Process 153 CR DL 29

Kona Dream Builds: Bart’s ‘Purple Trail Eater’ 2020 Process 153 CR/DL 29er

When you upgrade from a 2019 to a 2020 Version of the same bike, it truly must be love. That’s exactly what it was when Kona UK Rider James ‘Bart’ Bartholomew first saw the all new 2020 Prism Purple-Blue colourway. . and do you blame him?!

Ben Hazell | KONA COG
Ben Hazell | KONA COG

Bart is an avid 29er fan and coming from a Motocross background, he is all about the speed. That said, he is one stylish dude and certainly knows how to throw some shapes on his Process.

Ben Hazell | KONA COG
Ben Hazell | KONA COG

Bart’s build is mostly stock, with just a few tweaks to make it his own. First and most noticeable is the custom tuned Coil Shock from the guys at TF Tuned. He was running a red spring on his 2019 CR/DL but decided that stealthy black would be best on the ‘Purple Rain’

Other additions include the Raceface Next Carbon Handlebars, Fabric Saddle/Grip combo and gold Sram 12 speed chain to tie in with the Purple & Gold Theme.

Ben Hazell | KONA COG
Ben Hazell | KONA COG
Ben Hazell | KONA COG

Bart chose to keep the stock additions to the 2020 Process 153 CR/DL which include the awesome new DT Swiss/WTB Wheelset & Maxxis Assegai Tyre – A popular choice for most Enduro Riders in the UK.

In order to protect the super trick paint job, he also got it professionally sorted by the guys at Invisframe.

Ben Hazell | KONA COG
Ben Hazell | KONA COG
Ben Hazell | KONA COG
Ben Hazell | KONA COG
Ben Hazell | KONA COG

Kona Dream Builds: The Return of the King, Caleb’s Process 153 29 CR DL

At 6’4″ I’ve always loved 29ers. I also love lots of travel to make up for my shortcomings as a rider. Oh and I love carbon, partly for the stiffness, but more from aesthetic and design front. So last year when Kona released the G2 Process I was very torn. A carbon 27.5 or an alloy 29? It was a tough call but I ended up opting for the 27.5 CR DL, and I loved every single minute on it, but when Kona released this bike this year there was not even a question about what I was going to ride. This bike ticks every single one of my needs, and don’t get me wrong, the out of the box build needs zero changing. Code RSC’s, RC2 Lyriks, a Super Deluxe out back, a full XO drivetrain and some solid hoops and tires…  I mean really, why would you change anything? Well, I can’t help myself. For starters I have a Chris King addiction, it started a few years ago with a simple headset, then turned into hubs, and if you gonna rebuild your wheels you may as well wack some carbon hoops on too right? And after living in Squamish and being blown away with OneUp Components products and ethics and support of the local trails supporting them seemed like a no-brainer, their EDC tool is a must have and the new cable actuated seat post is trouble free especially for someone that travels with their bike a bunch. Let’s get into the details.


What didn’t get changed? Well, the drivetrain and suspension on this bike are faultless. The Rock Shox Super Deluxe rear shock is perfectly tuned for the Process, even though I’m a big dude, I pretty much never touch the cheater switch (unless it’s a long road climb).


The SRAM XO complete group is another bulletproof item that is absolutely perfect (unless you’re one of those Shimano for life kinds people), shifting is flawless, the Dub BB and cranks have put up with some crazy bad weather already and they just feel so stiff. Plus it’s an XO Shifter, cranks, chain, cassette, and rear mech. No corners cut. I did add a One Up top guide up front.


XO Eagle out back. Flawless.


The bike comes stock with Kona’s in-house 35mm bar and stem. But… I’ve been addicted to the Race Face TurbineR stem for as long as I can remember, actually since before it was even a Race Face product, I’ve been running this stem since Easton introduced the 35m Haven and Havoc standard back in 2012. I figured once I had the stem that matching bar wouldn’t be too bad and the red 820mm Race Face Six C was added. Cut down to 790mm. One Up’s EDC tool is a must have, I have 5 bacon strips and their tire plug kit also installed.


And once that red Race Face bar was added it was a given that I was going include my staple Chris King headset to the mix.


Oh, I love ice cream!


SRAM’s Code RSC’s are hands down the best brakes I’ve EVER used. But I couldn’t help myself and I had to purchase some carbon levers for them. If you don’t know, the Guide and Code brakes share the same lever and you can buy aftermarket carbon ones for Guide Ultimates. There is nothing worse than cold levers on your fingers in winter, it’s a first world problem, but it’s one that I don’t have to deal with anymore!



One Up’s carbon dropper post lever is the lightest on the market and the position is really comfortable, it allows you to really get your thumb around the bar and the throw is super light and requires minimal effort to activate.


I run it at full 170mm height, topped with a carbon railed Volt from WTB. Pretty much the second best seat ever. Hands up who still loves the WTB Silverado?


It goes all the way to S.


And then there are the wheels… Built in my hometown of Wellington, New Zealand by Wheelworks the 30mm internal carbon hoops are laced to a set of Chris King ISO hubs with DT Swiss Aero Light spokes. The build process is insane on these wheels. Check out this story here on what goes into a set of Wheelworks wheels.


The boys at wheelworks love a custom spoke treatment. They even used red nipples!


I’ve been a fan of the WTB Vigilantes tires since they first arrived on the market a few years ago. I’ve solely used the 2.3″ Tough High Grip tire but I thought I’d give this lighter Slash Guard Light casing 2.6″ a crack. So far it has been amazing and I’m yet to flat. The tough casing versions are pretty hefty so saving a little weight with these is welcome. Out the back, I run the OG 2.3″ Vigilante Tough High Grip tire, it’s more like a 2.4″ and hooks up like nothing else.


The revised 2.6″ tread pattern.


Then there are the little things. One Up’s rubber ski straps are a cheap and easy way to attach the tube and Co2.


The Wolftooth x King Morse Cage combines the awesomeness of a King Cage with a huge fore and aft adjustment, allowing you to get the cage super close to the rear shock and increase the room for a big bottle, which I should say fits with plenty of room to spare. It comes in Ti and stainless. I cheaped out and opted for stainless.


Another look sans bottle.


There she is. My Process 153 CR DL 29. Without a doubt the dreamiest bike I’ve EVER owned!

Pinkbike Field Test: Kona Process 153 CR DL 29

The crew over at Pinkbike put the Process 153 CR DL 29 through the gauntlet with their new series of Field Tests. How did the bike do compared to every other ride? According to Mike Levy, “I was in the air and manualing on the Kona more than on any other bike.” That makes us happy. These bikes are made for serious fun and shenanigans. We’re glad the crew at Pinbike agrees. The video is great and we’re thrilled they loved the bike.

Be sure to read the full review here!