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Review: 2022 Kona Process 153 DL 29

Feb 23, 2022
by Henry Quinney  

The original Kona Process 153 was one of the bikes of the mid-2010s and championed short rear ends and new school geometry in a no-nonsense alloy frame around 7 years ago.

Of course, nothing stays the same forever, but there is still the same blood in the veins of the Process in 2022. The Process family has swelled in recent times, and now not only includes the 153 and the 134 in both 29” and 27.5” wheels, but also the 170mm travel Process X. That said, there is no longer a spot for the fan favorite and very downcountry-esque Process 111, but maybe that will change one day.

Kona Process 153 DL Details

• Wheel size: 29" front / 29" rear
• Travel: 153 / 160mm fork
• Aluminum frame
• 64.5 degree head tube angle
• 435mm chainstays
• Sizes: M, L (tested), XL
• Reach: 455 / 480 / 515mm
• Price: $3,999 USD
• Weight (actual, L w/o pedals): 15.6 kg / 34.40 lb

The new Process is a “perfect balance of descending prowess and climbing efficiency,” according to Kona at least. However, they’re not far off. It does offer a well rounded character that will suit many people who ride tech, steep or fast trails, even if they have no want or need of a big enduro bike. It’s funny, the Process 153 was the enduro bike of the range, and if you had told me then that a bike with that amount of travel paired to a 160mm fork wasn’t enduro I would have chucked my race-legal pre-workout drink right in your face, but I think the times are changing slightly. Maybe that’s best represented with the Process X’s place in Kona’s range.

Truthfully, the Process 153 isn’t what an enduro bike is in 2022, and I feel its definition has shifted slightly. There are plenty of enduro bikes that are 35 or 36lbs plus, with head angles nearing 63-degrees and equipped with one of the new wave of big, burly and stiff forks. The Process is an all-round bike - it just so happens the definition of enduro has in some ways changed

Our test bike, the full-alloy Kona Process 153 DL 29, is the more expensive of the larger wheeled 153s (Kona doesn't offer a carbon version of the new 153, at least not yet). That said, it’s got a solid spec and keeps its feet on the ground with the $3,999 USD price tag. It’s not outrageously cheap, but it also has decent parts and isn’t needlessly luxurious. It's equipped with a RockShox Lyrik Select RC fork, a Super Deluxe Select+ shock, and SRAM's G2 brakes. The drivetrain is made up of NX-level components, and a GX derailleur. WTB i30 rims are laced to Formula hubs, and Maxxis takes care of the tires, with an Assegai up front and a Minion DHRII in the rear, both with EXO casing construction.

I've always been a fan of unnecessarily oblique UK pop culture references. With that in mind, meet Kona the Vampire, my original Process, circa 2015.

bigquotesThanks 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. Henry Quinney

The bottle mounts double up as a cable holder.

Frame Details

Of all the observations one may have about a new bike, it’s hard to not have “f*cking yellow” among the first of them when looking at the 153 DL. I have to say, it really grew on me and looks great in photos. In fact, the simple bumble-bee black ‘n’ yellow scheme almost helped to lessen the eyesore of the externally routed cables. Sorry internet, but I’ll die on this hill - cables should go inside the frame.

However, I have to admit something. On this bike, at this price point, I think it’s a perfectly sensible thing to do. I imagine this to be the bike of time-pressed pinners, full-suspension first-timers and ardent enthusiasts, and maybe not those who would be willing to sacrifice five minutes of faff for something cleaner looking. The only time a cable or hose ducks out of sight is when the gear line diverts through the chainstay. The orientation of the cables is good though and does a solid job of not making them needlessly unsightly. Plus, there’s some robust anchoring to the frame around the linkage and water bottle mounts. They can also be routed for right-hand front-brake riders.

But before you get too excited by the nirvana of easy work on this Kona there is the small issue of the PF92 bottom bracket. The press-fit number won’t please everyone, although I personally don’t mind them. I think apart from the issue of risking damage to the unit upon removal, modern press-fit BB’s are just fine. There are also ISCG tabs around the BB junction.

Clean graphics on the Process give it a minimalist look, save for the external cables.

Something I do like about the frame is how easy it is to clean, and how there is nowhere for water to pool or collect. The linkage bolts are driven via variously sized Allen heads and have a spanner interface that sits flush inside the linkage. The 148mm Boost rear end is something commonplace now, as is the SRAM UDH. There is a lot of clearance for big tires, too. The 2.4" DHR2 fits in with plenty of room to spare should you want something wider. One thing that I did expect a little more of was chainstay protection though. Even after a few rides, the bike began to look worse for wear.



The geometry of the Kona puts it right in the firing line of modern trail geometry. However, there are a few distinctions to separate the Process 153 apart.

The 435mm stays aren’t short, especially not compared to those of the aforementioned 2015 Process, but they’re also not as long as something like the recently reviewed RAAW Jibb, Starling Murmur or the Propain Hugene which all have 445mm, or the Specialized Stumpjumper Evo which has up to 443mm. That said, Kona isn’t alone in this. Another bike from our Fall Field Test, the Scor ST 4060, has similarly short 433mm stays. There is no right way, of course, only different ways.

The stays combined with the healthy 480mm reach does put your weight in a slightly rearward place, but this is well balanced with a 625mm stack height, which brings your weight over the front axle slightly more. It seems slightly different to what some brands are doing, for instance, the bikes we had on the Field Test. Many of them do feature longer stays, which will bring your weight more forward but are then combined with 635mm+ stack to then help you get your weight over the back more easily. However, whatever Kona have done - it’s worked. The bike has a nice fore-aft balance.

The 76.7-degree seat tube angle feels steeper than it is when out on the trail thanks to the need to run a relatively low amount of sag.
The front end of the Kona has a stack height of 625mm, which isn't as much as some other aggressive trail bikes.

The slightly lower front end also mates nicely with the 76.7-degree seat tube angle. Yes, it might not be as steep as some of the new wave but Kona have their reasons. The seat tube should be steep enough for most people and its intentions, and it also means the 450mm seat tube for the size large is passable, even though it could do with being shorter. It's also helped by the relatively low sag that I ended up running, which has the consequence of effectively steepening the seat tube.

A single pivot... with lots of other pivots along for the ride.

Suspension Design

The Process is equipped with Kona’s Beamer Independent Suspension. Kona claim it helps the shock “stay higher in the travel and recover from hits more quickly” and is built to be progressive with an off-the-top feel that can combine small bump compliance with big hit resistance.

Essentially, with the marketing mojo to one side, it’s a linkage-driven single pivot. This means there is a swing arm between the main pivot, which sits just above the BB, and the rear axle. Above the axle is where the chainstays connect the swingarm and the rocker, which drives the shock.

The shock is trunnion mounted, 205mm eye-to-eye, and has a 60mm stroke shock that delivers, as the name might suggest, 153mm of travel.

Price $3999
Travel 153mm
Rear Shock RockShox Super Deluxe Select Plus
Fork RockShox Lyrik Select RC
Headset FSA Orbit 1.5 E ZS
Cassette SRAM NX-Eagle 11-50t 12spd
Crankarms SRAM NX Eagle DUB
Bottom Bracket SRAM DUB PF92
Rear Derailleur SRAM GX-Eagle
Chain SRAM SX-Eagle
Shifter Pods SRAM NX-Eagle
Handlebar Kona XC/BC 35
Stem Kona XC/BC 35
Grips Kona Key Grip
Brakes SRAM G2 RS
Hubs Formula
Rim WTB KOM Trail i30 TCS
Tires Maxxis Assegai 2.5" / DHR II 2.4", EXO
Seat WTB Volt
Seatpost TranzX Dropper +RAD



Test Bike Setup

I've spent a lot of time on a Lyrik in the past, so it was an easy procedure to get it set up to my liking.I ran 86 psi to achieve 22.5mm of sag, which is around 14% of the total 160mm stroke. I combined this with 10 clicks of low speed rebound. I think I would potentially look at increasing the pressure or low speed damping in a bid to conserve the geometry slightly if I were to live somewhere with predominantly steep trails. The beauty of riding in Squamish means that there is a lot of variety on hand, but even then the trails here aren’t exclusively steep like they are in some places.

The Super Deluxe shock was set to an initial 30% sag but I eventually moved incrementally to around 24%, which was 185 psi, and 8 clicks of rebound. I found the shock to be underdamped on choppy trails. It was comfortable on climbs and offered good traction, but the shaft speed was just too high when under compressions.
Cannondale Habit LT review
Henry Quinney
Location: Squamish, BC, Canada
Age: 29
Height: 183 cm / 6'
Inseam: 82 cm / 32.5"
Weight: 79 kg / 174 lbs
Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Instagram: @henryquinney

After the first ride or two, I changed the setup slightly and eventually went down in psi and added extra volume spacers, as well as another click of LSR.

I also settled on 24 and 28 psi in the front and rear of the bike - the Maxxis tires were well suited to this bike, but also to Squamish. I did have the rim singing on several occasions, but ultimately the trails that have been open over the winter are more subdued here, in terms of rough, fast rocks at least. I found the TranzX Dropper +RAD seatpost offered adequate drop, and I didn’t find myself shimming it down. That said, as a flat pedal rider I tend to run my saddle height slightly lower than somebody of a similar stature in clips.

I left the 780mm bars uncut and with all the spacers below the stem.

The Kona is best suited to slightly mellower climbs.


The Process 153 is an interesting bike, and a very adept climber. So much of this bike seems so pragmatic. Yes, it’s a bike for people that love to descend, but it also climbs well, combining comfort, traction and balance.The combination of the stack height, the smooth off the top shock and the seat tube angle means this bike climbs gravel roads at a canter and has a distinctly cruisey feel. The low front end keeps the weight distributed well, and while the 76.7 degree seat tube angle isn't the absolute steepest, this is no bad thing. Yes, a steep seat tube angle can be good, but it also depends on what gradient you’re pedalling up.

On techier, steeper climbs, you do have to manhandle the bike a little more, maybe even hovering your weight over the nose of the saddle. It just depends what you’re in for. It feels best when the gradient is shallower and the speed is slightly higher, and not when you’re wrestling it up something more demanding. If you like rolling up singletrack climbs rather than winching a steep fire road, the traits of the Kona will only help you enjoy that more.

Once settling on my shock setup, which I’ll go into more detail in the Descending section, I did find the climb switch to be slightly more useful. With the stock setup of one volume reducer, it wasn’t really needed, as the high spring rate needed to not use full travel will go a long way in helping this bike keep an efficient, firm underfoot feel, but once you add the spacers you can afford to come down in pressure slightly and this means that there was slightly more pedal bob.



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.

The stability afforded by a relatively slack head angle and long reach beg you to let loose through chunder.

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.

Kona Process 153 DL
Scor 4060 ST review
Scor 4060 ST

How Does It Compare?

It might seem strange to compare this bike to the Scor 4060 ST but in some ways, they’re not totally dissimilar. The Scor is carbon (and thus more expensive), but the two bikes have many similarities.

Firstly, they share a stack dimension of 625mm and very nearly the same chainstay length. The Scor really impressed us on the Field Test and I was lucky enough to sneak that bike home for some riding in Squamish. There was just something about it that made it such a pleasure to ride. Not only did it look beautiful but it was also fantastically easy to swing a leg over and offered a great feel, both front and back.

As Mike and Alicia found during their testing, the bike just had a big problem with how the bike trapped grit and grime in the frame. That said, I did love riding it.

With 10mm more travel front and back and a degree off the head angle, the Process should beat the 4060 ST hands down when it comes to descending, but that's not the case, due largely to the shock tune. The 4060 ST makes the most of its 140mm of rear travel, with plenty of support and bottom-out resistance right out of the box, while the Process 153 needed a fair bit of tinkering to get the rear shock dialed in.

In some ways, it might be better to focus on what the Process is great at rather than what it’s not, except that when comparing it to a bike such as the Scor you’ll find yourself asking - why would I choose a bike with more travel that feels slightly less punchy on the climbs when it’s also a bike that offers less stability when descending?

Technical Report

I don't think there should be soft brake pads on bikes this capable.
The TranzX Dropper +RAD post worked well, and can be internally adjusted, but the lever was clunky.

Rockshox Lyrik Select RC: A great fork that will suit a wide range of riders. I’ve long been a fan of the Lyrik, and its easy-going nature that belies its ability to get you out of trouble when shit hits the fan.

Maxxis Tires: You can’t go too far wrong with Maxxis. The Assegai and DHR2 combination is probably my favorite of any brand. They shed mud well, penetrate loose dirt and also don’t suffer from much roll on hardpack. However, while I like the EXO casing, it might not be for everyone. I think it’s very suitable for the bike but then again BC loam and malleable dirt isn’t particularly hard on tires - riders in rockier areas or who are prone to pinch flats may want something with a thicker casing.

SRAM G2 RS brakes: The trail brakes from SRAM offered relatively good performance, although I was very grateful for the 200mm rotor on the front. The lack of bite-adjust did limit the feel of my rear brake towards the end of testing, but I also lay that at the feet of the soft organic brake pads. Metallic pads would be one of the first upgrades I'd recommend in order to get a more powerful, positive feel out of these brakes. Realistically, I think the 153 should have been spec'd with Code brakes instead - they're more powerful, and only a tiny bit heavier.

Drivetrain: The NX drivetrain combined with an GX rear mech worked well during testing. I often find the NX rear mechs can go a little wayward and it’s good to see the more reliable GX option on there. However, I would have liked to see a GX cassette here, rather than the 11-50 tooth NX cassette that uses an HG freehub body. As it is, if a rider want's to upgrade to a lighter and wider range SRAM cassette in the future they'll also have to spring for an XD freehub body.

Rockshox Super Deluxe Select+ Shock: It’s not that it’s a bad shock, far from it in my opinion, but rather the damping tune just wasn’t correct. That said, the tunablity offered with the clip on volume spacers was very much welcome. Even though the tune wasn’t right for me, if you’re not concerned with putting large compressions through the shock, this is a setup that does offer good grip and comfort. If this bike had the Ultimate level shock, with the external low-speed compression that can throttle the oil flow I think the whole review would have had a slightly different flavour.



+ Balanced geometry that has an emphasis on trail riding
+ Comfortable climber, especially on more gradual climbs
+ A good frame that would be worthy of future upgrades


- Shock tune didn’t offer enough support
- For a bike that isn't an enduro bike, it's not that light
- Brakes are underpowered for the bike's capabilities

Pinkbike's Take

bigquotesThe Process isn’t the enduro bike that it once was, but it’s found something else that it does very well. It’s a fun bike to ride that would be a great introduction to the world of full suspension bikes, or for somebody that wants a solid alloy chassis and is looking to upgrade parts as they wear. That said, those looking for something that can truly do everything might feel limited by the shock tune. Henry Quinney

Author Info:
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Member since Jun 3, 2014
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  • 284 19
 An aluminum bike. With SX/NX stuff on it. Externally routed. Poor rear suspension performance.


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?!
  • 136 10
 Externall routing is good. Still won't buy it.
  • 88 4
 Someone unfamiliar with the broad range of bikes available who simply walks into a local bike shop and says, "I'm looking for a good mountain bike."
  • 37 6
 Are any of those alternatives in stock?
  • 15 32
flag webmeister19 (Feb 23, 2022 at 8:21) (Below Threshold)
 I agree completely. I once walked into a shop where a guy was buying a 4k Kona and he didn’t know what a dropper was. SMH.
  • 82 1
 Or a Ripmo AF with a full SLX build for only $300 more.
  • 29 14
 I still stand by the fact that Kona makes meh bikes at best. They are always so average, which somehow makes it worse
  • 31 1
 Kona's price point, at least around here, has been way off for years now. Last time I checked, a base model Process X, was at least 1000€ more than a similar spec Stumpjumper EVO
  • 29 1
 Was on 153's for years and the slow slide into shitty builds started in '18. Every part felt like a compromise. On most budget, and lets be frank 4k$ shouldn't be called budget, bikes you normally get some good parts mixed with some bottom of the barrel bits. Give me good suspension and a shitty drive train. Or good breaks and skimp other places.
  • 67 1
 You missed yellow, press fit and 35lb, what’s not to love
  • 15 0
 "Who would buy this bike in their right mind?!"

Someone who loves yellow!
  • 19 9
 The new owners have to pay for their acquisition somehow and prove to their investors that there is a fortune to be made as a bike manufacturer.


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?
  • 25 8
 most yeti buyers are like "FOUR THOUSAND?!?!? You can't buy a tire for that cheap!!!"
  • 35 0
 @carym: Kona's pricing was off long before this acquisition
  • 18 0
 I love Kona, but Speshy has a world beater with the Status series.
  • 27 0
 The year 2025 we will see Sram develop a tier below SX which will be specced on bikes with X-fusion suspension for $5k. People keep paying these prices so companies will keep charging them.
  • 9 23
flag DanielHuynh84 (Feb 23, 2022 at 10:21) (Below Threshold)
 die hard Kona FuckBoys
  • 13 2
 @DanielHuynh84: You tell em Danny!
  • 9 1
 reminds me a lot of my $2.290 Polygon T8, just sayin!!
  • 7 2
 Or a Carbon stumpie with SLX and FOX for 4k
  • 15 0
 @stumphumper92: The Microshift Advent stuff has the range, is dumb simple, weighs less than XT and is super-inexpensive. It surprises that more companies aren't spec'ing it*. I'd rather have that than SX. The NX stuff is okay, but heavier.

*Kona does spec it on some of their lower level hardtails.
  • 19 0
 3399 for a Ripmo AF with fancier DW link for better pedalling and more street cred.
  • 8 0
 @hellbelly: yeah but it’s not widely used for the same reason that you don’t see much manitou or the high end sr suntour used oem, people want the brands they recognise. So we end up with BS component stratification that leads to equipment and bikes being ridiculously overpriced. We the consumers are the losers.
  • 4 0
 @hellbelly: completely agree love my advent x. Bike manufacturers are people too. They see more value in crap from the big s brands. Its not cool I doubt anybody that works at kona has even tried it. If they did I am sure it would be on the bikes
  • 4 7
 Someone who loves Hawaii
  • 28 1
 You know you're doing something wrong when even Specialized manages to produce a better value bike
  • 6 0
 @stumphumper92: Will it be called SUX?
  • 3 0
 "Or a Nukeproof Mega with Deore for $3k"

If only that were still true...
  • 29 1
 Konas ride super well. Having owned a carbon 153, I can say that it is a great all around bike that can be ridden daily and raced without any obvious compromises.

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.
  • 3 0
 @carym: For the win... so that will be called the SRAM SUX group starting 2025...

Agree with others, Kona pricing has been screwed up since 2018... thankfully Honzo's have been offered as frame only the whole time...
  • 2 0
 @jesse-effing-edwards: and DVO front and back
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: you're assuming this is, and will remain in stock?
  • 1 0
 @jesse-effing-edwards: and due to covid bs might even come specced with m7120 brakes!
  • 2 0
 @Mac1987: If they can’t keep it in stock then it must not be so expensive huh?

His point is not that this will be in stock but that if those bikes aren’t in stock they’re an irrelevant comparison.
  • 3 1
 Or $3600 for a full SLX Giant Reign 29er
  • 2 0
 @Three6ty: that used to be $3k
  • 3 0
 @OzarkBike: Just got one myself. Comes with a proper set of tires and real brakes too. The Yari isn’t spectacular, but it is spectacularly upgradable.
  • 3 1
 @Deep-Friar: 100% agree. Rode 2 generations of Process. The 2014 AL, and a 2018 AL/DL, which was my last. Wanted to get a Process X but the $:spec ratio is so far off, got a Commencal Meta AM 29 Ohlins Edition for $2k (AUD) less than the top spec Process X delivered to my door.
  • 1 0
 @Deep-Friar: 2018? look to the past 10-15 years...
  • 2 1
 @hamncheez: Not a bike he mentioned, but the Commencal Meta TR is in stocks in multiple price points and sizes.
  • 2 0
 @Blackhat: @Mac1987 @MTB-Ohana I wasn't trying to make a point, I was trying to make a joke....
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez: Life is a joke. This is the punchline.
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez: so was I (and failed horribly)
  • 1 0
 @Endurahbrah: nah,they can still buy a Nukeproof... who incidentally want their colour back :-)
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: yep, nikeproof using stock at CRC
  • 3 0
 I don't know, I kinda like the Process 153. At least on paper. It just seems so positively utilitarian. Could be a great offering IMO, but if it was 1000$ cheaper.
  • 61 0
 I can't be the only one who reads Henry's articles in his velvety voice?
  • 2 0
 It's so smooth it almost sounds like one word
  • 5 14
flag wyorider (Feb 23, 2022 at 20:11) (Below Threshold)
 Doesn’t make up for his incoherent writing.
  • 4 0
 @wyorider: “ I ended up running two additional spacers, for a total of three, and went eventually went down from 185 to 175 psi.”
  • 5 2
 I used to like Mike Levy, but he's been surpassed (quite easily I might add) by Henry.
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.
  • 3 0
 @Waldon83: Henry is becoming "The Stig" of Pinkbike. With the difference that we know his face. Some say that he ...
  • 54 0
 4000$ for A bike with SX and NX componentry
  • 9 5
 Drivetrain bits are consumable. Like tires. Give me value where it matters. Like a good frame. Like a kona.
  • 1 0
 @billymac1370: your say that as if there is a list in your head of 'bad' aluminum frames.
Can you tell us what those would be?
  • 1 0
 @BarryWalstead: sorry it stays in my head. Along with my list of bad BB standards, shock mounts, pawled hubs, internal routing systems, p***n, craft beer, and breakfast burritos Wink
  • 1 0
 @billymac1370: oh them's fighting words!

I mean really, what kind of maniac doesn't like a breakfast burrito?
I guess we can never be friends.
  • 53 3
 Company's should make more bright color bikes. Not everyone wants a blacked out murder machine!
  • 33 0
 Lot of complaints in the comment section about yellow, but I rather like it.
  • 9 0
 @TheR: If every bike company made a banana yellow bike, you'd see people praising the color. Pinkbike commenters are fickle.
  • 4 0
 @Ajorda: I think we need more of it in our lives.
  • 6 3
 A lot of us have trails that require trespassing and bright yellow just isn't gonna work.
  • 6 1
 @norcalbike: Ah. Never thought of that angle. I find that interesting.
  • 39 0
 @norcalbike: "Yeah man they'd see my bright yellow bike, can't have that."

*rides away on an i9 hydra hub sounding like a pissed off hornet's nest*
  • 5 0
 I avoid the "LOOK AT THE EXPENSIVE MOUNTAIN BIKE" on the back of my vehicle colors... But can't deny the yellow looks cool!!
  • 3 0
 @stiingya: You gotta move outta the hood.
  • 3 0
 @TheR: Same here. Tired of teal, seafoam, tan, and silver.
  • 5 0
 @norcalbike: I don’t get it. Wether your bike is black purple or orange a human is going to notice another human hauling ass through the woods, especially if your hub makes noise. I trespass pretty much every time I ride and I have a black bike with silent hubs. Certainly has never stopped anybody from telling me not to trespass.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: Not gonna pretend my town is low crime, but actually it's been small places in the middle of nowhere on road trips that I've had the most trouble... just luck of the draw I guess...
  • 4 0
 @Ajorda : I had this bike until last year :
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.
  • 3 1
 @stiingya: I’m from tha hood. I know what it’s like to have to think that way. When we were kids on BMX bikes, you didn’t want to draw too much attention to yourself or your bike. Bikes were still loud, though. It was the 80s. Haven’t had to think about that in years, fortunately. My training from the hood will not let me leave a bike out in the open, so there’s that, but I’ve never given color a second thought.
  • 2 0
 @TheR: I was traumatized by Kalimotxo pink with Yellow graphics... LOVED the color when I got it!! Used to have a pink and yellow snowboard jacket in the 80's!!

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?? Smile

On that note. youtu.be/1Okt0-Y38Pc
  • 1 0
 @Ajorda: haha actually that’s what I do currently but thinking some onyxes would help with that
  • 1 0
 @Chondog94: we have some trails with long sight lines that you can see them before they have the chance to see you and avoid them or sneak back into the bushes
  • 1 0
 @norcalbike: Well at least you can avoid em! I could see people in Los Gatos being a little more sensitive than the folk down in Santa Cruz as well
  • 1 0
 @Ajorda: Not when you pedal...?

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?? Smile
  • 2 0
 The silence of an engaged pedal would be filled with the sound of me gasping for breath.
  • 1 0
 @Chondog94: Oops not Los Gatos. San Luis Obispo, West Cuesta Grade, more specifically
  • 44 3
 I was “forced” to rent a Process 153 in Moab a couple years back after I broke a derailleur hanger on my bike that couldn’t be replaced in town there. It wouldn’t have even occurred to me to rent this bike, but I didn’t have many options at that point … pretty much the last rental in town that day.

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.
  • 5 0
 @TheR I did the same in Moab and rode Mag7 in 2019. It was an awesome bike and I came away very impressed. Of the Process bikes on the Kona website, only the PROCESS 134 CR 29 (konaworld.com/process_134_cr_29.cfm) seems like a good blend of specs and value. Carbon frame, fox suspension, mostly SLX drivetrain, DT Swiss hubs. Other than that 1 model, I would buy a frame on the BuySell and build up from there.
  • 2 0
 @railbender: Yeah, I rode the base model I Moab. The bike was a tank, every bit 35+ pounds, but man did it plow through Moab. And climbed surprisingly well for the weight. I’m with you on building from the frame up. No matter what model I look at, there are a few things I’d change out. I considered going with the 134, but I just like the extra bit of travel.
  • 4 0
 I like Konas for the same reason--instantly comfortable to me. Everyone I've ever dealt with at the company has been rad too. In fact, building up a Honzo frame I snagged last year as I type this..

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.
  • 3 0
 @mikealive: Yeah, when I was paying close attention to spec when I was buying, I think each model—from the base to the DL—came with the same mediocre wheels, same aluminum bar, Guide brakes, etc… NX drivetrain on the CR model… just stuff where I’m thinking, “C’mon, this is your top-of-the-line model. You can do better than that…” luckily, all that is offset by the design of the bike. They make great bikes. The value is a little off.
  • 2 4
 TF you riding around Moab with no spare hanger for? You deserved the ride the rest of the time on a unicycle
  • 3 0
 @mknott9: I ordered one, but it didn’t arrive from the manufacturer before I left. It didn’t come for almost a week after I got back.
  • 6 0
 Thanks for the kind words and for renting a Kona from Double Down! I recently started working there last season, enjoying it. Built up a fleet of these 153s for this spring, ready to rock. I've been impressed at how well they hold up to daily abuse here in Moab, definitely overbuilt.
  • 3 0
 @JarrodB: Yeah, you guys saved my weekend! Got my own 153 now. But I’m glad to know there’s a place in town to get a derailleur hanger if I need it.
  • 3 0
 @TheR: I assume you're aware there's an onboard spare derailleur hanger on your '19 153. Under the cable downtube exit cover. Enjoy.
  • 2 0
 @Texicans: No, I didn’t know that! My day just keeps getting better and better! Although I did buy mine used, so I’ll have to check, but that’s an added bonus. Thanks for the heads up!
  • 14 0
 Bit of a hyper critical ego-inflating review there…. Industry bro being picky about shit he doesn’t ABSOLUTELY need to be…. And yes it takes a little time commitment and experimenting to dial in any new bike, especially if u WANT to be upset about something…. Pros might prefer a shock upgrade to this build: not exactly a “shocker” Wink 153s are a great investment, they rip, hold up, and climb well, plain n simple, never under or over biked. Oh and brake swaps are painless, as is any other mechanical task on these… great hangers, great bearings, no BS shock mounts, great support, great QC, great riding culture. PF 92 really is not a big deal and these have great chain line options…. Ppl will be riding 153s long into our mad max future too, right past abandoned proprietary and broken fancy bikes that no one wants to or can wrench on anymore… anytime is ride time, even 2022
  • 4 0
 I rode the 2021 Process 153 29" base model a couple of months back at a dealership. Must say I was impressed by the handling. It's hard to describe accurately, but the bike just instantly felt right. I also really liked how simple, easy and positively utilitarian it was.

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.
  • 19 0
 The internal/external camps will never agree, but I don't understand why almost all frames can have internal routing with the option of running external? I prefer in the pipes, but would be fine with a few extra attachment points for those who don't.
  • 14 0
 If the routing is this good, external routing all day. Happy medium is the Canyon approach on the Neuron, with a removable cover.
  • 6 0
 I sincerely appreciate your position and thank you for it. Dual routing options makes a lot of sense and I would really appreciate being able to choose which I went with.

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.
  • 3 3
 the only argument for internal is clean looks (as if cables were shit anyways). If you want clean looks, having empty cable mounts around ruins it all
  • 8 1
 @Afterschoolsports: exactly.

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.
  • 8 3
 There is a huge difference between internal routing where cables are guided through pipes inside a frame and open frame where you have to hope that shit you stuff in will come out at the other end.
  • 11 0
 @calmWAKI: not really, at the end of the day the piped routing is usually too narrow to fit a brake hose with the attachments. So you will have to chop the barb and put a new one in, do it few times and you hose is too short. On my Force I just did a brake swap to try some new brakes yesterday, it took me 15min to do both ends, no fuss. That's the only thing I am not looking forward to when I will get the new one (whenever they decide to send it ...)
  • 2 0
 External brake lines, or the option for it all the time would be nice. I have an incorrectly routed rear line under the BB on one bike that I've never gone back and changed AGAIN... It was easy routing it when the BB/Cranks were out. Had to pull it after and I F'd up the routing the 2nd time cause it's a PITA to do it now. And i didn't notice till I was all done, so I've just been a lazy pile and left it that way...

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...
  • 6 0
 A riding acquaintance got a refund on a new bike last year (or maybe late 2020) because the internal routing was so poor that he and his LBS struggled to get all the air out of the brake line. It was an issue that presented from the factory, the LBS really went above and beyond for him.

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.
  • 1 0
 @Balgaroth: fair point. mmm DOT drips from the housing inside a carbon frame...
  • 2 0
 I was working on a 2019 bike from an unnamed by me brand (was NOT a Kona Wink ) with the stupidest internal routing design + proprietary shitty hardware on which it took me longer to do new cable housing than it did to bleed brakes replace pads service form and shock clean drivetrain reinstall
  • 2 0
 If it's done neatly, I'd much rather have external routing - for practicality reasons.
  • 16 0
 I have the 2018 version of this bike, I've got an angleset in so HA is pretty similar to the 2022 bike. I would like the longer stays of this version, too.

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
  • 16 0
 WHAT THE HELL Henry?!?!? click on the Instagram and that stupid video comes up
  • 2 0
 Ha ha ha!
  • 3 0
 I didn't think I'd have to scroll this far to find someone else who opened it!
  • 2 0
 @CooperMez: I like Henry and he pulls this shit. Just because he looks like the guy in the video doesn't mean he has to trick us fans lol
  • 15 1
 Kona were everywhere a few years ago, but now it's hard for me to even spot one on the trail.

I don't even consider this brand anymore, pricing is crazy with poor specs.

Their aluminum trail/enduro bikes are looking meh.
  • 3 2
 Kona doesn t look attractive anymore and seems to have lost the soul/vibe that they use to have. I was a kona fanboy before but since the last few years i move to transition bikes
  • 3 0
 You don't see new Kona's because the price and everyone's old Kona is indestructible. I'm still riding my 2013 hardtail that refuses to die. I've only had to replace the hanger, chain, avid brakes and contact points, frame only has one tiny dent after years of hard crashes and abuse. No clue how the fork and BB are still working.
  • 14 0
 Would love a field test of All Mountain bikes with 150/160 to 150/150 travel: Kona 153, Ibis Ripmo, WAO, YT Jeffsy, Stumpy Evo.
  • 1 0
 Would watch that!
  • 1 0
 Oh, so 160/150mm bikes are now all mountain?
  • 14 0
 What's funny is that you can save a grand and get the lower specced version that comes with full Deore 11sp which would be a much better bet!
  • 13 0
 Commencal is what Kona used to be: no nonsense single pivot design, aggressive geo, build bias on suspension/brake spec, and competitive pricing.

Current Kona is...hard to get excited about.
  • 1 0
 Absolutely. I see heaps of them on my trails these days. I rode one of the cheap clash builds recently and it really stood out as an excellent kinematic that worked well both up and down hills. It didn’t suffer one bit for having a very basic shock on it. I could see myself buying one if they fit a bottle onto the frame.
  • 1 0
 How are the commencal pivots and faces holding up? @Afterschoolsports:
  • 14 1
 Worst value bike of the year?
  • 8 4
 Ghost be thinking "whew, they forgot about us."
  • 9 0
 @bikewriter: Ghost actually offers so much for just 3600€ - Formula Selva S, Formula MOD, Formula Cura 4, mixed XT/SLX drivetrain, descent wheelset, etc. It's probably worth to buy the bike, sell the frame for scrap and and use a second hand one with better geo/kinematics.
  • 6 0
 @Zayphod: that purple Formula fork looks so damn good.
  • 3 0
 @Zayphod: That build begs to be on a Propain Tyee Al frame...1200€ without shock,mind blowing!
  • 12 0
 That's a beer gut of a downtube! Maybe I should buy it to match mine.
  • 3 0
 Knolly vibes on the downtube, top tube/downtube come together and the beer can headtube. Reminds me of a slightly swooper Fugitive
  • 1 1
 @Glenngineer: Looks like a Knolly Chilcotin, but with a screwed-up seat tube and the Horst-link pivot in the wrong spot. And the seat mast is a '90s throw-back to the good ol' days of "hey, lets just weld the heck out of EVERYTHING and call it a feature".

I'll stick with my Endorphin for a while yet.
  • 8 0
 Holy smokes, a 153 review. Hallelujah! I do dig the yellow - if you're going yellow, go all in (similar vibes with Banshee Paradox). Clearly they put the coin into the suspension, which I'd rather have over a higher end drivetrain... I don't disagree it should just come with Deore, but simply upgrade to Microshift and that's a beefcake of a bike.
  • 3 0
 I don’t know… if they put coin in the suspension, looks like it didn’t pay off much. That’s the thing he had the biggest problem with. But I like the yellow, and I’ll tell you, my 153 (3 years older, carbon version) is the best bike I’ve ever ridden.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: Right, generally speaking RS makes good stuff, just seems like the tune was a miss... Could potentially remedied though via some aftermarket products or tune rebuilds. But it will probably work for people who aren't racing or pushing the limit. Lyrik is also a great spec, even without the Ult version! The price/value is hard to ignore, given its competition, but the MSRP is only $2-300 more than previous AL DL years.

The carbon 153s are sweet though, enjoy!
  • 1 0
 In a turn of events, I dented my '16 134's downtube this summer and requested a Kona crash replacement. Oddly enough, this exact frame was an option (Sick!!). So I'm going hornet yellow, size medium. For comps we have Nobl TR37's on 101s, Assegai EXO+ F & DHRII DD R, Bomber Z1 Coil, Bomber CR Coil, Cane Creek Kitsuma Coil & 40s Headset, Springdex 500 Coil, MT7s F&R, Advent X Pro Drivetrain, WTB Volt Pro Saddle, OneUp 210 Dropper/Bashguard/EDC threadless carrier/35mm Carbon Bars, Canfield 155 Cranks, Ergon GA2s, and finally Wolftooth LA Remote/0 offset superboost 30t Chainring/Seatpost Clamp. Going for a bruiser build.

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.
  • 8 0
 Lots of ragging on Kona. The market demand is for ever more capable enduro rigs. I wonder whether the market has the skills to ride at even 80% of this platforms ability. PinkBike riders aside, I'm guessing not even close. But, the longer/lower/slacker demand has produced a market of unbelievably capable bikes. I don't need the 160/160 of my Gen 2 Process 153 CR DL 27.5 here in TX, but with the CC link and about 25% sag, I have a trail bike that lets me go as fast as I dare and saves me on a regular basis in Central Texas. I'm guessing if this Gen 2.5 Process 153 was available in 2020, I'd also be happy with it. I think the value prop complaints are fair. But Kona is a small shop brand. I rarely see a Process of any gen or travel here in TX, but the folks that have them like them for what they offer. A still progressive/aggressive trail bike than can handle the steep, pop and play choose your adventure lines, and leave you with a smile. Only you can decide if the price is right.
  • 15 4
 Kona out here making big moves. Some real big updates...
  • 4 14
flag jrocksdh (Feb 23, 2022 at 8:41) (Below Threshold)
 Seat angle is very dated...3 deg off.
  • 10 0
 Some real big inflated prices too
  • 3 0
 @jrocksdh: is living in 2030
  • 1 11
flag assbap69 (Feb 23, 2022 at 10:51) (Below Threshold)
 @Frk-The-One: hohohohohohhoohoho

wat u talking bout 2030 ohohohohohohohoh

got buy a #EBike
  • 6 0
 Kona is an interesting brand in that I've never been excited by their stuff but they have a very loyal following. My observations on this bike are
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.
  • 2 0
 You wouldn’t know it because the bike industry sucks so hard at QC, but a threaded BB has some inherent misalignment that a properly built PF interface doesn’t have. But if you’re going to phone it in the threaded BB will tend to self correct when the tap is run through and will not creak and drive the end user crazy. Might rob several watts, but it’ll at least be quiet about it.

That’s the main argument I’m aware of aside from just the cost to thread it.
  • 2 0
 PF is worse on carbon than alloy change my mind
  • 7 0
 goddammit I still want the Scor, even though Henry has clearly reiterated the very point which means I should definitely NOT get it.
  • 1 0
 Do banks do bundles? Maybe you could finance the bike and a car wash together.
  • 2 0
 I too really want the Scor but will probably chicken out and buy a Propain.
  • 5 0
 I own a 2018 Kona Process CR, and honesty love the bike! They need to bring back the carbon 153. The process X for someone that just wants one bike to ride everything from steep bike park trails to their local flow trails is just too much of a bike. I do agree that some of the part choices on this bike just don't make sense. But like my older process, I have changed just about every part on the bike.
  • 2 0
 Yes! They need to bring back the carbon 153. I love mine and think the Process X would be a little too much for me. It’s not that I mind aluminum so much as I mind 35 pounds of bike. I got my carbon 153 down to 32 pounds.
  • 4 0
 original Process 134 rider here, and exited with first sight! I never take MSRP price seriously, that is brands wet dreams and I tend to ignore it... I paid 1800€ for a full Deore Process in 2014, not great but I was focus on the frame.... were are this deals now? Looks like I will stay with my 134 forever...
  • 3 0
 Don't sell it bro. I've sold my 2016 134 and still miss it so much... This bike was The One.
  • 2 0
 @eugen-fried: Still have mine, replacing it with the new Instinct soon… mistake? Also paid $1800 (USD) brand new and there’s nothing stock left on the bike! It has served me well.
  • 1 0
 @eugen-fried: I'm not sell it for shure, it's quite original here this first generations, never seen another on the trails ...
  • 4 0
 Just discovered i don't ride an Enduro anymore anyhow i've been super happy with my 2019 Process. It's suoer playfull especially compares to the meta am v4 i was riding before. I'm running the megneg, which had an awesome effect on the rear suspension. Only thing i notice is, that it is not so superstable on highspeed compared to full blown Enduro bikes. the yellow is awesome, i'm hoping for a framset as the build kit is not very strong....
  • 4 0
 Great review. I really like how you go in depth about the different setups you tried and what each change in setup improved or sacrificed. Great to hear a review that says what they didn't like, what that dislike translated to on the trail, and how it could be addressed or maybe why some riders might like it just the way it is.
  • 4 0
 @henryquinny: why is it so hard to use the term all-mountain? That is what a 150mm bike was called before "enduro" came along. And the way you describe the bike's intentions - in many words - sounds a lot like all-mountain to me.
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.
  • 4 3
 Yeah, “enduro” bikes are getting a bit out there. Not surprising really as it’s no different than XC race bikes, but few people will actually be buying them - even if they plan to race enduro. The main market is riders who spend a lot - but not all - of their time in a park.

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.
  • 1 0
 @Blackhat: come on man as if things aren’t going xc enough, pretty soon they’ll be removing rocks and shit
  • 1 2
 @mknott9: Nah. Put more in. Make sure the dude taking the piss on his XC bike has a proper chance to die on the way down.

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.
  • 1 0
 @Blackhat: alright but then you’re really starting to make it more about the bike than the rider, something evidenced in the enduro field test efficiency portion last year.
  • 1 1
 @mknott9: Which is the point that started this conversation: some bikes are trading huge amounts of efficiency for tiny gains in descending. When the format is encouraging unbalanced designs that aren’t great bikes that’s a warning sign. Of course a format change to counter this will obsolete those imbalanced bikes, but I think it would be healthier for the discipline and sport as a whole.

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.
  • 2 0
 @Blackhat: but then you’re making lighter less reliable bikes with lighter less reliable components to eke out some seconds going uphill. Really not what something that needs a thrashing downhill should be aspiring for. I think we have the humble trail bike covered pretty well by most companies.
  • 2 2
 @mknott9: I mean, that’s why you need to keep the uphill to a moderate portion of the overall time. Way less than half I suspect.

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.
  • 1 0
 @Blackhat: I think racers will always try to eek out an advantage and their demands are different than those for regular riders. The idea that we regular people should buy the same bike as pro racers is really silly in my view. But it's very common in cycling. With cars, not so much.
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.
  • 1 1
 @ak-77: Agree about XC and DH bikes, but enduro is supposed to be an accessible format that any competent rider can jump into on a whim. At least that’s what they say in those “your first enduro race” articles. And if that’s the ethos then the sport should absolutely try to align the bikes people ride with the bikes they race.

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.
  • 6 4
 "That said, there is no longer a spot for the fan favorite and very downcountry-esque Process 111, but maybe that will change one day."

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.
  • 9 1
 You owned half a dozen new Konas every year between 2014 and 18? You barely had enough time to break any one of them in. No idea of your personal financial situation but I really hope you have managed to control your spending habits in the last few years.
  • 1 1
 @dadof4: nope. Bought even more bikes. Currently own two high pivots. Almost broke even on every one of them btw
  • 2 0
 Pro Tip: To get the most out of Henry's articles they should be read while listening to Morrissey, everything just translates better!

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.
  • 1 0
 I just got a Reign 29 with similar geo. Main difference is a 170 fork. Still feeling it out, but it’s surprisingly fun on mellower trails in XC mode. Where it takes a step back is if you try to spin an all day pace. Then it gets a little sluggish and disinterested compared to my hardtail. Which is fine as it’s not like those trails were ever going to be that fun just spinning along.
  • 4 0
 Hallelujah, a new bike that has an aluminium frame, external cable routing and decent parts. Well done Kona, I hope more brands take note.
  • 6 0
 Needs more yellow.
  • 2 1
 I am pretty sure the Meg Neg will help remedy the issue with the shock tune. I tried the Meg Neg on my SC HT because I was blowing through travel too easy but found it too progressive for regular trail riding. At 30% sag, zero spacers and 4 bands the bike used too little of its travel and felt harsh. Mid stroke support and landing jumps however was a lot beter than standard. Also the bike felt more efficient (less bobbing) One thing about the Meg Neg is that you will have to increase the pressure by approx 50% to get similar sag, so heavier riders should be careful not to exceed the shock limits.
  • 1 0
 20-25% on most bikes
  • 2 0
 It does! I have this bike with a megneg and i no longer blow through the mid stroke. And i don't think it's a 50 percent increase in pressure, i believe it's 30 percent, but am struggling to remember the pressure i ran before i installed the megneg.
  • 4 3
 lost me with that seat angle just looking at it..... Love Kona but I feel like they made a wonderful leap forward with geo in the mid-2010's but have just been stagnant since then. Hard pass on Kona till they get with the times.
  • 1 0
 At first I was underwhelmed with the G2 RS as well but switched to Disco Brakes Copper Free pads and Magura Rotors (2mm thick). Now I'm happy with them, good power and modulation, but I don't have sustained downhills. Cheaper than replacing a whole brake set.
  • 1 0
 Curious what else you can get for $4k?

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!
  • 4 0
 There will always be a price gap between direct-to-consumer and shop brand bikes. Not defending Kona, but there are some perks with shop brand bikes. Say you're traveling to ride and smash your derailleur on a rock. Slim to no chance a local shop will have the derailleur hanger for the Polygon. Higher chance there is a Kona dealer in town with a spare hanger for sale.
  • 1 0
 @wutamclan: Fair point - I'm generally fine with paying a premium to use the LBS, but $4k still sounds like a lot of cash!
  • 4 0
 You can get an Alloy Deore Transition Spire for $100 less. AND it is Henry's favorite bike!
  • 2 0
 Remember when they used to make Levy do ad reads everytime he said Pinkers? I suspect a similar policy has been put in place to limit Henry gushing about the Spire
  • 1 0
 Pretty similar to my 2019 Trek Remedy with a cascade link (besides the wheel size). Same headtube angle, same chainstay length, same travel, and similar reach. Love how my bike rides so I'd imagine this would be pretty fun.

Too bad its so expensive though. I paid the same price for mine in 2019 and got GX with nicer kit all around. Bummer
  • 1 0
 Great article, but the most importaint thing to note is that when you click on Henry's Instagram link, it takes you to Rick Astley - Never Gonna Give You Up (Official Music Video) on YouTube. Dont believe me? Click it for yourself.
  • 1 0
 Here it is ( again ) a Process CR 153 2022 with Fox Shimano Spec..


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
  • 4 0
 The DL stands for debilitating loan.
  • 2 0
 I had an original process 153 29 and it was super rad. Kona needs to up their game tho if they want to compete in the spec department.
  • 1 0
 Rear shock is super tunable with a MegNeg, would be easy to dial in. Flimsy tires, NX drivetrain and wimpy rims is too many parts that would need to be swapped out the gate though. Meh
  • 4 0
 Congratulations on the rickrolling
  • 1 1
 I used to aspire to own a Kona.... but nowadays they're getting just as bad as Trek and Specialized when it comes to pricing their bikes. Always 500-1000 bucks more for a bike that's basically the same as other brands (and this one doesn't even have internal cable routing)
  • 1 0
 The review says it's not an Enduro bike. I'm a bit confused as Kona still categorizes it as enduro online in their bike finder, and the Process web page marketing says, "crushing the enduro course on your Process 153."
  • 1 0
 No need to be confused: just decide whose word you prefer to take: the Kona marketing dept or the PB journo?
  • 1 0
 The bike is RAD. But I wish they could have kept 27.5 or at least an option (because my buddy has a carbon one in 27.5 from the previous year and it rides so dang good) and the yellow color is downright gross.
  • 3 0
 Is it actually 153 mm in travel though?
  • 6 3
 of course the brakes are underpowered, theyre sram
  • 1 0
 All in the bleed my friend
  • 5 4
 AND IT HAS AN SX CHAIN?!!!! Sorry Kona, don’t think I’m going to buy from you, any more. Pinching pennies in the worst way.
  • 4 1
 Boo hoo chains r $25 and you’ll need a new one next year anyway. U picked an expensive and dirty sport. The frame is your most important component every time.
  • 2 0
 Henry needs to re-do this Review using Mike Bear tires!!!! The Kona shock wobbles will disappear!
  • 3 1
 "Sorry internet, but I’ll die on this hill"

Ok, I'll be watching, from far away!
  • 3 0
 Still doesnt beat the 1st Gen Process.
  • 1 0
 Agree. I have a first Gen 153, the orange one, bike is a go anywhere beast and still have no real issues with it.
  • 1 0
 Yeah I dunno' why they couldn't have spec'd that thing w/a 52 cog to help us mortals haul it up the climbing trails. BOO Kona...
  • 2 0
 My '19 Capra Pro seems like a steal now. Carbon frame, XTR, CODE RSC, carbon cranks, performance elite fork/shock. $4400
  • 7 0
 I think everything from 2019 would seem like a steal now.
  • 2 0
 External cables doesn't bother me one bit, it's a bonus even, forget looks we want performance and ease of maintenance
  • 2 0
 I'm buying bikes based on having external routing, but ima buy a transition over this
  • 3 0
 Bring back the stinky take my money
  • 2 1
 My first legit mountain bike was a Kona so I have always been a fan, but man their new stuff is so disappointing.
  • 4 4
 Kona seems to have not noticed that the volume competition is no longer making mediocre LSP bikes since the Horst and VPP patents expired.
  • 9 0
 I came off a DW link and am now riding a 2019 153. I like Kona’s Beamer link better than the almighty DW. Not much of a penalty (maybe just a tad) on the climbs. It kind of settles into the sag without a whole lot of bobbing. But on the descents and rough stuff — there’s a world of difference. Like a magic carpet compared to the other bike with the DW. So much better.
  • 4 0
 @TheR: I’m glad you’ve found a bike that works well for you.
  • 1 0
 @Afterschoolsports: All good, man. I’m not mad at you, just still bitter about my underwhelming DW experience after reading so many great things about it. I do like it on the Pivot Switchblade and Firebird, though. I rode a Horst Link for 8 years, and I like the way it felt on the downs and the rough stuff, but I will say this — the DW saved me a ton more energy on the climbs. I used to be gassed at the top of the climbs on that Horst Link bike (Spesh Enduro), but it was made more than a decade ago. Maybe they’ve integrated better on newer designs. In the end, I think people would be surprised by the performance of the single pivot Beamer Link. I don’t think performance relies all that much on certain linkage systems anymore. That’s all I’m saying.
  • 3 0
 @TheR: you’re right, performance doesn’t rely on a particular arrangement but that’s kind of my point. Back in the days when short dual link and Horst link was patent restricted, LSP was ubiquitous and most were really average. Kona rode well in that company. Now everyone can (pretty much) choose which design they want to go with and optimise. The multiple independent development programs have elevated both types of designs to supreme levels of refinement. I don’t believe that Kona has kept up with this refinement.

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.
  • 3 0
 Good ol Rick astley
  • 3 1
 Looks like a nice normal bike in an extraordinary world.
  • 1 1
 Not a issue on just this bike, but chainstays should have the same shape/bends on both sides. Symmetry is the only correct answear to this!
  • 3 0
 Dropped/asymmetrical chainstays supposedly offer better stiffness.
  • 1 0
 Dropped drive side chain stay offers superior chainring clearance, chain line options + tire clearance
  • 1 1
 Should have compared to the Spesh StEvo alloy comp. Same price, same purpose. The StEvo is like the benchmark for aggressive trail bikes right now.
  • 2 1
 As much as I enjoy my Process 153, the spec on this current iteration is a miss for a bike wearing the Dee-Lux tag.
  • 3 2
 It’s a sad day when the 2015 bike looks worlds better than the brand new 2022 model. Horrendous
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez actually there is. The status is in stock on Specializeds website
  • 1 0
 It’s personal preference. I’m on a large bike with 76 STA and a 200mm dropper. It’s about right. Saddle in middle.
  • 4 3
 $4k and it has NX components on it. What a massive joke.
  • 1 0
 Yellow color screams "Tweedy Bird".
  • 2 0
 It's Diamondhead.
  • 1 0
 ouch, I expected a glowing review, too bad Kona
  • 3 1
 One-word summary: "Meh".
  • 1 0
 Henry, does your bio image double as your Tinder profile pic?
  • 1 1
 Loam (/lōm/): a soil with roughly equal proportions of sand, silt, and clay.
  • 1 0
 I was here for Henry’s comparison to a clapped out Giant Reign
  • 5 3
 Kona is so fucking lost.
  • 1 4
 Press fit bb on an aluminum frdd as me bakes no sense, it can’t be that much harder to thread a bb than to machine it to press fit tolerance. This is just dumb.

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 ….
  • 1 0
 Reviewer sounds like he needs fox on a yeti
  • 1 0
 I run an OG Process 153, still waiting to find a bike to replace it.
  • 1 0
 Ways out to much to process....
  • 1 0
 SRAM GX / NX / SX / G2
What a discotheque Smile
  • 1 0
 $3,799 USD for alloy deore Transition Spire.
What happened here?
  • 1 0
 Do those overalls give you a wedgie when riding?
  • 1 0
 @henry How do you feel this bike compares to the Ibis Ripmo AF?
  • 1 0
  • 3 2
 Formula hubs are junk.
  • 2 1
 Looks like Sentinel...Smile
  • 1 0
  • 1 1
 Henry Quinney is overrated, bring in Castro and I might buy the bike...
  • 1 1
 I remember in 2003 Kona was past it
  • 2 2
 Hot take : Kona makes bad bikes
  • 3 4
 wtf is that sport check ass bike
  • 1 1
 Weights like a Session
  • 2 5
 Seat tube angle fail.
Large/xl with 200mm dropper for 32" + inseams..
Gna be way off the back...
Same fail as spesh enduro.
  • 5 1
 I dunno... 77 is steep enough no?. Add in saddle fore-aft adjustment and most riders should be in the sweet spot.
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.
  • 2 0
 @flattire: 76.6 becomes off the back real fast in a L/Xl with 200mm dropper.
Not a big deal for majoity whom dont climb steeps like Laguna I guess...
Steeper is also gna help if u go mullett.
  • 1 2
 Is that a giant trance
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