Monthly Archives: March 2018

Jake Hood takes The Road to Enlightenment on the All New Kona Satori

The road to Satori is said to be the road to enlightenment. It’s all about finding that perfect balance of harmony and rhythm in life. At Kona, we think it’s all about finding both things on two wheels. Perhaps enlightenment is tapping into your flow state on the bike. It’s that place of pure enjoyment and complete mental immersion where climbing is actually fun and descending is nothing short euphoric. We put this feeling in motion with  Jake Hood riding the all-new 2019 Satori. We chose this name for a reason. We chose it because we believe in the unique freedom that a bicycle provides and we think the Satori is the perfect vehicle to help you achieve that goal.

“The Satori kind of blew me away. It showed up and I said, ‘Here we go again. Just another run of the mill trail bike. One that will probably be sweet on the mellow trails but will be out its depth when things get nasty.’ I’m currently still eating my words. How wrong I was. I knew it was going to climb like a mountain goat – and it really does due to the steep seat angle and good pedaling platform- but point this bike downhill and you will have a sore face from smiling that much. Popping off any bump in your sight, blowing up turns, dancing the bike across the nastiest root sections you can find, or scrubbing blindly into some rock garden, it does it all in stride. Nothing really seems to phase it.” -Jake Hood, Bike Ninja as seen in The Road to Satori

 

The Satori is probably the most well-rounded and versatile bike in the Kona lineup.  It strikes this unique balance between up, down and across and that’s what makes it so unique; a bike that is simply good at mountain biking.  In a world of “longer/slacker/faster/harder” the Satori stands out as a versatile and easy to ride bike that has impressive value and great demeanor on the trail.” -Ian Schmitt, Kona Product Manager

 

The Satori does a great job of finding the middle ground between pedaling and descending. It’s one of our best balanced bikes in the lineup for 2019.” -Mark Allison, Product Manager

For more information about the Satori and Satori DL, become enlightened at Konaworld.com.

Toni Lund’s Thousand Mile Ride

Recently Toni Lund attempted the Iditarod Trail Invitational, a 1000 mile trans-Alaskan race in the harshest of conditions. Toni sent us a little recap and some photos of his experience. We’d like to extend him a HUGE congratulations for becoming the first Finn to cross the finish line in Nome, AK. We hope your Wo proved to be the perfect steed for your journey!
Words by Toni Lund, the ‘Extreme Bike Mechanic’ from Finland who works at Bikeshop.fi / Ajopyora that sells Kona bikes.
So, having done the ‘short’ 350 mile race in 2015, this year I attempted the 1000 mile monster to Nome for the first time, as the first ever from Finland and first with Kona Wo. This year’s race turned out to be extremely and exceptionally demanding as the race saw an awful lot of bad weather with close to ten blizzards, soft trails and lots of pushing. Out of the almost 27 days on the trail, there were only 3-4 sunny and calm days.
– My worst period in the journey was after McGrath (350 mile point) when I got sick with diarrhea. I spent 24 hours in Takotna to overcome it, but it struck me one more time after Ophir. Feeling really weak I still marched on in blizzard conditions and hilly terrain.
– The most dangerous sections were the passage of Rainy Pass with -10 F temps and -40 F windchill and similarly the Bering Sea ice crossing to Koyuk.
– It’s hard to say how much I pushed my bike but I think more than half of the complete 1000 mile distance.
– My 2017 model Kona Wo had zero issues and worked perfectly in the super demanding conditions. There were several soft trails that I was able to ride with Wo and it proved to be a very capable bike for the world’s longest and toughest winter ultra marathon. I had built my Wo myself and the only original component is the headset.
– I bivyed several nights under the sky and I needed to put on my best game with winter survival skills. Overall, Iditarod Trail Invitational 1000 mile is exceptionally demanding and a very dangerous quest. I finished with the time of 26 days 19 hours 18 minutes in 10th place.

Aggy Takes a Desert Vacation with Dakine

Graham “Aggy” Agassiz recently joined up with his Dakine teammates to take a little Desert Vacation in South West Utah. The crew hit some classic spots, including infamous ridgeline descents as well as some classic road gaps and hips. Going off the video above it looks like Aggy and friends and one hell of a time.

Aggy and his custom Process 153 chill in the desert light. Photo: Alex Erickson

“It was a great time hanging with the Dakine crew on this trip, it’s not very often that we get together like this to just have fun and ride some bikes! Everyone’s schedules are so different, Casey is traveling the globe doing film projects, racing enduros, and taking Snuff the dog on alpine heli drops! Carson is also traveling lots, slowly stepping away from competing and focusing on different projects which is rad to see! Thomas is probably one of the busiest out of the group, along with having a baby girl to take care of, he’s always on the road. It is always a pleasure to watch him ride with his timeless style on a bike. All in all the trip was all time, so stoked we all got to meet up in the desert and ride some bikes. It felt really good being there as a team, sharing laughs, and enjoying the time together. I can’t wait for our next vacation!”Graham Agassiz

Aggy leads teammate Carson Storch through the South Western Utah landscape. Photo: Alex Erickson

Camp Vibes. Photo: Mike Artz

Late Night Hips with your host Graham Agassiz. Photo: Mike Artz

Photo: Mike Artz

Birthday Bikepacking

What would do you like to do for your birthday? Kona Pro cross racer Kerry Werner is all about adventure. Yesterday was his 27th birthday, and to celebrate he is going on a mini 2-day bike packing trip from central North Carolina to Western North Carolina.

He will be pedaling the Kona Super Jake. After a great CX season domestic and abroad, Kerry is showing just how versatile this bike is by strapping some bike packing gear to it and saying, “say0nara” to the status quo for what an elite-level CX bike can do.

“I have some friends getting married just west of Asheville, NC. The whole family is going to be going and bringing mountain bikes fpre-weddingdding ride, so I figured, why not kill two birds with one stone? I’ll be riding down on Wednesday and Thursday. Thursday evening my crew arrives and the weekend will resume per usual. I like to do these mini-adventures, especially during structured training, which I am just getting back into. These kinds of things help keep my mind fresh and ease the stress of having a regime to follow every day. I like a mix-up,” Werner said.

His route is just shy of 200mi with 15,000ft of climbing. There will be plenty of dirt/gravel roads along the way, scenic rivers, and hopefully lots of blue skies.

Godspeed, and happy birthday Kerry!

 

 

Kona Enduro Racer James Rennie Tackles The NZ Enduro

 

Start Marshals take their roles super seriously here at the NZ Enduro !!! Photo: Boris Beyer

Having lived in Canada since the inception of the NZ Enduro, I found myself following the race enviously from afar. The three-day race encompasses some of New Zealand’s best ‘backcountry’ riding based around the upper south island, taking in amazing beech forest and spectacular coastal views along the way. Even though I have ridden a lot of the trail NZ has to offer, I had only ridden one trail of the entire three-day race prior to the event. This made attendance a no-brainer, especially when a chopper ride is on the cards.

The race kicked off just out of Blenheim in Whites bay, with 1 long stage followed by a shorter downhill track stage to begin proceedings. With tropical cyclone Gita whipping its way through the area the previous week the conditions were still a touch moist underfoot, and the clay soil at the top of stage one was treacherous. After back to back summers, I was feeling decidedly average on the pedal sections but enjoyed the long first stage with the slick terrain offering multiple close calls. I crossed the line pretty tired in 14th.

Mike Kazimer from Pinkbike boosts his Process 153 CR DL with style. Photo Duncan Philpott

Next up was a short downhill stage, it was steeper than stage 1 but the dirt was slightly drier and offered up some fantastic race conditions. I kept it nice a smooth and tried to carry speed on some of the tougher tight corners, I thoroughly enjoyed the stage and finished up 12th, bagging 13th overall for the day.

The race moved to Nydia Bay on day two and served up four4 fantastic stages, and having never ridden through Nydia Bay before I was excited to check it out. The first stage of the day was long and technical with lots to catch riders out, it then pitched up a climb nearing the end to really test the fitness. It certainly tested mine as I struggled to a 16th.

After an enjoyable technical climb, it was into the second stage of the day. A very technical section of trail which rewarding riders who could maintain speed, and pick good lines through the roots and rock. Other than a few odd lines, I rode this stage well but started to tire when the stage flattened out near the end, finishing the stage in 10th and in need of food. Thankfully a delicious lunch was on hand at On the Track Lodge.

Photo: Duncan Philpott

After a short climb up to burn off lunch, it was time for stage three. This wasfavoriterite stage of the day and incorporated a good mix of terrain with some technical sections to keep riders on their toes. This was my best stage of the day as I finished 8th. Must have been the food. The day finished with a short fast trail, a nice finish to a long day. I kept it smooth and finished 11th on the stage, and 11th for the day.

After last year’s final day washout, I think everyone (especially race organisers Sven and Anka) were happy to see clear skies. One of the highlights of this race is the helicopter ride to the top of the iconic Wakamarina trail, which was split into three stages for the days racing. The day started off with a long slippery first stage with a short sharp climb in the middle to really blow the legs up, after some sketchy moments in the soft ruts at the top I settled in but could only muster 14th for the stage. The next stage was to be the stage of the weekend, a long fun descent through perfect beech forest, it was one of those trails where there’s not one section that isn’t enjoyable. I had a blast on this stage and got into a good groove placing sixth for the stage, and already planning my return to ride it again.

Photo: Boris Beyer

To finish off the weekend was a fast fun stage leading back to where the day started. Wanting to finish off strong (and pretend my legs weren’t that tired) I sprinted off the line, only to have the jockey wheel fall out of my derailleur just out of sight of the start line. Luckily the stage was only short, so a mixture of running and scooting the bike got me over the line for a 13th place.

After three days of racing, I finished up 11th. The NZ Enduro isn’t about the result though, and I think anyone who has attended the event will agree that the people and trails are the real winners of this event. Huge thanks to Sven, Anka and everyone who made this year’s event epic. Can’t wait for next year!

Kona Dream Builds: Matty’s Slow Burning Custom Process 153 AL DL

Part-time trail builder and part-time ice cream slinger (and Squamish BC local) Matt Harris had a long time to ponder his 153 Process AL 29 build. He sold his old 27.5 model before we announced the G2 Process, and he spent the last few months waiting for the frame only version to arrive in Canada. Relegated (that’s not a bad thing) to his steel Honzo, Matt was constantly plotting just how rad he could make this bike. The result, as we are sure you’ll agree, was well worth the wait.


The drivetrain is truly custom. Race Face Next SL carbon cranks transfer power to a One Up Switch chainring. Out back, an XTR rear derailleur mates to a One Up’d 45t rear XTR cassette. 

A Rock Shox Lyrik, with its flawless Charger damper, keep things plush up front, while weight is saved with One Up’s toolless front axle. Saint brakes provide ample stopping power while Industry Nine hubs laced to carbon rims keep things rolling fast and smooth.

Bike Yoke’s Revive 185mm dropper post’s are starting to pop up more and more these days. Matt’s inclusion is one of the first we’ve seen on a Process and hot damn it looks nice. The only thing carried over from Matt’s previous build is that well broken in Chromag Trail master saddle.

A little custom detail from one of Matt’s day jobs reminding him that those trails don’t build themselves.

Remmeber those Saint calipers? Well, they are hooked up to these XTR levers for straight-up sex appeal. The levers and Easton Grips are all mounted on a classic Chromag 35mm BZA bar via a sweet Chris King stem and Race Face Atlas 35mm stem.

A sweet gold colored One Up EDC top cap provides a home for Matts EDC tool and rounds of this perfectly executed Kona Dream build.

Santa Rosa, Houston, and New Orleans! We are coming for you!

The Kona Demo Tour has been in full force for the last few weeks and so far, we’re having an awesome time meeting local riders and getting bikes out on the local trails. Up next? Santa Rosa, Houston, and New Orleans! Check out the details below and stop by to test ride some of our favorite bikes!

 

 

 

 

We will also be at Bob’s Cycle Center in Auburn, California located at 150 CA-193, on Saturday, April 7th from 10 am to 4 pm! 

The Kona Global Enduro Team take on EWS Round 1 in Lo Barnechea, Chile

Alexander Kangas, La Parva, Chile. Enduro World Series #1. Photo: Sven Martin.

Three members of the Kona Global Enduro Team made the trip to South America for the first stop on the 2018 Enduro World Series calendar in Lo Barnechea, Chile this weekend. Squamish, BC pinner Rhys Verner (making his debut elite EWS appearance), ex Swedish World Cup DH rider Alexander Kangas and Flagstaff native Scott Countryman all arrived last week, just in time to acclimatize and get in a solid few days practice on the raw and dusty trails.

Alexander Kangas, La Parva, Chile. Enduro World Series #1. Photo: Sven Martin

After the two days of practice, the three riders were nervous but excited about the two days of racing and the first real race of the season. “The tracks are super rowdy, and really long. I’m getting excited for some wild racing,”  said Countryman. Hailing from Arizona, Countryman’s familiarity with the dry and loose conditions was a bit of a bonus. That said nothing truly prepares you for Chile’s famous anti-grip.

Alexander Kangas, La Parva, Chile. Enduro World Series #1. Photo: Sven Martin

Rhys had this to say after the two days of practice: “Practice was great. I had to ease into things as the dirt and terrain is quite different than what I’m used to. The mountains here are monstrous so it’s only fitting to have monstrous stages as well. Stage two is the longest stage we have ever raced, with an insane elevation drop of 1800m (almost 6000ft). I’m getting more and more comfortable with the type of tracks here and I’m really enjoying how loose everything is. Consistency will be the name of the game, I’m ready for the challenge.”

Rhys Verner, La Parva, Chile. Enduro World Series #1. Photo: Sven Martin

The nervousness and massive trails took their toll on race day though, with all three riders finding it hard to find their “race feet” on the incredibly physical and taxing stages. Rhys’ 51st on the first stage was a positive sign though and he was quick to move up a few places in the massive second stage where he finished in 43rd. Unfortunately, two meters from the finish line Rhys took an awkward fall and landed on his wrist, breaking his scaphoid. He didn’t realize at the time and continued to ride the 1000m liaison to the start of stage three. It was there, in the start gate, that he realized holding on to his bike was not going to happen. It’s a disappointing early exit from the series for Rhys. He’ll miss round two, but he’s heading home to Canada to get surgery and hopes to be back on his bike for the remaining EWS races.

Rhys Verner, La Parva, Chile. Enduro World Series #1. Photo: Sven Martin

After Scott and Alexander’s first stages, both riders knew they were capable of more and stepped up around 20 places each on stage tw0. Alexander moved from 74th to 57th, while Scott moved up from 86th to 66th. Both riders had a stellar run on the final stage of day one with Alexander finishing stage three in  53rd while Scott crossed the line in 51st place.  “Day one was ok for what it was,” Kangas said. “I struggled on stage one and two, but assumed everyone did. Hopefully, I can climb a few places from 51st on day two.” Scott’s sentiment after the first day echoed Alexander’s. “Day one of racing was a rude awakening to how much training I still need to do! I was stoked to be able to slide into the top 60, though, and I’m looking forward to one more day of racing to redeem myself.”

Scott Countryman La Parva, Chile. Enduro World Series #1. Photo: Sven Martin.

Stage four on day two wasn’t to be for Alexander, though. He suffered a  flat tire two minutes into the 10 minute+ stage. He rolled the dice and rode the rim to the finish line of stage four, crossing the line in 103rd, not the ideal start to day two. Hungry to make up as much time as possible he laid down a burner on stage five and finished in 37th. The final stage of the day saw him finish in 55th, which put him in 49th overall after the six epic stages.

Alexander Kangas, La Parva, Chile. Enduro World Series #1. Photo: Sven Marin.

Scott’s final stages were not ones that he’s particularly stoked on, finishing the three stages in 64th, 69th and 72nd respectively. “It was a rough weekend but I’m stoked to make it through with only a few minor crashes and no mechanicals. It’s only March and those stages we’re the hardest tracks I’ve ever ridden so I can’t be too hard on myself. My hands have never hurt so bad. At least everything will seem easier the rest of the year!”

Alexander Kangas, La Parva, Chile. Enduro World Series #1. Photo: Sven Martin.

Scott Countryman, La Parva, Chile. Enduro World Series #1. Photo: Sven Martin.

Get a Grip!

Bike Magazine recently touted the Key Grip in their “Fresh Produce” section on their website saying, “The new Key Grips come in a myriad of colors to match your bike… and the rubber compound is slightly tacky, but not uncomfortably reminiscent of a dive-bar floor.” We think that’s a pretty good mix of grip and hygiene, and are really happy with the compound. Check out the complete blurb here, and be sure to pick up your favorite set of Key Grips from our webstore!

 

Kona Dream Builds: Conrad’s Foxy Process 153 CR DL

We don’t have a huge amount of photos of Conrad’s epic Process 153 CR DL build, but from what we do have here, I think it’s pretty clear just how ballin’ this bike is. He hasn’t skimped on anything with this Dream Build and there are even some cool personal touches that link back to the German-based South African’s homeland. 

Conrad has a hard time hiding his love for Fox here, Fox Factory 36’s up front, a Factory Float X2 out back and a Fox Transfer seatpost keep things orange. South African based composite company CSix provide carbon hoops, an ultra-lightweight chain guide as well as carbon bars. Onza Ibex tires keep the bike hooked up and the whole package is propelled courtesy of a classic Shimano XT drivetrain.

Kona Dream Builds: Ryan’s Race Ready Process 153 29

Ryan Gardner is not a short dude, at 6ft 3 his extra-large builds are always interesting to check out. His latest farm gate sized enduro weapon, which got it’s first run a few weeks back at the Trans Puerta Vallarta race in Mexico, is one very cool Process 153 29. It’s built from the ground up with a smattering of very cool parts from Ryan’s longtime sponsors E*Thirteen, WTB and Fox Racing Shox and its built with one purpose, landing its lanky pilot on podiums throughout California and the world.

WTB Vigilante tires are laced to E*Thirteen’s bulletproof TRSr Carbon rims. Suspension up front is looked after by a set of burly Fox Factory 36 forks. Kona’s own bar, stem and grips combined with E*Thriteen’s 170mm TRS Plus fully serviceable dropper post complete the cockpit.

Brakes are Shimano Zee while an XT rear mech handles shifting duties on E*Thirteen’s wide range rear 9T-46T cassette. E*Thirteens TRSr Carbon cranks propel the 29 Inch wheels, while an E*Thirteen TRS plus chain guide keeps things running smooth. The rear suspension on the Process is handled by Fox’s trunion mounted Factory Float X2.

Damn, that 9T-46T cassette!

Photos. Ryan Cleek