Caleb Smith

Kona Dream Builds: Keith’s Dual Duty Libre DL

We found Keith’s bike on Instagram (he used the #KonaDreamBuilds hashtag) just after he’d ridden this years Dirty Kanza 100 on it with zero flats. It seemed Keith was gushing about his Libre and it was clear from his post that he really got this bike. A fully capable gravel race bike one day and a lightweight full carbon bike packing rig the next. We asked Keith for a bit more build info and just how he set it up for the two applications. Check out some of the bikes cooler details and Keith’s response below.

Keith Lipski

I built the bike to do dual duties – first as a gravel race bike and second as a touring / bikepacking rig.  I built it in time to race the DK 100 this year, which was essentially a training ride for the Day Across Minnesota in August.  To that end, I wanted to make sure I had tire clearance to fit at least a 700×40 or larger and the Schwalbe G-One Allround fit just great and set up tubeless on these Mason x Hunt 4 Season Wheels very easily.  I had zero flats at DK, a race notorious for them. 

Keith Lipski

I’m a bigger dude, so I wanted to make sure that I had enough gearing for when the gravel gets steep or when I’m fully loaded down, so I combined an FSA Energy subcompact crankset with an Ultegra Di2 RX-805 rear derailleur and SRAM 11-36 cassette.  This setup gives me a lot of options for climbing while still allowing for flat land speed.  The new RX derailleur’s clutch was a big help in reducing chain slap, though I still wrapped my chainstay to protect it (and frankly because it looks like something Rambo would do to his bike).

Keith Lipski

The gas tank bag from Rogue Panda bolts on to the top tube mounts, stays put, keeps me fed and my computer charged. With three bottle cage mounts inside the triangle, I was able to stay well hydrated in the Kansas heat.  Bars and seatpost are carbon and made by my friends over at Framed bikes in St. Paul, while the tool keg is from Twin Six out of Minneapolis.  This ensures that I’m never without a tube, CO2 or spare derailleur hanger, but I also run a Silca Seat Roll Premio during a race for backup CO2 and tire lever – extra piece of mind when you’re way out there. 

Keith Lipski

The combination computer / light mount from K-Edge keeps the bars uncluttered and is going to come in handy on The DAMN as we start at night and will be in the dark for the first six hours. Cinelli cork tape rounds out the cockpit simply because its comfy and looks really good against the green of the frame.

Keith Lipski

When I load this guy up for a weekend or more trip, I add a couple Outpost cages by Blackburn on the fork leg mounts to carry my hammock and sleeping bag, a handlebar roll by Rogue Panda and seat pack by Revelate Designs. These are more than enough to carry gear for a few days and keep my stuff safe and dry.

Keith Lipski
Keith Lipski
Keith Lipski

Kona Dream Builds: Jacob’s Process 165 29 Franken-Party-Dream-Bike

As a mechanic and ski technician at Ruckus Ski and Board in Prince Geroge, BC, Jacob Mullen is more used to building other peoples Kona Dream Builds than his own. For some, his 29″ wheeled Process 165 is going to appear as more of a nightmare.

Jacob Mullen

Jacob has stripped the paint completely of a 2019 Process 165, robbed the wheels, drive train and fork off a Process 153 CR DL 29, (yup those are 29″ wheels) and built himself the “Kona Party Wagon”. It’s sporting a Race Face Next R bar and stem with OneUp’s EDC tool, both wheels are sporting Cush Core front and back.

Jacob Mullen

It’s not exactly a looker though, the DYEDBRO Hawaiian frame protector and retro Kona stickers won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but for Jacob this is bike is a Hawaiian shirt wearing Farwell Canyon slaying weapon of a franken bike. And that’s it, we don’t have anything else for you… Jacob’s Process Franken Party Dream Bike.

Jacob Mullen

Jacob and the Party Bike getting Zesty at Farwell Canyon earlier this summer.

The Kona Gravity Team Take on Les Gets

Boris Beyer

The 2019 race schedule is really starting to ramp up. Round five of the UCI DH World Cup took place in Les Gets, France over the weekend, and it’s worth pointing out that we are now past the halfway point with just three World Cup rounds remaining. The traveling World Cup circus will see the Kona team visit Val Di Sole, Lenzerhide and Snowshoe in the good ole U S of A.

Boris Beyer

Les Gets is a storied venue, it was a major player in World Cup DH in the mid and late ’90s, although it hasn’t hosted a World Cup in over 20 years, it did host the 2004 World Champs which Fabien Barel won on a Kona. In more recent years DH has come back to the hill as part of the Les Gets CrankWorx tour stop but for the Kona Gravity Team, it was a blank slate, one that Jackson Frew, Connor Fearon, and Miranda Miller seemed to love.

Connor said it was “the sickest track so far this year and one of the most fun DH races I’ve ever been to for a World Cup.”

Boris Beyer

Miranda, who squeezed this DH round in between EWS rounds, was equally positive about the venue and track. “Les Gets was friggin sick! I think it was a good World Cup for me to do at this time as the course was fairly simple in the sense there wasn’t a ton of technical features or line choice- you simply had to ride INSANELY fast.”

Boris Beyer

A top ten finish in qualifications for Connor was a positive result and enabled him to add a few more points to his overall campaign while Miranda’s 13th in qualifications was good enough to ensure a berth in the finals and a chance to finish top ten.

Boris Beyer

Come race day both Connor and Miranda did exactly that, keeping things upright on the blown-out grassy corners she finished in 10th place. “I just wanted to qualify, then after that, I wanted a top 10. I’m happy that with taking relatively low risks I was able to do both those things. I miss DH racing but I’m enjoying focusing on EWS and I didn’t want to take risks that would jeopardize the remainder of the EWS season. I had so much fun with the DH squad and I hope we can do it all again sometime soon. But now it’s home to get pedaling and preparing for national champs.”

Boris Beyer

By the time the pro men hit the course, things were getting pretty beat up and with speeds so high, small mistakes would be costly. Connor put down a solid run but a single mistake would cost him time and see him finish the day in 13th place. The 13th combined with the 8th in qualifying moves Connor up to 12th in the overall World Cup standings just 8 points from the top ten.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Bicycling Magazine Reviews the Libre DL “The Libre DL is a bike that lets you head out guided by your whim and sense of adventure.”

Bicycling.com

The Libre DL is a bike that lets you head out for a ride guided by your whim and sense of adventure. You needn’t avoid a trail that looks fun because your bike won’t handle it well, and you don’t have to shy away from long stretches of pavement because your bike feels like you’re dragging a weighted sled when you hit the streets.– Bobby Lea

Bicycling magazine recently published their review of our do-everything-multi-surface Libre DL and reviewer Bobby Lea was definitely impressed with just how versatile the bike is, mentioning on multiple occasions how the Libre platform defies being pigeon holed “The Libre DL is a gravel bike that pushes the limits and challenges your idea of what a gravel bike is.”

Click here to read the review in full on Bicycling.com

Alasdair’s Retro Builds: Part 5 – 1997 Kona Explosif Team Edition

My all-time favorite Kona is Roland Green’s 1997 Hei Hei in “rasta flames”. It’s the perfect race bike, ridden by a true legend. It’s been documented here, hanging proudly at Bellingham HQ.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Credit: Unknown

In 1997 the pro race team featured an incredible line-up of well-established and future legends such as Roland, Dave Wiens, and Lesley Tomlinson. Riding titanium Hei Hei’s rather than steel Hot’s and in part due to sponsorship commitments, there was a need to quickly create several Explosif’s for pro-team use.

Alasdair McAlley

Built deep into the 1997 season (May 1998) in Hodaka, Taiwan, made entirely from Columbus Nivacrom Max tubing, they featured all top-tube cable routing. The bare frames were probably painted by Enigma with longer flames than the Velographics design, resulting in the lower downtube Kona decal placement. The headtube decal is the 1998 design, it has original sponsorship decals and slight sun fading on the top tube where a rider’s name would have appeared.

Alasdair McAlley

It took over a year to determine the build and gather all the right parts. I wanted it to reflect its racing purpose and how it might have looked. None of the pro-team custom green painted Marzocchi Z2s are in known existence but thankfully there are pictures of Roland riding his Hei Hei with slime green Atom Bomb Z2s.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Alasdair McAlley

Race Face turbines reflect the sponsors’ decals with Shimano’s XTR M950 finishing off the drivetrain. Stopping power is provided by Avid Arch Supremes’ which, when set correctly, will stop as well as discs brakes. Super-light and strong Mavic CrossMax’s fitted with Panaracer Fire XCs accentuate the agile handling. Syncros seatpost and bars with the awesome yellow Selle Italia Flite provide the finishing touches (note, it’s worth having a few spares).

Alasdair McAlley
Alasdair McAlley
Alasdair McAlley

Light, strong, forgiving in the right spots, agile and eager where it counts. I’ve ridden it on the wide-open trails of Fairfax, California, on the technically demanding Fleckham downhill trail in Austria, on the woody single-track bliss of the Forest of Dean, Wales and all over my home trails and she’s never let me down. It’s the best bike I’ve ever ridden.

Kevin Sheldrake

Was it ridden by a pro? Perhaps the blonde shaggy bombshell, future Giro winner who broke through the ranks in 1997 threw a leg over it. I call it Ryder after all. I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s 1997 Dream Builds. If you happen to see or own a “happy go lucky green” 1997 Kapu please hit me up on Instagram, it’s my last unicorn!

Unknown Ryder (Canadian Nationals, Harewood Hills, 1997. Credit, unknown)

Thank you to everyone who’s helped feed my passion. Special thanks to Pip and retrobike.co.uk, my local bike store Bromley Bike Company, Joe Breeze and the Marin Museum of Bicycling and Jake, Dan, Gerhard and the Kona family who filled in so many of the historical blanks.

Alasdair’s Retro Builds: Part 4 – 1997 Kona Hot

The Kona Hot was the ultimate steel hardtail. Introduced in 1991, through to the start of 1996 it was built by Tom Teesdale, a true pioneer, and master of steel frame design and manufacturer. A made to order frame, you could choose from specific tube sizing variations, different cable routing options, and any color combination or design you desired. Sandor’s 1993 Hot dream-build is a great example.

For the 1997 season, production shifted to Altitude Cycles based in Chico, California who were contracted to produce the Hot, Caldera and Ku. The paint was applied by VeloGraphics in Bellingham, Washington.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Built in November 1996, number 34 in the first batch of 50, the original owner of this example asked to combine the “stars and bars” colors with the then-new “rasta flames” design. They also asked for 1996 decals instead of the 1997 jungle graphics. It’s truly one of a kind!

Alasdair McAlley
Alasdair McAlley
Alasdair McAlley

Like the Caldera, Mountain Goat drop-outs are used. No-one is sure what the rear triangle is made from but powers of deduction favor Reynolds 725.

Alasdair McAlley

The frame’s main tubes are Reynolds 853 and remain among the lightest and strongest tubing around. Back then they were new to the market and hard to work with. Coupled with more extreme riding conditions, rumors of frame failures surfaced. Altitude production ended after 6 months with the following seasons Hot and Ku produced by Enigma.

Alasdair McAlley

This frame had seen a lot of action, proving the frame design and workmanship was second to none. I wanted to combine some of the very best durable period-correct components to leave the frame do the talking. Shimano’s XTR M950 provides a butter smooth shifting with Race Face turbine cranks completing the racing drive-train. Iconic Syncros seat post and bars nod to Kona’s Canadian heritage with Avid Titanium V-brakes provide supreme featherweight stopping power.

Alasdair McAlley
Alasdair McAlley

The frame’s red front-end meant the logical choice of fork had to be the game-changing first generation Marzocchi Z2 complete with double disc mounts. Mavic CrossMax wheels help keep the total weight to around 24lbs.

Alasdair McAlley

As a result, it absolutely flies. As the most recent build I’ve not had the pleasure of riding it for long durations but early indications show, it has the rapid point and go you expect from a quality steel frame with a little more flex than an aluminum counterpart.

Alasdair McAlley

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s final instalment of this weeks’ special 1997 retro dream-build celebration.

Alasdair’s Retro Builds: Part 3 – 1997 Kona Caldera

The story surrounding the 1997 Kona Caldera provides insight into the mountain bike design changes and riding trends at that time. The concept was simple. Over the years riders had fed-back that they wanted a hand-built, affordable steel framed hardtail. Working with Altitude Cycles, Kona created the Caldera, a made to order custom US built bike costing around $1,000. But when it was launched no-one bought it.

Alasdair McAlley
Alasdair McAlley

In less than 12 months high-end steel XC hardtails dropped out of fashion, replaced with full-suspension aluminium bikes and the birth of freeride of which Kona would be at the forefront. It meant Caldera production lasted just 6 months with no more than 150 built and far fewer sold.

Excluding the catalogue, until 3 years ago there wasn’t a single picture on the internet of a 1997 Caldera. But after an early production model was unearthed on retrobike.co.uk I found a genuine Caldera on a local US eBay listing.

Alasdair McAlley

This example was made in September 1996, number 46 of the first batch of 50 and is the only 20” version in known existence. The frame is unique to Kona with Mountain Goat drop-outs (Altitude Cycles was a new company set up by Mountain Goat founder Jeff Lyndsay) and is made from a mysterious tube-set known as “Altitude Chromoly”. Opinions range from plain gauge 4130 chromoly (unlikely) to Reynolds 853 (it isn’t) to whatever was in the workshop (it’s probably Tange, Prestige or Ultralight).

Alasdair McAlley
Alasdair McAlley

Finished in “Popsy Blue” unlike any Kona ever made, it’s powder coated to allow the owner to change the decals easily.

Alasdair McAlley

Slightly heavier than the high-end steel Kona models, the build creates an assured, reliable and dependable ride thanks to the Shimano XT M739 drivetrain, super-smooth Marzocchi Z2s, Panaracer Smoke and Dart tires and the classic Selle Italia Flite (Kevlar version).

Alasdair McAlley
Alasdair McAlley

Not an ounce of power is lost when you put your foot down thanks to the short stays and like all Kona’s, the sloping top tube enables you to shift the bike around with confidence.

Alasdair McAlley

To date, six 1997 Calderas have been identified including one in the optional color “Molotov Red”. After 1997 the Caldera continued in a mass-produced version but the original Caldera will remain a classic Kona unicorn.

Alasdair McAlley

Alasdair’s Retro Builds: Part 2 – 1997 Kona Manomano

In 1996, the Atlanta Olympic Games featured XC mountain biking as a sport for the first time. Internationally, teams were shifting to a full-time time basis as the race calendar intensified. Downhill and XC courses became more and more technical so bikes needed to withstand the new terrain and rider limits. Everyone was pushing for more speed, more fun and more challenges.

Kona was tasting success on the downhill circuit with Tomi Misser, Steve Peat and more. At the same time manufacturers were experimenting to find the most effective suspension design: single linkage/swing arms, Horst links, Unified Rear Triangles (URTs), Softrides, and so on.

Alasdair McAlley
Alasdair McAlley

The Manomano, first introduced in the 1997 range, means “great” or “four thousand”, a nod to the 4-bar linkage system that became Kona’s suspension template for the next 10 years. It brought huge success and ushered in the Stab followed by the Stinky.

Alasdair McAlley
Alasdair McAlley

I wanted to take the original Manomano to the next level. When it launched at the start of the season no-one knew the impact Marzocchi would make with the introduction of the Z1 and Z2 forks. Taking motocross technology, Marzocchi wiped the floor clean of 63mm travel elastomer forks with over 80mm progressive travel coil and oil suspension. Even today, this early model dual disc mount Z1 fork is very capable and transforms the overall ride experience.

Alasdair McAlley

The bulletproof Shimano XT M739 drivetrain features throughout with super-strong Mavic 221 rims fitted with the 90’s classic tire combo (re-issued) Panaracer Smoke and Darts.

Alasdair McAlley

I like mountain bikes to look how they ride and this looks like a beast so it’s my trail center machine of choice. The Z1s and original Fox Vanilla shock still provide reassuring little air squeaks over the rough stuff. The bike feels planted, steady and always puts a smile on my face.

Alasdair McAlley

The rear linkage pivot points are very slender by today’s standards, so trips to Whistler, Winrock and the North Shore aren’t recommended. But on any normal day, it will keep up with modern trail bikes thanks to the progressive gear ratios, sub 29lb weight and a strong pair of legs.

Alasdair McAlley
Caleb Smith | KONA COG

This is a piece of history and the sport will continue to evolve, just like it did back in 1996. With that in mind, this season I fitted a period correct Azonic stem and riser bars to help better navigate the gnarly stuff.

Alasdair McAlley

Miranda Miller Finishes Third at Les Orres EWS

Seb

No one could say that this year’s Enduro World Series hasn’t been exciting so far, its sure had its fair share of drama! After Lucy Schick’s and Leah Maunsell’s 1-2 on the U21 podium last week in Canazei, Italy we weren’t to sure how you could top that. Well, Miranda sure showed us how, after a solid four days on the bike, including two days of full-on racing, she would end the weekend standing in third place on her first every EWS podium. And Lucy and Leah? The would repeat the week’s previous result and finish in first and second again.

Seb

Miranda spent time before the race really working through bike setup, after a post Canazei chat with Kona Gravity Team Manager (and team mechanic) Mathieu Dupelle she opted for a few changes.

Seb

“The biggest difference I made this weekend was working more on my set up with the guys at SRAM. Mathieu Dupelle and I talked about it after Italy and decided that I should try “softer” settings. I felt I could push a bit harder with better traction and hang on longer. I tried to just stay relaxed during the racing to minimize mistakes as there was a lot of off camber and soft, tight turns. I ended day one in fifth and was so happy to move forward on the second day. Even better to end on the podium! A lot of work was put in by everyone at Kona and the team to help Rhys and I have the best weekends possible so it’s extra cool when it pays off like this. Thank you!” – Miranda Miller

Seb

Coming off a strong 26th place last week in Canazei, team mate Rhys Verner came into Les Orres on a high. It showed in his solid 33 place finish on stage one, and he was ready to throw it all into stage two but a massive over the bars would put paid to those plans. Rhys would fight back on day two and after 24th and a 33rd Rhys would claw make some valuable time and points, finishing in 44th place.

Seb

“I took a massive crash on stage two and smashed up my fingers… I got back on and tried to finish stage two strong. After the crash, I was pretty banged up and sore and struggled pretty hard on stages three and four. The next day my finger was pretty sore, so I focused on carrying speed through corners instead of hauling down the straits. It ended up paying off pretty well with a 24th place on stage seven and a 33rd on stage eight. Overall I ended up in 44th place. I’m excited to have made the most of a tough weekend and hang in there all things considered. I’m so unbelievably pumped for Miranda! – Rhys Verner

Seb

Leah and Lucy would follow up their one-two finish from Canazei, Italy last week with the same result again in Les Orres. The second place would move Leah into first place overall in the series, 100 points clear of her nearest competitor. That said the weekend didn’t go entirely to plan for Leah.

Seb

“It was a tough week here in Les Orres for me. After two bad crashes in practice, I was left fairly battered headed into the weekends racing. With all my injuries taped up I was still excited to get racing on these longer alpine stages. I got unlucky on stage two, losing a contact lens leaving me with vision out of only one eye which cost me some time. Staying positive I was ready to get after it on day two but I struggled to get time back on such fast-paced tracks. All in all, I still had a good week and learned a lot. Super stoked for the team’s results dominating all around with the U21 podium (Lucy in P1 and myself in P2) and Miranda grabbing her first of many podiums I’m sure. I’m also super happy to now be leading the series.” – Leah Maunsell

Seb

“This weekend was all about surviving the long two days and not crashing. With some technical stages right off the bat, it was difficult to get going on day one but I managed to hold on. Day two was shorter than expected but the stages were running SO good that I forgot we were racing and just focused on having fun! I was stoked to take my second EWS win and I am feeling so much more prepared for the rest of my season!”– Lucy Schick

Alasdair’s Retro Builds: Part 1 – 1997 Kona A’ha

Hello, my name is Alasdair. I grew up in the late 80s and 90s when mountain biking exploded into a global phenomenon. Riding a Raleigh, I spent my early teens pouring over Ordnance Survey maps looking for new singletrack, trying to emulate the stars in Mountain Biking UK magazine. In 1995 I spent my university student loan on the turquoise Cinder Cone and since then Kona’s have been the only bikes in my garage.

It’s my pleasure to present some of my bikes this week, all from the 1997 range. Why 1997? I love the combinations of the colors, jungle decal designs and the amazing selection of bikes that were available to purchase.

Looking at the catalog, every single bike looks superb and the range is diverse with steel, aluminum, titanium, hardtails, full suspension, cruisers, road bikes, for racing experts through to casual first-time shredders.

Alasdair McAlley

The A’ha was first introduced in 1995 to the North American market alongside its twin, the famously named Humuhumunukunukuapua’a. The 1997 A’ha featured a curved top tube as a throwback to the 1950s cruisers that mountain biking’s forefathers rode down Mount Tam on in the late 1970s.

Alasdair McAlley

First used as a color scheme on the custom built Hot, the A’ha features the iconic “stars and bars” livery.

Alasdair McAlley
Alasdair McAlley

Building up any bike presents new learning experiences and this build presented many challenges not least the wheels. Finding the right sized hub with the right period-correct rims was a mind-bender. The solution was a brand new Shimano DXR (BMX) hub laced to a pair of new-old-stock Sun rims that my local bike store found tucked away in their basement. The red and blue nipples echo the livery which continues with the classic Chris King patriot headset.

Alasdair McAlley
Alasdair McAlley
Alasdair McAlley

The A’ha cruises like a dream and can handle classic single-track with ease. It’s a miniature fat-bike with the wide Slick Rick tires providing maximum comfort for the frame’s geometry. The legendary P2 forks keep the steering agile and direct with a surprising amount of give on the bumps.

Alasdair McAlley

The original Cyclone BMX cranks and bottom bracket configuration mean the crank bolts screw the same peddling clockwise direction, so you need a lot of thread-lock to stop them falling off. No 19” A’ha frames were produced so this 18” creates a much more upright position than the longer, stretched out retro ride. Perhaps this bike was ahead of its time.

Alasdair McAlley

Future changes will include a different saddle and SPD pedals and longer term a conventional bottom bracket conversion. Stay tuned for more Retro Dream Builds tomorrow and the rest of the week.

Alasdair McAlley

Connor Fearon Keeps his 14 Plate After A Tough Weekend in Andorra

Boris Beyer

As far as being an MTB race fan goes, this weekend was seriously demanding! If you were a fan of gravity racing you had your weekend cut out for you. With DH coverage coming at you thick and fast from Vallnord Bike Park in Andorra and EWS results and photos coming at you from Les Orres in France just as quickly, it was hard to keep up. And that’s ignoring the fact that you may also be an XC fan, a TDF fan or maybe a stage racing fan.

Boris Beyer

But for Kona Gravity riders Connor Fearon and Jackson Frew and the rest of the World Cup field battling it out in the #dustpocalypse conditions of Andorra, things couldn’t get much more challenging. With the European heat wave in full swing and drying out the already steep and technical course, the insane amounts of dust hanging round in the trees and on the track provided another set of issues for riders to deal with. Dust was still hanging in the air from the previous rider 1 minute prior.

Boris Beyer

And that’s before you even talk about the track. The thing was constantly changing, Every run the track would deteriorate that little more, holes opening up here, ruts forming in berms, and then there was the constant loss of traction as the dust just continued to build up.

Boris Beyer

All these elements would conspire against both riders. The harsh conditions pushed Connor back to finish 26th in qualifying on Friday. Come race day, Connor thought he had more in the tank and but would cross the line in 6th place with around 20 riders still up top. After the dust eventually settled Connor would finish the weekend in 20th place, maintaining his 14th position in the overall standings heading into Les Gets next week.

Boris Beyer

Jackson would finish in 54th.

Boris Beyer Connor Fearon nears the finish during the 2019 UCI MTB World Cup, La Massana Andorra.

“Andorra was a really hard race this year. The heat wave going through Europe has taken its toll on the track here and it was dry and rough. I usually do really well here having 3 top 10 results here. This year I’ve just been struggling with the confidence side of things and this weekend was a hard one. I felt like it took me too long to get up to speed so was always behind the ball a bit. I was actually happy with my run; it was safe and good enough to get me 20th on the day and keep my 14th overall position. My goal is to finish top 10 again so I have 4 more world cups to make it happen!”

Boris Beyer Connor Fearon during the 2019 UCI MTB World Cup, La Massana Andorra.
Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Kona Dream Builds: Caleb Holonko’s Shonky ST

From a distance, Caleb Holonko‘s Shonky ST looks like most DJ’s but when you get a little closer you realize this team build is pretty damn special. The Kona Gravity Team Rider has been with Canadian company WeAreOne since their inception and was integral in their decision to build a carbon 26″ DJ and slopestyle wheel. Caleb’s other long term sponsors RockShox and SRAM also play a major part in this build and help make a bike that is designed purely for function. The fact that it still looks super rad is just a bonus.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Caleb’s Shonky is ready to rumble.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Caleb with a text book T-Bog.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

While Caleb loves the new Wah Wah II pedals on his Enduro and DH bikes he can’t get past the feel of the OG Kona Wah Wah for his DJ bike. The pedals are mounted up on a SRAM carbon XO boost crankset with a 32t chainring.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Out back you are looking at a 12t rear cog and one seriously slammed rear end.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

While we are back here let’s take a look at the random Tektro cable actuated rear brake that Caleb found in the Cove Bike Shop parts bin.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Rock Shox Pike DJ’s up front, Caleb runs the forks at the max setting of 250psi.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

And here they are, the WeAreOne Coup, a 26″ carbon rim designed specifically for the rigors of slope and DJ. #26AintDead

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Damn those wheels are rad, that large volume Schwalbe Crazy Bob just makes them look even cooler.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

The slightly lower profile Maxxis DTH is Caleb’s tire of choice for the rear.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Spin to Win. Given the brakes on this bike are hardly used, Caleb has opted for an Odyssey Gyro and a cable actuated rear Tektro brake over running a long hydro cable. Long Odyssey BMX grips and Truvativ’s a Descendant bar and stem complete the cockpit.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Caleb Smith | KONA COG

And the whole thing is rounded off with a Chromag Overture Liaison series saddle.