July 22, 2014
Kona’s 2015 range was launched last week and we have the pleasure of riding a few of them in a month’s time. Here’s a pick from the range we are most excited to ride and the ones that hopefully you’ll want to ride.
Last year saw the introduction of the Process range of bikes. The new 27.5 enduro weapon was on everyone’s list of bikes to get hold of. This year sees the Process range expand.
The new 167 bike is a 26inch wheeled DH/Freeride/Hardcore Enduro. 170mm travel with a nice slack 65 degree head angle. The 167 that team rider Graham Agassiz has been sending big and spinning high this year also has the ability to ride uphill and smash some enduro laps. Kona says of it “If you wanted to call this bike the new Stinky, we’d be OK with that.”
Process 134 SE
The 134 SE is Kona’s answer for the smaller riders out there. For 2015 the Process will be available in an XS size for riders below 5 foot 4 inches. Not only being a smaller frame, the spec is a little different to make the whole build lighter. We really like the idea behind the 134 SE, a bike that already has a low standover is great but to then make an XS bike to cater for all sizes. We think a lot of other brands should do the same and cater for the smaller riders out there.
Size: XS, S, M
PROCESS 153 DL
The 153 DL model is the star of the Process range. 27.5 inch wheeled 160mm enduro weapon hasn’t changed much since last year, all geometry and measurements are the same its just the spec list that has been updated.
Last year also saw the reinvention of the Operator DH bike. Not only going fully carbon, the heavy hitting DH bike had a makeover and WOW did it look good. This years sees the same Operator regards to measurements, but some new colors and fresh spec options. There is also a new bike altogether: the Precept 200.
The all new Precept 200 bike caters to all the guys who want a DH bike but don’t have loads of money. Sharing similar geometry to the Operator and using Kona’s Swinger Independent Suspension, the Precept is all about eating up the world’s hardest DH tracks without eating your wallet as well. For the price this bike is pretty amazing coming equipped with a Code R brakeset and solid RockShox suspension your definitely getting your money’s worth.
The fully carbon Operator is a thing of beauty, it’s simple yet aggressive and we like that. At a slack 64 degree head angle Kona’s revamped DH bike has made its presence known on the world cup circuit, piloted by Aussie Connor Fearon to a 10th place finish last year in Leogang. This years sees some new colors and a spec upgrade from SRAM. X01 7 speed DH drivetrain, the new blacked out charged damped Boxxers and XO Trail brakes helping you stop. This year also see’s a direct mount fitted on as stock to the lower spec model, something that confused us all last year at ST towers.
On to some of the cheaper bikes in the Kona range, Budget hardtails and a rad kids full sus.
The Fire Mountain has been around for a while (28 years old) and is still going strong. This year sees the 120mm hardtail embrace the 27.5 inch wheels, that is if you go for the 15inch or above, the 13inch is sticking strong with the 26inch for the smaller riders. A great first mountain bike at an affordable price.
Sizes: 13 (26inch wheels), 15, 17, 19, 21 inch frames
Kona’s kids’ bike for little rippers, the Stinky 24, got a revamp last year, a lot of the changes made to the rocker link to improve the suspension. The 24 inched full suspension bike comes equipped with a RockShox Recon 100m fork up front and a Fastrax AF5 Coil Over rear shock. This bike is great, a robust little bike for all the budding DH/Freeriders who love to rip around. We apologise for when your child eventually gets faster than you and overtakes you on this little pinner.
So there you have it, a quick look at Kona’s 2015 range, for more details and the full range head on over to Kona’s website. We can’t wait to give the new bikes a test and we will report back with how they ride in a month’s time.