Caleb Smith

Peloton Reviews the Major Jake “The bike’s ’cross DNA comes though loud and clear”

“The new Super Jake is about ‘cross first, with a little side of gravel for versatility.” 

Peloton has posted up their glowing review of our latest Super Jake on their website. They’re taken with its handling and fit. “It has a tight and responsive feel that many longer and taller gravel bikes lack with their endurance-inspired fit. The tight front end and taller bottom bracket make the bike ideal for quick changes of direction and tight switchbacks.” They praised its low BB drop as well. “The 67.5mm BB drop of the Major Jake makes mounting and dismounting less of a high-wire act.”

Click here or on the image below to check out the full review online.

 

 

Kona Dream Builds: Scott Countryman’s Race Ready Process 153 CR DL

We caught up with Flagstaff, AZ-based Kona Global Enduro Rider Scott Countryman after Sea Otter and thought that his race-ready Process 153 CR/DL was a damn dreamy build and well worth sharing with you. Scott manages a full on race season while also working as a mechanic at Flagstaff Bike Revolution in Arizona. His build is a mixture of sponsor’s parts and parts that he knows will go the distance for a privateer racer on a limited budget. Check it out below.

Kicking things off with the drivetrain, Scott is running Shimano XT Di2 combined with MRP’s SXg guide for added chain retention.

Out back, the electronic XT Di2 keeps things shifting smoothly.

The Shimano Di2 cockpit.

Keeping things blue and S themed, Scott has opted for XT stoppers to slow things down.

ESI silicone grips hint at Scott’s XC roots, while the ANVL components equipped cockpit indicates Scott’s current enduro focus.

Grand Junction-based company MRP have been on a roll as of late with their forks, and the burly Ribbon keeps the front end exactly where it should be for Scott.

Like many racers and riders out there looking for reliability and ease of service, Scott has opted for the super popular Wolf Tooth remote…

…paired with the KS Lev Integra seat post.

Scott also runs Ritchey’s Block Lock headset to prevent his bars from spinning and crossing the top tube in a crash.

California based company RideFast look after Scott’s wheel needs, the RideFast SPM 28 hole hubs are laced to the RideFast Hotline rims.

Tire wise, up front, Scott is running WTB’s burly Convict 2.5 TCS Tough casing tire, while out the back he’s rocking a custom cut WTB 2.25 fast rolling Trail Boss, also with WTB’s TCS Tough casing.

Kona Dream Builds: Joey’s New Old Hei Hei Race

Joey wanted to build a super lightweight but fun cross country race bike and no, that is not a oxymoron. What it is in fact, is our Hei Hei Race bike. “This bike exceeds all my expectations!”

“I’m pretty good at keeping “old” parts working great for years. Most of the parts were transferred over from another bike and nothing is new. Bike racing on a budget can sometimes be tough but I like the challenge.” The weight of Joey’s complete new old Hei Hei Race? 20.09 lbs.

The bike is propelled by a well-loved set of Shimano 959 XTR pedals mounted to a SRAM XO crankset, a KMC X11SL chain in gold and a classic 11 speed SRAM XX1 rear derailleur (and shifter).  It rolls on Stans Valor wheels with Schwalbe Racing Ralph rubber.

The Reduce/Reuse/Recycle ethos continues in the cockpit, with a 700mm Truvativ Stylo bar, a 70mm Ritchey pro stem (in -30º), SRAM Guide Ultimate brakes and Lizard Skin DSP grips, all that is connected to a set of Fox’s 32 Stepcast forks.

Joey sits on a Velo Angel carbon saddle attached to a Woodman carbon seatpost.

 

Alexander Kangas Finishes Top 25 at EWS Round Three in Montagnes du Caroux, France

All Photos: Sven Martin

Kona Global Enduro Team rider Alexander Kangas recently competed in the third round of the Enduro World Series in Montagnes du Caroux, France. He had a strong weekend and finished in 23rd place overall. Check out his race report below.

Another World Enduro is in the books, and damn this one was a tough one. I Arrived in Toulouse on Tuesday afternoon and meet up with my buddies Dan Wolfe and Sam Flockhart. We picked up our car and drove over to our accommodation, a really nice cabin located up in the mountains, an old-school French style houses rock.

On Wednesday we signed in and did a little track walk of the urban stage on and got ourselves and our bikes ready for Thursday, the first day of practice.

Practice started in reverse order, on Thursday we did stages five through eight. These were really fun, awesome stages. Stage five went really well for me, as did half of stage 6. I got midway down the stage, came into a corner a wee bit too hot and had a silly crash- nothing major. I picked the bike up and started to adjust my brake levers as the left one got twisted down, grabbed the bars and was gonna take off when I realized something was wrong. My left little finger (pinky) was dislocated at the top joint, basically pointing the completely wrong direction.

I pulled the finger out and dragged it back in to place. I never want to do that again. After that I took it easy and did the next few stages, the finger was sore but it was rideable.

Friday was the second day of practice and after hitting stages five to eight on Thursday it was time to hit stages one to four. Stage one was a bit rank, but stage two was fricken awesome. It has to be one of the best trails I’ve ever ridden. Three was good as well, really long and rocky and it featured a bit of everything. Stage four was another street race stage, which I don’t like at all, but it is really good for the sport to put them in there and to have that visibility.

The first day of racing! I made a few mistakes on stage one. I hit my left foot on a big ass rock and thought I’d broken all my toes in the process, but it was all good. I rode on and had a sweet bottom section of the stage ending it in 27th place which was a good start to the day.
I had a really good stage two (besides from losing my Allen keys midway down), and finished the stage in 10th place!

Stage three was good apart from a crash midway down, it was just a small crash but it cost me a lot of time since my bars got twisted and I had to stop again and put my cockpit back in place. I lost valuable time on stage three and finished in 33rd place. After stage two I was sitting in 15th place overall before but after the crash on three and the urban stage I got dropped down to 25th place overall.

Sunday saw the second day of racing and the rain arrive. I put a mud tire on for the front, which would turn out to be a bad call. I should have stayed on the setup I was running on Saturday but that’s part of the game sometimes.

The second day of racing was a bit tougher, I struggled a bit more with the stages but was consistently inside the top 30. After a weekend of good racing, I ended the weekend in 23rd place, which is my best EWS finish ever! I’m stoked with my speed at the moment and how I’m riding, and beyond excited to finish in 23rd, that top 10 on stage two Saturday was pretty damn rad too.

Follow Alexander on Instagram here.

Kona Dream Builds: Alexander Kangas’ Ohlins equipped G2 Process

Swedish-based Alexander Kangas has been riding for Kona since 2015 and for the last couple of years, he’s been attacking the EWS full time as a privateer with little to no mechanical support. He’s racked up some solid results over this time, most notably in Millau, France last year where he finished stage five in third and ended the weekend in 31st overall.

So we thought we’d take a quick look at the bike that Alexander is riding this weekend in Montagnes du Caroux, France for round three of the 2018 EWS. 

You probably noticed from the header photo that Alexander is running one of the first Trunion mounted Öhlins TTX trunion rear shock. The Swedish company keeps his bike looking pretty damn bling. He says it’s hands down the best bike he’s ever ridden.

Another look at that sexy Swedish trunion mount.

Alexander has left the drivetrain pretty stock, only adding a chain guide to the SRAM Descendant/XO Eagle/Guide drivetrain.  Crank Brothers Mallets keep Alexander clipped in.

Öhlins RXF 36 Coil fork looks after the front end while the bike rolls on Hope Pro 4’s laced to a Stans Flow up front and a Hope hoop out the back. currently using a Maxxis Minion DHF in the front and a Schwalbe Magic Mary in the rear. He runs around 30 psi’s in the rear and 25 up the front.

 

“Its the most stable and fun bike I’ve ever had, it feels like I am able to take my riding millions of steps ahead.” -Alexander Kangas.

Be sure to follow the @Konabikes Instagram account, taken over by Kangas for the weekend during the EWS.

Fat-Bike.com reviews the new Kona Alloy Wah Wah Pedals “The Wah Wahs performed flawlessly”

“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

Fat-Bike.com recently reviewed our new aluminum Wah Wah II pedal and loved it, giving it five shrunken heads out of five. Head over to their site here to read it in full.

You can purchase the new Wah Wah II alloy and composite pedals at your local Kona dealer as well as online in our USA web store (here) and in our Canadian store here.

Victory for Fearon and Second for Flood at Shepherd’s Hill

The second round of the Gravity Enduro South Australia went down over the weekend at Sheperd’s Hill in Adelaide. Kona Gravity riders Connor Fearon and Shelly Flood both showed up to try and match the first and second finishes from round one. Connor had a real battle on his hands against local ripper and longtime rival and friend Troy Brosnan.

“The race at Shepherd’s hill was the first event ever held at this location. The tracks are short and punchy with a lot of fun turns and jumps. Because most of the downhill tracks there finish on the same ending straight they had to use other single track around the location to avoid crossing over tracks. So a couple of the stages were new to me, even at a place I ride quite regularly. It was cool that Troy raced too. We have been rivals since we both started racing in 2005 and to get the edge and beat him was good, especially at such a physical race!

Unfortunately, I have to miss the remainder of the series due to work commitments like racing World Cups and stuff. Hopefully, my two wins will give me enough points for a top 10 overall “ Connor Fearon

Photos: Benoit Cajelot 

 

Peloton Reviews the Zone LTD “We loved the Zone LTD from the moment we turned the pedals.”

“Lines blur and smiles emerge. We loved the Zone LTD from the moment we turned the pedals. It’s a well-balanced, comfortable and stable ride.”

Peloton reviewed the Zone Ltd in their recent Classics issue, we really could not have described the Zone Ltd better, the Peloton crew clearly understood what Kona co-founder Jake Heilbron and Pat White wanted to achieve with the Zone Ltd.

Click here or on the image below to read the full review as a high res PDF.

And if the Zone Ltd tickles your fancy, you can email Kona owners Dan and Jake personally and buy one direct through them! How cool is that? EMail Dan and Jake here.

Kona Dream Builds: Greg’s Bundle of Joy – Honzo ST

Greg Belville loves steel bikes. He wanted to build a playful bike that would take on all side-hits and be super responsive on turns “I don’t really need full suspension in Iowa, so the Honzo came highly recommended and gave me the chance to build it up exactly the way I wanted.”
“This whole thing almost didn’t happen.  My wife and I were talking about building it, I had been saving up, then we found out we were going to have our second baby.  At that point, I thought that it was game over for the new bike.  She surprised me on Christmas day and told me that she had reached out to Vince at Ponderosa Cyclery and had ordered me a frame.”
I knew I wanted a Wolf Tooth ring. I have them on other bikes, I was a little skeptical about the elliptical but it has been great. The ring is mounted up to a RaceFace Turbine crank.
I really wanted an 11 speed, and I like the way the XT shifts.  I was also really wanted the XT stopping power.

Fox Factory Float 34 – You only get to build one dream bike (at least that’s what my wife said).

Kona Wah Wah II pedals – These are awesome! Great value, great platform, great grip.

Hunter Smooth Move handlebars – these things are sweet.

The Brooks C15 all-weather saddle has been the biggest surprise of the bike so far. Again, I was a little skeptical, hadn’t seen a lot of them on mountain bikes.  It has been great.  I’m going to get another one. 

People always say a dropper will change your life.  They were right.  The Fox Transfer came recommended quality-wise over competitors at similar price points, and it matched (which isn’t important, except that it is).

Could not have built this bike without Wolf Tooth’s dropper remote – I really like their products.

The wheels are I9 torch hubs on hand built Velocity Blunt SS rims – I9’s had a great reputation for being high quality and reliable.  Also, both wheels and hubs are made in the USA! 

Onza Canis tubeless tires keen the bike hooking up, I really wanted a quality gum-wall tire.

” This thing was a pleasure to build, though. Even better to ride! I see it as a modern classic. Steel frame, skinwall rubber, Hunter bars, Brooks… but with (most) every modern feature in dirt tech. And the color! So good!” – Vince, Ponderosa Cyclery

Kona Dream Builds: Devin’s Rainbow Brite Process 153 CR DL

Devin, like a lot of us, has spent the better part of his MTB life seeking out sweet second-hand deals on bikes. When the Process G2 came out though, he knew it was time; time to step up and build his first brand new dream bike. The result is a real head turner, complete with some seriously solid (and bright) parts. Read on for Devin’s build details and the motivation behind Devin’s rad bike.

All of my mountain bikes have been bought used starting with my first: a 2005 Kona Coiler. Now, eight years, three Konas and a slew of other bikes later I was determined to have a brand-new bike of my own. A rig that could hold its own at the racetrack and pedal to the party afterward. A bike that could suck up the chunk, hold a line and fly like ET and Elliot. The Process 153 CR/DL is that bike. There’s something special about Kona Bikes; as soon as I swing my leg over the top tube I get a “locked in and time to party” feeling. This bike is no different and brings an uncontrollable amount of stoke!

I am so proud of this bike, it is a definitive milestone in my life. This bike is proof that hard work pays off. All of this would not be possible without the hub of knowledge and inspiration that is Blazing Saddle Cycle.

I couldn’t resist turning the color volume ALL THE WAY UP with that beautiful gloss aqua frame. The 27.5 rainbow Industry 9 Enduro 310 Pillarcarbon wheelset was a match so good you won’t find it on Tinder or Bumble. Around these rainbows are a 2.5 Maxxis DHF up front and a 2.5 Aggressor in the rear.

The drivetrain is my second favorite part of this bike. The XTR shifter and derailleur are seamless on a 11-46T XT cassette and really bring out this bikes climbing ability. 175mm Raceface SixC cranks with a 32T Wolftooth chainring and Deity T-Mac pedals are where the hammer is laid.

The remarkable stopping power and easy maintenance of XT brakes were a no-brainer and Hope 203mm rotors bring this rig to stop on a dime!

There’s no better feeling than a solid and comfortable cockpit. Starting with the Deity DC31 Mowhawk 787 handlebars, 35mm Deity Copperhead Stem, Deity Knuckleduster grips and Cane Creek 40 headset.

The Super Deluxe shock on the 153 is a perfect pair with the Fox 160mm 36 Float RC2. Makes climbing just as smooth and fast as descending. The 175mm KS Lev dropper fits this frame with room to spare. Held in by a Deity Circuit seat clamp. Actuating the dropper is a Wolftooth lever and on top is a Ergon SMA3 saddle.

Kona Dream Builds: Shut Up Jens – Michael’s Buttery Smooth Major Jake

Michael’s Major Jake was sitting in the BikeFlights.com booth at Sea Otter last week when we spotted it. The pure bling factor of this real deal CX racing machine meant that there was no way we were going to pass up shooting a photo-set for a Dream Build post. We asked Michael for the motivation for the build and some of his favorite parts. Scroll down for all the details and more photos of this super fast CX race bike.

“Shut UP Jens!” This bike was built with cyclocross racing specifically in mind – though it rips on gravel roads as well. The idea was to create a light race bike, without compromise of integrity or components. Starting with the 2018 Kona Major Jake (size 50cm), a full Shimano Ultegra 6800 hydraulic-brake drivetrain was added (except for a 105 front derailleur) and a Pioneer power meter crankset 46-36t. Thomson Masterpiece seat post to match a Thomson 100mm X4 steam. The bars are Easton EC90 SL carbon wrapper with ESI Silicone Aqua tape. The wheels are Industry Nine Classic road hubs laced to 45mm Enve tubular rims with Challenge Tires. What I love about this bike, aside from its look, is how it rides. The bike buttery smooth, fast, comfortable, and tears down descents like a mountain bike – I couldn’t be happier!

Connor Fearon Kicks of His 2018 World Cup Season Croatia

here you go! When the UCI first announced their 2018 calander many World Cup riders and fans did a collective, “WTF?” Lošinj, Croatia? The small Croatian island had everyone hitting Google to find out actually where in the world it was and to see if any footage existed of this mystery track.

In the months following more and more POV footage emerged, the footage confirmed two things, it was short, and there were rocks, lots of rocks. Footage of epic beaches, sunsets and scooter shenanigans clogged Instagram leading up to the track walk last Thursday. It seemed that the island, the trail, and the locals had actually won people over. The track was not steep, but it was short. The fastest qualification time on Saturday was just 2:19:99!

Unless you’d been living under a rock you’d know that Connor has been testing our new carbon DH Operator. In Croatia, Connor had two bikes built up in both 27.5″ and 29″ configurations. After a swapping between the two on practice day and during timed training, Connor opted to run with smaller 27.5 wheels as he didn’t really get enough time on the rocky track to commit to racing them, especially while racing as an unprotected rider. “It’s short and rocky and the track actually rides better than everybody had thought after only seeing the footage online. There’s lots of lines to choose from and it’s really technical. Times are going to be really close as the track is only two and a half minutes long,” he said.

Connor was feeling confident after practice and, and like everyone else, he was eager to lay down some timed runs and land a solid qualification result. His wrist injury from the end of last season, as well as recent UCI changes, meant that he was not protected. A mechanical or flat in qualification would mean that he would not be racing on Sunday. Riding conservatively on such a brutal short track would not be an easy task. After Saturday’s qualifications though, Connor found himself in 23nd place.

“It was bit of a slow start for me this with qualis. I was really nervous for the run and not being protected meant that a flat tire or mechanical would see me out of the finals. I made a few mistakes which cost me, putting me pretty far back in the field at 23rd.”

On race day things didn’t go entirely to plan for Connor. The Lošinj track was not going to be kind to any mistake, no matter how small. The extremely physical nature and its short length meant even the smallest mistake would be costly. Connor would make a few in his run that would ultimately cost him a top 20 result and any kind of protected status for round 2 in Fort William in June. “Don’t really have any excuses, just a couple of small things adding up to be a few seconds back which meant a lot in positions unfortunately,” he said.