Sophie Bossier

Kona Dream Builds: Un Sutra pas comme les autres

Mathieu Cloutier de la boutique Le Pédalier à Québec nous présente sa nouvelle bécane! Et on peut dire que le montage de son Sutra transpire l’amour de la bicyclette…

“Il y a deux choses qui me passionnent dans la vie: les vélos et les voyages. On comprend donc que les vélos de cyclotourisme occupent une place spéciale dans mon cœur. Après avoir essayé un Sutra l’année dernière je savais que j’allai encore devoir acheter un nouveau vélo.

Quand j’ai vu le Sutra 2017 j’ai eu le coup de foudre et j’ai toute de suite su qu’il allait être mon compagnon pour mes prochaines aventures. Avec ce vélo je voulais une bécane qui pourrait m’amener au bout du monde, tout en étant fiable, stylée et intemporelle.”

“J’ai décidé d’utiliser le cadre du Sutra standard car la peinture me plaisait. Kona porte toujours une attention particulière à leurs vélos mais le Sutra est particulièrement réussi. J’ai rarement vu une couleur aussi riche et profonde sur un vélo de production. Si vous avez la chance de vous rendre dans une boutique Kona pour le voir au soleil, le détour en vaut la peine!

Pour les roues, aucune question à se poser – un montage custom s’imposait. J’ai donc monté des jantes Velocity Atlas 36 trous qui résistent à toutes les épreuves, avec des rayons DT Swiss montés sur des moyeux Hope Pro 4. Ensuite, un Bearing scellé corps de casette en acier, capable d’endurer les pires conditions – donc idéal pour le touring.

J’ai choisi un pédalier Sugino Alpina triple. À mon avis un des crank’ les plus solide sur le marché avec, en bonus, un look classique indémodable. Les 3 plateaux me donnent tout le gear range nécessaire pour me trimbaler aux sommets des plus hautes montagnes tout en me permettant d’être rapide lors des descentes!

Coté transmission, bar ends shifters pour leur simplicité et leur fiabilité, une mécanique arrière XT et une de mes pièces favorites sur le vélo: un dérailleur XTR première génération neuf – qui pour une raison inconnue avait été oublié au shop. Old school bling!

 

Pour les freins, j’ai choisi les vénérables Avid BB7 mécanique. Tellement fiable, facile d’ajustement, pièces faciles à trouver, c’était pour moi un “no brainer”.

Head set Chrisking – il parait que si on en prend soin, il dure toute une vie. J’ai décidé de vérifier par moi-même. On s’en reparle dans 20 ans, haha.

Potence et tige de selle Thomson pour le cockpit.

Rack Tubus. Aucun rack n’a fait le tour du monde plus souvent. Simple efficace et avec une garantie à toute épreuve.

Pneus Panaracer Passela PT – des pneus solides, confortables, durables et le plus important: à flanc beige!

Finalement je conserverai ma vieille selle Brooks B17 qui garde mes fesses contentes comme aucunes autres selles et ce, peu importe le kilométrage fait dans la journée.”

Nadia Richer arborera fièrement son Kona Sutra LTD aux French Divide cet été!

Nadia, québécoise, a choisi un Sutra LTD pour s’envoler vers la France cet été afin de participer au French Divide. Après son passage à Radio-Canada, elle nous explique plus précisement ses ressentis sur sa future course et sur son nouveau vélo.

 

Le French Divide est une course de Gravel, de la Belgique jusqu’au Pays Basque. Le French Divide, c’est 30% de route, 70% de chemin et 100% de dépassement de soi.

« Le French Divide part de Belgique, ensuite nous avons 4 villes étapes. Le tracé du parcours n’est pas encore sorti. Nous ne savons pas encore à quoi nous attendre. Mais c’est ce que j’aime – je ne suis pas stressée à l’idée de passer la nuit dehors ou de manquer une douche, c’est l’aventure, ca apporte du piquant dans la course! »

 

Nadia aura 15 jours en août prochain pour parcourir 2100 kilomètres, ce qui représente environs 140 kilomètres par jour. Ce n’est pas la première fois que Nadia aura à se confronter à de longues distances comme celle du French Divide.

« J’ai depuis toujours été sur un deux roues, depuis mes années étudiantes où j’entreprenais des randonnées de cyclo-tourisme en Europe de plusieurs mois, en passant par les week-end où je pars en Raid pour faire de 80 à 100 kilomètres par jours, j’aime le vélo, et tant que je peux accrocher mes sacoche dessus, ca me va. Mais là c’est un autre défis : le temps est limité »

 

 

En effet, ce n’est pas une course comme les autres. Nadia sera munie d’un GPS tracker, et devra passer par des étapes. Mais son voyage se fera en complète autonomie.

« Je me prépare à partir seule sur la route. Avec 39km de dénivelés positifs, sur deux semaines seulement, c’est un très gros défi pour moi. Il faut être constante tous les jours, je n’aurai pas de répis. »

 

Nadia se prépare depuis de longs mois déjà avec son Sutra LTD.

« J’ai un coach sportif qui m’aide à me préparer. Ma vie est orientée vers ce défis. Depuis plusieurs mois, je travaille main dans la main avec mon Sutra LTD et je sens que mon volume et ma qualité d’entraînement se sont améliorés. Ca me pousse à aller encore plus loin! Au niveau du matériel, je pars avec le strict minimum, c’est à dire une bâche que je vais tendre sur mon vélo et un petit matelas de sol pour dormir. Je suis à la recherche de matériel léger, et mon Sutra LTD est parfait pour cela. »

 

 

Nadia à acheté son Sutra LTD à La Boutique Le Pédalier à Quebec, qui ont bien sû la renseigner.

« Je dois encore passer à la boutique Le Pédalier pour passer mes pneus en tubeless, pour avoir plus de confort. Ils ont bien sû me renseigner: j’avais déjà un vélo de route et de montagne, mais il me fallait un gravel, pour avoir la vitesse d’un vélo de route, mais à la fois avoir un vélo assez costaud pour entamer les sentiers et chemins forestiers. Pour le budget que j’avais, ils m’ont proposé un Sutra LTD. Et c’est un super vélo, j’en suis très contente. Il est très bien équipé, en plus d’être très beau. »

Sur ces photos, Nadia est partie lors d’un long week-end en Gaspésie, avec une moyenne de 100km par jours, pour essayer son vélo et son matériel.

 « Après avoir essayé le Sutra LTD sur de longues distances, je peux vous affirmer que c’est un super vélo. Le guidon est très confortable, et le rapport dérailleur-cassette est parfait. De plus, il se manie très bien une fois chargé. C’est le vélo idéal pour ce que j’entreprend. Enfin bref, il fait vraiment bien la job comme on dit au Québec!»

 

Brooklyn and Cocoa the Process: “It Showed Me That I Could Do Anything…”

Brooklyn from the Kona Supremes is super stoked on her Process. Here she drops in with a bit of history with her 134, and where she’s going next…

Words by Brooklyn Bell.

Last summer I bought my first full suspension bike after I rode Kona Process 134 at a demo. I fell in love after the first ride! I was giggling and squealing like never before. A friend treated me to a local gem of a trail I had never seen before; a trail that was outside of the realm of what I thought mountain biking was, but I just charged it because the Process 134 inspired the confidence I needed. From that ride on, I was sold on this bike because it showed me that I could do anything. Making this purchase has changed my life and it’s been a crazy year on Cocoa the Bike.

Now I’m upgrading bikes. I’ve sold my Process 134 for a Process 153 so I can charge harder and send it bigger no matter where I ride. I’ll be trading in the Shimano Deore brakes for the more powerful stopping power of the SRAM Guide R brakes and a Sektor fork for the Yari Solo Air. The 153’s 1X11 drivetrain along with the wider rims and tires is also a major upgrade from the 2015 Process 134 I was on before. The 153 likes bigger lines, is much more stable and loves to charge. I love how at home it feels on the steeps and has no problem with bigger hits and senders. I’m really excited about all the trouble my new Process 153 will get me into this summer and next year.

Keep up with Brooklyn and the Kona Supremes on Instagram!

Concours de Dessins Kona: un Shred 20 à Gagner! (Francais)

Kona apporte son soutien aux Mercredis de Terrebonne! Tous les mercredis, les plus jeunes comme les élites se réunissent au Nord de Montréal pour s’affronter sur des parcours de cross country.

Même notre Gravity Team y participe! Si vous voulez rencontrer Connor Fearon en personne, vous savez où aller. Vous pourrez également retrouver le stand Kona sur cet évenement, alors enfourchez votre vélo-trotteur ou votre tout nouveau Honzo, et venez faire un tour!

Un concours de dessin est organisé pour les plus jeunes, toutes les semaines sur notre stand. A vos crayons! Venez réaliser votre plus beau dessin pour tentez de remporter un Shred 20! Nous choisirons le dessin le plus stylé et l’heureux gagnant sera désigné le neuf août prochain par le réprésentant Kona Québec, lors de la dernière étapes des Mercredis de Terrebonne.

Sophie Gets a New Bike… from Graham Agassiz

I’ve been an intern at Kona Bikes for one month now, and I feel completely integrated. This week we hosted Kona’s annual spring meetings at the Kona World office in Vancouver. 

Photos and words by Sophie Bossier.

There were approximately twenty people at this meeting. The most important people at Kona were here: product managers, sales managers, art and marketing guys, and Dan and Jake, the owners. It’s impressive to be in the midst of these guys. They came from the four corners of the world – New Zealand, USA, Europe… just for this meeting.

Dan and Jake

I haven’t told you about Dan and Jake. They are Kona. They have a huge role inside Kona as well as they are both the founders and the actual owners of Kona. Dan and Jake grounded Kona Bikes here, in Vancouver, in 1988, before I was born – I’m 22 now. Next year will be the 30th birthday of Kona. At that time, it was the early days of mountain biking on the North Shore. If you want to know more about Kona’s history, I will tell you more in my next article. It’s an impressive story, believe me. And if you didn’t see my last articles, here is the link!

Dan and Jake still work full time at Kona. Jake is based in Vancouver and I see him almost every day, working hard the whole day. Dan is more of a traveling guy, often between USA and Europe and Asia – he is not often in Vancouver. It could be intimidating to be in front of these guys, if you know who they are. But they are very nice and cool, funny sometimes, making you feel at ease. They are like all the employees at Kona, they know how to be serious when it is required, but that doesn’t make them snobby people.

The Meetings

Regarding the annual meeting of this week, each day was dedicated to a topic. I had the opportunity to assist on the marketing day. Several topics were covered in the morning: athlete programs, future marketing campaigns, future videos, the budget for these actions, and so on. They were efficient in the morning, very efficient, powering through it all, launching topic after topic.

In contrast, the afternoon was very different. They were a bit abstracted – we can say. Maybe you would say that at the end of the week, we could feel the wave of exhaustion coming. More time was spent debating topics, but it was very fair: everyone was able to communicate their views and position. Fortunately, Eddy, the head of marketing, was there to manage the debate. I had the feeling of being in a school yard sometimes with a bunch of young kids, friends – just having fun.

New Bike Day, Again!

To change a little bit from the mountain bike, we decided to go to ride dirt jumping bikes this weekend. For dirt jumpers and BMX lovers, there is a lot to do in the Vancouver area.

The problem was, I didn’t have a BMX or dirt jumping bike, and neither did Kona – it’s ironic! But they’re ressourceful: in two hours, I had my perfect bike. We unhooked an old Kona Cowan frame from the ceiling. This bike was given to Scott from the sales office by Graham Agassiz, seven years ago. Then, we scoured the warehouse looking for a crank, a fork, a brake, two wheels and a handlebar. And here we go, voila, I had a brand new dirt jumper. Or almost new. Better than new, some would say!

My boyfriend Jordan and I both went to the nearest BMX track, ten minutes’ ride from where we are living in North Vancouver. North Shore BMX Track is pretty good! There is a little pumptrack next to the track. It reminded us of our afternoons in France, to ride and to chill at the BMX track, under the sun.

Then, we wanted to try Air Rec Center Indoor Bike Park, in Maple Ridge. It’s a bike park with jumps for every level – from the beginner who prefers staying on a pump track, to the advanced rider who loves jumping big ones with wood kickers and huge landings. There is also a big air bag and a trick kump area, to improve your skills in the air before going to the real ones. It’s a wonderful concept, I loved it! And it’s a good way to escape from the rain.

There is a lot to do in BC if you love riding – whatever the weather and the time you want to spend on it, you’ll always find your paradise here. On my side, I found it!

Kona Grassroots Rider Jordan Regnier in Reign on the Alps

The French Alps had better watch out… our European Grassroots rider Jordan Regnier is ripping it up with his Process 153!

Notre European Grassroot rider Jordan Regnier nous impressionne avec sa toute nouvelle vidéo! Les Alpes françaises n’ont qu’à bien se tenir. Avec son Process 153, il est prêt à vous en mettre plein les yeux et les oreilles!

Sophie’s New Bike Day and First Trip to Whistler Bike Park!

At Kona, employees don’t have company cars, but they gave me a staff bike, which is more expensive than my car in France. Not too bad.

Photos and words by Sophie Bossier.

I’ve been an intern at Kona, in B.C., for two weeks now. In last week’s article I told you about the advantages of working in the bike industry. At Kona, in particular, I have the privilege to take any bike I want, when I want, for my weekend rides or as a commuter bike. But the bikes I really love are the downhill bikes.

As the opening weekend at the lift-accessed bike park in Whistler approached, Kona suggested I take a staff bike, which was thrilling for me. I could choose any one, and – of course – I chose an Operator, in my favorite color, which I will be able to bring back to France. After a few weeks’ riding I’ll do a brief review of my feelings and experiences with my Operator. Don’t hesitate to follow my futures articles if you have interest in this bike!


Whistler Mountain Bike Park is like Disneyland for riding enthusiasts. Everything is bigger, higher – more trails, more jumps, more thrills. The trails are considerably more maintained than our French ones, and it feels good to ride on smooth and well-shaped trails.

There are trails for every taste. For big jumps, speed, and big thrill enthusiasts, go ride and whip the A-Line. For girls like me, who are afraid of these crazy riders who do backflips and ride the A-Line without braking at all, Crank-It-Up is for you! Anyways, if you like rock gardens, roots, berms… you’ll find your paradise here.

And I’m not talking about the village, the center of Whistler. It’s so huge. Shops, everywhere. You have both stereotypes: the first one is the girl who loves shopping, and the second is the girl rider who always wants new bike gear. Now, imagine me in Whistler’s streets – for once, my boyfriend is not reluctant to accompany me on my shopping.

After a season in Whistler, I will have tried so many different kinds of trails that I will be able to ride everywhere – or at least, I hope. I have a real desire to improve my skills. And from my weekends in Whistler, my daily rides during the weekdays, and my work at Kona, I live bike, I think bike, I work bike, I dream bike. It’s crazy – and it’s a change compared to my weekly ride when I was in France. One thing is certain: when I return to France, nothing will ever be as it was.

My Work at Kona Bikes

In last week’s article I told you about my colleagues. I work closely with the marketing team. But what’s marketing, you may say? The marketing team here at Kona works on a wide variety of different projects. On the surface level, you would be able to see that they manage the Cog blog, where I am publishing my articles, as well as Kona’s global social media channels. They write and photograph and make videos throughout the year, and also do communication for employees, dealers, and customers. They answer all of your requests too. And many other things I will discover in the next few months.


On a daily basis, I help them on the social media and the blog. With my fran-glish, it’s a little bit complicated, but some of my posts are liked by more than 3,000 followers, it’s not too bad. I have fun playing with Kona’s Instagram: I can test and learn with an account followed by more than 80k followers. I enjoy that lot!

My Most Important Work

Then, the most important part of my work for these first weeks is to translate in its entirety the writing for the 2018 website into French. It’s super cool and one of the perks here is that I can have a look at all the new models for 2018, which makes me dream, sweet!

But don’t get me wrong, translation is not an easy job! Even if I’ve done a lot of translation in my studies at school, it’s always more difficult when it’s the reality, for a real website, and it’s complicated. For example, how do you translate singletrack, or shred, or flat mount into French? If you have an answer, I would be pleased to receive it, haha.

In English, one word can mean a lot of things. In French, we like to describe things precisely. For one word in English, you’ll have sometimes six or seven words in French. As a result, to maintain the same number of words in accord with the room dedicated for it on the website, you have to make some choice, or sometimes change the sentence completely to keep the main idea in a different sentence.

In a nutshell, you will understand the website, so enjoy it – maybe even be a bit indulgent. It will be nice that your 2018 Kona website will be translated into French and German and Spanish. You’ll be able to spend even more time on it to read the description of your favorites bikes, in your language.

The First Week of Sophie at Kona Bikes!

More than being talented at work, Kona’s employees are killing it in their personal fields. It’s like that at Kona: they don’t hire you on your resume only, and even less for your educational background. They really look at who you are.

Photos and words by Sophie Bossier.

Last week I told you about my first impressions when I arrived at Kona Bikes for the first time. If you missed it, read my first article about my internship at Kona!

Within the Kona family where I work we have a World Champion of Downhill, a former top level BMX racer, a professional skier and mountain biker… and the list goes on. It’s so incredibly inspiring to be around people that push the limits, living life and exceeding their resumes.

The craziest is Richard, or Dik, or Richard – lol’ I don’t really know, this nickname is confusing for me – please refer to my first article and you will understand. Dik Cox was on the ground level of the MTB world you know today. He rode before there were trails built on the North Shore, and long before the mountain bikes that we see today existed. Dik has a big quiver, and he rides them, every day. He is THE guy, like the guy who gets up at five in the morning to do three hours of riding before going to the office. And everyone knows him in the bicycle industry here in B.C.

In my day-to-day I work closely with Kona’s marketing team. There is Caleb Smith, Kona’s brand manager, who is also a professional photographer. He was the founder of Spoke Magazine in New Zealand before coming to Kona. He speaks with a strange New Zealand accent, and sometimes I don’t understand him. In addition, he’s a strong advocate of New Zealand’s culture. He’s nice and very professional.

Next, Morgan Taylor is the writer at Kona. He has almost 15k followers on Instagram and is very connected to bicycle culture. He once lived in a house of twenty square meters in the forest and you have probably already heard about him in one of his funny videos or his article on the Radavist.

The head of marketing, Eddy Marcelet, is my internship supervisor. Eddy lives in another riding mecca, Nelson, B.C., and he likes really steep natural trails. And I would not dare to tell you anything funny or obtuse about him, sorry. I’m so happy to be part of their team, and I know I’ll learn a lot about marketing working with them.

Many of the employees have been working here for ten years, twenty years and thirty years. That says something about the commitment, the culture, and the great company Kona is. One guy worked here before Kona existed. This guy makes good coffee too – coffee is a religion here. I was almost fired when I said that I didn’t like coffee, haha.

More than half of the employees here work outside the office, from home, as they live close to the forest – because their playground is the forest and its various trails that it can offer them by bike.

I understand, behind Kona’s bikes, it’s all amazing and talented people. They take great care with the Kona brand and its bikes as if it was their baby. So when you ride a Kona bike, think about that.

If you want to know more about my colleagues, you can watch the series of My Kona Videos dedicated to them. There you will be introduced to the whole Kona family, including the Kona USA employees who are crazier than here, I am told, haha.

My First Days in British Columbia

I think I’m lucky, really lucky. My schedule is really cool. I am able to get into my biking gear, don my knee pads and my helmet and get on my bike for an after work ride in the forest behind my home – or to shape some trails and jumps that the teens of the family I am living with are making for fun with their friends.

Then, on the weekends, I have the opportunity to travel and do a lot of things with my two wheel machine and my boyfriend. All the more so as I’m able to borrow every bike I want in the Kona demo fleet. From road bikes, to enduro or fat bikes, to downhill bikes, the choices are almost endless. This week I chose a Kona Process 167, the perfect bike for what I planned to do.

Last weekend, we went to Squamish, between Vancouver and Whistler. Squamish has a long history as a MTB destination, and some of Kona’s employees live there. Lots of well-known personalities of the bike industry and lots of trails builders live in this town too.

The drive to Squamish is beautiful: it’s so nice to drive along the coast and some of the islands in Howe Sound. We rode the extremely steep 19th Hole, and one of Squamish’s most popular trails, Half Nelson. We rode Full Nelson too, which is very fun, flowy trail, with four kilometers of berms, rollers and jumps throughout.

I have stars in my eyes. Squamish is definitely such an incredible place to go, and it’s so close to my home. I am living the dream, my dream!

Vital MTB Reviews the Kona Operator DL: “Park Friendly, World Cup Approved”

Vital MTB has just published a very thorough and positive review of our Operator DL.

“Whether you spend $3,200 on the baseline model or $7,500 on their highest end build, you still get a durable, well-thought-out machine with good geometry, a solid suspension platform, all in a mega-stout package that should take a beating for many seasons to come.”

“Kona’s updated Operator DL is a solid downhill bike with a build that strikes a nice balance between performance and budget.”

Read the full review at Vital MTB!

Factory Jackson is in awe of the Honzo CR Trail: “The Kona really has encouraged me to ride…”

Andrew Dodd from Factory Jackson has recently published an excellent long term review of our Honzo CR Trail. The Honzo inspired him to get out in sloppy conditions all winter and helped him to push his riding skills – exactly what we were hoping by sending over a long term tester.

“Unlike many hard tails that can feel a bit nervous when the going gets treacherous, the Kona Honzo CR Trail actually has more in common with the way you might ride a jump bike on a section of single track. It’s stiff and really inspiring to ride.”

“Overall – I bloody love this bike. You might have already guessed that.”

Without any doubt, Doddy is impressed! Read his complete long term review at Factory Jackson!

Dirt Mountain Bike’s 27.5 Kona Operator Long Term Review: “We totally love it…”

Dirt Mountain Bike has just posted their long term review of Operator. With notes on the history of our race-ready downhill machine, Ieuan Williams gets into just what our lineup of DH shredders is capable of.

“The RockShox Kage rear shock together with the suspension system is a real gem of a pairing – smooth, supple over harsh high frequency terrain but also has a progressive curve to help deal with big hits without blowing through the travel. We totally love it.”

“We rate this bike highly and the ride characteristic offers superb traction together with a silent ride.”

Read the full review at Dirt Mountain Bike!