The Dual Personalities of Kona’s Hei Hei

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Fasty McFastface
Fasty McFastface

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.

Raddy McRadface
Raddy McRadface

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.

To be notified when we are next broadcasting live make sure you like our Facebook page.

Can’t see the video?  It’s also here.

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