Say what you want about the term “downcountry,” but like most weird things in the bike industry it’s taking off with a bit of fervor. Bike Magazine has come up with a list of bikes that they think suit the moniker well, and the Hei Hei CR DL made the cut! To clarify, downcountry is considered a bike that has some XC roots but is definitely badass enough to take on burlier terrain. We think that describes the Hei Hei lineup well, and we’re happy Bike Mag agrees!
“The Hei Hei is build to tackle serious miles efficiently, but also comfortably. Rather than beat you to death with ‘pedaling efficiency,’ the Hei Hei is made to take some of the brunt of trail chatter to save you energy on long epics or on rougher trails. Or both, if that’s your cup of tea.” -Bike Magazine
If you are a regular here on the Cog, or at least a regular here checking out Kona Dream Build’s then you will be well familiar with what Jason and the crew at Chainline Bikes get up to. If you are new here, then after checking out this beauty of a bike you may want to have a gander at this Process, or this Process, or maybe this Libre, this Big Honzo, or perhaps this Honzo ST. You get it right? Jason, and his customers don’t skimp on their builds and this Hei Hei CR DL is a testament to that. Only the finest components from Fox, Enve, Hope and SRAM have gone into this bike, the result has me thinking that owning this Hei Hei CR DL might just be akin to mechanical doping. Let’s Check it out!
In an ever so slightly reserved move from Jason, he has left the Fox suspension on the Hei Hei CR DL stock. The rest of the build saw upgrades and a whole bunch of carbon added. Up front you’ll find ENVE’s carbon M6 handlebar, held in place by a matching ENVE M6 carbon stem.
Hope brakes seem to be popular with the crew at Chainline and the Hei Hei gets a set of the British companies powerful Enduro Tech 3 E4 stoppers. Shifting is courtesy of SRAM and their XX1 line. Ergon’s popular GD 1 grips round out the cockpit.
ENVE M6 carbon rims are laced to DT Swiss hubs…
…And then shod with Onza’ Canis 29 x 2.25 tires front and rear
The drivetrain itself is a mix of SRAM XO and XX1 Eagle, with the later handling shifting duties while the XO looks after power transfer. Ergon’s carbon bodied and Ti railed SME3 Pro Titanium saddle sits atop a KS Lev Integra seat post.
And like we mentioned earlier, the stock Fox Float DPS Performance Elite rear shock and 120mm Float 34 SC Performance Air fork remain unchanged from the bikes stock form.
Jason getting after it on Mt Laguna onboard the Hei Hei CR DL
I really didn’t want to bust out that cliché up their in the title, but I think you have to agree that Ben’s fricken rad Hei Hei CR DL does indeed look fast standing still… I mean I don’t race XC, but this bike kinda makes me want to. Ben swapped a bunch of the parts of his much loved 2017 Hei Hei as he just fell in love with the graphics and gloss finish on this new 2019 model. He really wanted to combine a cross-country race bike with a capable short travel trail 29er. Well I’d say with this Dream Build he’s well and truly hit the mark.
Ben has kept the suspension setup on the Hei Hei CR DL stock, but as switched up almost every other aspect.
For the drivetrain, he’s running Rotor’s Rex 2 cranks with an Absolute Black oval chainring up front and a bulletproof 11spd Shimano XT rear mech out the back.
The Kona bar and stem have been swapped out for a Thomson bar and stem combo.
Shimano XT stoppers don’t really need anything else said about them. Solid and Reliable.
Ben has a love love relationship with Hope Wheels. Hope Pro 4’s are the heart of these bad boys.
It wouldn’t be an XC bike without ESI silicon grips. If you know, you know.
And he’s swapped out the lighter plunger style Reverb lever for the 1X Remote.
And the whole package is wrapped up in some sexy skin wall Maxxis Ikons.
“It can be difficult to find an impressive bike to race on, but trying to find a bike that’s built for racing and handily capable of much more is a grander task—the Kona Hei Hei CR DL is a solution to this search. -Gabriel Lodge, Bicycling
Bicycling Magazine recently took the Hei Hei CR DL out for a spin to test its capabilities on the warm, humid trails of Bentonville, Arkansas. Writer Gabriel Lodge enjoyed the Hei Hei’s innate ability to climb with ease while being pleasantly surprised at how it handled downhill sections- including a jump line he wasn’t intending to hit.