Monthly Archives: May 2018

Cory Wallace’s Double Header

Last weekend Adventure Team Rider Cory Wallace spent his time in British Columbia competing in the Vedder Mountain Classic and the Salty Dog 6 Hour race. With a second place the first day and a new course record the second day it’s safe to say Wallace had a pretty excellent weekend!

Check out the full recap on his blog. 

 

PC: Candace Mihalcheon

KRO SPECIAL! Buy a Process 153 29 AL, Get a FREE Set of Wah Wah 2 Composite Pedals!

We’ve just launched a new special on the Kona Ride Online! We’re giving away a set of our beloved Wah Wah 2 composite pedals with the purchase of a 2018 Process 153 AL 29! The Kona Ride Online is the easiest way to get this awesome big wheeled badass to your doorstep. Simple point, click, shop, and voila- your bike is delivered to your local dealer (with free shipping!), built for you, and ready to ride right out of the store!

For more information, head on over to the KRO!

Kona Dream Builds: Joey’s New Old Hei Hei Race

Joey wanted to build a super lightweight but fun cross country race bike and no, that is not a oxymoron. What it is in fact, is our Hei Hei Race bike. “This bike exceeds all my expectations!”

“I’m pretty good at keeping “old” parts working great for years. Most of the parts were transferred over from another bike and nothing is new. Bike racing on a budget can sometimes be tough but I like the challenge.” The weight of Joey’s complete new old Hei Hei Race? 20.09 lbs.

The bike is propelled by a well-loved set of Shimano 959 XTR pedals mounted to a SRAM XO crankset, a KMC X11SL chain in gold and a classic 11 speed SRAM XX1 rear derailleur (and shifter).  It rolls on Stans Valor wheels with Schwalbe Racing Ralph rubber.

The Reduce/Reuse/Recycle ethos continues in the cockpit, with a 700mm Truvativ Stylo bar, a 70mm Ritchey pro stem (in -30º), SRAM Guide Ultimate brakes and Lizard Skin DSP grips, all that is connected to a set of Fox’s 32 Stepcast forks.

Joey sits on a Velo Angel carbon saddle attached to a Woodman carbon seatpost.

 

Kona Gduro Team

The Kona Gduro team was founded in 2010 by Matthias Haake as the Pedaliero Team, the counterpart of the famous German Pedaliero print magazine, best known for their special issues like the XXL Eurobike edition and spot guides. This year, our fifth year with Kona we’ve renamed our team to KonaGduroTeam. Along with fellow racer Stefan Westerveld the team has more than 30 years of race experience and knowledge.


Matthias has raced in all of the big downhill series from the early nineties on with support from the big brands like SRAM, SCHWALBE, BLISS, ERGON and many more since. Stefan has a long BMX race, street and freestyle background. In the mid-2000’s he shifted focus to mountain bike freeride and racing. Talking about racing, the spirit being on the bike in nature, chasing trails and riding with friends is essential for us, whether it is against the clock or just on an after work trail ride.

 

All of this makes us so stoked to be a part of the Kona family. People here are awesome and fully committed to every facet of bicycling. Thanks for sharing the ride!

Meet us in the race pits or on the trail, give us a hug and have a drink.

Our schedule for the race season:

Trailtrophy Series
Enduro One Series
Selected EWS stop
Enduro2
Endurocup.be
Megavalanche
Press launches and other media events
More trails, more reviews, more fun! 🙂

You can find out more at https://konagduroteam.wordpress.com/.

 

Spencer Paxson Wins Inaugural XC-Enduro Combined at the Vedder MTB Festival

 

‘Enduro! It has what XC racers crave!’ my buddies and I joked as we rolled in to Day 2 of our “Vedder Doubleheader” weekend up in the Fraser Valley. The Idiocracy reference was a double entendre of sorts; the easy, no-pressure climbing and ripping downhill in enduro, along with questioning our own sensibility for racing two hard days in a row.

Why two days in a row? The true prize of the weekend, for me at least, was the newly minted King/Queen of the Mountain Trophy devised by the organizers of the Vedder Mountain Classic. It would go to the man and woman with the fastest combined time in the XC and enduro. Day 1 was the Vedder Mountain Classic, a 30km marathon-format cross country race. Day 2 was the opening round of the Canadian National Enduro Series. Combined, the days would tally around 11,000 feet of vert up and down. Imagine some of the best dirt conditions you’ve ever had (and that is not hyperbole!), and any sensible MTB-er would have taken up the challenge.

 

Well…I’m not sure if sensible is the correct word, but how about eager? You could say that Saturday’s XC was an aggressive practice day. The course was challenging, but the immaculate conditions took the edge off of the effort. Teammate Cory Wallace and I battled out on the start loop and up the first huge climb to the top of The Den with Canadian cyclocross National Champ Micheal Van Den Ham in the mix. My Hei Hei (size Large) equipped with MRP Ribbon fork and WTB Trail Boss tires was feeling spry, and I sneaked around Mr. Wallace on the long descent back down to the lake, beginning lap two with a comfortable gap, and pressing on up the second half of the race to take the win. Cory rolled in 2nd, we traded some high fives, went to the beer garden, jumped in the lake, and even collected some Canadian cash. Day 1 done!

Phillip Jones

Sunday’s enduro is captured well-enough in the images. It was a ripping good time! I raced three out of five stages blind (good prep for TransCascadia coming up later this summer) and executed a quick-but-conservative day to get through cleanly. My result on Sunday was lackluster compared to Saturday’s XC, but it was good enough to claim the first-ever Vedder KOM Trophy! Truth be told, there weren’t many who went for the double header, so it had a bit of a tree-fell-in-the-woods level of accomplishment, but given the caliber of this event, I’m hopeful to see this “omnium” format more hotly contested in the future. It has to start somewhere! So with that, the weekend was wrapped up, and it was time to get back home to finish celebrating Mother’s Day.

James Lissimore

As I said of last year’s experience racing the Vedder Mountain Classic, there is no pretense to riding or racing mountain bikes in this part of the world, no matter your skill level, because in BC, mountain biking and racing just is. It’s a f*@#% good time!

Connor Fearon Rides in Gamble, Now on iTunes

Connor Fearon is part of a steller downhill cast in Steel City Media’s newest film, Gamble. Fearon along with other legendary downhill racers, take on some of the world’s most creative tracks. Narrated by Snatch’s Alan Ford, Gamble is sure to entertain the mountain bike crowd. Here’s the trailer. You can buy the film now on iTunes.

All photos by Boris Beyer.

Alexander Kangas Finishes Top 25 at EWS Round Three in Montagnes du Caroux, France

All Photos: Sven Martin

Kona Global Enduro Team rider Alexander Kangas recently competed in the third round of the Enduro World Series in Montagnes du Caroux, France. He had a strong weekend and finished in 23rd place overall. Check out his race report below.

Another World Enduro is in the books, and damn this one was a tough one. I Arrived in Toulouse on Tuesday afternoon and meet up with my buddies Dan Wolfe and Sam Flockhart. We picked up our car and drove over to our accommodation, a really nice cabin located up in the mountains, an old-school French style houses rock.

On Wednesday we signed in and did a little track walk of the urban stage on and got ourselves and our bikes ready for Thursday, the first day of practice.

Practice started in reverse order, on Thursday we did stages five through eight. These were really fun, awesome stages. Stage five went really well for me, as did half of stage 6. I got midway down the stage, came into a corner a wee bit too hot and had a silly crash- nothing major. I picked the bike up and started to adjust my brake levers as the left one got twisted down, grabbed the bars and was gonna take off when I realized something was wrong. My left little finger (pinky) was dislocated at the top joint, basically pointing the completely wrong direction.

I pulled the finger out and dragged it back in to place. I never want to do that again. After that I took it easy and did the next few stages, the finger was sore but it was rideable.

Friday was the second day of practice and after hitting stages five to eight on Thursday it was time to hit stages one to four. Stage one was a bit rank, but stage two was fricken awesome. It has to be one of the best trails I’ve ever ridden. Three was good as well, really long and rocky and it featured a bit of everything. Stage four was another street race stage, which I don’t like at all, but it is really good for the sport to put them in there and to have that visibility.

The first day of racing! I made a few mistakes on stage one. I hit my left foot on a big ass rock and thought I’d broken all my toes in the process, but it was all good. I rode on and had a sweet bottom section of the stage ending it in 27th place which was a good start to the day.
I had a really good stage two (besides from losing my Allen keys midway down), and finished the stage in 10th place!

Stage three was good apart from a crash midway down, it was just a small crash but it cost me a lot of time since my bars got twisted and I had to stop again and put my cockpit back in place. I lost valuable time on stage three and finished in 33rd place. After stage two I was sitting in 15th place overall before but after the crash on three and the urban stage I got dropped down to 25th place overall.

Sunday saw the second day of racing and the rain arrive. I put a mud tire on for the front, which would turn out to be a bad call. I should have stayed on the setup I was running on Saturday but that’s part of the game sometimes.

The second day of racing was a bit tougher, I struggled a bit more with the stages but was consistently inside the top 30. After a weekend of good racing, I ended the weekend in 23rd place, which is my best EWS finish ever! I’m stoked with my speed at the moment and how I’m riding, and beyond excited to finish in 23rd, that top 10 on stage two Saturday was pretty damn rad too.

Follow Alexander on Instagram here.

Kona Dream Builds: Alexander Kangas’ Ohlins equipped G2 Process

Swedish-based Alexander Kangas has been riding for Kona since 2015 and for the last couple of years, he’s been attacking the EWS full time as a privateer with little to no mechanical support. He’s racked up some solid results over this time, most notably in Millau, France last year where he finished stage five in third and ended the weekend in 31st overall.

So we thought we’d take a quick look at the bike that Alexander is riding this weekend in Montagnes du Caroux, France for round three of the 2018 EWS. 

You probably noticed from the header photo that Alexander is running one of the first Trunion mounted Öhlins TTX trunion rear shock. The Swedish company keeps his bike looking pretty damn bling. He says it’s hands down the best bike he’s ever ridden.

Another look at that sexy Swedish trunion mount.

Alexander has left the drivetrain pretty stock, only adding a chain guide to the SRAM Descendant/XO Eagle/Guide drivetrain.  Crank Brothers Mallets keep Alexander clipped in.

Öhlins RXF 36 Coil fork looks after the front end while the bike rolls on Hope Pro 4’s laced to a Stans Flow up front and a Hope hoop out the back. currently using a Maxxis Minion DHF in the front and a Schwalbe Magic Mary in the rear. He runs around 30 psi’s in the rear and 25 up the front.

 

“Its the most stable and fun bike I’ve ever had, it feels like I am able to take my riding millions of steps ahead.” -Alexander Kangas.

Be sure to follow the @Konabikes Instagram account, taken over by Kangas for the weekend during the EWS.

Becky Gardner Finishes Salida 720 12 Hour Solo!

Kona Rider Becky Gardner recently completed her first 12-hour solo race aboard her Process in Salida, Colorado at the Salida 720. She was the only female solo finisher! Congrats Becky! Check out her race report below.

 

After a few weeks of racing, riding, and traveling around Northern California I finally made the trip back to Salida, Colorado where I call home for the majority of the year. Although Salida is home to countless amazing biking trails, we rarely see many races taking place on the amazing terrain. Except for this year, thanks to my friend Keith Darner of Chocolate Bunny Productions, Salida was to host its first 12-hour race on Cinco De Mayo called the Salida 720. The race uses Salida’s S Mountain trails system which is jammed packed of technical, rocky, and loose terrain, making it far more technical than most other 12 hour races. Being primarily a downhill racer most my life, the thought of doing a 12-hour race was terrifying to me, but I put fear aside and decided I was going to participate in the local event anyways. To really top off my 12-hour experience I decided to push my limits and to do the race solo!

Getting hooked into a last minute surf/bike trip to Santa Barbara, I showed up from my month-long California trip the day before the race started which didn’t give me much time to prepare. I had just enough time to quickly get my bike tuned as well as I could and try to get a good night’s sleep before the long event started. My mechanic and beastly single speed endurance racer friend, Andrea gave me some advice saying to just ride slow and take my time.

The morning of the race 130 plus racers lined up on Salida’s F Street Bridge ready for a good old fashion Le Mans start. As the whistle blew and we ran to our bikes at 7 am, I remember Andrea’s words and tried to get in the back of the pack. This was almost more mentally harder than riding for 12 hours straight. Being a competitive person I had to let people pass me as I watched them charge up the hill into the trails. I had to tame my inner competitive nature and let it go as I took my time up the hill. In a 12 hour race, a majority of the people are on teams of 2,3, or 4. These people will be doing only a couple laps as they relay with their partner while the solo riders will be riding all day alone. Throughout the long tiring day, you’re passed by fresh riders doing their first lap of the day.

 

The start of the race did not go ideally as a few minutes into the race as I started climbing I realized that the cassette on my bike was not working like it should. I had two working gears and was forced to ride the 15-mile course as a single speed. Luckily my awesome boyfriend who was filming at the race got someone to bring a spare wheel to the bike to the shop, and after my second lap of single speeding I was able to swap out wheels and was dialed for the rest of the race.

 

I was feeling good on the bike and was having way more fun than I thought I would. Usually only participating in races that you’re sprinting the entire time it is nice to do a race that allows you to pedal at a reasonable pace. That is until I got into lap 4. This was around mile 50 when Colorado’s intense afternoon sun decided to beat down on us. I slowly finished my lap and was 100% convinced I was done for the day. I sat down at my pit, tired and beat from the day, my friends and other participants tried to convince me that I should be super proud of how much I had ridden. I wasn’t satisfied and I knew I wanted to do another lap and finish the race strong but I just wasn’t sure I could make it happen. And just in the nick of time, some local Salida shredding galpals showed up and gave me a little pep talk and I knew I could get it done. So I headed out at 5 pm for my 5th and last lap of the day. To my surprise, this lap was the easiest of the day! Turns out after a while your body stops trying to convince you to stop, and I finished the day with ease.

After riding from 7 am to 7 pm I finished the day up being the only woman to do the race solo and completed 5 laps which is about 75 miles of technical single track- definitely the most techy trail I have ever ridden in a day. Three years ago I was strictly racing downhill and now I am competing in 12 hour races as a solo athlete…. Times sure have changed!

All photos by Curtis Gillen.

Uli Brucker vom Kona Factory/Bike Ranch Team siegt beim Schwarzwälder Täler Cup In Urach

Bei herrlichem Frühlingswetter begaben sich die Fahrer der Seniorenklasse auf die konditionell und technisch anspruchsvolle Runde von 2,5km die 4mal zu bewältigen war. Mit einem fulminanten Start konnte sich Uli Brucker vom Kona Factory Racing Team der Bike Ranch Schonach in den ersten zwei Runden schon deutlich absetzen. In den nächsten zwei Runden brachte Axel Schnebelt(Progress-Werk Offenburg)mit einem Kraftakt nochmal Spannung ins Renngeschehen und kam vor dem letzten Downhill gefährlich nahe. Aber der gute Abfahrer Brucker spielte seine Qualitäten aus und machte auf den letzten Metern den Sack zu. Dritter wurde Markus Sell(Alender Innenausbau). „ Uli siegt jetzt schon zum zweiten Mal beim Täler Cup. Wir nutzen die Rennen zur Vorbereitung der kommenden Marathons. Am Donnerstag startet das Team bei den German Bike Masters in Bad Wildbad. Dies ist der erste Marathon dieses Jahr für uns und ich bin sehr gespannt auf das Ergebnis.“

Im Anhang zwei Bild von Uli Brucker