Kona Process X CR Review

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All in, the Kona Process X CR is an excellent all-mountain bike. And it’s the nicest-looking mountain bike I’ve seen for a number of years.

  • Price: £5,499.00
  • From: Kona World
  • Tested by: Benji for 2 months

Although this carbon CR suffixed version is new, the Process X is fundamentally a design dating back to MY2021 as that’s when the alloy version came out. Although the pace of change has slowed somewhat of late, three years is a significant period of time.

Is the Process X now behind the times? Solely in terms of seat angle, arguably it is. The actual seat angle of this frame is 69°. The claimed effective is 77.9°, which I’d take with a pinch of salt, but with a bit of saddle rail shoving, I could get into a decently effective position over the cranks.

I can happily say that the rest of the bike is bang up to date. In fact, it’s better than a lot of MY2024 in terms of fundamental geometry numbers and build spec. It has big reach numbers (525mm on this XL). It, brilliantly, has long 450mm chainstays (in Long setting, 435mm in Short).

These reach and stay figures give it exceptional balance – especially for taller riders – that quickly overrule any prejudice that long bikes can’t handle tight terrain. This bike flash dances down everything – twisty or blasty.

The rear suspension absolutely requires very careful set-up. A click either way results in quite a big difference; it is all too easy to set up the back end to be energy-robbing bobby, or pack-down happy ‘dead’. It’s not a bike you can set the sag and shred. It needs a number of considered rides to dial in.

FWIW I set it up with rebound five clicks from fully open and compression set to number 8 on the dial (essentially two clicks from fully open).

The rest of the bike has been excellent. Great brakes, great gears, 200mm dropper, normal bottle mounts, proper Maxxis tyres, suitable stem and bars, and comfy saddle. The Fox 38 fork needed all of its volume spacers removing, and all its dampers set to minimum for me to get suitable travel/action out of it – 75kg+ riders won’t have an issue.

All in all, the Process X CR is an excellent all-mountain bike. And it’s the nicest-looking mountain bike I’ve seen for a number of years too. Which doesn’t hurt.

Kona Process X CR specification

  • Frame // Kona Carbon, 162mm travel
  • Shock // Fox Float X Performance Elite Trunnion
  • Fork // Fox 38 Performance Grip 170mm
  • Wheels // WTB KOM Trail i30 TCS rims on DT Swiss 370 hubs
  • Front Tyre // Maxxis Assegai EXO+ TR 3C 29×2.5″ WT
  • Rear Tyre // Maxxis Minion DHR II EXO+ TR 3C 29×2.4″ WT
  • Chainset // Shimano SLX
  • Brakes // Shimano Deore 4-Pot, 203/203mm
  • Drivetrain // Shimano SLX/XT
  • Stem // Kona XC/BC 35
  • Handlebars // Kona XC/BC 35
  • Grips // Kona Key Grip
  • Seat Post // TranzX Dropper +RAD Internal w/ Shimano Lever 31.6mm
  • Saddle // WTB Volt

Geometry of our size XL

  • Head angle // 63.5°
  • Effective seat angle // 77.9°
  • Seat tube length // 450mm
  • Head tube length // 116mm
  • Chainstay // 435/450mm
  • Wheelbase // 1308/1323mm
  • Effective top tube // 662mm
  • BB height // 30mm BB drop
  • Reach // 525m

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Review Info

Brand: Kona
Product: Process X CR
From: Kona
Price: £5,499
Tested: by Benji for 2 months

Orange Switch 6er. Stif Squatcher. Schwalbe Magic Mary Purple Addix front. Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra rear. Coil fan. Ebikes are not evil. I have been a writer for nigh on 20 years, a photographer for 25 years and a mountain biker for 30 years. I have written countless magazine and website features and route guides for the UK mountain bike press, most notably for the esteemed and highly regarded Singletrackworld. Although I am a Lancastrian, I freely admit that West Yorkshire is my favourite place to ride. Rarely a week goes by without me riding and exploring the South Pennines.

More posts from Ben

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
  • Kona Process X CR Review
  • matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    I too really like the look of that, and many other Kona’s.

     

    But like your scepticism, the ones I tried on a test day at Comrie felt like the geometry didn’t match the published figures… It felt steep and twitchy, and didn’t look the same as a nest identical Merida next to it.

    kimbers
    Full Member

    some good prices on this bike if you look around

     

    and i love the colour, now if i just had the cash…..

    Fred89
    Full Member

    I have purchased Kona bikes almost exclusively for the last 22 years. But after dealing with their frame replacement policy and paying a small fortune to replace my rear triangle I can only really advice to steer clear of this brand.                                                          This is also before taking into account that the brand seems to have lost its roots since it was sold to a private equity fund in 2022.

     

    DickBarton
    Full Member

    Seeing that in the flesh, the colour is utterly stunning.

    I dislike carbon so it isn’t for me, but looking at the spec, it feels high for the kit it comes with.

    I’m happy to accept my knowledge of bike pricing is way out these days, but it is a lot of cash on things I’m not keen on just for a stunning colour…so fortunately for me, I’ll just have a look at the one in a local bike shop until it is sold!

    kimbers
    Full Member
    1. I dislike carbon so it isn’t for me, but looking at the spec, it feels high for the kit it comes with.

    its a great solid spec and Id say priced for COVID times,  its actually half rrp if you look around, which is pretty good vfm, tho maybe not CRC fire sale cheap!

    im also a long term kona fanboy, but their recent situation im very unsure of where they are headed, the ’24 bikes are all iterations of the current designs, with a few improvements: flip chips, accessory mounts etc,

    what the company looks like and what their bikes will be we probably won’t know until next year, tho Freds experience is not encouraging

    hardtailonly
    Full Member

    Am I missing something, as this (and also the Fox 36 fork review) seem very short/light on information, not an in-depth review at all.

    oldfart
    Full Member

    Also a disillusioned Kona fan , lost their way since Dan and Jake stepped down .

    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    Am I missing something, as this (and also the Fox 36 fork review) seem very short/light on information, not an in-depth review at all.

    I think the latest reviews are being written by AI as some sort of cost-saving measure…

    It’d be nice if the opening paragraph told you what sort of bike the Process is – travel, intent etc, rather than just launching into the geometry and how long it’s been around. I’m guessing MY2021 means ‘model year’?

    It’s all been written at gunpoint before an urgent trip down the pub hasn’t it?

    chakaping
    Free Member

    Is it me or it there literally no description of actually riding the bike?

    Just some (admittedly useful) analysis of the geometry and some stuff about the suspension being over damped.

    One of the writers on PB does this as well, gets lost in the weeds of setup and whatnot and forgets to tell us what the bike feels like.

    I’m possibly a bit more critical than some, as an editor myself, but maybe the feedback will be useful.

    bitmuddytoday
    Free Member

    Yeah I read this and wondered where the rest of the review was. Word count less than 10% of a Flow Mountain Bike review by Wil Barret last week lol

    Anyway I had a Process X a couple of years ago. During the pandemic bike shortages it was about the only bike actually in stock anywhere. Bit too much bike for my purposes but I feel like it’s been underrated. Doesn’t usually get a mention. Felt suitable for dropping off rooftops, whereas I just wanted a long, low and slack trailbike. I thought it was a surprisingly good technical climber, so long as the rider is not in a particular hurry. This colour is quite a subtle unobnoxious pink but it’s still too pink for me. Mine was black. I do like the lines of the frame.

    By the way the carbon version isn’t new, it came out first before the aluminium.

    mildred
    Full Member

    Am I missing something, as this (and also the Fox 36 fork review) seem very short/light on information, not an in-depth review at all.

    As others have echoed, this 👆🏻

    I would also say that a few years ago this review would’ve pondered why the suspension needs such careful attention; is it the frame kinematic, is it the shock tune, is it something a custom tune or aftermarket shock could fix? Or is there something about the frame design that makes it particularly fussy?

    Also, I’ve read this & the Factory 36 review, which is a fork I owned, & I also found that to get anywhere near reasonable performance all of the damping had to be virtually backed off entirely. I’m 92kg so in Benji’s view this should work great for me, but it really didn’t; at high speeds it was harsh & felt very overdamped despite a check of the O ring showing I was getting all but 7mm travel out of it.

    fahzure
    Full Member

    What does it weigh?

    bitmuddytoday
    Free Member

    Mine was 33lbs, tubeless in XL with XT pedals. I did swap wheels and I think the weight was after doing that. Didn’t really do it to save weight, but they were slightly lighter.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)

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