#KonaDreamBuilds

Kona Dream Builds: Ben’s Hei Hei CR DL Looks Fast Standing Still

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.

DAMN

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.

Kona Dream Builds: Sapphire and Steel, Garry’s Honzo ST

Right from the very start, Kona has been synonymous with steel bikes. From the Explosif of 1988, through to the mid 90’s Kilauea and to the present day Honzos, Sutras, and Roves, steel has always formed the backbone of the Kona range. Tange Prestige, Columbus Nivachrom or Reynolds 853, steel will always endure as the material of choice for a certain type of rider.

For Garry Davoren, working for Kona in Ireland and at Galway’s MBW Bike Shop he’s not short of choice when it comes to bikes to ride. “When it came time to build the perfect hardtail, I knew that there was only one place to start. With this black Kona Honzo ST frame. I have a problem though, I don’t know where to stop”.  He’s not wrong, this finished bike well and truly ticks all the Dream Build boxes.

Featuring a 130mm MRP RibbonAir Fork and blue Hope Tech gear everywhere (cranks, chainring, BB/Headset/seat clamp, stem).

Stopping duties are taken care of by the tried and trusted combo of Tech3 levers and four-piston calipers with matching blue floating rotors, naturally.

No ordinary shifting would do for this project so it had to be Shimano XTR Di2. Yes, that’s electronic shifting. On a hardcore hardtail. Did someone say old school? You’ll also notice the very custom drilling involved in making this set-up work including some tasty heat shrink to keep the cabling tidy.

Ergon GE1 Evo Factory grips on Raceface Turbine bars, Ergon SMC4 Gel Comp seat and CrankBrothers Mallet E pedals complete the contact points with a Crankbrothers Highline dropper to make sure that seat can get well out of the way when not required.

Reynolds TR249 wheels set up with 2.3 Maxxis DD Minion DHF up front and a similarly-sized DD Aggressor out back, both tubeless and sealed by OrangeSeal.

Kona Dream Builds: The Silver Shadow, George’s Process 153 CR DL 27.5

Don’t you just love Kona builds where you just know the owner has been planning the bike well before it has shown up? Well, George from Turin Bicycles in Denver, Colorado appears to fit into that camp. His very, very shiny and blinging Process 153 CR DL has definitely not been put together with random shop parts or in a hurry. The Push Industries 11-6 shock, Praxis Lyft Carbon cranks, and the custom built wheels are a testament to that. Let’s dive in and check out this Process that’s built for the Front Range!

Kicking things off with the shoes, George has built these wheels around Raceface ARC 31 Carbon 28h rims, they are laced to Onyx mate black hubs with DT Competiton spokes. Both front and rear wheels are shod with 2.6″ Schwalbe Nobby Nic’s.
The drivetrain features a set of 170mm Praxis Lyft carbon cranks with a Wolftooth CAMO spider with SS 28t ring, out back a Shimano XT M8000 derailleur works it magic on an E-thirteen TRS+ 9-46t cassette.

Up front, the 160mm Fox 36 Performance Elite hide a Push Industries ACS3 coil conversion kit.

Stopping is looked after with TRP’s Quadiem G-spec brakes w/Zee metal pads and 203/180mm Shimano RT-86 rotors.

An I9 A35 60mm stem with a 30th birthday Kona stem cap kicks things off in the cockpit. Raceface Atlas 35mm bars and Supacaz Grizips in bling silver keep your digits attached. Wolf Tooths ever popular dropper remote connects up to a 150mm Fox Transfer post as well as the final piece of the puzzle, a well-loved Specialized Elite Power saddle.

Happy Birthday to us.

 

Kona Dream Builds: Ted Lincoln’s Kona Big Unit

I should probably start this Dream Build post with an apology. You see, Ted submitted his very custom 2012 Big Unit months ago but then it got lost in my inbox. He sent me a friendly reminder last week and I’ve dug up the images and now you get to see Ted’s Big Unit Dream Build. Sorry Ted and to Kona Dream Build Fans that this extremely custom Kona Unit took so long to make it to you!

Ted’s 29er Big Unit is from 2012 and is made from Kona Scandium 69 butted tubing and is set up to run both 27.5″ plus and 29″ x 2.4″. He’s painted the bike himself in Black Chrome and he even made up the custom gold Kona Cog head badge just for this build.

The fork is a carbon Whiskey No.9 with 100mm spacing and 15mm thru-axle. The cockpit consists of a Chris King InSet 2, our in-house Kona XC/BC DLX 31.8mm x 80mm stem with a Niner Flat Top Carbon 720mm bar. Deity Enoki grips finish it off complete with OG OID lock-on end-caps.

The one geared Unit is propelled by a Shimano XTR M960 crankset from 2003 (the one with three different bolt patterns), Ted has “customized” it, cutting the big chainring tabs cut off, and then sanding and polishing them to a mirror finish. The chainring is a 32T Blackspire Super Pro (4 bolt x 102bcd).

The Gold KMC X9L Ti chain drives an 18T Surly cog. The seat post is a Thomson Elite setback with a Selle Italia Flite OG ’90s saddle and a King stainless steel bottle cage. Shimano XT RT86 6 Bolt Ice-Tech 160mm rotors and matching levers slow things down.

As pictured the bike is set up in its 27.5 guise. The rear wheel is built around a 135mm Chris King hub with Funbolts (the OG version with the removable disc rotor adaptor), the rim is a 322 hole DT Swiss FR 570 with three-cross lacing and features 33mm outer 29mm inner width.  Spokes are DT Swiss Competition with DT Swiss alloy nipples. They are set up tubeless with 3.5oz Orange sealant 1tbls gold glitter. The front wheel is a 24 hole Roval Traverse alloy also laced three-cross/radial lacing, to a 15mm Roval hub.  Both tires are set up with Schwalbe Nobby Nic’s 27.5″ x 2.8″, with Ted’s “customized” nob trimming on the rear.

When the bike is set up in 29″ (not pictured) the Wheel details are as follows.
Hubs: Shimano XT M8000 Centerlock , Rear XTR M988 Ti Freehub, 135mm, Halo XL Hex-Key skewer, Front 15mm thru-alex
Rims: Stan’s Arch 32 hole Three-cross lacing, 24.4mm outer 19mm inner width
Spokes: DT Swiss Competition, Dt Swiss alloy nipples
Tubeless Setup: Stan’s NoTubes rim tape, 3.5oz Stan’s sealant 1tlbs red glitter
Tires: WTB TrailBoss 29″ x 2.4″

Kona Dream Builds: Double Impact Naoki Idegawa’s Process 153 CR DL 27.5

Japanese Kona rider Naoki Idegawa’s Process 27.5 CR DL pulls double duty as both an enduro race bike and a lightweight DH rig. The bike is well and truly dreamy in both configurations. His motivation for building the DH version? Well, some of the short courses on Japan’s DH circuit don’t really warrant a full DH bike so Naoki transforms his Process to DH mode for the occasional race.

This is the Process in DH Guise. Magic Mary’s mounted up on Mavic Deemax hoops with a full XTR/Saint groupset and no dropper post.
Outback he’s opted for a short cage Saint rear mech and a DH cassette. The rear damping is looked after by the ever-popular Fox Float X2 Factory rear shock.
SDG’s Sam Hill pro-model seat is attached to the rigid post. Up front, Naoki is rocking a 35mm Renthal Carbon Fatbar mounted to an Apex stem.
Fox Factory 36’s to match the Float rear.

Now, these little green bolts attached to the Saint brakes and shifter are Ti, Naoki has a thing for Ti bolts as you are about to see.
Saint calipers and floating Shimano rotors… and Ti bolts.
More Ti Bolts.
Cane Creeks deluxe 110 headset and… More Ti Bolts.
Even the XTR cranks didn’t escape the ti bolt retrofitting.

On Enduro days, the wheels are swapped out for a set with Minions front and rear and a wider range cassette. The derailleur is upgraded to an XTR version and the rigid post gets swapped out for a Fox Transfer post.
Japenese riders (and all those who drive on the left side of the road) love the ability to run the rear brake line on the right of the frame, clean cable routing is important when building a dream bike.

Kona Dream Builds: Purple Haze, Graeme’s Process 153 CR 29

Graeme‘s Process CR 29 is the first one we have seen customized since they hit stores a few months ago and damn it looks hawt! Most of the parts on this build have moved sideways from Graeme’s previous build, the purple anodized parts just work so damn well with the Seafoam cyan of the Process. Scroll down for more photos and the full story.

I actually built these wheels and spec’d these brakes for my last bike, a 2018 Process 153 29, but thought they’d look amazing on this Seafoam colored CR 29, and they do! So I swapped the brakes and wheels off my old bike onto this – I do like the serviceability and durability of Hope brakes and hubs. I build wheels with stainless steel spokes (silver colored) because that’s what bicycle wheels should be built with, and because they always look incredible when the sun catches them! I quite like the Velocity Blunt rims, they look really subtle, give a nice big volume and take knocks well.

I’m running stock suspension, with three tokens in the Lyric. So impressed with how supple it is at the top of the stroke and it’s such a beast in the big stuff. The bike handles so well, it really does truck over gnarly terrain and it’s so easy to handle when things get slow and techy – it’s an incredible bike.

All in, with my Shimano XT trail pedals and bottle cage, set up tubeless, the build comes to 15.25kg (33.6lbs, for you US types). It’s actually a touch heavier than the stock build, but I love the look and set-up, so I can live with a few hundred grams. I could get it crazy light with lots of carbon finishing kit, but I couldn’t justify it. Really looking forward to riding this and doing a few rounds of the Scottish Enduro Series next year.

Graeme Hart owns Hart’s Cyclery in Edinburgh, Scotland and they are our Kona dealer there. “We’re really proud of our association with Kona and love the bikes and the vybe!” They were nominated amongst the top 20 IBDs in the UK in 2018 by Bikebiz magazine. “We just keep doing our thing and doing our best to keep our customers happy and if they ride Konas that’s extra cool!”

Build as follows:
Frame: Kona DH Carbon with 6061 alu chainstays and Rockshox Super Deluxe RCT.
Fork: Rockshox Lyric RC Charger 2, 160mm.
Drivetrain: SRAM GX/NX Eagle mix.
Brakes: Hope Tech 3 V4, front; Tech 3 X2, rear. Shimano rotors 203/180.
Seatpost: Rockshox Reverb 1x lever, 170mm drop.
Wheels: Velocity Blunt P35s on Hope Pro4s with Sapim Race spokes, 32/3, hand-built.
Tyres: Maxxis Minion DHF Exo TR 3C, 2.5/2.3, set up tubeless, with Vittoria Air Liner in rear.
Bar/stem/grips: Kona.
Saddle: WTB KOM Trail TCS.

Kona Dream Builds: Nik’s “It Takes a Village” Custom Kona Unit

When we spied the Nikolas’ finished Unit on Instagram boy oh boy we were excited. He’d custom painted it himself (the quality is off the charts) and he took one simplest bikes in our line up, and somehow time made the bike completely drool-worthy. Read on to find out exactly how this one-of-a-kind Unit came to fruition.

So the story on this build starts with working at Hesitation Point bike shop here in Nashville, Indiana. We had ordered in a couple Kona Units for the shop and I found I really wanted one bad, but alas, no funds… or so I thought! Little did I know that my lovely wife had ordered one to surprise me with, which she did! This bike was a big deal for me: it was a gift from my wife, my first Kona, my first 29er, my first full rigid, and my first single speed, and I was absolutely in love at first ride! I pretty much shelved all my other my bikes for the rest of the year and just rode my Unit! Way to much fun. I feel like Kona bikes have a flavor that is a perfect blend of new school tech progression and old school simple fun, and I think the Unit exemplifies the latter better than most bikes of its kind out there! I really dig Konas approach to riding bikes of all types.

So I’ve been painting for a couple of years now and this is my first “real” bike paint job. I stripped it down to metal, (which as an aside, the paint on this Unit was super tough, I have no idea what materials Kona used but kudos, it was good stuff and took quite a bit of time to strip!), then using a little known ford GT-40 that was rebadged as a mercury as a source of inspiration I started the paint work. This was a really fun project since I had 100% control over it. I tried really hard to make sure I had a cohesive build aesthetically at the end of it. I also wanted to take some weight off and it went from a little over 27 lbs stock to 24.2 lbs as is. I love Thomson stuff so that was a no brainer, Wolf Tooth, Shimano XT, Brooks, and Chris King round out the parts. Wheel builder extrordinaire Gonzo Diaz at the shop laced the Stans Flow MK3s to Hope Pro2 hubs and I put the blacked out sticker kits on them which are cool. I also wanted to try to use a plus-ish type tire so that’s where the 2.6 Rekons came in. There is a load of grip on this rig for the midwestern trails I ride. I also love the Whisky fork on this bike, it’s beautiful and super strong. At the end of the day I didn’t need to do anything with this bike since it was a ton of fun right out of the box but since I’m a sentimentalist I wasn’t ever going to get rid of this bike from my wife so it was a great candidate to paint. Speaking of my wife, in so many ways I wouldn’t have done this build without you Jordan, I am incredibly fortunate to have you! The crew at Hesitation Point bike shop, especially Tad Armstrong and Gonzo Diaz helped enormously with the parts, encouragement and the awesome wheels, and Kona was very helpful with questions about fonts and artwork. You guys rule!

A Shimano XT crankset and bottom bracket drives a KMC X10SL chain via a Wolftooth Powertrac Elliptical 32t chainring up front to a 20t Wolftooth cog out back. Crank Brothers Candy 7s, handle the contact points.

Shimano XT brakes and Shimano XT rotors 160mm slow things down. Hope skewers hold everything in tight.

Whisky’s no.9 carbon fork will accept up to a 29 x 3.0 tire (or a 27.5 x 3.25″).

Nikolas loves Thomson.

A Brooks Cambium c15 saddle is matted to the ever classic Thomson Elite Seatpost.

ESI silicon slim grips are mounted on a Thomson XC uncut handlebar which is in turn mounted to a Thomson Elite X4 50mm.

Stan’s NoTubes Flow MK3 rims are laced to Hope Pro 2 hubs, both a shod with Maxxis Rekon 29×2.6 tubeless tires.

It wouldn’t be complete without a Thomson Chris King headset.

 

 

Kona Dream Builds: Conrad’s “I built this for my daughter” Process 24

When you run a bike park and you’re a mountain bike super fan, your parts bin is always going to be filed with some pretty rad bits and pieces. With this epic dream build Conrad Davies from Bike Park Hahnenklee has gone to town on his daughter’s new Process 24, from the one of a kind paint job, through to the custom built Spank wheelset. His daughter, Eliana, is one lucky girl.

“We had an old XTR crankset lying around and I built up some Spank rims on the standard hubs (more just for the bling factor). The Spank stem and pink Race Face bar I also had in my parts bin. I changed to the Fox fork because I’m just a fan, and one of the DJ kids in the park begged me for the Manitou fork. Found a couple of other bling bits for good measure.”

The frame I stripped and sanded and applied a light base coat, and masked up. The color-way was inspired by another Kona Dream Build I saw on cog.konaworld.com and they are daughter’s favorite colors. It was all masked and sprayed, no vinyl cutting.

Kona Dream Builds: Chris’s East Coast Ripping Honzo

We just love seeing the way people build up our Honzo’s, whether it’s our classic steel frame, or the newer alloy and carbon models, every single one is a Dream Build. And today we’ve got this very cool build from East Coast bicycle industry veteran Chris Hopwood. Chris wanted something zippy and capable to hit up the local single track where his trail bike was little overkill, this here build is the result of that goal. The complete bike as pictured weighs in at 11.5kgs (25.5lbs), that’s without going crazy with lightweight, blinging parts. This Honzo CR is burly and functional and a daily driver that’s gonna see one heck of a lot of use!  Read on for the full spec details and more photos!

Kicking things off up front is Fox’s new Stepcast Factory 34mm fork in 120mm, the fork weighs in at 1.59 kg and is as stiff Fox’s non Stepcast 34 140mm fork.

A Race Face 50mm Atlas stem holds the matching 35mm Atlas bar while Shimano’s XT Shifters and brake levers keep the cockpit reliable and low key.

The Race Face and Shimano theme continues with the drivetrain out back, Race Face’s carbon Next SL cranks mate up with an 11 speed Shimano XT rear mech while XT stoppers with 160mm rotors slow things down. e*thirteens 31mm wide TRS Race carbon wheels are shod with beefy 2.34 Vitoria 4C Martello’s, look out pesky East Coast rocks!

Fox’s Factory Transfer dropper offers Chris 150mm of height adjustability, the saddle is Fabric’s classic and super popular Scoop.

That is one very cool Honzo!