Bicycling Magazine test the Kona Process 134 “Warning: This trail bike may encourage you to make motorcycle noises”

For the last ten years or so the technical editors over at Bicycling Magazine have been putting together their annual genre defying and authoritative list of the best road and mountain bikes. Earlier this year at Sea Otter Classic in California they announced the 2015 finalists who had received that coveted Editors’ Choice stamp. These are, as Bicycling‘s Gloria Liu states “bikes we recommend without reservation because they are class leaders, are amazing values, or extend the limits of what’s possible technologically. And, because of course, they bring the fun”. Well they have just recently posted up the second of the two Kona bikes that certainly “brings the fun” , the 2015 Kona Process 134. Check out what they had to say below.

How about this headline: “Budget Bike Meets Target Audience, Make Beautiful Music Together.”—Mike Yozell

This mashup worked for me: slack geometry on a shorter-travel trail bike. Pedaling it was surprisingly even, considering it weighs more than 30 pounds. But for this price, that’s reasonable. The long top tube and shortstem made climbing a little different—you have to lean farther forward at the hips, really drop your elbows, and get your chin low to keep the front wheel on the ground on steep pitches. But damn does it reward those efforts on descents. With the dropper post low (yup, there’s a dropper on this $2,800 bike), your weight is lower on the bike and farther from the bar, keeping you in a neutral position with your elbows bent, so you can lean easier into turns and roll with the terrain, loose and not stiff-armed. Pretty amazing.

What Kona did was smart. It made a bike for everyday riding, affordable enough for most riders, something that won’t hold you back in any situation, and that will actually help make you a more comfortable, confident descender. The company wisely realized that most people are never going to race a bike, so it made a bike that suits riders who want to have fun, not cross the finish line first. If that’s you, check out this bike.—Louis Mazzante