Caleb Smith

Kona Dream Builds: Jason’s Process on the side “Katie”

No stranger to assembling Gucci dream builds for his customers, Jason from Chainline Bikes in San Deigo put together this unbelievably rad and seriously custom Process 153 for himself. You won’t likely see another bike like this rolling the trails, the ENVE M70’s feature custom graphics and the Boxxer red Rock Shox Lyrik’s get the matching custom decal treatment as well. The XO rear mech and cassette are the only remnants from the original bike with nearly all other parts getting swapped out, from the Deity cockpit to the Hope Race Evo E4 brakes all the way to the carbon 175mm KS Lev CI dropper. Anyway, you’re not here to read this, you want to check the build list and ogle these photos, we wont stand in your way.

Dayum! That Enve M70 and Lyrik combo is just insane! The M70’s are laced to DT Swiss 240’s with Sapim bladed spokes. The fork is the brand new 2019 Rock Shox Lyrik RC2, and the bike rolls on Onza’s Ibex 2.4’s front and rear.

The cockpit is built around a carbon Deity Mohawk DC31 bar and 35mm Deity Copperhead stem. Ergon GD1 grips keep digits attached while Hope’s powerful Race Evo E4 keep excess speed in check.

And like pretty much every custom build we feature, Wolf Tooth’s dropper lever controls the KS Carbon posts actuation.

Oh yeah, that 175mm drop Carbon KS Lev Ci and Ergon SME3 Pro saddle.

Race Face’s Six C carbon cranks and a 34t direct mount chainring drive the Process. Deity’s Bladerunner pedals are there to win medals (on shop rides)

Frame Kona Process 153
Rear Shock Rock Shox Super Deluxe Air RCT
Fork Rock Shox Lyrik RC2
Headset FSA
Handlebar Deity Mohawk DC31 Carbon
Stem Deity Copperhead 35mm
Grips Ergon GD1
Brakes Hope Technology Race Evo E4
Shifters SRAM XO1 Eagle
Rear Derailleur SRAM XO1 Eagle
Cranks Race Face sixc
Chainrings / Sprocket Race Face Narrow Wide 34T
Bottom Bracket Race Face
Chain SRAM
Cassette / Rear Cog SRAM XO1 Eagle
Pedals Deity Bladerunner
Rims ENVE M70 Thirty HV
Hubs DT Swiss 240s Boost
Spokes Sapim Bladed
Front Tire Onza Ibex 2.4
Rear Tire Onza Ibex 2.4
Saddle Ergon SME3 Pro
Seatpost KS lev 175 Carbon
Weight 30 lb 0 oz (13608 g)

Kerry Werner finishes his first BC Bike Race on the Podium

The boys headed to the mainland to start stage six. Kerry’s second place was now third place in the overall (he suffered a 45second time penalty for cutting a small section of course on stage 4) but Cory was still holding down 4th place, solidly.

The North Shore holds some historic MTB trails, which were influential in starting a new school movement that was focused on technical, purpose-built, riding. A few of those trails were included in the stage six itinerary. The riders navigated 19km, which pitched straight up then straight down. 19km doesn’t seem like a lot but when you get into the nitty-gritty of the stage the riders were tasked with going aerobic then white knuckled down Dales Trail, an iconic trail that put the north shore on the map for fun, but technical, riding.

Kerry’s plan was to come into the stage firing and try to put a bit of time into his French opponent. He was hoping the last two days took a toll on Francois and he would suffer on the climb to the top. However, Francois showed that he had cut his teeth racing World Cup XC in his earlier years and proved some of that fitness was still there.

Over the top of old Buck, Kerry was just 15 seconds behind but not having ever seen the Pingu or Dales descent before was a major disadvantage. He was lucky enough to follow Squamish local Quinn Moberg down these trails but come the finish line Kerry had lost another two minutes to Francois and set himself up for a big final day in Squamish.

Cory rode solidly and maintained his fourth place in the overall. After his big crash on stage four, Cory was nursing some back issues and it was taking its toll towards the end of a heavy week.

The boys nursed their wounds and recovered at Dik Cox’s house, a North Vancouver resident and in-house sales manager at Kona HQ. They were treated to two nights in a row of BBQ and corn hole, which no doubt aided in the recovery process and keep the spirits high!

A quick commute from the North Shore to Squamish for the final day’s start and the riders kicked off at 9am. The 52km loop was no walk in the park for the final day of this 7-day slugfest. Up 50 shades to Leave of Absence, over to Half Nelson, Pseudo Suga, Powerhouse Plunge, Hoods in the Woods, and finishing on Crumpet (or Crampet) Hill. It hurts just thinking about it.

Kerry was all in for the final day, with a big lead over fourth place he had nothing to lose and stuck it to the rest of the riders early and set a quick pace on 50 Shades where the first selection was likely to happen.

It definitely blew apart there but unfortunately, Francois was in the mix and thus he had to keep chipping away. Unfortunately, that early effort plagued Kerry with some heavy legs when Francois got a gap into Half Nelson, and kept the pressure on for the climb up to Pseudo Suga. Kerry fell out of the front group about halfway through the stage and rode it in from there, trying to do damage control and have fun all the same.

Cory knew, coming into the final stage, that he had fourth place on lockdown, so after the blistering pace was set early he settled in with friend, and top 10 competitor Karl Platt to ride in for sixth place on the stage.

After 7 days, 16(ish) hours of racing, and too many Tim Horton recovery donuts to count, the boys had finished third and fourth in the 12th edition of the BC Bike Race.

Kerry was more than happy with finishing 3rd “Of course I am stoked with 3rd, the podium is an honor in a race like this especially with such a strong field this year. Yes, it is a little bittersweet because I missed out on the second step but it only fuels the fire and hopefully I can make it back next year and climb a step or two.”

All Photos: Margus Riga

Mountain Bike Action reviews Satori DL “Rips around the trails like a Porsche on an open highway.”

“Kona built the Satori with a sporty feel that rips around the trails like a Porsche on an open highway.” – Mountain Bike Action 

Mountain Bike Action have been riding the all-new Satori DL for a few months now and they have just posted their review live online at MBAction.com. MBA gave the Satori DL props for its climbing, descending as well as its build.

“We don’t want to call this an entry-level bike, as that wouldn’t do justice to its overall performance. Plus, its cost is slightly above the beginner level. That said, intermediate to advanced riders will find the Satori DL is an excellent mid-travel 29er that won’t require refinancing your mortgage. We give Kona’s all-new Satori DL a big thumb up.”

You can check out the full review on MBAction.com here and you can check out the new Satori bikes here.

Kona Dream Builds: Ryan’s Beauty of a Black Satori

At 6’3″ Ryan Gardner loves wagon wheels. A super fan of the old Process 111, a huge fan of the new Process 153 and like most of us he can’t go past a sweet Honzo. The California Enduro Series is Ryans local event, he’s had solid Podium overall finishes the last few years but while some of the rounds can get burly, some can be left wanting in the steepness and rowdy categories. Those trails call for something speedy for pedal heavy sections where a Process is not really required. The day we released the all new Satori, Ryan called us up, ordered one and then went about turning it into his second race bike, for the rest of us that means one serious Dream Build.

As well as riding for Kona, RYan also rides for Fox, E13 and WTB. The three brands a well represented in the build starting off with some sweet 140mm Fox Factory 34’s and a set of E13 TRSc wheels.

More carbon Ethirteen goodness out back. A Shimano XT rear mech matched up with an Ethirteen cassette looks after the shifting.

While Shimano XT brakes slow the stealthy black rig down. The Ethirteen TRS remote is connected to 170 mm TRS plus dropper post.

Even more Ethirteen carbon goodness in the shape of their TRSc cranks.

Fox’s Float DPX2 takes care damping the FUSE rear suspension.

Tire wise, up front Ryan is running a TCS Tough casing WTB Vigilante 29 x 2.3 and out the back you’ll find WTB’s fast rolling 2.25 TCS Tough Riddler.

Dirt Rag Reviews the Process 153 CR DL 27.5 “Kona built the CR/DL with stiffness and durability in mind.”

“Kona built the CR/DL with stiffness and durability in mind. Suffice to say the frame is noticeably stiffer than any carbon frame I’ve ridden in this genre.”

Dirt Rag reviewed the Process 153 CR DL 27.5 in their recent issue. It was reviewer Zach White’s first time on a Kona since 2004 and also evidently his first time on a burly enduro bike with modern geometry.

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

 

NSMB Reviews the Kona Wah Wah PP “They take an absolute sh*t-kicking, and only cost 60 USD.”

“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

That’s the opening paragraph of Andrew Major’s extensive and objective review of our redesigned Kona Wah Wah PP composite pedal, and frankly, that makes us pretty proud. The original Wah Wah has some pretty damn big boots (more like big Five Ten’s) to fill and the aim was to make an updated pedal that could live up to that name and fit those same size thirteen Five Tens. This review, along with all the others solidify that fact.

Head over to NSMB and read the full review here. You can pick up the pedals at your local Kona dealer or buy them online from the comfort of your own home here (if you live in Canada) or here (for USA and the rest of the World)

Kerry Werner and Cory Wallace vs The 2018 BC Bike Race

The 12th BC Bike race kicked off in the Cowichan Valley, BC four days ago, and Kona Adventure Team athletes Cory Wallace and Kerry Werner are tackling the seven-day stage race. Cory, who won the event in 2016, would love another BC Bike Race gold medal for his cabinet while teammate Kerry, who just got married, is out there enjoying his honeymoon and proving to be a serious threat at the pointy end of the competition.

But ex-Kona rider, Geoff Kabush, and the other top five men are not making it easy for either of the Kona athletes with the opening three stages all favoring riders who prefer shorter courses. Today saw a little change up as the 62km day (10km longer than day three, and 20km longer than the first two days racing) is more suited to both Cory and Kerry’s endurance racing styles.

The first three stages have been very tight racing. A handful of seconds here and there, 1 minute gaps or less. Today’s stage four and tomorrow’s stage five will likely be a decisive stage with bigger gaps starting to form in the top three and those spots will be more or less solidified moving forward. Like Cory said, we have are going to try and make magic happen and widdle down our time losses. – Kerry Werner

At the start of the fourth day of racing this morning, Kerry was sitting in fourth overall while Cory was just one place back in fifth. Both riders played the long tactical game today and the lead changed multiple times as a result. Kerry and Cory rode hard and Kerry managed to solidify his second third place of the week with Cory finishing in fourth after a big 40km/h crash! The pace at the front with Kerry, Cory and Kabush has took it’s toll on the original lead pack but the two Kona riders still have their work cut out them if they want to nab that leader’s jersey. Kerry is now sitting in second overall, Kabush in first, still has an almost four minute lead on Kerry going into day five.

It’s been a hard start to BC Bike Race this year with a deep field of international racers. Kerry and I have been working together and are sitting 4th and 5th right now.  We’ve been having fun camping, hanging out with other racers and finding some good spots in the ocean to cool our engines after the stages. Three more days to go! – Cory Wallace

With the gaps between racers starting to widen it will be an exciting final three days of racing. For up to date info as it happens you can follow the BC Bike Race on twitter here or visit their homepage here for everything else.

All Photos: Margus Riga

Connor Fearon Experiences Four Seasons in One Weekend at Val di Sole

Val di Sole this past weekend marked the middle point of the UCI DH World Cup season and the return to one the more classic DH courses of the last decade. Val di Sole is not for the faint-hearted, massive roots, huge holes and its sheer steepness have always meant that the racing and results can be somewhat unpredictable.

Due to Connors hand injury, he missed last years final world cup round at Val di Sole where some major course changes were made. Arriving at the course for round four last weekend he had this to say. “The track looks good this year. Val di Sole is definitely the hardest track on the circuit. It’s just gnarly section after gnarly section the whole way down. I missed this race last year when they made lots of changes so about half the track is new to me. It looks like there’s some rain coming but the track dries up really quickly so I’d say it’s going to be dry come race day”

Connor was not wrong about race day being dry, however, the forecasted storms did arrive and timed training, practice and qualification bore the brunt of that. Rain on the track really shock up the qualifications with times posted before the downpour being considerably faster, a large number of riders from the back of the field made it to the main event while some heavy hitters, not able to cope with the changing conditions had to enjoy the non-quali-party. “The track is really hard to ride in the wet. There’s just roots and rocks the whole way down it’s hard to even steer straight” Connor, although protected and racing his qualification run in the wet, posted a solid 13th result, earning more points towards his overall standings.

Kona UK rider Josh Lowe took advantage of the somewhat drier qualification conditions earlier in the day and posted a 52nd, on race day he backed that up with a very respectible 49th!

“My qualification run was fine. Everyone knew it was going to be really hard to get down and the time gaps supported that. I had a steady run with no crashes and I’m super happy to get some points. Will be interesting if it’s wet like that for finals, but I think it will be dry!”

Connors positive predictions of a dry race day would come to fruition, if you hadn’t been there for the previous days you’d think it was a normal day in the Valley of the Sun. The only downside? No one had really had a chance to ride the track in the dry, and the Black Snake was for all intensive purposes a new course. A full days racing and practice in the dry had really shaken things up and when Connor crossed the line onboard his 29″ wheeled Operator on Saturday it would be for 19th place.

“I was pretty disappointed in how I rode for finals in Italy. The track was a lot different on race day because it had fully dried out and was much faster. We didn’t have much practice to get up to speed on essentially a new track. I just missed the speed a bit and didn’t send it hard enough. I still keep my 11th overall plate which is good. It has me fired up for Andorra where I know I can do well this weekend”

We think a top 20 in Val di Sole is pretty damn good!

Ti Tuesday: David rolls out the Red Carpet for his Ti Honzo build

As co-owner of Kona dealer Mud Cycles (Wellington, NZ), David had been jonesing for a Ti Honzo for a while, when the opportunity finally arose to secure one, he was not going to let the shiny lightweight frame slip through his hands. He’d been planning the build for a while, so much so that when the frame arrived almost all the parts had already shown up. David’s build, as blingy as it is, is built up as a daily driver, his shop is located just a stone’s throw from the Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park and the weather and conditions there are often wet, muddy and miserable. The annual rainfall in Wellington is 1249mm, (Vancouver BC is 100mm less at 1117mm) so the bike and its components had to be able to cope with some rather inclement weather. We’ll think you’ll agree that the build straddles the bling/functional balance perfectly. Read on for more photos and detailed look at the bikes spec.

The drivetrain consists of Race Face Six C cranks and Crank Brothers pedals up front…

…and the always reliable Shinamo XT 11 speed out back.

The red chain is KMC’s X11SL DLC, and kicks of Dave’s red-themed build.

Like its steel Honzo sibling, the Ti Honzo also features sweet sliding horizontal drop-outs.

The red theme is continued in the cockpit with the ANVL Swage stem and the ANVL Mandrel carbon bar.

The cable routing is kept tidy with some nice use of black shrinkwrap.

Being a Kiwi, Dave runs his brakes “moto”, the bikes simple cable system supports this easily. Oh yeah, those are Ti bolts too.

Shimano XT stoppers, and XTR shifters look after one side of the cockpit…

…while the ever popular Wolf Tooth ReMote operates the dropper.

And that dropper is the KS Lev CI, the 120mm dropper features a full carbon mast and weighs in at just 420 grams

The wheels are built around Hope Pro 4’s…

Laced to Roam 29 carbon rims.

Theres an Ardent out front and out back you’ll find this 2.5WT Maxxis Aggressor

With ample clearance.

More Ti hardware, this time to hold the XT stoppers in place.

SDG’s amazing “Chepi” Ltd Edition Duster saddle continues the Ti theme.

Just a reminder its made of Ti, the complete bike, with chunky tires and pedals weighs in at 28 pounds.

 

Kona Dream Builds: Goldfinch Cyclery build the shredliest ground-up Honzo

The folk’s at Goldfinch Cyclery in Cedar Rapids, Iowa recently built this beauty of a steel Honzo. “Behold, the shredliest ground-up hardtail build to roll out our doors in a grip!” We have to agree, this bike is most definitely ready for shredding and its Made In The USA themed build is drool worthy for sure, I’m already thinking that my personal Honzo needs some upgrades now! How would you build your Honzo?

White Industries cranks kick-start the USA made build.

Thos sexy black cranks are matched up with some SRAM’s classic XO 11-speed rear mech.

More White Industries madness with these blinging gold hubs.

The Honzo rolls on Maxxis Ikons mounted up on Velocity Blunt SS handbuilt wheels

Even more USA made goodness with this Thomson dropper.

The Thomson theme is continued up in the cockpit with the bar and stem. Stopping is looked after with Shimano XT brakes.

And the whole package is rounded off with a stealthy black on black RockShox Revelation fork.

 

 

The Kona Supremes Report from the North American Enduro cup

Hannah Bergemann and Delia Massey of the Kona Supremes made the trek over to Kellogg, Idaho this past weekend for the North American Enduro cup. Riders raced 9 technical and demanding stages down Silver Mountain Bike Park, descending over 16000 feet and climbing over 8000 over two days of racing

Awesome weekend playing bikes Silver Mountain Bike Park with a great crew! Stoked to race smooth and mostly clean all weekend, and surprised myself with a 2nd place finish! After day one I was only .7 seconds off of the leader. Easily one of the longest, technical, and challenging races I’ve done tallying up over 8000’ of climbing and 16000 of descending gnarly trails over two days of racing, not including a full day of practice. Congrats Porsha MurdockAmy Morrison,  Chelsea Kimball and Alicia Leggett for the podium spots! – Hannah Bergemann

The North American Enduro Cup was the most challenging enduro I have ever done, from rock gardens to steep chutes to big jumps and drops, and 2 days of insane descents and long transfer climbs. Hitting the Baby Swiss drop was a huge personal accomplishment, as was staying upright on stage 8. It was awesome to push myself to ride terrain that I may not have been able to ride smoothly a year ago! Couldn’t have done this without my mechanic Kinsey Smith keeping my bike dialed! – Delia Massey

My Kona – Scott Mackay

Scott Mackay is most definitely a product of his environment. Growing up at the base of Mt. Seymour on Vancouver’s famed North Shore, riding and skiing has been a part of his daily routine for as long as he can remember. For Kona dealers and colleagues that have the privilege to ride with Scott on his home trails – or any trails for that matter – they are served a master class of bike handling and style with a side of humility. Scott lets his riding do the talking and we think you’ll agree…