Chad Grice hails from Victoria, BC and races cyclocross as well as road, and XC. During the day he’s an elevator guy and during the evening and weekends, HE. RIDES. BIKES. He currently has six bikes in his stable and this very inspired Super Jake is the showpiece of his collection.
It started as a frame and fork that was a prize at the annual Kona Kup as part of the amazing Cross on the Rocks Cyclocross Series. “I didn’t win it, however, I was able to acquire it from the winner. I love pink bikes and I had my previous cross bike custom painted pink and black. When I saw this frame I knew I had to get it. “
“I wanted to build the bike to be my cx race bike however, it will start life as a gravel racer. When I got the frame in the work stand I knew I wanted this bike to have everything I ever wanted in a cross bike and have all the pink highlights. It started with electronic shifting and grew from there.”
Chad’s Super Jake Build Kit
Shimano Di2 1X Shimano RX clutched rear derailleur Shimano 11- 34 Cassette Custom 1X Chain Ring Bolts. On R8000 Cranks. Wolftooth 40T Drop stop chainring Wolftooth Pink headset spacers Pink Wolftooth Bottle cage bolts Shimano 540 Pedals Fulcrum 5 wheels Cane Creek headset Thomson Seat post Shimano Turnix saddle Wheels manufacturing thread together BB Pink Tacx Bottle cages Pink and Black KMC DLC chain
Thilo Schwedmann is a photographer, graphic designer, videographer and freelancing motion designer, he works mainly for television. Hailing from the crowded Ruhrgebiet area in Germany he doesn’t have any real mountains or hills to ride, but he does have a few wooded zones, a lot of great street spots and even a few “mountains” as results of the mining industry (which the area is known for).
I rode MTB and BMX as a child/teenager quite a lot then stopped when I got my first car. A few years ago I got back into BMX but recognized rather quickly that I’d grown out of that. So I sold my BMX and went for an MTB. But I couldn’t sever myself from the simplicity of a BMX completely back then, so I went the most BMX like MTB I could find; the Kona Unit.
I got more and more into MTB and decided my Unit should become more versatile, It should be able to ride streets, trail, and downhill because of those slag “mountains” I talked about before. They get extremely steep (I’ve been to Bike Park Winterberg a few times, it was nothing compared to this. Look for “Halde Haniel” on YouTube as an example for one of those hills), so I needed a higher front end.
The first thing I changed was gearing. Climbing up those steep slopes in a single gear just wasn’t gonna happen, so I went for a Shimano Deore XT 1×11 setup, with Racefece Chester Cranks, BB and Race-Face narrow-wide chainring, and Crank Brothers Stamp pedals (no clipless for me!). That helped me get up, but I still needed to get down.
I changed the fork to a RockShox Reba in 120mm (had to change the lower part of the headset to Cane Creek), also had to change the front hub and wheel to fit the fork, so I went for a DT Swiss combo there. I changed the Stem to an Azonic Beratta with 40mm length and 15mm rise, and put on RaceFace Atlas bars with 31mm rise with Ergon GD1 Grips.
The WTB Tires just didn’t work out for me, so I swapped them for Onza Canis Skinwall ones in 2.85. They are amazing. I changed the back wheel for a Hope 35w with a Hope Pro 4 Evo hub for better engagement. I got an Ergon seat with RaceFace seat post, and a Chromag quick release, to change position quickly.
So now, just like me, my bike is a Jack of all Trades, I can ride street and do a few tricks, cover some miles simply riding it with the girlfriend, hit trails in the woods and also blast downhill without going OTB.
I love the Unit for its steel frame. It’s got enough flex and looks super clean. The big tires do compensate a little bit for lack of rear suspension, without losing pedal strength for riding longer tours. Also, I’ve learned so much by customizing it since I did everything myself. I have never really worked on a bike before but I found a passion for it. It’s just like playing with legos as a child!
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.
Mar 15 – Charlotte, NC Mar 16 – Carborro, NC Mar 17 – Richmond, VA Mar 24 – Harrisonburg, VA
Mother nature needs some etiquette lessons. This snowy slushy BS is out of control. Yes, I know many of you are probably rolling your eyes as you read this because you live in places that get feet and feet of snow constantly and you are hardened winter warriors. I am not. So when it snows I run through this odd range of emotions. It goes a little something like this.
It’s so pretty!
It’s so fun riding in snow!
Wow. It’s still snowing.
When is it going to stop?
Guess I’ll ride the trainer for the 4th day in a row.
Ugh this needs to stop.
It stopped…and now it’s frozen.
Back on the trainer.
A week later and it’s still frozen.
More trainer. More intervals while it snows. Again.
A month later and it’s still frozen.
Shit. Maybe I should pick up splitboarding.
I bought a splitboard!
It’s still frozen/snowing/snaining. Splitboarding is fun!
I miss my bike.
The trainer is not my bike.
I’ll ride my road bike!
Road biking is terrifying!
Back on the trainer.
My feet are blistered from touring and now bleeding on the trainer.
When is this going to melt?!
This is like a really long form of weather-grieving. I’m not sure what stage I’m in. Looking at the forecast gives me hope. It says next Monday will be 63 degrees. Dear God that’s bikini weather! Reality is, this training program has been hard to decipher the last six weeks due to unprecedented snow and freezing in Bellingham. We, quite simply, don’t get this kind of weather here and we don’t ever really plan for it. So as a collective, mountain bikers are going batshit crazy trying to figure out how and where to ride.
As the snow does slowly melt, what’s left behind is virtual minefield of slop and damaged trail. Hoar frost six inches thick has completely uprooted our fragile soil. Mud with the consistency of peanut butter is inches deep as snow continues to drain and soften the earth. The first hint of dirt is exciting, but a false positive. The trails are so damaged that they need time, and patient Lacy is champing at the bit to ride. Regardless of how much I want to pedal on that dirt, I know that riding will only make things worse and continue to further damage the trails.
So at the advice of many of you and my friends that constantly nag me about not partaking in “real winter sports,” I went out and blew my bank account on a touring set up so I can splitboard. Skinning uphill isn’t too different from pedaling, so I’ve just been embracing the beauty of the cold sunny days in the mountains, pretending that I enjoy it as much as I do riding my bike. I may have fooled myself for a while, but deep down my need for loam lingers strong and I have zero standard to compare my fitness to on snow.
Spencer understands the challenges of the weather, so he’s tried to accommodate all of his clients as much as possible. He’s not just the trainer here, either. He has a pretty full calendar of events he’s also trying to train for, so we’ve had several chats about just how to deal with this conundrum. It’s not just as simple as “switch sports and enjoy the winter.” He’s devised a bit of a work around for me. Since sitting on the trainer for four consecutive days can start to be pretty arduous, he’s now made my program more flexible. There aren’t hard dates or deadlines for anything. Instead it’s pack in more endurance when I can. Do intervals as prescribed on days that make the most sense. Stretch. A lot. Eat well and eat enough. Most of all he’s reiterated to me so many times how important it is that I am having fun. He’s written in splitboarding days as part of my training because I don’t care what anyone says, skinning is freaking hard!
Still, splitboarding isn’t biking, and it’s really hard to judge my growth from spinning on a trainer or even riding a road bike. Mountain biking is just so unique with it’s constant undulation and need for fast-twitch responses, so when people ask me if this program is working, I honestly don’t have a good response for them. I’m sure I’ve gotten stronger in some capacity, since I’ve been diligent with my workouts, but I haven’t been able to put it to the test since my last big ride January. I’m clinging to a bunch of intangibles and the knowledge that I’ve put in the work. The physical part has been the easy part. The mental part has been the hardest for me. Struggling to stay motivated through the last six weeks has been a test of patience and stamina. Telling myself I’m getting stronger with no proof of said improvement is a mind game that I have to play to move forward. It’s been a test of mental mettle.
It snowed at my house again this morning. I cursed Ullr for his constant mockery of the impending spring. But all is not lost. The forecast is promising. The snow will melt. We’ll all pull our pasty bodies out of the shadows and experience dirt again soon. It’s almost harder as the sun is out longer and the temperatures warm up and we still can’t ride. It’s a giant tease. I guess I’ll take this time to do one or two more trainer workouts, clean my bike and get it all ready to be caked in mud for the weekend.
Do you ride flat pedals? Are you flat curious? Are you unhappy with your current flat pedals? Well, our updated Wah Wah II’s pedals could be what you are looking for. Available in both alloy and composite and starting at just $60 you really have no excuses not to own a pair. But you don’t need to just take our word for it, the press loves the Wah Wah II, just check out any one of the below reviews.
You can purchase them at your local dealer and globally online at HERE, and for our friends, to the north, you can head to the Kona Canada webstoreHERE.
“These Kona Wah Wah 2 composite pedals have a massive but very thin 120mm x 118mm body, spin on large bearings that are easily serviced and replaced, are notably quiet on rocky trails, come in six colorways, take an absolute sh*t-kicking, and only cost 60 USD.”– Andrew Major, NSMB.com
“Long pins and the bigger platform made the pedal easy to get parallel to the ground and bash through rock gardens without my foot bouncing around. I would even go so far as to say these are some of the tackiest pedals I have ridden.” Amos Horn, Bike Mag
“The original Wah Wah made quite a name for itself in the flat pedal world, so Kona had to make sure to do it justice when updating it. Mission accomplished – the Wah Wah 2 is a modern flat pedal which offers excellent grip and a positive feel in a suitably wide and thin package. A combination of bearings and bushings offer a solution for good longevity while keeping the overall profile slim, and the rear-loading pins are easy to replace if need be. The Wah Wah is back!” Johan Hjord, VitalMTB
“When I ride I like to “dance” around with my foot placement. Depending on what the terrain is doing I’ll move my feet all over, especially in corners or on descents. The Wah Wahs gave me plenty of room to do that with plenty of options and never did I once lose my footing. ”LT. LarSSon, FatBike.com
Kona’s Wah Wah II pedals are ready to rock, with a wide, grippy platform that provides plenty of support for keeping those feet in place no matter how rough the trail, and a price tag that’s tough to beat. Mike Kazimer, Pinkbike
Barry McWilliams is an American graphic designer living in Berlin. A long-time cyclist, he cruises all around town aboard his Jake, and soon will be on a Libre DL. Barry put together these cool little graphics to help illustrate how he stays warm while riding during the winter months.
It’s a bold claim, right? That was the first line in Anthony Lonsdales Kona Dream Build submission. After taking one look at the bike though, we’d have to agree with him… I mean really, if you know of a more high-end Stinky 24 then we HAVE to see it. Anthony has cut absolutely zero corners building this DH destroyer of a rig! Let’s dive into the build.
This mini DH sled is propelled by a set of 152mm cnc’d Hope Cranks spinning on a Hope BB. An MRP Chain Guide handles chain retention duties. Out back, shifting is taken care off with a Shimano Saint 10 speed rear mech. And we can’t ignore that shock. Anthony has machined the rocker to accept a Fox Float CTD 190×50 and of course, it’s been custom tuned for a lighter rider.
And why not match that Fox out the back with some more Fox up the front? A set 2017 Fox 36s keep the front end tracking true. The fork is a 26″ model custom tuned by Fox to 140mm. Oh those 20mm axle bolts, Ti, in fact every bolt on the bike has been swapped out for Ti hardware.
And what Dream Build is not fully Dream worthy without Chris King hubs. Anthony’s Stinky 24 is sporting Blue Chris Kings ISO hubs front and rear.
Shimano XTR stoppers for keeping things under control.
Those Chris King hubs are laced to probably the most modest aspect of the build, a set of 24″ Stans Flow MK3 rims. Tire choice is a 24 x 2.35 Schwalbe Hans Dampf up front and a 24×2.4 Fat Albert up front.
The bling just keeps coming. The cockpit features a Renthal Fatbar carbon cut to 710mm, it’s clamped in place by a 31mm Renthal apex stem which sits in a Hope E2 headset.
So have you seen a nicer or a more blinging Stinky 24″ bike, If so lets see it!
Kona enduro team riders Miranda Miller and Rhys Verner just wrapped up their first enduro of the season with a first and third place finish, respectively. The Tennessee National Enduro was the culmination of a week of testing with SRAM at Windrock Bike Park. The race was the perfect proving ground for Miller and Verner to get used to working with the Kona team and test out their bikes under pressure. Next stop, Rotorua, New Zealand for the first stop of the EWS and Crankworx!
“I felt I had a very smooth day, with the exception of the final stage. (It was awkward and so was I.) I felt what held me back was trying to rely on course memory and knowledge, instead of instincts which limited me to how fast I rode the tracks. I had a strong focus and always felt relaxed and smooth in my riding, but could have physically pushed it a little more. Because of the physical toughness of this race it was a good indicator that I’m strong but need to work on the race craft of utilizing my strength.” -Miranda Miller
“I am very impressed with the trail network at Windrock Bike Park. The first half of our week was focused on bike set up and testing, so, unfortunately, I didn’t get to sample everything they had to offer, but I did get a sense of the terrain and the variety. We were faced with some challenging conditions for testing, but by the end of the third day, and after making Dupelle and Pointer change my bar height 1000 times, I’ve landed on a set-up that I am comfortable with and look forward to further testing in NZ and Tasmania.
Stage 1 & 5 of the Enduro dropped from the top of the mountain, into the bike park and finished in the parking lot and they were unreal! Steep, off camber, long and rough. Tricky with the conditions but some of the coolest pieces of trails I’ve ridden in a while.” -Miller
“I was pretty happy I got the opportunity to do a race before the first EWS. There’s so much practice and race strategy that can come into play. I managed to work out a lot of quirks, like a new GoPro, new helmet, new bike etc. They seem small and trivial but when you’re trying to be efficient at practicing and time management you want to be able to film all of the stages and have quality footage to review. I made a point of only riding the stages once, like an EWS, to try and get better at that format. As a downhiller, I feel that is something I need to work on. While at this race, I didn’t really review the footage like I would at an EWS, but I made sure I had it anyway!” -Miller
“Riding at Windrock was great! Lots of variety made for a great enduro course and just, in general, a great riding venue. It seemed to have a bit of everything. The stages ranged from steep and gnarly to fast and flowy with everything in between. All in all, I think Windrock has the potential to be a top mountain biking destination. ” –Rhys Verner
“Getting that first race under the belt that wasn’t an EWS was definitely a great call. We rode all week and I was a bit surprised by how tired I was aftr the race. Definitely good to get a feel for a big day on the bike and to kind of get the juices flowing before NZ. I rode fairly conservatively throughout the stages and kind of took it as a warm-up race.” –Verner
“Overall I feel pretty good about the race. I was a bit hesitant to take risks so on the slippery stages, I reined it in a little bit. After breaking my scaphoid at the first race last year I think this was the right call, even if I did lose some time here and there. I felt I rode well within my limits and was still able to post some pretty solid times, so I’m very happy with how the race went overall.“ -Verner
“Looking forward it was good to be able to get some time in start gates and get the pre-race season jitters out of the way. Also having the SRAM camp all week we were able to test out different suspension setups and really get the bikes properly dialed in. I feel super good about my bike setup now and have the confidence that my equipment works amazingly well. Also to be able to post some stage times that were within seconds of Damien Oton gives me confidence that I have what it takes to race at a high level. Bring on Rororua!!!” –Verner
South Korea’s most popular MTB YouTube channel, Realty Bike Show, and its creator have been showing Kona a whole lotta love of late. You can find his channel here, obviously speaking and understanding Korean gonna be handy… What you can appreciate though, is Sikss can ride a bike, his trials infused trail riding is definitely fun to watch!
Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s definition of the word “tour” is : a journey for business, pleasure, or education often involving a series of stops and ending at the starting point. I suppose this definition accurately breaks down the components of why I am addicted to bike tours and ski touring.
First, I can say the business of both is to challenge my physical and mental strength. Staying fit as I grow older, held down with work and obligations, becomes more of a task that I must strategically integrate into my lifestyle to maintain success. So why not ditch the car or chairlift and earn those turns!? The business of sitting in traffic jams and long lift lines is also not something that I care to engage in.
Next, the pleasure of a tour is indeed hard to deny. I am of the belief that there is nothing more pleasurable than feeling my heart pounding while I torpedo down black, brown or white POW. On tours, adrenaline-endorsed hill bombs and terrifyingly steep couloirs and cliff drops are brilliantly complemented by the long and meditative journey to the objective. Allowing my mind to clear and focus on sounds of my own breath, the stroke of my pedals and the clicking of my splitboard bindings while I quietly travel through space gets replaced by the scream of rushing wind and the mental silence of pinpoint focus as I fly down mountains on my chosen toys. It is the journey that provides me these juxtaposed pleasures for the mind and body, both of which remind me how brilliant it is to be alive.
Finally, the education of a tour is something to not glaze over. On bike tours, I am acutely oberving and engaging within the changing environments and ecosystems I pass through. My body feels nuances of the terrain and climate, while I simultaneously absorb the diverse sights, sounds and smells of a place, reviving golden senses that I so frequently sacrifice to technology and automation. Likewise, a ski tour encourages me to study terrain and climate in a scientific demeanor that is lost to the average lift rider. When we ski tour, we assess slope aspects, snow quality and climate trends. We scrutenize our surroundings as we punch through fresh snow and we listen for movement. Touring provides me opportunities to intimately engage within and learn from these magnificent environments in which I play.
Above all, I find that I am most drawn to the element of simplicity that pairs both bike touring and ski touring. The ability to carry all that I need to eat, sleep, live and play on while moving through vast lands at moderate speed with a quantitively low expulsion of energy is just plain magnificent. My scrappy legs transform into powerful pistons that can take me to far more interesting places than a car or lift will ever be capable of. In turn, when weather windows open and ice clears from the roads, There is nothing more pleasurable than strapping my splitboard, hammock and Jetboil onto my Kona Sutra and venturing to the hills.
Today is International Women’s Day. While we think it’s fantastic to honor women and what they’ve brought to the sport, we think it’s important to do this every day—and not just on this one day. Kona is fortunate to have an amazing crew of women woven throughout the fabric of our brand, both internally and externally. Here are a few of the women that we’re proud to call family.
In the House!
If Kona were actually a bicycle, it’s safe to say that women are the drivetrain. Our administrative team is made up almost entirely of women. They do our finances, our forecasting, work directly with our factories, ensure all vendors are paid and keep the money coming in. Without our administrative team, we’d be nothing but a run bike, and run bikes don’t climb mountains very easily. A huge shout out to Jen Studer (who very seriously runs the show), Katie Lowe, Jackie Goodall, Cristina Callahan, Angela Staton, Debbie Smith, Willie Edwards and Myra Schimscal.
Outside of administration, we’ve got some big personalities in sales and marketing with Amanda Bryan and Lacy Kemp. Amanda is our territory manager for D.C., Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Virginia, W. Virginia, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and helped start the Kona Supremes team. Lacy Kemp, our Communications Manager, spends her time at Kona and outside of Kona writing everything. She’s also pretty addicted to riding her Process as much as possible.
Around the Globe!
We are dedicated to pushing the boundaries of women in biking beyond the walls of Kona’s offices and are proud to have top-notch women headlining our race teams. Miranda Miller kicks off her enduro season this weekend in Windrock, TN. The Canadian downhill World Champion brings style, personality, and speed to every track she his. Along with Miranda, our enduro program features Aussie pinner Shelly Flood who corners better than you, and Bellingham’s Hannah Bergemann, who can go head to head in a game of B.I.K.E. against anyone and have a damn good shot at winning.
And, just because it’s not cyclocross season doesn’t mean we forget about the super strong women that flew the Kona flag this year. Rebecca Fahringer had her strongest pro season yet as part of the Kona Maxxis Shimano CX team, finishing with a 16th place at World Championships. Additionally, the Team S&M CX out of Portland is a powerhouse women’s cyclocross team that had massive success on the circuit this year, including a national championship by Clara Honsinger. It’s safe to say women’s CX is growing at a strong rate, and we are proud to be a part of that story.
Beyond the race tape, we’re proud to support women from all around the globe as a part of our Kona Ambassador program. We have been blown away by the contributions of these women over the past couple of months and are so excited to see what they have in store! The women ambassadors are artists, world travellers, engineers, scientists, teachers, and activists. Some race professionally, some are major community stewards, while some are breaking barriers on inclusivity in sports. They all have one thing in common, they’re all badass women that exemplify progression in the sport and show a true passion for cycling.
On behalf of all of us at Kona, we salute you all for being a part of our family! Happy International Women’s Day!
For the 2019 Race Season we wanted to do something a little special for our Gravity team riders and their race bikes. Inspired in part by major team sponsor RockShox’incredibly fast looking (and performing) Lyrik lowers, we’d like to present you with the Team Issue Kona Process 153 CR DL.
Connor Fearon, Miranda Miller, Rhys Verner, and Shelly Flood will be shredding these bikes at EWS races and at select enduro events this season, built up as you see here with a plethora of parts from our fabulous 2019 team partners.
The Kona Gravity Team Process bikes are fully custom built from the ground up and feature a full suspension setup from RockShox, drivetrain and brakes from SRAM, rims from Canadian company WeAreOne, hubs and headset from Chris King and tires from Maxxis. The cockpit combines parts from Deity, OneUP and ODI and the build is rounded out with pedals from HT and tire inserts from Cush Core.
Miranda Miller and Rhys Verner will be taking the new Team Issue Process Bikes for their maiden race outings this weekend at the Tennessee National, an EWS qualifying event based out of the Windrock Bike Park.