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Kona Previews New Process X Alloy & Carbon 153

Jul 17, 2023
by Mike Kazimer  

It's been a few years since we've seen Kona release a new bike – the Process X and the aluminum Process 153 were both pre-pandemic addition's to the brand's lineup, and things have been pretty quiet since then as far as new products go. On the business side, the sale of the company in January 2022 to Kent Outdoors shook things up, and the most recent disruption was a round of internal layoffs, the closing of the Kona Bike Shop in Bellingham, Washington, and a push for an increased focus on online sales.

All of those hurdles aside, there are two new bikes on the way – an aluminum Process X and a carbon Process 153. The Process X will share the same long and slack gravity-oriented geometry as the carbon model (a large has a 490mm reach and a 63.5-degree head angle), but with 440mm chainstays and a universal derailleur hanger instead of the 435 or 450mm chainstay length options found on the carbon version. No word on the rear travel amount, but I'd imagine it's in the neighborhood of 160mm.

The bike is mixed wheel compatible thanks to a flip chip on the seatstays. The DH version comes stock in the mixed wheeled configuration with a dual crown fork, and the single crown version rolls on dual 29” wheels.

That's one beefy looking seattube.

If this is the final spec, props to Kona for pairing a Shimano XT shifter with an SLX derailleur and a Deore cassette - that's a recipe for an effective and long-lasting drivetrain.
Flip chips on the seatstays preserve the geometry when switching rear wheel sizes.

The upcoming carbon Process 153.

The carbon 153 is said to share similar geometry to its aluminum counterpart, which has a 64.5-degree head angle, 435mm chainstays, and a reach of 480mm for a size large. The carbon version gains mixed-wheel compatibility via flip chips on the seatstays. It also has internal cable routing (the aluminum version is fully external, much to Henry Quinney's dismay), additional mounting bolts under the top tube for storing a tool or tube, and plenty of down tube protection.

The Process X alloy is slated to be released late this summer, although there's no word yet on pricing for either model, and the carbon Process 153's availability still hasn't been finalized.

Author Info:
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Member since Feb 1, 2009
1,762 articles

  • 105 0
 Have a real soft spot for Kona (owned a few over the years - remember Peaty riding DH on a rigid one!!) but for a while they have been pretty terrible value for nothing much different than is available. Hope they can get it together again.
  • 42 23
 + they look like generic Chinese frames nowadays.
  • 13 8
 Are they still using pressfit bb’s???
  • 14 25
flag moroj82 (Jul 17, 2023 at 9:14) (Below Threshold)
 @Padded: that front triangle is from 2009–absolutely hideous.
  • 29 2
 I always considered buying a Kona but I never bought one because the specs always seemed terrible for the price. I feel the same about Santa Cruz bikes, but at least their frames maintain a modern geo and design.
  • 11 0
 My first real mountain bike was a Kona Process 153, so I hear you there.

The value really hasn't been great lately. I was helping a friend shop for a new bike, and the Process 134 I found for 40% off, still wasn't as compelling as some other bikes at much lower percentages off (15-25%), plus some weird component specs.

Honestly the best thing about the announcement of the alloy Process X, is its dual crown compatibility, and potential for a great deal on a frame only in a year or two.

Although I am bummed about the loss of the chainstay length flipchip. I'm a fan of long stays, but I know not everyone else is, and I liked how the Process X actually had meaningfully different lengths. 440mm isn't too bad as a one length option, but the loss of the adjustment is the worst part imo.
  • 2 4
 @Padded: carbon frame looks nice. Aluminum looks disgusting
  • 12 1
 To bad they fired their legit staff, took their bikes out of bike shops and are now direct to consumer.
  • 7 1
 @Padded: And by that, you mean the Chinese frames look like Kona. Don't disservice IP by insinuating the copying party was the originator of the design.
  • 2 0
This guy gets it
  • 1 1
 @nickfranko: Kona bikes didn't look like generic Chinese frames back in the days. I owned 2 Konas and loved them.
  • 3 0
 I also had a soft spot for Kona but will no longer buy one in Australia after getting screwed over with their warranty. Lifetime warranty for US/EU/Canada, in Aus it's a measly three years (in small fine print). This was for a Kona Sutra (essentially a steel touring bike where the tube split down the center). In other words, the majority of carbon DH race bikes sold in Aus has more warranty cover than a steel 'bombproof touring bike. from Kona.
  • 2 0
 @lennskii: Which tube split, out of curiosity?
  • 2 0
 @barp The TT, a cm or so after the weld at the ST/TT junction.
  • 2 0
 Same, I used to long over a kona during the stinky days. I built up a cowan hardtrail trail bike that I rode the piss out of til I grew out of it. Now my private jake will be one of my forever bikes as the gravel bike (and the last Kona I will ever buy) in the stable along with my Cannondale R900 roadie.
  • 1 0
 @lennskii: Wow, that's a freaky one. I've seen a lot of broken frames, but nothing quite like that.
  • 2 0
 @barp: Certainly is freaky (to be split along the grain). Figured Kona recognise this unusual defect and honour a warranty. Nope, the warranty was 12-months out of the 3 year period and the best they could do was offer a discount on an existing model (which was on sale for more or less what the discount they offered).
  • 54 1
 Fully external routing?

Love that
  • 25 2
 I hope this is a trend emerging (given the Vitus Mythique had it too).
I'm bloody fed up with messing around with internal routing whenever I'm spannering.
  • 16 1
 Seriously, so much easier for working on the bike at home. Just make it look clean and they did.
  • 9 34
flag adminofthegapers (Jul 17, 2023 at 12:31) (Below Threshold)
 @haroman666: please no, internal looks so much better…less you’re a SRAM wireless fanboy. I don’t need a bike to look like a 90’s era tv
  • 4 1
 @adminofthegapers: Your bike shop must be happy...
  • 3 3
 @Roost66: do it all myself my man
  • 40 4
 Kona sold out. I had several before and loved them but won't buy another one. Would rather my money go to mom and pop, not private equity.
  • 8 0
 They closed the store in B ham too?? Yeah, I was just mentioning on a story from last week that Kona seemed 'off' these days--and I say that as a person who has owned 4 now, and still have a Honzo as my hardtail. Real bummer man!
  • 38 1
 I have a feeling the Honzo ESD will be the last vestige of the old Kona.
  • 36 4
 With Kona now being owned by Kent sports.... And let's be real a big need for a lineup shakeup a few new things to get excited about, the choice to continue with a classic single main pivot design and not move to Horst link with that Patent now being expired I'd kinda a miss step when it comes to getting people to wanna come see what's up. I mean shit, buy a privateer and support a rad company if you wanna good ol' classic mountain bike thata ready to shred.... There's lots of companies now instead of just Kona for those purists. I think many of us have a little tiny spot in our heart for Kona but ever since they let the Process lineup get stale and what killed.off the DH bike and what not... It's been a tough go keeping that tiny soft sport for them. - MAKE KONA GREAT AGAIN
  • 12 2
 While I agree it's time to reinvent themselves, I think there are pros and cons to every suspension design, the horst link included. I don't feel the horst link in general is superior to a single pivot design, it's simply about managing the design to give the charictaristics you want. Look at the previous gen commencal frames... All single pivots. You also have Norco, forbidden, and Saracen just to name a few. I'd also throw Orange on the list, but now were just comparing apples to apples. But yes, I rode konas in the early 2000's and they were brilliant for the Era... the problem is as you have pointed out... that's kinda where they stayed.
  • 13 0
 Not against innovation to avoid getting stale, but what do they need a Horst link for?
  • 2 0
 @TheR: Exaxtly! Horst link is mostly just marketing. The two pillars of suspension design is to hit the right leverage ratio and anti squat. Both is completley doable with linkage driven single pivots.
Anti rise, at least on low pivot bikes, has very little effect on actual preformance.
  • 4 0
 @malca: I wouldn't fully agree with that statement. Lack of antirise can unsettle the chassis, and give the bike a "pitching" effect. This is especially an issue under braking forces. Yes you can offset the front suspension by increasing progressivity, but that also starts to present its own issues. I think the key is to strike a balance between all of these reactions. There is no objectively "Ideal design" there's simply the subjective ideal compromise.
  • 7 0
 FWIW the latest 153 absolutely shreds, at least in full coil form. The rear might not be quite as active as a Horst link or split pivot under braking, but mine is almost capable as a Park Slayer I rode in the past in the same terrain (also miles better than my old 134). And cornering is sublime. Not to say there aren’t more capable choices, or more features I’d prefer on a bike, there definitely are, but trust me, it’s far from the slouch people make it out to be.
  • 4 0
 @malca: I do not know if the Horst link is mostly marketing, but I think the Beamer link works better than the FSR link I had on my Enduro. There’s no bobbing around on climbs, and it plows through rock — pretty cushy. Don’t get me wrong, a Horst link is fine. I’m not one of those guys who is tied to a suspension patent, but there’s not a whole lot I can gripe about with the Beamer suspension on my 153.
  • 32 1
 Woof... As a lifelong Kona fan this is a lukewarm re-entry for the brand at best.
  • 11 0
 what does “woof” mean?
  • 26 1
 @moroj82: It means, “that damn mailman is a threat to the whole family! I’m sounding the alarm!” — my dog, probably.
  • 25 0
 @moroj82: Ugly. Just trying to channel the 1990 cinematic hit holiday classic 'Home Alone'
  • 13 0
 @Cooper227: theyre what the french call les incompétents
  • 10 0
 Buzz, your Kona.... Woof
  • 6 0
 @Cooper227: ironically meaning the exact opposite of Rik Mayall using it in Blackadder when confronted with an attractive female.
  • 22 0
 We miss you Kona
  • 22 3
 Coming to a Dick’s Sporting goods near you…
  • 6 5
 Honest question, but is that a bad thing? If the bikes are still good and they are cheaper and available at dicks to a wider audience, isn't that a good thing?
  • 55 2
 @FMHUM: yes, it’s bad. They won’t be good, they will be poorly made, and will only bear the once good four letter word. Kona lost its soul when they sold, and most recently lost their legitimacy when closing and laying off the majority of their employees.
Former Kona Employee
  • 2 0
 @matthoff: Let me ask you this since you have insider knowledge. If they hadn’t sold, would they have just gone out of business? Cause that’s what it looks like to me. They haven’t made any updates to any of their models other than the paint in like three years.
  • 16 1
 @TheR: Beats me. I left on my own terms which will be 3 years ago this August , but have still been very much in contact with so many of my former co-workers and friends who were most recently canned. I am fortunate to call Bellingham, WA my home and its a pretty small town if your a mountain biker industry or not. The recent moves made by the previous owners don't seem like they are saving anything but themselves. I would be surprised if the brand is around at all in the next 5-10 years at all. Gone just like Raleigh etc...Breaks my heart, but healing is easy when you have Spur to giddy up on.
  • 6 0
 @matthoff: sorry man, I feel ya. They were a*sholes to me about warrantying my carbon process 153 when I had a frame crack. everyone at my shop (long time Kona dealer) told me the company had changed drastically. it sucks, PE ruins everything.
  • 9 0
 @matthoff: One of the highlights of my time running a bike shop was the annual trip to Bellingham for the Kona dealer show, close to ten years ago now. Hard to imagine it's the same company after hearing about all the layoffs, the good vibes there ran deep. DP was my sales rep and always seemed to have my best interest in mind, not just pushing me to buy more bikes. Always felt like a small company with a big influence on the industry.

  • 2 2
 @matthoff: and the giddy up wont sell out!!
  • 5 1
 @matthoff: I don't think many people realize how drastic the layoffs were last month, I only worked for a place that had a dealer relationship with kona but it sounds like just about everybody who wasn't accounting or upper management got the boot. This article kind of glossed over that. Also if you look at walmarts new Ozark trail bike frame it bears a striking resemblance to the current kona lava dome frame, maybe it's coincidence, maybe that's the start of Kent getting that money.
  • 3 0
 @matjtom90: Yeah, never easy, I heard Santa Cruz laid off 49 employees recently.
  • 3 0
 @matthoff: that’s bummer news. Kona was always a cool brand, and it stinks to see them heading down this path. Seen it too many times with good brands: Mongoose (yes, they were once really cool BMX bikes), Diamond Back, Titus, etc…

@scurvy and SC laid off the founder, that usually never goes all that well. See again, Titus.
  • 2 2
 @TheR: Ugh, they were blowing it for the last 5 years before they sold. Nothing was changing and quality control was atrocious for a while there.. Add the art failures (from the crappy graphics to the seemingly random paintjobs) and the brand was quite visibly falling off. The Satori reboot was the last "Kona" thing that they did. ESD was just following trends, and that bike handled like crap.
  • 1 0
 @Waylonwaylonwaylon: Are you coming in with insider knowledge? That’s not a challenge — just trying to understand your point of view. I love my Process 153, which was designed a little beyond that 5 year timeframe you describe. I thought the ESD looked cool, but I’ve never been in the market for that kind of hardtail.

But beyond that, a casual observer could see the hits and misses. Like those horrible brakes they put on the new process or the weird paint jobs on some models.
  • 5 0
 @TheR: The ESD handles quite well. No idea what dude is on about. Also paint job is fantastic on my model year (sparkly deep purple).

The Honzo and Process lines were always good, but Kona really struggles to justify their boutique pricing.
  • 1 1
 @TheRamma: I agree. The pricing on some of these are the biggest thing in my head. Seems like I could buy a frame and hand pick a better performance spec for the price. There’s always something that seems a little “off” with the specs.
  • 2 2
 @matjtom90: This is a bit of windbaggery if I've ever seen it. It was a half dozen people. Some sales staff, a couple of admins and that's it. People like you need to keep your yaps shut because you're not helping the people who were affected.

Also, there is no "getting that money" with Walmart. They are bottom trawlers and the margins are a race to zero. When you grow up to be a big boy you'll appreciate what it's like to actually know what you're talking about and be able to back it up vs flapping your mouth.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: specs were never good, e. g. Headset bearings were loose Ball Version on many models. I had an abra cadabra which was Sold as their super innovative high end bike in 2010ish, and it also had those crappy bearings. but frames were often available at Discounts and I built up many konas from the frame. cannot complain about a Single one of them. my latest Addition is also a sprkly purple honzo ESD. I haven't been able to put a lot of miles on it yet. So far it handles pretty similarly to the chromag doctahawk,which is an amazing bike. cant fault the ESD in my view...
  • 1 0
 @TheR: No, that's all casual observer stuff. Insider knowledge would just be knowing of a lot of friends and Kona customers with QC issues, including two bikes I bought that had to be repaired before I could use them. I'm just recalling that they literally posted a video about their new QC person in about 2019 and she had clearly hardly ridden a bike in her life (can't remember the name though and can't find the video - I would have taken it down too).
  • 12 0
 The best part about the update is fixing the derailleur hanger. The old hanger design was so bad whenever you took off the wheel the whole hanger fell off and it was difficult to get back on. Most of the time its a 2 person job to put the wheel on
  • 2 0
 I have a 2021 process x and I have considered epoxying in the derailleur hanger and flip chip in place. It's nearly impossible to get it back together on a stand, and I typically just take the bike off the stand and flip it upside down on the ground and it is fairly easy to reinstall.
  • 1 0
 JE-SUS! Trying to wrap my head around this but cannot compute. What a design flaw (?).
  • 18 3
 Kona still around?
  • 23 1
 They're getting Anchor Brewed by Ohioans with zero flow.
  • 2 0
 @nowthatsdoomage: You could have just said Ohioans.
  • 10 0
 Nice that they’re bringing back the carbon 153. I love my 2019 Process. Probably the best bike I’ve ever ridden — just a lot of fun and an easy bike to trust. That said, hopefully Kona can address the quality and value of its current builds. They hang a lot of junk on a great frame and sell it for a little too much.
  • 11 1
 I see a lot of comments.. and I can blindly recognize all of the people have not ridden recently a Kona Process... those bikes are on point.. they ride flawless over any trails and.. man.. they are f.. ing efficient bikes for what they have always done.. Mountain Bikes.. cheers!
  • 3 0
 Amen to that
  • 2 0
  • 9 1
 Absolutely love that but just sell me the frame. Don’t waste my time and money with 75kg cassettes that I’ll just have to replace out of the box and go through the ball ache of selling or just living in my parts bin forever. Just sell me the frame.
  • 22 15
 The pink bike comment section is getting stale. Yes kona might be not be on the absolute cutting edge of “future bike” tech. But they are still one of the most playful bikes out there. And most of y’all can’t even come close to using them to their full potential. Get a grip, stop bitching and go ride your bike.
  • 4 0
 If you buy it for me I’ll ride it to my hearts content, then flip it back to ya
  • 6 0
 Having owned the newest 134, a 153, and a 111 process, I really have a soft spot for Kona. Playful, poppy, and just plain fun. My Bronson feels incredibly dead and lifeless in comparison. I wish Kona could get the price down 10-15% (a huge ask), and I'd have an easier time trying to convince people.
  • 2 1
 @Vikingdude: well it's a bronson, soo
  • 2 0
 Are there any other companies as inactive as Kona, design-wise as well as market presence?? I think the "stale" comments are pretty on point.
  • 7 0
 Too late on the Process X alloy if you ask me. It was a bike people were talking about when it came out but carbon only + high price kept em away. Now everyone’s just on a Spire or Patrol with zero reason to try the Process X.
  • 10 4
 One persons opinion, but I would choose the Process X over either Transition in a heart beat.

I’ve ridden a 153 V2.1, which I liked quite a bit, and both a Patrol and Scout in the version just previous to now, which were bland at best and uninspired and pretty un-fun at worst.

I know they’ve updated the kinematics on the new Transitions, but the old ones were so far from ideal for me it would take a lot to come back.

I am however planning on how to fund the new Process X. So we are out here.
  • 2 0
 @dungeonbeast: the kinematic on the new Transitions are in a different league than the previous ones, but if you still don’t like it you can throw on a Cascade link without voiding your lifetime warranty Wink
  • 8 1
 This is an awful press release

that picture of the carbon 153 is just dire

a lot of the info: models, prices, spec list (and better pictures) are already online elsewhere

theres a few other new models coming too
RRP are still high - similar to Transition

these bikes will have been designed, developed, factory sourced before Kent Outdoors buyout

if the quality of this press release is anything to go by theres a worrying future for Kona
  • 10 0
 Better get Joe Murray back.
  • 1 0
 They let Chris Mandell go to Sram, and that was the end of innovation for Kona. It's been a circle jerk since.
  • 6 0
 long time Kona fan

the Kent outdoors buyout & layoffs don't fill me with hope

i have a Honzo DL which is an unbelievably good bike (bought frame added z2s/slx build)

the full lineup has been out on the web for a while if u know where to look

current process bikes are very good but poor vfm at retail price

both carbon 153 & X have flip chips and frame storage mounts under the top tube as well as bottle mounts and you can see from the internal ports theyre not headset routed -that all sounds great to me
  • 9 3
 Some funny contradictions up in here:

"Kona sold out (to PE/Kent)". vs many other bike companies up and down the supply chain having cash flow issues and some declaring bankruptcy. The reasons for the Kona sale aren't public, but having deep pockets to ride out the mess the industry is in should mean Kona lives on well to fight another day. The direct to consumer thing is not something I think wise, but the industry (and all of your purchasing trends) tell them that is the way to go. If you want Kona and other bike Co's to sell at LBS's - BUY YOUR BIKES AT LBS's.

"Kona bikes are too expensive" vs "they laid off staff - that's bad!". Reducing their costs should help lower prices. If their cost structure was delivering poor value, there's only one way to fix that. Kona staff are generally super rad, but business is business. Almost all other bike Co's have laid of staff too - including SC severing a pile of heads near the start of the pandemic/bike boom. Sales at all time high?! Time to profit!! (says Pon's CEO & BoD)

"single pivot is lame ; frame design looks old". That is definitely the criteria one should use to buy a bike. How it looks and how trendy the sus design is. Go get your high pivot trend bike and we'll see you in a few years with the various VPP's and 12 bar designs that were trendy 10 years ago. There's no magic sus design. There is fairly consistent geo now and most companies are falling in line with tweaks for certain types of riding.

Long time Kona fan here. But I stopped riding one for the dead decade(ish) from 2012 to 2020 or so. They were producing bikes that were meh to ride and didn't offer good value. My last one was a 2011 Coilair supreme with the Magic Link. Super interesting...but a gong show to maintain.

Today however - my main whip is a G2 P134. Single pivot, poor part spec vs value/price AND the most fun bike I've ever ridden. And I've gone through a bunch in the interim to compare against including a Giant Trance that delivered amazing value...and a boring ride. And the Kona is bomb proof - just did the frame bearings after two years and the bearings were shot, but the design is so burly and solid that the frame is good to go like new again. Ask a Santa Cruz owner if new bearings fixes their forever creaking frame...not to pick on SC, but if you want to talk about poor value...

Trust me - Kona has it dialed at the moment. My fear is they don't lean in to what the are doing right and stay the course to try and go for volume. They've never sold millions of bikes and I hope they never try to.
  • 4 1
 "Trust me - Kona has it dialed at the moment"

They are far from dialed in. One look at their layoffs, delays, website and overall product line is all it takes to see they are on the way out the door.

Too little too late Kona.
  • 4 0
 @ATXZJ: your points may stand up to scrutiny, but what B-roc is saying is correct. The newish 134 and 153 are great bikes to ride and own. The decline in value is an Industry wide issue. Today's average $5k bike comes with NX or worse. My 2020 134C came with Ultimate suspension and light alloy wheels. Good spec that will last (me) years. Another thing, when comparing geo #'s many bikes on the market today are matching what the Process has had since '19 and '20
  • 1 0
 @ATXZJ: everyone gets it, you work for trek or someone from kona slept with your girlfriend.
  • 8 0
 Make everyone happy and call the Al bike the stinky
  • 4 0
 Would rather build my 05' Turner DHR back up for a trail bike. We had an old stinky deluxe w\floating rear brake that we passed around the group for racing when someone needed a ride. It was affectionately called "The Team Huffy"
  • 1 0
 I got a good chuckle outta this!
  • 2 0
 Haven’t many of the bike brands recently laid off staff, focused more on direct sales, and closed shops? Also many of the big brands have unchanged models for many years. I don’t fully understand the hate for Kona now, it seems like they have only done what others are doing? I do get the negativity towards being bought by a private equity firm but again I’m sure a similar thing is happening in other areas of the industry. It all just seems normal business practice these days. Oh yes and I have a Process X, it rides awesome, have any of you ridden one properly? May not be the best bike in the world but it certainly holds its own in my opinion.
  • 6 2
 Love Kona. Miss my Process 153, such a bruiser. Too bad they still have not got in frame storage, plenty of space In their downtubes!
  • 6 0
 Bikes and riding were just fine before you could stuff things inside your frame. Why are people obsessed with carrying water, snacks, tools on their bike? It’s not an suv, you aren’t a mobil crisis unit.
  • 2 0
 @emptybe-er: I don’t have a bike with frame storage but I am envious of them. Not envious enough to drop $ on a new bike right now but looking forward to having it one day. Modern back and hip packs aren’t that bad but getting to ride without one feels so much nicer. Makes a noticeable, positive difference on longer rides. So many things can go wrong on a bike ride, it’s pretty wise to try to be a mobile crisis unit if you’re in the woods 15 miles from the car or home.
  • 1 0
 @emptybe-er: Storing all the weight you would normally have around your waist down low near the bottom bracket has massive advantages in both bike handling and safety.
  • 7 2
 Miss Kona, they behind the times now though
  • 5 1
 Not sure about that comment. I was just noticing how in the Value Feildtest those 140mm bikes are very similar to the geo #'s on Kona's Process 134 .
  • 3 0
 @flaflow: Honestly the Process 134 is still my favorite bike I've ever ridden and I regret selling it. It satiated the dirt jumper in me while still being a killer trail bike.
  • 4 0
 @lowkeyokeydokey: i demod a 134 years ago and it ripped, still cant touch a few hot lap times i had on it and it was a super fun bike to ride that pedaled well.
  • 1 6
flag Dogl0rd FL (Jul 17, 2023 at 16:13) (Below Threshold)
 @flaflow: until you see how bad the 134 suspension feels
  • 1 0
 @lowkeyokeydokey: My thoughts exactly. Mine had a slightly steeper head tube angle as it was a 2015 and it was fantastic for jumps. I loved how snappy it was and miss it.
  • 2 0
 Aside from the chunky seattube and flip chip, the Alloy 153 and Process X look very similar... Holding out for a cascade link on the 153.
  • 1 0
 They already make one for the 153
  • 1 0
 @plustiresaintdead: Unfortunately not the '21+ versions (I confirmed this w/ Cascade). Just the G2 Carbon 153 (and alloy version of that).
  • 1 0
 Yea, as others have stated, expensive for their builds. This year's alloy Honzo DL is $2699! Rocky Mountain, Trek, and other have similar bikes for a better value IMO.

Have an old process 111.....still ride it from time - to - time. Ship has sailed Kona.
  • 1 0
 I currently have a 2016 Process 111 and a 2017 Operator, both have been in fact still are great fun to ride and reliable. I’ve just spent 6 days in Morzine on the Operator and it saved my arse a couple of times!
However, will I buy another Kona ? Personally I like the look of the alu Process X and I know I’d love it, but I know the VFM hasn’t been good for years in comparison to direct to customer sales models. It’s not nice that folks lost their jobs but if a company is going to stay competitive sometimes change is necessary.
  • 1 0
 Kona is a fantastic brand. Yeah there is a few rocky things happening right now. But that's normal for a transition period. Hopefully we start to see more positives over next year or so. The Process 134, 153, X and Hei Hei are all amazing bikes. There's not a single bike on the market I would choose over those 4 models. They're bomb proof. The spec for value is nowhere near what it could be, or should but. But they are amazing riding bikes.
  • 3 0
 Decent bikes, they’ve always had a neat range, but have always been awful vfm
  • 2 0
 The vfm wasn't so bad in their XC golden Joe Murray era. The Explosif was a lot of bike at a decent price on this side of the pond.
  • 1 0
 @carlitouk: yeah, like 30yrs ago !
  • 1 0
 @cristiantomlinson: Almost exactly, it was the 94 range that I remember being very keenly priced.
  • 1 0
 A used Kona frame used to be a pretty great VFM option a few years ago. Probably still is
  • 1 0
 @carlitouk: Agreed. Nice bike back then.
  • 1 0
 Agreed, but not bad VFM on sale, IMO.
  • 2 0
 I still have my Cindercone from 2000 and ride it every now and again. I've wanted a process from their 1st release and may look at one to replace me ancient Yeti SB66
  • 3 1
 Bikes look good but man I’ve never had a worse experience than with a warranty issue there. RIP. I truly thought they would get better once lacy kemp was gone lol
  • 3 0
 Bold new graphics
That’s a bout it .
  • 4 0
 RIP Kona
  • 1 2
 Im going to BLOW THE LID OF THIS FORUM RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!! SO.......for the last two years the process X has had a HUUUUUGE flaw that nobody has noticed. The flip chip that is located at the top of the chainstay\rocker link has laser ingraving indicating either a 27.5 or a 29 wheel size and an arrow for each that points to the rear. This chip is labelled backwards!!!!!!!! so people thinking their geometry is staying the same for either wheel sizes is actually making the bike even taller with a 29" and more slack with a 27.5......... Not sure if i am the only one who has noticed this but WTF. Most people i have talked to that ride X's say they dont even notice. Better fix this Kona. And deore parts on a7500$ bike. what a joke.
  • 2 1
 hmm...for a "new" iteration...it's kind of lackluster...but all the same...thankful that Kona is still strongly in the game.
  • 2 0
 Dh thing looks sick hope it can go 180ish travel
  • 2 0
 yeah props to kona for specing deore and slx on bikes that push $8000CAD
  • 1 3
 These look like they're from 6 years ago. The current process x looks, feels and services like a mid 2010s mid range enduro bike, and the value for money of everything kona is atrocious. I love my shonky, and I'm eyeing up an esd, but for anything other than steel bikes with sliding dropouts, kona needs to step it up.
  • 1 0
 I have bad memories of shorter travel Konas and dual crowns. Hopefully they've fixed that...
  • 1 0
 I’m drooling and doing some other things on that insertion depth! Props.
  • 1 0
 Dig that "twisted" seatstay on the 153 CR prototype.
  • 1 0
 Kona is not it I’d rather buy something else price to spec is terrible
  • 1 0
 Kona, I’m available for product development
  • 1 0
 Same Geo as Canyon torque 2022
  • 2 0
 Kona is on the ropes
  • 1 0
 Love the standover on that Process X.
  • 1 0
 The frame looks much better. Less sagging swoopy frame lines.
  • 1 0
 This was a hard read.
  • 1 1
 Caleb(ed) Process X
  • 2 3
 Splish splash, post 2020 konas are trash
  • 7 9
 RIP Kona - run by some marketing woman from nike for a PE now.
  • 3 6
 I don't understand why Kona still uses a linkage-driven single pivot.
  • 5 0
 What's wrong with a linkage driven single pivot?
  • 2 7
flag Dogl0rd FL (Jul 17, 2023 at 16:15) (Below Threshold)
 @jomacba: you realize it only helped on landings and didn't absorb any bumps as soon as you try another bike
  • 7 0
 @Dogl0rd: I’m sorry, but what you are saying is 100% false. You legitimately cannot sit there and say that all linkage driven single pivots “Only help on landings”. You have absolutely no idea what your talking about. What your basically saying is you don’t know how to properly set suspension, and you most likely have never ridden a well designed properly set up single pivot. In fact, I would argue that the commencal supreme V4 of any generation probably had the best small bump compliance of any bike to date.
  • 3 1
 @jomacba: sure I'm exaggerating, but that was my personal experience with my process 153. It felt really good pumping, but after 5 years I have never been able to get it to feel like the rear suspension is working in anything chunky

The bike I bought to replace it has a lower parts spec of the same line of components and yet works better with little effort to set up
  • 3 1
 @jomacba: In my experience with them, they tend to feel worse than bikes with four-bar suspension or other designs. Granted, there are several variants I haven't had much (or any) time on.
  • 4 0
 @Dogl0rd: Here's where the challenge comes in, creating a blanket statement categorizing one design concept and saying "This design feels like this".
Let's take a VPP design for example. Both Santa Cruz and Intense have used this design since the early 2000's. I would be hard pressed to take a bike from either manufacturer for the exact same purpose, and say they behave the same.
The same goes for horst link. Specialized is a prime example of this. Take the current demo and compare it to the last gen. Tell me they feel the same.
Kona really is the worst example of using a general design concept and assuming because that's what they use, they are no good.
At the same time the Process 153 is a trail bike, it likely runs on an air shock. Air shocks are not synonymous with sensitivity. They are knows for adjustment and progresivity. I will add in the fact that there's not a single air shock available today that will mimic the performance of a coil. Some will come close when new, but after a few months of riding, they just don't perform the way they did when new... Even with a fresh rebuilt.
Here's the reality, every category of design can be great, if it's designed to be great.... At the same time, every category of design can be dogshit.
This is why the numbers matter. This is why some frames will work with coil and some won't. They might look the same, but they are not.
  • 1 0
 @CasteelGilmore: What single pivot frames have you ridden? Legitimate question.
I will be honest, I wouldn't jump to a single pivot over other designs, but I know there are many that are truly amazing.
Just as a VPP, horst, split pivot, etc.
Some are good, some... not so much.
  • 1 0
 @jomacba: I do not disagree with you sire
  • 2 0
 I have some contradictory feels there. Rode a process 153 for years (beamer suspension), and it was a good single pivot. It still suffered from a lot of pedal bob, and braking seriously altered rear suspension performance. Replaced it with a Lithium.

On technical climbing, I never miss the process. While the rear on the Lithium is also much more predictable and composed descending, there was a certain thrill to keeping that Process on the trail. Constantly picking what input to give when, and trying to use all the crazy quirks of the bike to the best of my advantage. Even though I was going marginally slower, and working way harder, there's a fun factor to feeling like you're really holding that bike on the trail through sheer will.
  • 2 0
 @TheRamma: The "brake jack" you are referring to is likely due to the placement of the main pivot, but is generally exacerbated by an incorrect compression tune and spring rate.
Likely the rear shock was set up too progressive and lacked the proper mid stroke support. This is a common setup error made to keep the initial stroke plush but giving bottom out resistance.
Try removing a volume spacer in the air shock and increase the pressure until you have desired sag.
On that note, all single pivots will generally have this charictaristic, but can actually help keep the chassis balanced under braking forces.
  • 1 0
 @jomacba: yeah! I am not a suspension wiz, by any stretch. The Process was very difficult to set up to be good at small bump compliance, big hits, and everything in between.

I do think ease/forgiveness of set up is something to think about when purchasing, and CBF is a lot more forgiving. Accidentally ran the Lithium at 45% sag on an early ride, and it was still alright. Well, until I did my first drop...
  • 1 0
 @Dogl0rd: soooo, trek, evil, forbidden, devinci, commencal, etc all make bikes with shitty suspension?
  • 1 0
 @Darwin66: I guess you didn't read my follow up comment

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