Monthly Archives: March 2017

Under a Rotorua Moon – Kona Gravity Rider Anthony Poulson Gets sideways in the Whip-Off Finals

“Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose” Coach Taylor’s mantra from Friday Night Lights applied to the Kona Gravity Team’s youngest member last night as he made the finals at the Crankworx Whip-Offs in Rotorua. The weather earlier in the week has wrecked havoc with the Crankworx schedule and the Whip-Offs were moved from their original timeslot in the daytime to an evening slot under lights. Anthony is in town for the DH but loves getting sideways and could not pass up the opportunity to compete in the event. The Downhill is taking place later today we are hoping Anthony can translate his style on the massive double to a solid result on the race track!

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“Yes yesterday’s DH training went really well, the track was super slippery so I put two Maxxis shorty’s on and had a lot of fun. Today’s training didn’t go as planned though. I had a big crash in my first run which left me with a really sore shoulder, I decided to not do any other runs today especially because they were talking about moving the race to Sunday. Now it turns out it’s tomorrow morning! I’ll be changing up some of my lines because the track is pretty much dry now and I’ll hope it’ll work, should be good fun. Tonight was the whip-off comp too, on probably the sickest jump I’ve ever ridden. Had so much fun and made it until the end so I’m really happy!” – Anthony Poulson

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Ti Tuesday: Cam’s Leave-No-Stone-Unturned Ti Honzo

Leave no stone unturned. That’s the idea with Cam’s Ti Honzo. This bike has so many details that you’ll keep finding more the more you look. Cam’s story is also one that might resonate: selling a previous bike and immediately regretting it. Fortunately, Cam’s day to day at Joy Ride Bicycles in Lacey, WA keeps him in the loop, and he was able to atone for his past mistakes.

“A couple of years ago I sold my Steel Honzo for something that I thought ‘was a better bike’ and I’ve been regretting it ever since. Turns out there may not actually be a better bike than the Honzo, so when the stars aligned earlier this year and the prospects of affording a Ti frame became feasible it was a no brainer. While the initial build is focused on shreddy and durable, there is a ‘B’ build in the works for bikepacking so stay tuned for an update on the most versatile Honzo in the PNW.”

Scroll down to pore over the details on Cam’s Ti Honzo covered in Pacific Northwest loam. For more Ti Kona goodness, check out the Ti Tuesday archives and #TiTuesdaysWithKona on Instagram. If you’ve got a Ti Kona bike, please do get in touch!

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Toni Lund and his Kona Wo are Headed to the Iditarod Trail Invitational

New to the Finnish Kona Grassroots team is Toni Lund, an adventure cyclist and endurance athlete who has finished twice on the podium in the Rovaniemi 150 race. He is also the first participant and finisher from Finland in the longest winter ultra race in the world, the 350-mile Iditarod Trail Invitational.

This winter Toni has been riding the 2017 Kona Wo. As you can expect, it’s highly modified by the man himself and in the following pictures it’s equipped with winter bikepacking gear by Porcelain Rocket and BarYak so he can travel long distances without external support.

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“The key changes I made to Wo are Nextie Wild Dragon 90mm carbon rims with DT Swiss 350 Big Ride hubs and 45NRTH Dillinger 5 studded tires, Thomson stem, seatpost and seat collar, Renthal Fat Bar carbon bars and Fizik Gobi XM saddle. The drivetrain is the stock SRAM NX, but the cranks are Race Face Turbine Cinch for 170/177mm rears with AbsoluteBLACK 30t oval chain ring which gives me narrower q-factor.”

Toni has earned himself the nickname “extreme bike mechanic” at his day job at Bikeshop.fi / Ajopyörä, and for good reason.The ultimate test for these skills and for the Wo will be Toni’s next target, the Iditarod Trail Invitational 1000 mile race to Nome in 2018. Follow Toni’s preparation and adventures on Instagram.

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The Kona 2017 Demo Tour is Rolling Through North Carolina this Weekend

The Kona 2017 Demo Tour heads through North Carolina (the home of Superchunk, Merge Records and The Archers of Loaf!)  this week and weekend!

Bring your helmet, riding gear, and ID, and swing a leg over a 2017 Kona!

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*UPDATED* Connor Fearon and Tegan Molloy Battle the Rain and Mud in Rotorua

Nothing about yesterday’s opening EWS round in Rotorua could have been predicted. The top riders on the EWS circuit and the entire women’s pro field got caught out in an hour-long rain shower that turned the already challenging trails to complete goop. Lines ridden in practice all but disappeared, replaced with axle deep ruts. Controlling the bike in many cases became a lottery, and the biggest names in enduro were crossing the line in positions they were not at all accustomed to, sometimes in the triple digits.

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Connor and Tegan, like most non-locals, were not immune to the conditions. Aiming for a top 30 finish Connor laid down a storming first run on the opening stage finishing in 3rd, as the day went on his results reflected not only the drying trails but also the level of fun he was having, posting solid results on stage three with a 7th and a 16th on stage five to finish the day in 20th place, well within his top 30 goal. The day wasn’t without controversy for Connor though, a timing chip error had him finishing a full two minutes off the pace in 143rd place, when alerted, the EWS event organisers were quick to fix the issue and reveal Connor’s true opening stage result!

“I really had no idea how hard this enduro was going to be. It was 8.5 hours of the hardest riding I’ve ever done. I had a few really good stages with two top 10’s and a few shocking stages. The highlight of my day was riding stage 1, which was a super gnarly track and I finished 3rd. At the end of the day this had me in finishing in 20th overall which I’m pretty happy with. It goes without saying though, that the top 30 who raced some time after me were at a huge disadvantage, as the weather and tracks were worse.” – Connor Fearon

Cworx_RotoruaBB-2723Tegan who was having a similar day, had it all end, when she missed here stage six start by 30 seconds. With the top 30 pro men bearing down behind her, officials refused to let her take her run, rendering Tegans day as a DNF. Tegan will be heading to round two of the EWS in Tasmania in two weeks time and no doubt will be looking for redemption!

Cworx_RotoruaBB-0573In the meantime (well after cleaning the bikes) Connor will be heading home to Aussie to continue pre-season testing before the DH world cup kicks off in Lourdes at the end of April.

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The Kona Gravity Team Take on EWS Round One

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Tegan Molloy and Connor Fearon have made the short trip from Australia across the Tasman Sea to race the first round of the Enduro World Series in the mountain bike Mecca of Rotorua. Round one of the EWS kicks off the team’s first official outing for 2017 and after two days of long and hard practice race day is here. In fact, Connor will be rolling down the start ramp in just under ten minutes at 8:41 NZ time.

“I’m pretty excited for the EWS in Rotorua. I’ve just come here with the mindset of riding some sweet tracks for three days and getting some good training in. Half of the tracks are really technical and fun which suits me and some look really physically challenging… My goal for today is to finish in the top 30.” – Connor Fearon

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Tegan and Connor, will have a long day in the saddle ahead of them, with seven stages to race, 65km of total riding and over 2000 meters of climbing (over 6,500 feet) it ain’t going to be easy, especially with that forecast wet weather.

Unfortunately for us (and you) it’s nigh on impossible to provide coverage of an enduro event on the same level as a world cup DH race, so no live video stream. But there is a live race feed that you can follow here. You can also find the EWS Rotorua start list here, this has all Tegan and Connor’s stage start times so you know just when to put the phone down (or when to pick it up).

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Connor and Tegan’s good buddy and fellow Aussie DH racer Shelly Flood has joined the crew for the trip and will be racing as well.

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Gravity Team Manager Mathieu Dupelle may well have joined them on the practice days, but he wont be joining them on the trails come race day.

“Round one of the EWS has been a great team building event so far, it’s been really great riding all the stages with the team and it’s a fantastic beginning to the season” – Mathieu Dupelle

Video: Life as a Pro Cycling Mechanic

Kona Pro Cyclocross racer Kerry Werner is a force to be reckoned with, but his accomplishments between the tape don’t come without support. Enter Doug Sumi, Kerry’s mechanic on the road. And, at many of the US ProCX stops, Ricoh Riott. Ricoh and Doug teamed up to create this video from a veteran mechanic’s perspective on wrenching on the road.

Keep up with Ricoh Riott Photography on his website, and on Facebook and Instagram.

Spencer Paxson Update and Arrangements with the Weather Gods

Kona veteran Spencer Paxson returns in 2017 for his seventh year with Kona Bikes, and provides an update after a long but productive winter. After the last few years dancing around the globe, Spencer has a refreshing “homecoming” season planned with his Adventure teammates Wicks, Wallace and Sneddon.

His aim is set on high profile North American marathon and stage race events, with many peculiar backcountry and frontcountry adventures in between. Amidst all of that, he also provides an explanation for the heavy winter that befell Western North America, starting his own small business, what it’s like to evolve with the maturation of the sport (and himself), and more.

Head over to Spencer’s blog for lots of great photos and stories from his eventful 2016 – and his requests of the meteorological powers that be.

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Chasing Sunshine in Malaga, Spain with the Kona PhD and Esatto Fast

The PhD and Esatto Fast are our quick-handling, extra-spicy city and fitness bikes. The quick way to work or the quick way to get your workout done, these two bikes feature the same Kona Superlight 7046 aluminum frame and full carbon fork, with a heads-up riding position. Whether it’s your daily commute, your cruise around town, or your way out of town, the PhD and Esatto Fast get you there – quick.

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Esatto Fast

Frame Material: Kona SuperLight Aluminum Butted 7046
Wheels: Alex CXD6 Wheelset
Fork: Kona Carbon Road Disc
Crankset: FSA Vero Pro
Drivetrain: Shimano Tiagra 10spd
Cockpit: Kona Flat bar, Kona Road Light Stem
Brakes: Tektro HDR310
Tires: Schwalbe Spicer K-Guard 700x30c
Saddle: Kona Road

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PhD

Frame Material: Kona SuperLight Aluminum Butted 7046
Wheels: Alex CXD6 Wheelset
Fork: Kona Carbon Road Disc
Crankset: FSA Vero
Drivetrain: Shimano Tiagra 10spd
Cockpit: Kona Flat bar, Kona Road Light stem, Kona Fast Road grips
Brakes: Tektro HDR310
Tires: Schwalbe Spicer K-Guard 700x30c
Saddle: Kona Road

For more information on the PhD, Esatto Fast, and the entire Kona lineup, head to konaworld.com.