For the last six years Kona has been the title sponsor for the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo, what has become one of the most revered 24-hour events in North America. For this year’s event – our last as title sponsor – we invited 15 of the world’s top mountain bike journalists to join us for four days of riding, racing and reviewing Kona’s high grade offering of 29-inch wheel cross-country and all-mountain bikes, highlights from our House of the Big Wheel collection: the King Kahuna, Hei Hei 29 SupremeHonzo, Satori and Raijin.

Editors from UK’s Mountain Bike Rider and Privateer, the US’s Mountain Bike Action, Bike and Bicycling, France’s Velo Vert, Norway’s Terrengsykkl, and Belgium’s O2 Riders, as well as many other great publications, packed their sunscreen, lungs, legs and puffjackets as they readied themselves to race, ride and explore the epic singletrack of Arizona in February. The goal was not only to get some of the world’s top mountain bike journalists on great trails (riding great bikes), but to meet and ride with the people behind the bikes–our Kona USA sales staff, product managers, marketeers, and the always shred-ready Kona Team.

Here’s a video account of our desert adventure, and some sweet photos from the great Sterling Lorence to help tell the tale.

We started in the saguaro steeped trails outside of Tucson, where red earth contrasts wildly with green cactus, and every single plant is guarded with flesh tearing spines.

Sweet cactus action.

Mike Wirth of MBA rides a Satori on Mount Lemon, the all-mountain stage.

Desert sun and neverending Arizona Trail singletrack.

Israel Romero of Spain's Solo Bici Magazine.

On to the Kona 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo.

Kona's Spencer Paxson rules the 200 yard sprint to start of the race (high school track star).

And so we race, through the day and into a wicked Arizona sunset.

Matt Slaven into the night.

Kona Team mechanic Demo Dave works on the fleet. Over 25 racers and six teams made for huge Kona presence in Old Pueblo town.

Streaming LEDs.

The big story of the race was Cory Wallace, who won the solo category on his King Kahuna. 18 laps and 290 total miles. Savage!

House of the Big Wheel bikes: the Kona Carbon King Kahuna

The 100mm Kona Scandium 69 Hei Hei Supreme.

The 130mm all-mountain Satori.

The Kona Titanium Raijin.

Kona Cromoly all-mountain hardtail, the Honzo.