Daily Archives: 12/11/2017

Fresh Produce! Brand New Kona Winter Gear in the US Store Now.

Just in time for the festive season we’ve added three fresh new items to the Kona USA web store. A very cool long sleeve Swoosh tee, a galactic Since 1988 zipped hoodie, and an Aggy Wolfie snap back. What’s even better is, up until the 20th of December, you’ll get 10% off almost* everything in the webstore by using this code: PUMPKINSPICEPROCESS. *Kona Mystery boxes and already discounted items aren’t included.

So what are you waiting for, our new clothes, pedals and t-shirts are waiting for you here!

Kona Swoosh Long Sleeve Tee $35

Kona Since 1988 Zipped Hoodie (Back)

Kona Since 1988 Zipped Hoodie (front)  $55

Kona Wolfie Trucker Hat $30

Tegan Molloy and Connor Fearon find the podium at the Cannonball Festival

Australia’s premier mountain bike gathering, the Cannonball Festival, took place over the weekend at Thredbo Resort in New South Wales. The Cannonball Festival attracts a who’s who of the Australian Mountain bike scene, and given how dominant the Aussies are at the moment, it is a solid lineup of riders. Kona rider Tegan Molloy, who calls Thredbo her local, had a standout weekend coming second in the Flowmotion Cup and then a solid first place in the DH on Sunday.

Connor Fearon, who was on his big bike for the first time since the World Cup wrapped up, has a history of coming second here behind friend and fellow Adelaide local Troy Brosnan. Connor was unable to break the his second place streak at Cannonball but closed the gap on Troy to just three seconds on the long and physical five-minute track.

Check out their thoughts on the Cannonball MTB Festival below.

Tegan Molloy

The Thredbo Cannonball Festival now in its 5th year is the biggest event on the Australian calendar. A variety of races for all ages and abilities across five days makes for an epic week of racing to kick off the Aussie season. I’m lucky enough that these races are held on my home trails.

My first event was the Maxxis All Mountain Assault which is a long, rough, grueling race and a real test of endurance. I placed 3rd in the race with a solid time that I was happy with considering where I am at this early on in the season. I was happy to get this one out of the way as the races to follow suit me more.

The next race was the Flow Motion Cup, which is held on Thredbo’s 5km flow trail. Although it isn’t super technical, it requires you to be efficient through the corners and maintain speed on the flatter sections. Come racing the track was super blown out and loose. I had a decent run, blowing out a few turns but managing to hold it all together to cross the line in second place.

The final event of the weekend was the Downhill. This is what I was looking forward to the most. Prior to racing, I had three practice runs and each run it was drying out, which made for some super loose racing. I know the downhill track like the back of my hand but come racing there would be a few changes; big holes and lots of blowouts. The DH track is long, fast and rough. As I was lined up at the gate I knew what I had to do, ride like I had been in practice. I had a few sketchy moments towards the top, including one of my contact lenses folding over and blurring my vision and making for a loose top section. After blinking it out my run became smoother. I was the last rider down and crossed the line in first place. Absolutely stoked to take the win three years running in front of a home crowd.

The momentum is building now for the upcoming National Series which kicks off in the new year.

Connor Fearon

This was my third time going to the Cannonball festival and as always it was a great event. It’s a good time of year because I’ve been pretty relaxed with my training and riding since the end of the World Cup season a few months ago. Usually, when I’m at home my downhill bike doesn’t get used to much so I’m always stoked to come out to Thredbo and ride for a couple days and race some of the worlds best. The event is actually really cool, you don’t really realize there’s a race until your waiting at the top for final runs. The actual downhill track at Thredbo is pretty ruthless to race. It’s really long and has super rough fast sections, really tight woods and quite a bit of pedaling. It feels more like an enduro stage than a downhill race. The track rewards people who are fit, smooth and good at carrying speed everywhere. Brosnan seems to have mastered all these things so his always so hard to beat here in Thredbo. My race was really good, I felt fitter than the last few years which is good news coming into the nationals and world cups in a few months. I got 2nd behind Troy (again) but only three seconds on a five minute plus track. I’ve closed the gap from the last few years racing him here. The next few races I’ll do are the Austrailian Nationals, so looking forward to using those as a pre-season warm-up for the world cups.

Snowy Sweep At Hendo NCGP

My excitement started peaking on Thursday when I saw weather reports calling for snow! Little did I know what we were in for… With that said I figured I would stir the pot and get other people excited for the coming battle. Tristan put up a win last year and lives in Hendersonville, so he took on “people’s champ” status. (I made this boxing spoof stats flyer)

Kerm and I left for Hendo at 10am. It took us 4hrs to drive the normal 2hr drive due to some adverse weather conditions. This is what the parking lot looked like upon arrival.

Needless to say we were happy to be parked for the weekend, though I was worried. Looking across the park at the taped course revealed a constant 10’’ blanket of snow. So much for a preride… I was curious how racing in the stuff was going to be considering we can’t use bigger than 33c tires. I was happy not to be going off at 8:30 on Saturday morning but thankful to those brave and dedicated souls for busting the crust.

The snow kept up all night and we woke up Saturday morning to winter in full effect. Collegiate racers towed the line at 8:30am and were probably better off racing with flats and tennis shoes with Yaktrax than cycling shoes with clips.

We got on course for preside at 11:40am, which by then, a considerable amount of snow had melted and been turned to slush by rotating tires. Eric Thompson and I got out for a pre ride and we were both filled with excitement, the kind that school children get in anticipation for Santa’s arrival.

The women went off at 1:20 and we followed after at 2:30. (Emily got 3rd, her first UCI podium appearance in a long time!)

I got a good start and found myself sitting on Tristan Cowie’s wheel. Though, once we veered off the start straight pavement I was taking direct spray to the face and wanted to get to the front where I could see enough to pick my own line. I was running Donnelly PDX front and rear at 19/21, which was perfect. There weren’t rocks or roots to hit and low pressure was hooking up while allowing the PDX tread to clear marvelously.

PC Heather Angel

A group of 4 of us traded places at the front of the race the first 3 laps. Eric Thompson, Cooper Willsey, Tristan Cowie, and I were testing out each other’s lines and putting the screws to each other to find the chinks in the armor.

I managed to create some space and gap Tristan but Cooper and Eric where still breathing down my neck. With 3 laps to go, I found some space and put my head down, but focused more on being smooth than relentlessly putting effort into the pedals. Being consistent and upright was crucial not just to maintaining my gap but also keeping me in a good comfortable mental state.

PC Heather Angel

I stayed out front through the final laps listening to the announcer talk about the battle going down between Eric and Cooper for second, happy that I only had to battle with myself.

Podium time!

PC Heather Angel

Sunday we woke up to sub-freezing conditions. The course was a gnarled mess of frozen ruts from yesterdays racing.

The main line from yesterday was now untouchable unless you fancied being jarred and bucked around or risking a flat. Crossing Saturday’s race line was like crossing a rock garden. Sunday’s lines were either two feet to the left or right of Saturday’s. All the insides were then outsides and outsides were insides.

Again the official dropped the flag at 2:30 and I took to Tristan’s wheel again, who has had some pretty stellar starts lately. I don’t know how he gets clipped in that fast…

A group of 3 formed quickly at the front and we set to testing each other out. Eric upped the pace on an off camber on the backside of the course, which broke us free of Tristan. Then Eric and I took turns throwing punches at each other while trying to hold off Tristan and two other chasers.

We were working together, looking forward to an end of the race battle. However, Eric bobbled coming into 2 laps to go, which allowed me a little bit of daylight. I took the opportunity to put my head down and make a more concrete gap.

PC Heather Angel

With the ruts constantly changing and fear of an unpredictable mechanical I was grateful to get some space just in case. I grew the gap and stayed consistent, pitting once a lap the last 3 laps just to make sure. Kerm was holding down pit duties just fine and stepping up to the plate in the wake of Doug’s absence.

PC Zeb King

I came into the weekend really looking forward to the sweep after missing out on a win last weekend in Tulsa. While I am not originally from NC I do call it home now and a lot of the cycling community here see me as a local racer so I was ecstatic to take both wins at my “home “ race.

It’s always nice when you can rub bows between the tape but share special moments out of the saddle. For instance, smore’s to warm our bones while waiting for podium. (I don’t know what I am doing with my hands…)

PC Heather Angel

Huge shout out to Tim Hopkins, NCCX and Hendersonville NCGP promoter, for keeping things together this weekend. Turn out may not have been as high as it could have been because of the weather but Tim and his crew did an amazing job at making sure the weekend ran smoothly. They battled lots of snow, pressure washer rental company bailing on the weekend, got more pressure washers, which then froze, constant course retapping, lots of snow shoveling, etc. Hats off.

Now its 4 weekends off before nationals. I plan on supplementing in some local NCCX racing, training with the boys, and enjoying the holidays. Until then, cheers!

P.S. Stay tuned for new rider cards coming out!

Valuing Bikes 20 Years Apart

It’s not uncommon to look at modern-day mountain bikes and scratch your head thinking, ‘these things are expensive.’ The fact is bikes aren’t inexpensive to make, and therefore aren’t always inexpensive for the consumer to purchase either. At Kona, one of the pillars of our brand is creating bikes that last, which gives you, the consumer, better bang for your buck. We believe in longevity and believe that sets us apart from other brands.

The folks over at Ride.IO recently compared two Lava Domes 2o years apart in age and technology. Their results are interesting. Are bikes getting more expensive? Perhaps, but a good bike’s value is worth far more than its dollar value. Check out the full piece on their test and comparison. You might be surprised by the results.