Monthly Archives: January 2019

15″ Kona Ski Straps are Available in USA and Canadian Web Stores Now

If you know just how handy ski straps are then you won’t need us to sell you on these bad boys. You just want the links to buy our new Kona Straps, right? If you are in the USA (or want them shipped internationally) click here. If You live in Canada then click right here.

Do you need convincing? Well, apart from securing a pair of skis together, ski straps can attach anything to anything. We are selling them, though, because they are great for securing tools, pumps, bottles of wine and spare tubes to bikes (well they secure anything to bikes really). If you’re a bike packer you can use them for added security when putting bottles in cages or for any extra external items you want to add on. You could fashion a dog leash if you forgot one or you could even fix a broken roof rack with one. The uses for these bad boys are truly endless… Think of them as giant reusable zip ties!

We’d love to see how you use yours! Tag #KonaStraps so we can check them out!

Announcing the Kona Ambassadors!

The time has finally arrived! After thoroughly combing through more than 650 applications from countries all around the world we’re excited to finally announce our Kona Ambassadors! We’ve hand-selected 35 people that embody the Kona spirit. They’re adventurers, die-hard cyclists, movers and shakers. They’re athletes, artists, advocates, and stewards of their local communities. They’re organizing rides, literally painting the town with color, pushing boundaries, bringing new people into the sport, and riding far and wide. They’re trail directors, scientists, teachers, stylists, chefs and more! We covered every base that we could to represent as many of you as possible. Their mission? Bring amazingly unique and creative content to you!

Please say hello to your 2019 Kona Ambassadors!

Alexander Kangas // Sweden

Alex Luise  // San Vitale, Italy

B’yauling Toni // Saskatoon, Canada

Barry McWilliams  // Berlin, Germany

Becky Gardner  // Salida, Colorado

Brooklyn Bell // Bellingham, Washington

Carlos Langelann // Barcelona, Spain

Clara Cendoya Ibanez // Madrid, Spain

Cole Pellerin // Saskatoon, Canada

Colt Fetters // Durango Colorado

Delia Massey // Issaquah, Washington

Erkki Punttila // Helsinki, Finland

Euan Camlin // Edinburgh, Scotland

Graham Beaumont // Cumbria, United Kingdom

Gretchen Leggitt // Bellingham, Washington

Josh Lowe // East Sussex, United Kingdom

Kate Meyer // Bend, Oregon

Kris Herstns // Sint Niklaas, Belgium

Leah Maunsell // Cork, Ireland

Lita Monaghan // Fircrest, Washington

Markus Zieher // Aalen, Germany

Molly Joyce // Flagstaff, Arizona

Molly Sugar // Portland, Oregon

Riley Seebeck // Issaquah, Washington

Ryan Gardner // Oakland, California

Ryan Lindsay Bartz // Always on the move!

Ryan McEvoy // Knoxville, Tennessee

Sandra Beaubien // Ottawa, Canada

Sebastian De Meris // Segny, France

Shae James // Bellingham, Washington

Simoni Medici // Montecchio Emilia, Italy

Stephen Pope // Middlebury, Vermont

Tim Wiggins // Isle of Wight, United Kingdom

Trevor Browne // Montreal, Canada

Tudor Gillham // Cardiff, Wales

 

The ambassadors will be regular contributors to the Cog and our social media. Stay tuned for their work… coming soon!

Kona Dream Builds: Rafa’s Triple Duty Performing Sutra Ltd

When Rafa first approached Juan and the crew at Ciclos La Ferro in Bilbao, Spain and said he wanted a bike for short 3-4 day escapes from Madrid into the nearby mountains, they knew they could help. Then he said he also wanted the same bike to pull triple duty and take him on pure road adventures as well as be ready and willing to take him off the gravel and paved roads of Spain and on to some classic Spanish single track. At first, it seemed like a challenge, building a bike from the ground up that would tick all these boxes. But using the now legendary Sutra Ltd frame as a base, Juan found the perfect canvas to build Rafa what is clearly a work of art.

It’s built around a set of DT Swiss 27.5′ hoops, a 25mm wide M1900 wheel out back and a M462 laced to SP PL-8 Dynamo Hub up front. Both front and rear wheels are sporting Schwalbe G-One’s

Bike packing/touring is not new to Rafa, here he is circa 1978, traveling from Santander to Paris.

A Sram GX Drive crankset with a North Shore Billet narrow wide chainring mates up with a matching Rival rear mech out the back. TRP cable actuated Spire brakes take care of stopping duties.

The SP PL-8 Dynamo Hub powers both front and rear Busch and Müller lights on Rafa’s Sutra Ltd.

Juan has also added some beautiful Ritchey components to the mix including this WCS Zero seatpost and that sexy Super Logic headset.

Brooks all weather C17 saddle is just a thing of beauty.

Damn!

Yoga for Cyclists: CORE

As with all activities, our core is our main support system throughout our entire body. If it’s weak we suffer. If it’s strong, we persevere. These poses are serious core strengtheners and don’t just focus on getting you sexy abs. They’ll get into transverse abs, obliques, as well as your sexy six pack muscles. With any yoga pose, it’s important to keep your core very active- as if you were wearing a corset. Basically, suck it in so it gets fired up. Try doing these core stretches three days a week to keep your body supported longer on your rides.

plank

1. Plank Pose – Plank is a tried and true method for scoring major stability in your center. Come onto hands and knees like you’re in an easy pushup position. Lengthen your legs behind you so they’re straight. Push down through spread palms so your shoulder blades are very active. The goal is to keep your chest pushing up towards the ceiling. Your hips should be close to level with your shoulders. Press back through your heels to lengthen the muscles in your legs. Keep your neck long by looking just a few inches beyond your fingertips. Do not let your hips sag. When you start to shake you’re doing it right. Keep your hips lifted and hold for 10 long breaths.

forearm plank

2. Forearm Plank Pose – Just like Plank, Forearm Plank will get you firing quickly, but this time you’ll have the added benefit of bringing your shoulders and obliques into the equation. Bring your forearms to the ground. You can either have them parallel to each other or with your hands clasped together. Press into your forearms and lift your hips while pushing back through your heels. Your hips want to sag here, but the challenge is to keep your torso corseted and your hips lifted to shoulder height. Iron out your neck by looking down near your hands. Breathe into the space in between your shoulder blades. Smile. Hold for 10 breaths.

side plank

3. Side Plank Pose – From your plank pose shift your weight onto your right hand and right leg. You’ll want your right arm to be in socket here, so take caution to put your arm directly under your shoulder. Stack your left leg on top of your right leg. Push deeply into your spread right palm and actively lift your hips. This is getting into your transverse abs which wrap around your entire center. You’ll feel it in your low back as well. For extra challenge lift your left leg off of your right leg. Your left hip will be singing, but know that you’re getting into tiny muscles that add power on the pedals. Hold for 10 deep breaths and switch sides.

side plank forearm

4. Forearm Side Plank Pose – For a surprisingly challenging variation on side plank, try using the forearm variation. Place your right forearm parallel to the top of your mat (or pretend like you’re on a mat and make your forearm perpendicular to your body). Again you’ll want your shoulder to be in joint as much as possible. Flip onto your right side as you did in regular plank. Focus on keeping your hips lifted again. If you’re feeling feisty lift your left leg up and hold for a few breaths. Repeat on the second side.

Try to repeat these core exercise a few times throughout the week. Add in variations as you gain strength. These could be lifting a leg, raising and lowering your hips toward the ground (like sideways dips), or holding with just your fingertips.

 

Story Photos: Paris Gore

Cover photo: Paul Kelly

Mountain Bike Action Reviews The Process 153 CR DL 29 “The Process was made for the descents”

The crew at Mountain Bike Action loved the carbon 27.5 version of the Process G2 so much that they gave it an Editors Choice Award in 2018. With that accolade in the bag, we knew we just had to get them on the 29″ wheeled version. Well, it seems they loved the Process 153 CR DL 29 just as much, it surprised them with it’s climbing ability but when it was pointed down, is where it really stood out for them.

“The Process was made for the descents; there is absolutely no doubt about that. Turning the bike downhill, we were constantly pushing harder looking for every bit of speed that we could find.”

You can find the full review on the MBA website here or you can click on the below image and read it as a PDF.

http://files.konart.net/download/MBA_01_2019_KONA_SPREAD.pdf

Kona Dream Builds: Anthony’s Versatile Quiver Killing Honzo ST

24-year-old Anthony Bacon grew up in Eastern Wisconsin, and he’s been living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for about five and half years. He graduated from Michigan Technological University and works as a mechanical engineer and am still wrenches part-time at Rhythm Bike & Board.

Steel hardtails are pretty popular among the shop employees. When the purple colorway Honzo ST was released, almost all of us ordered a frame. I received my frame just before Frostbike 2018 and caught wind of the Helm 29 that was not yet available. I waited for that while scheming the rest of the build. I got anxious and made a quick 2D CAD drawing to determine which sized fork, and stem to run, how long of a dropper I could afford, and to dial in my spacer stack.

Living in Houghton, I ride shuttles up to three times/week. I built up the bike with that in mind and wanted to experiment with additional low-slung weight, high(er) volume tires, and additional wheel weight, thinking these would all give additional stability through the rough stuff. Originally, the bike was set up single-speed with a Shadow Conspiracy half-link chain and a Platinum Deity sprocket. One day I decided that I really wanted to ride this bike on an endurance ride with some buddies so I cobbled together a parts bin drivetrain (only thing I had to order was the chainring spider) and haven’t gone back to SS. The heavy wheels really don’t pedal well at a gearing suitable for shuttling.

I built the Honzo up bulletproof, simple, and put my money where it mattered for a shuttle bike. Stout rims, reliable hubs, easily serviceable cranks, very adjustable and serviceable fork, etc. Making minor adjustments has been a constant process which hasn’t ended yet. The Honzo offers a great platform to adjust rear center and I left extra steerer tube length so I could play with stack height and so the fork length was quickly adjustable etc.

This has been my favorite bike I’ve owned yet, and certainly a quiver killer. My carbon trail bike I picked up last winter sat idle most of the summer, all I wanted to do was ride my Honzo. I will be making a few changes before spring, I’ll likely switch to Chromag OSX bars, bump up to 203/180mm rotors, throw in some tire inserts, and potentially swap out the tires WTB’s Vigilante 2.5 and a Trail Boss 2.4, and a fresh rear rim (still holds air, just dented to hell).

This past fall, my buddy Eric Isaacs and I flew out to OR, shipped our bikes, he bought a 1995 Isuzu Trooper, and we drove back to MI over the course of a week with our matching Honzos, riding everywhere we could along the way.

Specs below:
Frame: 2018 Honzo ST (M)
Fork: Cane Creek Helm 29 Air 140mm
Crank: Deity Vendetta
Chainring: Raceface NW 30T Purple
BB: Deity
Pedals: Kona Wah Wah II Plastic Purple
Sram: Something out of my misc chain bin – well used xx1 I believe
Cassette: Sunrace 11-42 11s
RD: Sram NX 11s
Shifter: Sram GX 11s
Brakes: TRP Slate G-Spec
Rotors: Shimano XT 180/160 CL
Headset: Cane Creek 40
Handlebars: Deity Skyline 787 Platinum – cut to 770mm
Stem: Deity Copperhead 35mm Platinum
Dropper: RaceFace Aeffect 150mm
Dropper Lever: RaceFace Turbine
Grips: ODI Longneck
Saddle: 1989 Selle Itala Flite Titanium
Hubs: DT Swiss 350 CL 54T Star Ratchet
Rims: Velocity Blunt 35
Front Tire: Teravail Kennebec 29×2.6
Rear Tire: Maxxix Rekon 29×2.6

From Zero to PANIC!

This is the third installment in From Zero to…? A firsthand account of taking a normal sucker (me) and putting me through a tough training regemen to try to get stronger on the bike. Chapter 1. Chapter 2.

It’s hard to believe I’ve rounded the bend of Week 7 in this three(ish) month experiment of Make Lacy “Feel” Stronger. Having mostly intangible goals makes noticing an improvement (or lack thereof) somewhat challenging. Some days I feel like a superhero on the bike. Other days I feel like I have lead weights tied to my quads. They just don’t want to move!

The last couple weeks have been spent building up my “engine” as my coach, Spencer, would say. I’ve been packing in more interval sessions on the trainer as well as on actual rides. It seems like every couple weeks I have a little victory as well as a sobering realization. I’m definitely learning to hate bigger rides less. Two weeks ago I did roughly 23 miles and 3800′ of climbing. That may seem like small potatoes to some people, but that was a fairly long day for me. Fortunately, one of my girlfriends is an ex-pro road racer, a CX phenom, and a total masochist, so she is PSYCHED to do these death marches with me. It’s a total blessing. While I want to barf on the climbs she just chatters away telling me all kinds of stories from her life. It’s kind of like an autobiography on tape, only way more interactive. If you don’t have a Mindy in your life, you should all find one!

The Chuckanut death march route.

I was happy with how that big ride went. Aside from a few moments of utter pain, I felt pretty strong overall. I know I didn’t break any speed records on the climbs, but I was pleased with my ability to stay consistent ascending. We even did a bonus loop just so I could have a little ripper of a descent. Spencer says it’s important to balance these big, challenging days with reward. I guess I’m really just like a dog. You want me to do something hard? Give me cookies (or in this case, Organic generic Pop Tarts. They are delicious and I can pronounce every one of the ingredients!) Even better than completing the big ride was the fact that I didn’t feel awful the next day. I ate everything in site, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I stretched and stretched and drank a lot of water. I’m learning to eat more “whole foods” that help aid in recovery and energy. I’m adding in more natural proteins and good fats. Avocados, hard-boiled eggs, nuts, and dried fruit have replaced energy bars and mini bags of Swedish Fish.

I’m not kidding about those Pop Tarts. Pure joy!

As all things that rise eventually fall, I did have a real struggle, too. On a recent interval day where I had to do 4×8 minutes at 80% power, I had a near-panic attack. Since I work full time, teach yoga, and have a healthy social calendar, I have to squeeze in every ride/workout before or after work. The Pacific Northwest is dark in the winter. The sun rises at 8 am and sets at 4:30 pm. This means that no matter when I ride, it’s dark. It gives an illusion of it being late and I think it tricks my brain into feeling tired. So, it’s a constant battle to stay motivated and switch from “tired” to “strong” in my mind. This interval session got the best of me, though. On the first leg after a ~2o minute warmup I hit the cranks hard. The gravel road turned sharply uphill. I timed the ride all wrong. Pushing power up a steep hill for that kind of sustained time sucked the life out of me. My breathing was panicked. My heart rate was too high. I felt like there was no way I was going to complete it. I felt like I was going to cry and fail- two things I do not enjoy. I’ve had panic attacks on climbs before that forced me to pull over and take a long rest and remind myself that biking is fun. Yet I have a tendency to be intense and take things way too seriously sometimes. I’ve learned this lesson on rides before so when I felt this emotion washing over me I was able to calm myself down and keep pushing up the hill with fervor.

After the first interval I found a less intense grade for the remainder of the ride and was able to complete the workout satisfactorily, but I still felt a bit shaken after that initial incident. It’s weird doing these workouts alone in the pitch black. My only other companions were two bats that kept darting in and out of my light beams. I was oddly glad they were there to distract me from the pain. Eventually, I made it to the top of the climb and enjoyed a cruisy rip down one of our longer downhill trails. I got back to the car and struggled to even walk. Everything hurt-even my shoulders from pushing so hard up the hills. But whatever, I guess this is my engine going from a V6 to a V8. It better be working because that ride totally sucked.

What’s next? Another mega day. Tomorrow’s plan is 4+ hours of moving time and 4500′ on the bike. I’m oddly looking forward to it… or perhaps I’m just looking forward to more of Mindy’s and shoving more Pop Tarts down my throat. Wish me luck!

 

Kona Dream Builds: The Bearded Bike Packer’s Fully Loaded Rove LTD

The Rove Ltd and Sutra Ltd bikes are big-time staff favorite bikes here at Kona. I mean they are built to OUR dream spec basically. So we really, really love seeing just how customers make them their own. Zach Wist AKA The Bearded Bike Packer, has changed pretty much every component on his stock Rove Ltd,  as he’s built his own Kona Dream Build, I think that rear mech might be original? We reached out to Zach to see what he had to say about the bike and his motivation for building it.

Inspiration for this build was absolute flexibility, with where I can ride while taking advantage of multiple cycling disciplines. The Rove LTD is everything I need to succeed in commuting, bike touring and bike packing, and is completely capable for cyclocross and blasting through single-track. I come from a predominantly mountain biking background, to keep happy on the road, I also want to be able to leave it!

The Rove LTD is a steel frame with a carbon fork, so I decided I would keep the two very polar components as part of the theme. A steel frame with carbon everywhere else for weight savings and to help minimize chatter. While I’m on the subject of chatter, this is a grand opportunity to talk about 650B road. It’s amazing. My forty mile commute days have become completely ironed out. There are areas on my commute where I used to grin and grip, now they’ve become much more tolerable, in fact, they aren’t even a problem anymore. The higher volume tires allow me to roll over every imperfection without feeling much at the bars.

I chose FSA products because the US office is based out of Mukilteo, WA and I have a thing about supporting as local as I can get. Their components are top notch and their customer service is stellar, Kona is based just up the road as well.

FSA’s New AGX (Adventure Gravel Cross) line falls under the road category. With that comes the new FSA K-Wing AGX handlebar which is incredibly ergonomic. It’s full carbon with a slight flare in the drops, perfect for managing the bike on single-track mountain bike trails.

From head to toe:
FSA K-Wing AGX handlebar w/ FSA powergrip tape
FSA K-Force Stem
FSA SL-K Wheelset
FSA SL-K Modular road crank, hacked with the 34T FSA Afterburner modular chainring
FSA K-Force Light Chain
FSA K-Force Light seatpost
Brooks B17 Imperial Saddle
WTB Byway tires
Crank Brothers Candy Pedals

Luggage and extras:
Ortlieb Handlebar bag w/ accessory bag
Ortlieb frame bag
Ortlieb Seatpost bag
Ellum Bagworks Hitchhiker Stem bag
Planet Bike fenders, because PNW.
Two Fish stap-on bottle cages w/steel bottles

New “Features” Section on Konaworld.com!

We are excited to announce a new storytelling feature on Konaworld.com. You may have already checked out this new feature when we announced Miranda Miller joining the team. Or, perhaps you saw the Dirty Kanza feature we did on super racer Cory Wallace. While the Cog has been our centralized place for new product announcements, reviews, and more, our Features section will focus more on deeper stories with a photojournalistic twist. We work with a ton of talented photographers, athletes, and writers,  and we wanted to give them a platform to share their experiences.

You can find the Features section at the top of our navigation under “News.”

This widescreen, visually stunning experience is formatted for both desktop and mobile so any device will work well. We already have a bunch of gorgeous visual stories on the site such as:

Miller Time– Welcoming Miranda Miller to Kona with photos by Paul Kelly.

In the Pasture– an essay written by Spencer Paxson

The Funnest Known Time- a photo story by Patrick Means with writing from each of our Adventure Team members

Dirty Kona – A photo story by Anthony Smith about Cory Wallace’s experience at the 2018 Dirty Kanza

 

We have lots more feature stories coming soon! Be sure to check Konaworld’s features often!

 

Kerry Werner and Rebecca Fahringer Selected for USA CX Worlds Team

On Tuesday morning, Kona Shimano Maxxis Cycle Cross Team Riders Kerry Werner and Rebecca Fahringer were both (unsurprisingly) selected to represent USA at the CX Worlds in Bogense, Denmark. Both riders had standout seasons with Kerry finishing the USA season as the top-ranked US male in the UCI standings. Both riders are in Europe now racing at the tail end of the hotly contested  European CX season.

The CX Worlds will take place February 2-3 in Bogense, Denmark with the elite women racing Saturday and the elite men on Sunday.

Kona Dream Builds: Sandor’s 1993 Tom Teesdale Built Kona Hot

This bike belongs to Sándor Ambrus in the UK, it completes a trio of amazing retro Kona hardtails, his original 91 Kona Explosif that he’s had since new, and a recently completed Kona Hei Hei (more on that one later). As with all Tom Teesdale TET frames, it features its own unique serial number.

The bike was found for sale in the USA on one of the bike forums. I remember waking up, one early Sunday morning, checking my phone and staring at the two-tone frame from 1993 in disbelief. Then, after messaging the seller, getting up and running into the garage to see if the reported dimensions checked out with my 19” Explosif (since the seller had no idea of the exact size) then running back in before the sale passed. It was 19”.

It arrived in the UK with a variety of later 94 parts, including the velocity stem, fork (suspension corrected) and control center headset. The rear triangle was badly damaged. I knew the value of a Tom Teesdale frame was in it’s custom paint. After T-cutting the frame, a lot of the scratches came away, and I weighed up the decision whether to clear gloss coat lacquer over the badly chipped rear triangle to have the paint expertly filled in.

Reservations were that the red was not a normal fire-engine red but a pink-red with a lot of vibrancy. Upon advice, I took it to Ooey Customs in Hampshire, who paint a lot of team road race bikes. The match was spot on. I later found an old Cindercone and had the forks and stem repainted as well which is within the pics.

The components, I knew exactly what I wanted, which was the deliberate mix of Deore XT and M900 XTR parts in homage to the 93 Explosif. I love the Araya RM400 XC PRO, which match the frame, the Joe Murray Horseshoe and the Racelite Ti Bar which just adds further to the build. The hardest part was finding the factory spec Sugino Mighty XP Cranks completed with NOS Supershifter chainrings.

Since taking these photos, the build has developed further and now has new old stock Deore XT thumb shifters fitted, together with an original 93’ P2 fork and an original chrome velocity stem that the US Edition Kona Hots came with.

Frame: 1993 Kona Hot Tange Prestige with Ultrastrong Ribbed downtube
Handlebar: Kona 150 Titanium Racelight
Stem: Vetta Titanium SL
Headset: Kona Impact Headset
Cantilevered Brakes: Dia Compe 987s with Kool Stop pads
Brake levers: Ritchey Logic
Fork: Kona TB P2
Crankset: Sugino Mighty XP
Chainring: Sugino Supershifter
Front Derailleur: Shimano XT
Rear Derailleur: Shimano XTR M900
Brake Booster: Joe Murray Horse Shoe
Bottom Bracket: Shimano
Front wheel: XTR hub on Araya RM400 XC Pro, XTR Q/R
Rear wheel: XTR hub on Araya Rm400 XC Pro, XTR Q/R
Tires: Kona Mr Dirt / The Cleaner
Seatpost: 27.2 Shimano XTR
Seat: Vetta SL Ti
Pedals: Shimano M737s
Grips: Grab On Mountain 2