Monthly Archives: February 2018

How to Train a Trail Dog

Dr. Dew with Snoop Dog

Fewer things bring a smile to a mountain biker’s face then a well-trained trail dog. The best of the best can scrub jumps like a world cup racer, take ninja inside lines, stay right on your wheel, and wag their tails with pure delight at the end of a great descent. Training a trail dog takes time, but if done well, you’ll always have a buddy ready to ride with you, no matter what Ma Nature may have in mind. The old saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” may hold true, as it’s best to groom younger dogs for riding. Considering training your pup? Here are a few tips:

Tip 1: Start ‘em young, but not too young. While training puppies new things is typically easier than older dogs, it is crucial you don’t run your puppy too hard at too young of an age. Experts suggest waiting until the puppy is about 8 months old before you start running them longer distances. If eight months seems like forever, consider starting with short hikes in the woods with your dog. This will get them familiar with the type of terrain you’ll bike on. Hike on trails with obvious paths so they understand how to follow a trail. Keep them on a leash and heeling close to you so they know to stay near. Once they become comfortable with your pace and surroundings (and don’t have a tendency to bolt), let them off leash. Give them vocal queues to keep them near you, and reward them for doing so. Jog a little bit to see if they are apt to keep up with you. If not, put them back on the leash and jog with them so they understand that they need to stay with you.

Mike the trail pup

Tip 2: Once comfortable off leash try playing hide and seek. This may seem silly, but there may be occasions when you outride your dog and you’re separated. Instead of panicking that you’ve lost each other, a quick game of hide and seek will have you reunited in no time! Go back to the familiar paths where your dog first learned to walk off leash. Have the dog sit and stay while you go hide behind a tree, out of sight. Once hidden, whistle, or yell, “OK!” When the dog finds you, reward him again so he knows he’s always supposed to find you.

Roscoe the trail dog Photo by Ian Coble

 Lacy Kemp (front) and Roscoe the trial dog (back)  Photo credit: Ian Coble

Tip 3: Teaching your dog how to drink out of a hydration pack is a great way to ensure he stays hydrated on warmer days. There’s not much magic to this, but ensure you can keep a consistent stream of water coming from the hose so Fido gets adequately hydrated. Practice at home before you hit the trails on hot days.

Tip 4: Speaking of hot days don’t run your dog long distances on days that are too hot. There’s no magic number, but use your common sense. If there aren’t constant streams for your dog to rest in and recharge, don’t take him if it’s too hot.

Tip 5: When ready to move to the bike, start by taking your dog on short rides on your bike while leashed. This can be dangerous, so make sure you’re confident on holding a leash while your dog runs alongside. Make sure the leash is long enough so your dog won’t get too close to your wheel. One thing I do is attach the loop of the handle to my chest strap on my hydration pack. That way if he pulls, he’s pulling from my center of mass and not likely to pull me off of my bike. Go slow at first until you’re able to have your dog trot alongside you without having him pull.

Tip 6: When your dog is comfortable running alongside you on a leash, take him back to the trails you first learned to walk in the woods off leash. While on your bike, have the dog sit. Unleash him and keep him seated. When you’re ready to go, start slow and call for him. If he gets in front of you, immediately give the command, “follow,” and stop and place him behind you. Reward him for getting behind you, so he understands he needs to stay out of the way. Most dogs understand this quite easily, but repeating the behavior until he grasps it will ensure better behavior when on a longer ride or with a group.

Kona Senior Engineer James Westerfield and Shadow

Tip 7: Once you’ve mastered your local stomping grounds, take him on a longer ride. The same rules apply. Leash him until you’re ready to go, then ensure he’s following alongside. As he gets more comfortable on more rides he will learn to explore and come back to you. Practice the “hide and seek” rule on rides, too, to reinforce that behavior.
Tip 8: The best rides for your dogs are rides that aren’t incredibly fast. Remember, they’re running the entire thing. A 20-mile ride for you is a massive day for your dog. Try to take him on rides with multiple water sources. Try to stay away from super hard packed, steep descents. This type of terrain is bad on the hips and joints for your dog. Just like us, dogs love the loam!

Roxy the trail dog doing some product testing w/ Kona product managers

Tip 9: After a long day of riding, give your dog a massage. Have him lie on one side and massage his hips and shoulders. Stretch his legs. Make sure to do both sides. Just like people, dogs need to recover from a big day on the bike. Choose your dogs rides wisely. Don’t run him every day, and give ample resting time between big runs.

Tip 10: Make sure he knows how great of a job he’s doing. In between segments, stop and tell him he’s a good boy! Dogs love to be rewarded verbally and will always appreciate the positive reinforcement. But the most important thing of all, have fun!

 

Bruce Wayne guarding his owner’s Hei Hei.

Title image by @andyvathis

Scott Countryman reports from the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo

Racing the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo is one of my fondest mountain bike racing memories of all time. I don’t remember exactly when I first raced the 24HOP because it was so long ago but I think I was 15 years old. A riding buddy asked if I wanted to be on a team with him and it seemed like the cool thing to do so I said yes not really having any idea what it was or would be like. I bought some lights, went night riding a few times, and then had an incredible time at the race.
The event is like nothing else I’ve ever done. Held on private ranch property in the middle of the desert, mountain bikers descend on a normally empty plot of land and create a city. 24 Hour Town has a population of over three thousand and exists less than one week per year. There are streets, vendors, a local radio station, and a non-stop party. Whether you are there to throw down or just have a good time, you can’t help but partake in the shenanigans.

I went to 24 Hour Town this year as part of a four person team made up of some local shredders that are also part of the Enduro racing community. We usually prefer to get rowdy on big squishy bikes but also enjoy some good hard pedaling from time to time. And having just started back on the training schedule, I had no expectations for the weekend of racing. My only goal was to beat my course personal record of one hour and two minutes.
Race weekend kicked off with a lot of unexpected rain. From when I left home Thursday night to Saturday morning, it seemed like it rained more than it didn’t. The 12 miles of dirt road to get to 24 Hour Town became a mud bog and ended up getting closed to vehicles without 4wd. Luckily my little van and I made it through before it got too bad but it was looking like the race would be a sloppy mess. When the sun finally came out Saturday morning, you could literally hear cries of joy all around camp. The clouds burned off and the dirt started drying out leaving crisp clean air and the most heroic dirt any desert has ever seen.

As most 24 hour races do, the Old Pueblo begins with a Le Mans start. The lucky first lap riders, like myself, line up there bikes at the exchange tent and walk up the road a quarter mile to the start line. At 12 noon, a shotgun blast starts a stampede of racers awkwardly running to their bikes in XC mountain bike shoes.

I got a good start position near the front of the pack before the run began and as I was nearing my bike to jump on I noticed a familiar looking fellow running next to me. Lance Armstrong! Say what you want about him but he will always be a legend. And I just passed him. While running. At a mountain bike race. Odd. But that didn’t last long; a few minutes later ripping across the first dirt road section called “The Bitches”, Lance zoomed past me. I jumped on his wheel and tried to hang on but was quickly popped.
After the first couple miles of dirt road, the race course is mostly single track. Twisting and turning around every kind of pokey cactus you can imagine, it can feel like a high speed slalom of impending death. Though it is not rough, this is where having mountain bike skills can pay off. Carrying speed around corners with confidence you will not end up getting acupuncture can save you a lot of time; and a little after the halfway point I caught back up to Lance. Surprisingly as soon as he heard me behind him, he pulled over and let me by. “Thanks Lance!”
I buried myself to finished the lap coming in just under an hour. Passed the batton off to my teammate, and as I was exiting the exchange tent I saw Lance roll in. Not trying to brag or anything, but I beat Lance Armstrong at a mountain bike race! At that point I felt like I could throw in the towel. My goal for the race was to beat my personal record of one hour and two minutes which I just did. And I beat Lance Armstrong while doing it so I could chill out for the rest of the race, right? Nope. If I have a number plate on my bike, I’m going hard.

Each lap after the first felt like it would be my last and there was no way I could hold the pace I was pushing. I was feeling muscle twinges on lap three, my first night lap; managed to keep the cramps at bay but came in with a much slower time. After changing my electrolyte intake, my lap times started falling again and they kept falling all the way to my last lap, number six, which ended up being my second fastest lap of the race.

My teammates had similar experiences. Crushing first laps, dark times around half way (no pun intended), and a resurgence after sunrise with killer final laps. We had worked our way up to fifth place and held it all the way to the finish. For a couple enduro racers at a cross country race, we were stoked!
First race of the year and first podium of the year! As I have said before, this time of year can be a little odd; I am putting in a lot of work to get in shape for race season but with no real gauge on how the fitness is coming along. A preseason race like the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo is a great test and I think I passed with flying colors. With new motivation to train hard I am looking forward to kicking off the Enduro race season at the South American EWS races in a month. Wish me luck!

My Kona: Joe Hamilton

The My Kona series is back. This time we’re featuring one of our inside sales representatives, Bellingham’s Joe Hamilton. Joe has worked with Kona for the past five years. When not at work or riding, he’s a member of local rock band Cousin Marvin. Check out the video of Joe on the all-new Satori DL, set to the soundtrack of one of Cousin Marvin’s original songs!

 

You can check out more from the My Kona series on our Vimeo page.

Bike Magazine Reviews the Satori DL “This bike snob would be perfectly happy riding the Satori DL full time”

“This bike snob would be perfectly happy riding the Satori DL full time”

Bike Magazine reviewer Ryan Palmer has spent the last little while on board our brand new Satori DL, his review has just gone live online at Bikemag.com. Ryan gave the Satori DL kudos for its geometry “That steep seat angle makes the bike climb so well that I never found myself wishing the frame was carbon.”

You can check out the review on Bikemag.com here and you can check out the new Satori bikes here.

Announcing the 2018 Kona Roster!

AGGY, FEARON, VERNER, WALLACE, WERNER HEADLINE KONA'S 2018 ROSTER

Spring is just around the corner, and that can only mean one thing: bike season is near! We’re excited to kick things off by announcing our 2018 roster, which is chock full of speed, talent, and creativity, ensuring an exciting and memorable season.

KONA GRAVITY TEAM 2018

On the gravity side Connor Fearon will be flying the Kona colors at the 2018 downhill World Cup races, set to kick off in Croatia in April. Connor will be running the Operator as he attempts to climb atop the podium throughout the season’s seven races. Also returning is legendary Kona athlete
Graham Agassiz. Whoever said, “freeride is dead,” clearly never rubbed elbows with Aggy and friends. Aggy’s goals for 2018 are to continue to push the limits of what’s possible on a bike, ride as many wild lines as possible, and create some interesting content.

The gravity team is rounded out by North Shore standout Caleb Holonko, and downhillers
Josh Button of Australia, and Anthony Poulson from Quebec.

KONA GLOBAL ENDURO TEAM 2018

New for 2018 is the Kona Global Enduro Team. The Global Enduro Team will compete in races throughout the world, including the EWS. Squamish ripper Rhys Verner, who saw strong results in 2017 will be leading the EWS charge alongside Ireland’s multi-national champion Leah Maunsell. Verner and Maunsell are joined by Swede Alexander Kangas and Americans Ryan Gardner and Scott Countryman.

KONA ENDURANCE TEAM 2018

Keeping the spirit of fun alive is the major goal of Kona’s Endurance and Adventure Team. Personality and talent run deep with this crew, and a good time is never far away. With 24 Hour Solo World Champion Cory Wallace in the mix, big races, and bigger challenges are sure to unfold. Finishing in 3rd place at US cyclocross nationals, Kerry Werner is back and ready to challenge for the top step of the podium. Americans Barry Wicks and Spencer Paxson are always up for whatever shenanigans they can concoct on their bikes and will be joined on big adventure days by Sechelt’s Kris Sneddon.

The 2018 Kona team covers a massive spectrum of riding talent and abilities and we’re looking forward to seeing what’s in store! Be sure to check out our team page on Konaworld.com for more info on each rider, and tune into the Cog throughout the season for updates on race results, expeditions, and adventure logs.

Kona Demo Tour in Anthem, AZ and at the Sedona MTB Fest!

The 2018 Kona Demo Tour is coming to Anthem, AZ TOMORROW, February 27th, at Freedom Cycles from 12-4pm. We’ll also be at the Sedona MTB Festival this weekend. Check out details below and come test ride a new Process 153 CR 27.5Process 153 AL/DL 29, Hei Hei Trail CRHonzo AL/DL or the brand new Satori DL!

 

For the full schedule be sure to check out the Demo Tour page!

Kona Dream Builds: Travis’ Breathtaking Rove Ltd Custom Build

Travis Peebles’ (Co-owner of Blazing Saddle Cycles in Cleveland) custom Rove Ltd will straight up take your breath away. It did ours. While our stock build of the Rove Ltd is nothing to sniff at with its SRAM Force groupo and plus-sized WTB tires and hoops, what Travis has done with his is next-level-take-your-breath-away-stuff. We asked Travis to outline his motivation for the build and for some juicy details, we’ll let him take it from here.

This do-all demigod was inspired by the need to go anywhere anytime, and over any terrain. While I do appreciate the 650b wheels size, it just doesn’t fit my riding style or my desire to go places quickly, while attacking all and any obstacles with ease. Hence, the retrofitted 700c Reynolds Cycling Carbon Assault wheel-set wrapped in Panaracer Gravel King 43mm gumwalls. This tubeless combination fills up this steel steed very nicely.

The drivetrain consists of Ultegra mechanical 11 speed shifters resting on Salsa Cowbell drop bars (wrapped in Salsa’s Glyph bar tape) mated to an XTR rear derailleur by a Wolftooth Components Tan pan mechanism. This nifty little piece equalizes the cable actuation and smoothly provides all the gearing necessary across the 11-42 XT cassette. Power is applied through a set of FSA Energy cranks linked up with a Wolftooth 44t drop-stop chainring. Stopping power is provided by a sleek and steadying set of TRP Spyre brakes on Shimano XT 160mm rotors.

As an added bonus the left Shimano Ultegra shifter was overhauled and modified (by mechanical WIZARD James Rychak A.K.A Jimmy Whistletip in Instaworld) to actuate the 100mm KS Lev dropper post to help get the Prologo Zero II CPC PAS saddle out of the way in tight situations. This allowed us to use most of the bikes original braze-ons, just in a little different fashion. This avoided too much unsightly housing on the frame.

This build was a culmination of work and mechanical genius from all of the staff at our shop, Blazing Saddle Cycle in Cleveland, Ohio. I surely could not have done this on my own. We are extremely proud of the work that goes into each and every bike we send out the door and this is no exception. We love being ambassadors of the Kona name and technology. This build clearly shows why.

Video: Ice Fishing with Aggy POV

Back in early January, Aggy headed out to The Farm in Kamloops. It was the first snow ride of the season and a solid crew showed up to shuttle laps in The Farm‘s winter ‘Burb (an old 4×4 Chevy Suburban with full chains and an internal wood stove!). Aggy was riding his custom painted Trout bike, a 2015 26″ carbon Operator, built up with Maxxis beavers (in the Exo sidewall) with custom studs, up on Novatec demon wheels and hubs. The bike is kitted with SRAM and RockShox head to toe as well and has a Kore cockpit, Sensus grips and HT pedals.

Aggy sets up the studded Maxxis Beavers himself. After drilling holes from the outside in, various length sheet metal screws are then inserted from the inside out of the tire. A standard tube pumped to 60 PSI then provides solid traction, flats are rare and Aggy says that these studded tires still weigh less than his summertime DH setup.

The Trout bike in all its Rainbow glory, painted by Vancouver legend Painthouse Customs

That paint though… If Aggy keeps repurposing his old 26″ bikes like this, then #26aintdead.

PinkBike Reviews the Kona Wah Wah II Composite Pedal “Kona’s Wah Wah II pedals are ready to rock”

“Kona’s Wah Wah II pedals are ready to rock, with a wide, grippy platform that provides plenty of support for keeping those feet in place no matter how rough the trail, and a price tag that’s tough to beat.” – Mike Kazimer

PinkBike‘s Mike Kazimer has been on our Kona Wah Wah II’s for the last few months and this morning posted up his very positive review on their site. It’s the latest in a bunch of glowing reviews for our new pedals and you can check it out here. You can check out Vital’s and Bike’s reviews here and here.

Your local Kona dealer will have stock but you can also purchase the new Wah Wah II composite pedals here in our web store.

Ti Tuesday: Alan’s zippy Single Speed Ti Raijin

Alan’s Ti Raijin isn’t a big showy head turner of a bike. It’s been built up as durable zippy single speed for Alan’s local trails at Sports Swap in Toronto. Closer inspection reveals a thoughtful parts selection that will truly go the distance and perhaps last as long as this Raijin Ti frame will. The Stan’s Crest wheels laced to Paul Components hubs are a case in point. The Cane Creek 110 headset and Spank Subrosa bars are another.  The smattering of SRAM and Avid bits and pieces show their age, but also an element of if it ain’t broke… The carbon Truvative XO cranks (with North Shore Billet spider and ring), Avid Juicy Ultimates and 100m Reba forks are all super solid and reliable choices that round out this solid single speed steed.

Introducing the Satori and Satori DL

It might be deep in the heart of winter in the northern hemisphere, but we’re starting to see signs of spring popping up. The longer days and slightly warmer temperatures mean bike season is just around the corner. Ushering in a new season seems like the perfect time to introduce a new bike, so with that in mind, we are thrilled to introduce the all-new Satori and Satori DL!

The Satori and Satori DL: mid-travel trail bikes that are ready for anything!

Don’t call it a comeback… The 2019 Satori is the best of both worlds old and new. On a five-year hiatus, the Satori reinvents itself in the best way possible. Our original longer-travel 29er, the new Satori has heritage derived from the Process, the Hei Hei, and the Hei Hei Trail. With updated geometry, longer reach, a shorter stem, and a trunnion shock, the Satori is as awesome as it was before, only with the benefit of a time warp. 140/130 travel, fused suspension, and all the goodies, it’s the ultimate all-around machine.

Satori DL

If you love the feel of a 29er and the get-up-and-go of the racy Hei Hei Trail DL, the Satori DL is the perfect companion. With a custom drawn aluminum frame and FUSE rear end, the Satori was built from the ground up to ride like the wind. Featuring a SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain, RockShox Revelation fork and custom tuned RockShox Deluxe RL Solo Air rear shock, the Satori DL has everything you need for big days in the saddle.

  • Frame Material: Kona 6061 Aluminum Butted
  • Wheels: WTB STP i29 TCS 29”
  • Suspension Platform: Fuse
  • Front/Rear Suspension: 140mm/130mm
  • Rear Shock: RockShox Deluxe RL DebonAir Trunnion
  • Fork: RockShox Revelation RC Solo Air 140mm
  • Drivetrain: SRAM GX-Eagle 12spd
  • Brakes: SRAM Guide R with 180mm front / 160 rear rotor
  • Seat Post: RockShox Reverb w/Plunger Lever

Satori

Taking a cue from the Hei Hei Trail, the Satori is a longer-travel cross-country bike wrapped in an affordable package. 29” wheels keep the Satori rolling fast over obstacles while a Rockshox Recon Gold 140mm travel fork and RockShox 130mm custom tuned Solo Air rear shock keep the ride smooth. With Shimano hydraulic disc brakes and Deore drivetrain, and dropper post, you’ll have everything you need right out of the box.

 

 

  • Frame Material: Kona 6061 Aluminum Butted
  • Wheels: WTB STP i29 TCS 29”
  • Suspension Platform: Fuse
  • Front/Rear Suspension: 140mm/130mm
  • Rear Shock: RockShox Deluxe RL DebonAir Trunnion
  • Fork: RockShox Recon Gold RL Solo Air 140mm
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Deore 10spd
  • Brakes: Shimano Hydraulic with 180mm front / 160 rear rotor
  • Seat Post: Trans-X Dropper Internal

Check out the full spec on both bikes on Konaworld.com.