Kona Process 134 - Review

May 23, 2016
by Rachelle Frazer Boobar  





Kona’s line of Process bikes burst onto the scene back in 2013, and have since become widely recognized and applauded for their progressive geometry and playful performance on the trails. Here at PB we’ve previously taken closer looks at the 167, the 153, the 29er 111. All of which received glowing reports, but what about the middle kid, the forgotten Process 134, and as Kona puts it, “the foundation” of their Process range? With 134mm of rear travel and 140mm of front travel, Kona touts the 134 as the bike that’s “not too XC-oriented, so it can handle the bigger stuff, and it’s not too aggressive, so it excels on big efforts. The perfect bike for those who like to ride it all.”


Process 134 DL Details
• Intended use: trail / all-mountain
• Rear wheel travel: 134mm
• Wheel size: 27.5"
• Head angle: 68°
• Kona 6061 Aluminum Butted
• Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL - (XS not available in Supreme model)
• Frame color: black
• Weight (as shown, size M w/o pedals): 29.12 pounds (13.2 kg)
• MSRP: $3,799 USD.
www.konaworld.com

The Process 134 piqued our interest last year when the 134 SE was released, targeted specifically at 'smaller, lighter riders’. Unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to ride the bike then, and that calling card has been dropped for 2016 (more on that later). However, if you happen to take a gander at Kona’s website, you’ll happily find two Process 134 models sitting under the ‘Women’s Bikes’ tab. That’s because these two models, the 134 and the 134 DL, are available in an XS frame size. That’s good news for smaller people (not just women) looking for a mid-travel bike.


There are actually a total of three 134’s in the lineup, the top end Supreme, the base model Process and the mid-level DL. We've been on the mid-range Process 134 DL for the last few months. The bike is equipped with a 140mm RockShox Pike RC Solo Air, a RockShox Monarch RL shock, Shimano XT brakes and drivetrain and a KS Lev Integra dropper post, and retails for $3799 USD.

Specifications
Specifications
Release Date 2016
Price $3799
Rear Shock RockShox Monarch RL
Fork RockShox Pike RC Solo Air 140mm QR15 Tapered
Headset FSA Orbit 1.5 ZS SC
Crankarms RaceFace Aeffect SL
Rear Derailleur Shimano XT
Chain KMC X11
Shifter Pods Shimano XT
Handlebar Kona XC/BC 35 Riser
Stem Kona XC/BC 35
Grips ODI Ruffian MX
Brakes Shimano Deore
Hubs Novatech 155mm front / Novatech 142x12mm rear
Spokes Stainless 14g Black
Rim WTB STs i29 TCS 27.5"
Tires Front: Maxxis DHF EXO DUAL TR 27.5x2.3" / Rear: Maxxis Tomahawk EXO DUAL TR 27.5x2.3"
Seat WTB Volt Team / Volt Team 250
Seatpost KS Lev Integra
Photos for Rachelle Frazer s Kona Process review.


Frame and Updates

Like its siblings, the 134 is fashioned from a similar set of basic ingredients - a longer reach, shorter chainstays, a bombproof aluminum frame, a stiff rear end and a short 40mm stem to offset the longer than average reach. Nothing has changed geometry wise since the Process 134 first came about, the standover height thankfully remaining very low, which is great for those of us on the shorter side who can, at times, struggle to find comfortable clearance.

This lower standover height and low center of gravity of the Process are all a part of this bike's charm and purposefulness on the trail. The seat tube height is short, with much of the seat height coming from the fixed portion of the dropper post itself. The rear end of the bike is designed to be nice and stiff and uses clevis-style pivots, uniquely-shaped seatstays, and the extra-wide main pivot to achieve that goal.
Kona Geo
Take note, the XS sizing is only available in the base and DL models.

The frame itself is made of butted 6061 aluminum, apart from a small carbon brace on the rocker link that connects the seat stays to the front triangle. The Process has ports for internally routing the front and rear derailleur housing, while the rear brake and stealth dropper lines run along the top of the down tube. On the underside of the downtube you will find a bottle cage mount, which isn't the most ideal place to have your bottle cage, but at least the option is there.

Kona have put some efforts into buffing out a few points on the Process range this year over previous iterations. The seat tube to top tube gusset has been leaned out, creating less of a bulky look and the chainstay and the chainstay yoke have also been updated to improve tire clearance. These changes now make the frame look a little cleaner. It's also a whisker lighter than in the past too.

Photos for Rachelle Frazer s Kona Process review.
The rear brake and dropper lines run along the top of the down tube.
Photos for Rachelle Frazer s Kona Process review.
The stout carbon and aluminum rocker and rear shock yoke.

Suspension

The Process uses a link-driven, single-pivot suspension system - a configuration Kona has always used on their full-suspension bikes, but one that never the less also saw a few changes at the birth of the Process to make it work with the bike's low top tube. The 'Rocker Independent Suspension' system sees the bike's seatstays attach to an aluminum and carbon rocker that is, in turn, attached to a U-shaped yoke which drives the rear shock. The shock is mounted directly to this yoke without the use of a bushing or any proprietary hardware.

134mm travel might seem a confusing amount of travel, but like the rest of the Process range, the goal was to achieve great geometry rather than being confined to a pre-determined amount of travel. Juggling between short chainstays, a longer reach and coupled with decent amounts of tire clearance meant that 134mm became the magic number.

One thing Kona strived to achieve across the entire Process line was a consistent leverage rate curve so that their entire range would have a similar feel across the spread of models.


Photos for Rachelle Frazer s Kona Process review.
All Process models come with a revised guesset this year. The 134 DL also sports a RockShox Monarch RL shock...
Photos for Rachelle Frazer s Kona Process review.
... and the trusty RockShox Pike Solo Air RC fork with 140mm travel.



5 Questions: Ian Schmitt - Kona's Product Manager


Rachelle: Why did the 'Smaller, Lighter Riders' angle of 2015 go away? Was it a marketing pitch that didn't translate to sales?

Ian: The 134 SE was a release to meet the demand for a higher price point and lighter bike at a time when 1x drivetrains were still a bit tough to get into the sub-$4k price point. Our 134 DL for that model year was a 2x drivetrain with a Revelation fork. The SE was 1x and had a Pike and the retail of the SE reflected those upgrades.

Rachelle: How does Kona place their line now for the smaller, lighter rider?

Ian: For 2016 we were able to use the new 1x XT drivetrain to bring the cost of the 134DL down. This allowed us to put a Pike onto the bike and ultimately to bring a platform with a very comparable weight to life in a lower cost. Kona is a small company and model proliferation and the accompanying overlap is something we have to be extremely conscious of. The 134 DL being so close to the SE sort of forced our hand to re-consider the range and try to mitigate the ‘sellling against ourselves’ effect. We added the XS size to the DL and base model 134 to continue to serve our smallest and lightest riders.

Rachelle: Why was the Supreme omitted from an XS sizing option?

Ian: The Supreme was omitted as it was a late delivery from the MY14 year. We didn’t have the XS frame in-line at that time and had to run with what was actually available to us. A bit of a loss for our range, but sometimes the reality of product delivery doesn’t coincide with what you actually want. I think the Rolling Stones wrote a song about that, but the name of it escapes me.

Rachelle: Is carbon in the Process' future?

Ian: Carbon is always in the future but at this point I don’t have a comment for you. I think you must be going through a tunnel on your cell phone and have a bad connection...

Rachelle: Will Kona and the Process be moving towards metric rear shocks in the future?

Ian: The metric shock standard is definitely something we're moving towards. We're not moving the Process range as it currently sits to metric, however, as the bike wasn't designed for the standard. Same with Boost. We want to ensure that our new design takes full advantage of the available options.






Climbing and Fit

At 5' 6", I fall into that annoying ‘smedium’ category where I could have ended up on either a small or a medium bike. After some back and forth with the folks at Kona, we settled on a medium for this test to ensure I got enough leg extension on the bike. The longer 605mm top tube, 435mm of reach coupled with the short 40mm stem was also going to put me further into Kona’s desired attack position, whereas the size small may have shifted my weight further back on the bike, which was not the ultimate goal.

Setting the 134 DL up was pretty easy, as there’s really not a whole lot to fuss with. If you’re not into fiddling with things too much this is good news. The RockShox Pike comes with a suggested air volume (printed on the left-hand fork lower) that's dependent on rider weight; it's a great starting point for those who don’t know where to begin. After setting seat height, sag, and the cockpit you should able to get out the door and down to business pretty quickly.

There’s one word that springs to mind when jumping aboard the 134 DL and that’s balance. The roomy cockpit, shorter stem and low center of gravity created a very grounded feeling right out of the gate. The 134 DL might not be an XC bike, but it’s got some pretty impressive climbing chops. That feeling of balance remains fairly intact while climbing, with no wandering of the front wheel, and just smooth operation that generates some great traction. The 134 DL enjoyed tractoring up and over roots and rocks; there was never a back seat moment, and it was easy to move weight around on the bike to assist with different climbing moves. While moving forward and standing up on the bike I always felt planted and not too boggy through pedal strokes.

The Monarch RL rear shock only comes with open and lock-out mode, so there’s no cheater climb mode here, but I really didn’t feel as though that mattered too much. It was nice to just get riding and not have to think about flicking switches. I still felt supported while climbing out of the saddle, so this may have helped the bike feel as though it carried itself well.

Without pedals the 134 DL clocked in at 29.12 pounds on the dream crusher. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the 134 DL is portly - "big boned" might be a better adjective - but it carries its weight unexpectedly well when climbing. There are lighter bikes out there, but it’s worth regarding how well this bike gets itself around considering its ticket price. Make no mistake, this is not the bike you want to chase the lycra-clad crowd around on unless, of course, you are looking to punish your way to fitness and glory. If you do decide to race your XC buddies to the top, make sure you muscle to the front for the descent, because that’s when things really get fun...



Photos for Rachelle Frazer s Kona Process review.
Got rocks to climb? No problem.


Descending

There’s nothing that quite beats throwing a leg over a DH rig and pointing it south, but when you get on a shorter-travel bike and you experience a similar sensation, you know you're onto a good thing. The 134 has got all the markings of a bigger rig, just in a little brother package. It’s not quite as big and it’s not quite as burly, but it’s an impressively talented descender who will do its best to keep up with the big kids.

The geo numbers Kona put together and the low-slung center of gravity make the 134 a really stable-feeling bike that also possesses a lively and playful feel that makes you just want to pop off every little rock or root on the trail just for the fun of it. Despite its 68-degree head angle, the 134 DL feels slack enough to still feel as though you are attacking the trail, and not pogoing yourself to potential doom. The bike comes with a 780mm Kona XC riser bar, which some people will love for steering leverage, although I chopped mine down to 760mm as I just don't need that much handlebar. With the short stem the steering is precise, but never jumpy and I felt confident making quick decisions on the fly.

When it came to cornering, the 134 DL felt predictable and consistent and it was easy to remain centered over the bike and hold your line while making turns. If you happen to be really good at pulling aggressive shapes on your bike a la Seb Kemp, the low top tube of the 134 DL will give you room enough to get as creative as you like.

When it came to bigger hits, the 134 DL really could step up to the plate, and even when I did use up the bike’s full travel, there was enough progression in the suspension to keep the bike from feeling as though I was being body slammed into the ground. The 134 DL can quickly lull a rider into thinking that anything is possible... and it probably is if you’ve got the skills and confidence to step up to it.


Photos for Rachelle Frazer s Kona Process review.


Component Check

• KS Lev: Although I really like the Lev's lever, I had some problems getting this post to return consistently. Vernon Felton recommended I try some additional PSI - closer to the top end than was recommended - and once I tried this the seat was better at returning but became more difficult to drop unless I added force, and so the experimentation continued...

• Shimano XT Drivetrain: This drivetrain did give me some headaches. Out of the box I could not get the shifting to work smoothly and after closer inspection it was found that the hanger was bent during shipping, and after Kona sent across a new one things worked a lot better. I felt as though the 32 tooth ring was a great choice for this bike, and most likely for a lot of riders out there.

• Minion DHF 2.30 Front / Tomahawk 2.30 Rear: The Minion and Tomahawk combo is like a good old fashioned mullet - business in the front and party in the back - a great and predictable combo for my home trails. Plus I was able to run them tubeless, which is also a bonus.

• WTB Volt Team / Saddle: I really like this saddle, it felt super neutral, not too rigid or cushy and not too wide.


Photos for Rachelle Frazer s Kona Process review.
32 teeth to dig in the climbs with.
Photos for Rachelle Frazer s Kona Process review.
This KS lever is so ergonomically pleasing.



Pinkbike's Take:

bigquotesKona have packaged up a slice of the Pacific Northwest's riding style for the rest of the world to experience and enjoy in the 134 DL. It's no featherweight, but the DL climbs well enough that you could go and race your local enduro on it. More importantly, you will be getting the most of descending while having a lot of fun. If we're honest with ourselves, many of us don't need 160mm+ of suspension for our local trails but if you still want to get a little sendy, the 134 DL has a bulletproof frame, a lifetime warranty, is ready, obliging and will cost you less than a beat up Subaru. - Rachelle Frazer



Visit the high-res gallery for more images from this review




About the Reviewer
Stats: Age: Masters Category • Height: 5'6” • Inseam: 31" • Weight: 116lb • Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Rachelle's relationship with mountain biking began when she moved from Australia to Whistler, B.C., in 2005, where she swiftly fell in love with downhilling thanks to the Whistler Mountain Bike Park. Her love for mountain biking has grown over the years to include all types of riding, and she is currently working on taming the unruly rock gardens of the East Coast of the USA where she now lives. Rachelle Frazer


MENTIONS: @konaworld



Must Read This Week

153 Comments

  • + 90
 Can I have the beat-up Subaru review instead? I've already got a trailbike.
  • + 24
 Here you go

www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1EF3TkgzOo

1991 Subaru Loyale
  • + 10
 @induct: I actually watched that car review - those guys are funny - they should do MTB reviews!
  • + 2
 My beat up 88 GL-10 cost $350. Does that mean a Process will be $349 for me?
  • + 4
 @DiveH: At that price, I'd buy a 111, a 134, a 157, and a 167!!!
  • + 2
 I just traded in my old beat up subaru... For a shiny new one, truely great cars. Always room for bikes and friends in mine...
  • + 1
 I mean... I've already got a Subaru... but those I need two of .
  • + 41
 Adding the pike to the stock build is the best thing they did to this bike. I loved my 134 but I honestly couldn't tell you that it pedaled better than the 153. Looking back on it, I wish I would've got the 153 instead just to enjoy the downhill a bit more. A fun bike nonetheless!
  • + 5
 Interesting!
  • + 7
 Had the option of keeping my demo and getting a 134, or getting a 153 and selling the demo. Decided id get more use out of the 153 and have one less set of bearings/shock/forks to service every year.
It climbs like a bit of a pig (roads not tech, tech it is fine), and the bearings have only lasted 6 months (UK winter+pressure washer+bike killing muc-off), i wish it had a threaded BB.. these are the only negatives i can think of.
In terms of descending its not the slackest or lowest, but the geo puts you in a position thats always quite aggressive, so you hit corners and steep sections in much more of an attack position, took some getting used to, but its such a game changer.
Anyway..... love it.
  • + 2
 @bluumax: 6 months for bearings is pretty unfortunate. Even in the UK's conditions you'd expect more. Did they charge you full price for the fix?
  • + 24
 @freeinpg: It is what it is mate, Its not Kona's fault i went full retard after every ride and blasted every last bit of grease out of the bearings. Plus with the use its had, i dont feel cheated with how long they've lasted.
Replacing with stainless bearings packed with mobil marine grease #Yorkshireproof
  • + 5
 @freeinpg: I know plenty of people who have had bearings last around 6 months on most bikes in the UK. Especially up here in Scotland it is wet and muddy 90% of the year.
  • + 12
 I'm just glad I live somewhere where I "need 160mm+ of suspension for our local trails"
  • + 6
 @hamncheez: Everyone needs it, they just aren't going big enough or building big enough yet
  • - 8
flag SlodownU (May 24, 2016 at 12:47) (Below Threshold)
 You should get as much travel as you can comfortably pedal. I'll take a 27-29lb 160mm bike any day. This new short-travel trend makes me laugh. Running out of ideas bike industry?

And I don't get this whole super-short chain-stay, super long front center thing, it does not make a bike climb or descend any better. Try it and see. It feels like your sitting on the back wheel. I would rather have longer stays, and a more reasonable front center. Same wheelbase, but more balanced, your sitting in the middle of the bike, not on the wheel.
  • + 3
 @SlodownU: Putting you in the centre is what the long front center it's supposed to do. And when climbing the 74° ST helps with that (and don't tell me that 74° is slack).
  • + 0
 @passwordpinkbike: How exactly is a long front center and super short read putting you in the center? Stability at speed comes from wheelbase. The long front center is supposed to put you more in the attack position, but there is a point of diminishing returns. Go too long, and you have to shorten cs so your not riding a truck, but now your riding the rear wheel. Pretty hard to weight the front wheel when cornering. This notion that climbing is dependent on cs length is bullshit, it's dependant on wheelbase. I've actually owned and put many miles on bikes at both ends of the extreme. Can't wait to see the pendulum come back next year, and the justification as to why.
  • + 2
 @bluumax: I ride a Norco truax, it's no longer being produced. But Canyon, Scott, and intense all manufacture a 180mm climb friendly bike. If your a true dh rider but don't have a chair lift or shuttle option, then try one of 180mm options. Game changer.
  • + 1
 @lumpys: I would consider myself a mountainbiker, I enjoy long trail rides and downhill days equally, other than local push up DH stuff ive taken the process on two uplifts, ridden the same tracks i did on my demo, and honestly; I feel just as quick and confident on the process. Dont get me wrong, its not a DH rig and i know it by the end of the day, but the angles and fit of the bike have given me the most confidence ive ever had.
So for me it wasn't a travel thing, it was purely angles.
  • + 23
 Don't get scared by the weight, it really does feel lighter than it actually is when riding.
  • + 24
 Given the wide rims and tire selection, 29.12 lbs actually seems pretty light to me.
  • + 4
 Some could argue its heavy for a 134, there are 130s out here that are probably 3-5 pounds lighter in a similar price range. That thing rides a lot more aggressively than a 130 though.
  • + 14
 I think it's hilarious that we don't all need 160+ mm of travel any more. A couple years ago those were the do-it-all bikes. Now that they convinced everyone to get one, they're telling us we'd be better off with less travel. I, for one, am glad to have 160, and I use every mm!
  • + 0
 There's still a market for people who do long and technical rides but don't ride bike parks. 160 was never a cure all just a bike that would let you go down steep stuff and still climb back up. Although this Kona does look a bit sluggish and heavy for a long travel xc bike.
  • - 9
flag ermoldaker (May 24, 2016 at 15:02) (Below Threshold)
 P.S. Never buy a Kona - my Operator snapped a swing arm after a year and Kona were totally unhelpful. My friend also ovalised a head stock on his Operator. They may be better bikes again now but I doubt the quality of service in Europe is any better.
  • + 4
 That's what she said!
  • + 15
 i still cannot get over my test ride of the 111 such a sick beast and a helluva climber!
  • + 10
 One of the fastest bikes I've ever ridden, and sendier than my Spartan... only other bike that matched its hustle is the Smuggler, basically identical.
  • + 4
 I bought one of those a few months ago. It was between that and a Transition Smuggler, both excellent bikes. That is just such a nice, fun niche - they're not fast climbers in the XC sense, but you can painlessly grind up fire roads, and you can actually enjoy technical climbs. And they're plenty capable downhill. As a one bike quiver, it's really hard to argue with the concept. The 134 seems like the smaller-wheeled equivalent, just like the Scout is to the Smuggler. I see especially lots of women and smaller riders just shredding on those.
  • + 15
 Love the Doggy,mine does the same!
  • + 9
 Had the one 153, replaced it with a banshee rune... miss the 153 for its genuine climbing ability and solid descending (the rune just pips the 153 in descending imo).
Anyway, a little off point.....

Sure there will be lots of people not liking Kona due to performances in the past, however, I'd like to think a majority of those people havent actually ridden a new kona. No doubt the 134 would be a fantastic bike.
  • + 2
 For trail/AM riding in 2014 the all around top two bikes I found for climbing and descending within a reasonable budget were the Process 134 and the Norco Sight. Up in the greater Vancouver area there was ONLY ONE of either left in a large at the end of 2014. That should tell you a ton. The bikes are amazing. (I got the last Large Sight, and love it too)
  • + 3
 @rrolly: I know what you mean. Just got a sight (the new one has 150 up front, so slightly more aggressive) and loving it. Bang for buck as well as all round versatility seems awesome after the first couple rides.
  • + 1
 @bananowy: which model did you get? Did you make any changes/upgrades?
  • + 2
 @rrolly: The 2016 A7.1 (Pike/GX drivetrain). Completely stock for now. It's pretty well specced, so I will probably only make some minor changes like a bigger front brake rotor, some nice pedals, maybe a shorter stem. Higher end tyres down the line (NNs are ok, but it has the performance version instead of the evo), but only after the current ones start to wear. These are just tweaks though. TBH the bike is ready to rip straight off the shop floor. The base carbon one was similarly priced, but had some spec compromises. The bright red C7.2 looked amazing in real life, but too expensive for me Wink

Which one do you have? Any changes you found particularly good?
  • + 1
 @bananowy: 2014 A7.1. I don't know why anyone would buy the base carbon model. I changed a fair bit on mine because some of the specs were puzzling. I changed tires immediately to Spec'd Butcher (fr) Purgatory (r) tubeless. A bunch of guys out here on the Shore really do well with WTB Vigilante's up front, but tires are so subjective to where you ride. I went to EX Flow rims - they're awesome and well priced. Added a Reverb dropper - never again, will go 9point8 next time. Switched to 1x11 OneUp drivetrain. Shock got tuned, Fork (Fox 32) had a spacer removed so now is running 150mm. WTB Volt seat (amazing). And running Saints for flats and xt spd's clipped.
Yours is spec'ed really well. I'm not a fan of the bright green colour, but I'm not crazy about the red of mine either. My favourite, ironically, is the 2015 7.1 which they say had the least popular colour scheme - it is matte black and orange. I love the look of that one, especially with the handle bar moustache decal on the front!
  • + 5
 As bad a year it's been so far, make this year a good riding year. This bike would absolutely make that happen. Great bike great price great review. Fellow biking brothers and sisters...don't forget or write this one off its a very affordable way to kick ass in the trails this year! Ride on
  • - 9
flag travsjav (May 23, 2016 at 22:14) (Below Threshold)
 Side note* girls bikes in this industry in this style of ride discipline doesn't reeeally exist. You smaller dudes. This is your whip
  • + 6
 @travsjav: yeah besides the yeti beti sb5c, the liv intrigue, the specialized rhyme and the juliana furtado and probably a few more, no ladies bikes in this category!
  • + 2
 @GumptionZA: great bikes for sure I agree completely. Just need to explore all options. If that's what it takes to get one person excited to hit the dirt, this is a success in my eyes. Gives you something to get jazzed about
  • + 3
 @GumptionZA: I think @transjav may have missed a /s at the end of their comment...
  • + 1
 @alexhyland: ha no I did catch that guy. Just wanted to try and nip the sarcasm and bring it back to trying to get someone on a new bike. But if you guys wanted to hurt me... Mission accomplished. ????
  • + 1
 @travsjav: ha no, sorry, certainly not! I've just realised that you had also replied before me but I hadn't updated the page so didn't see your reply. Now I don't know what's going on. Smile
  • + 1
 @travsjav: to clarify, I assumed you were being sarcastic in *your* second comment, and I thought @gumptionZA had missed it. Phew! Internet, sarcasm etc.
  • + 1
 @alexhyland: woah im confused, was travsjav being sarcastic or not? my comment was supposed to be dripping in sarcasm... I dont know whats going on now though?!
  • + 1
 @GumptionZA: Haha confusion all round!
  • + 1
 @alexhyland: ahah. Guys this is just funny. It's so in good fun and just teasing each other. I know I didn't miss the sarcasm...but I had to make him hopefully feel bad by misinterpreting it positively. Having fun is better then being mad! Ride whatever the hell you need to have a huge smile on your face no matter what someone else says. That was the moral of this story. I'll see myself out now door is to the left? Or . : )
  • + 4
 Yay! A review of my bike! I love my bike. Mine is a large, built up pretty similar and tips the scale at 29.5 lbs. I haven't felt that I have even gotten close to exceeding the capabilities of the bike on some pretty gnarly trails. I've ridden several friends bikes, and let them ride mine and the consensus is that the Process is just easy to ride. Things that seemed scary before don't seem like a big deal. Kona put a little magic in this bike. And it's burly. The pressfit bb is annoying though. Creaks like a motherfucker.
  • + 2
 My 134 goes through bottom brackets like crazy too. The shell is machined a bit too tight. I found that the RWC Pivot specific BB works a little better since in talking to the RWC guys they were saying the machine the Pivot specific one a hair small because I guess Pivot is notorious for small shells. Kind of a pain, press fit should be great in theory, I just think manufacturers don't pay enough attention to tool wear and expect derlin cups to make up for poor tolerances. Only problem is the derlin BB's don't last long either.
  • + 1
 @iantmcg: I'm using the hope pf50. The first one exploded about about 20k, because the bike-shop had the pre-load way too high. The second one has lasted for about 6 months in the PNW winter, which isn't too bad. The creaks drive me a little batty though, the rest of the bike is basically silent.
  • + 8
 When will Kona come out with model Fearon?
  • + 16
 It's a tricky process...
  • + 1
 pretty sure it'll be carbon
  • + 0
 @viatch: 26 inch carbon? Really?
  • + 8
 26"? I just bought my first 650B and I feel sooooooo much difference in roll over. Every single bit of the bike is different from my previous one but I'm going to give it to the wheels. NOOOOT
  • + 11
 @WAKIdesigns: I rode my bike (26 2014 E26) back to back doing shuttles with its 2015 650B replacement. Everything was the same, fork, tires and pressures. The only difference was the brakes. They felt exactly the same. I have no idea if one was faster but all I could think was why did they bother? Will apart from the fact the industry seems to enjoy it.
  • + 6
 Don't be fooled by the simple single pivot setup, evil and transition both use single pivots to name a few, so the system is VERY far from not capable.
  • + 9
 One might say "Proven"
  • + 7
 Transition is 4 bar
  • + 4
 My Transition Suppressor is 4 bar. It is also badass.
  • + 0
 @stumpymidget: Transition's previous offer was a 4-bar too, but in the Turner/fayx bar variant. They changed to a horst link equipped version once Special Ed's patent expired.
  • + 2
 Not to mention a little company called Trek.
  • + 1
 @Sontator: in my head I was thinking tr500
  • + 5
 Nice one Kona. It really nice to see a proper metal bike at a great price. It looks good too. I cannot believe the knob heads on here moaning that its not made of glorified plastic!
  • + 3
 @briceshirbach @rachellefrazer As soon as i saw that rock garden i knew it had to be the NJ highlands! So pumped to see Jungle and some real east coast tech in the reviews! So often are we treated to the lush loam of the PNW that its nice to know that bikes can handle our side of the mountain as well! Great pics and review Thanks!
  • + 3
 Great review! I came from a 26" wheeled trance to this bike and every time I ride it I am still blown away at how much more capable it feels! Fits perfectly into my quiver as iI've still got the DH rig for the upper end of the spectrum Smile
Don't test ride a Process unless you're prepared to buy one -- they are too easy to fall in love with!
  • + 1
 Well, my wife rides Lapierre Zesty 2011 and we have recently borrowed a 2016 trance. She was blown away how much more capable the old 26'' Zesty is Wink (with comparable fork/shock).
  • + 5
 I wouldn't really consider the 134 to be the foundation of the Process line since the original is closer to the 153 at least in terms of travel.
  • + 9
 Yup I have the original. 160mm Lyrik upfront, 66°hta, and 150mm at the rear. Descends like a beast, climbs like... well, it climbs.
Love it.
  • + 2
 @HankBizzle: I have the original as well and I love it. It's definitely helped me be a much faster descender. Not the best climber, but that's not what I bought it for.
  • + 2
 I tired of the one trick ponies for everything in life. I spend more time fixing broken stuff on my do everything Subaru Outback, my do everything cannondale trigger, my do everything surfboards. The money and time I've spent on parts and repairs could buy me two or three of everything. Life is fackin sweet
  • + 2
 So there's a boost/ metric new Process line coming, is that why is taking so long to get the carbon version out ?

I love my 153, had it since 2013 and it's never missed a beat, pikes are a bit shagged now and they are the only original component left !

But can't see why I'd swap for anything else
  • + 3
 134 SE came with a Rock Shox Revalation, not the Pike. My wife rides the 134 SE and in her first year of riding mountain bikes has conquered Whistler, Northstar, Downieville etc... Super capable rig. Love my 153 DL as well.
  • + 4
 Would it be wrong of me to classify this bike as a trail bike instead of an all mountain bike?
  • + 3
 I'd say you're right on with that. The 153 is definitely an all-mountain rig, way more aggressive (and oh so enduro). This is a very fun trail bike with a nice burly build.
  • + 1
 @g-42: Thanks g-42, I feel as though you can definitely take this and ride all mountain but it wouldn't inspire much confidence in the steeper, rougher/technical sections. It's a trail bike to me for sure.
  • + 2
 Just built one up this year; honestly it feels like a micro downhill bike on the downs! Not winning any uphill races but who cares! Point this thing downhill and let it rip
  • + 2
 I have a 2015 process 134 and put a on 2016 duel position Pike (160-130). I now have the best of both worlds-- 130 setting for climbing and 160 for descending. Such a fun bike to rip around..
  • + 4
 So glad that there are now some mountain bikes that can be had for less than the price of a car.
  • + 1
 I know I would benefit from riding longer bikes, it is just that I like my toptube low (reflected in the standover minus bb height). Not that I'm amazing at pulling tricks in the air, a low toptube just feels better riding turns, allowing you to tilt the bike and not interfere with your legs. It felt amazing when I first went from an 18" hardtail to a 16" hardtail (I'm about 6ft tall). Compromise was that I had to squeeze myself in a more cramped cockpit (my stems are 40mm and 50mm long) but it was a compromise I was willing to make. Now a bike like this Process finally gets me checking the longer bikes again as the standover hardly increases! That Alutech ICB2.0 already left me impressed but the numbers on this Process here are better actually. Application is probably similar. Shame they don't sell the frame only.

Refreshing no one moans about the lack of bottle mounts. That is, these aren't bottle mounts underneath the downtube in the line of fire, are they? I don't like them (so I'd be happy with the frame as it is) but I absolutely get that some would like to exchange some standover clearance for the bottle mounts. So maybe this frame could do with bottle mounts on top of the toptube. Those who like their bottle can have it within easy reach and those who don't can enjoy the low standover. Wouldn't that be nice?
  • + 2
 As a fellow smedium, let me just say that I sympathize completely. Just went to buy a new hat for instance, where do I fit in the Flexfit sizing chart? in the one measurement that isn't definitively S/M or L/XL. FFS.
  • + 8
 #firstworldsmediumproblems.
  • + 1
 @rachellefrazer I have this bike and had the same problem with the LEV dropper sticking. The mechanic at my LBS suggested that I loosen off my seatpost bolt a quarter turn and it has made all of the difference!

Bloody love this bike.
  • + 5
 How would you compare the Transition Scout and the Process 134 @pinkbike?
  • + 4
 Yeah PB, time for a shootout! Throw this bike in with the Scout and a SC 5010, and probably a few more I'm not remembering right now. Tell us what the differences are, and how they feel on the trail.
  • + 2
 @Endurahbrah: The new Troy.
  • + 5
 I've ridden both. They're basically indistinguishable to me. The Scout might climb a tiny bit better, but feels a bit less plush.
  • + 2
 @MorganBH: that was the same reaction I had comparing the Smuggler and the 111. Super close though, and very similar balanced positioning fore/aft. Love those long front triangles.
  • + 2
 These are the two bikes I'm torn over. As it happens I'm headed to Bellingham in July so I'm gonna try to ride them back to back :-) My shop owner buddy sells Kona, but the only thing that turns me off is the press fit BB92 yuck :-/
  • + 2
 transition seems to have broken the pricing barrier lately and become distinctly less affordable compared to konas. Specially if you can get a bro-deal on a kona. The pressfit is annoying though.
  • + 1
 FWIW, I recently demoed the Process 134 (base model) in Moab and the next day a bike with the same travel and price tag but larger wheels, a Stumpy 29 Comp. Both were great and well thought out bikes with intuitive handling and no major issues. The Kona felt more solid and agile, but overall I thought the Stumpy both climbed and descended better but I think it comes down to personal preference and riding style.

If anyone's considering the Process, I think it's worth the extra coin to go for the DL model as the lighter weight, better and more adjustable suspension, proper dropper (base model has only 100mm), and 1x would make a noticeable difference.
  • + 2
 I ride a 2015 134 DL and I love it ! climbs well, its super fun on the trails and descends like a Mini DH rig. Waiting for a Carbon Frame to be released so I can pick one up
  • + 3
 I threw 160mm on the front to slack it out for some steeps and gnarly terrain, definitely made a difference.
  • + 2
 Same, a 34. Will be swapping to a 150 pike solo. I find the 160 is a bit much and 140 stock setup is a bit too steep. Pike has longer A2C so even travel to travel being equal it's nicer than the stock fork.
  • + 2
 I wanted to read the review, but those trail dog pictures kept on distracting me. Can we get more shots of that awesome pupper please?
  • + 4
 That's a cute little dog Rachelle. Good review also.
  • + 3
 Thanks @themegawatt. Hopefully I can bring her to Whis sometime and we can both try and chase Rabbit down!
  • + 2
 Just got a second hand 134 frame, waiting on some parts to turn up to finish the build, needless to say I'm very excited to see how it rides.
  • + 3
 My ks lev was also sticky from the factory. The basic disassembly and regrease made it return consistently.
  • + 2
 I have my 2016 153 and I hate how heavy it is when putting to my small car. I admit you do not feel it at all when riding. Really great bike!!!
  • + 3
 134/153dl might be my next bike in few year time.
  • + 1
 153 4 me
  • + 2
 I just started a build on 153DL. I hope to be throwing roost with it soon. SnowShoe opens in 3 days.
  • + 2
 i love my 134. great bike that can take a massive beating.
  • + 2
 What shoes are they? Love it.
  • + 4
 Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch II, they come in a men's and a women's version.
  • + 2
 Bikes been out for like 3-4 years...
  • + 2
 Kona's bikes look so much nicer now they've shrunk the rocker.
  • + 7
 Someone needs to explain that to Tony Ellsworth... also that geometry has evolved since 2005.
  • + 0
 @groghunter: uh, I still find them pretty ugly. Look dated.
  • + 1
 the kona processes are solid trail bikes, just add some wide ass carbon rims and go shred
  • + 2
 I'm the same height and would have thought the medium would be huge!
  • + 2
 an east coast bike review? HELL YEAH!
  • + 1
 fortunately there are plenty of other great frames that use a threaded BB for me to buy instead ...
  • + 1
 i love my 153 DL! best bike i've ever owned
  • + 1
 @olaffons I'm selling one.
  • + 1
 Not my frame size, but thanks for info.
  • + 1
 Great bike, just wish I could afford one...
  • + 1
 What ? No invisiweld or dealusio thing? Eaw
  • + 1
 I NEED to own this @OllieGiles
  • + 1
 Anyone tried this bike with a Fox Float shock?
  • + 1
 FUX SUX
  • + 1
 @properp: yeah, it is just my stock shock is due for a service and I can get a new Fox Float 2015 for the same price as a service. Please don't downvote my OP guys as I am hoping someone with knowledge of this will answer.
  • + 0
 @iantmcg: that's why I say fux sucks because of the price of their service and the BS they put you through when you try to use their service. There's suspension products are mostly okay till you have to deal with the service department
  • + 1
 @properp: yeah, I am just planning on never maintaining the new shock and getting a new bike in a year or two. If it functions better than my basemodel Monarch that is a bonus.
  • + 2
 I've got the fox float evol on mine, pike up front. Great combo, definite improvement over the stock monarch
  • + 0
 Are there bikes for dwarves?
  • + 6
 Your mom is a bike for dwarves. Sorry, had to. Poor impulse control...
  • + 1
 Runs in the Family!
  • - 2
 A bike review written by a girl? Now I have seen everything.
Really? Have you seen a man eat his own head?
No.
Well then you haven't seen everything, and neither have we.
  • + 5
 @dropoffsticks: seriously? You've never watched team America?
  • + 3
 @inked-up-metalhead: Never. I probably should though. I think it's on Netflix. Didn't know that was a reference to Team America, haha
  • + 5
 @dropoffsticks: you definitely should
  • + 5
 @alexhyland: F#ck yeah!
  • + 1
 Bad intelligence
  • + 6
 There's no I in team America...
  • + 0
 Me and @WAKIdesigns Must have scared him off on the carbon question!
  • + 1
 Nice review, Great Dog!
  • + 1
 She's pretty fun to have on the trails @SteveDekker!
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