The Kona isn’t all too radical in any regard, but I find it to be quite refreshing. Is it outrageously slack? No. Super long? Low? Not really. That’s not a criticism but merely an observation. It doesn’t have the character of a short travel enduro bike or a mini downhill bike - it's more of a trail bike with a focus on riding moderately aggressive terrain very well.
Around Squamish, we have many trails that have a natural feel, some great turns and a decent gradient but they’re not that
steep or rough. On this terrain, the Kona offers a responsive and very consistent ride and feel. The trail riding here is simply world-class, and the Kona shone brightly on the fast, winding and natural trails of the Daimondhead
riding area. Thanks to the slightly lower-than-some front end, it manages to be very capable while also being poised and fun to ride on flatter or more mellow trails. It doesn’t feel dull or lifeless when you’re holding momentum on easier rides. I think this is a really important trait. Not everything we ride is about getting wild, after all. The Kona is an easy bike to ride and I was very impressed with its versatility and the wide variety of trails I enjoyed riding it on.
When you up the ante the Kona can keep up, however it does begin to get bullied by the trail a bit. The geometry does play its part in this, as I said there are more radical, downhill focussed 150mm bikes out there, but it’s not to the Process’ massive detriment.
The main criticism I have for the Process is the lack of damping on the rear shock. In regards to the leverage ratio, it delivers good small bumps and end stroke support. The issue is the way it gets through that travel, and the speed. The MM (medium compression and rebound damping) tune on this shock will give a lot of comfort and grip on climbs, and is really going to suit somebody who isn't trying to find the limits of the Kona, but maybe is just looking to play with their own.
During set up I began to increase the air pressure slightly to make sure I was getting adequate support from the spring, and even at as low as 24% sag the bike still tracked well and delivered good small bump. However, would I trade this off for a bit more composure on hits? Absolutely.
I found myself getting pushed around and reaching full travel far too often, especially on repeated hits. To try and remedy this issue I experimented with adding volume reducers. This is not going to do the same thing as slowing the shaft speed but it can help. I ended up running two additional spacers, for a total of three, and went eventually went down from 185 to 175 psi. I found this to be better than the stock spacer setup with higher pressure and at least found the end of the stroke to be better supported, but I would prefer just more damping.
The lack of adequate big-hit compression damping meant that I was often happy where the impact took me into the shock’s stroke, but the sheer speed at which it would get there would give a feel of instability. This was particularly noticeable on rougher sections where you need to try and be precise or as you try and shift your weight around the bike as it takes one hit after another.
A Meg Neg can have quite possibly helped by increasing midstroke support by changing the curve of the spring rate, and this is something Mike Kazimer found gave him a more supportive feel out of the Process X
when he reviewed it last year.
At one point I tried testing the bike with the pedal platform lever engaged on descents. It did help, especially when transferring my weight from front to back on the entrance to turns, and I largely preferred the feel. In fact, I found myself in the strange place of opening the shock for climbs and closing it for descents.
The Process is a bike that descends well, however, I feel that with one small change it could potentially excel. I have another 150mm travel bike with a 160mm fork and doing back-to-back runs the gulf in shock performance was noticeable when your eyes are up and your heels are down.
For FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS.
I'll just let that simmer for a bit. You can get a Specialized Status with NX for $3k. Or a Nukeproof Mega with Deore for $3k. Or a Spectral with Deore for $2899. The list goes on. Who would buy this bike in their right mind?!
Someone who loves yellow!
Wait until they find out the best way to make a small fortune in the bike business is to start with a large one. How many years until we see the article that Kona has been acquired out of bankruptcy by the original owners?
*Kona does spec it on some of their lower level hardtails.
If only that were still true...
Value has never been a strong point for Konas. Not sure why (suspect supply chain over profits) but I will say that Kona has an amazing network of knowledgeable and friendly dealers and head office is super easy to access in the event of any troubles. Not sure how important that is to many people these days but it definitely is a value add, especially compared to large companies that may or may not be located overseas.
Unpopular opinion: I honestly don't want the MTB world to devolve into large companies dominating sales. I think it's important that smaller companies like Kona with shop-based support continue to exist.
Agree with others, Kona pricing has been screwed up since 2018... thankfully Honzo's have been offered as frame only the whole time...
His point is not that this will be in stock but that if those bikes aren’t in stock they’re an irrelevant comparison.
I'd say Henry is like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but he's also the rainbow.
I've heard he's kicked more goals than Cristiano Ronaldo, and eaten more ears than Mike Tyson.
Can you tell us what those would be?
I mean really, what kind of maniac doesn't like a breakfast burrito?
I guess we can never be friends.
*rides away on an i9 hydra hub sounding like a pissed off hornet's nest*
And I loved the color every second I owned it. Also got lots of compliments on the trails. Of course it's a bit over the top but it was a so cool for a change. My current bike is raw AL which is one of the slickest colorways anyway haha.
But DANG that bright pink frame always got noticed. And we've all seen how fast someone can get through your lock with an angle grinder. So I always felt like I had to have eyes on it, would wake up at every noise camping, etc.!! Was a PITA! Even used it was the most expensive bike I had ever bought and so I was paranoid! (thanks to inflation and covid costs just an average bike price now)
Since then every bike has been more subtle and they get much less attention... I still love RAW frames, (metal and carbon), and green is my fav color so have gone that route a couple times since then. But mostly black... and it just seems like people pay less attention to them?? OR at least I pay less attention to what others are paying attention too??
On that note. youtu.be/1Okt0-Y38Pc
And as much as every makes an issue of the noise it sure doesn't seem to be loud enough to get hikers attention very often??
I came away very impressed. The bike just inspired so much confidence instantly. I felt at home on it right away. I just pointed it at obstacles and the bike ate it up. I liked it so much that I eventually sold my bike and bought a carbon 153. Best bike I’ve ever ridden.
I’m now riding the 2019 model and have the ultimate shock, so I don’t notice all the problems Henry had. That said, I think Kona could offer a better spec for the price, and their bikes are heavy (no secret there — bomb-proofness is obviously their priority over weight). But still loving my bike.
34.4lb with this component spec at $4k seems nuts though. Value for the money seems to be something that has gotten off axis for Kona in recent years, trending that way pre-pandemic even. Would be great to see them get that sorted a bit.
But I also fully understand why that shop still had the bike in stock, because at 3700 € it just wasn't a good deal. Like, not at all. Ended up buying a different bike.
I’ve come across some woefully inconsiderate internal routings that give away the fact that the person designing the bike isn’t someone who has had to work on their own mountain bikes over multiple seasons or ride them at all in some cases.
Internal routing can be hell for the home mechanic, and is an instant payday for the shop.
With external routing I don't need special tools or muscle relaxers to swap housing. No fuss, just a simple and quick job. Then again, I've never cared about what my bike looks like to others, either.
One of these day's it's gonna get crushed on a log and I'm pry gonna miss braking into a corner and fly right off a cliff...
Another friend hates the routing of both lines on his Norco Range so much that I designed some housing holders for him that we 3D printed and stuck onto the bike with 3m double sided tape. I also designed one that goes in between the bottle cage and frame mounts. I’m going to try them out myself when I next pull one of my bikes apart for a bearing or shock service. If they work well I might start selling some.
Have to agree about the shock, I ended up with a dpx2 elite on it and can 100% confirm that LSC dial is key to getting it set up right, I have it 2 clicks from full and it's perfect
Its a brilliant trail bike, and ridden all over UK, and raced to mediocrity at plenty of enduros, including EWS tweed.
After 3 years it's still solid as a rock, 1 bearing change and a wheels manufacturing screw together bottom bracket.
I'll say though that the NX stuff dies pretty quickly, warranty with SRAM was fine, but you're better off with Deore
I don't even consider this brand anymore, pricing is crazy with poor specs.
Their aluminum trail/enduro bikes are looking meh.
Current Kona is...hard to get excited about.
I'll stick with my Endorphin for a while yet.
The carbon 153s are sweet though, enjoy!
Will update this with any issues/comments, as the above comps (Especially the Kitsuma Shock) will be a significant step away from the stock DL build.
wat u talking bout 2030 ohohohohohohohoh
got buy a #EBike
1. Props to the aluminum frame, but what possible argument can be made for a PF BB in an alu frame? Especially if you already have external cable routing. If this had a threaded BB it would be such a pleasute to wrench on.
2. Clean appearance is really the only argument for interal cable routing in MTB. On road bikes its much easier to justify given aerodynamics savings. On an MTB it really only adds complexity, can often be noisy AF, which then adds further weight and complexity (e.g. intetnal tunnels for cables to fix).
3. "Budget" specs are what separate good product managers from great ones. Anyone can come up with a Baller spec, but Min Maxing a spec requires a lot more thinking. In this regard I think this bike deserves a grade of B-.
4. Did Kona not get a custom tune for this shock to match the kinematics of this bike? If not seems like a big miss.
That’s the main argument I’m aware of aside from just the cost to thread it.
As long as the rules of enduro won't start to include timed uphills, those bikes will probably keep to evolve towards pedalable downhill bikes.
I do think enduro needs to evolve to require more uphill. Maybe one or two timed climbs making up a third of the time. The discipline is pitched as being the most like regular trail riding, but the gap between trail bikes and enduro bikes shows it’s missing the mark. And it would open the doors to a wider variety of riders for stage wins while requiring a more well rounded rider and bike for the overall. It would kind of be similar to stage racing on the road in that riders could come in with a wide variety of goals and strategies to maximize their skills while still being part of the overall race.
Sorry, end of rant.
But if you can’t bleed your eyeballs out for 10 minutes then I don’t think you deserve a shot at the overall win. We have downhill races already.
What would be XC is to make you climb for 5 minutes then go straight down the gnarliest trail on the mountain. That’ll sort the men from the boys.
Meanwhile, it would actually open up the range of competitive bikes by quite a bit. Light trail bikes would have a much better chance to compete with the dedicated race rigs.
And the goal isn’t to use the racing format to make better trail bikes - it’s to build a racing format that takes advantage of the fantastic trail bikes we already have. It’s to keep people from having to buy a special bike to be competitive. We already have two imbalanced disciplines that require very specialized equipment and training, I don’t see why the third can’t be a middle road that seeks to mimic the actual riding people do on a trail ride in a competitive format.
But I agree that timed uphill will make it closer to regular riding, and more of an all-round effort. I would prefer to time every segment and apply a weighting in the overall instead of only timing some segments.
I like the idea of doing more climbing but weighting DH more heavily. But not having the majority of the climbs be timed or anything. 2 hours of race pace climbing would take all the fun out of it.
Nearly every new kona bike article has mentioned the 111 since 2017 after they dropped that bike, and yet here we are. They totally lost their way after Chris Mandell and another employee who were responsible for the 2nd gen process line revamp left. The process X gave me hope then I saw the price tags.
I've owned over two dozen new konas since 2014 (including two 111s) and walked away from them after 2018. Still wish them the best and hope they can return to their roots and not remain just an afterthought.
I'm loving that brands are taking a more moderate approach on some bikes, the geo table looks like a bike that would be pretty good at doing bike things, and would keep some of the fun going on mellower/flatter stuff too.
I recently spent $2.5k on a Polygon Siskiu T8, and I don't see anything in this review that suggests the extra $1.5k on this Kona would be money well spent. Not saying the Polygon is equal, just saying (as a non-expert) it's hard for me to really see what makes it worth that much more. Apart from the fabulous yellow colour, of course!
Too bad its so expensive though. I paid the same price for mine in 2019 and got GX with nicer kit all around. Bummer
I really wonder about being it a Fake.. But I know the shop bought a Santa there so its real.
The picture of the 153 CR looks like a Photoshop Process X with Process 134 CR DL Mix-but even the Spec. is sounding right with a 160 mm Fox 36
Ok, I'll be watching, from far away!
The issues in the review (which are quite glaring if we’re honest) that could seemingly be solved with a higher specification shock, simply shouldn’t exist with a modern suspension kinematic. I’ve ridden Horst, DW/VPP type, and even LSP bikes with the lowest specification shocks around that ride beautifully because the underlying kinematic is great. That shouldn’t be missing from any bike in 2022.
Internal vs external, yeah, internal routing is a buzz kill, makes as much sense as a press fit bb, but it’s what it is; I ride Canfield and they went internal this time around.
Colors be damned, I can always find a combo that makes a bike pop.
I used to want a Transition, but now that they’re just another corporate label, I’m gonna stick with the small brands.
This reviewer, he’s not really one of us ….
What a discotheque
What happened here?
Large/xl with 200mm dropper for 32" + inseams..
Gna be way off the back...
Same fail as spesh enduro.
I do think the SA should be size-specific and steepen more on the XL sizes. And none of this 0.3 degree increase BS. A full degree.
Not a big deal for majoity whom dont climb steeps like Laguna I guess...
Steeper is also gna help if u go mullett.
That's cause the air spring and damper are crap.