Last weekend Kona downhill racer Connor Fearon traded in his Operator for a Process 165 and won the Bromont leg of the Canadian National Enduro series ahead of notable riders Sam Thibault and Keegan Wright.
Connor’s timing chip didn’t work on the second stage so he had to climb up and repeat the stage, adding a huge extra climb to his day.
Meanwhile, junior rider Tristan Lemire won the downhill Canadian National Championships in the cadet category, giving Kona racing a hugely successful Canadian weekend! Congrats to Connor and Tristan!
No stranger to assembling Gucci dream builds for his customers, Jason from Chainline Bikes in San Deigo put together this unbelievably rad and seriously custom Process 153 for himself. You won’t likely see another bike like this rolling the trails, the ENVE M70’s feature custom graphics and the Boxxer red Rock Shox Lyrik’s get the matching custom decal treatment as well. The XO rear mech and cassette are the only remnants from the original bike with nearly all other parts getting swapped out, from the Deity cockpit to the Hope Race Evo E4 brakes all the way to the carbon 175mm KS Lev CI dropper. Anyway, you’re not here to read this, you want to check the build list and ogle these photos, we wont stand in your way.
Dayum! That Enve M70 and Lyrik combo is just insane! The M70’s are laced to DT Swiss 240’s with Sapim bladed spokes. The fork is the brand new 2019 Rock Shox Lyrik RC2, and the bike rolls on Onza’s Ibex 2.4’s front and rear.
The cockpit is built around a carbon Deity Mohawk DC31 bar and 35mm Deity Copperhead stem. Ergon GD1 grips keep digits attached while Hope’s powerful Race Evo E4 keep excess speed in check.
And like pretty much every custom build we feature, Wolf Tooth’s dropper lever controls the KS Carbon posts actuation.
Oh yeah, that 175mm drop Carbon KS Lev Ci and Ergon SME3 Pro saddle.
Race Face’s Six C carbon cranks and a 34t direct mount chainring drive the Process. Deity’s Bladerunner pedals are there to win medals (on shop rides)
Frame Kona Process 153 Rear Shock Rock Shox Super Deluxe Air RCT Fork Rock Shox Lyrik RC2 Headset FSA Handlebar Deity Mohawk DC31 Carbon Stem Deity Copperhead 35mm Grips Ergon GD1 Brakes Hope Technology Race Evo E4 Shifters SRAM XO1 Eagle Rear Derailleur SRAM XO1 Eagle Cranks Race Face sixc Chainrings / Sprocket Race Face Narrow Wide 34T Bottom Bracket Race Face Chain SRAM Cassette / Rear Cog SRAM XO1 Eagle Pedals Deity Bladerunner Rims ENVE M70 Thirty HV Hubs DT Swiss 240s Boost Spokes Sapim Bladed Front Tire Onza Ibex 2.4 Rear Tire Onza Ibex 2.4 Saddle Ergon SME3 Pro Seatpost KS lev 175 Carbon Weight 30 lb 0 oz (13608 g)
One half of our Irish Enduro racing family was back in action yesterday at Round 4 of the Grassroots Enduro Series. Jonathan Maunsell has had a stellar year so far with several big victories aboard his Process 153CR. This weekend was no exception, capturing yet another victory at the Grassroots.
He said, “After taking the win at the first 3 rounds, I was feeling the target on my back this weekend but the DH style stages suited me and I’m happy to make it 4/4! Looking forward to heading out to Europe for the next EWS round!”
2018 marks my 10th year of racing mountain bikes. During this time I have had seasons where everything seems to go as planned and the flow just came naturally. Others though required a bit more work. This season started off as the latter. With each race came a new hurdle. Mechanicals took me out of contention in Mexico and the TDS and a tough race in New Mexico had roused those little voices in the back of my mind that suggested that I might not have what it takes this year. As I continue to grow at my 9 to 5, the responsibilities there have become more demanding, personal relationships all require time and energy, and the number of hours in the day seem to disappear quicker each year. But despite all the fits and starts of this season, the effort it takes to rally after a 10-hour work day and get out for a training ride, and all the other little sacrifices it takes to be competitive at racing bikes, I keep coming back. It’s the little tastes of success, of progress, that makes all the work worthwhile. So after three lackluster races, it was time to pack up the van and head to my first California Enduro of the year, Mammoth Bar.
Mammoth Bar is not my favorite race of the year. It’s really pedally, really dry, and often really hot. But the racing is tight and it’s a good chance to get into the swing of things. After working three-quarters of a day I ducked out early and got a practice lap in on each stage Friday night for Saturday’s race. With only four stages of racing, each stage required 100% effort. I did my best to remember the stages, stay off the chicken levers, and put power down wherever I could. When it was all said and done I was able to round out the podium in 5th place. Though not the result I was aiming for, it was a step in the right direction; no mechanicals, improved riding, and a podium spot. I even got a feel for my new Satori which has been surprising me with its quick handling and snappy feel. It’s a much different bike from the Process, but its well suited to the fast and flowy singletrack found at many of the CA Enduro Races.
With the season moving into full swing, I’m going to keep focusing on finding the flow, enjoying the ride, and savoring those small victories week after week. Sometimes things don’t come easy. But that’s exactly when the most progress can be made.
Kona Supreme Hannah Bergemann reports from the CDC Capitol Forest Enduro race:
Capitol Forest has one of the most stoked and supportive bike communities of any riding zone I’ve traveled to. After a few hours of riding and hanging with the locals, you feel welcomed as part of the crew. Not to mention they work countless hours to build and maintain some of Olympia and Washington state’s best trails and trail systems. They host several events each year, including the Capitol Forest Classic XC race, and their events never fail to be some of the best. The Cascadia Dirt Cup started with their very first enduro race in the area back in 2013, and it’s cool to come back to the original venue and see the massive progression in racing over the last few years.
This year we got to race a completely new trail system on a different side of the mountain. In the past, Cap Forest has been known for its flowing XC trails and long descents. This year was quite different, with several short, steep, and technical descents on freshly built loamy trails.
The race was one of the shorter races of the season but definitely didn’t lack any excitement. We arrived Friday afternoon to pre-ride the course and were surprised with a late spring downpour. Despite getting completely soaked, the rain was happily welcomed as it revived the previously dry and dusty trails.
On the day of the race, the sun came out and made the trails just slightly on the wet side of hero dirt.
Stage 1 was a short, technical descent down a trail called stormy. It was surrounded by bright green moss covered trees and ferns that made it feel like a trail deep in a tropical jungle. It was pretty greasy after Friday’s rain, so the main objective was to stay upright on the wet roots.
Stage 2 brought us to the top of the mountain for a longer descent. The first section raced through a clear-cut with fast bermed corners and a few gap jumps.
Stage 3 ducked back into the dense forest for a ripping descent down a trail called “Down and Rowdy”. It was quite fitting as the trail was scattered with jumps, ripping fast sections through the ferns, and technical steep bits.
Stage 4 was my favorite of the day. It was a newly-built downhill track with fast berms, large jumps, and plenty of steep off-camber sections of trail.
Stage 5 was another short, technical trail similar to the first stage with a few crucial line options to save time.
I landed on the podium in 2nd, with Delia right behind me in 3rd! Once again, the Capitol Forest crew never ceases to impress me with their incredible community and trails. Looking forward to next year!
Becky Gardner had a a great weekend of racing in the high altitude events of the Vail Mountain Games and the FIBARK cross country race. She landed in third in the enduro and scored a victory in the XC event. Congrats Becky!
“For the past few years, the first two weeks in June I have taken a break from DH laps and gravity enduro competitions to compete in two endurance oriented races, The Vail Mountain Games Enduro, and the FIBARK cross country race. I skip the full spandex kit but try and give it my best to compete against some very fit ladies.
First up is always The Vail Mountain Games. This event is really cool for me because it is the only race that combines my love of bikes and whitewater sports. My day job is running marketing for a Colorado rafting company, Dvorak Expeditions. So, when I am not on a bike I am on the river rafting, whitewater SUPing or exploring new and amazing rivers and canyons. The Vail Mountain Games brings both these worlds together with tons of whitewater events, bikes, and all sorts of outdoors inspiration. It’s awesome to see such diverse athletes at a single weekend event.
Although the atmosphere of the Vail Mountain Games is spot on, the enduro course has always put me out of my comfort zone. The Enduro is located just outside Vail in Eagle Co. The courses are buff, fast, dry, loose, and pedally. Not really the forte of an east coast downhiller, and to top it off the big prize purse brings in a lot of heavy hitters- especially in the cross country world. But over the years of living in Colorado and training hard on my endurance, the Vail Mountain Games Enduro has become a race I can succeed in.
This year I opted out of practice because of work commitments and showed up the night before the race. I quickly got ready the next morning, picked up my plate, timing chip, ate some food and got on my way to start the race. The first climb takes about an hour to reach the top of stage one which was one of the faster trails of the day. This stage has a few steep pitches, fast and flowy turns, and one major hill in the middle of the track to really make your lungs burn. I finished stage one seamlessly and was sitting in second place which felt awesome since most times my first run of the day is always a little slower than the rest of my stages. We immediately started our transfer to stage two which is a hot, long climb with little shade. Once reaching the top we quickly went onto stage 2 to try and finish our laps before the hottest part of the day arrived. Stage two had the most pedaling of all the stages but I felt strong and tried to really let go in the fast areas trying to gain as many seconds as I could. I pedaled as hard as I could and felt happy with the effort given and went on the repeat the same climb to get to the last two stages of the day. Stage 3 was another awesome lap and I felt confident going into the shortest, easiest, and last stage of the day. Unfortunately for me, I took a corner a little too hard and a rock flew up breaking a spoke into my cassette. I quickly stopped, wrapped the spoke up, and got on my way to finish the run. Luckily I didn’t lose too much time and I ended up sitting in 3rd place at the end of the day. This was my best finish at the Vail Mountain Games Enduro and I can’t wait to keep working hard and get faster.
Next up is a race I would never have thought I would enjoy competing in, the FIBARK Cross Country race. This race is held on my local trails in Salida, Co. It’s also held during the busiest weekend of the year in my town which for me means working long days and nights. I showed up to the race a few minutes beforehand after catching up on some much-needed sleep and went straight into the start gate. Before I knew it the race started and we were on our way! I thought I had a great start and was feeling confident in my fitness but then I noticed a lady pulling way ahead of me up the fire road start. She looked strong and I knew I couldn’t pedal that hard or I would be spent in a few miles. So I let her go and I kept a solid pace for the first 20 minutes. Once we reached the trail I felt on fire, I was riding fast, taking clean lines and felt like I could go forever. Finally, I reached the woman that seemed impossible to catch. I passed her in a rock section and kept pedaling as hard as I could. I wanted to get as far ahead as possible because I knew on lap 2 she could catch me on the uphill. I charged my way through lap 1 and went on the lap 2 with no one in sight. I finished the race in first place and minutes faster than last year. Although the downhiller in me is laughing I am really stoked how far my fitness has come and I’m excited to see the benefits of it in my DH and Enduro racing!”
Kona grassroots rider Lucy Schick and her Process 153 CR DL had a solid weekend at the Canadian National Enduro Series race at Harper Mountain, including a stage victory by over 30 seconds. Way to go Lucy!
“This past weekend was the second Canadian National Enduro Series race at Harper Mountain in Kamloops and it was definitely the most fun I have ever had at a bike race. I crashed on stage one and sprained my finger but finished the race strong and even managed to win the gnarliest stage by 30 seconds. I placed 3rd in U21 and was super happy with my race other than the crash. The trails were amazing because you got a bit of everything. Some stages were technical and some were super fast. Stage 4 was grass slalom down the ski hill and it was a riot. My bike was dialled and felt super smooth on the steep dusty rocks. Really looking forward to the next CNES race in Panorama but first I’m racing the Gryphon this weekend!”
All photos by Jackson Parker of Clear Glass Media (@clear.glass.media)
Kona GDuro team rider Stefan Westerveld reports from Winterberg.
This year the first stop of the German-based Enduro One series was combined with the Dirt Masters Festival in Winterberg with the huge turnout of nearly 700 racers! This event might have been the biggest enduro race ever held on German ground.
The event area next to the Trailpark on the other side of the festival area was chosen to help maintain crowds with the ten thousands of visitors and also brought more spectators to the stages nearby. A huge crowd of cheering fans on Stage 8 gave an extra push of motivation to the riders. On Stage 1 , the “Black Line” of the Bikepark Area which might have been the most difficult stage technically, gave riders some challenge. Unfortunately, I gave a tree on one of the off-camber bits a little hug and lost a few seconds.
Stage 2 was a new trail in one of the small forests beside the trailpark. The fresh, loamy surface is by far our favorite style of trail riding. And even with the first pedaling section at the top, I had so much fun letting my new Process 29” go. To my surprise, this resulted in the best stage time in my class on that day.
All other stages were more or less part of the Winterberg Trailpark with less technical requirements of the rider. The missing track signage on some parts may be the only point of criticism of the weekend.
All in all, this was a super fun event. The combination with the DIRT Masters paid off. Thunderstorms came in on midday and the event organization had to cancel the race for the last riders while all top riders had already finished. With massive hail showers, it was the right decision. Back on flats with the new Process 29” I’m super happy! First race, first top ten, first podium!
Our dream build of the Process 29er AL is on the way!
Le’st see what this bike is capable of on the next stop in Roßbach.
Last weekend Adventure Team Rider Cory Wallace spent his time in British Columbia competing in the Vedder Mountain Classic and the Salty Dog 6 Hour race. With a second place the first day and a new course record the second day it’s safe to say Wallace had a pretty excellent weekend!
The Kona Gduro team was founded in 2010 by Matthias Haake as the Pedaliero Team, the counterpart of the famous German Pedaliero print magazine, best known for their special issues like the XXL Eurobike edition and spot guides. This year, our fifth year with Kona we’ve renamed our team to KonaGduroTeam. Along with fellow racer Stefan Westerveld the team has more than 30 years of race experience and knowledge.
Matthias has raced in all of the big downhill series from the early nineties on with support from the big brands like SRAM, SCHWALBE, BLISS, ERGON and many more since. Stefan has a long BMX race, street and freestyle background. In the mid-2000’s he shifted focus to mountain bike freeride and racing. Talking about racing, the spirit being on the bike in nature, chasing trails and riding with friends is essential for us, whether it is against the clock or just on an after work trail ride.
All of this makes us so stoked to be a part of the Kona family. People here are awesome and fully committed to every facet of bicycling. Thanks for sharing the ride!
Meet us in the race pits or on the trail, give us a hug and have a drink.
Our schedule for the race season:
Enduro One Series
Selected EWS stop
Press launches and other media events
More trails, more reviews, more fun! 🙂
‘Enduro! It has what XC racers crave!’ my buddies and I joked as we rolled in to Day 2 of our “Vedder Doubleheader” weekend up in the Fraser Valley. The Idiocracy reference was a double entendre of sorts; the easy, no-pressure climbing and ripping downhill in enduro, along with questioning our own sensibility for racing two hard days in a row.
Why two days in a row? The true prize of the weekend, for me at least, was the newly minted King/Queen of the Mountain Trophy devised by the organizers of the Vedder Mountain Classic. It would go to the man and woman with the fastest combined time in the XC and enduro. Day 1 was the Vedder Mountain Classic, a 30km marathon-format cross country race. Day 2 was the opening round of the Canadian National Enduro Series. Combined, the days would tally around 11,000 feet of vert up and down. Imagine some of the best dirt conditions you’ve ever had (and that is not hyperbole!), and any sensible MTB-er would have taken up the challenge.
Well…I’m not sure if sensible is the correct word, but how about eager? You could say that Saturday’s XC was an aggressive practice day. The course was challenging, but the immaculate conditions took the edge off of the effort. Teammate Cory Wallace and I battled out on the start loop and up the first huge climb to the top of The Den with Canadian cyclocross National Champ Micheal Van Den Ham in the mix. My Hei Hei (size Large) equipped with MRP Ribbon fork and WTB Trail Boss tires was feeling spry, and I sneaked around Mr. Wallace on the long descent back down to the lake, beginning lap two with a comfortable gap, and pressing on up the second half of the race to take the win. Cory rolled in 2nd, we traded some high fives, went to the beer garden, jumped in the lake, and even collected some Canadian cash. Day 1 done!
Sunday’s enduro is captured well-enough in the images. It was a ripping good time! I raced three out of five stages blind (good prep for TransCascadia coming up later this summer) and executed a quick-but-conservative day to get through cleanly. My result on Sunday was lackluster compared to Saturday’s XC, but it was good enough to claim the first-ever Vedder KOM Trophy! Truth be told, there weren’t many who went for the double header, so it had a bit of a tree-fell-in-the-woods level of accomplishment, but given the caliber of this event, I’m hopeful to see this “omnium” format more hotly contested in the future. It has to start somewhere! So with that, the weekend was wrapped up, and it was time to get back home to finish celebrating Mother’s Day.
As I said of last year’s experience racing the Vedder Mountain Classic, there is no pretense to riding or racing mountain bikes in this part of the world, no matter your skill level, because in BC, mountain biking and racing just is. It’s a f*@#% good time!
UK Grassroots rider Ben Clayton tackled the Vallelujah Enduro recently. He finished a respectable 27 out of 150 riders his first race back after a broken wrist. Check out the full race report below.
First race weekend in 8 months!!!
Snow and a deluge of rain and mud led to the first two races of 2017 getting canceled. Bummer when you’re trying to get some race miles into your legs after breaking your wrist trying to conquer The Lakes. Peebles is like Mecca for us UK mtb folk, but with the beast from the east and other biblical conditions, it’s been a struggle to get good mtb time in. Road miles and the dark temptress of Zwift have been the only forms of training that have been a constant. The Kona Process 153 CR has had few dirty rides out, mainly whiteout insta vid sessions. When I got to Peebles in the sunshine I had a game plan, I’m not going into details, as everyone who knows me, knows why my usual attitude to riding was somewhat tamed down. I went to Peebles with an “enjoy the ride don’t get hurt” attitude. Somewhat different to my usual XXXX it, “let’s have it” approach to racing. Practice was everything I wanted…music, good times, the best UK trails (in my opinion) and a solid set of lads in the starting line up. Practice was fun. Fun and speed don’t always go hand in hand and that was to be true in race runs. I had the proverbial monkey on my back that’s for sure! I really need to establish the whole “race have fun ethos”. But at the end of the day, we all had a blast and results are results. One big crash on stage 3 put me well out of the running but the rest of the stages were clean but very reserved. I ended up 27th out of over 150 riders in a very stacked field with some top boys going well on home turf. It’s now on to some serious training and lots of mountain bike time before we fly out to France for round 3 of the Enduro World Series. Can’t wait to get back with the EWS circus. The fans at these races are really what makes these events so good, so I’m looking forward to putting on a show for them and hopefully getting a solid result.