Monthly Archives: June 2019

Dirty Dancing: Scott Mackay and Caleb Holonko Ride Boogie Nights

NSMBA’s Trail Adoption Plan began back in 2011, in an effort to give the Vancouver bike industry and local companies a chance to give back. Many of the trails on the North Shore were built over two decades ago. The wet winters and the high number of trail users continually take their toll.

Kona recently adopted the North Shore classic Boogie Nights on Mt. Seymour, and we’ve already held a number of dig days to help revitalize and maintain this Seymour staple. Here North Shore lifers Scott Mackay and Caleb Holonko show you just how sweet this little slice of the Shore is.

For more info on how to support the NSMBA head to www.NSMBA.ca and to find out when the next dig-day on Boogie Nights is, you can follow Kona Canada on Instagram here.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Kona X Hand Up Gloves Available Now

We have teamed up with HandUp to produce two pairs of gloves that are perfect for most days. They feature a lightweight four-way stretch mesh fabric on the back of the hand and a stretchy easy to pull on cuffs. The palms are a durable single layer of Clarino leather, laser cut to provide that maximum bike feel and breathability. Printed silicone graphics on the palms provide extra grip, while the HUGE terry sweat cloth on the thumbs will keep your brow clean and dry on even the hottest days.

You can get the in the USA/International store HERE
And for those in the up north in Canada you can get yours right HERE

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

The Ride Time Glove

Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Caleb Smith | KONA COG

The Floral Glove

Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Kona Dream Builds: Joe’s Classy Honzo DL

Joe at Bicycles of Phoenix has wanted a carbon Honzo for the last couple of years. “I like that it’s a legit, playful bike with progressive trail geometry.” He hadn’t had a hardtail in 18 years, so he wanted to build one that he would still be into for years to come.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

“I feel like hardtails are much more timeless, so I put a little into it. I grew up riding and still ride BMX. I like that the Honzo feels like a big BMX bike for the trails.”

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

The drivetrain is built around a set of Truvativ Stylo carbon cranks with an Absolute Black oval chainring. Kona Wah Wah II composite pedals provide all the traction.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Race Face Next R bars and a Turbine R stem anchor the cockpit while ESI’s silicone grips provide grip and comfort.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

SRAM Guide RSC brakes looking after stopping duties.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Industry Nine Trail 270 hoops are laced to Industry Nine’s Hydra hubs.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

The wheels are shod with Teravail’s Ehline tires, a 2.5″ up front and a 2.3″ out the back.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

And that rad leather frame bag? That is from Studio Seven Leather Co (also from Phoenix) and is their Bicycle Essentials Bag

The Long Sweet Ride

Words and photos by Kona Ambassador Sebastian De Meris.

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

Despite the fact that the days are the longest at this time of the year, at university it is always the busiest period. Fortunately, this year we finished on June 21, which is just in time for the longest days. So I finally have some vacation days and more time to ride my bikes. I thought I might start off on a big day trip, but where to go riding? There is still a lot of snow at high altitudes in the Alps and not all trails are rideable.  I might as well stay in my region. It wasn’t easy to find a really interesting route to ride for several hours so I thought, let’s take the different bikes and make little loops that will make a big one. The idea was, therefore, the following: to do four 40 km rides with 4 different bicycles in one day.

In terms of preparation, I took the time to prepare the bikes and some provisions (even if I haven’t been able to try the recipes offered by messkitmag yet!) during the week so that everything would be ready for Saturday, especially since the day before we were going to celebrate the promotion of one of my little brothers. The first idea was to leave early to see the sunrise but due to a big storm during the night, there was no need to leave before 6:30 am for the first ride.

I decided to start with a 40 km ride on the country roads with the Honky Tonk, a loyal companion for a few years now. The air is still relatively cool despite the fact that 30 degrees are forecasted and it is very humid. To save me a little for the future, there is no big climb planned in this ride and I ride on the small country roads and come back along the Geneva lake. Overall the tour is going well, there is no headwind and there are very few people on the roads. The motivation is there for the rest of the day. In terms of numbers, this makes the first ride of 40.4 km and 310m of D+ in a bit less than 1h20.

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

Before the 2nd round, it’s time to have lunch with my girlfriend so I won’t be too hungry for the next rides to come. For the second ride, I choose to take Jake the Snake because there are many forest roads that lend themselves to its use. With the rain during the night, the ground is perfect for riding and it’s a pleasure to just hear the wind in your ears and the sound of tires on the small gravel from the roads. The difference in altitude is quite irregular, which makes things a little more complicated to keep a constant pace but it adds fun and it’s a bit more challenging. After 1h30, the 40 km went well and the legs held up well.

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG
Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

In theory, I had about 5 hours left to do 2 more rides with a little more altitude difference and leave at 5pm but due to last minute and unexpected events, I didn’t have time to do the remaining rides and I had to push them back to the next day… Nevertheless, a positive point is that I was able to recharge my batteries with beers and BBQs.

Getting into the saddle after the BBQ on Sunday afternoon wasn’t the easiest thing to do, but once you threw the legs back into their rhythm, It comes back pretty soon. This time it’s towards the “famous“ trail shaped by the Kona Europe staff a few years ago. It’s now 30°C and the 1000m of D+ are felt but it is necessary to deserve the downhill right ? in any case I do not regret having taken the Process 153 and the trail is just wet as it should be, because when it’s dry the infamous small calcareous stones of the Jura are slippery as riding on balls. The flow of the descent is really good, to the point that once down below, the desire to go back up is almost there. But as it says, you shouldn’t abuse the good things.

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG
Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

After 44.6 km and 2h15 of ride time I am back home and take the Honzo with the idea of reaching the “summit” of Mount Mourex to see the sunset.

Going from 27.5 full-suspended to a 29 semi-rigid directly after is a bit strange but the Honzo’s performance is appreciable, especially since the remaining climb is the steepest with slopes sometimes reaching 20%. Once at the top the view is always worth stopping for a moment. Perfect for resting your legs a little even if the mosquitoes started “hunting“. The different lights of the cities light up nicely and it is time to install the frontal light for the descent that is in the shade of the woods. This one is quite long and fast and once down there are only a few kilometers left to go home.

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

Finally, after about 1h50 of riding I arrived at home and I am still happy to have done these 4 rides with my bikes in a relatively short time. In total, it is almost 167 km (103 miles) in just under 7 hours and about 2150m D+/D- (7100 ft) but the break in the middle made it easier.

The objective set at the beginning has not been achieved, but this gives a good excuse to make another, better-organized attempt this year or next year. In any case, summer has started well and I am looking forward to riding as much as possible during the nice days!

Simone Medici 4th at Italian Nationals

Words by Kona Italian Ambassador Simone Medici. Photos by Italian Kona Ambassador Alex Luise.

“The national championship is the most important race of the year for me and this year was hosted and organized by our team Kona Bike Center Cimone in the beautiful Sestola. When Alex told me he would have come to follow me all weekend and to document the race with his photos, I got even more excited! The first day of practice went smooth on a very dusty and loose track. I felt good and my Operator 29” was very fast. Quali day started differently from the day before after some heavy rains overnight, and the track became so muddy and slippery. I left for my qualification run pretty relaxed and convinced of my possibilities. I was riding clean until I hit a root with my front wheel and I got stuck in the middle of a steep corner. I finished my run in 15th position but I knew the pace was good, we just had to put it all together. At the end of the day, another storm hit the city, and the nerves and mental strength of the riders got tested even more. On race day, since the first hours in the morning, the tension got very high, as my whole family had come to see me and I wanted to prove at all costs that I could fight for the national jersey.

The national championship is a race that only happens once a year. Everyone gives 100% and many riders play it all for everything. It’s very difficult to keep your nerves and stay focused for so long. t’s so tiring. I think that Alex’s photos really show all the emotions that an athlete feels before such an important race. I was happy to have him by my side to support me.

I went up for my race run and after the warm-up followed by my team manager Matteo. I started for my run. I tried to ride clean on the track that was still slippery, the cheering in the woods was absurd, almost like at a World Cup. It’s always super cool to ride your bike among all those people who support you. I came down conquering the Hot Seat with a lower time than the qualifying winner but I knew there were still so many big names missing. The more time passed, the more I began to think it would be enough to climb the top step, but it wasn’t. In the end, I finished my Italian championship in 4th position, with very tight times, among riders who are constantly in the World Cup circuit. Finally, the tension is gone, I know it’s not the result a rider wants to satisfy, but I’m happy with my run, I gave 100% and this is the most important thing. I would like to thank Alex Luise, all my team for the hard job and Kona Bikes for the support they give me to keep following my dreams! 


It’s time to let the photos speak now, it’s really a photo epic and Alex is a master at telling stories through the camera.
Cheers everyone, see you on the trails!”

Matt Harris Enters OneUp’s Pain Cave on The Longest Day

Matt Harris’ resume is the one a lot of us dream of: Big wall rock climber, damn awesome skier, an even more amazing mountain biker, trail builder and for the past few years, Matt and his wife Katie have become Squamish’s real fruit ice cream kingpins with their shop Alice and Brohm. Among Matt’s many other bows is that of a tester for OneUp Components and with his reputation as a rather hard man, his name has been added to the OneUp Components longest day suffer fest for the last few years. The 2019 edition just went down and after watching the photos pop up on Matt’s and One Up’s Instagram we thought we just had to get the low down on what it takes to enter and exit the One Up pain cave.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Where did you ride on the longest day?

Dennis and Sam from OneUp Components had always said that if the snow melts out early enough in the Chilcotins that their longest day ride would be there for sure. We did a big figure eight over three alpine passes in the South Chilcotins. The plan was to ride from Freiburg campsite up Gun Creek to Spruce Lake where we would have a sneaky second breakfast, then a big loop up Tyaughton Creek over Deer pass and back to Gun Creek, headed toward Spruce Lake for the second time. Then up and over Windy Pass via High Trail, through the Eldorado drainage onto Lick Creek and back to Freiburg Camp. No bailouts. It was 2 degrees Celsius and snowing on the tops cos’ summer right! But it was the best dirt I have ever ridden in the Chilcotins. Complete hero dirt with a mix of drivetrain destroying alpine mush.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Can you share any stats with us?

There was a crew of eight Squamish rippers, one first timer to the zone and to the longest day. 

We left Squamish 7pm and ate all of the calories aka Calamari and chilli cheese poutine in Pemberton en-route, we slept (briefly) at Frieburg Camp at 12pm and woke at 4.15am for cold brew coffee and overnight oats. Droppers were extended and we were pedaling away at official sunrise (4.57am, we rode till sunset (9.36pm). Our arrival back at Frieburg was 11pm and then we drove back to Squamish that night and arrived at 3.30am. for a little sleep and we were all off to work that day. 

• 102.5km of backcountry trails.  3558m / 3823m of elevation gain (some difference in GPS stats).
• 18 hours on bikes.
• Moving time of 12.55mins.
• Top speed 73.4km. 

Dozer 10 hours deep “Anyone else notice how we have been climbing for
10 hours and haven’t descended yet?”

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Whose idea was this?

Dennis Beare is the ring leader for sure, this guy loves a good session in the pain cave. It’s standard issue for Summer Solstice. I’ve only joined a couple of these epics. This is a One up Components staple each year. For them, it’s all about feeling shitty in amazing places! 

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Is it a regular thing?

The best thing about the longest day is there is only one of them each year. Enough time passes between each year that you forget about the pain cave and are pretty keen to sign back on for another go next time around. I have joined in on some of these in the past. This was their eighth longest day ride.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Was this your first time?

This was my second time joining these folks. I love big missions once in a while, good people make it hurt less. My first time was a front country mission over the south coast of BC. I’m a fan of the bigger missions with good crews, It’s amazing just how much ground you can cover. A couple of years back when Katie (my wife) and I were back home in New Zealand we hit the 80km Old Ghost Road in a single day when they just opened the full trail system. 

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

In the photos you are only rocking a hip pack, could you carry enough in that?

Yup, both longest days I have attended have seen full commitment to the hip pack. The first year was a front country with a Radpack (three beer can size) and one bottle on the frame. This year was backcountry with a Cascadia (five beer can size) with two bottles. Both packs are made in Bellingham at High Above Designs. I kept an eye on the weather and made sure I had enough with me if I needed to spend the night. It was a wee bit of a Tetris game, but well worth the strategic packing to have everything on the hip. The OneUp EDC system enables me to take some of the bulk out of what would normally go in a backpack. 

What I packed in the Cascadia hip pack this trip.

Snacks:

• Tamari almonds
• Lara bars
• Fruit bars
• Espresso granola bar
• Skittles
• Full salami
• PB and J sandwich
• Banana
• Honey stinger grapefruit
• Nuun tabs
• Dark choc espresso beans

Supplies

• Folding saw
• One up EDC, shifter cable, pump, tube, quick links, chain links, hanger, brake pins, tire patches, tube patches, tire plugs, levers, zip ties, duct tape.
• In reach mini
• Night lights
• Basic personal first aid
• Water filtration MSR trail shot mini. 

Extras: 

• NZ Possum wool beanie
• Spare l/s merino layer
• Wind breaker
• 3L hard shell
• Sunglasses
• Sunblock
• Survival blanket
• Flint and lighter

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

What bike did you ride?

• My 2018 alloy Process 153. Sz Large. The new One up 210 “a dropper post the size of a DH fork”
• 32t x 11-45 cassette. DH casing tires.  

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Did anyone hit the wall?

Everyone had their phases throughout the day. Lots of power naps and power snacks. River crossings kept us awake when the caffeine was failing. It doesn’t have to be fun to be fun right?

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

If you hit the wall do you get invited back?

From what I understand once you have been invited to attend a longest day you are welcome to come back for more suffering another year. If you hit the wall you have a whole year to forget, some are willing to come back out for more. Joint suffering is the best kind of suffering or so I’m told. 

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

What was the hardest part of the trip?

Knowing that the longest night is on the 21st December!

Kona Dream Builds: Jérôme’s Chocolate Coated Libre Looks Good Enough to Eat!

Belgium based bike shop Bike Your City Brussels teamed up with high end frame painter Unlimited Colors and produced this absolutely stunning custom Kona Libre DL for award-winning chocolatier Jérôme Grimonpon. Jérôme had previously owned a Rove but when the Libre popped up in our range he just knew it was the bike for him, queue BYCB and this awesome gold foil Cocoa bean inspired paint job.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

While Jérôme has made some subtle cockpit changes to his Libre, the original build remains, but damn i’m getting hungry just looking at that stunning paint finish.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Hannah Bergemann + Tenet Components = Cinematic Gold

Tenet Components has just dropped the second stunning video in their series designed to encapsulate the brand’s unique ethos. Kona’s Hannah Bergemann takes center stage in this classically Pacific Northwest video and throws down some serious hammers in some less than ideal conditions.

The Driven is the second part of a multi-part series that delves into the inner makings of Tenet Components. Hannah was the first person that came to mind when I asked myself “Who would be a great fit for the brand?”. I asked her over a beer and in true Hannah form, she smiled and humbly agreed. When it comes to sponsoring an athlete, a lot of brands tend to look at follower numbers, race results, tailwhip and barspin combos, or YouTube subscribers. We don’t really care about any of that. What truly matters is personality, perseverance, and in Hannah’s situation… Drive. – Ty

Riding | Hannah Bergemann
Film / Edit | Tyler Deschaine
Photography | Riley Seebeck
Song | The Fuzz – Let It Live
Special thanks to the trail builders for making this video possible.

Rhys Verner Wins Squamish Enduro on Home Turf

After a long break between EWS rounds, Kona Gravity and Enduro Team Rider and Squamish local Rhys Verner has been racking up the results on home turf, taking the win at the Harper Mountain round of the Canadian Enduro Series a few weeks back and then second in Revelstoke. Rhys backed those results up this weekend, taking the win at the super technical and extremely challenging Squamish Enduro on his home trails. It’s a solid end to the EWS break and sees Rhys heading into the next block of international races on a high note.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Rhys and Miranda will both be racing at EWS round four in Canazei, Italy this weekend where they will be joined by Kona enduro shredders and Kona Ambassadors Alexander Kangas, Lucy Schick and freshly crowned Irish National Enduro Champion Leah Maunsell.

Kona Dream Builds: Stefan’s Hei Hei Trail DL

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

After a bit of an unscheduled hiatus, Kona Dream Builds are back. We are kicking things off with a 2016 Hei Hei Trail DL from Germany. In fact, it’s Rock Dog Cycles owner Stefan’s personal rig.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

He’s had it since it first arrived in his shop back in April 2016 and he’s been slowly customizing it ever since, this first upgrade was immediate, replacing the bikes rigid post by adding a KS Integra dropper post to the mix.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Next up Stefan added a fresh new wheelset, Halo Vapor rims laced to a set of classic Hope Evo Pro4 hubs.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

More Hope bits have been added in the way of Hope super sexy CNC’d crankset and a set of Hope Tech3 E4 Brakes with 200/180 rotors.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Rounding out Stefan’s customization of the Hei Hei Trail DL is a Sixpack Racing Millennium Carbon handlebar and a Raceface Atlas Stem.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Wallace Does the Canadian Double!

Cory Wallace never seems to slow down. Last weekend was no exception as the Canadian super athlete went back to back with two huge events: the Spakuwas 50 in Squamish and the  Ghost of the Gravel in Alberta. The Squamish race had Cory hammering on his Honzo, while the gravel grind had him leading the pack aboard his Libre.

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

Luck wasn’t on Cory’s side as someone stole course markings for Saturday’s race and he lost over nine minutes wandering around off course. He managed to drop the hammer, though, and claw all the way back to a second place in spite of the mishap.

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

After the Squamish event he flew straight to Calgary where he slept just enough before the start of the 118KM Ghost of Gravel race in Alberta. Again, luck wasn’t on Cory’s side as a slow leak in his tire kept him constantly refilling with CO2. In spite of all of the tire issues, he still managed a second-place finish that day as well.

Cory’s goal is to win both events in the same weekend, and with any stroke of good luck, next year will be his year. You can read about all of the crazy details in Cory’s race report.

Kona Ambassador Leah Maunsell is the Irish National Champ!

Leah Maunsell has repeated her title as Irish National Enduro Champion. We are beyond proud of the talent and hard work she continues to show! Congrats, Leah!

“This weekend was the Irish National Enduro Champs in Ravensdale. There is always so much at stake at this race with only 5 stages to determine who would come out on top. It was certainly not going to be an easy battle for that top step. 

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

The classic Irish wet weather threatened to come all weekend so it was not only a race against the clock but also a race against the forecast. Luckily the rain held off and we got to race in relatively dry conditions. 

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

Although it didn’t rain over the weekend, conditions were still quite slippy due to the wet week we had leading up to the race. The stages were quite fast so any mistakes were going to be costly. With that in mind my aim was to have a smooth race with no major mistakes. I had a fairly consistent day so I was excited to see how I got on but I knew the times were going to be tight and it was going to be all to play for. 

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

They withheld our results until the podium so the nerves and suspense were building. It was such a relief when they called out my name for P1. I am so proud to run the Irish sleeve for another season and I can’t wait to wear it abroad for the remaining EWS season. 

I would like to thank Kona Bikes greatly for all their continued support and the amazing Process 153 CR/DL 29 which I am absolutely loving this season!” -Leah Maunsell