Double Vision: Kona Release the New Hei Hei Carbon – Video

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Take another look. That really is Kona Endurance racer Spencer Paxson ripping around the trails of Vancouver Island on what appear to be very similar Hei Hei bikes. Upon closer inspection you’ll find two fresh new Hei Hei’s that are built for two different styles of rider. Both bikes feature an all new 1800g carbon frame, our proven FUSE Independent Suspension, Boost spacing and Stealth dropper post routing. The Hei Hei Race DL was developed on World Cup XC courses where an ultralight carbon frame, 100mm of front and rear travel, efficient power transfer and speed are the key components to winning. While the Hei Hei DL was built on the same WC proven carbon frame, it gets more travel up front, a trail worthy spec and a dropper post for scampering up climbs and railing descents. So no matter the riding style, or trail preference these new Carbon Hei Hei’s are ready to roll.

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The Hei Hei DL was perfectly at home on the flowy trails at Bear Mountain and so was Kona Endurance Racer Spencer Paxson. Spencer describes himself as a mountain biker that just happens to race XC and he loved showing us that trail side of him as he flicked, popped and rallied the Hei Hei DL around the XC course after the Race Tape had come down.

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The Bear Mountain XC course started on the golf course’s driving range, riders and spectators not only had to negotiate each other but also the thousands of balls left embedded on the green. Spencer leads a group around the unusual race backdrop before hitting the first big climb of the lap.

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Can you tell Jordie Lunn had a hand in the course design?

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With the other racers gone and the course free from crowds, Spencer hits the step-downs just how they were intended.

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Spencer powers through the Bear Mountain race course utilizing the new carbon Hei Hei’s 100mm of rear travel and super stiff chassis.

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With the race tape gone and the fun factor now higher on the agenda Spencer takes advantage of the Hei Hei DL’s wider rims and longer travel 120mm fork, to get every ounce out of the trail.

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Nimble, quick and ready to tackle the toughest of WC Courses.

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Something-something, over used scalded cat phrase, something-something.

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Not many XC courses pack a downhill flow trail filled with doubles and triples into their race laps, but they do things a little different on the Island. Spencer sure isn’t complaining.

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The Hei Hei DL is the perfect tool for those unpredictable all day rides that take you deep into the heart of forest primeval.

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The Hei Hei Race DL at rest.

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Kona’s in-house filmmaker Joonas Vinnari and legendary race videographer Rob Parkin join force’s and try to encourage Spencer to devour another bowl of porridge for the Hei Hei video’s opening scenes. #anotherone

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The new 100mm travel Carbon Hei Hei DL is a supremely versatile and capable trail weapon. Components like WTB’s i29 rims, 120mm Fox Float 34 forks and KS’s Lev internally routed dropper post, combined with the long reach and low standover of this modern XC bike, mean that there is not much that it won’t do.

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From L-R. Clean chainstay/seatstay junction, FUSE Independent rear suspension with 100mm of travel, stiff head tube, and 120mm up front

Model – Hei Hei DL
Frame – Kona Race Light Carbon
Wheel Size – 29 inch
Wheels – WTB KOM i29 TCS
Front/Rear Suspension – 120mm/100mm
Shock – Fox Float Performance
Fork – Fox Float 34 Performance 120mm Tapered
Crankset – Race Face Aeffect cinch 1.x 34t Narrow/Wide
Crankset -Shimano XT Shadow Plus 1x 11spd
Cockpit – Kona XC/BC 35 Riser bar and XC/Road 35 stem, ODI Ruffian MX grips
Brakes – Shimano XT
Tire Front – Maxxis Ardent EXO TR 29×2.25″
Tire Rear – Maxxis Ikon EXO TR 29×2.2″
Saddle – WTB Volt Comp (Volt Sport SE 250 size S)
Availability – The Hei Hei DL is available in North America now and the Hei Hei Race DL will be available in the first week of August. Both models are available in Europe and UK now.

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Hei Hei Race DL and its 100mm Fuse suspension have been tested around the world in multiple high-pressure events, from World Cups in Europe, Canada, and Australia, all the way through to the epic Pioneer five day stage race in New Zealand. To say this bike is race proven would be somewhat of an understatement.

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From L-R. Clean chainstay/seatstay junction, FUSE Independent rear suspension with 100mm of travel, Stiff head tube and 100mm up front

Model – Hei Hei Race DL
Frame Material – Kona Race Light Carbon
Wheel Size – 29 inch
Wheels – WTB KOM i25 TCS
KIS Platform – Fuse Independent Suspension
Front/Rear Suspension – 100mm/100mm
Shock – RockShox Monarch RL
Fork – RockShox Reba RL 100mm Tapered
Crankset – Race Face Aeffect
Drivetrain – SRAM GX 10 – 42 11spd
Cockpit – Kona XC/BC 35 Riser bar and XC/Road 35 stem
Brakes – SRAM Guide RS
Tire Front – Maxxis M340 Maxxlite 29×2.0″
Tire Rear – Maxxis M340 Maxxlite 29×2.0″
Saddle – WTB Volt Comp
Availability – The Hei Hei DL is available in North America now and the Hei Hei Race DL will be available in the first week of August. Both models are available in Europe and UK now.

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To create our best Hei Hei to date, we turned to a product manager with a wealth of MTB knowledge and to one of our veteran endurance racers for input. Pat White has been a Product Manager at Kona since 1995 and had a hand in developing many of the iconic mountain bikes we’ve become known for. Spencer Paxson has 18 years of racing tucked into his spandex and knows his way around a MTB race course. He is currently on the Long Team for the 2016 Olympic Games. The result of their combined knowledge and experience is the lighter, stiffer, more capable, all carbon Hei Hei.

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“The whole development of the new Hei Hei platform started back in 2012, we had learned a lot from the development of the Process bikes, and we wanted to transfer those things over to the new Hei Hei’s. We wanted to address the fit of the bike and also the bike’s capability and versatility. Both the carbon and alloy models are designed to have the same geometries, the same range of fit and they also share a lot of components like the rocker and bearings.” Pat White – Product Manager

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“We knew that we were going to get something relatively light but the first samples and the actual production bikes came as a bit of surprise, while the stiffness and ride quality were still spot on.” Pat White – Product Manager

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“World Cup courses are more frenetic and technical than ever, there are still stupid super steep climbs, but now you have slippery rock shoots, drop-offs, and jumps. The versatility to adapt to these types of terrain is not only required from the rider but also from their bike.” Spencer Paxson – Kona Endurance Team Racer

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One of the really important features we wanted the new Hei Hei design to have was a geometry compatible with both 100mm and 120mm travel forks. We had to take a look at having both lengths and making sure things like our bottom bracket drop and our head tube angle still fit within acceptable parameters while actually enhancing performance. Pat White – Product Manager

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At the end of the day I’d like to consider myself as a mountain biker who likes to race cross country. Although I’ve ridden the carbon Hei Hei all over the world now, I like to remember that I live in a very special part of the world, Bellingham. Right out the back door we have an incredibly high level of trail quality, and that’s really enabled me to see what this bike is truly capable of and the spectrum of riding that it can cover. No matter what type of rider you are there’s a special application that I think a bike like this really opens up. Spencer Paxson – Kona Endurance Team Racer