Monthly Archives: December 2018

18 Year Old B’yauling Toni Has Ridden His Sutra 28,000km since July. Find out Why.

Six days after graduating high school in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan last year, at just 17, B’yauling Toni hopped on his stock Kona Sutra and started pedaling. Loaded up with a little food, a sleeping bag and a bivy he began one massive and awe-inspiring journey. His goal was to cycle 30,000km around the world. His planned route would take him traveling, unsupported and solo, in relatively the same direction, passing through a set of antipodal points on the earth, for B’yauling that was Madrid, Spain, and Wellington, New Zealand. If it all goes to plan he will break the world record for the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe by bicycle.

After leaving Saskatoon on July 1st he pedaled 5000km to Halifax on Canada’s east coast, he flew to Portugal and rode through Spain, France, Belguim, The Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Latvia, and Estonia. From there he rode across Russia into Mongolia, followed by China. After leaving Shanghai for Perth, Australia, he rode across the Nullarbor Plains, and up the coast through Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney on to Brisbane. He then flew to Invercargill, New Zealand where he rode up the South Islands west coast toward Wellington. By the time you read this, he’ll almost be in Auckland. To finish he’ll fly to Vancouver where he’ll don rain gear, change his tires out and ride over the Rockies back to Saskatoon.

B’yauling had embarked on this trip to raise money for a local outdoor education program in Saskatoon. His Go Fund Me page splits half the donated money between funding his trip and the Outdoor School Program. After meeting with him it became pretty darn apparent that he doesn’t require much to get by. In fact, he’s spent a total of $32 Canadian dollars on accommodation since he began his trip six months ago. Flights obviously take up a big portion of the funds, but on average he reckons it costs him $10 on food per day. He doesn’t carry a cooker and eats only food that doesn’t require heating. He averages around 11-12 hours on the bike a day, and around 200km a day in distance. He stops to check out sights as well as checking out a little touristy stuff but being on the bike allows him to take it all in whilst moving, after all he has deadlines to meet and planes to catch!

Yesterday though, he hit one of his first major speed bumps while cycling through New Zealand’s capital, Wellington. He was cruising downtown checking things out when an irate driver pulled up beside him and started yelling obscenities at him. Unaware of what he’d done to aggravate this driver he ignored him and kept riding. At the next intersection, the light went red and B’yauling found himself pulling in front of the driver in the green cycle bay in front of traffic. He pedaled off as it went green, trying to get a gap on the angry driver only to hear the engine rev behind him, he looked over his shoulder to check on the driver and the car plowed right into him, knocking him clean off his bike and sending his gear yard sailing through the intersection. The driver didn’t stop there and continued to yell expletives at B’yauling until he realized that the pedestrian eyewitnesses didn’t share his view of who was at fault. But before anyone could stop the man, he jumped in his car and high tailed it out of there. While picking up his belongings, he was approached by a lady who’d seen the whole thing happen, she offered him food and a warm place to sleep.

It was the first bit of road rage he’d experienced in New Zealand, and also the worst road rage experience he’s ever had. He pointed out that in the close calls he’s had, he’s never been knocked off his bike.

But the story gets worse. After arriving at the woman’s house, he decided to take a quick nap. The nap turned into a 16-hour long sleep. When we woke though, he realized that in the hit and run and its aftermath that his money belt, with $400 cash inside, had come off and was nowhere to be found. His entire NZ budget is now gone. We meet up with him he was sporting a large shopping bag of goods that the lady had loaded him up with… His bags were full.

His gear has taken a beating. The multiple zip ties on his frame bag attest to this. It no longer closes, even after having a yurt maker in Mongolia repaired it. He’s been through three drivetrains and two sets of tires, the Brooks saddle looks nice and broken in. He’s also experimented with different kind of bicycle lubricant, when the bike shops disappeared in Mongolia, he tried butter on the chain, it worked well when it was warm but when the temperature dropped the butter would coagulate and freeze, his solution, the flavor sachet from noddle packets!
His helmet has been shattered into three distinct and separate pieces and is being held together by zip ties and duct tape. When I offered him a new helmet, he said that food was more important, he had just $24 to make it to Auckland.

You can donate to B’yauling’s Go Fund Me page here and find out more about the Outdoor School Program in Saskatoon you can head here.

 

 

You can read more about B’yaulings massive achievement here on Cycling Magazine and over here on Cycling Weekly

Kona Dream Builds: Chainline Bikes Build “Fez” The Ultimate Process CR DL

Chainline Bikes in El Cajon, California aren’t your average bike shop. Located amidst an industrial area filled with body shops and mechanics that are there to pimp your other ride (the one with an engine) Jason Guthrie and his crew has found a niche building one-off custom bikes for their customers. Some of these are simple, changing out a bike’s wheels from the stock ones to a set of Enve’s laced to Chris Kings. Some are a little more involved and require swapping out a few more parts, but then there are the truly one-off custom builds where Jason and his team provide custom paint and decal finishes to the frame. On top of that, every single part is swapped out, some receive custom paint and decals much like the frame, the attention to detail is meticulous, and the results are always mindblowing. The latest bike to receive that treatment? This absolutely over the top 1970’s Pony Express van inspired Kona Process 153 CR DL 29 affectionately named “Fez”.

Jason has gone to town with his tribute paint job, the front to back stripes, the colors, and the gold leaf inlay. That’s right- what looks like wood paneling in the photos below is actually 22-carat gold leaf. The red in the stripes is taken from the Marzocchi forks and then tied back in via the grips and the custom ENVE decals.

You read it right, that is a 22-carat gold head tube badge!

The Gold just looks right surrounded by the ENVE Carbon M7 bar and stem combo.

But it doesn’t stop there, The gold leaf is also laced throughout the top tube branding and…

…It goes all the way back to the seat tube. Damn!

While the Red in the Marzoccchi Bomber Z1’s forms the basis of the colors used in the bike’s new paint job, the gold comes in here in the form of a custom graphics package.

I’m not sure if reflective gold vinyl stickers are an everyday option for your ENVE M7’s

Even more gold leaf in the Kona down tube graphics.

Jason just can’t help himself. Even more custom decals, this time on the SRAM XO1 Cranks.

At this point it would be rude not to spec a XX1 Eagle gold cassette, right?

Nothing on the build goes untouched.

Well, maybe not nothing. The Ergon saddle is stock.

A One Up EDC tool rounds out the cockpit,

Frame Kona Process 29 153 CR/DL
Rear Shock Fox Float X2
Fork Marzocchi Bomber Z1 170mm
Crank Arms SRAM X01 DUB 170mm
Chain Ring SRAM Eagle 32t
Bottom Bracket SRAM DUB PF92
Pedals Kona Wah Wah II Alloy
Chain SRAM Eagle XX1
Cassette SRAM Eagle XX1 Gold
Rear Derailleur SRAM Eagle X01 Red
Shifters SRAM Eagle X01 Red
Brake Rotors Hope Floating Disc
Brakes Hope Callipers E4
Brake Levers Hope Tech 3’s
Headset Cane Creek 110 Series
Handlebar ENVE M7 40mm Rise
Stem ENVE M7 50mm
Grips Ergon GD1
Top Cap One Up EDC Orange
Seat Post Fox Transfer 150mm
Saddle Ergon SME3
Hubs DT Swiss 240 DT Swiss
Rims ENVE M730
Front Tire Ibex 2.4 FRC Onza BF
Rear Tire Ibex 2.4 FRC Onza BF

 

Fez would be proud!

Louisville Sluggin: CX Nationals 2018

Kerry: After Hendersonville’s snowed out Sunday race I was keen to get to Nats to check out the track and get a feel for it. Unfortunately, there was limited time to do that. With so many amateur races being packed into the week there was seldom at 20min open course time. Also, when there was a 20min course window it was hella crowded, but I digress. 

The track was very similar to the Pan Am champs race last year. I liked it a lot. It was super physical and had some really good off cambers to challenge the technical aspects of a rider’s quiver. With some rain in the forecast later in the week my spirits were on a high level.

I spent most of the week trying not to think about the race, and let my heart rate get away from me just sitting on the couch thinking about different race scenarios. This included spinning through Cherokee Park, hitting the local coffee shops, and hanging at the house with Sherman my beagle.

Becca: I have a new favorite Nationals. Previously it was Asheville, followed by Hartford, Boulder, Reno, and last, Austin. But Louisville was a good one. My ranking system includes weighted #feelz from course, results, venue, week leading up, afterparty, and overall experience. This weekend scored high in all categories.

Friday night the rain came in and the course slopped up. We saw the slogs and slips go to runs and slides. Our tent, perched in the grass and not in the concrete lot got flooded – the grass turned to mud and there was no way to actually use the space. Luckily, Shimano not only takes care of us with great components, wheels, and shoes, but they also let Kerry and I warm up under their nice spacious tent on Saturday for our preride!

It rained through the morning so by the time we got out on course (at noon, not 5 pm), it was a sloppy mess. I knew it would be much different on Sunday, with the rain stopping and the hint of sun poking out, but after talking with Coach McGovern we decided any course time was good course time and Kerry and I headed out, for a single lap. Yes, it was a lot of walking, but it was a really fun time, too. Knowing that the conditions would change let me enjoy the slop instead of being worried about finding the hidden ruts, deciding when to run vs ride and looking for the best lines. I just got to ride, and it was freeing. I also got to see Kerry eat it HARD on the fast descent and that, too, was freeing. 

I did my one preride lap on the day. It took 30 minutes. I knew it would be a race of riding smooth and mental fortitude. It reminded me of 2018 Worlds in Luxembourg, where our preride was fun and sloppy but the day of the race (for the women) was heavy peanut butter forcing more running than riding. Instead of the typical cyclocross effort which is 90% or 110%, a course like this was 100% all the time. You can’t let up. There is no easy. And because of that, you can’t ever really go harder.  I had no real plans or lines, except when I would pit and that I would take it on the shoulder to run to the pavement. I didn’t ask anyone about tire pressure, run choices, spike lengths, lines, or anything. This was maybe the 1st race ever where I put everything on me 100% (that said I went 19/20PSI and I should have gone MUCH lower, but there was hardly any riding, so what does it matter?). 

I didn’t have much structure to my warmup. I didn’t feel fresh so I just tried to get my HR up to 180 to flush the system and that’s all I felt I could do. I then had to head to the start line in a trek that was just like at a euro race – a battle between mud and spectator traffic – it was enthralling!

We go on the green light.

Ellen Noble does her typical 2 bike-lengths off the start in a half a second, and not too long after I find myself in second place. I mean, it didn’t last long, but this was by far my best start ever. Both off the line and through the lap. The first turn was a gradual arc with thick mud and any one spot seemed just as bad as the next, but I was to the outside and had a longer way to pedal than others and ended up into the next element near 6th place. Compton was edging to pass and I could feel her behind me. My instincts told me to shut it down but my respect and feelings on the day said just ride your line, don’t open the door but don’t be a douche. She passed.

I can’t remember too much of that first lap except knowing I was in 3rd at some point because I saw Katie and Ellen crash together as I was bombing down. I kept it upright (though likely at a slower pace than they were going before they crashed). I watched what they were doing to help me select lines, judge traction, and know when to try to run. Over halfway through my 1st lap and I knew the pace was going to take a toll later on. But I was still in 3rd so I kept trudging.

The best part about my position was the cheers. People. Were. So. Stoked. 

Some of the next events I can’t quite remember the order of.

I went in to pit 2 during lap 1 and took a clean bike. Because the men’s preride was immediately before our race, Wilson had to stay at the tent to help Kerry and Nick was in the pits to catch my bike. I roll it to him and I take my clean bike from Doug, on my shoulder. My Kona was so light that I actually hit myself in the head with my saddle – it was at least 20lbs lighter than the one I had just plopped to Nick. 

I was still in 3rd but so close to Ellen, in 2nd. The crowd tells me she is tired, she is cracking, she is crying. I can’t go any faster but I work hard to keep crawling on. I catch her on the limestone steps but nothing inside of me will let me go faster – she looks over her shoulder at me and puts in a dig so hard I just can’t keep up. I am on her wheel going into the downhill chicane but I can’t take my lines with her in front of me, though I’m not sure why. 

I keep close at the bottom of the course and almost catch her again on the muddy downhill but again, I am not in my line and get bogged down in some thicker mud. She gets away again. And then, the nail in the coffin.

I go to get a clean bike from the pits. I see Wilson. I am running in, he waves his arms and says “NO BIKE, THERES NO BIKE DON’T COME IN”. If I go in with no bike to take I have to stop and have someone pretend to do something to my bike. I swerve out. Sunny goes in. I am bogged down and churning through the deep mud outside of the pit lane. Where is my bike? How will I do another lap on this bike? It is heavy and clogged with mud, will it even make it? I had no choice. On the section of the course with the most pavement I was damned with a bike 25 lbs too heavy and unable to roll easily due to the mud. I lose ground and soul. At the stair flyover I go to run up and physically can’t lift my bike – never had I encountered the run up with this heavy of a bike.

The effects of race brain are real, and I don’t remember when Sunny makes the pass on both Ellen and I, but after that I was battling for the last podium spot and each time I almost made it, I messed up and dropped back again. I rolled across the line in 4th. And as I have been saying, not only is this my best Nationals results but one of my best rides ever. Sure, I came in 4th, but I battled. I was up there. I didn’t just ride the whole race off the back of the leaders, I was a leader!

After the race, I asked why I couldn’t get a bike when I needed one. Pits that backed up? No, it turns out the rear derailleur on my bike had gone bad (the servo???). Lucky for me, I didn’t experience any problems before I pitted, which may mean it happened right before. It is something that could have happened just because of the grit and grime, or more likely, I shifted under load (me? Never.) and killed it. But Doug miraculously ran to the Shimano tent to get me a new unit, then back to the pits to get it on. 

A few things that could have improved my race: I spent so much time being calm that I didn’t have the mental fire to fight. It served me well for the first lap, but when my body was failing me my mind couldn’t overcome. I am still working on striking up that balance between staying calm and feeling the fire. The benefits of being calm on this course meant that I never crashed! I got tangled in the course tape trying to ride too close to the stakes, or had some sloppy dismounts, and often rode too long before deciding to run, but I never spontaneously combusted like so many times earlier this season.

Kerry: Saturday I got out for a proper course inspection. By proper, I mean that the course was finally similar to what it was going to be like when we raced on Sunday. It was not pretty. The rain was great for the racers that got the course during the rain. However, all the races that happened at the end of the week ended up tearing it to smithereens! It was super deep mud, so much mud that some of the down hills were hard to coast down. It turned the course from a hard to ride physical course to a runners course. My mood got knocked down a peg or two. I am all for a challenge but I knew I didn’t have the legs that the course was demanding. I battled Curtis earlier in the year on a similar course and he blew my doors off. I just can’t keep up with almost half the time on course spent running. The conditions below, including a little spill…

I searched for a silver lining and was still counting myself for the podium. I just had to hang on as long as I could. 

I was 3rd wheel off the start and slotted into 4th by the end of the first lap. I was smoked though.

I knew I couldn’t keep the pace. I started to fall off on lap two and settled into a group battling for 4th for the middle of the race. There were times when I thought I had it, times when I thought I didn’t, then it would come back, then I would be in 6th again. 

Finally, Drew Dillman passed me and went away, my legs were losing steam. I battled the last two laps with J-Pows before he ran away from me on the last half lap. 

I crossed the line exhausted and bummed out because I wanted to give so much more then I had. Every time I envisioned the race unfolding I always thought it was going to come down to a final 200m attack and I always pictured myself being there to contend. 

That’s the way it is though. The course was not my friend and it is obvious that I need to work on my running game. I thought I had learned this lesson last year from a race or two but apparently, I am thick headed. 

There is a takeaway, not necessarily from the race but the season. I topped the standings in the ProCX calendar points accumulation.

It wasn’t a series, simply a tabulation of points accumulated from every UCI race in the US that happened. I did enough of them and did the best at the most of them to top the leaderboard. Hopefully, next year there is a series and a little more to fight for but I am not complaining with this super cool Louisville Slugger.

So I bought a bottle of Bourbon and headed back to the Airbnb where we celebrated Rebecca’s good performance and top-notch job by our support staff. Doug Sumi and Wilson Hale killed it all weekend, spraying mud off our bikes and occasionally onto themselves. They were part of the dream team. Kerry, or Kerm, Emily’s dad also kicked in and helped with a last minute tent move to pull us out of the soggy muddy plot we were given to a cement pad that King College gave up to us. Emily’s mom, Lynn, kept all our chamois clean all week. I didn’t have to start the washer or dryer once! Nick Czerula, Becca’s boyfriend pitched in for the physical bits some but mostly hung out and took cool candid pic’s of us goofing around the house. It was a real team effort and for a program that usually runs pretty small, it was cool to have it grow for the last weekend of the season. 

It was back to NC on Monday and straight to packing. Doug had about zero days off since he came in and Tuesday spent the day, first, cleaning bikes that only had been partially cleaned after the nationals disaster. Then packed 4 bikes, and helped me set spare parts aside from the 2 months in Europe on the horizon. God, I hope he is our full-time wrench next year. 

I wrote this sitting on a bed inside “The Chain Stay” on the eve of my first CX race in Europe, Waaslandcross in Sint Niklaas. I am hoping to use it as an opener for the Namur World Cup on Sunday. I never feel great for that first effort off the plane. Cross your fingers for me folks and keep your eyes for vlogs. I’ll be publishing a few since we have 7 races in the next 10 days! Let the Chaos begin.

Catch up on the last vlog:

Bike Magazine Reviews Process CR DL 29 In Bible of Bike Tests “Fit and positioning on the Process are remarkable”

 

December has been a good month for the all-new 29″ wheeled carbon Process, with solid reviews rolling in from Pinkbike and Vital. Well Bike magazines highly anticipated Bible of Bike Tests came out today and its positive and praiseworthy review added yet another notch in the Process’s belt. We love Bike and having them rave about the bikes fit and intuitive nature is the best Christmas gift anyone could give heading into the holidays.

“The Process 153 29’s reactive, mindreading and intuitive handling created an instinctual and instantaneous feel during any line-choice moment.”

Watch the video above and then you can check out the full written review here on Bike Magazines website.

Kona Libre DL Makes Bike Rumor Editors Choice List

Zach at BikeRumor.com has had a Libre DL test rig for a while now and we’ve been waiting for his full review to drop. You can imagine how stoked we were this morning when this little tease appeared on Bike Rumors website. Zach seems to feel the same way we do about this bike and has selected it in his annual Editors Choice post. You can read what he wrote below and head to their site to see just what else made Zach’s list here.

“Kinda letting the cat out of the bag on this one before the final review, but the Kona Libre DL has been such a fun bike. The geometry and positioning is pretty wild compared to some of the competition, but I think that’s part of why I like it so much – it certainly meshes well with riders coming from an MTB background. While the bike sits you up fairly high, and the bars are super wide, the ride is incredibly comfortable and I realized the other day that I haven’t been getting numbness in my hands on rides which tends to happen on other bikes almost no matter what. It’s super easy to wheelie, handles mountain bike trails like a champ, and has plenty of mounts for just about anything you’d want. It’s also ridiculously fast. Faster than my current “road” bike, and this thing has 45mm knobby tires. Add in a light build that doesn’t resort to too many carbon parts, and you have a great bike for bikepacking or just gravel adventuring.”

Kona Dream Builds: Jouko’s 2012 Honky Inc Slays All Roads

We featured Jouko‘s head-turning retro Killer Kilauea a few weeks back, well he’s back at it, this time with a Kona from a completely different century! Hi Sweet Honky Inc frame was purchased via Fillarikellari in Helsinki where Jouko works. “I found out that Kona Europe still had one of these six-year-old framesets in stock, most likely all alone waiting for me in a dimly lit dusty corner of a warehouse. The frame ticked all the boxes plus the size was perfect for me so I had to get it.”

The best roads are usually the ones in the worst condition. For the last few years, my old road bike has been a permanent fixture in our living room while I’ve been riding my cyclocross bike. I wanted to build a sort of an all-road bike with best features of the two, basically a fast enough bike I could ride all day, every day. I wanted the bike to have a steel frame, preferably a carbon fiber fork, disc brakes, enough room for 32 mm tires and a road bike-ish geometry.

Derailleurs and shifters are Shimano’s bombproof 9 speed Dura Ace 7700 series with a washing line-like cable routing. Handlebars are nice and wide Salsa Cowbell 3’s with a bit of flare and plenty of flair, it’s held in place by a Pro PLT stem. Ratio Pile bar tape is thick and soft and dampens vibrations nicely. A Cane Creek 110-series headset makes steering effortless. Brakes are also a familiar safe choice, Avid BB7’s. All in all nothing too fancy, but reliable nice parts many of which I chose because, to be honest, I happened to have them already.

My favorite part of the bike, chainset, is a lovely pair of old ISIS type Middleburns with a smooth as butter SKF bottom bracket that will most likely outlive me. Gearing is more cyclocross than road with 36/48t chainrings accompanied by an 11-28t cassette, it should be perfect for small roads and hardpack gravel rides I have in mind for the bike.

For water there’s two proven Blackburn Mountain bottle cages. Frame is roomy enough to have plenty of space for a frame bag even with two large bottles.

I’m currently running a pair of 32-622 Panaracer Paselas until my sweet 34-622 WTB Exposures arrive. I prefer the comfort, lightness and relative puncture resistance of a tubeless setup. The Exposures are super light and fast tires with just enough thread for the odd stray to a path less pedaled. Wheels themselves are nothing special but they get me where I need to go, I built them with some mismatching hubs, Alexrims rims and DT Champion spokes.

The bike feels way more relaxed and stable than my cyclocross bike and is still capable to rip on occasional singletrack. It’s really just what I had in mind, a real long distance winner. I’m still kind of going through my shakedown period with the bike but everything seems spot on. I can’t wait for the epic rides I’m going to have with this one.

Frame: Kona Honky Inc ‘12, butted cromoly, 61 cm
Fork / Headset: Kona Carbon Disc Race / Cane Creek 10-series
Derailleurs / Shifters: Shimano Dura-Ace 7700 2×9
Crankset / Bottom Bracket: Middleburn, 36/48t, SKF ISIS
Cassette / Chain: Sram 11-28t / Shimano HG93
Pedals: Shimano PD-M520
Handlebars / Stem / Bar tape: Salsa Cowbell 3 46 cm / Pro PLT 110 mm / Ratio Pile
Saddle / Seatpost: Bontrager Montrose Elite / Brand-X 0-setback
Brakes: Avid BB-7
Wheels / tires: Self built with mismatching hubs, DT Champion spokes & Alexrims rims / Panaracer Pasela 32-622

Vital MTB Reviews the Process CR DL 29 “We cannot stress just how well this bike corners”

“We cannot stress just how well this bike corners, and we found ourselves seeking trails that had plenty of opportunities to lay the bike on edge, rather than just hauling straight down the fall line.”

I wont lie, we have been waiting with bated breath for VitalMTB’s review of the new carbon Process CR DL 29. So you can imagine how stoked we were today when Squamish based Vital MTB reviewer Joel Harwood finally published their Process review. The consensus? They love it!

“We admire Kona’s conviction to stay true to themselves. With all the pressure to constantly innovate, they have refined what they know well in order to make yet another great performer. The Process 153 CR/DL 29 is among the most entertaining bikes we have ridden to date and has a playful feel that few companies have achieved.”

Head to VitaltMTB.com now to read the in-depth review in full!

Kona Dream Builds: Show and Shine, Jai Motherwell’s Timeless Shonky ST

The new Shonky ST hasn’t been out there in the wild all that long, and we’ve barely seen any make it to the Cog. Most recently we featured Danny Stewarts bike and there are some pretty cool team builds out there as well under Aggy, Connor, Caleb and Soren Farenholtz. But Jai Motherwell‘s Shonky ST, that we saw complete for the first time yesterday, well and truly takes the cake. I know your asking just how different can you even build a Shonky, it’s just a dirt jump hardtail. Well as you’ll see in this flawless build, it’s by using dedicated, trusted and straight up sexy components and opting for a less is more approach. Let’s dig in.


At one time Marzocchi owned the dirt jump fork market. Right now though, if your DJ build is not sporting a Pike DJ… Well, you better start saving.


Black on Black decals keeps things stealth. What’s that out of focus hub hiding in plain sight?


If you guessed some Profile Racing Elite hubs you’d be spot on. If you don’t know, Profile Racing is the Chris King of the BMX world, USA made, bomb proof and just a little bit pricey, but just like CK stuff, you’ll be handing these hubs down to your Grand Children. And you may notice its a non-disc hub… No chance of ever of adding a front brake to this wheel.


Oh yes! More Profile Racing sexiness. This time it’s their famous three-piece Elite Crankset. Profile racing produced their first 19mm 48 splined, Chromoly three piece race crank way back in 1979. Very little has changed all though the MTB version features a 22mm axle, and Jai is running a 170mm length crank.


Jai is sporting the Profile Racing Sabre Universal Spline Drive Sprocket in 28t. And hot damn that black chainring and polished crank look so damn good together!


Outback you’ll find a 12T cog…


…Attached to more Profile Racing goodness, this time though, the Elite hub will take a disc rotor. Both front and rear hubs are laced to Stans Flow MKIII rims and shod with S&M Speedball tires.


Jumping up to the cockpit you’ll find some Deity Black label bars with a 38mm rise and 750mm in width.


They are attached via Deity’s Cavity stem in 35mm length.


SRAM’s classic Elixir XO Trail handles braking duties.


Those sure look like Ti bolts to me.


Cane Creek’s long lasting and tough 110 headset ensures the bars stay spinning smooth.


Deity’s Pivotal Frisco DJ saddle keeps things tidy and low.


And it all finishes with a set of our new Kona Wah Wah II composite pedals.


Would you do anything different?

 

Squirrel Chasing

Words: Matt Falwell of Gear Up Cycles in Kentucky

My granny’s people lived on the banks of the Tennessee the river and were forced out by the TVA during the reclamation of floodplain areas in order to usher in the advent of affordable hydropower for the common man.  When dammed, the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers rose to create an unintentional recreational area that resulted in 170,000 acres of “Land Between the Lakes,” home to a wealth of outdoor activities, such as water sports, cycling, fishing, hunting and the like. I spend most of my time on the bike solo in these woods, on lonely back roads poking around the remnants of often-forgotten communities and homesteads. The plan for this trip came about while on these back roads–the idea of bridging together the two worlds of bikepacking and hunting.  Squirrel hunting does not require a massive firearm. In fact, you can legally hunt them with a slingshot if you have the dexterity.  It is also a social activity that can have several people out together walking the ridgelines and hollows, sharing conversation and stories that continue post-hunt back at the fire.

I truly love traveling by bike. It is often with the mindset, though, to get to and from a destination with the minimum amount of equipment as fast as possible.   This trip would be in the winter months with temperatures hovering in the 30’s.  So slower, more comfortable travel was made with the intent of riding to an isolated primitive camp.  Said camp hopefully would be full of squirrels to provide a meal and tales of daring bushwhacking and the eventual outsmarting of our prey.   I invited my longtime friend, Nathan Brown–artist, and avid outdoorsman, and Rockabilly music legend–along with my eldest son Isaac, also a musician and accomplished adventure paddler, to come out with me and wander the woods.  It had been a long time since we last camped together.   We packed light, as far as equipment, although, I carried equal the weight in fresh food.  With the potential of possibly not shooting any squirrels, my “Be Prepared” attitude kicked in.   Loaded, we rolled off into the forest.  With a few water crossings and pauses to watch our bushy-tailed prey flit back and forth taunting us, we made our way into a series of remote glades that typically are flush with rabbit, squirrel, and birds.  We rode overgrown roads, past remnants of farms, further back into the hollows.

Once we arrived at our destination, we set to the business of making camp, filtering water, gathering firewood, and building our cookfire.  It was clear and cold with the temperature just above freezing.  We warmed ourselves by the fire and had an appetizer of Brie and crackers with hot tea and bourbon. We are not savages after all.  Foil packs of roasted veggies and a squirrel I had shot and marinated beforehand were our supper.  That would be the last squirrel we would see for the rest of the trip.  The freezing rain that night drove all the wildlife deep into their winter burrows. We awoke the next morning and shook off the ice.  Strong cups of coffee were made while bacon warmed in the skillet.  The sun began to show its face above the ridge, setting the glade ablaze in golden warm light.  We spent the day wandering from hickory tree groves to tall stands of oaks, finding piles of empty eaten nut shells and worn entrances to hollow trees. Our bushy-tailed friends eluded us.

As the day drifted into dusk, we loaded our bikes and rode back to the trailhead, eyes at the ready for signs of movement in the trees, just in case.  We had returned empty-handed with no meat for the pan. Yet the time away from the hustle of daily life was reward enough.  A day in the open and a night on the ground, the song of the wind in the trees, or the laughter of a friend while feeling the warmth of the fire growing in your toes is what we really brought back.  I remember my granny always ready to set a place at the table for family or friend that came to her house, with a gesture of time and a warm plate.  I believe it is the shared experience that is the meal that feeds the heart–the meal oftentimes skipped in our daily rush.  There will be future days riding in the woods with lone solitude or with the harmony of friends. Till then, I look forward to the abundance of nature and the freedom the bike provides, while I roll my way through my granny’s land between the rivers.

TVA: Tennessee Valley Authority

Bike info:

XL Kona Wozo stock

MD Kona Big Honzo

54cm Kona Sutra LTD frameset, 27.5×2.8 WTB wheels w Arisun tires, Sram Freagle  12 spd Eagle drivetrain with 11 spd microshift thumb lever set on friction, Crust Jungle runner bars, Brooks C17 saddle with Specialized CGR seat post. Shimano hydro disc

 

Kona Dream Builds: The Colour Purple, Deirdre’s Libre

Having a husband who obsesses over every aspect of every single bike build is always going to result in a cool bike and despite only subtle upgrades,  Deirdre’s cute little 46cm Libre is no exception. Deirdre has somewhat of a lighter touch than her husband and to that end, she has left the Ultegra drivetrain and brakes in place, but she’s swapped out the wheels and tires as well as tweaking a few of the key contact points on the bike.

How about those hoops? The wheels are Reynolds Assault ATR 650b wheels. The deep profile and stealthy appearance look so good paired with the Libre’s epic paint job.

The 650b carbon Assault ATR’s feature a 23mm internal width and the whole wheelset weighs in at 1615grams.

The wheelset is shod Panaracer’s hugely popular gum wall Gravelking SK’s

The Reynolds Allroads hub is CNC and engages every 10 degrees, that’s 36 points of engagement.

The cockpit has been swapped out for Easton’s EA70 AX bar and a Race Face stem.

Crank Brothers Stamp 3 pedals come in two platform sizes and given Deirdre’s smaller feet shes running the um… smaller ones…

The Thomson elite seatpost and Fizik Vesta seat round out the subtle build.

Kona Process 24 Features in the Bike Magazine Young Shredders Gift Guide

Bike Magazine has just published its holiday gift guide for all the mini-shredders in your life and taking pride of place? Yup that’s our Process 24 full suspension kids bike. You may remember it from the below video that we released a few months ago featuring Squamish ripper Max and the legend that is Graham Agassiz.

Visit your local dealer today or check konaworld.com for purchasing options in your area.