This year at the London bike show, there was a range of different bike companies from prototypes and well known brands.
One stand that stood out to me was Kona, which are know for entry level bikes and commuter bikes. On the stand, they had a huge Range of bikes from lightweight trail bikes to their hard hitting downhill rig.
Honzo CR Trail
To start things off, the all mountain hard tail was on show which had all modern geometry by having a short chain stays which makes it perfect for being easy to flick around corners making for a fast ride, combined with the long top tube which will give the rider much more confidence when going down steep and technician trails. Finally, there is the slack head angle coupled with a Rockshox Revelation fork, allows the bike a feel great going downhill. The bike also is aimed at climbing back to the top of the trail with it’s 1 by 11 NX group set which will allow you to get back up any path. Furthermore, with it being a hard tail, all the power you put through the cranks is getting used and transferred to the drivetrain and nothing is lost in the suspension. All of this topped off with a dropper post meaning the rider can change saddle hight on the fly. This bike is perfect for going up and down.
Next is the HEI HEI cross country/trail bike. This bike really stood out to me as it looked like a super fun and playful bike that would be as quick going up as going down. It combined the best of a trail bike and cross country together to make great looking bike. Bringing the slack head angle and dropper post with the short stem and bigger bars to a bike that you can tell can climb like any other bike. Running with the 12 speed GX group set means you can spin up any fire road to get to some gnarly downhill sections. With a full suspension set up, you will be able to hit some rougher stuff than the hard tail whilst still keeping the agility and nimbleness. Overall this bike would be a great all round bike that can handle a range of climbs and descents which will please both all out XC riders and enduro riders that wanna test there skill on shorter travel bike.
The next bike Kona’s Enduro bike, the process 153, which looked awesome in the blue matched with The Black perfectly. The shock linkage allows the bike to have a low BB hight making it super stable at speed when smashing the descent. It’s rocking a 1 by 11 group set which will definitely help in going up and down even if your a weekend warrior or race Enduro. The bikes comes with a nice spec but does have some in house component like bars, stem and grips. Whilst these components look great, you never know how good they are until you smash them down a rock garden.
Finally on show was their crazy looking DH bike, The Operator. Coming from place where you mainly see Kona as the go to A to B sort of bike it was great to see that they have bikes that were built purely to send it on the fastest, roughest trails that bike parks have to offer. With the well known Rockshox Boxxer up front and Super Deluxe Rockshox coil on the back this is a strong combination that will let this bike soak up big hits and give huge amounts of grip. Talking about grip, the bike was equipped with 3C Maxxis minion DHF tires. This is an odd combination using a tire designed for the front on both the front and rear, however, the DHF has received such rave reviews for its grip ability, its no shock Kona wanted to run this combination. Topping off this bike is the SRAM GX DH 7-speed group set to power you down the trail. This seems like a perfect bike for both downhill and freeride.
It was great to see that Kona have stepped up their game and seem to have created bikes that will hold their own against other brands. I hope that they are able to turn around there reputation from bikes that brake and the famous Kona stinky to a brand that is known for making top spec bikes that won’t be compared to some of the cheaper brands available at nationwide retailers. It would be great to see their bikes at bike parks more often and at local spots.
For more info on their bikes please visit their site Kona World
Written By Sam Jones