Introducing the 2024 Kona Pro-Development & Ambassador Teams

Mar 12, 2024 at 14:54
by Kona Bikes  


Kona is excited to announce our roster of 2024 Kona Pro Development and Ambassador riders!


The 2024 Kona Pro-Development Team represents a collection of some of the best and brightest of both up-and-coming and established cyclists from around the world. In disciplines ranging from Enduro to Freeride, XC, and Gravel. Stay tuned to the COG for race reports, associated media, and ride adventures throughout the year.




The 2024 Kona Ambassador program shines a light on everything that makes cycling amazing: The feeling of freedom, the artistic side of biking, community, creativity, and sport.

We are a group of cyclists who go beyond just riding our bikes. We thrive on exploring what makes riding so awesome. We feature athletes who flirt with creative pursuits—everything from professional artists, trail builders, filmers, photographers, storytellers, riders with style, bike mechanics, community stewards, event leads, and more. Our goal is to highlight the good times and show the real and vulnerable sides of biking. We live worldwide, so if you’re passing through one of our hometowns and see us out on a ride, don’t hesitate to say hello!


Author Info:
konaworld avatar

Member since Nov 18, 2008
138 articles

  • 64 9
 A better idea would be fixing your broken as f*ck bike company and actually releasing something not out of date... What are these athletes riding Libres and Alloy Process X's?
  • 27 0
 I personally hope they're all shredding the 2015 Process 111
  • 26 2
 Some say that underwater offshore welding is the hardest job in the world, but no: it's influencing people to buy a gosh dang Kona.
  • 12 0
 @FensterM: And the 2015 process 167 with 26ers. Lord almighty how this brand hath fallen. Took that core identity and chucked it to the curb
  • 2 0
 @lepigpen: I remember buying a Kona Hot frame back in 1996 thinking that they were the coolest bike company. To your point, they've fallen pretty far.
  • 46 2
 This marketing approach does not appeal to me at all. Very few if any of these ambassadors are giving Kona valuable feedback on their bikes to improve them, it's just all YouTube and Instagram marketing. Post picture of our bikes on your social media and we'll give you more free bikes, hard yawn.
Even if I'm not watching racing anymore I still would want a company I'm buying bikes from to sponsor racers, not a bunch of average YouTubers with lots of friends and connections. This whole scene of "influencers" grosses me out.
  • 30 0
 Remember when Kona was awesome? I miss those days.
  • 4 0
 They were better when they were stinky. Now they Kent do anything right.
  • 25 1
 While I agree that what once was the mightiest of freeride brands has fallen from a branding perspective, what is so terribly out of date with the Process X? Because they haven't jumped on the high pivot idler bandwagon yet? There hasn't been any revolutionary changes to bike geometry since 2020. I ride a 2020 Banshee, and the 2024 Banshee is the same numbers.

I am just not getting the hate here.

Release a new Operator or Stab, and go be a frame sponsor for a WC team like GT is doing. Then on the next frame updates, bring back the Stinky name and subtly splash some old logos on there and you'll have the haters licking your boots.
  • 2 0
 The process X is definitely still a really dialed bike it looks like. It is weird tho that they have really not done much past that. They were on top of the world around 2014-2018 it seemed like, I was a huge Kona die hard. But they kind of seemed to just give up on further development and pull wayyyyyy back on racing. Their bikes fit and finish seem to be good but what you pay for given the spec of any bike I actually look at is so bad it makes Rocky or Yeti look like good value. I don't know if they were intentionally trying to get themselves into the boutique segment but it was never going to work. They completely lost their core fans.
  • 1 0
 @nskerb: Agree with you that there is definitely some corporate work to build back the brand to what it was. I had an '08 Kona Dawg from the heydays and modified it into a bike it wasn't intended to be lol. Became a real beast but not in a good way.

Looking at a comparison between say the Process X and the Transition Spire GX build for alloy versions, the Kona is $1500 CAD cheaper. The main spec difference I see is Performance Elite fox front and rear on the Spire vs Performance level on the Process (Bomber Z1 and DHX coil). You get the One-up dropper standard on the Spire, vs Trans-X but there isn't a huge price difference between those two). So I would say they are in the ballpark on pricing. (But I would rather own the Spire)
  • 1 0
 @ShawMac: Rodger that. I admittedly have not checked recently, but I will say that when the gen2 153 carbon came out it was wildly expensive for the spec it came with. And when the process x came out I thought the same thing. Maybe other brands have caught up to the pricing shittyness and kona might have pulled back?
  • 19 0
 Hey Kona I hope you're enjoying the overwhelming positivity this post is receiving.
  • 12 1
 Showing off your new race team while simultaneously having them ride bikes developed in 2020 seems like a step backwards. Luckily you have almost no inventory of anything that could loosely be considered a modern mountain bike and have shown no signs to change that.
  • 13 9
 IDK I drive a 2010 truck and my favorite bike is a 2018 Process 153 CR 27.5... are you implying only new bikes are good???
  • 3 1
 @watsont8: if you're a bike company what you're selling now better be comparable to your peers. Kona is unfortunately a long way away from tbT right now.
  • 3 2
 Honestly their athletes would be better off on pre-2016 kona's than the garbage bikes they have now.
  • 13 4
 Bias because my name is up on that list. But two things the people should know…

1. Kona backs trail building and freeride HUGE. They paid for a slalom track in Bellingham and there’s two big projects in the works that are going to make waves in their respective areas.

2. The older geo and budget buy in is what the bike world needs. My “out of date” process 134 27.5 is what most riders need and comes in at a price that’s not insane.

Big fan of their bikes and the team working their butts off in Bellingham. Don’t hate, and definitely don’t sleep on Holonko and Reynolds if you’re complaining about “freeride” roots in the brand, both are the f*cking future.
  • 10 1
 How about lets thank Kona for what they as a brand have done for Mountain biking during their history. All brands go through tough times, shift, have to make changes. I too, do not get all the hate for a brand that has in the past selflessy support MTB for the past 30 years and has brought a lot of fun to the bike world. They have inspired and helped grow the accessibility for bike in general and in many ways really helped usher in change to the MTB world, all the while having a great time. Does it suck to see them struggle? Yes, but you don't kick a friend while they are down. They are still investing in bike, its still a brand run by people who love MTB. Yes its owned by a big corporation, but Spec, Trek, Pon, Giant are all big corps too. I rather give Kona a chance, they have been ahead of the game in the past, their Process bikes are still very relevant by todays Geo standards and are honestly an insane deal for the $$. Lets show some support for a brand that has a rich history of supporting the community, rather than try and kick them while they are down.
  • 9 1
 The fact that Israel was the first voted off during his season but one of the few to retain his sponsor, was there any real reason for the Pinkbike Academy?
  • 6 0
 Having spoken to a former contestant on the academy, it is definitely more of a reality tv show than a true competition.
  • 6 0
 @Austink: did anyone think otherwise?
  • 1 0
 @GTscoob: I sure didn't but have run into many people who though it was "real".
  • 2 0
 Welcome to the Pinkbike academy, where the winner is chosen by who is the most popular by the end of the show.
  • 10 0
 Whatever it takes to offload some old bikes I guess...
  • 11 2
 Cut em some slack...better than chopping 80% of their athletes/support like most brands these days.
  • 8 0
 Exactly. Not sure why people are upset at them supporting riders like Jo Peters (bike coach), Scott MacKay (absolute shredder and no stranger to picking up a shovel) and Israel (so stoked to share his love for the sport) who all make a positive impact on our sport.

Kona has pushed the envelope with some of their designs over the years. Hope they get back to a spot where they can continue pushing the envelope.
  • 5 1
 Except they also did that earlier in the year
  • 4 1
 Unfortunately they cut a number of real racers like Kerry Warner only to turn around and throw that funding at influencers. Maybe it pays off but it generally doesn't vibe with bike community.
  • 2 1
 @MegalodonMatt: Saw that too. Anyone know what happened to Barry Wicks?
  • 1 0
 @MegalodonMatt: yeah that's not tight.
  • 5 0
 "Community stewards." Carlin would have a field day with that euphemism. I have no idea what this actually is. Their race team announcement was actually decent, especially for a faltering brand. Even if they aren't the high profile racers in the events we usually watch. It's just so weird to dance right on the edge of lifestyle brand while pumping out a bunch of uninspired, overpriced bikes that your company isn't known for. It's almost like they're trying to sell their media/content more than they are trying to sell you their product... But they sure as shit aint red bull/monster
  • 2 0
 Actually their investment in trail building and bike donations is insane.

Hundreds of bikes donated to the Lahaina community after the fire, thousands and thousands spent on trails globally.

That qualifies as “community stewards” over the majority of other brands
  • 8 1
 whoa tough crowd.
  • 11 0
 Remember this is the Pinkbike comment section. It's the MTB equivalent of Grandpa Simpson's Old Man Yells at Cloud moment.
  • 4 0
 Yep! you could almost forget it's just a bike, two wheels joined together with some metal/CF - people moaning about how they were developed in 2020 like it was sooooo long ago, I'm sure these guys and girls got the skills to actually ride the thing.
  • 3 1
 Just picked up a second hand ‘23 process 153 27.5 for may lad as his next bike after a few years on a ‘15 norco fluid as he’s getting into more enduro type riding. He’s 11.

Someone is going to have to tell me what is exactly so bad about Konas as having gone through the bike there’s nothing I’ve seen that made me think “what a pile”

Only thing I have noticed it is a little heavier than my 29” wheeled bike which was a surprise but that’s probably more down to the parts fitted.
  • 5 0
 Am I the only one to have read Noah Hoffman and read Nina?
  • 9 0
 It's also hard to unsee "Mont Anus"
  • 5 0
 I just want the old graphics and logos back. That pleases me.
  • 3 2
 Are the freeride ambassadors going to be on insta telling me I should buy a 150 travel process "DH" bike?
I grew up riding konas because they were the sickest f*cking bikes. The Bass, Stinky's, Stab, Operator. WTF happened? You have girls on your team who might be the first female rampage competitors and your going to send them there on a dinky little trail bike?
  • 11 6
 Kona is dead
  • 3 1
 Haha I don’t know who any of them are . . . Still probably won’t be buying a kona anytime soon
  • 1 0
 I'm going to try and believe that the return of the antlers logo is a good omen... (fingers crossed)
  • 2 0
 BOGO to support our riders
  • 2 0
 Heck yeah, Caruso!

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