Monthly Archives: December 2017

Smile Because It Happened – Helen Wyman Moves On

After nine memorable seasons representing Kona Bicycles at the highest level of the cyclocross discipline, Helen Wyman, World Cup star, multi-time European Champion and British Champion, is moving on to a different program beginning in January 2018. The Dr. Seussian phrase, “don’t be sad that it’s over; be happy that it happened” comes to mind, as Helen moves on while still performing and leading the sport at the height of her career. As of this article, she is ranked 9th in the world. And though Helen’s exit makes room for Kona’s commitment to developing future stars, her successful tenure here will leave a hole worth paying homage to – perhaps a hole the likes of which may not be filled again by a Kona racer.

Helen en route to a bronze medal finish at the 2014 World Championships in Hoogerheide, Netherlands (PC: T. Van Bracht)

Within the last two decades, Kona’s women’s elite cyclocross program, with multiple World Cup podiums and wins, has been its most successful international race program. Dating back to American Anne Knapp in the early 2000s, building with Canadian Wendy Simms in the mid-2000s, Kona’s international cyclocross success was cemented by Helen and her dominant performances from 2009 to present day. We’ll boast for her here: 67 UCI Pro wins in the last 12 years, 9 British National Championships, 3 European Championships, and a bronze medal from the World Championships! But that’s not all.

A cobble to be proud of – holding the coveted trophy of Koppenberg Cross, which Helen first won in 2010.

Helen departs Kona with more than race results. In addition to committing her young adult life to the athletic craft of cyclocross, Helen has leveraged her success to directly influence the future of the sport at a global level. Since 2013 she has served on the UCI Cyclocross Commission where she has been a prodigious voice for equality in sport, including equal pay for women. Helen’s work has led to the development of a U23 women’s category for the World Championships, increases in prize money for women, and has significantly increased the overall World Cup ranking prize purse for both women and men.

Battling reigning World Champion Sanne Cant this November at the Zeven World Cup, where Helen took second place (PC: TFOTO.BE).

“My goals were to equalize the prize money for elite men and women, develop a U23 women’s category and filter through all those rules to make essential changes for the good of the sport. I also wanted to ensure that all professional ‘cross racers have clear, set pathways to ensure they can carry out their sport at the World Cup level,” said Helen in an interview with Cyclocross Magazine.

Helen taking an early-season win at EKZ Cross this October, opening up a streak of top-performances which position her well for a strong showing at the upcoming World Championships in Valkenburg, Netherlands in February. (PC: EKZ Cross Tour)

Whether it is persisting through the haze of federation policies or the mire of bike racing in winter, Helen is known for her tireless style. The more gnarly the conditions, the more she thrives. Her strengths are in the mud, technical terrain, and the cold. “If I had it my way, ‘cross would start in October and finish in March,” she wrote in her column for Cyclocross Magazine. This is saying something for someone who spends most of the race season in the sunless swards of Belgium. “The queen of mud”, as she has been called, has piloted four iterations of the Major Jake to international fame, from her first win at the prestigious Koppenberg Cross in 2010 (she claimed her fourth win there in 2017), to a bronze medal at the frozen Hoogerheide World Championships in 2014, and many other wins and podium finishes in between.

Be it a wall of stairs, pits of mud, frozen ruts, uphill battles – Helen has taken them on in stride – swiftly, and with a smile. (PC: Bart Raemaekers)

Thus, far short of the novel that might begin to do justice to her time at Kona, we wish the best to Helen and her future pursuits in the sport. We hope she stays true to her word that she will “continue racing until her legs scream no more,” and that she makes others’ legs scream at the front of the World Cup field. We will be there along with her other fans cheering her on and finding inspiration in her successes in sport and beyond.

Helen, we thank you for your commitment to Kona and your world class representation of the sport for the past decade, and wish you the best.

Holiday Closure Announcement

Hello, friends of Kona!

We’re coming to the close of another year, and that means it’s time for us to take a little break to recharge. What that really means is we’ll be out riding our bikes, skiing, drinking toddies, ignoring alarm clocks, and enjoying the few hours of winter sunlight we actually receive.

Our offices will be closed December 22-January 2nd. That means all Kona Ride Online or webstore orders and communications are going to be tended to upon our return to the office. We hope you take time to relax, ride, and enjoy your friends and family and wish you the very best this holiday season.

 

 

Wyman 3rd in Belgium

Kona cyclocross ringer Helen Wyman finished on the podium at the DVV Verzekeringen Trofee Scheldecross in Antwerp, Belgium. After a grueling race on a track riddled with challenging obstacles, Wyman was able to hold off those charing from the behind to take home third place behind Sanne Cant and Katie Compton. Congrats, Helen, on another strong result.

Velonews has the full recap here.

Winterized: Part 4

We’re back with Winterized, our guide to making riding in the winter slightly less crappy, and it’s the solstice! That means we can officially celebrate the shortest day of the year along with the first official day of the winter. Bittersweet, that one. We still have a long ways to go before we dig ourselves out of the dark, frozen days of winter, but at least we can take solace knowing that the sun will start to set later and later. When you’re trying to squeeze in those after work rides, every single minute counts.

Name: Hannah Bergemann
Kona gig: Bad Ass Ripper on the Kona Supremes Team
Bike of choice: Honzo AL/DL to keep her Process nice and clean during the gritty months.
How Hannah gets Winterized:

“Good lights are super important for me in the winter as it gets dark so early. I use an 850-lumen bar light and 1000 lumen headlight from Light and Motion.

I recently bought some waterproof Fox gloves that are awesome! They aren’t super thick or heavily insulated, so they breathe and allow you to retain dexterity, but still keep your hands dry/warm. The Kona winter gloves are also super warm for really cold days.

Smartwool wolly-bully socks for toasty feet

Packable rain shell (mine is an Outdoor Research Helium jacket)

Also kinda random, but my roommate bought me some special “sports detergent” for washing all my gear because it gets extra wet/smelly in the winter.

I normally ride clipless pedals, but sometimes will rock flats when its super cold or snowy as the clips get clogged with snow or freeze.”


Name: Aaron Hogg
Kona gig: Kona Graphics Master
Bike of choice: Honzo ST
How Aaron gets Winterized:

“Because we have fairly mild extremes in Christchurch winter riding isn’t bad,  but I do usually spend a lot more time trail building.

I have opted for the ghetto classic of plastic bags over my socks when it has gotten really bad but usually, I’ll just bung a thermal base layer on.
I tend to ride my Honzo St far more over winter as there is less stuff to get mud & grit into.”

Name: Scott Countryman
Kona gig: Kona Enduro Athlete
Bikes of choice: Process 153, Honzo, and Esatto
How Scott gets Winterized:

 

Winter is pretty mild here in northern Arizona so I’m lucky not to have to deal with anything too harsh. But here are some of my tips:
  • Preheat your shoes and gloves. Keeping your shoes and gloves inside where is warm is pretty obvious but if you can get them up to body temp before going out into the cold you will be much happier. I’ll put all my gear on ~20 min ahead of time to start warming them up and instead of wearing my gloves for that time I’ll slip them under my jersey so they still get body heat.
  • Get studded tires for your mountain bike. When it is cold and snowy out I find it much easier to motivate myself to romp around on the mountain bike with studded tires than to ride the trainer or go to the gym or try and find dry roads for a road ride.
  • Get a climbing gym membership. Rock climbing is an excellent cross-training activity for mountain bikers in the winter. The indoor gym is warm and dry and it is a fun, safe workout that you’ll want to come back for over and over.

Name: Richard James
Kona gig: Bikes and Buddies
Bike of choice: 2009 Kona Stab Supreme
How Scott gets Winterized:

  • The best way to keep your feet dry and warm is some Seal Skins socks They are the best socks EVER!  RRT £24.99
  • For the UK cyclist, they want a good glove that lasts but does not break the bank. Anything made by Endura is a winner.  The (Endura Strike glove) is the one I use.
  • As for the tyres, Schwalbe Marathon plus for MTB/Hybrid bikes and Durano Plus for road bikes. Very good kevlar tyres run about £34.99- £41.99 each. Food is an easy one. Clif Bar (peanut butter) is amazing. They taste great and give you a long-term energy boost like porridge.  Clif Shot Blocks are great for a short-term term boost.
  • Something that riders can do that makes a big difference is to clean their brakes after riding in wet conditions. Clean the breaking surface of the wheels and pads on a weekly basis. Then, if they have time, sand the rims down a little bit with some wet and dry sandpaper. This will make the pads last longer and stop the brakes form making a horrid squeaky noise.
  • They could also help to stop rust/corrosion by spraying GT85/MO94 or any other good oil on the mechs, cables and shifters. This would help to keep their gears running better for longer. It will also keep their repair costs down. Just be sure not to put oil on any brakes.

Support Your Local Trail Association

Mountain bike trail organizations are the bread and butter of trail sustainability and mountain biking advocacy throughout international bike communities. Locally in Bellingham, we’re super fortunate to have the Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition leading the charge for more trails, facilities, and access to land that has been previously denied to bikers. It doesn’t go without a ton of work from WMBC members and volunteers. Kona athlete Spencer Paxson was recently featured in a promo video for WMBC’s fundraising drive.

No matter where you live, it’s important to support your local trail association. Singletracks has compiled an extensive list of groups that are hungry for your support. Donate. Volunteer. We are still a young sport that needs to be dedicated in order to grow.

The Kona Sutra Ltd makes Bike Packing’s Gear of the Year

The nice folks over at BikePacking.com have posted up there 2017 Bike Packing Gear of The Year Awards and the Kona Sutra LTD made the shortlist for the Top 5 Bike Packing Bikes. This is what they had this to say.

“While the Kona Sutra LTD we are testing is, in fact, the 2018 model, it’s been available for a few months now, and it’s impressed us enough to make a top five spot. The Sutra LTD is without a doubt a drop-bar bike built for off-road adventure. In addition to its ability to clear 29×2.1” tires, and a smorgasbord of bottle and rack mounts, its almost unmatched in the mainstream bike market for its mountain-bike like character. Read the press release here and stay tuned for a detailed review.”

Pinkbike Names Digging for Galena One of 2017’s Top 10 Videos!

Pinkbike have just named their top 10 videos of the year and Digging for Galena with Graham Agassiz made the cut! If you haven’t seen the project, kick back with your coffee, give it a whirl and watch Aggy absolutely ripping down Texas Peak aboard his Operator. Digging for Galena isn’t just a shred video, though. It’s also a bit of a history lesson. Check it out and learn a bit about the history of the Slocan Valley and what makes Retallack Lodge one of the most amazing places in the world to ride bikes. Be sure to make it full screen!

1988 Full Zip Hoodies Now in the Canadian Web Store!

If you’re anywhere near our offices in Ferndale, Washington, or Vancouver, BC, you might notice the weather is…terrible this time of year. As I type this the rain sounds like horses running across the roof and there’s a chance a tree might fly through the window like Mother Nature’s shrapnel at any moment.

 

 

We’ve had these sweet throwback hoodies in our US web store for a couple of weeks, but as of today, they’re available in our Canadian web store too! So fight Mother Nature! Get a warm, cozy sweatshirt today!

German Magazine Spoke Publishes their First Impressions of our 2018 Drop Bar Bikes

“Kona’s extensive knowledge in mountain biking can be felt in each of the three models. This is especially noticeable in the “Sutra LTD” with 29-inch wheels, a one by drivetrain and front and rear thru axles. In spite of running 2.3 tires, the bike is no lame duck on asphalt.”

Carlos Fernandez Laser at German magazine Spoke joined us a few months back in Spain for our 2018 Drop Bar Launch. He’s just dropped his first impressions in the form of a four-page story in their latest issue.

Hit the link here or the image below to read the full review (you need to be able to read German).

Not all Dream Builds cost a Fortune! Ti Esatto Frame Sets are on Sale!

This one is for all you dreamers out there. We get you. We really do. Perhaps like a couple of us you are a stubborn old Luddite that just can’t seem to wrap your head around why anyone would want a disk brake on your bicycle.  “Those things are for Motorcycles… and Cars!”  You lucky unshakable bullheads are in for a treat.  We have a select number of 2015 Ti Essato Rim brake framesets (frame and carbon fork) left in stock that are ripe for your unbending ways and are currently 30% off.  You don’t often hear the words Titanium and sale in the same sentence so don’t delay! Visit your local Kona dealer today for details!

 

This blowout is perfect for the road enthusiast who has a killer groupset and wheels on their quick release rim brake road bike and has always dreamed of owning an American made Titanium road dog.  Or maybe this is the holiday season inspiration you need to build up that classic road bike you have always wanted.  Designed around our classic endurance geometry the Ti Esatto is ready to take on that long sweet ride you have been dreaming of!

 

  • Hand-built by Lynskey in the USA
  • 3/2.5 seamless Titanium
  • Tapered HT (integrated HS design)
  • Ovalized DT and chainstays
  • Full fender/28c tire clearance (up to 32c w/out fenders)

 

  SIZE (cm) 49 52 54 56 58 61
1 REACH 371 375 379 383 392 400
2 STACK 537 560 577 596 615 636
3 HT ANGLE 71 72 72 72 72.5 73
4 HT LENGTH 125 145 165 185 205 225
5 ST ANGLE 74.5 74 73.5 73 73 72.5
6 ST LENGTH 490 520 540 560 580 610
7 CS LENGTH 418 418 418 418 421 421
8 BB DROP 76 76 74 74 72 72
9 WHEELBASE 987 989 1000 1010 1024 1033
10 FRONT CENTER 581 583 593 603 614 622
11 FORK LENGTH 377 377 377 377 377 377
12 FORK OFFSET 44 44 44 44 44 44
13 TT LENGTH 520 535 550 565 580 600
14 STANDOVER 740 765 785 800 820 845

 

Need a little inspiration? Check out one of our favorite Ti Esatto builds to date.

 

Travel Insight: Clara Honsinger Crosses the Pond

Recently Under 23 cyclocross racer Clara Honsinger was invited to Europe for her first time as a part of USA Cycling’s 10-day training/race camp in the Netherlands aboard her Major Jake. She recounts some of the interesting cultural differences between racing in America and Europe in this insightful post she wrote to recap her trip. She found that both sides of the pond have lots of great things to offer, but the attitude towards racing and cycling is totally different in Europe. Check out her full recap here.