voting with their wallets when it comes to carbon as a valid choice.
  • + 1
 @stiingya: I was thinking about building one up next month actually, was torn between a 167 and 2 others but don't want a bike that has been discontinued now.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: dont you mean a snapped headtube? In the bed....
  • + 2
 glad there is no 26" stuff, kinda force me to stop buying bike stuff now and buy a car.
  • + 1
 @briceps: Is that so?
Where is he now?
  • + 1
 @mackg: I do and I regret it !!!
  • + 2
 @gapos999: SRAM in Colorado Springs. I ran into him at a shuttle spot in Colorado and he and his lady were both on fresh Transition Patrols.
  • + 1
 @PLC07: I only used it as an example of the many tires available in 26. Schwalbe makes them too. Never will use Maxxis again because you picked one not suitable for your conditions ? You sound ridiculous. The point is, people are upset that the latest and greatest technology isn't available in 26, when that's an over-exaggerated issue. Plenty of viable options for the hold-outs.
  • + 1
 @cstishenko: How much clearance do we have with a 27.5x2.4" tire on the 167? Do you think you can post some pix on your profile? Thanks in advance!
  • + 1
 @AlexS1: Very little room at full compression. No pics, I'll try and take some when I get a sec.
However there is very little room at full compression with 26" wheels too...
  • + 2
 @fartymarty: I agree, and think that once Fox Live Valve goes live (if it's as good as RC says) it will happen even faster. Relatively lightweight long-travel enduro bikes w/ suspension tuned for descending, letting the electronically controlled dampers take care of everything else. Enduro started at trail bike, then all mountain and it will probably keep going further in that direction. Everybody is going to have to buy a new carbon 170+mm racer in a year or two to keep up, and mini DH bikes will surge in popularity again (wearing the enduro badge, of course).
  • + 1
 @DARKSTAR63: I broke an exo, which is supposed to be their toughest tires short of DD. I checked with other local riders on the forums and they also had poor luck with the single ply maxxis exo. What would be ridiculous would be keeping on buying them if they're not up for the terrain. Seeing that I broke 4 similar tires from 4 different brands within a very short time span, I think it is safe to say that I need something heavier than the regular 600-700g trail tires. I was ready to give a shot to the maxxis DD tires but they aren't available in 26" so yeah, no more maxxis for me, their current selection just doesn't for what I need. As for schwalbe, I would have liked to try a super gravity version but their 2.35" are more like 2.5" knob to knob and the fit is way too tight on my rear triangle, it rubs on my seatstays when I corner hard as soon as my wheel isn't perfectly true. The 2.35 trailstar magic mary I have up front does fine, as the fork has more clearance. My michelin wild rockr 2 advanced 26x2.35 does a great job on the back for now so problem solved.
  • + 1
 @PLC07: yea the lack of DD in 26" is a bummer. One of the reasons I went for 275 was the new tyres like Slaughter or Maxxis DD. By the time I was ordering it, there was no Minion SS in 26".
  • + 2
 If you go for a ride with the wrong sized rubbers it could be a disaster.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: The Slaughter is available in 26 btw.
  • + 0
 @patrick2cents: it wasn't when I was ordering the bike. All I care about right now is upcoming Slaughter in 2.6" and hopefully Maxxis will take the finger out of their arse and make 2.5" Minion SS
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Yeah I am actually super excited for the Slaughter in 2.6 as well, though they've only teased the one photo so far (that I know of). I wish they would bring it out in 26, but I know that's a pipe dream.
  • + 1
 @patrick2cents: 2.6 would be nice. Im currently on a set of Dirt Wizards which are a sniff over 2.8 as such a little heavy. I was running some 2.4 Ibex which were a little small but nice and light so 2.6 would be the ideal sweet spot between size and weight. I wish Maxxis would make a Minion DHF in 2.6
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: 2.7 DHF is available…. But you have to be okay w/1000+ gram DH casings.
  • + 1
 @cstishenko: not here www.maxxis.co.uk/catalog/tyre-302-minion-dhf and not in 29. Hence my DIrt Wizards as they are the closest thing but weigh 1300g each.
  • + 2
 @bschleenbaker: I have it on good authority (very hard-riding friend of mine rides this exact bike) that you can build up a 167 with 27.5 wheels. He says when he Gs out HARD it rubs a tiny bit on the seat tube but otherwise it's fine.
  • + 1
 I think a lot of people would flipon how well a lot of rides that can fit 650 in their frames ride, at least for amateur use. Ibis hdr same story, trek scratch!! and that´s a nice ridde with 27,5 I have one. And yeah withouth doubt the rise in popularity of mini dh "enduro bikes" will rise. And don´t you get tired of turning every conversation into a tyre conversation hahaha it´s all I seem to read about
  • + 1
 @bmck: a few layers of gorilla tape and you're good
  • + 1
 Thoughts on adding a 170mm Lyrik to the front of the 153 DL?
  • + 1
 @graeme187: just go for it. You can always lower it to 160
  • + 1
 @cstishenko: I picked the 153 over the 167, cause I flip my bikes to update every couple of years. The 26-27.5 transition has caught some of my friends who do the same.
  • + 2
 @fartymarty: just bought a process 153 dl, running my 26" fork and wheel set.
  • + 1
 @brncr6: I bet it still goes great.

I measured my mates 275 (HR2) v my 26 (DHF) and theres an inch difference. 1/2" on the radius... ie bugger all difference.
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: running 26" wtb 2.35 front and back and the BB sits a 1/2 inch lower then if it was 27.5
About 15+ miles on my usual trials and no pedal strikes, bike is a beast compared to my ht.
  • + 1
 @brncr6: just had a look at your photo, it looks bad ass with the 26" wheels.
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: 26x2.8 was just released in the minions, if anyone is looking to try big rubber.

www.maxxis.com/catalog/tire-540-135-minion-dhf-plus
  • + 1
 @cstishenko: just like the old 2.75" x 26 that were awesome
  • + 1
 @cstishenko: I want some of those tires but the big yellow letters is kind of a turn off.
  • + 2
 A week ago I saw the Minion for the Fat Bike and I was shocked and stunned...
  • + 3
 @brncr6: You need to Gwin them with a Sharpie (or the US equivalent).
  • + 2
 @cstishenko: They've been announced for a bit... but still not available for sale. I've been eagerly awaiting the ability to purchase one.
  • + 2
 @patrick2cents: I spoke with Maxxis today. They are being manufactured right now, and available to ship soon they say.

I'm more than eager to try a set. Suggested internal rim width is 35mm and up.

Check out this thread:
www.pinkbike.com/forum/listcomments/?threadid=196384
  • + 1
 @cstishenko: Wow that's awesome! I've already built a new wheelset for this project and have just been waiting on tires...
  • + 1
 @patrick2cents: chime in on the thread. what wheels are you building? www.pinkbike.com/forum/listcomments/?threadid=196384
  • + 33
 Aww snap... Pinkbike loves new Konas.
  • - 107
flag therage43 (Jul 5, 2016 at 8:54) (Below Threshold)
 Every time I see a PB article on Kona I just want to reply with "Oh Snap!" Kona must pay a pretty penny to have such amazing articles written for such crappy bikes...
  • - 12
flag therage43 (Jul 7, 2016 at 7:28) (Below Threshold)
 @GetREkTm8: Or Kona has a lot of employees that neg prop anything bad said about their sh!tty brand... Pretty standard marketing tactic for a large company.
  • + 17
 Solid looking builds. Relatively affordable prices for the process line. It appears Kona is focusing the bulk of their line-up at real riders. There are obviously still a few dentist builds, but you can't blame them for having those. Bravo, Kona. The 134dl and 111 will be on my short list for next year.
  • + 5
 Demo'd the 111 for a month before I pulled the trigger, couldn't be happier! It's quite honestly the most fun mountain bike I've ever ridden, right squarely along-side the Smuggler, which as you know is almost identical geo. I'm considering a 140mm fork because I have that option, but 130mm seems intuitively ideal, making the new release a welcome one! This update is going to make for an even more awesome ride!
  • + 1
 @Pastafarion: The air spring shaft for the Pike is just under $40. I ended up pushing mine up to 140 - thought I wanted to go 130, the shop had the shaft to go 140 so I tried that, and liked it. I thought it was going to be too light in the front on the uphills, but it turned out to be just fine.
  • + 17
 @WAKIdesigns:

'134 is useless imho. 153 is a very capable bike in all respects, one of the best in it's class. You have to have some minority complex going on, to go for 134.'

Waki, chill out. How many times have you told the Internet about your revelatory experience of getting rid of your '125mm blur trc'/ getting your long slack 160mm big boy bike and how stupid, pointless or useless you think shorter travel bikes are now. Or brought up this rediculous minority complex thing. Different strokes for different folks man. Just accept that not only do tons of people ride differently than you but also have different tastes as to how they like their bikes to handle and feel on the terrain they ride. Relax, Cut the toxic bs, and just enjoy the riding.
  • + 20
 Dang... too bad about the 167.
  • + 20
 "Most models decrease slightly in price"
WOW. Other manufacturers list!
  • + 13
 Pretty surprised to not see the Process 153 make the transition to carbon. Glad they aren't going to boost rear ends though.
  • + 3
 Ive given up on waiting for a carbon 153. Good move not to go boost, if anything go super boost 157(pivot)
  • + 2
 My local Kona shop tells me they've been trying to get a carbon Process for the last two years, but can't get the layup right. I'm not sure why they'd be able to make it work with their other frames, but not the Process.
  • + 13
 "Oh, and in case you were wondering, the 2017 Process models all feature 142x12 rear ends."

Thanks Kona. You are the best!
  • + 9
 So the riders are focused of time?
I'am so wrong… 'cause I am still focused to have fun and a good time!
And the 2015 26" Operator is my perfect ride for that.
So sick of all the racing stuff!
  • + 6
 Exactly I don't understand that neither! Why always thinking about how fast a bike is going to be. Riding bike is supposed to be fun and having good time with your buddies ! Just find a bike you fell good on it and go shred the trails. My 167 is definitely not a good climber but this is just so much fun on the downhill.
I've tried a lot of 27.5" and still thinking most of them are less fun to ride...
  • + 4
 I wonder what their freeriders think of this move! Would think trick-masters like Agassiz would prefer to stick to the carbon 26er.
  • + 3
 Almost all the guys from the Fest Series ride 26", I think Andrew has his own Tues prototype in 26" because the Tues doesn't exist anymore in 26 for public sale. I'm sure Aggy is gonna keep riding some 26" Operator and it doesn't make sense for me to stop the production of 26" if even their pro riders want to ride 26" bikes ...
  • + 7
 Hm. Kinda weird to have such similar bikes in the lineup (Hei Hei Trail vs Process 134). Not sure I really get the rationale, unless maybe they thought they were losing sales due to the weight of the Process? Kinda wish they had elaborated more on what separates the two models, and what the advantages are for the new Hei Hei.
  • + 10
 Go ride the two bikes and you will notice the difference. Both can get ultra roudy but there is a far more bottomless feel to the process. The trail's climbing abilities deffinitly are better but the trail is gonna be more for the guy who does love to descend just isn't always up for smashing down at full tilt.

Having the option of extra travel when descending but not giving up climbing capabilities is a huge thing for a lot of people in mountain biking so the trail fits that. If you like pointing you bike straight down and "given'r" well then snag a process.
  • + 6
 @brockfisher05: yeah that makes sense, I guess I didn't realize the Process was a drag on the uphills. Hei Hei trail would honestly be a pretty good bike for a guy like me (climbs fast, bottle mount, fun downhill), I was just surprised to see such similar bikes in the lineup, and it seems kinda pricey for a "fun but not raceable/rowdy" bike. Seems like it would make more sense in aluminum than carbon... knocks almost $1k off the price based on the current Hei Hei DL frame.

Have you ridden the new models?
  • + 6
 @bkm303: honestly the only process thats a bit of a dog up hill is the 153... but I mean its an full on enduro rig and if you have lockout it isn't "terrible"

The rest of the process lineup climbs pretty damn efficiently for what they are and the 111 is deffinitly no slouch.... buuut the new Hei Hei is just that much better, like more than I expected.

I spent about 6 hours on the hei Hei trail up on the north shore so I got a pretty decent day on it. Rode greens to techy double blacks and I really only felt I was pushing the bike a little to far when on extremley steep sections or bigger hitting drops. It doesn't mash down a section as well as my 111 but with a little more body English the bike can still do it.

And yeah.... I'd just stick with the alloy model. That fuse rear traingle I'm sure is crazy stiff on the carbon but it already felt really good in an alloy version. The alloy was already a decently light bike that didn't make me ever feel carbon was gonna be so much better.
  • + 5
 @brockfisher05: yeah Kona does Aluminum really well tbh. I have an 2010 (2011?) Hei Hei 100 and that frame is awesomely light and stiff enough for sure. I've definitely seen/ridden heavier carbon bikes.

Well the article makes it sound like they're only offering the 140mm Hei Hei in carbon ("There are three Hei Hei Trail models for 2017....All three feature carbon frames."), which was why I was surprised. It'll be a hell of a nice deal if they do offer an Al version. I'd be all over that.

Good to hear some beta from someone who's actually ridden one. I'm hoping to get a rowdy-ish bike that pedals and climbs well next year if I can get it by the appropriations committee (wife). An alloy Hei Hei trail would def be on the list.
  • - 13
flag WAKIdesigns (Jul 5, 2016 at 10:01) (Below Threshold)
 134 is useless imho. 153 is a very capable bike in all respects, one of the best in it's class. You have to have some minority complex going on, to go for 134.
  • + 12
 @WAKIdesigns: Meh.. depends on where you live. For 98% of the riders nearly 160mm of travel is way too much. the 134 allows a rider to get a solid in the middle amount of travel on 27.5 wheels and not feel like they have to much bike between their legs for the majority of what they ride. if you really love the design, feel and look of the process range but aren't keen on 29ers or want a full blown enduro rig... get a 134. shit... maybe you are a smaller rider or maybe even a girl and this bike fits and suits you really well. It may be useless for you but for a lot of people I doubt it is all that useless.

Sure if you could only have one bike yeah I could see the 153 being the smarter choice being it is a very well rounded bike. For me having a DH bike already it took me a long while to decide between the 111 and the 134. I went with the 111 because it was going to be cheaper since I could go with just the frame set being as I already had all the parts on my Honzo. I'm the only one on a short travel 29er in my crew but I don't seem to be ever at the back of the pack.. so for me it's hard to think that the 27.5 134 would be "useless"

and whats with this Minority complex statement? would it have not made more sense to just break down with a little more detail why you feel the 134 is somewhat lost in the Kona lineup? I remember you making a comment about getting to be at a Kona demo day a while back so why not just lets us know why you think this way instead of just making other feels bad by some stupid ass comment about a bike they may be looking at.
  • - 13
flag WAKIdesigns (Jul 5, 2016 at 10:42) (Below Threshold)
 @brockfisher05: if you would ever care, I used to say what you just said 2 years ago when I owned 125 Blur TRc. When I had 160 Nomad I used to say that 98% of DH bike riders would be better off on 160 bikes. Well no... If you truly have smooth and mellow trails then you will stay with 134 but if not, you will remember this conversation Wink
  • + 8
 @WAKIdesigns: you are right... I dont give a shit to be honest.... half the time I skim passed your comments as they never are anywhere close to my feelings about anything.... for some reason your "minority complex" troll lure looked tasty apparently and I took a bite and you caught me.
  • - 6
flag truehipster (Jul 5, 2016 at 11:29) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns: brockfisher05 is a Kona fanboy (dealer/worker?) and you hurt his feelings.
  • + 2
 @truehipster: nah just fanboy... I am pretty guilty of picking a brand for just about anything I do and never leaving them. At times it's probably not a good thing....

didn't really hurt my feeling/feelings just rustled my feathers really good. or maybe he just stepped on my toes or whatever Idiom you prefer.
  • + 3
 @brockfisher05: he just twizzled your nipples abit,that's alltup
  • + 0
 @Earthmotherfu: bahaha that's a new one for me haha
  • - 4
flag jrocksdh (Jul 5, 2016 at 13:49) (Below Threshold)
 @bkm303: re: k9na does Al really well...no, that would be trek/giant=light weight hydroformed
  • + 1
 @jrocksdh: ok.... Kona uses hydroforming and mechanical forming too. You don't get all the weird tube shapes we see nowadays without it.

The Kona 'race light' alloy frames are up there with Giant Aluxx for mtb, IMO.

Now the Giant Aluxx SLR road frames.... definitely in a class of their own from what I've ridden.
  • + 5
 Beware, this post might be too long for some. Feel free to not read. Just don't come moaning afterwards if you did.

@WAKIdesigns: There are different reasons to favor short rear travel bikes (or hardtails) over longer travel.

1. A too forgiving bike takes away some challenges. And by forgiving I do not only mean long travel but also big wheels, slack head angle and long reach. A low top tube and short stem are always going to be fun, I'll leave that out of the discussion. Of course if your local riding spots are very challenging by nature a very forgiving bike still leaves enough to enjoy. In fact, it will allow you go faster and find new challenges in that territory whereas a short travel bike will simply leave you struggling at slow speed. But if you just have some roots and smaller rocks to play with, it can actually be fun to be bucked about a little and find your challenges there. Rather than straightlining all over it and then moaning the trails are boring. I think you need just enough forgiveness to keeps the fun in. Too forgiving and it would kill all the fun, too little and it is all going to end too soon. The ideal recipe is going to be different for everyone and everywhere.

2. Shorter travel allows manufacturers to design the bike lighter, even if they're going to be ridden over the same terrain at the same pace as the bigger bikes. This mostly goes for the forks as longer forks generate larger stresses in the head tube area, but of course shorter forks match less (or no) rear wheel travel. As an example, Orange has a six inch travel bike called the Five. They recently sensed the demand for a five inch travel bike called the Four. This allowed them to use thinner material hence build a lighter bike. And lighter isn't just for climbing, a lighter bike is simply quicker to throw about as well. I actually believe that if they eventually release a four inch travel bike called Three it could be good fun as well in the right places. Of course it has to end somewhere. The one inch travel bike called Zero might not justify the use of an (expensive) rear shock.

3. Longer travel relates to more sag. Of course it is a skills thing, but less sag (or a hardtail) allows you to use subtle moves to make or break traction in a corner, do small hops etc. Sure it can be done on a longer travel bike as well but it is always going to feel more crisp on a shorter one.

So sure everyone might get along with a 160mm F/R travel bike just fine but some will find more joy in a shorter travel bike that suits their skills and terrain they're riding. Kona caters for those different people, which is nice.
  • + 3
 @vinay: I started doing some focused skills training with Ryan Leech and recently with Lee McCormack as well (I even took skills clinics with Alex from LLB), I finally got deep into analyzing where do I suck compared to fastest guys in town, on Strava, and I must super honestly say that in my stupid opinion... bike doesn't matter much. Pick what you are comfortable on, because you can or you can't do something, bike will not do pretty much anything for you. Yes I can put NNic/RRon combo and experience getting loose with not much speed, theoretically polish some cornering skills, but I am not going to fool myself: Three weeks ago I bought a Minion DHF, and for the first time in my life, it was the one with a soft compound. and I just freaking love it. I cannot express how much I love that tyre. So both of us can present rational arguments for each kind of bike but I will never ever again say that this and that makes you a better or worse rider, at least as long as basics of cockpit and suspension setup are covered.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: i heard Ryan leech sucksSalute
  • + 1
 Good for you Big Grin
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I'll stick to just Ryan Leech for now. James Wilson also got me some courses along with his pedals (when I preordered them) so I've got enough to work on for now. I don't qualify my riding against others. Or to be more exact, yes I do care how smooth they can corner or tackle obstacles, but I don't care about the numbers. Yes I do clock myself (just with the stopwatch) on 1-3 minute loops but I don't even compare these times. It is just that the start beep paces me, makes me try to go fast rather than just ride along. So it wouldn't satisfy me if I'd go faster just because I got "faster" gear. It isn't about that for me.

I've got two mountainbikes. One is a steel DMR hardtail and that's the one I ride most. It is probably "nervous", "twitchy" and "cramped" by modern standards. The other one is a Cannondale Prophet fully (140mm rear travel) with either a 160mm or 140mm travel fork up front. I need to service it but I always end up riding the DMR instead of taking the time to service the C'dale. Obviously it allows me to go faster on rough terrain so much so that it feels like cheating. I could hit a corner with holes and bumps without properly compensating for them and still come out fine. The DMR would spit me out if I'd ride like that. Same on climbs. I could just power over slippery roots and make it whereas the hardtail definitely requires some more skill. Sure there are corners where bluntly hitting them with the Cannondale isn't going to end well and there are climbs where you do need the proper technique to make it over the obstacles. But my point is that the Cannondale solves stuff for me that the DMR doesn't. And as one of my main goals is to improve my skills, I like to ride a bike that doesn't completely covers my weaknesses. I need the feedback. Of course it goes the other way as well. My first MTB I've been riding for a long while only had an hydraulic disc brake and suspension up front, V-brakes and no suspension in the rear. So I ended up only controlling the front end and letting the rear end fly all over the place. When I got the Cannondale and especially in the Alps, this kind of riding allowed the rear end to decompress when I least needed it. I really had to learn to use the rear brake as this compresses the rear suspension.

I'm doing the baseline balance course now. I'd love to be able to gracefully work my way across uphill obstacles the way he does, that's a goal. Then I need to ride a bike that doesn't let me get away with poor technique. Once I've got it down, I can always reach for the fully and a more tacky rear tyre if the weather goes foul or the obstacles become bigger. But it is summer now, the roots are dry and reasonably grippy. I really need to ride the hardtail with some not too grippy 26" tyres to get some feedback on how far I can push things. And my fully has 140mm rear wheel travel and 26" wheels. Imagine I'd run bigger wheels, longer travel and longer reach. Climbing would simply become more about strength and fitness (if the bike would become heavier), not skill. That said, these modern bikes are probably lighter as well Wink .
  • + 1
 @vinay: I ride hardtail on flat and on pumptrack, and I do it because it's the best tool for that purpose. Then I apply it on FS in the woods Big Grin
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: I'm not going to argue with that. I'll only add that there is some stupid good fun to be had when you don't pick the best tool for the purpose. It is not going to make you fastest, it isn't going to be easy either. It may not even look pretty. But it is good for grins.
  • + 1
 I've rode 140mm bikes around my area before and tbh it's just excessive. I did find more joy in the 100mm rigs. Even the Spark 27.5's 120mm felt a bit much, most of the time when I rode it I had it in lesser travel mode which was quite nice, then opened it up on rough stuff if I wanted.
  • + 1
 @zephxiii: yeah I'm always surprised when people don't get the point of shorter travel bikes.... If your trails/terrain don't really lend themselves to going mach speeds through tech (flat, short ups and downs, buffed out, whatever), then a big bike just makes the trails simple and boring.

Plus, some of the new shorter travel bikes are getting good enough that if you do go away for a weekend somewhere gnarly you can get away with it and still have a great time. I'd rather keep my local flat & chunky spots interesting on a 111 than buy a 153 for the few times a year when I drive somewhere steep to ride.
  • + 0
 @bkm303: my trails have chunky stuff on them but they are slow. Longest DH run is 30sec. I still find 160 bike to be the tool.
  • + 2
 There is no real problem if people are riding bikes that are not commonly considered fit for the purpose (unless they destroy the trails). The only issue is that/if people don't accept what others are riding.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: just curious.... why? What makes it "best" (whatever that means) for flat and slow trails? We have a lot of rock and chunk here but 150mm just kinda floats right over a lot of it.
  • + 2
 @bkm303: got a lot of crack and coke around my way also.
  • + 2
 @Mrstamper: sounds like some quality urban DH
  • + 1
 @bkm303: took a while to sniff out but some great licks Smile
  • + 2
 @bkm303 - that is my personal choice, I can ride everything on a HT with 100mm fork too. I love 160 because when chatter begins, I stand on a platform allowing me to look where I want to go, where I want to lift and touch down, where as on 120 bike I am just hanging on, rattling around. Then 160 bike allows me to prolong the sine wave of staying light and heavy over the bike, it's easier to put pressure into a corner. I am tired of being forced to be precise on 120 bike, and instead of looking where I want to go, I have to focus on what is coming under my wheels. I have a hardtail for that. I am more active on a 160 bike, I can focus on various aspects of riding technique, instead of hoping I won't get bounced by some stupid rock. Yes you can ride trails here on 120 bike as fast as 160, maybe even faster, considering how much pedalling we have, but you have to bloody nail it to centimeters or things go south rather quickly... 160 bike allows me to apply pressureor set up my body position in a deliberate manner by taking the edge of certain bumps. It just suits me frequency Big Grin Finally when I ride into a rockgarden I don't slow down that much. There are some places here where you can't jump over the roots, you have to ride into them heavy, and both my Blur TRc and Kona 111 feel like I just dropped an anchor, when I ride in there, where 160 bike plows through with a bit of help of supple feet. Perfect conditions for 120 PLUS bike.
  • + 7
 Lots of well thought out updates (esp. angles in the 134 Process), price DECREASES and overall a great line-up...
But couldn't you have fit bottle mounts inside the Process frames, at least the 134s???
I usually ride with a pack, but it's nice to have the option.
  • + 10
 Thank you Kona for not going boost.
  • + 7
 I'm more upset about the impending demise of the threaded bottom bracket then I am 26 wheels, I will always own a 26 dirt jumper. But why why do you have to ruin the only part of the bike that was nearly maintenance free!!
  • + 8
 I'm keeping my 167... I love it and I don't think I'll get ride of it anytime soon. I wouldn't be surprised if one day the 167 or something similar makes a come back.
  • + 4
 Or maybe a 26" full suspension slopestyle bike would be sweet.

I loved the old Kona Bass
  • + 4
 Agreed, out of all my fancy carbon/27.5" bikes I owned, I've had my 167 longer than anything. Don't see it being replaced anytime soon.
ep1.pinkbike.org/p0pb13669193/p0pb13669193.jpg
  • + 3
 @FindDigRideRepeat: looks sick! Mechanic buddy had one as a demo for a while and I think he cried a little when he gave it back.
  • + 1
 @FindDigRideRepeat: word. I've had a few different new whips in the last few years - my 167 def. Isnt going anywhere. Best riding bike ive owned in years
  • + 1
 @cstishenko: Agreed! I really think my skills have gotten a lot better in terms of whipping, speed control, handling with the 167. Got to bring it to the bike park next time.
  • + 5
 I imagine everyone will be excited that they can now have a plus sized unit- not just bike-packers

Love Kona bikes, and their sense of humor - I test rode an alloy hei hei trail recently and was blown away by how fast and capable that bike was. The rear end was not as plush as the process bikes, but it was very supportive. It totally redefined my concept of what an XC bike could be.

I wonder if they'll keep the ti honzo in the lineup? - or make the raijin a bit longer with boost and room for plus sized rubber?
Will the Big Honzo fit 29" wheels too, and did they change the bottom bracket height to suit the bigger rubber?

It's cool to see the WTB carbon rims on a 6k carbon trail bike. I think Giant is the only other company with carbon hoops at that price, and they are house brand.
  • + 5
 I really hope the Honzo Ti sticks around... from what I could tell, they sold out pretty quickly for this first year, so why put an end to it?
  • + 1
 The B+ unit seemed like a no brainer and I've been kinda waiting to see this released. I'm confident I'll replace my existing UNIT with one.
  • + 1
 @sb666: They did make a 2nd batch- I just got mine a few weeks ago !! I'm not sure if they have all sizes left in stock though.
  • + 8
 Disappointed about the 167... This is the best bike I ever have! Just so fun to ride!
  • + 6
 No metric shocks and no boost on the process line? Mhmmm I would'nt be surprised if Kona release a completely new platform in a year from now, assuming that all brand new 2017 models are sporting these standards
  • + 7
 Any news on the explosif? When will the cromo frames be back in stock?
  • + 4
 I know components are expensive, but Im surprized you buy an Operator, and an Operator DL and still be a couple hundred bucks under the cost of the Supreme. I bet they sell a shit ton of the DLs.
  • + 2
 So I bought a medium frame 153 2 years ago and wondered if the S would fit better. I was able to test out a S and M at a Kona demo and felt like I could ride both but liked the roominess of the 153. Wonder if 14mm changes all that. Either way, I still like the fun geo and appreciate it in aluminum for my clutzy a$$.
  • + 2
 I think I can predict the future here. Longer and slacker. Oh, and a steeper seat tube angle.

When is it going to stop? When will our "trail" bikes have 62 deg. HA?

Is it because our trails are getting so buffed out, that we have so much more speed, and we need DH geometry?

Or is it because the bike industry is going to reach a tipping point and start going the other way with "shorter and steeper" geo for better handling?
  • + 0
 my magic moto-crystal ball says HA will probably stabilize in the 63-67 deg area, depending on application. Also, I think fork offset will start to decrease a little in the future (increase in trail) and tire size will stabilize around 2.6" (wild speculation on my part, but fun to think about).
  • + 1
 Geo metron
  • + 4
 Kona just had some catching up to do, aside from the now defunct 167 their range was shorter and steeper than other proven bikes, so that was addressed in 2017.

I'm not sure what you mean by "because our trails are getting so buffed out", because I ride nothing but rocky technical trails and love my low, long, and slack bike. I ride the same trails a lot faster than I used to, and I need more aggressive dh oriented geometry. It has nothing to do with the trails and everything to do with me, I would assume this is the case for most people.
  • + 1
 @Albatrosse: I'm referring to these new IMBA flow type trails, which there are none near me. I too ride mostly technical rocky trails with roots galore. We have a lot of trails that you can't really go any faster because it's tight and twisty singletrack. The DH geo doesn't really shine there.

I'm all for the modern geo to a point. It just seems like the bike industry is inching (milli-meter'ing?) their way to a tipping point. Then we will hear about the new, tighter handling geo.

It's happening with hardtails already. For a while, the biggest bike improvements were based on having more suspension travel.

Now we're being sold on the idea that you need no travel at all!
  • + 1
 Oh, and I'm not slamming Kona at all. Every single new bike is longer and lower and slacker.
  • + 3
 I just got my first long and slack trail bike and for me it seems, that just like with wheel sizes the "playfulness" argument wears no pants. Josh Bryceland, Troy Brosnan can throw their DH bikes around better than you can a bmx or dirt jump bike. You either can play on the bike or you can't, having a 26" bike with tight geo won't make you a slopestyle legend. If you can't pick a 150mm 29er into the air and whip it, you are simply A-too slow and B-you suck at jumping.
  • + 9
 @WAKIdesigns: need video evidence to confirm that you can whip a 150mm 29er
  • + 1
 @Endurahbrah: Ah cool, if you don't have consistent downhill then I understand wanting a steeper bike. Here the trails don't have "flow" because its all tight singletrack with rocks and roots in the forest, but you can still pin it and find your own flow by jumping and linking lines together, and my bike (meta am v4) really comes to life once I get the speed up.
  • + 0
 @hamncheez: youtube Evil Wrecknoning. hmmm
  • + 2
 @cstishenko: I meant the man Waki himself.
  • + 2
 @hamncheez: I didn't say I can. But I can manual a fat bike and wheelie a CX bike Big Grin
  • + 6
 My 167 cried when I told her that her family is now dead. Frown
  • + 3
 Looks like my 2014 153 will get another new bearing kit as well as my 2016 111. Then for 2017, I'll end up with a High Tower. I was so hoping for a carbon 130/140ish Process 29er Frown
  • + 5
 Soooo, just bought a 2016 26" operator. hows my re sale gonna be on that haha
  • + 4
 Same as before
  • + 6
 @DARKSTAR63: shit. Just like all used bikes.
  • + 3
 Never look back! Just enjoy the ride!
  • + 2
 All you blokes be talking about this all mountain / XC bullsh*t. I was concerned that Kona was so late to the 27.5 downhill game. As a matter of fact, as a lifetime Kona downhill guy, when I needed a new DH bike this year, and of course I wasn't going to purchase an "old news" 26 incher I actually moved to a different company. I am so happy with my Gambler 720 on 27.5's. RIP 26 and good riddance!

Best Regards,
Ho-Lee-Chit
  • + 5
 bike companies who are in touch with real mtb'ers
1. Transition
2. Kona

it's a short list Razz
  • + 0
 I concur (I am little bias though, own three Trannies :-D)
  • + 0
 The new Giant bikes look pretty close to the mark too
  • + 0
 @graeme187: like the Reign Advanced.
  • + 4
 Find it a nice looking bike, but wonder what the weight is of that burly alloy Operator. Also wonder whether a carbon version is in the works or whether they stick to alloy.
  • + 2
 Got to check out one of the first ones that arrived here. It weighs about the same as the carbon model maybe just a tad heavier. It's a solid in the middle weight balance and when you hop on it you can tell it was built strictly for racing. It's freaking long and low.
  • + 3
 @brockfisher05: Anyone know the geo changes to the operator? XL size? I really liked my carbon operator, but replaced it with the 167 since it was longer and lower.
  • + 2
 @FindDigRideRepeat: deffinitly longer. I hopped on a 167 XL and was pretty sure I could get used to it. Jumped on XL operator and felt way to far forward. I'm 6'1

I'm sure it will be all up on their site soon enough.
  • + 2
 @brockfisher05: They only make the 167 and the old carbon operator in size large.
  • + 0
 @FindDigRideRepeat: sorry I meant L on the process 167 which is longer reach than my current Large 111. And I'm talking about the new Operator, the new one that I was granted permission to put around a parking lot was an XL frame.

Never rode the carbon operator I have a 2013 operator in large but never got around to the carbon. But yeah the new XL feels miles longer than my 2013
  • + 1
 @FindDigRideRepeat: The 2015 27.5 Operator that was out for only a short while before it got pulled, had a reach of 485mm in XL (with 1277mm wheelbase and 629mm stack), so pretty huge! Got it from my 'comparison spreadsheet' :-)
  • + 2
 The 111 going from 120 to 130 makes a lot of sense. I and everyone else I know rocking a 111 is running a140 pike and swears by it. 130 will be a good balance for most riders. I'm interested in the longer reach, might be worth waiting till next year and swapping to a new size Large and see if that helps with my lanky build. I'll admit I got a little excited seeing the 134, I figured of the whole process line that this would be the first one to go Carbon... but hey, lower prices are just as nice in my books. If you are on the fence about the new trail do yourself a favour and get your local Kona dealer to see if they can snag a demo cause.... damn... what a fun bike.
  • + 3
 My guess is that there's more to come. The Process bikes shown above have pretty utilitarian builds, so I would wager another product launch is coming to cover the upper end of the market. I had also heard rumours of a full Process redesign. The models above appear to be tweaks of the current configuration. The fact that they have 142x12 and not Boost is telling. Let's see what comes out.
  • + 6
 No more Precept 200?
  • + 2
 I was wondering the same thing, I rode one of these at Bike Park Ireland last week and it was an absolute hoot! Would be a real shame to lose the budget DH option.
  • + 2
 @gkeele: The new Operator costs about the same
  • + 2
 I thought the same thing as a Precept 200 owner, but then I looked at the base level operator and realized it had better spec at the same price. Seems like a good move to me.
  • + 1
 Looks like it might just be renamed the Stinky 26-

www.konaworld.com/stinky_26.cfm

when I first checked out the new bikes it wasn't listed, then the next day it was, now it seems to be gone again but the page is still there. Weird...
  • + 1
 @gtrguy: Very strange. Especially beacause it's listed in only small and medium.
Wonder if it's only available in certain regions?
  • + 5
 But what is Aggy going to ride now?
  • + 7
 Had a lot of respect for bike companies that had a 26 model, more so for kona for having two! But........
  • + 4
 Isnt it obvious? The Wozo Foshozo.
  • + 2
 Congrats to Kona for getting the HA right on the Process, a change of tune for them. Brings it right where it should be, and steepening the seat tube is another welcome change. Well done.
  • + 2
 I hope they have better colors on the process this time around. 2016's were not good looking. all black would fit it just right!
  • + 3
 Really beautiful bikes. A pity we don't see these ones down here in Brazil, for sale.
  • + 2
 have you seen the ones they use to import to here? nothing wrong with the bikes, it is just that they import the ones anyone wants to buy. Last year during the Shimano Fest at the Jockey Club- São Paulo, I tried to talk to the importer about the models and why they were importing "those "ones instead of the new models we use to see on internet and he didn't even know what I was talking about. The guys who import Kona bikes don't know and don't even try to get informed about the models avaiable in the Kona's catalog. Similar thing happens with other brands too. They complain there is no market in Brazil for these bikes but they don't even try to bring it here. We have to make "magic" to be able to import what we want. What is good, it gives more trouble but at least we are not victms of their overpriced criminal profits.
  • + 2
 @cfern: sad but true.
  • + 3
 If the Honzo plus can also fit 29 inch wheels, that will be my next bike Smile
  • + 2
 Hmmm, now that the Hei Hei 29 has even dropped $300 in price, it will become very interesting to consider selling my current mtb and buy the new Hei Hei.
  • + 4
 Time has come for Kona to switch to chain stay pivots. Just do that.
  • + 1
 Horst link. . . . .
  • + 1
 @MX298: Otherwise known as.
  • + 5
 Well this is exciting.
  • + 3
 Maybe that means I can find a 167 new for cheap?

Oh wait.... I have a Balance. :-)
  • + 1
 Max tire on Big Honzo? 3.25 possible? Is the Wozo a fat bike rear hub and crankset? I think a lot of people are still curious if the titanium Honzo or even the aluminum model can fit a 29x2.5 tire.
  • + 3
 Are the Process still press fit BB? And why why why no carbon Process?
  • + 1
 Not only that but with all the nice looking 30mm cranks it seems like they would be going away from BB92. I hope the new T47 standard catches on, I am not normally big on standards but T47 looks like best of both worlds.
  • + 3
 You had me at decrease in price
  • + 0
 Bummer there is no carbon process and they didnt take advantage of the fsr patent expiring. Hopefully at least they lighten the process up. It was too much of a pig for me but I do totally dig the geo for sure
  • + 2
 No word of a weight reduction for the process bikes, so I guess they are still heffers.......................
  • + 18
 Yeah, if you're a pu**y.
  • + 1
 @FindDigRideRepeat:

Guessing you don't ride uphill much then.
  • + 3
 @kudos100: 3600ft ascending in one day on my 33lb 167. Man up
  • + 3
 @FindDigRideRepeat:

Doesn't count if you use a chairlift or shuttle Wink
  • + 1
 @kudos100: 2016 got a new seat tube, chainstay and gusset dropping a bunch of weight. How light do you expect a aluminum frame to be. Just over 7lbs for a frame, shock, and axle isn't really that bad dude!
  • + 1
 @FindDigRideRepeat: did close to 2000m one race with my 167 , the oval up front helps a lot with the climbing .
  • + 1
 I was seriously considering a 167....and went with a 153 and am now saving up for a DH bike. The 167 is rad,but is a compromise.
  • + 2
 134dl is the perfect trail bike for the spec and dollar. love the process frames.
  • + 4
 Great looking bikes.
  • + 4
 No 26 option?! Bummer.
  • + 5
 Why would they release a 26" model in their 2017 lineup? It's a defunct wheel size.
  • + 2
 Becouse they need ways to make more money from us with 27.5 wheels
  • + 13
 @anatol: People clamored for 26, Kona made them, people didn't buy them. All the folks who are demanding 26 product aren't buying product at all, they still riding their old bikes.
  • + 5
 Most of the folk complaining about a lack of 26" Konas likely have zero intention of buying a 26" Kona in the future. I'd hazard a guess that most are lamenting over the demise of 26 with rose tinted specs, and the vast majority will STILL buy a 650b over a 26 if given a choice with their next bike.
  • + 3
 @coliander: True 26 for life = I'll keep mine for as long as I can and from then on just buy old used 26ers everyone is getting rid of to buy new 27.5. Buy a new 26 today and you're behind the times and will have a tough time selling off your 26er when you finally walk into 2017 and beyond.
  • + 6
 @neimbc: what if my new 26" has more advanced geo than most 27.5" bikes? Who's outdated then?
  • + 4
 @FindDigRideRepeat: I think the takeaway here is nobody really cares. Not enough people actively seeking out 26 models. If my new bike is 27.5 but I like 26? Shoulder shrug, wtf cares. It's only a little bigger and prob better for most things unless you are Brandon Semenuk.
  • + 1
 @FindDigRideRepeat: The manufacturer.
  • + 1
 @coliander: Exactly. Did a single person in this comment section whos lamenting the demise of 26 in Konas lineup actually buy one in the last two years, especially near full MSRP?
  • + 4
 @DARKSTAR63: I agree that it doesn't really matter, just as wheel size doesn't. It's sad to see it gone as a badass super long/slack/low park bike, the wheel size is irrelevant. I've owned all 3 wheel sizes, but cant imagine replacing my 167 with anything because it's a fantastic niche bike that's perfect for me, not because it's 26".
  • + 1
 @FindDigRideRepeat: 26WURX
  • + 0
 Kona should go back to the Hawaii style paint jobs they used to have, The old logo looked like the brand was having fun, Now they look like Trek paint and logos..Even Giant look better.
  • + 1
 Hey Kona guys, did you asked Aggy for his permission to change his bike to bigger wheels!!? Wink
  • + 1
 Why Process no boost when they boosted Hei Hei 29?

Could be cool to have it.
  • + 1
 I wish every bike company would have a model of each bike with 26 inch wheels
  • + 2
 Good changes to the 2017, full rework for next year boys and girls!
  • + 1
 I CAN NOW BUY A MEDIUM! so glad they fixed this problem! cant wait to get the 2017 process!!
  • + 2
 A 29er DH bike would be faster than a 27.5 one
  • + 3
 In certain conditions
  • + 3
 @650boss: like a straight line......
  • + 2
 looks like Im about sell my unit and get the new Unit plus Smile
  • + 1
 @Dan278: Oh man, I really hope that it's not boost frame, cause I could switch over my bits easily.
  • + 1
 Longer reach? Pretty wild, must be getn into mondraker territory now(havnt compared yet)
  • + 2
 BOLD move Kona, lets see how it plays out.
  • - 1
 I feel sorry for the folks that are supposed to sell these bikes. Stay strong Kona, let's catch up again this time next year.
  • + 1
 Great to see the Operator move to 650B!
  • + 1
 2017 already! I'm still stuck in too late
  • + 1
 Thoughts on adding a 170mm Lyrik to the front of the 153 DL?
  • + 0
 Giant Reign affordable awesome.
  • - 1
 If only 167 was a little cheaper I would buy one. To bad Kona in Poland is priced to high this year...
  • + 0
 no offense to kona but the new dh does not look like its worth 4000....
  • + 0
 Where si the 167 Process?????
  • + 0
 Still no bottle cage on the process...
  • + 3
 There is indeed no room for a bottle cage inside the front triangle (only under the downtube). That's what allows them to make it so low and that, to me, is the joy in a bike like this. I'm sure that it shouldn't be too hard to find a bike (HeiHei or from another company) that sacrifices the compact front triangle in favor of spot to place a bottle. So there are bikes for everyone these days. Nice, isn't it?
  • - 2
 I'm with you on that brother..it really chaps my ass not to see a bottle cage.
  • + 1
 My 153 has braze ons. I have a water bottle on it now. Did they eliminate them for 2017?
  • + 1
 @vinay: pretty sure a bottle would fit at the bottom on the triangle if they changed the cable routing...
  • + 1
 @warehouse: still has braze ons on the underside of downtube, but cages get wrecked here ime - the fabric cageless bottle thing seems to work ok tho...
  • + 1
 @Funkhouser: I've been riding with a water bottle for a few months and it's fine.
  • - 2
 My local shop has already had the Operator DL for a year, or at least it was advertised on their website.
  • - 3
 Snap. Crackle. Pop.
  • - 2
 I was about to downvote until I realized i cracked two kona frames
  • - 4
flag ZMC888 (Jul 5, 2016 at 18:22) (Below Threshold)
 It's good to recycle old soda and beer cans, not sure if I trust that as a material for making a bicycle frame from.
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.089725
Mobile Version of Website