Justin moved to the Seattle area from Southern California four years ago and immediately fell in love with the steep and deep, loamy trails of the Pacific Northwest. The passionate MTB community and an endless supply of trails have cemented this place as his home. He quickly learned that his riding and exploring would benefit from stepping off the hardtail and onto a full-squish trail ripper. Enter the Kona Process 153 29.
I started on an aluminum model and my eyes were instantly opened into a new way of riding. After a year on that bike and working a bunch of overtime I spoiled myself on the CR build you see here and sold the aluminum model to a friend. I bought it stock with plans to spec it into my dream version of the bike. As a museum exhibition designer, aesthetics and color relationships play a huge role in my daily life. The bike looked sick as is of course, but why not add a bit of personality and play up the poppy color of the frame. I went full 1993 Charlotte Hornets jersey and paired purple I9 spokes and Hope Brakes to the teal frame. Boom! Perfect. I chose companies like I9 and Hope for their manufacturing quality and dependability, Tenet because of they’re WA locals, plus their bar design and crash replacement are second to none. The Lyrik is an obvious choice but I increased the travel to 170mm to up the stack height a bit and add a little extra buffer when things get steep and gnarly. The coil shock became a thing after riding with Rich Soffar (his dream build here) and he sang its praises. Thanks to Matt Telmosse at Polka Dot Jersey and Mike Howse at The Shock Howse for the guidance and hook up with the Ohlins. It has created a whole new beast. I left the Reverb stock because it seems to work just fine. The drivetrain has remained stock so I don’t have to worry about costly replacements in case they get sheared off during a crash. I can crash often. Maxxis tires, OneUp pedals, and ODI grips because duh…they rock. Otherwise its stickered up and stem capped from fellow bike buds.
An Ohlins TTX22 coil shock handles rear suspension duties. The drive train is mostly stock, but Justin has opted for an XX1 cassette, hes also running One Up pedals and V2 Dropper post and Fabric coop saddle.
Fork wise Justin has opted for a longer 170mm air spring in his RockShox Lyrik. Wheel wise his Process is sporting a set of Industry Nine Trail 270 rims laced to matching Industry Nine Hydra hubs. The tires are both Maxxis with an Assegai 2.5 up front and a Minion DHR II 2.4 out the back.
The cockpit keeps things local with a Tenet Bodem C bar mounted to a Tenet Nora 35mm stem. Braking, however, is not so local and comes from across the pond, Hope rotors and E4 brakes control the speed.
I took this build to New Zealand for TransNZ in February and it was so dialed. Way more dialed than my fitness. I did manage to shear a spoke and send it through rim tape and tire on the first day of racing ending any real chance of a decent placement. Oh well, time to just have fun and take in the amazing views. The rest of the week it performed flawlessly and seemed to love being thrown at the variety of trails we rode in TransNZ. Its rad to have a dream build that will be relevant and dependable for years to come.