Monthly Archives: November 2017

Cruising the Road to Hana

There are fewer places on earth more beautiful than Maui. Expansive lush green jungles hug the most pristine, curvy roads the eyes have ever seen this side of Italy. While throngs of tourists are gawking at waterfalls and floundering about in the ocean on foam-surfboards boards, those in the know will dip out on two wheels to experience one of the island’s most coveted treasures: the road to Hana. The Radivist’s Morgan Taylor and his wife recently spent some time dodging cars and tourists to see what the hype was all about.

On a pair of borrowed Konas, (a 2013 Red Zone, and a 2015 Esatto Ti) their adventure came to life. Check out the full story over on the Radavist.

 

 

Getting to Know the Process G2

When we launched the revamped Process line back in late summer, Pinkbike spent a ton of time dissecting the new features of the bike. Check out their in-depth dive here. Writer Mike Levy’s a big fan of 29ers and he was partial to the AL/DL 29er, because of wheel size and cost. “The 153 AL/DL 29’s big wheels go over and through everything and, since my riding style seems to suit 29” wheels lately, I’d happily reach for the heavier bike with the cost-conscious build,” he wrote.

What’s your Process of choice?

Velonews Highlights Kerry Werner’s Rising Star

 

Velonews has released a profile on Kona cyclocross rider Kerry Werner that tells of Werner’s big goal: to dominate the CX field. Werner has had strong results this season and continues to improve each year. Check out the full story on Velonews.

And, just in case you’re looking for a little motivation today, check out Kerry in our video, Cross/Roads.

Double Header for Wyman Results in 2nd and 7th Place

Kona CX star Helen Wyman finished up a doubleheader weekend with a solid 2nd and 7th place. Wyman had a strong finish at the 5th round of the UCI CX World Cup in Zeven to finish behind overall leader Saane Cant. The following day Wyman, managed a 7th place overall at the Hamme CX race, a part of the DVV Verzekeringen Trofee series.

Backing up Denmark wasn’t going to be easy, but I’m glad to say I managed it with another 2nd place in the World Cup in Germany. It was a good race, hopefully, it was good to watch and once again I was pretty close to the big win.  It wasn’t to be and Sanne was once again stronger than me and fully deserved the win.  I’m delighted really with 2nd, and it’s moved me up to 4th in the GC.  After 7th in Hamme yesterday, where my legs were empty from the day before, I’m still 2nd in the DVV overall ranking.   Now it’s off to Spain to recharge, to rebuild and hopefully find those missing few seconds to help me towards the top.” – Helen Wyman

Mountain Bike Rider UK Raises a Glass to the Wah Wah II PP

Since the launch of the Wah Wah II Plastic Pedal earlier this month, we’ve received a ton of great feedback. The folks at Mountain Bike UK raised a virtual pint and paid homage to the original Wah Wah in a recent post. “Wah Wahs were a game changer for a lot of riders. Bike riding basically became fun again.” Check out the full review here and don’t forget to swing by our web store and snag a pair for yourself!

Kona Honzo CR Trail DL: “It’s just a ripping bike full stop.” -Singletrack World Magazine

The good folks over at Singletrack World Magazine spent some time aboard the Honzo CR Trail DL and pushed the bike to the max. The end result, according to writer Will Barnett, the Honzo, “This is a bike born to thrive on hardpack and loamy singletrack set deep in the forest, weaving its way around tree trunks like a black mamba snake. And on these types of trails, the snappy response of the laterally stiff frame, compact rear end and low-BB make it an absolute scream of a ride. Combined with its flickability, jumpability and acceleration properties, the Honzo encapsulates everything that is good about a hardtail.”

Be sure to read the full review over on Singletrack Mag.

For a brief video overview check out Singletrack’s Facebook page.

Autumn on the Rothaar Trail

The Rothaar Trail is a 150 km (90 miles) long hiking trail along the crest of Germany’s “Rothaargebirge”, a mountain range right at the border between the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse.

Not knowing what to expect and having never been in this part of Germany before, Lukas and Sven headed out to explore it on the Big Honzo DL. It turned out much better than what they hoped for. A stunning countryside and perfect weather. There are very few greater ways, to enjoy the beauty of a golden fall.

Curious about their setups? Here’s the lowdown.

 

About Cycling Krauts:
Lukas, 20 and Sven, 23 met at University of Stuttgart, German while studying aerospace engineering. While Lukas stuck to rocket science, Sven left university to later become a student pilot. Since they don’t live close to each other anymore, the rare occasions they meet up are usually for bikepacking trips like this one.

Processing the French Alps – Jordan Regnier and Alexander Kangas ride Tignes/Val D’ Isere

Ah, the French Alps. The land of good cheese and great wine. It also happens to be home to two high alpine bike parks that are the perfect proving ground for the all-new Kona Process. This past September, Kona Super Grassroots riders Jordan Regnier and Alexander Kangas ventured to Tignes and Val D’ Isere bike parks where lift tickets are free (no joke) and caught the perfect weather and autumn light making for gorgeous, and rather treacherous big mountain descents. Regnier’s weapon of choice is the Process 165, the perfect bike park, all around ass-kicking machine, while Kangas opted for the Process 153 AL/DL 29er, proving that big wheels love big descents.

Kona videographer Joonas Vinnari and photographer Caleb Smith were on hand to catch all of the action.

Jordan Reginer

Alexander Kangas

The Process line features seven new models that progress our goal to build a bike that not only descends confidently but also climbs exceptionally well. Be sure to check out the full Innovation story for complete details. The Process is available in carbon and aluminum and both 27.5 and 29″ wheels, ensuring a bike for every rider and a bike for every budget.

Process 153 AL/DL 29

Process 165 

Kerry Werner Race Report: Supercross Cup

After a weekend off to get my wits about me and some local racing, Kerry Shields and I loaded up the RV and headed north. First, a pit stop at my grandparent’s house, then Friday to the course.

I went to the Rockland Community College venue last year, solely in a support capacity for Emily. I got the flu week before the race, which was a beautiful day Saturday and a mudder on Sunday. The weather this year was looking good and wet for Saturday, and also the potential for remnant slip n’ slide Sunday. Needless to say, I was excited to toe the line.

Myles, race promoter, and course designer, did a good job utilizing a long hill, evenly, throughout the course. There were ample off-cambers and tough punchy climbs. So when the drizzle started falling just before our race on Saturday I knew we were in store for some slick corners.

The majority of the course was on open grass fields, which was conducive to running very low pressure, especially with the added moisture. However, there was a wooded section which was newly cut for the race and had quite a few exposed roots and rock, which was conducive to a higher pressure to prevent flats.

I went 26-24 on the Donnelly PDX (Rear and Front) and sure enough, by the time we hit the first off-camber tight uphill, into the stairs, I knew I had too much tire pressure.

 

I waited a lap until our group started forming then did a quick pit, yelling the half lap before to Kerry so he would drop 2 PSI, front and rear. Curtis and Cooper put a few bike lengths into me but I quickly rejoined and immediately felt more confident on the bike.

I started getting gaps on Curtis and eventually Cooper. They also pitted for tire pressure adjustment, which helped me get some more time.

 

With 3 laps to go, I had a good 25-30 second lead so I coerced myself and the bike to stay steady and smooth.

I took one more pit for a clean bike one lap before the finish. I didn’t want anything to go wrong on that last lap and the bikes were starting to pack up with the newly uncovered dirt turned to mud, in the woods.

From there it was smooth sailing to the line.

Day 1 Highlights from dirtwire.tv HERE

Saturday night more rain came down and it was on and off until early Sunday morning. I thought the course would be similarly slick but the heavy winds dried it out significantly.

The punchy climbs got soggy and felt as if the mud was turning each tire knob into a little suction cup.

I hole shotted again but this wasn’t as necessary as yesterday, maybe even an unwise decision. The wind was howling at times and being on the front was a major burden. A lap in, and with most of the technical sections behind us, the field was strung out but still one huge unit. It didn’t widdle down to a group of 3, Curtis, Cooper, and I, until about 6 to go then it was a group of 2, Curtis and I until 4 to go and then Curtis got away from me with 2.5 laps to go.

He was hitting it hard up the climbs like every watt went directly into propulsion, and going straight over the top. I was feeling inefficient and he was cracking me. Eventually, I couldn’t hold his pace over the top of a climb and he was gone. At that point, I knew it was survival mode. I tried to mitigate time loss and came in 2nd, down 30 seconds.

Champaign showers followed and warm showers followed that.

Day 2 highlights from Dirtwire.tv HERE

We quickly broke down our compound, loaded the RV, hitched up the trailer, and got on our way down south. First, another pit stop at home then back to NC on Monday for Thanksgiving prep and some more training.

P.S. I am making my first turkey this year, so cross your fingers for me.

 

Photos by Marco Quezada

Keeping it Real – Spencer Wins at Woodland

In the not-so-quiet corner of the world that is the Seattle cyclocross scene, the Woodland Park Grand Prix is regarded by many as the prestige cyclocross event. It’s the race to hit, and the party to be in. As such, 948 racers and many more fans made their way to the popular venue in the heart of town this past Sunday afternoon to experience a day at the races.  As the perennial finale to the MFG Cyclocross Series since 2008, Woodland Park buzzes with an extra level of energy, extra cowbell, extra Nutella on the waffles, and extra bubbles in the foam party. In the Elite Men’s division, this year saw the series overall title on the line with a tight battle between Kona team rider Spencer Paxson and curly-bar sensation Steve Fisher.  The “Woodland Park Bout” was fast and tight, but not so much that there wasn’t time for a little revelry on the SSCXWC-esque “Slip-n-Slide” bonus line mid-race. Spencer went on to win the day aboard his Super Jake. Read on for a few of the highlight moments. 

Dennis Crane

A little bit prestige cyclocross, a little bit SSCXWC shenanigans, the infamous Seattle Hodala Crew put on a serious party on the back end of the course with a Slip-n-Slide A-Line, where riders had the choice of vaulting over a pile of wood palettes and sliding down the hill through a wave of foam. “This is sort of a metaphor for my career as a cyclist”, said Spencer, speaking of the foam party line mid-race. “Fast and fun…we may look all serious in our coordinated spandex suits, but it doesn’t mean we don’t look forward to getting loose and having a good time in the process. Top racing moment right here.  Thanks, Hodala Crew!

Dennis Crane

What’s a race without a bit of fun hype before the race to highlight the tight duel between the two Bellingham riders Fisher and Paxson? The Series Overall was on the line going into the 6th and final round of the MFG Series, with Spencer trailing in second by a scant four points.  Fisher, a graduate of Kona’s prestigious Rad Racing Northwest program, is an accomplished North American professional road racer and ‘cross racer, known for a sharp sprint, serious power, and savvy tactics. He and Spencer had dueled all season, with “The Fish” taking several sprint finishes by a hair. As for Spencer, he says, “my edge is actually on the runs, or when it gets really gnarly and cold.” With mild conditions slated for Sunday, the stage was set for an exciting race.  With a tight points bracket, Spencer would have to win, with “The Fish” in 4th place or worse, in order to take the series.  While a win for Spencer was in the cards, a low finish for Fisher was unlikely. Regardless, it was gentlemanly, high-class, gloves off racing from the gun!

Dennis Crane

Grabbing the holeshot off the start line, Spencer sports the new pink-on-black-on-blue and the new Super Jake. Conditions were tacky and fast on Sunday. “With high speeds, the margin for getting out ahead is tighter, so the start was pretty hot,” noted Spencer.

Dennis Crane

A tight and exciting duel all day between Spencer and rival Steve Fisher, along with 2013 Masters World Champ and Seattle legend Russel Stevenson. Spencer would emerge victorious with a decisive last-lap attack on a steep run-up around 600-meters before the finish.

Dennis Crane

Tech notes from Spencer: “I’m running a 54cm Super Jake frame with a 90mm, -17deg stem and 44cm bars, 2×11 Shimano Ultegra Drivetrain, 172.5mm cranks and XTR 11-40 cassette in the back (40t limited out). For tires today I ran the WTB Riddler 37c at 24psi and 25psi front and rear, respectively. For reference, my system weight is approximately 170lbs/77kg (rider and bike combined). Conditions were fast and tacky with only a bit of need for some bite in the high-speed corners, which made this tread profile and supple tubeless feel a good option.”

Spencer took the win on the day, and Fisher would retain the series lead by a couple points.

With the traditional North American cyclocross season winding down in most parts of the US (for Europeans, it’s just getting rolling, and will go until February!), riders are either preparing to give the bikes a rest, or keep up with their local series, and maybe even thinking about plans for the next season already. In Washington, there is still a State Championship on the line, as well as other series to wrap up, including the Seattle Cyclocross Revolution and Northwest Cyclocross Cup, and Bellingham’s Cascade Cross Series which will go into December and January. The cyclocross scene, while already hot in the Northwest, is sure to heat up even more as the 2019 Cyclocross National Championships approach – taking place in Tacoma, Washington. When asked about future plans for a deeper pursuit of ‘cross, Spencer alludes to considering a “long game” for ‘Cross Nat’s, but for now, time for a beer.

Dennis Crane

Cory Wallace Defends His Title at the 2017 Yak Attack

Every now and then we hear about events that make us feel so totally mortal. Things like the Tour de France, or an unparalleled athletic feat that has us scratching our heads wondering how on earth people can actually be in such good physical condition. For Kona Adventure/Endurance team rider, Cory Wallace the bigger the suffer the bigger the gain. Wallace is no stranger to mega marathon racing but has just returned from one of the world’s burliest events: the 2017 Yak Attack race, heald around the Annapurna Circuit and into the Forbidden Kingdom of the Upper Mustang in Central Nepal. Over the course of 10 days, riders battle wild weather, extremely high altitude (most the race taking place between 3000 and 5416 meters), and treacherous trails to complete the 9 stage race that traverses nearly 500km. Wallace became the first foreigner to win the event in 2016 and was able to successfully defend his title this year about his Kona Hei Hei CR DL, the perfect weapon for big days in the saddle. For the full, fascinating recap of the race be sure to head over to Wallace’s blog for all of the adventure details.