The Evolution of Kona Bikes: Part 2 - Video

Apr 3, 2018 at 11:23
by Pinkbike Staff  

Here's the long-awaited follow up from How Kona Bikes Evolved: Part I. This is the second part of the story about how Kona Bikes has evolved and how their geometry has progressed. Kona Product Manager Ian Schmitt explains how Kona's modern bikes came in to being.

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MENTIONS: @pinkbikeproductions / @konaworld




106 Comments

  • 64 0
 Kona and New World Disorder movies start a revolution in mountain bike... for me at least. I had a Kone Stuff, great bike!!! Super fun!
  • 5 0
 Amen
  • 8 0
 My first real mountain bike was a kona stuff, loved that thing!
  • 4 0
 @psilocybinchild: yeah man! mine was green one!
  • 2 0
 @tomasyr: I also had the green one. It was the first bike I really felt like I could huck without breaking!
  • 5 0
 Mine was tan, 2005 i believe. Damn did i subject that bike to some things as I had no idea how to ride then... Had some darn good times though.
  • 3 1
 @psilocybinchild: I rode one for a day in 2000 (70km downhill in Bolivia). Fit so well that I tried to replicate the cockpit position on my bike back home. The Stuff of legend, basically.
  • 2 0
 @tomasyr: i had the green one too! Sweet bike, snapped the arch on the marz fork it came with, then put a dj3 on it, was so solid. It got so much abuse and in the end it got stolen Frown i was heartbroken...
  • 2 0
 Exactly the same case for me. The 2001 electric Green stuff was my First Gravity bike.. ???? Cheers
  • 1 0
 @luapyen: nooooo!!! Frown so sad!!! Mine was 2007 and i put it a Marzocchi 55!!! Epic bike!!!
  • 3 0
 @isaacascadia: Mine was/is tan, its currently sitting under my brother in laws bed, because he hasn't built it up yet... I did everything from 15ft drops to urban assault to DH on that bike, it was a beast! Its also the same bike that fell off my car at 60mph, bounced twice on the highway and all that was wrong was a bent pedal, I rode if for another 5 years after that!
  • 2 0
 @bikermaniac101: after like 100 years i still dream with this scene www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXTE9Y1EFHY
  • 22 0
 I like Kona bikes, can't really say why, but I like them.
  • 12 0
 They have always just 'fit' for some reason. Hop on, bam.. like it's been my rig for a year.

That, and of all the people I've ever dealt with at Kona--from reps to warranty, all just stellar people.

Comfy bikes and rad people, good enough for me Smile
  • 8 1
 It was the anus-inspired puckered starfish in their logo/accessory designs ????????
  • 6 0
 I can. They're the antithesis to the lawyer driven Specialized. Riding a bike should be fum, not litigious!
  • 18 2
 My 2005 Coiler was soooo Enduro, even before Enduro became enduro. But I do not get this video. Part 1 was like 15 minutes covering 3 bikes....and then they skipped their best period of 2004-2006, just to talk about new bikes. There is no history of Kona in this part
  • 16 2
 Not many finer looking bikes than the new Process.
  • 6 0
 i actually preferred the look of the older (14-17') one. The new one is nice looking and im sure its bomber
  • 4 2
 @brookland27: I prefer the looks of the g1 process for sure, but apparently the linkage had a problem of, you guessed it, snapping. New one should be the best bike ever.
  • 2 0
 Whichever has the lowest top tube is the one I like best.
  • 1 1
 @brookland27: it was more original and damn cool, but it doesn't reach my sexy parts in the same way...
  • 6 0
 @YouHadMeAtDrugs: No, G1 Process bikes didn't have problems with the linkage snapping.
  • 2 2
 @somethingwith69or13init: that's just what I've heard bud. Don't shoot the messenger.
  • 5 1
 @YouHadMeAtDrugs: Then why bother posting baseless claims that you "heard"?
  • 2 0
 @YouHadMeAtDrugs: 14-17 is actually G2 Process. G1 was the 2013 version with 26" wheels.
  • 2 0
 and not many finer looking bikes than the 2011/12 Operator
  • 13 0
 well that went quick 2005 straight to 2026. would loved some more details on that oldsco stuff
  • 2 0
 Agree - would have been great to see more TBG bikes in the mix.
  • 1 0
 If you watch the first one, all the old school bikes are in there.
  • 2 0
 @paulhaysom: i did see the first vid, i was high hopes that the 2nd one was gonna be just like it
  • 7 0
 I remember my first "real" mountain bike was a Kona Fire Mountain. Brakes weren't that good, mechanical if I remember correctly, fork worked well enough, but I had a ton of fun on that thing! Lots of memories on it!
  • 3 1
 It was from 2006 and fork didn't worked that well, but well enough for my use...oh man!
  • 9 0
 What? No talk about the Sex bikes? My 1st dually was a 96 Sex One, great bike.
  • 9 0
 Wait, the banner says that the Stinky Five is a 2018? Someone got their decades mixed up, or I am from the future.
  • 8 0
 Whoops! Looks like our jetlagged/Crankworx/Sleep Deprived brains must've missed one - good spot! You know it's a 1998 by the way it is though...
  • 7 0
 @paulhaysom: Darn. Guess I'm not in the future after all. But in case I am, Trump won, and sell your bitcoin as soon as it hits 16K USD. You're welcome.
  • 9 0
 Love the paint schemes of the older kona bikes
  • 5 0
 Yessss... I HAVE BEEN WAITING SO LONG FOR THIS! Seriously, I have been looking forward to it since part 1. Really do find it interesting, and I appreciate PB taking the time to do it. Picked a great company to dive into too. Thanks guys!
  • 7 0
 i had a 2005 stinky it was the best bike ive ever owned kona really paved the way for the freeride and Dh scene
  • 6 0
 the 05 stinky was my first full suspension bike coming off a hard tail, i remember watching watching grant Allen and Robbie bourdon going huge on them on the nwd vids and loving it. 2 weeks after I brought it I got some 2004 888s off a friend and at the time the most drool worthy forks getting around. Seems like yesterday!
  • 3 0
 Same. Kona stinky was the first badass full suspension bike I could afford used at about $1k.

Haven't looked back since. Thank you Kona for being the first to make DH/freeride accessible to me at a young age.
  • 1 0
 My Kona Stinky Deelux 2004 was my first real DH oriented bike and I keep a soft spot for it but man this thing was also the worse "DH" bike I ever owned. Suspension lacked any sort of grip, sensitivity and didn't even do well on big jumps as it wasn't progressive. Genuienly every DH bikes I owned since were not even comparable, even some from the same era (Nicolai M-pire, IH Sunday). Oh and geo wasn't good either as that thing could not rail a turn for some reasons (suspension most likely but still) lol
  • 2 1
 Stinky's geometry would feel ridiculous today, but a lot of people got a lot of riding in on top of those things. Those old Marz 66s that came in front were some of the plushest forks ever made. Of course they also weighed like 7 lbs...
  • 1 0
 Omg that's too funny the same thing happens to me. I ended up buying a new fork anyways (2004 888 rc with the works damper!!)@jazzawil:
  • 2 0
 The stock drop off fork from memory had no rebound control and topped out like crazy. The 888rc was a dream. The 2017 380r2c2 i have now is pretty damn good to! @freeridejerk888:
  • 1 0
 I ended up putting some Zocchi 66RC2X in my 05' Stinky,they were super plush,being a heavier rider i could do nothing with the stock drop off
  • 5 0
 I had the Kona Bear. It was a 4 or 5 inch trail bike, had to be from around 2001-2002. I liked it, was heavy for the type of bike it was, but you knew it was going to last.
  • 1 0
 I had a 2002 Kona Bear. Stock it was 100mm front and rear but I put a 125mm TALAS fork on the front. I rode that thing all over the place. It was an amazing bike.
  • 6 0
 2 short videos ain't nearly enough. We want more!
  • 4 0
 I've had many a Kona's... From the stuff to the stinky p. From the entourage to the operator... Thank you Kona for fueling my gravity driven obsession!
  • 4 0
 My first MTB was also a Kona. Hannaha Joy Murray, damn! yes I'm fourty but I now ride a Proccess and I owned a steel Honzo and a Jake! Love!
  • 5 0
 Isn't Pat playing on the skateboard in the background.... I thought he had work to do??? Just saying!
  • 3 0
 Nice name Wink
  • 3 0
 Everybody in BC always works hard. No breaks ever. Unless they want to bike, are tired or hungry, or want to go skateboarding
  • 1 0
 @YoungGun13: didn’t you canucks just have a 4 day holiday weekend?
  • 1 0
 @MX298: Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Nothing to see here, as you were.
  • 1 0
 @YoungGun13: which is why you're in Norway ;-)
  • 1 0
 @BenPea: damn, good memory. Also I use the "ride bikes" excuse more than I should
  • 1 1
 @MX298: yeah, but we were getting tired of working so hard
  • 2 0
 There were bigger names in the business and in mechanical terms better bikes than Kona. But Kona brought the bikes to everyone and to all needs built on a wide range of good looking and lovable frames which i still prefer to this day over anything. The early DH-FR range (99-2005) was pure porn as far as looks and reliability! Wish they still made stuff like those...
  • 3 1
 I am really sorry to say but this vid is BORRING!!
My fura full suspension bike was a Kona Stinky DL 2004 and it was Rad!!!
The first vid was all about passion about bikes and making them cool and than came the product manager and just killed it. Kona was a synonim of cool stuff and everyone just wanted it like AC/DC but now it's like any Asian brand without soul and passion behind it. Much of wgat was by NWD and guys riding it but now these mam are riding for Zee Germans not Kona what is for me unfortunate.
  • 2 0
 what the hell?
1. they completely ignored some of their most iconic/longest running models - Coiler/Coilair, Dawg.... and no Honzo?!?!?
2. Magic Link - it's funny how they chose to avoid mentioning that little snafu...

Having said that - awesome brand. I think Kona peaked in the mid-late 90's. Growing up then, Kona was synonymous with "hardcore". Then, they made a serious comeback with the process lineup (the 2nd gen) which hit the nail on the head. I truly hope they continue with that momentum (the new processes being much more "ordinary"...)
  • 3 0
 The real old stuff was the best! Always remember wanting a roast. In brown, yellow and green. With red decals if I remember correctly. Mmmmmm
  • 2 0
 I have always loved Kona...never had the chance to grab one. Wanted the Abra Cadabra or CoilAir. Still wish I could find a CoilAir with the G2. Always thought that had more potential than it was recognized for.
  • 4 0
 These are the kinds of videos that make me want to buy their bikes. Down to earth and legit company.
  • 1 0
 Shame they put those god awful bendy Asym WTB wheels on my sexy new CR DL. I am at about a ding per ride at the moment... And before the wild PB trolls arrive, I had a set of Mavic Crossmax on my last rig that I sold for a hefty price second hand as they were barely marked - and not one ding.
  • 1 0
 I had a 05' in green what a fun bike to ride,did upgrade it quite some what,and always looked understated,remember passing two guys in Les Gets about 08' time on there shiny new Intense M6's "all the gear no idea brigade" with a massive under my helmet,never really understood why there was so many Kona haters out there
  • 1 0
 I remember my first real mountain bike, it was a hand-me-down 99 Fire Mountain that was my sisters, it had an RST fork on it and I can still remember in 2001 getting it and upgrading the fork to a Marzocchi Z5 along with a few other parts. From that day I was addicted to biking and nothings changed 17 years later
  • 2 0
 had a 2007 stinky dee lux with dangerboy custom links that made 5,6, or 7" .... I miss that bike on the downs, but definitely not the ups Smile
  • 1 0
 Here's a better look at that awesome 2013 Process main pivot.
www.pinkbike.com/photo/15678680
I'm sure glad all the seat stay pivots are double shear. They will last forever sitting in the corner of my garage.
  • 2 0
 @rpl3000 I broke the main pivot off my 2013 Kona Process!
www.pinkbike.com/photo/15760239

It was my first real mountain bike so it took a lot of extra abuse before it finally gave up the ghost. It'll be missed this season for sure, if the snow ever goes away...
  • 2 0
 @LeonV: it wasn't you. I've owned a Stinky and a Stab and they were much more durable.
  • 2 2
 Still confused about the whole linkage driven "single pivot" thing. There are pivots on the seatstays. How is it still single pivot? The Santa Cruz APP seems like it fits the definition much better with a solid rear triangle.
  • 5 1
 the wheel is connected to the frame by a single pivot. Konas have a pivot ABOVE the swingarm, which does not have the same effect as a proper dual-link design with a virtual pivot.
  • 1 0
 Still lovino my 2014 Process 153DL. Super fast bike, pedals fairly well and is a blast on the down. Wish they could make the Operator so that it held speed better on flatter sections of jump trails though.
  • 3 0
 „We’re not trying to sell anything here“ - well I’d take one for free
  • 2 0
 I had a Kona Howler back in the day which was like a bombproof mini DH bike when nothing similar existed really. The new Process 153 looks amazing.
  • 1 0
 Been a kona fan I feel like they missed out a lot of bikes that shaped kona from the kowan era. It was more hey here is one of our old bikes and look here are our new ones. A bit rushed. Not as good as part one
  • 1 0
 Loving Kona since riding trials on a Kona Chute.
Have a 2015 Process 153 now. Awesome machine.
Apart from travel, what's the difference between the 134 and 153? Just a shorter shock? Is one able to become the other?
  • 1 0
 Major frame differences are Head Tube Angle and Wheelbase, minor differences are Bottom Bracket Height, Seat Angle, Head Tube length, etc to accommodate the different stack height and suspension travel. Check it all out on the Kona website if you really want to get into it.
  • 1 0
 @iduckett: Sorry I didn't state my question properly - I understand slight geometry tweaks in places; more the rear linkage. Are the yokes the same and the position of where the shock sits on the frame? The 134 has a 190mm shock on it and the 153 has a 200mm shock - if I were to put 190mm on the 153, would that sit me in the 134 ball park? (head angle etc aside).
  • 1 0
 @Rocket-Rich: I mean, as you know it would reduce the rear travel, but I'm not sure the geometry change would be in your favor balance wise, raking the bike back. Though I say this and I went the other direction - 160 Pike on a 134 Razz . Haven't tested it out yet though. The plan was to adjust the fork to 150, but figured I'd test it out first with 160 travel before I go changing it. See how it bombs.
  • 1 0
 @iduckett: Well, quite. People have been running 160 pikes and the like on the 134, with an offset bush and angleset - why not start with the 153 and nail a shorter shock on?
It'd certainly adhere to the lower/slacker fashion. In fact, I have a 190mm shock in the shed; I may try it one day, in a desperate bid to be down with the kids.
  • 1 0
 I had a 2010 stinky I believe that was the last year they were produced. Sold it on Pinkbike for super cheap, really wish I had hung on to that thing now
  • 1 0
 They still make the Stinky. It’s a 24” wheeled kids bike now.
  • 1 0
 @mungbean: The new Process 165 more or less picked up where the Stinky left off
  • 4 0
 Love me some Kona bikes.
  • 1 0
 My first 'proper' bike was a red Kona Caldera, then I got a Kona Bass, then random other stuff, and now I'm on a 2015 Kona Process 153.
  • 1 0
 I've had 2 Konas. They worked great for me. Very durable. A CoilAir, and a Stab Deluxe. One of my first real DH bikes there.
  • 1 0
 Always wanted a Kona, when I was 14 my mom was going to buy me a stinky, then she got mad, in 2016 I bought my first kona, a Honzo and it got a crack... f*ck!
  • 3 0
 2007...
  • 1 0
 I wish they had stuck with the uninterrupted seat tube from the gen2 prototype.
  • 4 1
 I used to ride a kona
  • 5 0
 I still do, but I used to too. -Mitch Hedberg
  • 1 0
 I rode that G1 Process Mule in BlackRock,Oregon back in the old days we totally put the bike thru some testing. Good times.
  • 2 0
 I still ride my '07 Coiler...
  • 1 0
 I still daily my '08 Stinky... feels heavy, short/cramped with long rear end but damn she is solid and rips. #26aintdead
  • 1 0
 Its so sad that theres no new kona dirtjumper!!! i hope they start making one again soon
  • 1 0
 I love seeing the 134 mule, father of my '16 134.

Curious what drove the 68deg to 67deg HTA in the 2017+ models...
  • 2 0
 Where is the dog?
  • 1 2
 Which came first, the Session or the Kona?
  • 1 0
 The chicken. Obvz.
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