Caleb Smith

The Kona Demo Tour Rolls into the Bay Area This Weekend

The Kona Demo Tour is on the road with the new Process G2 in both 27.5 and 29, Hei Hei Trail, Rove NRB, and Remote. Wanna see when we’ll be in your neck of the woods? Head over to our Demo Tour Page.

This weekend we’ll be rolling into Oakland, CA on Saturday and then Santa Cruz, CA on Sunday. Check out the flyers below for details, and keep yourself up to date through the Events page on the Kona Facebook.

Process G2 – Built With Purpose – The Directors Cut

Just like the original Blade Runner movie has seven different versions, so too does our G2 Process Launch Video (well…not seven, just two actually). When we recently released our video, featuring U21 Enduro phenom Rhys Verner tearing BC’s Sea to Sky trails a new one, we couldn’t decide whether we liked it raw and with no slow-mo or with audio and gratuitous slow-mo. Well, now you get to choose. Without further ado, here is our Director’s cut.

The raw version is posted below. Which version do you like?

Kona Quebec Grassroots CX Rider Laurie Arseneault Wins Twice in one Weekend

Switching discipline isn’t an easy task. When local Quebec athlete Laurie Arseneault got into Cyclocross as an attempt to stay competitive in the cross-country offseason, we couldn’t have known just how tough she would be.

Between the rain, ankles injuries, school, and work, she proved everybody that she is one tough woman and that nothing can get in her way.

Laurie has made her way to the podium a few times during this CX season, but this weekend at the 7th and 8th rounds of the Série de CycloCross Maglia Rosa, everything came together, not only did she take the win at Saturday’s Round 7 event, she went back the next day with her Jake the Snake and won her second gold medal at Round 8.

With only three races to wrap up this season, she sits firmly on the second step of the overall Elite women in the provincial championship.

Allez Laurie !!

Photos: @judjudjud

Kona Cyclocross star Helen Wyman takes her first season win

Kona’s newly redesigned carbon Super Jake found its way onto the top step of of a Swiss podium in the weekend, piloted by legendary Kona CX superstar Helen Wyman. It’s her third podium of the season and sure sign she is back in top form!

“This weekend was a first major European road trip as I got to experience the EKZ Cross Tour for the first time after a long drive to Switzerland. It’s a series I’ve heard a lot about and have wanted to start for a long time. The race was a C1 in Aigle, the home of the UCI, and I’m happy to say to I won. It’s been a year since my last CX win, and it’s a relief, and shows I’m getting back to my pre-accident form. The next big race is the first European World Cup of the season in Koksijde”Helen Wyman

Ryan Gardner battles it out in Ashland at the California Enduro Series Finale

Ashland, Oregon is a bit of an oddball in the California Enduro Series, mainly due to its location outside of California. But the town and its trails, just a few minutes over the Northern California border are just too good to pass up. This year, due to some logistical issues, Ashland was made the CES series finale which was fine by me. Ashland is possibly my favorite race of the year and I have traditionally done well there. This is in no small part due to the trails being particularly well suited to my favorite bike, the Process 111. It was also to be the deciding race in the California Enduro Series overall, a heated battle between myself and two good friends Evan Geankoplis and Cory Sullivan. All three of us within striking distance of the top spot.

After cramming in my 40 work hours over 4 days, I left the Bay Area in its typical rush hour crawl and began the five hour drive north. Once I was able to get my wheels in the dirt it became clear that the long hot summer had not been kind to the usually grippy Ashland dirt. What racers found this year were high speed trails made exponentially more difficult by dusty corners and marbles over hard-pack. The trails in Ashland are not particularly difficult. They are not notably steep, or rocky, but what they lack in tech they make up for in the sheer speed top racers are required to carry if they are looking for a podium spot. This coupled with long (10+ minute) stages results in a blur of high speed delirium. It’s what makes Ashland awesome.

After squeezing in a run on each stage (over 30 miles of riding) it was early to bed for Saturdays 7am start time. With a quick breakfast and a shuttle to the top of Mt Ashland I dropped into the longest stage of the day. I tried to pace myself as the first track is exceptionally long and pedally, and may have done just a bit too much flowing and not quite enough pedaling. I made it back up on the second stage, the new Jaberwalky, taking third right behind Ashland locals Nathan Riddle and Cory Sullivan on only my second time on the course. On the third stage, BTI, I broke my chain pedaling out of a corner and pumped my way to the bottom, still near the pace.

After some lunch and shit talking it was time for an eight mile pedal back up Mt Ashland to race HornGap, a pinner little trail with some tight sections and super high speeds. I put down a solid run taking second on the stage behind Cory. At this point I was sitting in third place (well behind Riddle and Cory) and second for the overall. Dropping into the final stage, Hitroad, I was riding wide open. Last year Riddle took it to me on this stage, turning the tide of the race and dropping me into second. So this year I was going to give it everything. I hit all my lines and was carrying great speed as I neared the finish. Then it happened. About 150 yards from the finish I dropped a chain. The first chain I have dropped all year, in years even! No problem I thought, ill just coast to the finish. Then “SNAP” the chain sucks into my wheel breaking spokes, flatting me, and sending me sideways at 30 mph. No problem I thought, Ill just slowly cruise to the finish, no big deal. Then “WHAM” the chain sucks into the cassette and locks up my rear tire, nearly sending me over the bars. I had no choice, it was time to run for it. Sprinting at gait, with my 111 in one hand dangling behind me, wheel locked up, I gave it everything I had and finished up the 2017 season on foot.

Ashland Mountain Challange Pro Podium

This fiasco dropped me 2 spots into fifth, but I was happy to stay on the podium with two mechanicals and bit of cx practice. I ended the season in third overall to two great friends and I can’t ask for much more. It’s been an adventure for sure! Now it’s time for some surfing, fly fishing, and cross racing. Thanks for tuning and I’ll catch everyone next year!

2017 California Enduro Series Overall Podium

Follow Ryan on Instagram here.

Watch Kona Rider Jonathan Maunsell in MTB Heroes Season 2

This Saturday, Episode 2 of the Fast Fokus Series, MTB Heroes airs on InsightTV and features Irish Kona rider Jonathan Maunsell getting radical in Norway.

You can get a one-month free trial to Insight TV to watch the 24-minute episode if you want to watch it on Saturday, although it will be available online at a later date on PinkBike.com

Check out the trailer below and some of Grant Gunderson’s amazing photos and get hyped.

 

Jonathan Maunsell mountain biking in Lofoten

Jonathan Maunsell mountain biking in Lofoten

Jonathan Maunsell mountain biking in Lofoten

Jonathan Maunsell mountain biking in Lofoten

Jonathan Maunsell mountain biking in Lofoten

Jonathan Maunsell mountain biking in Lofoten

Jonathan Maunsell mountain biking in Lofoten

Jonathan Maunsel mountain biking in Norway

 

 

 

The Kona Demo Tour Hits Tahoe and Auburn This Weekend

The Kona Demo Tour is on the road with the new Process G2 in both 27.5 and 29, Hei Hei Trail, Rove NRB, and Remote. Wanna see when we’ll be in your neck of the woods? Head over to our Demo Tour Page.

This weekend we’ll be rolling into Tahoe, CA on Saturday and then Auburn, CA on Sunday. Check out the flyers below for details, and keep yourself up to date through the Events page on the Kona Facebook.

Helen Wyman and her Kona Super Jake Make Another Podium Appearance

Much like Kerry Werner in North America over the weekend, Kona Cyclocross Pro Rider Helen Wyman had a weekend of mixed results. Helen and her Super Jake had a fight on their hands with a podium chasing event on Saturday which was followed by a podium placing race on Sunday! That’s two weekends in a row for Helen and the all new Super Jake. Check out Helen’s CX Diaries for both below.

Check out Helen’s CX Diaries for both events below.

What started out as a tough weekend in Meulebeke, finished with a big turnaround as I stood on the podium in the opening round of the Ijsboerke Trophy in Ronse.  Weekends with highs and lows are going to be common place this season as I work hard to regain my front row gridding. A podium result is always a big motivator, it shows you there is work to do, but that you’re on the right path.  Now it’s onto next weekend with two more races. – Helen Wyman

The All New Kona Key Grip Is Available Now

We have some cool new Kona components coming out this fall and we are kicking things off with our very sexy single lock-on grip, The Key Grip. The Key Grip is 30mm in diameter x 136mm long and features a solid closed-ended design, as well as a rad 80’s inspired geometric pattern in a tacky 25a rubber compound. Oh and it’s available in five colors (is black a color?). You can purchase them online in our webstore here for $20 or hit up your local Kona dealer.

Roving the Kootenays with Morgan and Stephanie

Rove Further Than Ever

Your rides are as varied as they come. Paved roads end and become gravel, gravel leads to doubletrack, and before you know it you’re ripping singletrack and forgetting you’re on a drop bar bike. And you love every moment of it.

Big tires and tried-and-true Rove geometry are at the heart of our new Rove LTD and Rove NRB. The Rove platform riders have loved for years as a commuter and a gravel adventurer has expanded to include new possibilities. The NRB and LTD are both spec’d with tubeless-ready 650x47c WTB Horizon tires, maintaining a similar outer diameter to a narrower 700c tire while adding the flotation and comfort of high volume.

Set up tubeless and at pressures you’d normally consider mountain bike territory, the 47c tires roll surprisingly quick on pavement, giving a ride quality that really steps outside the norm for bikes this fast. Stand up on the pedals and the efficient frames with full carbon forks do exactly what you ask of them, yet sit back and spin and you notice something’s different: road imperfections disappear underneath you while the miles disappear behind.

The high volume tires truly shine when the going gets rough. The lower pressures these tires are comfortable at makes for a natural transition to unsealed surfaces. Climbing and descending grip is improved, bumps in the road don’t feel quite as big. These characteristics can really open up a different kind of riding.

From pavement to singletrack and everywhere in between, the new Roves are a distinctly Kona take on a modern drop bar bike. We like to get rad and we hope you do too.

Roving the Kootenays with Morgan and Stephanie

Everyone has their own special place, and to Morgan and Stephanie of Found in the Mountains, that’s the Selkirk Mountains in British Columbia’s West Kootenays. For two years, these two lived in a tiny cabin on Slocan Lake just outside of New Denver, and over that time they found that a bike that could handle all types of terrain was most suited to adventuring in the area.

We set Morgan and Stephanie up with a Rove LTD and a Rove NRB DL knowing they’d seek out some special spots as former residents of this natural and undammed glacial valley. Over a couple of days, they found blissful pavement with expansive views, rail trails along the lake and through the forest, and high mountains on forest service roads.

New Denver to Idaho Peak

Idaho Peak is a classic destination for visitors to the Slocan Valley, the narrow and winding forest road leading from valley bottom to Silver Ridge and a relatively easy mile-long hike to the peak. As a riding destination, Idaho is known for its mountain biking trails which allow riders to explore the remnants of the area’s silver mining history. Yet the rail trail from New Denver to Three Forks, the dirt road through Sandon – a bustling mining town of more than 5,000 at the turn of the century, and the 12 km climb to the saddle are the perfect stage for the new Roves.
















Slocan Lake, Rosebery, and Cape Horn Bluffs

Down at lake level, the Slocan’s resource extraction history remains in the villages of New Denver and Silverton, with the old CPR rail line coming in from Nakusp to the north. The rail line now serves as a recreation corridor, and a great way to get away quickly. Across the lake, Valhalla Provincial Park is the only park in the province to protect three biogeoclimatic zones, from temperate rainforest at lake level all the way to rugged alpine peaks. Ride the lakeside, stop in for a sandwich, and head south to Cape Horn Bluffs for one of the most scenic roads in the province.








Rove Line Expansion

With the addition of three models with 650b wheels, the Rove line now comprises six models. The Rove enables you to expand your horizons and get just that little bit further out there. Head to the Rove platform page to check out all six models, and the Rove Innovation page for technical info and video.