Nearly three years in development, Kona releases our first ever, custom-designed carbon fiber road bikes—-the Red Zone and the Zone Two. Considering the growth of GranFondo and endurance road riding, the Kona Road Product Development Group decided it was time to design a road bike that seriously considered the ride requirements of this burgeoning discipline. Longer rides necessitate more comfortable geometry, while year-long training necessitates 28c wheelset compatibility. Highlighted by a detail-oriented sub 1000-gram monocoque frame and fork that’s light and speedy, but not delicate or brittle, the Zone Two comes loaded with a host of innovative features, like a press fit BB30 bottom bracket, compact 50-34 gearing, hidden fender eyelets and a tubeless wheelset. Bottom line: The Zone is a pro peloton worthy road race bike that can handle any road surface in any weather condition.
The Zone Two: Tough enough to ride every road surface, comfortable enough to ride forever, and always fast. Weight on the bike is 16.8 lbs. or 7.6 kilos.
Separate seatpost clamp and round seatpost may seem like retro-grouch features, but they allow to allow for micro-adjustability for individual rider setup and fine-tuning depending on road and ride conditions.
To create our growing fleet of Kona Carbon Race Zone bikes, Kona has partnered with Dedacciai, one of the most reputable carbon road bike manufacturers in the world. Our design team worked intimately with their production facilities to ensure desired ride characteristics, durability demands and weight stipulations are met to the highest standards possible. Kona Carbon Race bikes are featherlight, super fast, and tough as all hell.
Left: The brake caliper fasteners feature internal threading that allow for an M5 fastener. This feature allows for a fender bridge to be cleanly attached to the bike without compromising the attachment of the brake to the frame/fork. Right: The Zone rear triangle features seat stay shaping designed to help dampens road vibration and increase torsional rigidity.
KONA CARBON RACE
To create our growing fleet of Kona Carbon Race bikes, Kona has partnered with some of the most reputable carbon manufacturers in the world. Our design team works intimately with our production facilities to ensure desired ride characteristics, durability demands and weight stipulations are met to the highest standards possible. Kona Carbon Race bikes are featherlight, super fast, and tough as all hell.
STEP 1: APPLICATION
At Kona we are very selective when choosing carbon fiber for specific bicycle frames. Each riding discipline requires a different balance of weight, strength, frame damping, stiffness, compliancy and durability. With over 25 years experience making bikes for every known cycling discipline, the first step in the design phase is ensuring how carbon fiber can be optimized for its intended use.
STEP 2: DESIGNING AND ENGINEERING THE KONA RIDE
For the good guys and girls in the Kona Product Development and Sales Teams, it’s imperative that key elements of the Kona Ride manifest in our carbon bikes. Efficiency, agility, comfort, and overall strength are all key considerations when we begin to work on the design of a carbon frame. Of course, we aim to leverage all the inherent properties of the material, but it’s crucial that it still feels, rides and lasts like a Kona.
STEP 3: MATERIALS & FABRICATION
THE WEAVE: Kona Carbon Race bikes use TORAY fibers, what we have determined to be the most technologically advanced in the industry—this is the same carbon weave used throughout most Formula 1 racing cars. Our carbon weave also features NANO TECH, a process that injects carbon nano cups into the weave matrix, bringing more strength, stiffness and impact resistance to the finished product. The results are frames with industry leading weight, stiffness and durability. Our entire structure is always built with unidirectional prepreg carbon fiber underneath a frame finish that is either UD or 3K.
THE FRAME: Kona Carbon Race frames are always built with a MONOCOQUE main triangle. While a tube-to-tube process similar to welding is cheaper to build, we choose only to use the monocoque process as it alone allows for continuous fibers where the tubes join, creating a much stronger and lighter structure. Our production process also eliminates as much bonded-in aluminum inserts as possible. While we bond in thread inserts for durability, you won’t find us taking short cuts with aluminum inserts for bottom brackets, headtubes, front derailleur mounts, or seat tubes. When we do put alloy into the frame we take very specific steps on their surface treatment and have special jigs for each step to ensure proper alignment.
Another thing you won’t find inside our frames is foam. Laying up the carbon around foam mandrels is another trick that makes bikes cheaper and easier to build, but leaves the rider dragging around a bunch of heavy foam. Kona Carbon Race frames are only molded with internal air bags, which are removed after the molding process. This means our carbon frames are made from only the best ingredients: carbon fiber and epoxy.
STEP 4: TESTING
During the prototyping process, our frames are tested for weeks at a time on veritable bike torture machines that push our designs through tens of thousands of cycles. What we learn from this directly translates into making strong frames, while eliminating unnecessary material. Kona Team athletes—experts when it comes to pushing the limits of our bicycles in real world scenarios—are the next in line when it comes to testing our prototype Kona Carbon Race bikes. Even after the tests rigs and pro rider testing, our product team continues to abuse the same prototypes day-in and day-out to make sure we are building the best Kona Carbon Race frames we possibly can.