Kona Process G2 Launched, The First Carbon Process

by
September 12, 2017

If you had to name just one bike manufactured by Canadian bike brand Kona the chances are it’s going to be the Process. In its most recent form (i.e from 2014 onwards), the Process has been collecting awards, rave reviews and the hearts and minds of customers since day one. It’s been a very popular bike (James absolutely loved his), and for many good reasons.

For 2018 though, we see the biggest changes to the Kona Process range since its inception. Not only is there a full suspension redesign and a move away from the use of a shock yoke, Kona is also rolling with a much more simplified range of bikes, and – hold your horses – the hotly anticipated carbon Process.

2018 Kona Process launch
This is the top of the range Process for 2018. What do you think of the Gloss Aqua paint?

So when the current bike is so good and so popular, why the change in overall design and switch back to early Process model’s four-bar suspension design?

2018 Kona Process launch
The first Process designed to be a carbon bike.

Well, according to Kona the major reason for the redesign was carbon. The current Process was only ever designed to be an alloy bike, and building a reliable carbon frame around that design wasn’t an ideal solution. The new Process was engineered as a carbon frame from the very beginning allowing Kona’s designers to build a strong, long travel bike without any compromises.

2018 Kona Process launch
Metric shocks come as standard on the 2018 Kona Process

The redesign also gave Kona the opportunity to address other areas of the bike such as larger pivot bearings for a stiffer backend, and the chance to focus on just two travel options. Yep, you heard correctly – the new Kona Process is only available in 153mm travel (27.5in and 29in options), and 165mm (27.5in only). As of right now, there is currently no new 111 or 134 (although a budget 134 based on the older design will still be offered).

2018 Kona Process launch
The burly Process 165 gets more travel and a coil rear shock.

Moving to a new suspension design also gave Kona the chance to make the move to metric shocks. For the Process, Kona has gone for a trunion mounted shock, to save space and to retain that super-low stand over the Process is known for. Keeping a close eye on all the numbers means that Kona has even managed to save room for a bottle cage inside the frame.

The alloy Process 154 in Olive Green
The 2018 Kona Process 165 is like a modern day Stinky. Ish.
For 2018 all 29er Kona Process bikes come with 153mm of travel like the smaller wheeled offerings.

With a low stand over height across the range, riders are able to size up if they feel they want a longer bike without having to worry about the frame being too tall. Kona also paid attention to the current trend to using longer dropper posts when designing the new Process too. The new frame allows riders to run a longer dropper and still drop it all the way into the frame without fouling. Kona has even gone as far to spec most of the Process range with stealth Reverbs without a Connectamajig to save even more space.

The lower priced Process 153 gets a Tranz-X post while the Process 165 gets a KS Lev, the reason being that it’s easier to disconnect and swap out for a standard post for those jaunts to the DH track.

2018 Kona Process launch
Neat internal cable routing for the carbon process only

Internal routing and neat cable clamps come on the carbon version of the new Process, and it does look very slick. In contrast, the alloy model sticks with external routing, which to be honest, we kind of prefer even if it doesn’t look as clean.

2018 kona process launched
There’s also a spare mech hanger hidden under there.

Other features on the new frame include the use of press-in cups for the head tube on both the carbon and alloy frames, 1x only gearing, and very similar geometry to what we see on current Process models. Reach numbers remain unchanged, but the new bike is 0.5° steeper at the headtube and 1° steeper at the seat tube (based on the 27.5-in carbon model, full geometry below).

2018 carbon kona process geometry
2018 Kona Process CR geometry

As mentioned above, from 2018 the Kona Process range is made up of fewer models. Where there was originally a short, medium and long travel option (and even choices of 3 wheel sizes if we look really far back) the new range is made up of either 27.5in or 29in bikes. Below you’ll find photos and full specs of each of the new bikes.

Kona Process 153 CR DL
The Kona Process 153 CR DL sits at the very top of the 2018 Process range.

2018 Kona Process 153 CR DL

  • Frame // Kona DH Carbon w/ 6061 Aluminum Chain Stays 153mm Travel
  • Fork // RockShox Lyrik RCT3 Solo Air 160mm Tapered 110mm Spacing
  • Shock // RockShox Super Deluxe RCT Trunnion
  • Wheels // WTB Asym i29 TCS on SRAM S900 Hubs, Boost Front & Rear
  • Front Tyre // Maxxis Minion DHF EXO TR 3C 27.5×2.5″
  • Rear Tyre // Maxxis Minion DHF EXO TR 3C 27.5×2.3″
  • Rear Mech // SRAM X01-Eagle
  • Shifter // SRAM GX-Eagle
  • Chainset // SRAM Descendant Carbon
  • Brakes // SRAM Guide RSC w/200mm rotors
  • Bars // Kona XC/BC 35
  • Stem // Kona XC/BC 35
  • Seatpost // Rock Shox Reverb w/Plunger Lever 31.6mm
  • Available Sizes // S, M, L, XL
  • RRP // £6099
2018 Kona Process 153 CR
2018 Kona Process 153 CR

2018 Kona Process 153 CR

  • Frame // Kona DH Carbon w/ 6061 Aluminum Chain Stays 153mm Travel
  • Fork // RockShox Lyrik Solo Air 160mm Tapered 110mm Spacing
  • Shock // RockShox Super Deluxe RCT Trunnion
  • Wheels // WTB Asym i29 TCS on Formula Hubs, Boost Front & Rear
  • Front Tyre // Maxxis Minion DHF EXO TR 3C 27.5×2.5″
  • Rear Tyre // Maxxis Minion DHF EXO TR 3C 27.5×2.3″
  • Rear Mech // SRAM GX-Eagle
  • Shifter // SRAM GX-Eagle
  • Chainset // SRAM Descendant 6K
  • Brakes // SRAM Guide R w/200mm Front rotor, 180mm Rear rotor
  • Bars // Kona XC/BC 35
  • Stem // Kona XC/BC 35
  • Seatpost // Rock Shox Reverb w/Plunger Lever 31.6mm
  • Available Sizes // S, M, L, XL
  • RRP // £4799
2018 Kona Process 153 AL DL
The AL DL is the top-spec of the alloy Process 153 frames.

2018 Kona Process 153 AL DL

  • Frame // Kona 6061 Aluminum Butted 153mm Travel
  • Fork // RockShox Yari Solo Air 160mm Tapered 110mm Spacing
  • Shock // RockShox Deluxe RT Trunnion
  • Wheels // WTB Asym i29 TCS on Formula Hubs, Boost Front & Rear
  • Front Tyre // Maxxis Minion DHF EXO TR 3C 27.5×2.5″
  • Rear Tyre // Maxxis Minion DHF EXO TR 3C 27.5×2.3″
  • Rear Mech // SRAM GX-Eagle
  • Shifter // SRAM GX-Eagle
  • Chainset // SRAM Descendant 6K
  • Brakes // SRAM Guide R w/200mm Front rotor, 180mm Rear rotor
  • Bars // Kona XC/BC 35
  • Stem // Kona XC/BC 35
  • Seatpost // Rock Shox Reverb w/Plunger Lever 31.6mm
  • Available Sizes // S, M, L, XL
  • RRP // £3499
2018 Kona Process 153 AL
The Process 153 AL is your entry point into the Process range.

2018 Kona Process 153 AL

  • Frame // Kona 6061 Aluminum Butted 153mm Travel
  • Fork // RockShox Yari Solo Air 160mm Tapered 110mm Spacing
  • Shock // RockShox Deluxe RT Trunnion
  • Wheels // WTB STP i29 TCS on Formula Hubs, Boost Front & Rear
  • Front Tyre // Maxxis Minion DHF EXO TR DUAL 27.5×2.5″
  • Rear Tyre // Maxxis Minion DHF EXO TR DUAL 27.5×2.3″
  • Rear Mech // SRAM NX
  • Shifter // SRAM GX
  • Chainset // RaceFace Aeffect
  • Brakes // SRAM Level T w/200mm Front rotor, 180mm Rear rotor
  • Bars // Kona XC/BC 35
  • Stem // Kona XC/BC 35
  • Seatpost // Trans-X Dropper Internal 31.6mm
  • Available Sizes // S, M, L, XL
  • RRP // £3099
2018 kona process al geometry
Geometry of the alloy 2018 Kona Process
The Process 165 is the long travel “Bike Park” Process for 2018.

2018 Kona Process 165

  • Frame // Kona 6061 Aluminum Butted 165mm Travel
  • Fork //RockShox Lyrik RC Solo Air 170mm Tapered 110mm Spacing
  • Shock // RockShox Super Deluxe Coil R Trunnion
  • Wheels // WTB Asym i29 TCS on Formula Hubs, Boost Front & Rear
  • Front Tyre // Maxxis Minion DHF DD TR 3C 27.5×2.5″
  • Rear Tyre // Maxxis Minion DHF DD TR 3C 27.5×2.3″
  • Rear Mech // SRAM GX-Eagle
  • Shifter // SRAM GX-Eagle
  • Chainset // SRAM Descendant 6K
  • Brakes // SRAM Code R w/200mm Front and Rear
  • Bars // Kona XC/BC 35
  • Stem // Kona XC/BC 35
  • Seatpost // KS Lev Integra w/Southpaw Lever 31.6mm
  • Available Sizes // S, M, L, XL
  • RRP // £3999
2018 Kona Process 165 Geometry
2018 Kona Process 165 Geometry
No carbon for the 29er Process. This is the top-spec Process 153 29 from Kona.

2018 Kona Process 153 AL DL 29

  • Frame // Kona 6061 Aluminum Butted 153mm Travel
  • Fork //RockShox Yari Solo Air 160mm Tapered 110mm Spacing
  • Shock // RockShox Deluxe RT Trunnion
  • Wheels // WTB Asym i29 TCS on Formula Hubs, Boost Front & Rear
  • Front Tyre // Maxxis Minion DHF EXO TR 3C 29×2.3″
  • Rear Tyre // Maxxis Minion DHF EXO TR 3C 29×2.3″
  • Rear Mech // SRAM GX-Eagle
  • Shifter // SRAM GX-Eagle
  • Chainset // SRAM Descendant 6K
  • Brakes // SRAM Guide R w/200mm Front rotor 180mm Rear
  • Bars // Kona XC/BC 35
  • Stem // Kona XC/BC 35
  • Seatpost // Rock Shox Reverb w/Plunger Lever 31.6mm
  • Available Sizes // M, L, XL
  • RRP // £3499
And the 29er Process 153 AL.

2018 Kona Process 153 AL 29

  • Frame // Kona 6061 Aluminum Butted 153mm Travel
  • Fork //RockShox Yari Solo Air 160mm Tapered 110mm Spacing
  • Shock // RockShox Deluxe RT Trunnion
  • Wheels // WTB STP i29 TCS on Formula Hubs, Boost Front & Rear
  • Front Tyre // Maxxis Minion DHF EXO TR DUAL 29×2.3″
  • Rear Tyre // Maxxis Minion DHF EXO TR DUAL 29×2.3″
  • Rear Mech // SRAM NX
  • Shifter // SRAM GX
  • Chainset // RaceFace Aeffect
  • Brakes // SRAM Level T w/200mm Front rotor 180mm Rear
  • Bars // Kona XC/BC 35
  • Stem // Kona XC/BC 35
  • Seatpost // Trans-X Dropper Internal 31.6mm
  • Available Sizes // M, L, XL
  • RRP // £3099
2018 Kona Process 153 29 Geometry
2018 Kona Process 153 29 Geometry

Kona invited us out to Tignes to ride the 2018 Kona Process range, we sent Andi along who spent a few days riding the 29er version of the bike through the bike park and down some of the more natural trails in the region.

2018 Kona Process Launched
Andi riding the 2018 Kona Process 153 AL DL 29 in Tignes.

Judging by the smile on his face when he got back to the office we can assume that he got on pretty well with the bike, but two days isn’t long enough for a full in-depth review so we won’t go in to the details until we’ve received our review bike and gotten it muddy on our local trails.

The full 2018 Kona range should now be available over on the Kona website, and more details of the new 2018 Process can be found here.

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