Review: 2021 Kona Process X DL

Nov 16, 2020
by Mike Kazimer  
The Process X snuck into Kona's lineup over the summer, a long, slack, carbon-framed addition that's claimed to be “aimed at nothing but ripping riders on the most technical of terrain.”

What does the X stand for? Well, there are two different axle positions, which alter the bike's chainstay length and the amount of rear travel. Since “Process 158/164” doesn't really roll off the tongue, X it was. It also opens up the door for all sorts of DMX related references, which are always entertaining. Sizes M thru XL roll on 29" wheels, while the size small comes with a 27.5" rear wheel and a 29" wheel up front.
Process X Details

• Wheel size: 29" (M-XL), 27.5 / 29" (S)
• Carbon frame
• Travel: 158 or 164mm (r) / 170mm fork
• 63.5-degree head angle
• 435 or 450mm chainstays
• Weight: 32.3 pounds / 14.7 kg (size L)
• Sizes: S-XL
• Price: $6,999 USD
konaworld.com


There are only two models in the lineup – the Process X, which sells for $4,999, and the $6,999 DL version reviewed here. Highlights of the DL's build kit include a 170mm RockShox Zeb Ultimate fork, SRAM Code RSC brakes, and a SRAM X01 drivetrain.


bigquotesThe Process X has a big presence on the trail... It's happiest at higher speeds, and on terrain where there's room to let it run. Mike Kazimer




Kona Process X review

Construction and Features

The Process X has a carbon fiber front triangle and swingarm that are joined by an aluminum rocker link. For the mullet-curious out there, that rocker link has flip chips where it joins the seatstays that allow the bike to be set up with a 27.5” rear wheel while preserving the bottom bracket height.

Internal cable routing is in place for the brake, derailleur, and dropper post, with a tube-in-tube design to keep installation hassle-free. There's also a port on each side for the brake line – riders who run their rear brake on the left haven't been overlooked. When it comes to chainslap protection, the Process X is well equipped, and there's also downtube protection around the bottom bracket as well as closer to the head tube to protect from shuttling-related impacts.

Kona Process X review

Other details include plenty of room for a full size water bottle, ISCG 05 tabs, and a PF92 bottom bracket. I know, the threaded BB aficionados might not approve of that last detail, but to be fair, we haven't had any issues with unwanted noise on the last handful of Kona's that have rolled in for testing.

The final detail worth noting is the super short seat tube length, which leaves plenty of room for long travel dropper posts. It is interesting that the small and medium sizes both get a stubby 380mm seat tube – that could potentially mean that a rider who decided to size down to a medium may end up with a decent amount of post sticking out of the frame.


Kona Process X review
A flip chip on the rocker allows the bike to be run with a 27.5" rear wheel.
Kona Process X review
Two axle positions make it possible to choose either a 435mm or 450mm chainstay length.


Kona Process 121

Geometry & Sizing

Kona didn't hold back on the Process X's geometry figures, giving it a 63.5-degree head tube angle and a 490 reach on a size large, numbers that certainly qualify as being long and slack.

The chainstay length can be set at either 435 or 450mm, a change that also affects the amount of rear travel (the brake adaptor orientation also needs to be changed when switching between axle positions). In the 435mm setting the bike has 158mm of travel, and 164mm of travel in the longer chainstay setting.

In order to keep the bike from feeling too long while pedaling to the top, Kona gave it a 78-degree effective seat tube angle. That's fast becoming a fairly typical number for bikes in this category, although it's worth noting that the actual seat tube angle is closer to 69-degrees, which means that taller riders will end up with a slacker effective seat tube angle than what's on the geometry chart.


Kona Process X review



Suspension Design

Not surprisingly, the Process X uses Kona's link-driven, single pivot 'Beamer' suspension design. Downhill performance was the priority here, one of the reasons the anti-squat values aren't all that high, sitting around 90% at sag, and then dropping as the bike goes through its travel.

The leverage curve is progressive and follows a relatively straight line from beginning to end, with a 13% change throught the last 2/3 of the travel.


Kona Process X review

Kona Process X review

Specifications
Price $6999
Travel 158 / 164
Rear Shock RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate
Fork RockShox Zeb Ultimate RC2 170mm
Headset FSA Orbit 1.5 EP ZS
Cassette SRAM X01 Eagle 10-52t 12spd
Crankarms SRAM GX Eagle Carbon DUB
Bottom Bracket SRAM DUB PF92
Rear Derailleur SRAM X01 Eagle
Chain SRAM GX Eagle
Shifter Pods SRAM X01 Eagle
Handlebar Kona XC/BC 35
Stem Kona XC/BC 35
Grips Kona Key Grip
Brakes SRAM Code RSC
Hubs DT Swiss 350
Spokes Double Butted Spokes – 14/15/14g
Rim WTB KOM Trail i30
Tires Maxxis Assegai 2.5" / Maxxis DHR II 2.4" EXO+
Seat WTB Volt
Seatpost Rock Shox Reverb w/1x Remote Lever 31.6mm




Kona Process X review

Kona Process X review








Test Bike Setup

Other than trying out a MegNeg air can for the shock, I kept the rest of the Process X in its stock configuration. The Maxxis Assegai / DHR II tires were aired to my usual 21 and 23 psi, the bars trimmed to 780mm, and I kept the 40mm stem in place.

I spent more time than usual trying different settings for the RockShox SuperDeluxe shock, which I'll discuss later in the review. With the standard air can, I ran 155 psi which equated to 28% sag, and three volume spacers (one more than stock). I also tried a MegNeg air can, and ended up running that at 185psi for 30% sag, with two negative volume bands and no positive spacers.

Up front, I ran 55 psi in the Zeb with no volume spacers for my 160 lb weight.

Testing took place in and around Bellingham, Washington, which happens to be the same location where the bike was developed.




Me.
Mike Kazimer
Location: Bellingham, WA, USA
Age: 38
Height: 5'11" / 180cm
Inseam: 33" / 84cm
Weight: 160 lbs / 72.6 kg
Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Instagram: @mikekazimer


Kona Process X review

Climbing

The Process X isn't the snappiest climber, for a number of reasons, but with a few clicks of low speed compression added to the shock I was able to leave the lockout lever alone. The back end is relatively calm if you stay seated, but standing up does result in a decent amount of suspension movement. Flipping that blue compression lever firms things up a lot – it's about as close to a full lockout as we see these days. That's useful for paved road spins, but it's a bit much for off-road use, where it can feel harsh on chunkier climbs.

Along with the active suspension, the Process X is a long and slack bike, no matter which chainstay length is selected. Even with the steeper effective seat tube angle I still ended up sliding the seat forward all the way to get a more upright position. The actual seat tube angle is steeper than what we've seen from Kona in the past, but I think it could probably even get a touch steeper.

I ended up preferring the longer chainstay setting on the descents, and it turned out that extra length also had benefits on the climbs. Long chainstays have a reputation for making bikes unwieldy and awkward to handle, and while those traits can occur on super tight, slow sections of trail, a longer back end can also provide extra traction to keep the rear wheel from spinning out on steep, loose climbs. On the Process X, the 450mm chainstays put me in a more centered position, which made it easier to weight the front wheel while simultaneously keeping my weight from being too far over the rear axle.

What about tight switchbacks? Yes, those are more difficult to get through compared to a bike with a less sprawling wheelbase, and no matter how you slice it the Process X isn't going to be the way to go if your idea of a good time is snaking your way through tight, awkward climbing puzzles.


Kona Process X review

Descending

The Process X has a big presence on the trail – it's definitely not as much of an all-rounder as the Process 153. It's happiest at higher speeds, and on terrain where there's room to let it run. That's largely due to the wheelbase length, the result of that long reach and slack head angle.

Reach numbers keep creeping up, and head angle numbers keep going down as companies try to find the limits without going too far. I've been wrong before, but I'd be surprised if bikes go much past the 490mm mark on a size large, and much below a 63-degree head angle for non-DH bikes. Longer, slack bikes do provide ton of stability, but they can be a handful at slower speeds, and the extra effort to maneuver can get taxing by the end of a long ride.

With the Process X, those sentiments held true. When I was on my A-game and everything was clicking I had some great rides, but there were other times when I found myself getting a little frustrated with the amount of work I had to put in to get the X to wake up. In fact, I'd potentially consider sizing down (gasp) if I was planning on using the X as an enduro race bike, in order to make it a little easier to get through tight, awkward bits.

Kona Process X review

The X is happiest on high speed, rough trails, and it's also a good jumper, at least on bigger jumps. It's not overly eager to hop and pop over little trail obstacles, but put a healthy lip and a decent sized gap in front of it and it'll soar quite nicely. I unfortunately wasn't able to make it up to Whistler this year, but I'd have no qualms about using the X as a park bike; it's the sort of bike that can seamlessly go between smoother machine-made jump trails and chunky natural tracks without raising a fuss.

All of my time was spent with the Process in the 29" mode, but I did try both chainstay positions. Altering that length makes a very noticeable difference – the longer, 450mm setting transforms the bike into even more of a speed demon, and by the end of testing it ended up being the position I preferred due to the more balanced feel it delivered. In the shorter chainstay setting it was easier to break the back end free while cornering, as opposed to the longer setting, which was less drifty and more locked in. It felt like I could push harder, and also get away with a mistake every once in a while without losing traction.

Suspension Fiddling

I spent more time than usual trying to find the sweet spot for the Kona's rear suspension settings. Initially, I found myself using more travel than I wanted, even with a bunch of volume spacers and 25% sag. The bike felt good in steep, rough terrain, but when things flattened out a bit that extra-deep feeling was much more noticeable – there wasn't much of a platform to push off of or into when jumping or cornering.

I eventually decided to try a MegNeg air can (something that would need to be purchased aftermarket for approximately $90) in order to try and find that missing mid-stroke support. That upgrade did the trick, and with 2 bands in the negative chamber and no volume spacers installed I was right where I wanted to be. I ran 185 psi to get 30% sag, and the overall feel was one of a much more supportive shock. There was still good traction, and I could use all of the travel when warranted, but it no longer felt like I was sitting too far into the travel.



Kona Process X review
Kona Process X
2021 Rocky Mountain Altitude
Rocky Mountain Altitude

How does it compare?

My time on the Process X overlapped with some of the testing that took place for an upcoming Field Test, which meant I had lots of opportunities to compare it to bikes with similar intentions.

One of the most stark contrasts was between it and the Rocky Mountain Altitude. The Altitude has a steeper head angle (64.4° vs. 63.5°), and a shorter reach (474 vs 490mm). Those numbers make a difference out on the trail, and the Altitude shone brighter on more awkward sections where quick line changes were required. They're both billed as race bikes, and it's certainly possible to go fast on either one, but the Altitude is the more versatile option; I didn't need to work as much to get it to do exactly what I wanted.

How about compared to the Trek Slash? The reach numbers between the two are within a few millimeters, but the Process has a slacker head angle by .6-degrees, along with the ability to change the chainstay length by a significant amount, two factors that give it a more DH-oriented feel than the Slash. Even though the two bikes weighed nearly the same, the Slash did have a snappier, more precise feel to its handling. It's difficult to pinpoint exactly what caused that difference without further experimenting, but the Slash's frame is on the stiffer side of the spectrum, and the model I tested also had Bontrager's Line carbon wheels, which may have been a factor. The Slash does gets bonus points for the in-frame snack storage.

As far as pricing goes, the Process X's $2,999 USD frame-only price is significantly less than the $3,699 Altitude and the $4,000 Slash, although the Altitude and Slash are both available in aluminum and in a much broader range of spec options than the X.

Kona Process X review
Kona Process X review

Technical Report

SRAM GX 10-52 cassette: There was plenty of scoffing when SRAM came out with the new 10-52 tooth Eagle cassette, but I took advantages of that dinner plate sized climbing gear on multiple rides. It might not be a necessity in all riding areas, but it makes sense on a bike like this, since steep climbs are usually required to reach steep descents.

Kona handlebar / stem: For $7,000 I'd like to see a different handlebar / stem combo – after all, the same components are found on the $3,000 Process 153. While I'm nitpicking, a higher rise bar would be appreciated – I'd like to see 30mm rather than the 20mm of the XC/BC bar.

Maxxis Assegai / DHR II EXO+ tire combo: This is my current favorite tread pattern combo, one that works well all year round in the Pacific Northwest. I wouldn't have minded seeing Double Down casing tires spec'd, at least in the rear, since this bike will hopefully see lots of rough, chunky terrain where flats are more common.

RockShox Zeb: The 170mm Zeb developed a distinct clicking noise after my first couple of rides on it. The click happened in the middle of the travel, and was loud enough to be distracting. It turned out to be an issue with the air spring, and swapping it up with an updated part solved the issue. This was the first time I'd run into this issue out of the 4 Zeb forks I've spent time on, and according to RockShox, “if any riders are experiencing this they should reach out to their Rockshox retailer for resolution"


Kona Process X review


Pros

+ Chainstay adjustments make noticeable difference
+ Reasonable weight considering capabilities
+ Mullet compatible, plenty of room for long dropper posts


Cons

- May be too long and slack to be enjoyable on more moderate terrain
- There are only two complete models, and neither one is inexpensive
- Some riders may want more support from Super Deluxe shock



Pinkbike's Take

bigquotesThe Process X may look like a beefed-up Process 134, but looks can be deceiving. While the 134 is a playful trail machine that loves manuals and tight turns, the Process X is decidedly on the more beastly side of the spectrum. It can be a handful at slower speeds, and might even be a bit much to serve as an enduro race bike. However, it's worth consideration if you're looking for a big, stable bike that can gobble up the rough stuff and still be pedaled back to the top. Mike Kazimer









259 Comments

  • 76 2
 Ok, so are you saying that bikes actually got too long and too slack? A year before such a limit did not seem to exist Smile
  • 70 2
 We’ll see... I do think we’re approaching the limits on some areas of geometry; it’s going to be interesting to watch where things go next.
  • 123 1
 @mikekazimer: I suspect it might be ... grim looking.
  • 10 1
 @mikekazimer: Mullet, High Pivot, and Happily resting in the 150-170 travel range.
  • 3 14
flag lkubica (Nov 16, 2020 at 8:22) (Below Threshold)
 @Matturalistic: Nah, this must be mainstream. HPP will never be. Mullet maybe, but this is kind of shallow, instead of adding 1cm reach every year for 10 years you add smaller wheel and no next steps.
Something big is coming, and PB knows, just do not want to tell us.
  • 6 0
 @whiteboarder: Donut look that way already?
  • 4 1
 @lkubica: Pretty sure that was the determination when the 2018 Stumpjumper Evo came out. Everyone ran it in the steeper setting, and now Specialized has steepened the HA even more on the new version. Commencal steepened the HA on the newest Supreme DH, as well.

If a little is good, then a lot must be great, right?
  • 8 0
 @lkubica: that new shimano gearbox perhaps?
  • 5 3
 @housem8d: It might also be that nothing new is coming just like for DH bikes and the industry will focus on ebikes instead. You can tweak engines forever and acoustic bikes will stagnate. And what is great is that enduro crowd has accepted 16kg bikes, but ebikers still want lighter bikes badly. The problem with lite ebikes is price though and as for now they kind of require carbon frames. But as the engines evolve, they will get to this 17-18kg range blurring the border
  • 6 3
 @ninjatarian: people were running SJ EVO in steeper setting because of BB height not because of HA, the new one can be set at even slacker setting if you prefer. And the most recent supreme has 62.5 HA on L and XL sizes, slacker than ever before.
  • 8 3
 @Mondbiker:

Old Evo = 63.5 or 64 HA, New Evo = 64.5 stock, adjustable from 63 - 65.5 if desired.

2021 Supreme DH 63.8 HA for all sizes now

At the end of the day, both brands leaned steeper instead of slacker with the new models.
  • 3 4
 @Mondbiker: The new SJ EVO cannot be set slacker. The head angle in the old evo would be the same if you used the same travel fork.
  • 5 4
 @nedsded: we are comparing stock bikes, not bikes with non stock parts on it, the newer one can be slacker by 0.5 degree with stock fork in the slackest setting, what´s here to discuss? And latest commencal DH bike is mullet version of supreme, the one that is slacker and longer than everything they made so far...Facts.
  • 7 1
 In 2022 "East coast geometry" makes a comeback, you heard it here first. Time to break out my old spooky darkside and be ahead of the curve....
  • 1 2
 @Mondbiker: Im talking if you are building from the frame up though.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: dang man, you warped around that tree.
  • 3 0
 @mikekazimer: how do you feel dropping down a size would play in this situation?? It almos feels as if the letters embossed on-a frame these days (s, m, l, xl etc.) is completely useless. Perhaps they always have been but I know for me nowadays I look much more at geo than actual frame size.
  • 2 0
 Pick "needs to be" Steeper or Slacker and be a Dick about it
  • 1 0
 @lkubica: I’m waiting to see the rest of the industries response to the new specialized system on the creo (12kg road bike with 100km range), and when that starts turning up on Levos we could be looking at weight convergence
  • 1 0
 @Speedgoat9: Including the 14” bottom bracket?
  • 3 0
 @whiteboarder: The future does look Grim.
  • 6 1
 Enduro Mag in Germany had a bunch of articles on this. They found sized medium bikes a bit faster for enduro. I'm 5'10" and currently ride a size Large 475 reach with 64 Degree head angle. I got a hardtail (also Large) that is 450 and 66 head angle. I think my next enduro race bike will be a 450-460mm reach and probably 63.5-65 head angle, but I want to test a few to see what is just right.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: I suspect we will find a happy medium and bikes will have proper geo & sizing for once. To think an XL spesh enduro from 5 years ago had a reach of 465mm which is what this bike has in meduim
  • 8 3
 @lkubica: I'd rather see engines being tweeked forever than this geometry bullshit, most of the pros doesnt even care about 1mm here or 1deg there, they will adapt to anything, Connor Fearon still scored 2nd place on 26" Kona Stab in aus nationals this year, what are you guys even talking about, I dont really read pinkbike anymore but this is beyond my mind. Ive had like 4 different bikes in 4 years and they all felt almost the same, while theoretically being totally different in terms of geometry. Bike industry brainwashing is strong here.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: except you guys lead where it goes next, you don't really watch. Comments on the Altitude were specifically that it wasn't slack enough.
  • 1 0
 @zalev24: totally agree, most of the adjustable geometry on bikes is so minimal too. every time people just say they leave it in the low setting anyway. All hype. Always remember Ratboy rides a medium
  • 1 0
 One thing that I took away from this review (right or wrong, I' not sure) is that the bike's size has outgrown its purpose. I'm 6'5" and love all these bigger bikes, but I'm also 235-plus pounds and find some of the suspension platforms, leverage curves and component packages don't meet that criteria. I'm way more likely to plow vs. finesse and a bike like this seems targeted at a 6'4-plus, 175 lbs super-skilled rider; that ain't me.
  • 2 0
 @mtb-sf: I still think it comes down to personal preference and depends on the rider, their physical measurements, and how well they fit the geometry of a bike. One bike's geometry may be super stretch for one individual, whereas it might be comfortable for another individual, even though they are the same height. One size doesn't fit all.
  • 2 0
 @tacklingdummy: This is definitely true. The 475 reach on my current bike is more stable and has allowed me to get faster with confidence. Now that I have gained some more confidence and skill, I think I can take advantage of the turning capabilities of a shorter bike while still having the skill to plow through rough stuff. I also may test a few bikes and decide the 475 where I am already is just right.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: for real, i totally agree. at 5'8" i have been riding larges for the past several years. I rode a 490mm reach clash this morning and finally felt like I hit the rev limiter on reach progression. that 470-480 seems to be about the limit for me and i feel like i have reached the point of diminishing returns.
  • 1 0
 @Roobar: The SL1.1 motor from the Creo is on the Levo SL, launched in February this year. S-Works model is 16.9kg in a Medium.
  • 47 1
 I thought the Process 153 was damn near the best bike I’ve ever ridden. This sounds like a bit more of a handful than I would be looking for for my everyday riding. I know a lot of people thought the 153 wasn’t “racy” or “fast” enough. Seems like this one maybe overshot the mark? Damn good-looking bike, though.
  • 4 0
 Yeah this is the feeling I get from reading the review as well. I've been kicking around the thought of getting a Process 153 for a couple years now. Never pulled the trigger though. What do you like about it? PS- the fastest Enduro guy in our local Mid-Atlantic series races on a P153.
  • 8 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: Man, it just plows — feels nice and planted and plush, just smooths the trail out. Just had a lot of confidence on it, felt like it could take on any terrain, no problem. This was a rented bike, not mine. I didn’t have to get used to anything. On top of that, it has a nice, playful feel in the corners, and for the beast of a bike that it is, it climbs surprisingly well. You look at the thing and think, “It’s going to be a drag to slog up those hills,” and it’s totally not. I made little techy climbs that gave me problems on other bikes.

That said, I rode the base aluminum model, and it was HEAVY! By the end of the weekend on it, I felt that. I personally would try to go with the higher-end model to lighten it up a bit.
  • 4 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: I have had 3 process a G1 153 and then the G2 29er al one and now a g2 27.5 carbon frame but with 29ers (chain stay length is the same) and they all have been able to plow rock gardens and then be poppy of a water bar
  • 9 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: 153 guy here. Of all the enduro bikes I tried, the 153 was the poppiest & most playful while still maintaining the ability to plow through the chunky stuff. Best bike I've ever had.
  • 2 0
 @TheR: Dope, I got a little spooked by the super short chainstay figuring climbing would suffer, but that doesn't sound to be the case. No wonder the fast east coast guys here rock them Smile
  • 1 0
 @Braydenloveskona: I've thought about doing this too. Is it the same frame? I couldn't see any reason it wouldn't work, but couldn't find anyone who'd done it first. Any special considerations in doing the swap?
  • 4 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: I guess we all have different expectations for climbing, and mine aren’t too terribly high — just get me to the top. And I do like to tackle the occasional steep, punchy, technical little sections of climbs as a test of skill. The 153 did both beyond my expectations. But I didn’t have much of a chance to test switchbacks, and I’m not racing any climbs. So you might want to test that out first, but I have no reason to believe it couldn’t perform there, either.
  • 2 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: Ride my 153 all over Colorado and Utah, I have no issues on climbs with it. I think the criticism of short chainstays on PB are overblown. I've never felt like my 153 was holding me back, even in bike parks. YMMV.

If you do get one, only major criticism is the stock wheels. They suck. I got the CR/DL, and they barely lasted a month on the rear. So be ready for that.
  • 2 0
 @mndirt88: on YouTube there is a shop who did it .. can’t remember the name but there isn’t as much clearance for a wider tire in the rear and you can’t have your seat post slammed all the way down. As far as the frames go I don’t think they are the exact same frame but the chain stay lengths are the same
  • 1 0
 @TheR:

I have a G2 Process 153 29'er, in the base model AL version. Can confirm "heavy". I think mine was over 36lbs out of the box with EXO tires. I think I'm up around 37lbs and change with proper tires on it. I believe the wheelset is over 2400g alone.
  • 1 0
 And cheaper than a Unno!
  • 1 0
 @mattddrchs: also a 153 owner. I do wish it had a bit more travel for some faster /rougher sections (170/160) but other than I like that its an agile bike. I have it up on the Buy n Sell at the moment....waiting for my new Meta AM29. Now i may stick with it....i have bike conundrums.
  • 7 0
 Have to agree my 2017 Process 153 was by far the most fun bike I've ever owned. For those who say it wasn't racey enough, sure it could have been a degree slacker, had a slightly longer wheelbase and a little more travel, but for me it's special as I managed to fluke 73rd at the Mega that year and couple spots ahead of Sam Hill (purely his bad luck!)
  • 2 0
 @TheRamma: Agreed, the WTB's are a poor spec, I have DT Swiss FR560's and its made a noticeable difference.
  • 1 0
 What size Process are you guys riding? I got a 2019 leftover CR 27.5 in XL in May. I’ve honestly never had a bike feel more unbalanced in my life. And I’ve been riding forever. 515 reach with 425 chainstays is not a good combo for me on the tight technical New England trails. I love the suspension and the overall quality of the bike, I just can’t jive with it. Have a new Vitus Sommet on the way and the Process is for sale.
  • 1 0
 @schwaaa31: 2019 CR DL 29 - Its agility is welcome in slower / tighter sections but not great on the fast / steep / lose terrain we have here for Shore & Squamish. I feel when things get dicey Im hanging too far off the back of the bike. BUT on the same trail the tight / steep corners the short back end is helpful. Im 5'6" and ride a Medium .....HA was 64 instead of 66.....170/160 instead of 160/153 and CS was 435. reach and stack for my height is fine.
  • 2 0
 @Braydenloveskona: I've ridden the dog shit out of my gen1 process 153. I updated to a new norco sight but still really like the gen1. It feels like a long travel slope bike now compared to the new bikes. Really fun and whippy.
  • 3 0
 G1 153 here, got myself a 2nd hand large, did a litle mod to steepen the effective STA and boom, a modern day size M.
Ridden in Whistler bouble blacks no problem, it's never been the bike holding me back; maybe a longer slacker bike could've made it easier, but at the cost of making it clumsier everywhere else? nah
  • 3 0
 I also dont understand why Kona keeps spec-ing a 20mm rise bar. 30mm is the sweet spot for most, I like 35 for the 153.
  • 5 0
 @schwaaa31: 6 ft tall, ride a size large on a 2019 CR/DL 27.5. Reach is definitely as big as I want to go, and I have a long reach for my height.

I don't buy the idea of "balance," that having a long reach means you want longer chainstays. For being bad in twisy techical stuff, wheelbase if your biggest enemy, and if your reach is correct at 515, lengthening chainstays will only make it more of a challenge.

The only way I can imagine short chainstays being a huge deal is riders descending at high speed and or climbing techy stuff while dead on the saddle. Nothing wrong with wanting that, but it isn't the way everybody rides or wants to ride. Glad to have choices for short CS's on larger bikes.
  • 1 0
 @TheRamma: Yeah, I get where you're coming from. I think if I had opted for a large, I'd be much happier.
  • 1 0
 @mndirt88: I ride a large
  • 2 0
 @TheRamma:

I'm generally in the "long chainstay", or at least the "proportionally adjusting chainstay length" camp.

But I'll agree that its good to have options. I love that the Process X has adjustable chainstay length, as it lets it work for a wider range of riders.

I'm 6'1", and ride a 2018 G2 P153 29'er. I have no complaints with the short chainstays when climbing. But on the downs it feels like it has a very narrow sweet spot, and I struggle to keep the front end weighted enough. And I've already swapped to a 50mm stem, a lower rise bar, and moved all the spacers out from under the stem. I probably need a bit more reach/stack/span in all honesty.
  • 1 0
 @ocnlogan: are you on a large? What's happening to make you think you need more weight on the front?

My biggest issue with the 153 was keeping my front weighted in flat turns, but that went away when I worked on my attack position more, and got ride of some of my habits built on a 26er with no dropper.
  • 3 0
 @TheRamma: Process 153 Rider here and I agree. I bought a 153 CR 29 and my rear wheel was damn near unridable after a month. I put some We Are Ones Union wheels on the bike and only wish I had done it sooner. I've demoed a bunch of bikes and the P153 is the best bike I have ever been on and I'm stoked to have one.
  • 2 0
 @schwaaa31: I rode a large 29er. I’m 5-11. Can’t speak for anything on the 27.5.
  • 1 0
 @ocnlogan: Yeah, my guess would have been 35 pounds at least. Still, it climbed really well for a bIke that size
  • 3 0
 @mattddrchs: 153 me too! best bike ever owned..it climbs like a goat and playful on everything!!!!
  • 4 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: I recently bought a 2018 27.5 CR in a Medium. Im about 5'10 150lbs. Its absolutely fun as hell. I would have gone L but I wanted a slightly smaller bike due to my bmx background and riding style. It rips everything on the shore with confidence and climbs extremely well. The GX drivetrain is rock solid and has survived quite a lot of abuse with minimal issues.

The stock WTB wheels are garbage though, saving for carbon rims. Also find the shock to not be very supportive or progressive enough, going to meg neg it or put a cascade link on next summer. I run 30% sag to get the grip/feel I need but am always bottoming it out all over the place and pushing the Oring right off the bottom of the shock. This is an older deluxe with no piggyback. Running it at less than 30% makes it harsh and even skitterier than it already is with its 425mm stays. I have overforked it to 170 with a 2021 air spring in a Yari and its been really good, a bit more of a wheelie machine on the climbs but not bad. Very fun, very agile bike and while not the lightest thing I dont really notice it. Super solid feeling frame.
  • 1 0
 @TheRamma:

I'm on a Large. I've also got got a solid 36in inseam, so its pretty easy for me to get "off the back" of the bike.

I alternate between wishing I'd gone for the XL to get more reach, and relief that I went with the Large to keep the front/rear balance a bit more... balanced.

I have worked on my attack position, and that has helped for sure. As has the longer stem, lower handlebar, and lowering of the stem. Still though, its a very conscious effort to keep the front end weighted, and the front from feeling super vague.

Some of that is probably the old habits from 26in hardtails, as you say.

I also think some of it is because I grew up riding dirt bikes. So almost any bike feels small/twitchy in comparison.

I've been looking at bikes like this Process X, Stumpjumper Evo, Banshee Titan, GG Gnarvana as potential "longer chainstay" options that I'd love to test ride, and see if a longer rear center does what I think it might do for my confidence when cornering.
  • 1 0
 @ocnlogan: makes sense to try something out with a longer rear, just be sure to go into it with a skeptical mindset. IDK that a longer chainstay will really help you if you feel like the front is vague on descents. That sounds more like a handlebar/stem/reach/technique thing.

Let me know what you find out on some test rides, that list looks like a bunch of awesome bikes...
  • 1 0
 @schwaaa31: Yeah that’s way too long for most bikes especially one with with such a short rear end. I’ve got 585 reach on my process and even that’s a tad bit long. Amazing bike though super responsive can put it anywhere but it is quite twitchy if you’re used to a slacked out enduro beast. I ride bmx so I’m not really phased by a twitchy bike so they work for me. This new one looks more your thing.
  • 1 0
 I know someone who might be selling one at some point.....Wink
  • 2 0
 @ocnlogan: for what it’s worth, I went from a Canfield Riot with 414mm chainstays to a Banshee Titan with 452mm chainstays and the Titan is easier to ride fast when tired, I’m not noticing any downsides cornering. The timing off of drops is a bit of an adjustment though
  • 1 0
 @lastminutetech: Bar rise is irrelevant without factoring in stack height. Since this Kona has a relatively short stack, higher rise bars would probably be appropriate. Pop a 10mm spacer under the stem, and call it good.
  • 2 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: Ayyy another MASS guy- are you talking about Evan K
  • 1 0
 @cmcguire24: Ha, yup yup. I think both him and Zach Roman are both on Konas, right?
  • 2 0
 My 153 Al 29 is ace, I have a -1 angleset & a dpx2 shock- without LSC tuning I couldnt get it right

lighter wheels really help liven the bike up, even if it will never be a lightweight

It feels like cheating on the descents & climbs very well, considering, it loves berms & jumps

My G1 650b Process was more fun in the park if Im being honest but this is the better all round bike
  • 28 0
 What does the X stand for? It’s so you have to say Process-sex. Pure marketing genius.

And it is a damn sexy-looking bike.
  • 4 0
 SpaceX beat them to it!
  • 1 0
 sex has been a middle name since the 90s!
  • 5 1
 And if want more cogs and a stiffer ride, there's always the Trance X.
  • 3 1
 GT got there first with the Force X Say that a few times quickly.
  • 3 0
 Process X....ProcessX.....ProSex.
  • 28 5
 Disappointing. Have only gone for Kona bikes for the past 10ish years but the prices and specs over the last couple years have been ridiculous. Hard to even justify the base Process X when you can pick up a new Meta AM 29 with a better build for almost $2500 less... Would love to keep supporting Kona but the prices and offerings aren't even remotely competitive anymore.
  • 4 0
 Been in the same boat having the 111 and g2 153 but went with the am29 this year. Love kona but kinda getting priced out for a decent build.
  • 4 0
 To be fair, the Meta AM 29 will be at least 2-3lbs heavier in the same build, with little ability to shed noticeable amounts of weight from the bike. A lot of the Meta's weight is in its beefy, nearly 8lbs shockless frame.

That being said, if you had another, lighter trail bike, and the Meta was only used for big mountain stuff, then yea, saving $2500 is 100% worth it.
  • 1 0
 That is exactly what I just did!
  • 7 1
 For real. I picked up a Marin Alpine Trail 7 for $2k, used the savings for some I9 wheels for $750 and I've got a 34 lbs (with pedals) trail / endure rig for half the price of an expensive plastic fantastic. No offense to y'all with fancy rigs, it's just that medium priced stuff works just fine for my old slow ass (Yari, SLX etc)
  • 1 0
 @PHeller: true, didn't really think of that. But with that savings you could toss on a nice set of carbon wheels and save some weight where it counts, add strength and ditch the garbage stock hubs.
  • 1 0
 @canningj: yup I went with full i9 trail s wheelset, but I'm not above putting carbon wheels on an aluminum bike, just decided to stick with the budget theme. Did knock a pound or two off the weight.
  • 1 0
 @PHeller: do you notice the weight that much? i have a meta am 29 with dual cushcore, dh casing tires etc and its not an issue on the excessively steep climbing trails in the whistler valley network. certainly not a $2500 difference.

maybe having riding that is steep and straight up then steep and straight down means im missing out on where those weight differences really matter, but id say the $2500 is worth it regardless of having a light trail bike.
  • 3 0
 Agreed that their brand identity and pricing are way out of sync lately.

During a normal year, you could almost always count on online retailers clearing out end-of-year Kona’s for 20-40% off

I wonder what their sales are like on theses top-tier complete bikes?
  • 2 0
 @vaedwards: yep exactly. I picked up my 153DL a few years ago for $2850 new and got my rove st last year for 40% off. Hard to justify replacing my process considering it was sub 3k with X0, XT brakes, pike rct3 and monarch plus rc3. Something spec’d like that from Kona nowadays is more than triple what I paid a couple years ago.
  • 15 1
 @konaworld making some real lookers of bikes at the moment. Kona giving a bona.
  • 4 1
 Yeah first Kona that is desirable for me in a long time. Geometry is spot on too!
  • 15 1
 Kona going in hard on the yeti dentist pricing... Can get a SB150 with similar build kit for $1000 less...
  • 2 0
 Uh, can you? Is that in Canadian $$$? The closest build to the Process X DL is the T2 Turq and it is $1000 more US $$$.
  • 3 0
 @Dogboy88: yetis website says I can get the C2 (GX build) for $5900. I suppose the suspension isn't quite on par, but you could upgrade to Fox Factory for $600 and still be $400 under the Kona.
  • 2 0
 @ratedgg13: The Process X DL is almost entirely X01 though. The only things that aren't are a GX chain (dumb) and the crankset (but it is the GX carbon vs. the alu on the Yeti GX build).
  • 3 0
 Uh... this got top-level suspension, Code RSC... XO1... carbon... A Yeti of all bikes for 1k less? Somehow I'm skeptical. lol And the frame price isn't even comparable.
  • 17 6
 Bike length is out of hand and getting dumb. Enduro mag did a nice test on 10 Enduro race bikes recently..many setup like the guys that race them. Even when ridden by not-pros, the shorter rides (like Rude/Florian/Moir etc ride) were faster...and more fun.

"Not only did the shorter bikes record faster times, they also allowed our test riders to change direction more quickly and position themselves better before corners to carry their speed through them. On top of that, the agile handling of compact bikes is usually more fun. Anyone who thinks that these bikes aren’t composed at high speeds can rest assured: handling stability is heavily determined by the suspension and all the bikes on test performed brilliantly in this regard."

Now that we've jumped the shark on the longer/slacker thing...I wonder what's next for MTB geometry? Or does it stabilize somewhere near what we have now now. The Ripmo V2 is one of the ultimate aggro trail bikes, and the Altitude is getting it done as an Enduro bike...both have fairly similar to geometry (aside from travel). I'm guessing most be there in the future aside from some outliers and more typical trail geometry like Switchblade (ripmo v1 clone) and following.
  • 2 2
 It all depends where you ride. @mikekazimer is right that these bikes suit bellingham style ultra steep trails. I spent a few months on a 2020 remedy there and switched to the new status because I never felt like I had the stability I needed on the heavy chunk. Everywhere else I've lived/ridden a trail bike makes more sens, but sustained steeps are so much better on a longer, slacker bike. Totally rideable on mellower bikes, just less fun/fast.
  • 9 0
 @zmums: Its not like there aren't those kinds of steeps on the EWS tho. Especially at the insane speeds they ride at, yet still dudes are downsizing. The EWS stage Enduromag tested on wasn't exactly a cake walk either and the non-pro testers still found the more normal length bikes worked better. Maybe its just rider preference and what you need help with. Part of me thinks we just need a little coaching rather than a super long bike. Fwiw DH race bikes (like supreme) aren't that long for a reason too and they are definitely racing some sustained steeps.
  • 4 2
 @Svinyard: you might have to recheck supreme mullet geometry chart, just like bike check of this enduro mag editor... enduro-mtb.com/en/editors-choice-nicolai-g1 but don´t worry, it´s ok to be confused, they are not known for consistency of their reviews or opinions. Or understanding why short CS doesn´t work with long and slack bikes.
  • 4 1
 Agreed, that was a super interesting article.

The main thing I took away from that though, was that more balanced bikes (front/rear center ratio) tended to be easier to maneuver with less physical input.

And since EWS is both ridden "more" blind (only one practice run), and is a bit more of an endurance event (1-2 days, 15-25min of timed runs), anything that conserves energy, and lets them to respond to unexpected/half remembered features quickly makes for a faster bike.

So, on some bikes like the SB150, that meant a smaller bike to make the front/back more balanced. The Nukeproof Mega though, did the same sort of thing, with a longer rear center on a size large.
  • 2 4
 @ocnlogan: I agree with the balance point. The major thing Enduro Mag neglected to discuss was chainstay length. The chainstay on a medium or large is much more proportional to the reach than on an XL unless they chainstay grows with the sizing. I wouldn't be surprised if longer bikes were faster (or at least not slower) if they had a similar balance between reach and chainstay as their medium sized equivalents.
  • 3 0
 @Mondbiker: What I surprise to see you here, how long until you admit defeat? Wink
  • 3 2
 The takeaway from the Enduro mag test is that there's a certain CS length that goes well with a certain WB.

The Meta 29 was the big loser (slowest lap times), with 433mm CS combined with 1285mm WB (size L). With the same model in a smaller size (M), they found it a lot better (433CS|1258WB). They found the SB150 was better in M too (433|1248 in L, vs 433|1223 in M). I suspect that the Meta 29 would be even better in S (433|1231) if they could still fit on it.

I suspect that something similar is going on in this test. 435|1268 in L is questionable. Maybe switching the CS to 450 in L (1283WB) would've given Mike Kazimer a better impression. I agree that downsizing to M (435|1238WB) would've been an improvement over the L in 435mm CS in this case, but not all cases. Kona bikes have been historically a little long and I love it, since I ride medium.
  • 2 1
 @Varaxis: the article says that Kaz rode it mainly in the long setting.
  • 4 0
 @BrambleLee: says that he tried both, mainly in 29er mode, preferring the long mode by the end.

His complaints are more about its long WB. A long WB requires speed to "wake up". If the speed is not gravity-fueled, it takes pedaling. If you don't have fitness, you'll be spending a large percentage of your riding time in the long bike's crappy low-speed handling zone.

IMO, wheelbase deserves way more attention. A 145mm FS bike with 1185mm WB (423CS) will be nicer to ride on tamer stuff, esp if you want flickability and playfulness. A 145mm FS bike with 1250mm WB (440CS) will be nicer for higher speed and plowing over stuff. I'd build up the short bike lighter, and the long bike heavier with a big fork and reinforced tires. Plenty of separation between the two despite having the same rear travel. Travel should be more about how much of the trail/impact feedback you want to feel, or how little you want your movements absorbed.
  • 1 0
 @Mondbiker: commencal are not known for the consistency of their geometry charts either. Or that of the reporter vs actual geometry.
  • 2 0
 @Svinyard: That's true, but there is a huge strength difference between EWS pros and me. But like I said, steep stuff is still totally rideable on shorter, less slack bikes. I'm not really advocating for extreme geo. I'm 6'3" and prefer a 490 reach with a relatively high stack. Current bike is a 63 degree HTA. That seems to hit the sweet spot of balance in steep.Totally agree with mike that the bike feels dead at low speed, but high speed it's planted and predictable instead of squirelly. Check out Bryn's post from a while ago about how he used to downsize but is now in for Norco's new sizing. Getting the balance right is important, but more aggro geo than a standard trailbike helps.
  • 9 0
 this thing looks sick but like you had mentioned no alloy builds and only two non inexpensive builds
  • 9 0
 I wanna know if he landed that steep drop in,
taking the” Remy line” by the looks of it .
  • 36 1
 I did.
  • 10 0
 Twice.
  • 10 0
 I am fucking scared of drops for some reason. Props to anyone who can ride stuff like that.
  • 5 0
 Yea fair play that drop photo is ace
  • 9 0
 @Upduro: name checks out..
  • 4 0
 @Upduro: get a bike with a very slack head angle and ride a ton. Ride the hell out of your easy drops, and you'll eventually pull a bigger drop out of the hat
  • 1 0
 The front wheel landed before the rear took off. That mofo is looooong (the bike, not Mike).
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: That's a wild picture. Hope you put that on the wall.
  • 4 2
 Drop ins were so much more interesting on 26 inch wheels, 2 inches of travel, and 70 degree head angles. Interesting and sometimes painfull.
  • 8 0
 You know when the slope looks that steep in pics, it's friggin steep! Nice shots, and riding, guys!
  • 7 0
 Thanks! @ericmickelson snagged some great photos.
  • 5 1
 Really like what Kona did here with the flip chip for mullet setups and 2 axle positions. I'd really like to see that happen on more Ebikes as the market is still split between mullet and full 29. With tradeoffs in either direction, it'd be nice to be able to experiment personally to find what you like since riding an eeb can either be different than an analog (i.e. ripping multi dh laps quickly), or an easier version of the same as an analog (i.e. my 61 year old dad doing big rides).
  • 9 3
 this color scheme is awful ... Kona nailed red honzo esd, and then we have this wtf
  • 3 1
 Kona is kind of hit or miss on the color schemes. The “base model” X is far better looking. And yeah, that red honzo is sweet.
  • 2 0
 Kona has the ability to have either beautiful or awful livery. I walked away from a 153 because I hated the colourways of that particular year and model. I did eventually find a 153 that wasn't as ugly.
  • 2 0
 @woofer2609: wasn’t especially a fan of last year’s purple, but it grew on me. Seems purple is the hot color these days.
  • 7 0
 too long, too slack, this day had to arrive. Look is dialed, tho.
  • 4 1
 And here I am with a medium sized bike with 1300mm WB and 61.5 HTA and would never go back to shorter bikes with steeper head angles ;D
  • 2 0
 Possibly same with enduro; meta am; few others from what i gather...
  • 4 0
 If Mike needs to bump the seat all the way up for a comfortable climbing position on a 490mm reach and a 78 degree sta, can we conclude we've reached the end of the rope for reach and sta? Should he just be on a medium?
  • 3 0
 It might be partially that, but he does mention that the actual STA is lower than 78 degrees, so it might be that having an effect.
  • 3 1
 No , it means effective SA means very little if actual seat angle is still sub 70degrees. Unless you pedal wit seat at headset height.
  • 8 3
 Thanks for the honest review Mike. The overall sentiment seemed underwhelmed.
  • 1 0
 My impression as well. Maybe Kona missed the mark a bit by not giving it more travel a la the new Norco Shore. It's already tank in terms of handling from what Mike says, so making it 180/180 would potentially clear up its intentions.
  • 4 0
 Finally get a proper XL and a 116mm head tube. Yay. So someone who's 6'4"+ who can ride a 78' ESTA/525mm reach bike has to run like 4cm of spacers under their stem.
  • 2 2
 Finally get a proper XL and a 116mm head tube. Yay. So someone who's 6'4"+ who can ride a 78' ESTA/525mm reach bike has to run like 4cm of spacers under their stem. And would they not consider steepening the ASTA for the bigger size? That change could have been done for zero dollars and just a little consideration for the needs of the rider of that particular size. I was seriously considering this frame but these two skipped changes show they don't understand XL riders.
  • 1 1
 @alexsin: Steepening the seat tube angle is probably not necessary with the longer stays. Crazy steep ASTAs are just a band aid for too short rear centers.
  • 3 0
 One thing I don't understand is why you always put the pedal covering the hump of the down tube is it shame?
I personally hate that shape. It will only hit easier with any big rock at least its not as ugly as the ripmo
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer What size chainring is that? it sounds like reducing the chainring size would likely make the suspenson kinematics a bit peppier. Nice to see you trying out and commenting on the advantages of the long chainstay setting.
  • 2 0
 I wonder if this review would read differently if Mike had tested a Medium (465mm reach) vs. large? 490 is absolutely massive for a large. My large v4 Nomad has 460mm reach (slightly shorter due to me running a 180mm fork) and it feels great for my 5'10" (short legs, LONG torso) body. Works perfect as my park/jump bike. 435mm stays as I'm running the cascade link. Feels AWESOME.

Having that Nomad is what made me "upgrade" from a medium v1 Sentinel (450mm reach) to a large v1 Senti (475mm reach). Both at 435mm stays. Works great as a "pedal long days, go super fast and race 2-3x a year" bike. I probably won't go any longer than that*.

*foot in mouth in 3 years when the grim donut is my primary bike
  • 12 8
 Okay maybe it's just me but shouldn't the rear brake mount also have two positions if the Axle has two positions?
  • 2 2
 @BaGearA You likely remove the spacer below the caliper when switching to the smaller wheel size.
  • 1 5
flag philalm (Nov 16, 2020 at 7:11) (Below Threshold)
 Looks like the axle stays in the same place on the seatstay, only the chainstay has 2 positions?
  • 1 1
 @Npacholko: I guess is not needed, is quite vertical the caliper and the bite point does not change much.
  • 3 0
 The bike comes with a special brake mount adapter for the long chainstay position.
  • 1 0
 f you look closely at the rear wheel axle/caliper closeup pic, it looks like the caliper bracket is reversed for the rearmost axle position. Maybe this does the trick?
  • 10 0
 @BaGearA, correct, you need to flip the rear brake mount around when the axle position is changed.
  • 2 0
 Totally agree, it´s going to be out of specs in at least one of the positions
  • 1 0
 I’m sure it all works out.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: Extra Awesome?
  • 1 0
 @TacosMcGee: in one of the pics the bike is in the long CS position and the adapter looks STD
  • 4 0
 @auzb: True, but I am literally holding the special adapter that says "Long CS position only" in my hand right now from my process x frame.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: thanks , now I can sleep peacefully
  • 1 0
 @TacosMcGee: OK, you won this one
  • 3 0
 Ok, we're approaching DH bike geometry now, I agree that bike design seems to be converging. Now...let the price wars commence!
  • 3 0
 Pffff, that PF hate isn't so much about creepy noise, it's simply about that you're y having the bb wrench at home, but definitely not the shop press tool
  • 4 0
 Thanks for adding the megneg review in there and your setup! Installing a megneg on my 153 this week!
  • 4 3
 Current owner of a 2015 Kona Process 153 (owned since new) which I LOVE.

I am in the market for a new bike to finally replace my trusty orange steed after 6 yrs of service, and so I was quite excited to hear about the Process X. I was praying that this would be similar to my 2015 model, just with a bit more travel. But sadly it doesn't seem like this is the case....

KONA - Why do you have to copy everyone making bikes longer/slacker? And 29" wheels only? Come on.... As someone from a dirtjump/skatepark background, the deciding factor that made me buy my 153 was that it felt like a big-bmx, not a mini-DH bike (like basically every other competitor I tested). The beauty of the 153 is how playful and poppy it is. I can manual forever, and bunnyhop 180 almost as easily as my hardtail. It's a bike that is equally at home on dirtjumps as it is on steep gnarly trails. This Process X offering just feels like a boring copy of every other enduro bike. Lame
  • 5 0
 (Kona was one of the first to make bikes longer/slacker)
See the reviews of the 2013 Process 153, which your bike is based on. And get a used 27.5 G2. It’s a kiss slacker and still the little whip that you love. Most smiles-per-miles bike I’ve ever owned.
  • 1 0
 I have exactly the same bike, but plan on riding it a few more years. They slackened the HTA by 1 degree in 2016. The Reign is a bike worth looking at if you're looking for a logical progression of the breed with more travel.
  • 1 1
 Or, you can just size down...
  • 5 0
 Just checking in as a fellow bmx-riding-mtb person: can't comment on the process x, but the 29" G2 153 I picked up in '19 blew my wheelsize expectations out of the water. There is something special about these bikes and it does seem a little disappointing that the X appears to have lost some of the character that made them so nice for "people like us." Mayhaps you can test ride or score one on the cheap as everyone else is upgrading? Or even check out the Alu 153s? I'm getting the CC link and planning on making my frame last another season and a half so long as I don't end up smashing into anything unplanned.

I test rode a 27.5" and a 29" and the latter actually felt better. Sure, flat and off-camber turns feel a little weird at first but the handling everywhere else more than makes up for it. I know you're worried about wheelsize, but just know that things have gotten better than they were in that regard. for reference, I still put the majority of my ride-time in on my BMX riding street and park. I usually only clock 4-6 hours on the big bike per week before the rainy season.
  • 3 0
 How are bikes still coming with Reverbs?! All the posts out there that cost half as much and work twice as well and we're still seeing these POS posts on 2021 bikes. Crazy.
  • 1 0
 Sadly, bike companies care more about the cost discount they get from going with all SRAM/RS vs the actual performance and reliability.
  • 1 0
 Is longer bike easier to pop of jumps? Like bikepark jumps, steeper lips... Got L size process 153 (475 reach) beeing 6ft 2inch tall. I like it, maybe it is little bit on smaller side for me. Have to replace expensive parts, so thinking about bike change. But new slash L isnt much bigger, And XL size scares me... Thank guys
  • 4 0
 That 3rd riding picture looks sick!!!
  • 1 0
 Yes, nice shot !
  • 4 0
 DMX be like: X Kona give it to ya ♪♫♪
  • 10 9
 “There's also a port on each side for the brake line – riders who run their rear brake on the left haven't been overlooked.”

Thank you Kona. f*ck you the rest of the industry.
  • 1 0
 But is it prau-cess or pro-cess? We Canadians get confused being split between two strong cultures... I go with pro-cess myself as I lean towards our UK roots: dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/process
  • 3 1
 I quite like the look of this bike, at 6ft, I would go medium and a 50mm stem, run it in the shorter chainstay setting and probably drop the fork to 160mm
  • 3 0
 You may as well buy a bike from 2016 then
  • 3 0
 The 27.5 version is just perfect! At 6ft tall, the "S" is absolutely perfect for me!
  • 2 0
 Hope brands will be more upfront about how adjusting CS length at the dropout affects all the susp kinematics. It's more than just travel that it changes.
  • 1 0
 So tell me please, I am 6ft 2 inch on 2018 Process 29er al dl (475 reach), not good jumper, more technical Rider. Thinking About upgrade or sell.Would longer reach and chainstays make jumping easier??
  • 5 6
 I think your writing style is blending with Levy's! I'd like to see how the bike handles with a 27.5 out back, especially on those tight climbs you worked hard at with the long WB and full 29 set up. Did you test the mullet config during the shootout?
  • 3 19
flag blowmyfuse (Nov 16, 2020 at 7:26) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah, why do we care what a Kona Process 29 rides like with 10mm more travel? The reviews have been out on that suspension design for a while.

I came here to read a review of how it rode when you swap out to a 27.5" or back and forth. This isn't a review. It's an 'overview'
  • 6 3
 @staktup, no, I didn’t do any mullet experimenting this time around. I don’t think that would it change its climbing manners that much - you’d still have a long, slack bike, even with the smaller rear wheel.
  • 2 0
 Forgive me but 7k for a Kona is a bit extravagant! Think what you could buy for that cash!!
  • 1 0
 nothing wrong with Konas unless your a snob. But the parts and weight for this and alot of the process range with there cheap sram clad porker frames don't add up imho. they need a hefty price drop.
  • 3 0
 Kona still holding on to the press fit bb for dear life.
  • 2 0
 So is the 153 the same? A freeride bike and not an all mtn bike? Kinda wish there was a process 143.5.
  • 1 0
 Beautiful bike but a bit too much for our terrain, maybe size down, 43.5 chainstay, mullet mode and a 160 fork. If only the 134 looked this good!
  • 1 0
 Apologies if I'm not the first to point this out but kudos to Kona for finally installing some frame protection for where the bike actually rests over a tailgate.
  • 2 0
 Process X = DMX references? I'm not getting it...
  • 17 0
 this is not a game
  • 11 0
 Not a problem, X gon’ deliver to ya.
  • 3 0
 They both have an X in them?!?!?
  • 1 0
 @gafoto: KNOCK KNOCK OPEN UP THE DOOR ITS REAL
  • 2 0
 BARK BARK BARK - RIDE THEN DIE Just leave your food unattended.
  • 2 1
 Seems like this bike be slippin on the ups but really gives it to you on the downs
  • 2 0
 That last photo is really cool.
  • 2 0
 So “X” is the new “Evo”?
  • 2 0
 What are the shock dimensions for this bike?
  • 2 0
 Looks like Norco but Norco have better geometry
  • 1 0
 I was wondering for a while what that other cable hole in the frame was for! (Left hand rear brake)
  • 2 0
 Best process they made is still the first gen by miles.
  • 2 0
 Kinda cool to see a Kona get 200 Plus comments... kooks and all.
  • 1 0
 Looks like a really nice and smashy bike, for people that want such a thing. In my opinion its a bit too long and slack.
  • 1 1
 @mikekazimer is that an actual riding jersey? I don't see it in the merch anywhere.
  • 1 0
 Almost like the golden years of Kona freeride bikes.
  • 1 0
 Please do the same but in affordable mood.
  • 2 1
 How the actual f### do you run 21 and 23 psi weighing 160 lbs?
  • 12 0
 By living somewhere where the trails tend to be on the softer side of the spectrum. I’d say that pressure range is really common in this area. I’d run more for harder packed, rockier trails in places like Colorado or Arizona.
  • 3 0
 @TannerValhouli I weigh 170 and run 19/22. I've run that setup in Arizona and NY. @mikekazimer 's numbers seem normal for what I see people running if the rims/tires are fairly wide.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: do you increase your tire pressure when hitting jump trails? I just did a trip to Bellingham and had to increase my tire pressure to be able to not feel super squirmed out when riding Cedar Jumps, and Unemployment Line... I weigh 195, prefer 23/25 on trails but increased to 25/30 and still felt a bit squirmy on jumps.
  • 1 0
 @unrooted, not typically, since I'll usually be riding other trails on the same ride. If I was only going to be hitting jumps, though, higher pressures do help avoid the squirm.
  • 1 1
 “ Since “Process 158/164” doesn't really roll off the tongue...”

“Travel: 161mm”
  • 5 0
 161 +/- 3
  • 1 0
 @ripcityBlazer: yes. I thought it was funny they went through the fuss to say that one number doesn’t work and then just use one number when they got to the details
  • 1 0
 Downhill bike is for downhill. Kona: hold my beer
  • 1 0
 Yo hold my Kona while I hit the head, anyone got some tp.
  • 2 0
 Bluetifull.
  • 1 0
 Let's cut to the chase and get a Grim Donut comparison.
  • 1 0
 At least weight is below 15 kg; I see only one downside -reverb
  • 1 0
 Press fit BB, end of consideration for me.
  • 1 0
 Saw the first picture.....buying it.
  • 1 0
 It's a shame they aren't doing a carbon 153 for the upcoming season
  • 1 0
 Looks like a Transition...I mean a Reign...I mean......
  • 1 0
 What front fender is that ?
  • 1 0
 Thank you for the DMX references, not all heros wear capes.
  • 1 0
 Kona has been stepping up their game the past few years!
  • 1 0
 What size was ridden in this review?
  • 1 0
 I was on a size large.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: Thanks dude!
  • 1 0
 Take my money! (Next year when it's on clearance at Jensonusa)
  • 1 0
 can you put a coil on it cuz at that weight you might aswell?
  • 1 0
 Don't understand why they haven't switched to horst link by now
  • 1 0
 When is the new field test??????
  • 3 2
 Downduro!
  • 1 1
 what the hell does "more support" mean?
  • 1 0
 Never mind.
  • 1 0
 Oooo! Aaaaah!
  • 1 1
 Tell kaz to freaking keep in on the trail ????
  • 1 0
 Looks like a Pole!
  • 1 1
 @TheBearDen claim? I could care less. Hah hah. Knock yourself out. Beer
  • 1 0
 SoooooOOOoooooo just something you made up in your head to have some discussion online. lol fair
  • 1 1
 @TheBearDen: @TheBearDen: Is SRAM your buddy? You gonna take up for their rep? Skin in the game?
  • 1 0
 @blowmyfuse: @blowmyfuse: Nope. Just trying to understand where you got your information. This a problem?
  • 1 1
 Swapping ,the band new Zeb , with an updated part . Say what?
  • 1 4
 Trunion needs to fuck off.
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