For the last couple of weeks we’ve been trail testing a new 2012 carbon fiber 29er King Kahuna prototype at our Kona USA headquarters in northwestern Washington. Known for it’s fast, flowy and often technical singletrack, with unrelenting middle ring climbing and tight switchbacks, the trails around Bellingham are the ultimate testing grounds for Kona’s fast-growing fleet of 29er mountain bikes. Featuring a 142 x 12 rear axle, tapered heatube w/internal headset, a propriety Kona mold and carbon weave that’s one of the most durable in the industry, initial reports from our test team are positive to put it lightly (pun intended). At 1240 grams (frame only, without axle), this is by far the lightest 29er we’ve ever made. But don’t forget, we’re all about the Long Sweet Ride here at Kona, and have worked hard on this prototype to not only make it light, fast and stiff, but tough as well. Here’s an initial report from our Kona USA sales manager and all around hammerhead, Kevin Noble:

“Seven more hours on the carbon Kahuna this weekend with great trail conditions. I love our Scandium hardtails but I have to say the ride of this bike is incredible. I’m really not sure how to describe it but I would say compliant without being flexy and snappy when accelerating out of the corners. To put it simply the carbon bike rides like a Kona but way lighter. The bike is plenty stiff in the rear end without being harsh. The geometry is spot on.”

This is from Dale Plant, one of the fastest riders in the company:
“I want to call it the Ali because it floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee (sorry, it just kept coming to mind). Laser Guided Missle was constantly coming up as well. The bike feels incredibly fast (FAST Pat would approve…hmmm, only one letter away from FAT)…anyway, stiff as hell, responsive, accurate, and sexy all in one. This thing is going to kick serious ass when unleashed on race courses.”

Stay tuned for more as we continue to log big trail miles on this groundbreaking new bike from Kona.