Kona Process 153 CR DL

Kona Dream Builds: Golden Girl, McKai’s exquisite 2020 Process 153 CR DL

It had to happen, we just didn’t think it would be this soon, Bellingham based rider McKai has taken the gold decals on the 2020 Process 153 CR DL and gone to town. Kashima coated forks, gold chainring, gold chain, and gold lock-ons. Well maybe he didn’t quite go to town, but he didn’t get tacky, you could add way more gold to this build and stopping where he did showed great restraint. I for one am completely smitten. Let’s dive into this epic dream build.

PJK Photo

There it is, the gold decal that anchors Mckai’s rad build.

PJK Photo

Now, this could get confusing, that’s an Absolute Black 30t oval chainring, but it’s actually gold. It’s mounted on the stock carbon Descendant cranks and then it’s all wrapped in a gold KMC chain.

PJK Photo

The Race Face Vault wheels are home to an 11 speed XX1 cassette, shifting is performed by an XO1 rear derailleur.

PJK Photo
PJK Photo

Those head-turning forks are Fox Factory 36 GRIP2 160mm complete with gold Kashima stanchions and decals. The rims are Spank Oozy 345’s and the front one is laced to a Hope Pro 4 front hub. Maxxis Minion DHF/DHR tires handle traction.

PJK Photo

Raceface Turbine R 760mm bars are home to a pair of Sensus Disisdaboss grips with gold lock-ons (of course) and SRAM Guide RSC brakes as well as some sweet shrink wrapping.

PJK Photo

The overachieving stock RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate rear shock has been left in place.

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Mckai’s bike is Made Rad By (a) Tony Space top cap.

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And the Build is finished off with this sexy Wolftooth Dropper lever which operates a 150mm Fox Transfer Post.

Kona Dream Builds: A Process Orange, Robert’s CR DL 29

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

After dropping off a broken mountain bike into the Path Bike Shop in Tustin, California, Robert Gordon’s life changed forever. Actually, that’s a bit dramatic, but it did change things and most definitely for the better. You see while he was without a bike, the crew at The Path loaned him a brand new Process CR DL 29. “I instantly fell in love with the Kona. Up until this point, I wasn’t even considering getting a 29er. While I was without my personal MTB I also demoed two other long travel 29ers. The Kona just felt so good in every aspect!”

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

A couple of weeks later Robert pulled the trigger on a 2019 Kona Process 153 CR DL 29 frame that The Path had in stock. Over the next three weeks, Robert researched, planned, ordered, and began receiving the bikes build parts. “I did the complete build myself and I loved every minute of it! I couldn’t be happier with the finished product. It’s so much fun to ride!”

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

The finised bike gets ridden mostly on my local SoCal local trails, mostly at Marshall Canyon, Hulda Crooks, Santana River Trail, Lower Monroe Truck Trail, Bonneli Park and Skypark Bike Park.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Robert’s Process Build Kit:
Shimano XTR 1×11 rear derailer and shifter
Shimano XT m8020 4 piston brakes w/ 203mm rotors
Shimano XT crank w/ 30 tooth chainring
Race Face Turbine stem and 800mm bar
Fox 36 Factory 160mm up front
Fox float X2 153mm out back
Spank Oozy 345 wheelset
Maxxis DHR 2.3 rear Maxxis DHR 2.5 front
PNW Rainier 170mm dropper
Salsa Lip Lock seat clamp
SDG Belair 2.0 saddle

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Kona Dream Builds: Red Dawn, the 2019 Team Issue Process CR DL 29

For the 2019 Race Season we wanted to do something a little special for our Gravity team riders and their race bikes. Inspired in part by major team sponsor RockShox’ incredibly fast looking (and performing) Lyrik lowers, we’d like to present you with the Team Issue Kona Process 153 CR DL. 

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Connor Fearon, Miranda Miller, Rhys Verner, and Shelly Flood will be shredding these bikes at EWS races and at select enduro events this season, built up as you see here with a plethora of parts from our fabulous 2019 team partners.  

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

The Kona Gravity Team Process bikes are fully custom built from the ground up and feature a full suspension setup from RockShox, drivetrain and brakes from SRAM, rims from Canadian company WeAreOne, hubs and headset from Chris King and tires from Maxxis. The cockpit combines parts from Deity, OneUP and ODI and the build is rounded out with pedals from HT and tire inserts from Cush Core.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Miranda Miller and Rhys Verner will be taking the new Team Issue Process Bikes for their maiden race outings this weekend at the Tennessee National, an EWS qualifying event based out of the Windrock Bike Park.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Caleb Smith | KONA COG
Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Kona Dream Builds: Hagen’s Process Possesses Pizzazz

Ever since Hagen Kluge first saw a Kona Lava Dome cruising Victoria, BC back in 1994, he’s been a fan. “When I was an 11-year-old kid, I never could have imagined that the Kona’s of 2019 could be any cooler than those of the early nineties. This Process 153 CRDL 29 is my dream bike. A bike that can climb like a goat, corner like a frightened rabbit and out-sprint a greyhound. It constantly impresses me.”

This punk rock-inspired build is something the boys at Straight Up Cycles helped me with. We started with the standard bike and swapped the wheels out to bring in some DT goodness. We stuck with alloy rims because accidents happen. The rear hub has the upgraded 54 tooth pawl and it sounds like a swarm of angry bees. The guys at Fluid Function in Squamish helped me locate some candy red lowers for the Lyric. I don’t want to tell you (or my wife) how much that cost but it brought some pizazz to the bike fo sho. The cockpit is a Renthal and ODI affair because I appreciate quiet quality and 35 mm bars are for gorillas. The Bontrager saddle has been on three bikes. I’ve been in hospital twice for prostatitis so a comfortable seat is not something I let go of. Most people comment on the decal kit, the DYED boys really knocked it out of the park with the ‘Merica F Yeah frame kit!

Mountain Bike Action Reviews The Process 153 CR DL 29 “The Process was made for the descents”

The crew at Mountain Bike Action loved the carbon 27.5 version of the Process G2 so much that they gave it an Editors Choice Award in 2018. With that accolade in the bag, we knew we just had to get them on the 29″ wheeled version. Well, it seems they loved the Process 153 CR DL 29 just as much, it surprised them with it’s climbing ability but when it was pointed down, is where it really stood out for them.

“The Process was made for the descents; there is absolutely no doubt about that. Turning the bike downhill, we were constantly pushing harder looking for every bit of speed that we could find.”

You can find the full review on the MBA website here or you can click on the below image and read it as a PDF.


Kona Dream Builds: Rich’s Deep Purple Process 153 CR 27.5

Some of you may have seen Richard’s beautiful one-off custom painted Process 153 CR DL on Pink Bike’s Instagram feed recently. Well, we’d spied it a while back and asked Rich if he could shed any light on what drove him to build and custom paint his brand new G2 Process and send us a few more detailed images. Luckily for us (and you) he obliged and sent this set of fantastic photos and a complete build list as well as his reasoning and motivation for the build.

My previous bike was a 2015 process 153 with an Ohlins coil and I loved that thing so much. It, unfortunately, had plenty of dents and the like from its share of tomahawks and crashes and late last year I ended up breaking it. It wasn’t even a choice, I went and ordered the ’18 carbon frame immediately to replace it.

I’d been waiting for an excuse to send something to my friend James Terrani of Archetype Paint Studio so a new bike seemed perfect (especially since two of my riding buddies ended up getting the same one). I was pretty set on purple from early on but it wasn’t till James showed me some samples of candy and transparent things he could do we were able to go a little further. The whole bike is one color, he created a subtle fade on the front triangle layering the transparent paint and then did a lot more layers to get the rear end as dark as I wanted it. (I was a big fan of the old Process paint jobs with a colored front and black rear triangle).

I couldn’t be more stoked on how the paint came out. The only new bits on the bike are the Ohlins shock, because it’s a new size and mounting this year and then the gold i9s hubs to Spank Oozy 350 rims to finish it off. Mostly the other bits moved over from the old bike, even the head tube badge and I’m still rocking my OG Wah Wah pedals.

Rear Shock Ohlins TTX 22 coil
Fork Rock Shox Pike
Headset Cane Creek
Handlebar Giant contact SL
Stem Truvativ
Grips ODI
Brakes Shimano Zee
Shifters Shimano XT
Rear Derailleur Shimano XT
Cranks Shimano XT
Chainrings / Sprocket Shimano XT 32t
Bottom Bracket Shimano
Chain Shimano
Cassette / Rear Cog Shimano
Pedals Kona Wah Wah
Rims Spank Oozy 350
Hubs I9
Spokes DT Comp
Front Tire Vittoria Martello DH / Cushcore (THE BEST)
Rear Tire Vittoria Martello DH / Cushcore
Saddle WTB
Seatpost KS Lev Integra
Weight Not light

Kona Dream Builds: Pete’s Sweet Process 153 CR DL

We found Peter’s rad and very purposeful build on Instagram and reached out to him for a few more photos and to ask him why he built it the way he did. He obliged with an abbreviated version of his MTB life story and even identified the day he became a Kona fan. You can check it out below along with his build details and a few more photos.

I was raised on the North Shore and couldn’t help but be interested in mountain biking. However it wasn’t until 2008 when I bought my first mountain bike – a Rocky Mountain Slayer – and then taught myself how to ride. I was starting a new chapter in my life and found myself longing for adventure, to travel, and to try something new and mountain biking seemed to fit the bill. I bought my first downhill bike six months later as I wanted to take on the bike parks. By the spring of 2009 I had booked a trip to Switzerland with guide Joe Schwartz, riding with Joe was simply amazing and I had always wanted a Kona from then on. I’ve since traveled to bike parks and riding trails in Switzerland, Italy, Ecuador, Utah, California, Washington, Oregon and most recently Portugal.

By 2013 I outgrew the Slayer and progressed to a Giant Trance. Two years later I needed something bigger, a bike which would allow me to take on more difficult trails, so I bought my first Kona Process 153 in 2015. Over the next two years I leaned toward riding more classic all-mountain trails – and riding the bike parks less, it seemed more natural and fun for me to ride the Kona. When I heard that the new Process 153 G2 was going to come in a carbon version, I knew I had to upgrade once again. This time – it would be a custom build which would allow me the versatility I needed in order to take on the bike parks, to tackle the terrain of the classic North Shore, and to travel with me around the world. It’s absolutely the best bike I have ever ridden… Pure Joy. Later in the summer, this bike will sample trails in Montana and Wyoming before a couple of weeks in Oakridge and Bend Oregon.

Handlebar Chromag BZA 800mm Tight Orange
Stem Chromag BZA 35mm Clamp Black
Grips ODI Elite Flow
Brakes Shimano SAINT M820 w/ 203mm rotors
Fork Fox 36 Float 170mm FIT – Kashima 44mm Rake
Shock Fox Float DPX2 -Kashima / 3pos-adj
Crankset SRAM Descendant Carbon 175mm
Drivetrain SRAM X01 Eagle 12spd
Pedals Chromag SYNTH Black
Extras OneUP EDC Tool
Wheels Raceface NEXT-R 31mm Internal Width
Hubs Raceface VAULT J-Bend
Front Tire Maxxis Minion DHF EXO TR 3c 2.5”
Rear Tire Maxxis Minion DHF EXO TR 3c 2.3”
Seatpost Fox TRANSFER 150mm
Saddle WTB Volt Race

Dirt Rag Reviews the Process 153 CR DL 27.5 “Kona built the CR/DL with stiffness and durability in mind.”

“Kona built the CR/DL with stiffness and durability in mind. Suffice to say the frame is noticeably stiffer than any carbon frame I’ve ridden in this genre.”

Dirt Rag reviewed the Process 153 CR DL 27.5 in their recent issue. It was reviewer Zach White’s first time on a Kona since 2004 and also evidently his first time on a burly enduro bike with modern geometry.

Click here or on the image below to read the full review as a high res PDF.


[R]evolution Magazine Reviews the Process 153 CR DL “The main reason I dug the Process so much? Plain and simple fun!”

[R]evolution Magazine founder and all-round ripper Matt Holmes recently had a chance to test our new Process platform for the legendary Aussie magazine. It seems the new Process 153 CR DL may have just won him over.

“The Process is incredibly playful on the downs and deceptively fast. It’s DH and freeride roots are firmly embedded in its DNA, and as a result, it’s more than capable on big terrain, taking on big drops or gaps with no qualms.”

You can Check out Matt’s full review for Revolution on their website here.

Finding the Silver Lining

It’s a normal dreary winter day. The clouds hang low and thick as if they’ve just given up on their job to support the sky. Instead, they rained down pieces of themselves in a manner just heavy enough to completely saturate me. I find myself in this odd purgatory of riding space: my usual trails have fallen prey to some serious logging, leaving slash piles and hints of what used to be hiding under feet and feet of tree debris. It’s been frustrating, but I can’t complain as I still write on paper, always forget my reusable grocery store bags, and still…go to the bathroom. Regardless, it’s been a frustrating winter trying to negotiate new routes when I find so much comfort in the loops that I’d grown to love.

But while I’m struggling with the reality that my mid-day rides aren’t so simple anymore, I’ve found some solace in exploration. The closure of my routine route has forced me to reconsider the vast network of trails that Bellingham has to offer. It’s no secret: this place is an absolute mecca for mountain biking. Galbraith alone has around 60 miles of pristine singletrack. Even with the logging activity, there are still dozens of really fun trails waiting to be ridden. I’ve found myself taking rights when normally I’d take a left. I climb just a little bit further in hopes of having a bit more of a descent, and usually, I’ve been really happy with the end result.

A little hidden gem tucked away deep in the woods.

This particular day I found myself in one of Bellingham’s special semi-secret zones. There were no cars parked at the start of the climb, which I was happy about. It was one of those days where I just felt like riding alone. I cruised up the soft road that had been rendered completely mushy by the inches of rain that had fallen in the prior week. My Process 153 CR DL kept my legs spinning while it slowly became splattered with specs of brown gooey mud from the road. I’ve always thought aqua and brown were nice complements to each other, so I didn’t mind this newfound color scheme.

When I reached the top of the climb I looked beyond the current ridge and onto the now-scarred mountain that we all call our home. In my mind I said a little ode, telling it we’d all be back on her trails soon enough, but for now, this time of discovery was proving useful. After all, variety is the spice of life. With that thought, I took the left instead of the usual right. I found myself navigating punchy rock sections and hanging on for dear life while I somehow managed to keep it upright in steep sections that at this point were really just funnels of mud. When I reached the end of the trail I felt invigorated and happy to accomplish the ride on a trail where I don’t have much experience. Turns out that even logging can provide a silver lining, it’s just a matter of being willing to see it.


Kona in the Pinkbike Photo of the Year Contest

It’s time for Pinkbike’s annual photo of the year contest, where readers select their favorite photos from 2017. This year a photo of Kona’s communication’s manager made it through to the contest! Shot days before Christmas aboard a Kona Process 153 CR DL, Lacy Kemp and Bellingham photographer Erik Mickelson wrapped her bike in Christmas lights to play with some cool long exposure effects. Her photo is one of only two that feature female riders, so we’re pushing this one #ferdagirls!

Head on over to Pinkbike and give the photo a vote! Let’s see if we can make it through to finals!

VitalMTB Loves the Process 153 CR DL!

“The updated Process 153 CR/DL puts itself squarely among the best all-mountain and enduro bikes at a competitive price.”

– Joel Harwood, VitalMTB reviewer 


VitalMTB have had the Process 153 CR DL for a few months and have been putting it through some serious paces in the mountain biking motherland of Squamish, BC. In other words, they’ve been punishing it on some of the most challengingly awesome trails out there. We’re thrilled that they loved the bike, claiming it is a huge improvement over the original Process (which they also loved). They appreciated the durability of the bike, the thoughtful spec, and the updated geometry of the G2 over the original process.

Check out the very in-depth review here.