New Kona Process Carbon: EWS Spy Shots - Crankworx Whistler 2017

Aug 11, 2017
by Richard Cunningham  
2018 Kona Process

Kona has a new Process. The team will be contesting the EWS at Whistler Crankworx aboard the new bike, which Kona hoped we would not say too much about. It looks like an evolutionary step, with improvements in the chassis. The downtube is enlarged, while the top tube has been slenderized. The bottom bracket area is widened and the derailleur option has been scrapped. Check out the photos while we try to dig up some more info.

2018 Kona Process

2018 Kona Process

2018 Kona Process

2018 Kona Process

2018 Kona Process



187 Comments

  • + 145
 The most important part of this is the water bottle cage INSIDE the triangle
  • + 17
 Yep, Something so simple sure can be a deal breaker!
  • + 7
 That's the only thing I don't like about my 134DL.
  • + 29
 Couldn't disagree more! The amount of bikes ruined and made dull clones because of this drives me mad
  • + 9
 @MX298: I agree. That's the reason I went with a SC tallboy 3 over a yeti sb4.5. I ride with a bottle a realistic 99% of the time and the yeti had a bottle mount on the bottom of the downtube right where the most dirt would spray up from the front wheel.
  • + 7
 Yes. It would be nice to still have the under the DT water bottle mounts as well for a second bottle or tools.
  • - 3
 @markg1150: kona, Santa Cruz, Specialized, Trek . . . . Etc Ruined?
  • + 14
 @scvkurt03: yeah but, it's a lot easier to complain than to find a solution Wink
  • + 38
 I don't get the obsession with water bottle holders? I don't know anyone who has a bottle cage on their MTB - camel backs are the norm. I guess where I ride we don't have water stations or water bodies every couple of kilometres to facilitate refills.
  • - 7
flag nimmo (Aug 11, 2017 at 17:30) (Below Threshold)
 @Wandoo: stay hydrated in your day to day life, and you won't have to suck back 2L of water every ride. A standard bottle lasts me a couple hour ride without issue
  • + 42
 @Wandoo: Seriously. I didn't expect to stumble into a circle jerk about water bottle holders when I scrolled to the comments.
  • + 5
 @scvkurt03: much tougher to find a solution for a destroyed downtube when you hit your first log crossing though! You can get away with an under-the-downtube bottle only in mild terrain.
  • - 2
 @bogey: Joey Schusler probably disagrees with you on that.
  • + 6
 @Zaff: I doubt it, he just has no choice.
  • + 7
 @Wandoo: me too. Totally don't give two hoots about bottle mounts. I care more about if the slot on the seat tube is on the front or back.
  • + 1
 It was to my knowledge that everybody likes breaking water bottle cages and eat dirt
  • + 2
 @Wandoo: thats the point. the way YOU ride. but i know a lot more people who are riding WITH bottle. living in switzerland where you have a fountain around every corner with the best, freshest and cool water you can imagine. so why carrying 2l of warm water on my back?
  • + 4
 @tricklin: if there is a fountain, why not simply sip from it? No bottle or bladder necessary!
  • + 5
 Yep, I sold my 134 because of just that and bought a Scout instead.
  • + 8
 @Wandoo: I can't speak for everyone else, but for me, I prefer having a water bottle for my daily rides (1-2 hrs) for two reasons. First, I find that I don't need more water than a single bottle in that time range if I'm properly hydrated and because hydration packs can be really warm on my back. I ride in weather that easily hits 100°F and having no pack on definitely helps with cooling. That said, when I go on longer rides, the pack gets used and I may even throw an electrolyte tablet into the water bottle for even better hydration on extra long rides.
  • + 2
 @MMOF: apart from the issue, how would you compare the two? I have a 134 and have been eyeing the scout but holding off to see what comes next from Kona. I've ridden my buddies scout and demoed the smuggler and scout in Moab for a few days but kept missing my process
  • + 0
 @Mandood: I personally have always been a Kona fan. Their build quality is solid. However, My Scout is so much nicer in every way to the Process. I do love the Process but the stand over is too low for me and a long reach down to set suspension, etc. The seat tube needs to be long. Okay for downhill riders but I ride up and down and that is where the Scout wins and the added water bottle cage. I ride with a pack but like to have options.
  • + 2
 @ Wandoo: I agree 100%. The standard ride we go on is 4-5 hrs. Even a large water bottle (which can't be put into very many frames) would be sucked back within a couple of hours. Stopping to refill a water bottle mid ride kills the flow of the ride. Added bonus to a hydration pack is a built in spine protector.
  • + 0
 @bogey: That's a ridiculous claim. Yetis are abundant around here and are ridden hard on our gnarliest stuff.
  • + 1
 @MMOF: agreed on reaching the suspension. I have been running the cane creek coil IL with the dropt/ opt setup so I can change the feel of the rear at the bars. A 150mm dropper helped as well. I agree it's less refined than the scout (and smuggler) that I rode. Guess that's what happens when you're one of the earlier companies on progressive geometry like Kona was. Fingers crossed the new process has some tricks to push the envelope again
  • + 3
 @neologisticzand: %100 this. I never ride with a pack if I can avoid it
  • + 1
 @neologisticzand: what electrolyte tablets do you use? Thinking about trying them.
  • + 1
 @brncr6: Gu makes a few that I like. The strawberry lemonade and watermelon flavors are both pretty good. My only recommendation is keep a single bottle for electrolytes as they tend to leave a bit of a residue. There are plenty of other companies that make them such as SIS (they make awesome isotonic gels, which are my absolute favorite).
  • + 2
 @brncr6: I use NUUN , they work very well , if I have a race that weekend I will drink a bottle a day a couple days prior . Race day with feed stations and such , I pack a few tablets and always a full water bottle as well . I also drink a bottle after a hard day of riding/racing . They make a big difference and don,t bloat me like Poweraid and Gatoraid and the likes do .
  • + 2
 @cheetamike: I've used those as well. NUUN is another good brand.
  • + 1
 @miller22: What trails are you guys riding for 4-5 hrs without stopping? river valley stuff in Edmonton or down in Bragg Creek? I'm not sure what type of riding you're talking about but once you ditch the pack, I feel like it's +5 agility at a bare minimum. losing that weight off you're back can be a definite game changer.
  • + 1
 @brncr6: Give nuun a try. They are sugar free and taste decent.
  • + 1
 @Wandoo: I think many still use bottles... My son and I shed our Camel pack where ever possible and use our bottle on board.
  • + 1
 @Wandoo: the Bellingham crowd is definitely anti-pack, especially on Galbraith (main trail system here). It's fairly cool and the hills are tall and steep so not carrying a heavy pack just for extra water is nice. Plus keeping that free weight low on the bike/body inspires a bit more confidence when things get rooty/weird/steep/airborne
  • + 66
 It could be their remedy to slash at next year EWS.
  • + 36
 These pictures are definitely adding fuel to that fire.
  • + 31
 To keep it away from photogs, they had to stache it.
  • + 26
 @LCW1: I hope the photographer didn't trek too far to get this shot.
  • + 24
 It looks like Kona's got the ticket to ride.
  • + 26
 the new process sure seems like a great bike to session at whistler.
  • - 15
flag WAKIdesigns (Aug 11, 2017 at 12:52) (Below Threshold)
 This is a mad-one! Kona is ready to get "looks like a" back
  • - 9
flag markg1150 (Aug 11, 2017 at 13:15) (Below Threshold)
 protrek
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: you have faild us! Is this your new process to remedy your behavior?
  • - 10
flag Breeconay (Aug 11, 2017 at 13:36) (Below Threshold)
 They should re-redesign it! That would remedy the problem!
  • + 20
 Sorry guys, repeating puns is just not up to the pro caliber that we expect on pinkbike.
  • - 18
flag WAKIdesigns (Aug 11, 2017 at 13:40) (Below Threshold)
 @saso: You give me no choice, I am leaving this pun Procession!
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: I'm Farley certain that's a 165, not a 153.
  • - 3
 Looks like a Session took the Nomad4 paint job
  • + 1
 @Klainmeister: ssshhhh nobody is suppose to know that exists
  • + 32
 man vital is beating pinkbike to all the spy shots.
  • + 11
 Every time! They must have some former fbi agents there
  • + 3
 @alexander80: i wish it actually came in those colorways, you should see the stock colors coming.
  • + 21
 Where do you think pink bike gets all their info from.
  • + 4
 @properp: #teamrumors
  • - 9
flag parallaxid (Aug 11, 2017 at 14:36) (Below Threshold)
 @rocky-mtn-gman: Just buy a Nomad Wink
  • + 3
 @properp: Buuuuurn to pb. Some of the Mods are probably reading that and closing their fists...
  • + 22
 Looks like an evolution of the Kona Carbon Operator.
  • + 1
 my first thoughts the frame looks has some attributes of my 2015 operator. the seat tube mud guard to the shock and the slender top tube.
  • + 13
 huh - no horst link? That is a bit surprising. If you can go to a more advanced rear suspension set up without incurring any fees, why would you not? Not that the traditional single pivot isn't a good setup, but breaking properties can be tuned more independently with horst with most other things being equal - so why not make the change?

other than that - looks burly, looks nice Smile
  • + 4
 I might be wrong but It seems like this suspension platform is on everyones new bikes these days. And the trunnion mount seems to be propagating widely as well.
  • + 14
 If I'm not mistaken, the patent has expired so there is no licensing fees on horst links.
  • - 8
flag downhillnirvana (Aug 11, 2017 at 12:00) (Below Threshold)
 If you're going to have a single pivot, then why not build it a little more burly, rather than have seperate seat stays to drive the rocker... It's style over function. They will still fail at the yolk behind the BB.
  • + 4
 @downhillnirvana: take a closer look dude.
  • + 11
 kona doesn't horst, then it would be a norco, or a transition.. plenty of modern single pivots on the market, all kona's and cannondales
  • + 0
 i actually think horst link is better under any aspects as far as performances go, but switching to it would cost more and take longer, because you'd have to design a complete new suspension other than just adjusting and tuning your well trusted bike. just my thought though
  • - 3
 @kahn22: around how many pivots does the rear axle move?
  • + 5
 @downhillnirvana: that first sentence doesn't even make sense, how can anyone agree or disagree?
  • + 0
 @downhillnirvana: Horst Link requires the pivot to be between the axle and main pivot. As the second pivot is up on the seatstay, it's affecting the leverage rate onto the rocker link/shock alone, and not the axle path (which is a set curve because... It should be obvious why the axle path is not variable).
  • + 3
 @downhillnirvana: He was talking about the separate seatstays you mentioned. They're not.
  • + 3
 Doesn't seem to be an issue for Commencal....
  • + 12
 Horst link isn't always better, nothing wrong with a well-designed single pivot.
  • + 0
 @captainspaulding: a well designed horst link is superior to a well designed sp if managing brake squat is a priority. If not, then no - they would be pretty much similar in performance if executed properly. With the advent of 1x systems, single pivot designs can be optimized and made to work extremely well. If you also know how and when to brake and not drag your brakes, then yes - a single pivot can work extremely well. That is not to say that something else is not better.

then again, kona and cannondale - the examples cited above - are not the best examples of super innovative designs imo wrt to kinematics. Dependable and well working yes, pushing the envelope - hardly. That can be both a good and a bad thing Wink
  • + 3
 Honda releases a new CR500. And mountain bikers be like: phhh single pivot. Mountain bikers are new White People
  • + 1
 Watch this and learn... and stop repeating all marketing BS alll the time...

youtu.be/78DD82fx4M8
  • + 1
 Watch his channel btw .... science .. not marketing!
  • + 0
 @captainspaulding: yep..linkage driven sp like evil works great...gt, lots of em
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: whats that now about color of skin?
  • + 2
 @jrocksdh: Wak's white and bigoted towards white people? LOL! Who knows, maybe he (she?) identifies as a black woman like Rachel Dolezal
  • + 2
 Why in the world would a company that has a flawlessly working rear suspension design switch to something outdated as the horst link?
  • - 1
 main take away from my post -> i am surprised that when making a significant investment in going full carbon, that Kona do not also further refine their rear suspension. Perhaps it was a bridge too far, or that they are sufficiently happy with their current kinematics.
  • + 3
 @klinkekule:
Dave Turner ( Turner bikes) went from Horst to faux bar, no one could tell difference!!
  • - 3
 @jrocksdh: so you've never seen "White People" memes?
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns:new CR500 = fake news, still not happening
  • + 0
 @zrider79: it will be electric... 500MW and cheaper than S-Works Demo
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I heard it was a hydrogen powered moto and called the CR600h
  • + 14
 Forget the horst link, single pivot whatever whatever... im no internet engineer. I just like the color scheme!!!
  • + 12
 Looks like an operator lol
  • + 4
 As one who owns a 2015 167 ,an owned a raced a 2013 Process and a 2012 Entourage DLX . To me it looks like they based it off the Entourage with a more pedal friendly seat tube angle . I did see some other images of a blue carbon version and a alloy 29" version of a 153 . Looking like some nice stuff out of them a finally a long awaited for carbon enduro style frame .
  • + 3
 I hope this color combo would be an option. Seems like most companies need to expand their color options. I think SC and Scott have the best colors going right now. Also, manufactures should take a note from Liv b/c their color combos are pretty sweet. I love my new Norco Sight but the high gloss finish just drives me bonkers. I think there should be a matt finish available for every bike.
  • + 4
 So many spies in the whistler lift lines that Im starting to think PB took a tip from Trump and is covertly working with Putin and the Russians.
  • + 2
 Yep, saw Connor Fearon with it at WC but couldn'the snap a picture of it since they were constantly hiding it. It also had a rad " no photo" logo on ithe, which was extremely rad ! Will I sell my process for this one ? Is this even better than a process ? Can't be..
  • + 12
 No, just keep riding your ibex
  • + 2
 I like the sand color. I really like my Process 111. Crossing my fingers for a revised P111- I'd vote for a threaded BB, common size 2" stroke shock, 75* seat angle, 67* head angle, maybe a few mm more travel. Don't care if it's carbon. But wait a minute, that sounds just like a Smuggler. Hmmm, just confused myself
  • + 3
 Definitely doesn't look like a process. And this bottle cage? Wasn't it designed on the previous model under the downtube in purpose, so we could learn to differentiate between cow's and horse's fecies by taste?
  • + 6
 I prefer the earthier cow taste personally.
  • + 3
 old news. There are also shots of complete bike, and there is shots of a 29er version as well. Hope they moved the main pivot up to a location that doesn't cause massive bob with anything over a 30t ring....
  • + 4
 lmao at the downvotes. *Hey kids, here's some photos of the actual bikes.* PB dumbass Groms: "Damn you to hell man!".

*Comments on the sub-par pedaling performance of the bike I actually own*. PB kids "go to hell! you suck"
  • - 1
 @atrokz: to be honest, the second link shows an alloy bike, you can see the welds shdn you enlarge it!
  • + 1
 @Kiwiplague: Yeah maybe cause the 29er version isn't carbon or something...down vote @atrokz, he's a fraud. Clearly photoshopped the second pic cause it isn't carbon
  • + 0
 The thing about the 30t : couldn't this be sorted by going Horst, or am I just stoking discord?
  • + 2
 "Spy Shot" lolz. They obviously wanted to keep it very, very secret. This would be like if Honda just happened to drive a thinly disguised NSX to the local meetup of Civics with fart-can exhausts and expected it to remain "secret"

Just call it what it is.

At least they didn't flip it upside down like the Nomad teaser
  • + 4
 What's funny is that when people get legit spy shots they get removed from forums by moderators. When we get fake spy shots, every other bike website has the same ones. It'll be interesting to hear why they ditched the previous carbon Process design that Matt Slaven was riding way back in 2014.
  • + 2
 @PHeller: This may be some insider knowledge but kona in there earlier carbon frames had struggled with Chinese manufacturing and ended up having to junk all of them
  • + 1
 @vtracer: yup was told by a rep and Matt himself .They where not happy with the quality of the frame from the source so they pulled the plug . Cheaper in the long run than having to warranty a ton of crappy carbon frames .
  • + 2
 Communication strategy pseudo spy shots : a bit like what Apple does for Iphone; that's free publicity. You know these clickbait articles like "The design of the next gen Iphone leaked in a secret photo". They don't even have to pay for ads.
  • + 5
 Nice primer.
When are they painting it?
  • + 5
 Kona, please take my money...,
  • + 5
 Well time to break my 167 and ride the warranty train!....
  • + 5
 Good luck, they're tanks
  • + 1
 Can I have it?
  • + 3
 I've always said if they make this bike in carbon I'd actually build it up, my tools and stand are ready Kona Smile
  • + 2
 Saw a group of testers in Squamish. Saw the 153, in a matte green with bright lettering. Looked awesome! The group was very hush hush when I started asking questions.
  • + 0
 They wanted me to come along and try one out, but they only had size M or above. I sais I only test ickles.
  • + 4
 Never seen a garmin mount between your legs before...is that full Enduro?
  • + 1
 2018 Specs and actual colours are available elsewhere on the web ;-)

153 is available in 650b or 29 but only 650b is available on carbon

There's also a 165 650b that comes with a coil
  • + 1
 U got a link?
  • + 3
 ...and the derailleur option has been scrapped. It's great that more manufacturers are bringing out bikes with gearboxes!
  • + 2
 mmm tasty. If they offer that coil/lyrik version my bank acct is gonna take a hit
  • + 3
 Won't work with a long dropper. Bummer
  • + 2
 I have an Operator, Entourage and now I'll be adding a Process to the line up!
  • + 1
 Why is it that everyone respects when Norco ask for no pics of their prototype bikes, but when others do it, they're fair game?
  • + 7
 Norco has thugs that hang you out of your whistler window upside down shaking you until you give up the info.
  • + 5
 Because the European Launch and North American Launch already happened for Kona.... so really this whole no pictures please is just to build hype before the preset launch article on PInkbike rolls out. These are not prototypes like the Norco Aurum was and which also changed drastically after those first spy shots of the aurum were taken.
  • + 7
 @2bigwheels: Exactly. This is a FINISHED bike, it is not a prototype. This specific color/build may or may not be come available, and is most likely an internal test bike. If Kona wanted to be hush hush about it, the last thing they would do is take it to Whistler during one of the busiest mountain bike festivals in the world. The hype train is now boarding and ready for departure...
  • + 3
 Santa cruz must have had some paint left over!
  • + 0
 Can't say I like the big downtube look with the existence of ebikes now. Thanks ebikes, for ruining the large tube look for me.
  • + 2
 It looks sexy. Shots fired!
  • + 1
 I guess the real question is....will this bike be available in 29" and 27.5"?
  • + 0
 So, you bring your prototype at the EWS, held in Whistler during the Crankworks and you hope no one notice... yeah sure. Makes sense.
  • + 1
 Finally! I want one. And if they added tool storage like Specialized, I'd take two!
  • + 2
 Man these new bikes are all looking so goooood @beeboo
  • + 3
 Nomad Color
  • + 10
 On a better looking bike Wink
  • + 2
 You missed the picture of the no photos graphic on the side.
  • + 0
 still needs a water bottle under the downtube... and i am going to go ahead and say that its a 29er...
  • + 1
 when a kona actually looks like a session....
  • + 1
 Saw the whole new line on the 18 catalog, Start saving my money for one
  • + 2
 I need that bike!!!!
  • - 1
 Can't u derstand why kona continues to use faux bar when the horst link patent is open now.....missing the boat and literally pissing money into the wind.
  • + 1
 This is the new Kona Process 153.
  • + 2
 Looks good
  • + 1
 New slopestyle kona bikes
  • + 1
 one bullet one shot paparazzi.
  • + 1
 Lemme tell you what's on everyone's mind, Emily Batty! #lookslikeasession
  • + 1
 When are they gonna be available?
  • + 1
 so is it truly the new Process or the rebirth of the STINKY!!!Smile
  • + 1
 Please do this to the 111 as well
  • + 2
 BEST PAINT JOB YET
  • + 1
 Actual STA still looks slack as hell. Admittedly hard to be certain...
  • + 1
 Looks like it will be in carbon.
  • + 0
 Funny how it looks like it has a Specialized SWAT bottle and tool holder...
  • + 1
 Looks great but it looks like pretty much everything else
  • + 1
 Specialized bottle cage & emt tool on a kona .. !!
  • + 0
 Is that a specialized z-cage and multitool, or is someone else making an integrated bottle cage/tool holder now?
  • + 1
 I think Topeak makes one called the Ninja or something.
  • + 1
 Pretty sure it's the spec cage and multitool. Looks identical to the ones sitting in my garage.
  • + 0
 Surprised they have not switched from the single pivot yet.
  • + 0
 I wonder if it comes with their amazing 3 year warranty?
  • + 1
 looks like a session.
  • + 1
 Looks pretty good to me
  • + 1
 Bring back the stinky!
  • + 1
 Yusssssssssssssss
  • - 1
 Looks like a floating pivot that Giant uses...
Threaded bb??? If not? Not on my radar...
  • + 1
 Wait for the Pyga Slakline dropping next week Wink
  • + 1
 Baby Operator!
  • + 0
 Sigh, no threaded bottom bracket.
  • + 1
 yeahhhh looks that way right, although Ive never had issues with the pressfit 24 on my process 153 like I have with the larger bb30 press fit bbs.
  • + 1
 Wait for the Pyga Slakline dropping next week Wink
  • + 0
 Who's riding it? I think Kangas is their only EWS rider?
  • + 1
 nice
  • + 0
 Travel??
  • + 0
 Just point it down hill
  • + 0
 Look like Session???
  • - 1
 Also, is that still a PF BB?
  • - 3
 Kona. Threaded BB MF.
  • - 1
 Looks like a...
  • + 20
 ...Stinky.
  • + 4
 @nozes: Supreme Deluxe stinker
  • + 0
 @nozes: I'm on my new Kona. Smell you later
  • + 1
 Stinky / Operator
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