Field Test: Kona Process 134 29 - Can't Stop, Won't Stop

Mar 25, 2022 at 12:59
by Mike Levy  


VALUE BIKE FIELD TEST

Kona Process 134 29



Words by Mike Levy, photography by Tom Richards


Kona's Process range includes twelve bikes that vary from high-end enduro-ready machines to the 134mm-travel entry-level model that's reviewed below. ''The mountain biker's mountain bike,'' is how Kona puts it, which is one way to describe how the $2,599 USD Process 134 29 trail bike is intended to be used - everywhere and for all kinds of riding.

Whereas some brands only offer small wheels on small frame sizes, you can pick up a 134 with either 27.5" or 29" wheels regardless of if you're looking for a small or extra-large Process; ours was rolling on 29s, of course. And if you're in need of an extra-small, it's only 27.5" wheels for you.

Kona Process 134 29 Details

• Travel: 134mm rear, 140mm front
• 29" wheels
• 66° head-tube angle
• 76.3° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 475mm (large)
• Weight: 35.30 lb / 16.01 kg
• $2,599 USD
www.konaworld.com

The 134's aluminum frame looks a lot like the carbon version, with swoopy tubes, a load of standover clearance, and room for a single bottle inside the front triangle. The cables all run externally and are routed reasonably well, and there's a set of chain guide tabs should the need arise. One detail that I liked was the decal on the seat tube that tells you the frame's vital information; headset and shock dimensions are listed, as are the bearing sizes you'll need to know after years of pressure washing the shit out of your 134, and it even tells you the part number for the derailleur hanger. Google knows as well, but this is just a smart, simple detail that I'd love to see on more bikes. Speaking of things I'd like to see, the Kona is nearly as loud as the Grim Donut thanks to having no chainstay protection - you'll want to add some of that.

The Process uses a linkage-driven single-pivot suspension layout, with a big rocker arm compressing the vertically mounted RockShox Deluxe Select shock that, interestingly, doesn't have any sort of pedal-assist switch. More on that later, though.

Our large-sized 134 sports a 475mm reach but a relatively roomy 625mm top-tube length thanks to a 76.3° effective seat angle that's actually a much slacker number in reality. This is especially true if your legs don't quit and you run the seat a bit higher than most people would need, thereby moving it even farther back relative to the bottom bracket thanks to the exaggerated angle of the tube. The 66° head-tube angle makes all the sense in the world on this kind of bike, though, and the chainstays are a short-ish 427mm.

Onto the Process' spec sheet, which is where you'll find a few interesting details, including a set of brakes from Alhonga. Never heard of them? We hadn't either, but they are compatible with Shimano pads and parts, which is much better than needing to scour the depths of the internet for oddly shaped pads. Suspension is an all-RockShox affair, with that Deluxe Select shock and a 140mm-travel Recon RL Motion Control Solo Air fork, but it's the brakes and drivetrain that deserve a few extra sentences. Kona ditched a cog and went with an 11-speed Deore system rather than have twelve cogs and something a bit less refined, which earns nothing but praise from me, but our concern about the Alhonga brakes turned out to be well-founded... More on those below in the descending section of the review.




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Climbing

Depending on what you're planning to do with your trail bike, how it handles technical climbs might not matter in the slightest. And if that's the case, you probably don't care that the brown Kona can sometimes feel as if you're steering a long box, crew cab truck from the rear bumper. As you might expect, that can make the front-end feel a bit light and long when you're seated... You know, as you often are while pedaling up a mountain. Anytime the climb got slow, steep, and/or tight, the Kona felt like a handful compared to the Fezzari, and I definitely found myself needing to plan farther ahead and think more about how I was going to get over whatever was coming up. Ditching a few spacers from under the stem can help a bit, but it's the seated riding position feeling too far rearward that, relative to my expectations of a trail bike with this much travel, makes the 134 a handful on tricky climbs.

All of the above meant that we were out of the saddle more than we wanted to be while on the Kona, or sitting up on the nose of the 134's seat during every climb, thereby shortening the front-end and also adding more weight to it for those steep uphills.

But if your ups happen on gravel roads or climbing trails designed to make it as easy as possible given the grade, then all of the above probably matters less to you. The 134 felt acceptably efficient to me, although Alicia and I disagreed on that front; I thought it deserved a passing grade (maybe a C or C-) and didn't really need a pedal-assist switch, but she makes the smarter counter-point that it pedals like ass and that any bike weighing this much can use all the help it can get.

So the Process is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to climbing, and there are certainly easier to live with trail bikes if you often find yourself on steep and technical uphills. But if most or all of your climbing happens on gravel roads or simple singletrack, the 134 will move along acceptably.


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Descending

Alright, you looped out a few times, lost count of your dabs, and maybe lost a few watts to squishy suspension, but you've made it to the top and now it's time for the fun part of the ride. And fun is what the Kona is all about, with it definitely putting me more in that sort of mindset than thinking about going as fast as possible. On the 134, I was more likely to have the front-end off the deck or be taking an even more questionable line than usual compared to when I was on the other full-suspension bikes.

Sure, the disappointing brakes meant that none of us ever had a ton of confidence when barreling into anything rough or steep, or even a corner, but it was obvious that the ingredients for a good time are there.

Timed Testing

Our timed lap consisted of steep, technical climbs full of ledges and hard efforts, and a rough descent littered with rocks that lead into a fast, loose section of trail. Don't forget that timing is just one of many ways to judge a bike, and fast doesn't always mean it's the best for everyone.

With a 1:55 versus the YT Izzo's winning 1:39, the Process posted the slowest climbing time of all the full-suspension bikes. And thanks to zero confidence in the Alhonga brakes, its 1:09 was also the slowest time on the downhill, 6-seconds back from the Stumpy's winning run. Speaking of the salmon-colored Specialized, its 2:46 was the quickest overall time and the Kona's 3:04 was the slowest. Ooof.
The tighter the trail, the more the Kona feels at home, even if a porky 29er like this is always going to be a bit of a motorhome on an autocross course. The 134 is definitely going to be hitting some of those figurative cones, but it gets through awkward, slow stuff reasonably well. It's when the speeds pick up that it doesn't quite have the stability we'd like to see, especially on Tucson's loose rocks. ''The bike feels discombobulated to me,'' Alicia noted after one tricky descent, ''and the rear proportions put my weight awkwardly over the rear axle,'' she described. To be fair, the Kona might have been more composed and balanced had we been testing it on some tacky pacific northwest dirt, but the 134 called for a bit more caution on Tucson's dry, marbly ground.

While the Kona's handling didn't suit some of the trails we rode, its suspension felt composed and didn't give us anything to talk about beyond the fact that it simply worked well. You can run more than 30-percent sag and not find yourself too deep into the stroke too often, but we all ended up preferring closer to 25-percent as that number helped the bike's cause when climbing back up for another run.

If you want to go fast, you've also got to be able to go slow, or at least try to slow the hell down while yelling "Allllllhonga!" as you barrel towards a tree-sized cactus that most definitely isn't going to jump out of the way, which is what I ended up doing at least a few times on all my test laps aboard the under-braked Kona. It can't be easy to spec a bike at this price point, especially when a lot of components are hard to come by, but these are probably the worst brakes I've ever used. There's no initial bite, there's no power, and the near-straight lever blades constantly tried to shuffle my braking fingers off the ends until Kazimer bent more prominent hooks in each after coming back from his first and last ride on the 134.

There was also an odd groan coming from the front of the bike that took me a few rides to nail down. When I did, it turned out to be the hub shifting in the Recon RL's Torque Cap dropouts that are designed to hold matching larger end caps but that are also supposed to work with normal hubs. And that had always been the case for me but, possibly because the Recon comes with an old-style Maxle, or more likely because the hub is out of tolerance, the Kona's front wheel could shift slightly in the dropouts. Yes, we adjusted the axle. Yes, it was tight. And yes, it was unsettling on the trail, especially while screaming "Allllllhonga!" at the cactus.

Let's end with some better news: the 11-speed Deore drivetrain is absolutely flawless, as is the Tranz-X dropper that was also used on a number of other bikes and proved to be trouble-free.


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Pros

+ For a 35lb 29er, the 134 is relatively nimble and easy to toss around
+ Great suspension performance

Cons

- There are far better climbers
- Handling felt unbalanced, nervous on loose trails
- Toss the Alhonga brakes before you get tossed





The 2022 Value Bike Field Test was made possible thanks to Visit Tucson and Norrona clothing.




Author Info:
mikelevy avatar

Member since Oct 18, 2005
2,032 articles

247 Comments
  • 230 3
 Wow Kona...really? Nice Maxxis rubber, solid 11sp drivetrain, and you put Alibaba brakes on this thing? Shit even some Level T's would be miles ahead.

All of that, for almost $3000usd after tax. Absolutely shameful.
  • 37 3
 Kona have just been bought, right? Is it possible the new owners are gauging the level of interest in their new brand before deciding whether to develop it for riders, or just trade on the established name for a few years? Pretty surprised at those brakes, I have to say - and the weight.
  • 157 3
 @Iuvenal, these brakes would have been selected well before the sale. More than likely, it was due to a supply chain issue, and Kona was forced to go with what was available.
  • 10 2
 @mikekazimer: Ah, I see - thanks for the clarification on that.
  • 22 17
 @mikekazimer: Isn't that just Kona being lazy? I think most people would much rather wait longer than have shit brakes on a bike that should at least have Sram Levels. But that's just me and Kona clearly is more concerned with selling bikes than making decently speced ones
  • 60 49
 @mikekazimer: winner winner, chicken dinner. But let's face it: the average Pinkbike commenter doesn't care about or understand supply chain issues, they just want to cry about the bike spec.
  • 67 5
 @ScandiumRider: When you're paying $2600 pre-tax for something you expect to fly down mountainsides on, you expect it to stop properly. Regardless of supply chain issues. I think most of us on this wet rock hurtling through the solar system completely understand what the pandemic has done to the supply chain, especially in regard to the cycling industry. The issue is really not that complicated.
  • 4 2
 @mikekazimer: Exactly, hardly any bike company is promising the specs you see on certain reviews or early releases as well due to supply chain issues. Its nuts.
  • 13 15
 @ScandiumRider: Supply chain doesn't matter here. It would be better for them to not have launched this model at all and waited for proper brakes. And that's aside from them still charging a price that one would expect to pay for very budget end shimano or sram brakes, at least.
  • 46 4
 @jayacheess: I'm not sure, though... If I had been waiting for my 134 for months and months (just speculating, not sure if that's the case for any 134 customers), I might just want my bike to show up ASAP and then I'd deal with the terrible stoppers. But only guessing on that one.
  • 38 1
 @dbullmtb: You call it lazy, they call it trying to stay in business. The ETA's on certain parts are so ridiculous right now brands either have to sit on product they've already paid to have 99% produced and recoup zero profit while it collects dust, or hope that in the 8 months to a year it takes to get a decent set of Deore brakes they can stay afloat. Either way they're feeling the effects of their choices now.
  • 2 0
 @Iuvenal: The weight is pretty common at that price range for aggressive budget trail bikes found in bike shops. It was pretty easy to drop 2 pounds off the last bike I had as the crank and recon silver fork both weighed 400g over mid range products. Still no excuse for those brakes though.
  • 17 4
 @jayacheess: No, it would not have been better for "them". Them is Kona, which is a company that needs money to stay in business, let alone pay the employees that already put time and effort in to this model. Most companies (including Kona) do not manufacture in house. They also faced the reality that if they did not start manufacturing and assembly their contract manufacture would have just moved on to the next customer. They would have been forced to not launch at all. Now, it might be better for the rider who would buy this bike, but then again with a lack of bikes available if my only options were this bike or a pair of hiking boots, i'd take my chances with the shit brakes.
  • 15 5
 @mikelevy: Maybe, but Commencal seems to be happy to delay bikes. I think there's an argument here about not damaging your brand image.
  • 8 2
 @boogereater42069: If its all because supple chain issues, how did the other bike manufacturers in the test get brakes?

Product manager seemed out to lunch on this one.
  • 10 1
 @ATXZJ: Different companies get different quantities based on previous contracts and total amount purchased. If you look at every contract between a bike brand and shimano or sram (don't forget about 3rd party distribution ecomm dealers and foreign brands) for brakes, they're not just going to divvy up product equally. So, some brands had to make cuts in areas they probably didn't want to. Again, not condoning. Those brakes are garbage.
  • 7 0
 Title says it all... "Can't stop, won't stop!"
  • 4 0
 @cassonwd: I mean you will be flying down mountainsides with this bike, just in a more hurtful way because you couldn't stop before a cliff hahah
  • 2 0
 @bashhard: that is true, you may be doing a more literal interpretation of what "flying" is!!
  • 15 0
 Sheesh, bunch of whiners here. Strong brakes are so overrated. Just ride smooth, strait, and flat trails: BAM problem solved!
  • 5 3
 @dbullmtb: Not lazy. They have no choice. They either sell bikes with shit brakes or don't sell bikes for 6+ months and put themselves out of business.
  • 7 18
flag onawalk (Apr 25, 2022 at 11:49) (Below Threshold)
 @cassonwd: this bike isn’t spec’d or meant for pinkers, or anyone surfing mtb sites. The majority of these bikes are going to be bought by dads to sling a shotgun on, or girlfriends of established riders. Either way, the vast majority of these components will never get used for anything close to what we would consider mountain biking.

If you had $3000 US, would you go close to this, or buy something used. I paid $3000 CAN for a 2020 Norco Sight A3W for my wife last year, that’s a no brainer
  • 9 1
 @mikelevy: You’re partly right, we (wife’s bike) waited for almost a year for this bike to arrive, in fact the 2020 was still the current model when we picked it out and it did not come with Alhonga brakes. Nor did the 2021 which came and went while we waited. The local shop kept saying sorry it will be a couple more months but hey now you’re getting a 2021, or sorry looks like October now but you’ll be getting a 2022. Finally picked up the bike in January with no reason to think the parts spec would be any different than the last two iterations. I actually didn’t even notice until it was mentioned in the behind the scenes field test pod cast a while back as the bike had not been ridden yet because it was still winter here in Nelson. Needles to say I’m a little choked, also the fork was downgraded from a Rockshox 35 to the Recon.
  • 9 4
 @boogereater42069: As a former operations manager for fortune 500, I'm with you on this assertion. There's always a but though.

If brands like Marin, fezzari etc can get brakes either because of preferential treatment, or financial resources, then the product managers have some serious questions to ask of themselves. If they aren't asking why, then their bosses should be.

Lastly if we're all being honest, how many people are actually sitting around waiting for a Kona process 134 to come off of backorder?

Lots of other fish in the MTB sea
  • 10 0
 @ATXZJ: Absolutely, there are plenty of fish in the sea. I've just gotten to work alongside Kona a few times over the years and I gotta say, of all the brands they've just always been really good folks. Guess I just feel bad for em in these crappy times....but again I think I feel worse for anyone who got these brakes.
  • 4 0
 @boogereater42069: yeah man. We were a big time Kona family for a while. We bought multiple new bikes yearly when the 2014+ process line started. Got to stop by HQ in Ferndale in 2017 and they were all super cool to us. The 111 will always be one of my favorite bikes.

With all that being said, I've been bummed about the direction they've been headed the last couple of years, and we have since moved on.
  • 8 0
 @Iuvenal: Nah Kona has had some seriously shit builds on their bikes for a while. Since '17 you pretty much had to throw everything in the bin if you bought a complete.

And most of the time you couldn't get a frame only option.
  • 4 0
 @onawalk: So if you're going to buy a bike for your toddler to ride shotgun on or spouse/significant other, why would you even consider buying something with brakes like this? Even if they're not ripping down Whistler, they still need good brakes and this bike is a safety hazard regardless.

I would also venture to say 90% of people spending $3k on ANYTHING will read a handful of reviews, and will likely stumble on this one given PB's popularity.
  • 4 2
 Considering this bike, I'd keep the Deore 11spd drivetrain and throw the rest; end of the story.
  • 7 1
 Who wouldn´t buy from a company with such a professional website?

www.alhonga.com



Shimano brakes start from like 15€ aftermarket.
How cheap does this brake have to be be picked by a greedy product manager instead?
  • 2 1
 @dbullmtb: I wouldn’t say so. Most folks buying this bike won’t know the difference IMO. Kona probably wanted complete builds available for the average consumer as opposed to “PB approved spec” and not selling bikes.
  • 1 0
 @Deep-Friar: "And most of the time you couldn't get a frame only option."

And that was one of the main reasons why we walked away from the brand.
  • 1 0
 @jayacheess: lemme know when those bikes are ready lmao
  • 1 1
 @JohSch: It looks like it was made in 1994
  • 2 0
 @jayacheess:
"Maybe, but Commencal seems to be happy to delay bikes. I think there's an argument here about not damaging your brand image."

Rocky Mountain seems to be another in the Not Damaging Brand Image clubhouse.
  • 2 2
 I doubt it was a supply chain issue. It looks like they got deore brakes, but ended up putting them on the 6k build. Oh and slx drivetrain. konaworld.com/process_x_cr.cfm
  • 4 0
 @ATXZJ:
That's great that you were a former operations manager, but without a BMX background do you really expect anyone to believe what you're saying?
  • 2 0
 @kcy4130: or just don't brake and schralp every corner.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: That is the exact case when we ordered my son's bike. We placed the order last June and it showed up in February. I would rather deal with getting him new brakes down the road than waiting longer for the bike to show up. The wobbly front wheel is the issue I think is worse. He will be getting a better wheelset with torque caps sooner than new brakes.
  • 1 3
 someone is gonna die riding that bike
  • 2 0
 @Dlakusta: Someone *dumb* might die riding this bike.
  • 6 0
 @scott-townes: I think a lot of the safety issues around this conversation is over the top. Back in the day bikes came with v-brakes, no one freaked out about potentially being dead. The brakes are weak compared to other modern disc brakes, but that doesn’t mean they are not safe.
  • 2 0
 @dpars63: Hell yeah! Let gets some coaster brake wheels and LSD head out to dirt mullholland make some history a second time! wooooooohoooo ayahuasca!
  • 1 0
 @enis: Okay, that was pretty funny
  • 2 0
 @boogereater42069: I know you are being humorous, but sure why not. There is a video that came out last year with a bunch of dudes riding the trails in Sedona on klunkers with coaster brakes. Spoiler, they made it back to the car alive. It also looked like they were having fun. No brakes, no suspension, no problem.
  • 1 0
 @dpars63:Oh for sure! I actually met that big dude at a demo outside of san francisco one time. Klunkin's fun as hell
  • 1 1
 @cassonwd: I’d prefer consistently poor brakes, to brakes that work inconsistently (you know who I’m looking at)…..
I can get used to poor brakes, I meant we started mtbing on coasters and cantis, and V-brakes weren’t much better.
Willing to bet these will be just fine for the gravel paths in Sedona and Whistler that they will inevitably be ridden on.

I don’t believe for a second that the vast majority of people buying mountain bikes at this level have done an ounce of research. Doubt that any of us have either, we are just responding to an entertaining video about friggin bicycles
  • 3 0
 @onawalk: you would be surprised how much research people do / dont do. for example everyone is talking about the braking power, but I dont think the video called out rotor size. the process is rocking 160/180mm rotors while the Stumpy has 180/200. Bumping up the Kona to the same could result in as much as 30% more braking torque (not a bullshit number, there have been lab studies done). I agree that it would have been nice to see nicer brakes, but the argument around "they will kill you" just seems poor at this point.
  • 3 0
 @JohSch: the response we got about the brake choice was. The product manager took these and a few others down the local trails for testing and out of the bunch they tested these were the only ones that weren’t smoking or leaking at the bottom and due to supply chain issues they went with these. We have one of these at our shop and instantly took these off and put TRPs on them.
  • 1 0
 @dpars63: Absolutely since brakes are something that can be upgraded later down the line. For example with my Kona process it had a solid set of Shimano mt201 brakes which were good because of the reliability but had inadequate stopping power for me,so I upgraded to a set of Shimano deore m6120 4 piston brakes and put some slx rotors on. I would say it is better to have a bike with one bad component than no bike at all. Also in 2023 you can get upgrades for steep discounts.
  • 80 3
 It's one thing to raise the prices of a bike in 2022. It's one thing to downgrade a spec and keep the same price. BUT TO RAISE THE PRICE AND DOWNGRADE THE BIKE SPEC... GIVE UR BALLS A TUG. wut is this company even...
  • 24 4
 They seemed to be determined to dismantle all credibility as a brand. Product manager must've been high using his stash of kona rolling papers when he approved those ali baba brakes. 134 coming in dead last in every category on the largest MTB site is definitely not great for marketing.

Even my kid's $600 2018 fire mountain came with tektro HDM285s and rotors compatible with metallic pads. Bought some oem metallic pads and the brakes were actually pretty damn good.

There has to be better options out there than the Alhonga.
  • 10 0
 @ATXZJ: Exactly. Everybody going on about "its all they could find" okay sure whatever then WHY RAISE THE PRICE. When you know you're shipping out an objectively worse bike. Plus why is Kona the ONLY brand using these awful brakes while every other brand, and all the other Kona models, are able to spec low end Tektros or low end Shimanos or SRAMs, etc.

It's clear Kona's history has people digging their heels in defending them but brakes that don't work on a nearly 3k bike is simply not defensible in my opinion. Being a huge brand with a (formerly?) great reputation in the industry, you should be able to source brakes and a failure to do so is a failure to run the company correctly. Meanwhile Polygon and Vitus and other cheap as dirt brands haven't had to resort to such drastic measures.

If Kona was too lazy to get ahead in line of the supply chain issue with all their resources/connections, they are bad at the business and their customers are the ones who suffer (since they just raise prices and still sell the bikes regardless).
  • 83 9
 Companies spec garbage like this, then having the balls to charge what they do? How can anybody in the industry have a grain of pride when this is what it's come to?
  • 7 1
 exactly my thoughts. well said.
  • 18 16
 They put those brakes on most likely because thats all they could get. Supply chains are whack right now, and getting worse.
  • 15 2
 @hamncheez: agreed with your reason for why they are spec'd but at some point I wonder if they should hold off on selling the bike available if they cant get something serviceable.
  • 46 1
 @hamncheez: the brakes clearly don't work. If they can't supply a bike with functional components, don't sell it.
  • 9 0
 @spaceofades:

Hey, those alhonga 474s are good enough for this $3k E-townie..... lolololololol

Madness

www.winora.com/at/en/ebikes/trekking/touring/yucatan-8-atbik187302?id=44066248
  • 13 4
 @mtmc99: Its hard. You have contracts with your resellers, you have to make payroll, etc. For my small business, my product is stuck in Shanghai and I might have to write off this order as a complete loss. Ultimately, this bike is well under $3k, and the fact they could deliver it at all is impressive given the climate.
  • 11 3
 @mtmc99: Kona does not have enough cash to 'not sell bikes' until they can get better brakes. They have payroll, rent, overhead, etc. They have to keep selling bikes to keep the company operating and not going out of business.
  • 18 2
 @hamncheez: If it was a car it would be a big recall if the brakes don't work. The same with the stuck pistons on guides. The mountainbike industry can get away with bullshit all the time
  • 1 0
 @ATXZJ: Just cus it comes with it doesn't mean it's good enough. plus that $3k gets you a motor.
  • 6 1
 @hamncheez: its not impressive at all though. The other brands are able to sell bikes at similar prices with functioning brakes. 2600 should buy you a bike without aliexpress brakes. Marin, for example, sells a similar bike with a slightly better spec for 2350. So how is kona so impressive?
  • 65 0
 I've literally never even heard of Alhonga
  • 65 0
 Yeah... neither had we.
  • 14 0
 The Linglong of brakes
  • 2 0
 Samesame. What an embarassing spec.
  • 1 0
 Same lol. Not even the truly budget riders who upgrade Schwinn and Mongoose mtbs seem to use them. Sounds like something off aliexpress.
  • 8 0
 It sounds like they're worse than the Tektro Gemini brakes on the Stumpjumper Alloy, which is saying something. I like the base model Stumpy, but the brakes are so, so bad.
  • 11 0
 @Pghbrown: Yes, they are.
  • 3 0
 @alicialeggett: Alicia, any reason you can think of why they didn't put something like the Shimano MT 400/401 on there? They're already getting the 11sp Deore drivetrain (which I agree is awesome! I have it on my hardtail) from them and probably could have saved some money buying both drivetrain and brakes at the same time.
  • 4 0
 @schu2470: There might have been a huge difference in lead time on the brakes compared to drive train, when an OE places a parts order with Shimano it is never all ready at the same time, even pre chaos it was like that but now you might be looking at waiting well over 12 months extra to compile your preferred spec list. Beggers can't be choosers.
  • 1 0
 @Riggbeck: I guess that's right. It just seems like most other brands that have a Shimano drivetrain have managed to put their base level hydro brakes on board and it's a little confusing why Kona wasn't able to do the same. With how many brands Shimano sells the MT400/401 brakes to they've gotta be making 10 of thousands of sets.
  • 2 0
 The website is...

www.alhonga.com
  • 9 0
 It took me a while to realise Alhonga wasn't some new slang adjective or a phrase you yelled whilst stoked.
  • 2 0
 ... what do you expect from calipers with "Melf-forged alloy body"
www.alhonga.com/products_detail.php?M=99999&uID=1&cID=46&Key=321
  • 2 0
 @schu2470: Yeah, I'd imagine it's what the others are saying - just that for whatever reason, the Alhongas were available sooner than whatever Shimanos or other brakes they actually wanted, and there's a good chance no one actually rode the Alhongas. Or maybe they got a fluke good set to test?
  • 1 0
 @ridestuff: Ooh, exciting! When we were at Field Test, alhonga.com just pulled up an error.
  • 9 0
 @mattg95: We were thinking it would make a great safe word...
  • 9 0
 @alicialeggett: A safeword that doesn't make things stop might not be the best choice.
  • 45 0
 Was getting annoyed with the incessant Beta Mtb plugs, but this one was genius. Phenomenal job Levy!
  • 8 1
 I love them all. They get it.
  • 41 0
 Robin was just off-camera with a taser for encouragement Wink
  • 6 0
 Give @mikelevy an Oscar.
  • 8 0
 @mikelevy: the people demand more Mishka in PB vids!
  • 2 0
 Are these plugs in the videos Beta members get?
(Serious question)
  • 3 0
 @Giddyhitch: She's been in a few Field Test videos as well and goes everywhere with me, so she'll be in future videos as well.
  • 3 0
 @Mike-Jay: I don't think so
  • 31 3
 @mikelevy Have you considered getting people who understand manufacturing to do a segment on one of your podcasts? Granted, the brakes on this bike probably suck, but there seems to be a lack of understanding on why Kona would have chosen to launch this way. For example I don't think people understand waiting for parts costs money. Contract manufactures charge rent for keeping material on hand. That rent goes up if you miss your manufacturing window. In the electronics industry we had suppliers straight up tell us they would not honor their contracts for components because they knew they could sell them on the open market for double their value, and they were willing to pay their obligated fee for backing out. I suspect the bike industry had similar problems. People need a grasp on exactly what has happened since the beginning of 2020, and that its not as simple as wait for the parts to come in...
  • 49 0
 Yup, product manager incoming for the podcast.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: Sweet!!! Ill be listening to that one for sure.
  • 6 0
 @mikelevy: Kona product manager?
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy: just saying why speculate when we can ask the folks at Kona themselves.
  • 13 1
 @mikelevy: yea, while I appreciate the value bike field test, I think 2022 (and 2021) are the two worst years ever to do one of these in. Supply chains are a mess and the little guys like Kona are getting pushed to the back of the line behind big boys like Trek, Specialized, etc. So small companies are really being hurt more and have to spec even shittier stuff on their bikes. I realize that this is affecting everyone, but Trek's $3000 bike will be better spec'd in 2022 then Konas because Trek has massive weight to throw around with SRAM/Shimano and will get stuff first. In normal times the Trek will usually be spec'd a little better anyhow, but with supply shortages, the gap is much bigger.
  • 7 1
 @btjenki: this is spot on. Most component suppliers in any industry have different tiers for their customers. The bottom line is it makes more sense if you are forced to shaft someone, shaft the person that has less value to the business. Not saying everyone wants to be in that position, but if hard choices have to be made the lower value contract will take a back seat.
  • 5 0
 @btjenki: the worst years, or the BEST years? The chaos of the supply chain situation makes for interesting component specs and even more interesting content.
  • 7 0
 @mikelevy: wouldn't it have been a good idea to let Kona comment on the brake spec choice, and have that info in the review? We can all speculate but they know. They might claim the brakes are good enough. Or they could say:it was either this or no brakes at all. Or they could save their behinds from a major PR disaster and promise free brake upgrades once they become available.
Another interesting topic for a podcast: (why) are there (no) safety standards for mtb brakes? And if they existed, what should be part of that? AFAIK the only thing mtb that has official safety standards is the helmets, but I may be wrong.
  • 33 9
 $3700 CAD for this bike - before tax!

I paid only slightly more for a YT Capra a few years ago and it came with top spec suspension and drivetrain components, plus a set of brakes that actually functioned.

Kona is proving that its intention is to swindle low-information/new riders in to buying an expensive walmart bike.
  • 21 33
flag valrock (Apr 25, 2022 at 9:38) (Below Threshold)
 i PaiD 1000 bUcks for ForD MoDeL oNe in 1918. Well.. fuck... yeah! You cannot compare today's prices with anything older than 2020. Period. It is not relevant anymore. That being said every time I am on the market for new bike I do look at Kona cuz it seems nice bike... than I ditch idea as soon as I get to specs part
  • 8 3
 @valrock: There are still good deals on reasonably spec'd bikes out there right now. Certainly nothing like a few years ago, but also not as abysmal this Kona.
  • 7 1
 @valrock: Well you could compare it to the RM element for just under $3700 which kind of kicks it ass for value/$ and doesn't weigh as much as my all mountain bike. The point might be moot as you probably can't get one but RM, Giant, Devinci, and Trek have better values once you add real brakes.
  • 11 0
 I paid $3800 CAD for a specialized status from my local shop last year with codes and an NX drivetrain. 3700 for this bike with eBay brakes is insane, there are still way better bikes out there for that kind of money.
  • 4 0
 @JayUpNorth: You weren't kidding about the Element. It crushes the specs on this Kona for the same price.
  • 2 2
 Have seen absolutely nothing come close to the value I got with my YT Capra 29 AL LTD... AL frame, Fox Factory everything, Code RSC, XTR 11 speed. $3600 USD. While it may not be the best enduro ever, the spec sure was.
  • 2 0
 @jayacheess: It sure does and there are 3 decent options below $5000 while Kona has just the one and a very mediocre $5500 build with a pike select and nx/gx.
  • 2 0
 I'm not sure where Kona is going, but the specs to price ratio is going ham.

Paying 3699$CAD for a bike with no name brakes, just do yourself a favor and just skip that brand/bike.

A great replacement option could be a Giant Trance X 29 or even a Reign 29 with some extra travel & excellent build for the money.
  • 23 0
 Finally somebody straight up says a bike that weighs 16 kilos 'climbs like ass' instead of writing the usual "with a bit patience, you can winch up any climb, so it's a decent climber overall".
Thanks, Alicia Big Grin
  • 6 0
 Absolutely, I never understood the "if you are relaxed on the climbs, this bike may be ok for you" narrative. It's almost misleading levels of optimism, if the bike is a heavy piece of shit with no lockout just call it like it is and move on. Especially in the modern industry.

It makes more sense to say that if the downhill performance is WICKED and the climbing sucks (most enduro reviews) but with this bike it's just... Bad.
  • 8 0
 @lepigpen: it's all in balance though. On the climbs, it's slower than you want, and on the descents it's faster than you want.
  • 2 0
 @hardtailpunter: And on the bank account, it costs more than you want. Giant Trance comes with 4 piston Shimanos. Polygon T8 comes with 4 piston Tektros. As well as way better parts on the rest of the build. And those bikes have equal or better performance all around. I simply don't see a single reason to get the Kona Process.
  • 19 0
 Woof. It's reviews like this that make me glad I'm building up a used frame with a mix of new & used parts rather than buy new at this price point.

It feels like just a few years ago the talk was that you could get a decent FS for $3k. Now you're looking at swapping the fork, brakes, hub/ wheels and a handful of other parts just to get this Kona to a reasonable performance level. Your $3k bike actually ends up being $4k.

The story is basically the same for most every other brand. The $3k bike comes with a terrible fork and some other dodgy components that will need to be replaced sooner rather than later. Hard to find the 'value' in a new FS at this price point.
  • 11 0
 This is basically a 2017 $1800 build.
  • 17 0
 Baller vs Budget was more of a "predicting future product launches" than it was a wacky Youtube series
  • 1 0
 Exactly what I’ve done for the last few bikes.
  • 6 0
 to make matters worse, I find it's really hard to sell a crap fork or brakes aftermarket. Who in their right mind buys a set of Alhonga brakes or a Recon fork "used like new"? That means, the parts you will replace anyway are practically scrap.
  • 2 0
 @hardtailpunter: The cheap air Rockshox forks actually sell pretty good to riders moving up from Suntour or Spinner forks.
  • 23 0
 I guess you need a heluv-alongha runout after a jump?
  • 10 0
 Yeah, it's easy to carry a lot of momentum on the Process... haha
  • 4 0
 It’s an ongoing Process.

I’ll see myself out.
  • 14 1
 i mean it looks fun and all but what's the big deal? you can get a better bike for just as much money from lots of brands or you could buy used. not impressed with the garbage spec of suspension or the lack of a decent frame. be better kona.
  • 12 0
 I remember hearing Paul Aston on a podcast somewhere describing how bikes get specced up by the manufacturers. All the frame testing etc is done with nice components, because they are all keen bikers and they can... then right at the end someone has to spec the budget model, which likely never gets tested, just goes straight from the boat to the shop (or in this case, to the field test).
I'd guess nobody who works at Kona has ridden Alhonga brakes.
  • 2 0
 I honestly hope no one at Kona ride the brakes. Unfortunately it’s the resellers who are going to have to deal with this.
  • 12 0
 I have been a long time Kona fan and think this bike looks esthetically great. That said, and I've said this before, for an additional $400 you could a Specialized Status 140, that has a much more solid spec and literally would blow the poor Process off the trail.
  • 2 0
 Yeah, I was going to mention the Code Rs on my son’s Status 160 we purchased last year for $2600. Not to mention the Fox 36. Swapped the shock for a coil and he thinks it’s sublime for roughly 3K.
  • 16 3
 "Really glad to see those Alhonga brakes spec'ed. Need a few more customers if I'm going to pick up that Turq XX0 SB165."

- your local dentist, probably
  • 1 1
 Correct-except dentists ride Niners
  • 3 0
 @wyorider: No @igxqrrl is correct. They ride Yetis and Pivots.
  • 12 0
 I think Kona got these brakes from Amazon. They could've passed on the savings from the free Prime shipping to their customers. I guess I'm assuming Kona has Prime.
  • 11 0
 I think you mean: Can't stop Shan't stop
  • 1 0
 Mr. B fans unite
  • 7 0
 Couldn't afford to upgrade from Shimano 11- 12 speed and just fitted the deore 11 speed cassette on my existing Freehub. Works absolutely fine with my xt 11 speed derailleur and shifter with 11-51 teeth range. Highly recommend it if you're in a similar position to me
  • 5 0
 I've gone back to 11 speed. Much easier to keep it running nicely and cheaper to replace parts.
  • 1 0
 I just got the new 11s Deore. It’s fantastic, although the silver cassette doesn’t hide its size!
  • 1 0
 If I could get the range in 9sp I'd take it, but never moved off 10sp on the mountain or road bike and really don't want to. Fewer gears shifts better with less maintenance, what more could you want?
  • 6 0
 I'm gonna get slated for saying this, but I've actually ridden this bike, and the brakes are disappointing but it's not like they make the bike unrideable. People in these comments are talking like the bike literally doesn't have any brakes. For sure the brakes could be better, but they still work better than a lot of cable disc brakes I've had to work on as a mechanic.
  • 19 0
 I would argue that they felt roughly on par with a low-end cable disc brake using a 160mm rotor that was also set up poorly.
  • 4 1
 @mikelevy: When y'all do these field tests, is any prep time dedicated to bedding in the pads and rotors?
  • 4 0
 @mikelevy: haha, wow. But you're saying they clearly better than 140mm rotors, right? How about a 180mm 2012-era Code at the rear, but the front brake has been replaced with a wet bagel?
  • 2 0
 Not unridable, until you’re on a high stakes trail.

The tragedy of this bike is a few tweaks and it would SLAY for rippers on a budget.

Any western testpiece trail plus this bike equals a death sentence or a lot of walking rad downhill moves.
  • 2 0
 I have the 2021 version of this bike except one level up in spec and this bike has none of the issues mentioned in the article except for the piggish weight and maybe the seat angle could be a bit steeper. Pike, GX/NX drivetrain and G2 brakes that work better than I thought they would. It's a good used buy that I picked up in the buy/sell section here for the exact cost of the bike in the article. With this gear level the bike is much better to ride than the turd in the article. The fork and brakes make all the difference. This bike will do fine as a low cost and bulletproof ride as I work back into shape after an injury that kept me off a bike for just over a year. Getting back in shape made the weight a secondary consideration when buying this.
  • 4 0
 I remember needing to ride a rental Process 134 while my Pivot Firebird was getting worked on and I went into the ride thinking it might be fun to have something more flickable and zippy for a few days. Well, the poor Process obviously descended worse than my Firebird but was also a significantly worse climber and felt like it weighed twice as much despite being a few pounds lighter. I was flabbergasted. Nothing felt natural.
  • 1 0
 I owned a Process 111 and 153, both fast and fun descending (and the 111 is something of a cult classic), but by god they were shit climbers.
  • 4 0
 That imbalanced, light front end and painful climbing is what lots of taller riders have had to experience with manufacturers making same size rear ends and slack STA on bikes for so long. It's a horrible feeling when one is riding an XL / XXL bike.
  • 7 0
 If this bike is only good for going downhill why not get the 153?
  • 1 0
 Mostly because it’s more expensive.
  • 3 1
 If you're going to buy a faux-bar bike, why not make it a Commencal, Marin or Polygon?
  • 3 0
 @boozed: yeah I guess my point is what's the point of a trail bike that doesn't climb good
  • 4 0
 Terrible value for the money. The polygon siskiu T7 has a slightly better spec for about $600 less, and represents one of the most capable and inexpensive trail bikes available.
  • 3 0
 Brakes sound shocking, only way to tell for sure how bad they are is to get Henry to send it down something steep and slippery, back-to-back testing against his Zoom brakes. Ironically I just tried to get a price on Amazon for the Alhongas and they're no longer available (Kona must have taken the lot) but Amazon does offer me the NYK Zooms instead.
Will Pinkbike do another season of '8 Attempts to Kill Off Henry'?

Be interested to see the spectral 125 - in the UK the price is pretty much a brake upgrade more expensive than the unstoppable Kona.

As an aside, stupid brain made some spurious connection from the brakes now have a Tribe Called Quest earworm.
  • 3 0
 I had a Kona Process 134 (2012) until two years ago. I bloody loved that bike. Sadly I had to sell it due to an unexpected financial outlay. Frustratingly I could have kept it if things had come good a few weeks sooner.

Bloody COVID.
  • 3 0
 Problem nowadays they are really having to spec crap components on bikes to get them to a certain price point. Don't get me started on SX! Only a few years back this price range would get you all the bike you would ever really need. Now you need to spend a grand more at least to get to the same standard, maybe more. Amazed people can afford to Mountain Bike on a good level these days.
  • 3 0
 I mean it's a terrible deal and a below-average frame, but I do feel a bit sorry for the product manager who messed up his/her projections and had to resort to specc-ing those brakes.

His/her face is going to be burning now this review's come out.

Got to wonder if they actually used the brakes, and why they sent the bike for review.
  • 3 0
 Just looked up what this bike would cost in my part of the woods. Found a very interesting disclaimer on the website of Bikester, who sell this bike (out of stock). It's listed there with Shimano MT201 brakes. Here's what they add: "Due to bottlenecks and delays in worldwide supply chains, the manufacturer may have replaced individual components from the original specification with equivalent or even higher quality components. "

So according to Kona, Alhonga is better than or equal to low-end Shimano....
  • 1 0
 Also, at the same retailer, you can get an Orbea Occam H30, with Deore 12s drivetrain Marz Z2/Fox DPS suspension and MT201 brakes(listed) for 300 euros less. So even if that comes with Alhonga brakes when delivered you still have enough money to upgrade to SLX 4-pot or Formula Cura. No brainer..
  • 2 0
 When looking at this review and what one would get for "new" sub-par bikes, it would be better to look for a used bike on BuynSell and know that your bike will climb, will stop and not have hub issues. BUT, you need to know exactly what you're looking at and you will find a much better value for your $$ that way.

I have been a fan of Kona bikes for many year but their 1st 134 chainstays were too wide and kept hitting my heals. I immediately went to Transition after that. I know their frames are awesome but I don't know if I would go back to them considering that other brands out there that offer better value for money.
  • 5 0
 I bought a 2021 version of this bike (except one spec level up)in the Buy/Sell section and am not mad about it. None of the issues mentioned here except the weight and seat angle. Climbs like a pig but 134's always have. I had ridden this as a rental in St George and wanted to buy one at the end of the season so I did. I paid the same price as the article listed and am not mad about it. Yes I could have made a better choice, but this was what was available at the time I wanted to buy a bike at the price point I had so I had to do it. All that being said, it's poppy and playful despite the weight going downhill. But my resale value just plummeted after this article. GREAT.
  • 2 0
 I wonder how well that effective seat angle specc'd aligns to a real measurement at a functional saddle height... looks slacker than the geo sheet says. The geo is in general very similar to my Fugitive, and I run the same travel combo (135/140), and it's anything but a poor climber, even thought it's heavy. I run my saddle in the middle of the rails; forward I found was giving me knee gripes, and it measures out to stupid close to the geo sheet....
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy hows that Recon RL Solo fork doing? Does it compare to a Marzocchi Z2 or is it fairly bottom of the barrel? Alot of these cheaper RS forks have been legit junk in the past...I'm wondering if they've crossed the line to "decent fork long term" or not. In the past the dampers (if they exist) have been pretty dang bad but also the air springs have been like weird pogo sticks. Nothing like a proper dual-chamber spring. Debonair could mean anything these days as its not consistent we found for the RS 35 Gold to something like the Yari's which bear the same name. Either way, wondering if you'd recommend that fork to a buddy who is just an intermediate rider?

This was a great review btw (aside from hoping for more fork details perhaps). Palmers was pretty fluffy...he owes you a beer.
  • 3 0
 They've gotten worse. There's been 0 trickle-down ever since the revelation went to a 35mm stanchion. Only more cost cutting in the dampers.
  • 4 0
 Confirmed terrible, Z2 is much much better.
  • 3 0
 @JockoJones: ugggh...there's no reason these have to suck.

@mikelevy you should call out the suspension like you did the brakes. A fork is such a critical part of a bike. Especially when for about the same cash (maybe cheaper) you can get a bike with full fox suspension.
  • 4 1
 Kona has been pulling the premium price for garbage components for the last 5 years. Just terrible and hard on the eyes as well. At least Rocky Mountains look good with terrible components at their price point!
  • 3 0
 Deore 11-speed is awesome. I recently retro fitted it to an older bike. It just works and has tons of range. If you are a component snob you can pair it with an 11 speed XT or XTR shifter and feel all warm on the inside.
  • 2 0
 I have this bike. I think the original brake spec is some low end Shimanos? Anyway I put 4-pot SLX brakes on mine. Around here we don't have many long climbs, but rather rolling terrain with alternating short climbs and descends. For that the bike works really well and the short chainstays make it fun to ride.

I don't think it's great value for money, but I got mine used with a good deal so I have no complaints.
  • 4 0
 Doesn’t climb well, doesn’t descend well. I guess it would be okay riding on a dirt road in Kansas…..
  • 4 0
 The real bummer is I WANT to line this bike. Simple (and should be reliable) frame.

But-just too many warts.
  • 2 0
 It's a fun descender if you put some proper brakes on.
  • 5 4
 I don't think this was like a "hey screw you have some crappy brakes" from Kona. As many others have said, this is likely due to a supply chain issue and Kona having to take what's available rather than raise the price of the bike by a few hundred dollars or push delivery back by 6 months. A lot of people would take the downspec brakes vs. waiting forever for their bike or having to spend a boatload more money for one component upgrade. This is a good lesson for Kona on which corners they *shouldn't* cut when supply chain issues arise, but they are not a bad company at heart. People bein' way too harsh.
  • 5 0
 Levy is showing some genuine comedic talent in those beta ad reads...
  • 1 0
 You got a solid centimeter of rails left to slide that saddle forward! That's worth a degree, degree and a half, of seat tube steepness. Go PNW-style and slam that perch! And next time you see a Kona rep, find out who the heck keeps asking for miniature chainstays...
  • 1 0
 So you think the Process doesn't climb well? That's funny, given how well it climbs technical bits. Alhonga brakes do suck and they shouldn't use that junk but this bike isn't unbalanced or a poor value. I don't own one but have ridden a ton of the alloy Process bikes and they perform very well.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy @mikekazimer @alicialeggett curious what you tried to improve the brakes? Did they need a bleed? Were they properly bed in before riding? Were the brown plated Alhonga pads contaminated from the factory? Strikes me that the alhonga brakes use pads of industry shape #22 same as the ubiquitous shimano B01S/M05 resin pads. Did u try a pad swap? Scrub the stock pads? Not uncommon for brand new off-brand pads on entry level complete bikes to need to go straight into the parts bin. As another example, ever try Jagwire Sport pads? They don’t stop the same. Tough times out there for the internet magazine world eh? LBS folk out here just getting creative and gettin it done for riders.
  • 1 0
 According to Alhonga these brakes are for fitness, hard tail, urban and lifestyle, they are 2 pot, mineral oil, with organic pads. I believe the pads are same shape fit as Shimano M515.

alhonga.com/products_detail.php?M=9999&uID=1&cID=46&Key=372

My 2022 Kona Process 134 arrived with these instead of the Shimano brakes specified at the time of my order. LBS didn’t tell me they’d been substituted either ….and the price of the bike went up too.

I no longer trust Kona and won’t buy another bike from them.
  • 2 0
 35+ pounds with crappy brakes...... what could possibly go sideways? Its as if they said... shit this bike is a lemon lets adorn it with a killer 11 speed drivetrain.
  • 1 1
 I suspect every single Kona Operator from the 2011 era has had the frame fail. The overly swoopy lines not only isn't the best from an FEA perspective, the dramatic hydroforming creates areas of very thin, stretched sidewalls. Ten years from now many if not most of these frames will be cracked too.
  • 5 1
 You must be new. Kona’s just go on forever. There’s a teenager in a bike park right now on an old stinky or big hit that’s not been serviced since 1996 going way bigger than ether of us ever will. Actually shipped them with decent components back then.
  • 2 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Pre-2009 konas last forever. After that they went overkill and hydroformed the crap out of everything and their QA took a nosedive. I cracked both konas (2008 and 2010 aluminum scandium frames) I owned, and several buds who had 2011ish Kona Operators and Entourage s all failed catastrophically.
  • 2 0
 @thenotoriousmic: I don’t always see eye to eye with Hamncheez but I totally do on this one.

Straight, simple tube shapes are the strongest.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: haha I’ll correct that. They’ll ether break in the first 6 months or last forever.
  • 3 0
 Aw, c'mon. It's not like it's a safety critical component like a headset spacer or something. Oh, wait...
  • 1 1
 Even the pictures on the kona site show shimano callipers but the spec list says alhonga , what a joke I had a 2018 153 CR process new , great bike , fast downhill but sluggish up hill , but all the suspension bearings were shot after 6 months and were a nightmare to change , never again , shame how they have become
  • 1 0
 I still have that bike and I think it's good uphill and twitchy downhill compared to today's long bikes... My frame bearing did seize but took a couple years
  • 4 0
 A benjamin under 3 grand = $2599??
  • 1 0
 Since those brakes use Shimano pads, could it partly be just a case of the terrible OEM resin pads and a resin-only rotor? Those things are bad enough to make _any_ brake feel scary on trails.
  • 4 1
 Wow you guys make this bike sound absolutely awful in every way lol.
  • 1 0
 I have a question how largely does wheel size affect gear range (if at all)? If you think about it 27.5, 26, and 29 wheels are vastly different sizes.
  • 3 0
 Aspect ratio changes with wheel diameter, so the same gearing will feel taller on a bike with larger wheels than one with smaller diameter wheels.
  • 1 1
 your effective gearing is [front cog] / [rear cog] * [actual tire diameter]
  • 1 1
 @mikelevy: So it will feel easier to pedal a 29er with say a 48t on the rear and a 32t on the front than a 27.5 bike?
  • 6 0
 @Sethsg: opposite.
  • 1 0
 @Sethsg: one crank rotation gets you as far in distance (on a smooth flat surface) in 32x52 on a 29" and 32x49 on a 27.5" (and a 46t on a 26"). But this isn't why 29" is faster, as the energy/effort is to do with the distance travelled not the crank rotations.
  • 2 0
 Wheel size doesn't affect gear range, that's all in the cassette (and crankset if it's not 1x). It does affect the crank ratio, but you can select chainrings to compensate.
  • 3 1
 Guess they took budget vs baller seriously when spec'ing the bike. I'd rather the bike have NO brakes!
  • 3 0
 "discombobulated" I had to look that up, nice one.
  • 6 1
 You've probably only heard the more common term "bobulated", from which discombobulated derives. tehe.
  • 5 0
 @kcy4130: I fully combobulate your comment
  • 1 0
 The only other time I heard it is in the lyrics of Soul Coughing's 'White Girl' . Cool word though. Let's keep using it.
  • 2 0
 I'm a Kona fanboy, and even I see that the spec and price of their bikes is getting pretty out of hand.
  • 3 0
 Excellent prose in this written review, @mikelevy.
  • 2 0
 How could we have a value field test without including a Kona?

They're sure as hell not value bikes where I live!
  • 1 0
 I like curves as much as the next guy, but damn, bikes sporting curved down tubes like that have got to go! And take those crappy brakes with you.
  • 1 0
 Grim donut V3 will have Alhonga L-specs.

“L” for Levy.
That’s marketing and brand management genius, right there.

Then again, maybe not.
  • 1 0
 Soo I bought this rig….. before this review dropped … so ya .. I guess I’ll be saying my prayers next time win-it Wednesday has brakes for the prize.
  • 25 27
 Only this company could make an object like this! Well done! Another great review by people who know how to review something capable of being reviewed! This was definitely a reviewable object, one which was made by a company, and was reviewed by the pinkbike team, which consists of humans who review these things.
  • 17 0
 I have no idea what you‘re getting at, but you sure did get a chuckle out of me Wink
  • 4 1
 didnt actually think you commented but ok
  • 9 0
 This must be the new bot that generates Pinkbike reviews. A clear response to the PB comment generation twitter bot from a while ago. Excellent programming.
  • 5 3
 That headline belongs on "comment gold" let me tell ya
  • 2 10
flag nathangoufflol (Apr 25, 2022 at 9:02) (Below Threshold)
 No
  • 2 0
 ngl that ad read cracked me up good
  • 3 1
 "Alhonga before I can stop down this steep chute?!"
  • 2 0
 I’m taking my Alhonga for a ride in Alhambra
  • 1 0
 Yikes! $2900 MTB and you get a RS Recon fork, something tell me Kona is not going to sell a lot of these MTBs.
  • 2 0
 Beta ad was a highlight of the video xD
  • 1 0
 Wrong answers only: what is @mikelevy thinking about at 10:50?!
  • 1 0
 Don’t like the appearance of straight tubes and curved tubes.
  • 1 0
 Who needs brakes anyway? All they do is slow you down!
  • 1 0
 Guess there's no breaks Alhonga way then.
  • 1 0
 Not getting stolen at gunpoint in California….
  • 1 0
 Pros: amazing seat post insertion depth plus adjustable travel dropper
  • 2 4
 Are you kidding me? Cheapo brakes and an 11-speed drivetrain on a $2,600 bike? There are bikes that cost roughly 2/3 of this with better setups.
  • 30 0
 Nothing wrong with the 11-speed drivetrain, though. It works really, really well and had plenty of range.
  • 1 0
 Between then SX that comes on a lot of budget bikes
  • 9 0
 I’d prefer an 11s drivetrain that works over a cheap 12s drivetrain that doesn’t.
  • 3 1
 I'd rather have 11 than 12 (edit - I\d rather have 10 if the range and spread is decent)
  • 5 0
 I've got some much nicer bikes than this with 11sp drivetrains. Having 12sp is one of the least important upgrades, IMO.
  • 1 0
 @milanboez: Affirmative. Though I've only had 12 speed drive trains the past 4 years...I would love to see an 11 speed drive train with an 11-48 range. While I love my 51t cog, I can't say I was less able when all I had was a 46t. But time marches on and % range seems more important than gear options. I could also probably just lose my 10t forever. But what can you do, things change, I'll probably buy some 15 speed group when it comes out.
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 @foggnm: Have the Sram EX1 wide range 8spd on my supreme SX and love it.
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 Maybe try diff brakes.
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