After dropping off a broken mountain bike into the Path Bike Shop in Tustin, California, Robert Gordon’s life changed forever. Actually, that’s a bit dramatic, but it did change things and most definitely for the better. You see while he was without a bike, the crew at The Path loaned him a brand new Process CR DL 29. “I instantly fell in love with the Kona. Up until this point, I wasn’t even considering getting a 29er. While I was without my personal MTB I also demoed two other long travel 29ers. The Kona just felt so good in every aspect!”
A couple of weeks later Robert pulled the trigger on a 2019 Kona Process 153 CR DL 29 frame that The Path had in stock. Over the next three weeks, Robert researched, planned, ordered, and began receiving the bikes build parts. “I did the complete build myself and I loved every minute of it! I couldn’t be happier with the finished product. It’s so much fun to ride!”
The finised bike gets ridden mostly on my local SoCal local trails, mostly at Marshall Canyon, Hulda Crooks, Santana River Trail, Lower Monroe Truck Trail, Bonneli Park and Skypark Bike Park.
Robert’s Process Build Kit: Shimano XTR 1×11 rear derailer and shifter Shimano XT m8020 4 piston brakes w/ 203mm rotors Shimano XT crank w/ 30 tooth chainring Race Face Turbine stem and 800mm bar Fox 36 Factory 160mm up front Fox float X2 153mm out back Spank Oozy 345 wheelset Maxxis DHR 2.3 rear Maxxis DHR 2.5 front PNW Rainier 170mm dropper Salsa Lip Lock seat clamp SDG Belair 2.0 saddle
Hot on the heels of last weekend’s Enduro World Series opener in Rotorua, New Zealand, the Kona Gravity Team has landed in Tasmania for round two. The trails in Derby are racer favorites and provide wide open, fast, and rowdy descents. We caught up with a few members of the team to talk about the early season.
Connor Fearon: “Rotorua was pretty good! I only wanted to race Rotorua EWS for fun and focus on the downhill race. I only got to practice 2 out of 5 stages so most of the racing was pretty blind. I think the highlight was not crashing on any stages. I had a lot of scary moments though! This week I’m going to practice all the stages and have a better crack at it. The derby tracks are sweet! There is less pedaling in the stages and more technical bits which will suit me.”
On whether he thought racing downhill or enduro was more challenging, Fearon said, “I think Enduro is more challenging. You have to go as fast as possible but also ride very smart to not break your bike or burn all your energy too quickly.”
We asked Miranda Miller about the mental and physical challenges associated with racing EWS—specifically the Rotorua race. “This race was a bit of both for me, perhaps they go hand in hand? I felt practice was so perfect- we were efficient, it didn’t require a large energy expenditure and I was riding well. But it kind of made me nervous for the race as I felt the odds of having a perfect race, after perfect practice, were low. But I also didn’t want to mentally sabotage myself…too late maybe,” she said. “The stages, although I really liked them, required a lot of pedaling and I was happy with how I was able to attack some of the sprints towards the end of stages.”
“The feelings I had during practice are some that I haven’t had on a bike in a long time. I think it’s a good beginning for me. There’s some pressure I feel to rock up to Enduro and start killing it but I feel like I have lots to learn before that happens. When you make mistakes your day isn’t completely busted, there’s so much more racing to be had! You also need to fire yourself up for every stage, but then come back down for the liaisons and towards the end of a big day that can get increasingly harder. That’s one goal of mine in Tasmania, to be more mindful of this process throughout the race.”
Squamish local, Rhys Verner, is happy to start the season injury-free and with a solid team. “I learned that my fitness is good and that I have the skills to push it. It has been a long time since I have raced hard like that so Rotorua really just got my confidence up to push hard and to not be nervous. Having the team on site is a total game changer. The week felt really chill and just awesome to be able to only have to think about riding my bike. Normally EWS races are a pretty hectic week, but that week just seemed to go so smoothly. It really does facilitate having the best race possible.”
The EWS in Tasmania gets underway today with practice. Stay tuned to the Cog for updates throughout the event.
Kona Ambassador Ryan Lindsay Bartz has the good fortune to be able to travel around the globe with her Kona Sutra. For the past several months she’s been touring through Asia and taking in the sites and sounds afforded by a gorgeous, colorful culture. For her “winter’ project, Ryan focused on the transition of winter to spring during the Chinese New Year.
“Touring on the road can bring a different form of winter than you’re used to. That’s something I love about travel. For me winter this year came in the form of raaaainy days. Though milder than usual, winter seemed to quickly turn as Chinese New Year approached. The days went from dark and grey to bright and RED. This is winter in Southern China.” –Ryan Lindsay Bartz
Ottawa is known for its harsh winters. Kona Ambassador Sandra Beaubien has been making the best of a snowy winter by riding fat bikes with her friends. Check out this little compilation she put together showing what fat biking means to her.
The night will feature bicycle travel stories that’ll be sure to get you pining for adventures near and far, including the world premiere of Admissions of an Amateur Bikepacker, Ben Johnson‘s self-shot short film from Peru.
Thursday, March 28th @ 6:30pmMusette Caffe 1325 Burrard Street Vancouver, BC
Jake Hood from Bikeaholic in Queenstown knows a thing or two about putting together a Dream Build. The New Zealand based Scotsman spends his days wrenching on some high-end steeds and convincing locals how easy it is to make a good bike better. His own Process has featured here, as have a number of his customer’s bikes, most recently last weeks Honzo ST. Well, it’s Jake’s personal bike’s time to shine this week, the 30th Birthday Honzo ST is one seriously resolved build, with every element exactly the way Jake wanted it.
Knowing from the start of the build that he’d be running red Marzocchi Bomber Z1s, Jake had custom red Kona decals made up for his bike’s down tube and top tube.
It’s your birthday.
A classic Thomson Elite X4 stem holds in place an Enve M7 stem and OneUp EDC tool.
The Enve M7 bar holds Shimano’s affordable and super reliable Deore brake levers and a SRAM 11 speed XX1 shifter…
That XX1 shifter is mated to a 11 speed Shimano Deore rear mech.
The One Up dropper is actuated by Wolf Tooth’s beautiful cnc’d lever.
Those Deore levers pull on Shimano’s powerful Saint callipers.
The bike spins on Industry 9’s new Hydra hub, yeah thats the one with 690 points of engagement. Yup 6 9 0.
The I9 Hubs are laced to Praxis Works AL32 rims.
And then they are shod with High Roller II’s front and rear.
And the build is rounded out with On Up’s small yet perfectly formed alloy flat pedals.
Attention Canada! Do you love riding bikes? Do you want to work on the North Shore, just minutes away from all of your favorite trails? Do you love numbers? Are you eligible to work in Canada? Do we have the job for you!
Kona Canada is hiring an invoicing and sales clerk!
The ideal candidate will have 2 to 3 years of directly related experience in a similar role and have been in recent positions that have required a high level of multi-tasking, organization and for you to be detail oriented. That means you can crunch numbers, invoice, help with sales tasks, answer phones, all while drinking your fancy coffee! Does this sound like you?
Do you also posses these skills?
-Fluent in speaking and writing English -Excellent communication skills -Experienced with Microsoft office, most importantly excel -Experience working with inventory/accounting software program is considered a VERY strong asset -Related Admin Experience -Highly organized, efficient with time, detail oriented -Generating sales orders and invoices
Excellent. Continue on. While these next skills aren’t mandatory, they’ll help bump you right to the top of the list:
-Background in Inventory tracking, physical counts and reconciliations -Shipping/Receiving experience (dealing with couriers, related paperwork for transport/logistics)
Here’s what the day-to-day looks like:
-Checking Emails /Email correspondence -Generating sales orders/invoices via custom accounting software -Generating sales reports using Excel (pivot tables) -Checking and tracking inventory -Communicate via phone/email with clients regarding ordering questions, shipments, etc. -Some light lifting is required
This is a full-time position in our North Vancouver office Mon – Fri 8:30 to 5pm.
Perks: -Work with awesome people -Killer deals on Kona bikes -Close proximity to amazing mountain bike trails
Interested? Please send your resume and a cover letter to Deb@konaworld.com.
Locke Hassett posted up his in-depth and rather glowing review of our Big Honzo CR DL on The Radavist yesterday. If you are considering purchasing this bike (or looking for some affirmation you made the right decision) then we thoroughly recommend you give it a read and check it out. Like us, it seems pretty clear that Locke loves this bike!
“A few years ago if you would’ve asked me what sort of MTB I wanted, “carbon hardtail” would’ve been at the bottom of my list. The Big Honzo CR/DL has changed that mentality 100%.”
You can check out the full review on The Radavist right here.
Kona gravity rider Hannah Bergemann is making a name for herself by riding big lines on some of Bellingham’s burliest trails. Recently Singletracks caught up with Bergemann to discuss her future on the Kona Gravity Team. Bergemann has big plans to race a couple of the EWS events this season, as well as a few regional events. But her biggest event of the year is something she’s taking on with a family member. Read the full article on Singletracks to discover more about our local Bellingham phenom!
“There are so many elements I love about mountain biking, and I think that is why it has become my favorite sport. I love the physical aspects; it makes me feel strong [and] tough and pushes me to improve my fitness so I can ride longer and faster. The emotional and psychological elements are key for me. It has become my way of feeling balanced and gives me clarity when other things in my life are stressful. The racing and career aspect can bring stress, but I am able to remember the reasons why I love the sport, and the stress is very temporary.” -Hannah Bergemann
Enduro World Series #1 has come and gone and Rotorua did not disappoint! Kona gravity team members Connor Fearon, Miranda Miller, Rhys Verner, and Shelly Flood were able to cut their teeth on the 2019 circuit as a new team on the steep, dusty tracks that have become famous on the north island.
After a busy week at Crankworx racing the downhill event and competing in Whip Offs, Connor Fearon had to race three of the five stages totally blind due to conflicting practice times with other events. While EWS isn’t new to Fearon, his focus has always been primarily on downhill racing. “This enduro business is not easy,” he said. “I raced 3/5 tracks blind so had a few surprises in my race. I finished 35th yesterday. I’m looking for more practice and a better result this week in Derby.”
Sliding just ahead of Fearon in the standings was young Rhys Verner, out of Squamish BC. Verner has been plagued by injuries the past two seasons so his main goal was to complete the race clean and have a good time on course. “I’ve got to say I was a bit nervous to start another year of EWS racing. After last years disastrous start it felt great to put down a pretty well problem free day,” Verner said. “I eased Into the day a bit and felt I really hit my stride for stages 3 and 4 where I finished 28th and 27th on the stages respectively… The whole week with the team was just amazing! Everyone gets along super well and it just was next level to have everything as dialed as it was! Can’t wait for Tasmania and another week with the team!”
On the women’s side, new team member and enduro-hopeful Miranda Miller had a wild day, but still managed to squeak inside the top 10. Miller is shifting her focus to EWS this season after a long career of racing downhill. “With a little time to reflect on my race weekend I can be happy with my day. I crashed on 4/5 stages, but unlike last year, it didn’t feel like the world was ending,” she said. “While 10th isn’t a position I want to stay in, EWS is no joke, and I respect that. I was pumped on all the stages and terrain we got to race, and Crankworx Rotorua put on a killer race for us! I have much to build and learn and I’m already looking forward to Tasmania.”
Rounding out the Kona riders for the weekend were Shelly Flood and Alexander Kangas. Flood was recovering from bronchitis, took a nasty spill and wrapped up the weekend in 24th place aboard her Process 153—a real head turner of a bike throughout the weekend. Kangas finished the weekend in 79th place.
Next up the crew heads to Tasmania for the Derby stop of the EWS which takes place on Saturday and Sunday. It’s sure to be a rowdy week for the squad. Stay tuned for the action throughout the week!
Come demo some of our favorite bikes including the Process 153 CR 29 and 27.5, and Big Honzo CR. We’ll even have a few Libres ready to ride at select stops. We’ll have full sizes runs ensuring everyone can find a bike that fits just right.
Here are some events coming soon! Details below.
March 30 – Huntsville, AL March 31 – Auburn, AL April 3 – Lexington, KY April 6 – Aurora, KY (By reservation only)
Kona Ambassador Erkki Punttila has contributed quite a bit to Kona over the years. He’s the face to our Not Far From Home Series, which takes a look at bikepacking around the Lapland area of Finland, has penned several posts for the Cog, given us lots of great photography work. One thing we did not know is that Erkki is also a phenomenal artist.
For his winter submission, Erkii drew this really cool picture featuring his bikepacking rig- the Big Honzo. ” I wanted to create something a bit out of my comfort zone, so I picked up a bunch of markers instead of the usual camera. Here is my Big Honzo on a winter bike packing trip to the mountains. The outlines and shading are done with 0.3 and 0.1 liner pens and the colouring with Copic markers. The background aurora borealis photo is from Unsplash.com created by Isak Dalsfelt. ” Erkki Punttila