Monthly Archives: February 2018

Introducing the Cycling Team Mahieu-Kona-Vandermeeren

We’ve got exciting news from across the pond from our Belgian counterparts. They’ve assembled a stellar group of 20 cyclocross riders for the Cycling Team Mahieu-Kona-Vandermeeren. Managed by Bart Vandecasteele, Mahieu-Kona-Vandermeeren acts as a professional development program across six different CX categories. The mission of the team is to focus on the development of young riders by professional mentors with a wealth of experience in racing and team dynamics. Members include elite riders Jonas Degroote and Joyce Vanderbeken and up and coming juniors Jelle Vermoote and Joran Wyseure. The team will be riding Major Jake and Super Jakes as they tackle races all around Europe including several World Cup events. Collectively in 2017, the riders won 96 races, so we’re excited to see what 2018 has in store.

The Cycling Team Mahieu-Kona-Vandermeeren recently competed in Belgian CX Nationals and had a strong performance, including two top 10 finishes.

 

Jonas Pauwels – Zeno Durie – Tille Vergalle

Robin Alderweireld – Niels Vandenbroucke

Bart Jay Junior Vandecasteele – Joran Luyssen – Kenay De Moyer – Oscar Scheirlynck

Elite women, Joyce Vanderbeken     Elite men, Jonas Degroote

Jelle Vermoote – Joran Wyseure – Obe Van Cauwenbergh – Ydris Salomez

Andreas Callewaert – Emiel Vanacker

Follow along with their season on their Facebook page and their website.

Welcome to the Kona family, Mahieo-Kona-Vandermeeren! We’re looking forward to a stellar year from everyone!

Fat-Bike.com Reviews the Kona Wozo “Kona has proven once again that they have some of the most capable and enabling bikes”

“It is capable of handling some of the most aggressive trails with its burly spec and near perfect geometry taken from its skinny brother, Honzo.” – Aristotle Peters

Aristotle Peters from Fat-Bike.com has spent the last few months riding our Kona Wozo around his snow-covered Wisconsin trails. To say he gets the bike would be a bit of an understatement, with a Kona Honzo as his personal bike, Aristotle found the transition to the Wozo seamless and could not help but get playful on it.

“The short chainstays had me wanting to bring the front end up and pop off of everything.  Hopping on the Wozo is easier than any fat-bike I have ridden and will give any rider more confidence in their abilities.”

You can read Aristotle’s full review on Fat-Bike.com here.

Hei Hei DL Named Editor’s Choice by Singletrack Mountain Bike Magazine

Singletrack Mountain Bike Magazine has named the Kona Hei Hei DL a 2017 Editor’s Choice bike.

“Bellingham-based Kona has a reputation for being a brand that always forges its own path, particularly when it comes to the spectrum of riding that a bike of a given amount of rear travel is capable of. Case in point, the Hei Hei DL…Really, this is a bike that lets you get away with far more than a 100mm travel bike really should, and that makes it stand out as one of the most competent – and fun – bikes of 2017.” 

-Wil Barrett, Technical Editor

 

Be sure to read the full recap of why the changes made to the Hei Hei Trail DL earned the bike a top pick. 

Bike Love

It’s Valentine’s Day. For lots of people that means romance, fancy meals, and way too many heart-themed things.

At Kona, we also want to share the love of our favorite bikes with you. So from the bottom of our sappy little hearts, this is an ode to the bikes we are currently loving the most.

Amanda Bryan, Sales: I love the way the Process 153 sucks up the trail and pops around. It boosts confidence in the steep chunder and loves to get sideways and rowdy.

 

Jordan Sembler, Sales: This is my “One that got away” Valentine bike: “I miss my sweet baby blue Sutra LTD. She stood by me for more miles than any other bike I have had in recent memory and what did I do? I sold her for the next hottest thing… Looking back is always hindsight. She is truly the one that got away and I have to live with that. I just hope that she is happy with her new partner and looks back on our time together as fondly as I do…. I sure hope my Rove LTD doesn’t read this…”

Product Team members Justin Clements and Ian Schmitt: Justin says, “Me and my friend Ian riding a rock roll together in Squamish BC at the MY17 Kona Launch. He’s riding a Big Honzo and I’m riding a Hei Hei Trail CR.”

Product Team member Mark Allison: I love the Operator because who doesn’t love riding big bikes down gnarly terrain? It always means you’re in the woods with your buddies.

Molly Joyce, Sales: This is my Process 111. It was a party! What a sleeper of a bike. It had a way of getting you into spicy situations and at the same time see you out like a champ. I had some of my favorite rides on that bike.

Kona Adventure Team Member Spencer Paxson: My Hei Hei and Process 111 in foreground. Valentines big and small, and bikes of all kinds. Bikes + love and families + bikes = love.

Kona CX Racer Kerry Werner: My “Kona Valentine” is the Superjake. First, and foremost, it is fast as hell on the cx course! Enough said. Secondly, it is so versatile. As the CX season was winding down I was planning as many different bike packing adventures and big gravel rides I think of. Basically, this bike gets me excited to spend copious amounts of time in the saddle.

Scott McKay Sales: Gotta love a Wo and Fireball Whiskey on a cold afternoon like this. Wo+Whiskey= Love

Garry Davoren, Distributor: Who doesn’t love a Ti Honzo?

 

Kona Athlete Hannah Bergemann: The Honzo climbs with ease, which encourages me to ride longer and further. It’s insanely confidence-inspiring and stable, yet still super playful on the descents, and it has me wanting to hit all the jumps and features I can find. I can pack it up with gear for an overnight bike packing trip, or rally it down some of my favorite downhill trails. I’ve been riding the Honzo for a few months now and have taken it to most of my favorite trails in Bellingham. I’ve had a blast riding long XC routes in Mazama, WA and descending technical, rock-filled trails in Squamish. The Honzo made me reconsider my opinion of hardtail bikes, and I feel like I have yet to find the limits of this bike. Looking forward to many more miles on this bike!

Lacy Kemp, Marketing: My Process 153 CR DL is always up for diving into the steepest pitches. The steeper the better!

Kona freerider Graham Agassiz on his custom Operator: This is my favourite bike for a lot of reasons but the two biggest ones would be it’s 26″ and it’s a rainbow trout!

Happy Valentines Day to you and your bikes, from all of us at Kona!

Dirt Rag Reviews the Big Honzo “Big mountain fun on a small mountain budget”

“Dropping into the first section of fast and flowy singletrack on the Big Honzo DL was like plugging a Les Paul into a Marshall stack and hitting an open A chord. We are not talking about a Roy Orbison open A; we are talking a full windmill Pete Townsend open A! This bike turns the gain up to 10 and the volume up to 11.”

Dirt Rag reviewed the Big Honzo DL in issue 203 (it’s on sale right now) and we have the full review right here on the Cog.

Kona Dream Builds: Is Tyson’s Custom Sutra the Sexiest Sutra Around?

When Tyson Blades submitted this Sutra 650b conversion via our Instagram channel, we have to admit we were pretty damn envious of what he’d put together. The devil is most definitely in the details of this bike, there are so many subtle touches that don’t jump out at first glance but make this bike truly a thing of dreams.

“I was always interested in the Sutra going back several years. It wasn’t until the 2017s came out with the wider fork and seat stays that I that I could really get what I wanted. I really think the Sutra can fill many roles: adventure bike, touring bike, and commuter. I use this bike every day for my commute to work.”

Check out the full photoset and build details below.

Kicking things off in the cockpit. Tyson has employed Lizard Skins’ insanely popular and comfortable DSP bar tape to wrap our own Kona bar, thats mated to a Simworks Marcia 50mm stem. The Spurcycle bell just ads a touch of class.

Classic Shimano Ultegra shifters take care of stopping and shifting duties.

The Uletgra 6800 shifters are cleverly matched to an XTR rear mech via a Wolftooth Components Tanpan (for shifter conversion) and Goatlink 11 (for cassette compatibility). The cassette is a Shimano SLX 11-42.

Another look at Wolftooth’s Goatlink 11.

There’s more Wolftooth up front in the shape of a 38T DropStop chainring attached to the ever-reliable Shimano XT M800 cranks.

WTB’s large volume Byway 650 x 47 tires keep things running fast and smooth.

The brakes are perhaps one of the few items that Tyson has left stock on the Sutra, the Hayes CX Experts being faultless and easy to repair anywhere on the globe… The rear wheel is made up with a DT Swiss 350 hub laced to a WTB Asym i29 650b rim.

The front wheel is a Formula CL-25 hub laced to a matching WTB Asym i29 650b rim.

That Paul Components QR is definitely not standard.

The Simworks Beatnik seatpost looks like it was designed specifically for the Sutra’s stock Brooks B17 saddle.

No custom build is ever really complete without a King Cage, Tyson has gone with the elegant Iris cage for the Sutra.

Kona Dream Builds: Chuck Passe’s Radient Big Honzo

Chuck Passe’s luminous orange Big Honzo is hard to miss. The 2017 Big Honzo frame was custom painted* in Rockstar Sparkle Orange by Josh Putnam at Coating Source, with the emphasis heavy on the sparkle. All the Kona logos and branding are knocked out and show the raw alloy under the paint. The build itself turns just as many heads as the finish, with the blue and orange theme resonating throughout. Being the general manager at Blue Line Bike Lab in Houston, Texas meant Chuck cut zero corners in spec’ing this beauty up.

Photos: Chad Mcclain Check him out on Instagram here.


The wheels are WTB Scraper I40 rims laced to Hope Pro 4 Hubs, The large burly hoops are shod with Maxxis Rekon+ 2.8 tires and the front end is suspended on Manitou’s Magnum Pro 27.5+.


Clearly, a bunch of thought has gone into this drivetrain, a Shimano XTR Shifter and rear derailleur handle shifting duties while a Wolf Tooth Components GC45 Range Extender has been added to the cassette. Race Face Next SL cranks combined with an Absolute Black Boost Oval chainring and Blue KMC X11SL chain transfer the power and you can’t see that it runs on possibly the best BB in the world from Enduro.


HT’s T1 pedals in blue.


Magura’s MT8 Next brakes and a whole bunch of Ti bolts take care of slowing this rig down.


Even in the age of droppers, nothing beats the pure sex appeal of a Thomson Masterpiece seatpost, this one is finished off with a WTB Volt Team 135 saddle and Hope seatpost clamp.


More blue and even more CNC alloy from the UK! Race Face’s Next 35 Carbon Bar attaches to the bike via the always rad Hope Freeride 35mm Stem, and Hope headset. Ergon GD1 Grips are finished off with more goodnes in the way of Hope Grip Doctor Bar Plugs.

*Unless your repainting is done by an authorized Kona painter you will lose your lifetime coverage.

Kerry Werner’s Road to Bronze

Kona cyclocross racer Kerry Werner had a stellar cross season finishing 28th at the World Championships last weekend in the Netherlands. Prior to that race, he landed on the podium in third place at US Cyclocross National Championships in Reno, Nevada. BikeFlights.com put together an incredible video of Kerry’s prep for his bid at US Nationals. If you’re a fan of storytelling and getting to know the athletes, this is a great watch.

Kona Dream Builds: Josh Cooper Keeps it Local with his Process 153 CR

Josh Cooper is the lead mechanic at Epic Cycles, a bike shop outside of Asheville NC and rides mostly in the backcountry of Pisgah National Forest, famous for its technical terrain and rugged character that can be demanding on equipment. He built up his bike to be light and comfortable enough for all-day rides yet burly and strong enough for the terrain he has in the area.

“Asheville is home to some incredible component manufacturers like Cane Creek and Industry Nine so I tried to highlight those local parts in my build. This bike is the most fun ride I’ve ever had and when I ride it I feel like I can ride anything. It has really opened up my potential as a rider and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.”

Here’s some specs and key details:

Frame: 2018 Process 153 Carbon Large
Fork: Cane Creek Helm Air 160 w/custom gold stickers from Cane Creek- Perfect match
Wheels: Industry Nine Enduro 305 – made right across the street from my house
Drivetrain: Shimano XT 11 speed – tried and true.
Cassette: E*13 Trsr 9-46 – Light weight and massive 512% range
Chain: KMC X11 TiNitride Gold
Cranks: Raceface Next R with Wolftooth 32t Oval ring. Wheels Mfg BB.
Brakes: Shimano XT 180/180
Handlebar: RF SixC 35
Grips: Ergon GE1
Seatpost: KS Lev Intergra 175mm w/ Cane Creek Dropt Lever. Could not resist Salsa Gold Clamp.
Headset: Cane Creek 110 Gold
Pedals: Shimano XTR
Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF 2.6F/2.3R
Shock: Stock RS Deluxe – I’d like to try the Cane Creek Coil[il] when it is available in metric sizing
Weight: 31 lbs

31.01 lbs… With 2.6 rubber and pedals!

[R]evolution Magazine Reviews the Process 153 CR DL “The main reason I dug the Process so much? Plain and simple fun!”

[R]evolution Magazine founder and all-round ripper Matt Holmes recently had a chance to test our new Process platform for the legendary Aussie magazine. It seems the new Process 153 CR DL may have just won him over.

“The Process is incredibly playful on the downs and deceptively fast. It’s DH and freeride roots are firmly embedded in its DNA, and as a result, it’s more than capable on big terrain, taking on big drops or gaps with no qualms.”

You can Check out Matt’s full review for Revolution on their website here.