Monthly Archives: April 2018

Kona Adventure Team Pedal Packs to Whiskey 50

The Kona Adventure Team congregated in Phoenix on Tuesday night. When the sun came up on Wednesday morning they loaded up their HEI HEI‘s with the bike packing bags and headed north west to Prescott, AZ.

The goal was to get out of the PHX sprawl ASAP and take the Black Canyon Trail north to Prescott. The unrelenting heat took a toll on the boys and they had to alter their plans from mostly single track to mostly gravel roads. With no water out in the desert, the choice was an obvious one, if they wanted to survive.

Kerry Werner will be posting up a 3 Vlog series on this mission. The first is up below…

The next two will be posted as the team navigates the Fat tire crit on Friday night, off day Saturday, racing the Whiskey 50 on Sunday, then riding back to PHX (on more single track) over the course of Monday- Tuesday. Laughs will be had and suffering will be felt, but it’s always more enjoyable amongst friends.

Kona Dream Builds: Shut Up Jens – Michael’s Buttery Smooth Major Jake

Michael’s Major Jake was sitting in the BikeFlights.com booth at Sea Otter last week when we spotted it. The pure bling factor of this real deal CX racing machine meant that there was no way we were going to pass up shooting a photo-set for a Dream Build post. We asked Michael for the motivation for the build and some of his favorite parts. Scroll down for all the details and more photos of this super fast CX race bike.

“Shut UP Jens!” This bike was built with cyclocross racing specifically in mind – though it rips on gravel roads as well. The idea was to create a light race bike, without compromise of integrity or components. Starting with the 2018 Kona Major Jake (size 50cm), a full Shimano Ultegra 6800 hydraulic-brake drivetrain was added (except for a 105 front derailleur) and a Pioneer power meter crankset 46-36t. Thomson Masterpiece seat post to match a Thomson 100mm X4 steam. The bars are Easton EC90 SL carbon wrapper with ESI Silicone Aqua tape. The wheels are Industry Nine Classic road hubs laced to 45mm Enve tubular rims with Challenge Tires. What I love about this bike, aside from its look, is how it rides. The bike buttery smooth, fast, comfortable, and tears down descents like a mountain bike – I couldn’t be happier!

Connor Fearon Kicks of His 2018 World Cup Season Croatia

here you go! When the UCI first announced their 2018 calander many World Cup riders and fans did a collective, “WTF?” Lošinj, Croatia? The small Croatian island had everyone hitting Google to find out actually where in the world it was and to see if any footage existed of this mystery track.

In the months following more and more POV footage emerged, the footage confirmed two things, it was short, and there were rocks, lots of rocks. Footage of epic beaches, sunsets and scooter shenanigans clogged Instagram leading up to the track walk last Thursday. It seemed that the island, the trail, and the locals had actually won people over. The track was not steep, but it was short. The fastest qualification time on Saturday was just 2:19:99!

Unless you’d been living under a rock you’d know that Connor has been testing our new carbon DH Operator. In Croatia, Connor had two bikes built up in both 27.5″ and 29″ configurations. After a swapping between the two on practice day and during timed training, Connor opted to run with smaller 27.5 wheels as he didn’t really get enough time on the rocky track to commit to racing them, especially while racing as an unprotected rider. “It’s short and rocky and the track actually rides better than everybody had thought after only seeing the footage online. There’s lots of lines to choose from and it’s really technical. Times are going to be really close as the track is only two and a half minutes long,” he said.

Connor was feeling confident after practice and, and like everyone else, he was eager to lay down some timed runs and land a solid qualification result. His wrist injury from the end of last season, as well as recent UCI changes, meant that he was not protected. A mechanical or flat in qualification would mean that he would not be racing on Sunday. Riding conservatively on such a brutal short track would not be an easy task. After Saturday’s qualifications though, Connor found himself in 23nd place.

“It was bit of a slow start for me this with qualis. I was really nervous for the run and not being protected meant that a flat tire or mechanical would see me out of the finals. I made a few mistakes which cost me, putting me pretty far back in the field at 23rd.”

On race day things didn’t go entirely to plan for Connor. The Lošinj track was not going to be kind to any mistake, no matter how small. The extremely physical nature and its short length meant even the smallest mistake would be costly. Connor would make a few in his run that would ultimately cost him a top 20 result and any kind of protected status for round 2 in Fort William in June. “Don’t really have any excuses, just a couple of small things adding up to be a few seconds back which meant a lot in positions unfortunately,” he said.

Enduro Tribe Features Grassroots Rider Damien Huszcz in Évasion à La Réunion

Enduro Tribe has posted a gorgeous feature on Kona Grassroots Rider Damien Huszcz. Straight from Reunion, Huszcz sends us a “postcard” of his recent volcanic session in the Plaine des Sables aboard his freshly built Process 29er.

You can read the full post below.

Évasion à La Réunion – Carte postale de la Plaine des Sables

 

Title photo by Ben Davroux

Uli Brucker vom Kona Factory/Bike Ranch Team siegt beim Schwarzwälder Tälercup in Haussach Teamkollege Markus Ziegler wird Zweiter

Markus u. Uli nach dem Rennen

Markus Ziegler und Uli Brucker die für das Kona Factory/Bike Ranch Team aus Schonach starten hatten am Wochenende ihre Feuertaufe. Die beiden Mountainbiker starteten beim Schwarzwälder Tälercup in Haussach in die neue Rennsaison. Die Herren-Fahrer gingen zusammen mit den Senioren auf die Strecke, die vier Mal umrundet werden musste. Entgegen bisheriger Erfahrungen auf dieser Strecke konnte sich Ziegler am Start gut behaupten. Die erste Runde hielt er sich zurück, um nicht in der hektischen Startrunde in einen Sturz hineingezogen zu werden. Danach begann er mit der Aufholjagd und arbeitete sich Position um Position nach vorne. Bald waren alle besser aufgestellten Seniorenfahrer eingeholt und es entwickelte sich eine “Herrenspitze”. Allerdings war der Führende bereits in weiter Ferne. Markus schob sich auf Position zwei und gab alles, um diese zu halten. Die Strecke forderte sowohl technisch als auch konditionell alles ab. Ziegler verteidigte seine Platzierung souverän und beende das Rennen nach 43:29 Minuten auf dem zweiten Platz. Uli Brucker der dreifache dt. Meister fuhr ebenfalls ein super Rennen. Er nutzte seinen Heimvorteil und konnte seine Stärken ausspielen. Er kam kurz hinter seinem Teamkollegen Markus Ziegler ins Ziel und dies bedeutete für ihn den Sieg bei den Senioren. “Das war ein tolles Wochenende für unser Team, gleich zweimal Podium. Wir bereiten uns auf die Marathonsaison vor und da nutzen wir solche kurze härteren Rennen um Tempohärte zu entwickeln, außerdem sind wir, wie die meisten Profis im World Cup, auf leichte vollgefederte Rennbikes aus Carbon umgestiegen. Aufwendige Tests des internationalen Teams unseres Sponsors ergaben bessere Werte im Bereich Ermüdung und Lactatbildung auf langen Strecken, sowie Traktion Berg auf und Geschwindigkeit und Sicherheit Berg ab. Die Erfolge am Wochenende bestärken uns in unserer Entscheidung und ich bin gespannt auf die Saison.“ Team Chef Schnürle

 

 

Im Anhang zwei Bilder

  1. Uli Brucker bei der Siegerehrung

Three Peaks Challenge: A Kona Adventure Team/ Team S+M Project

Oregon, specifically the Willamette Valley, is a very wet place. This is no secret. The secret is what lies beyond the foggy curtain that covers the deep, dank, moss filled forests of the Oregon Coast Range.

Just west of the sleepy college town of Corvallis, Oregon lays a wealth of single-track, hand sculpted and etched into the earth by a dedicated and diverse group of mountain bike-minded humans.

When I was in my junior year at Oregon State University, a strong, tight-knit crew of rugged bike nerds had banded together and rented a ragged, sprawling house a few blocks from campus.

I occupied the detached cinderblock garage that only had a single roll-up door for access. For $100 a month, I got a roof over my head, a propane heater and access to the main house for the kitchen, bathroom, and most importantly, a large well stocked bike work area.

In the basement bike shop, we had a whiteboard where we would scratch out challenges to one another. Various bicycle related feats of strength were hatched, but the one that seemed to stick, gain traction, and become a tradition among our crew was the Three Peaks Challenge.

The premise was simple. Grab three beers, ride to the top of the three main peaks in the forest and drink a beer. Over the years various additional challenges were included, including doing the ride at night without lights, riding the final decent nude, or completing the challenge on our road bikes.

Ever since I left college and started my racing career, I had mostly forgotten about the TPC. Then my friends Sean and Patrick moved back to Corvallis and started talking about it. A chance trip back home to work on my mother’s house was all the impetus we needed to revive the tradition.

On a fittingly damp and cold day, we set off at the crack of 2:30 pm. First stop, the obligatory beverage procurement at the Country Market and Deli on the corner of 53rd and Oak Creek Drive.

As they do, beer is sold is portions of sixes, so with three riders, we selected a 12 pack. With the conclusion that it would be the appropriate procedure to stash the extra beers, one at each summit for others to enjoy, we filled Sean’s backpack with all 12 while he wasn’t looking and then set off.

The first peak is actually only a small hill, aptly named Bald Hill, but what it lacks in elevation it makes up for in spades on its greased lightning trails. Slipping and sliding our way off the peak, giddy with our quest, we set our sights on the next, much higher summit.

Topping out on McCullough Peak for summit number two, the wind had picked up considerably. Our soggy frozen fingers struggled to rack the beers, but we got it done, downed the nectar, stashed the extra and then sent it down one of the gnarliest trails in the forest.

Exciting the bottom of South Side Slip coated in mud and laughing, we steeled ourselves for the final push to summit three.

Good natured shit talking became joking half attacks became full throttle race mode as the summit approached and we raced our way to the large tree marking the top of Dimple Hill.

As we downed our final beverages and looked out over the soggy city, the wave of nostalgia was almost enough to convince Sean to disrobe and shred the final descent au natural, but fading light and a worry of shrinkage (and common sense) took over and we headed down into town to gorge on the best Thai Food in the universe.

A final round of high fives was exchanged as we saddled up for the final cold solo miles back home. Tired, cold, covered in mud and with a perma-grin plastered all over my ugly mug, I said a silent what’s up to all those who have completed the Three Peaks Challenge before, and to all those who would follow in our sketchy footsteps. Get it!

The Return of Kona Bowl!

 

This past Thursday at the Sea Otter Classic Kona celebrated our 30th birthday and shared the love. We brought back the Kona Bowl tradition with a big ol’ party at Monterey Lanes with a bunch of our good friends from the bike industry. We were thrilled to raise money for the Redwood Empire Mountain Bike Alliance and the Santa Barbara Mountain Bike Trail Volunteers to help rebuild trails damaged by the 2017 California wildfires. Check out some photos from the action.

 

SRAM had a big presence all evening.

Duncan Riffle looking focused.

Kona Disco Process shredder Ali Osgood brought the energy all night!

 

Andrew Bartek from Maxxis

 

Kona’s Lacy Kemp channeling her inner “Dude”

Buddies united

 

Kona owner Jake Heilbron was all smiles all evening

The Northwest representation was strong with crews from Full Speed Ahead and Freehub Magazine.

The Pinkbike posse

 

Mandy Davis of Dharco and Ali Osgood

Squamish crew in the house!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aggy and Nico Vink

A Pinkbike Kona One Up Sammich

Caleb Smith’s selfie game is strong

WTB crew

Dr. Dew and Kona’s Matt Lareau

 

Thanks to everyone that came out to bowl, celebrate, and support a great cause!

Visit us at Sea Otter!

It’s the official kick-off of the bike season, and we’re celebrating with thousands of others at the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California. This year we’re showing off a bunch of our new bikes that will be available later this summer including the new carbon Operator prototype, the Process 29 CR DL, and our gorgeous, limited edition steel Honzo Birthday Bike!  More details on all the bikes to come soon!

If you’re in the area be sure to swing by our booth and grab a raffle ticket to win one of only 201 Birthday Honzos! We’ll also have legendary Kona freerider, Graham Agassiz, in the booth signing posters and hanging out this week.

Steel Honzso 30th Birthday Bike for the raffle

Carbon Operator PROTOTYPE

Process 29 CR DL

Swag for sale! Get yours in the Kona webstore!

Aggy Hits Bend Oregon with Storch and Sorge

Graham “Aggy” Agassiz recently joined up with his Giro teammates to escape Kamloops’ winter with a little Fest preview session and some big mountain lines down in Bend, Oregon.

“Last time I was here was for Black Sage,” said Agassiz. “It’s a killer venue for the Fest series, but I didn’t get to explore any of the terrain that Carson has been raving about. This time we spent a full week exploring Carson’s favorite spots and he didn’t disappoint.”

Check out the full story on PinkBike