For those of you who missed our sneak peek video (or whose employers frown on workplace video viewing- even in the toilets) we now have more details on Kona’s new split-personality carbon fibre Hei Hei. An early-introduction 2017 model, the 100mm Hei Hei 29er will be available in both race (Race DL) and trail (DL) guises.
Dressing a cross-country platform in trail duds is a practice that goes back decades, but it hasn’t been one that many manufacturers have truly embraced. Built to accommodate increasingly technical World Cup cross-country courses as well as longer endurance events, the 1,800g carbon Hei Hei platform is more stable and capable than the twitchy, short-travel racers of years past. Given the shift to more confidence-inspiring geometry, it wasn’t much of a stretch to build the Hei Hei into what looks to be a capable trail bike.
Where the Race DL bounces on a 100mm RockShox Reba RL fork and Monarch RL rear shock, it’s less-buttoned-down sibling relaxes a degree or so with a 120mm Fox Float 34 fork, Fox Float rear shock, and KS Lev dropper post. Refreshingly for a flagship duo, the DL and Race DL come with sensible components from Shimano (XT 1×11 drivetrain & brakes on the DL), SRAM (GX 1×11 drivetrain and Guide brakes on the Race DL), and WTB (appropriate-width KOM rims on each).
Any Gulf colour scheme is hard to fault, but it’s hard not to think that most cross-country bikes eventually evolve toward what the trail-oriented DL represents from day one. Both models are priced at £3,999 and expected to be in the UK shortly. We have a Hei Hei Race DL on test right now- so don’t touch that dial.
Full specs on the DL here
Full specs on the Race DL here
And here’s the Facebook Live broadcast from a few weeks ago, when Kona came to see us at STHQ.
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Can’t see the video? It’s also here.