The 2014 Kona Process 153 is, to quote one great rider, "…a game changer!" The legacy of Kona trail bikes includes classics like the King Kikapu (4-inch), Dawg (5-inch), and the Coiler (6-inch). Having ridden each one of those bikes, the Process 153 has some, proverbial, big wheels (errr…shoes), to fill; maybe that is why it rolls on 27.5" wheels?
Once Kona “released” this bike at Sea Otter it has been on my short list of bikes to try…not that I need another bike but 29″ at 100mm travel does have a open slot in my garage
To the bike. I did read some reviews online where the feedback was ok, not stellar but ok. Obviously I wanted to make my own judgements since this is one of the brands we carry that I have not spent a lot of time on, except of course for my Raijin which I love! I pretty much ran this 18″ straight out of the box. Only change was setting up the tires tubeless since the Easton rims are UST ready…not that the Maxxis Ikon is a UST tire so its not recommended but I wanted to run some low pressure so I took a chance.
To the ride. Flat sections/bermy stuff- this bike rips! Excellent trail manners. The short chainstays made it easy to loft the front and the 13″ BB felt planted in the turns and corners…dare I say just like a Tallboy?
By Luke Wronski, employee of The Path Bike Shop
When I began the search for a new bike I was looking for an aggressive and snappy handling 6" travel 26er. When I found the Altitude, I found it to be just as snappy and fun as any 26", with improved pedal-ability due to the slightly larger wheels.
Due to Rocky Mountain's "Straight up Geometry", which pertains to the straight up seat-tube angle, the Altitude climbs even the steepest ascents with comfort and ease. I've managed to climb comfortably with the bike in its slackest setting, but if climbs are a struggle the adjustable geometry chip is there to help. In addition to the geometry, the 27.5" wheels also help this bike maintain traction on technical climbs, and help the rider stay planted in the center to preserve energy.
In rough stuff the Altitude easily plows through the roughest rock gardens and feels confident on steep chutes and drops. Although the bike is stable and confidence inspiring, this is not at the cost of playfulness and flick-ability. The rear suspension of the Altitude is progressive, which favors a rider who tends to push hard into obstacles and needs the suspension to refrain from bottoming out too much.
When it comes to producing cool bikes, Kona is on it! The 2013 Kona Operator is definitely one of the best downhill bikes I have owned and pedaled and honestly I was really sold on a Specialized Demo 8 thinking there was nothing better. Once I rode the Kona Operator, I was blown away!
It didn’t feel like a big, sluggish DH bike and I immediately noticed it sat higher in the travel. When I corner in braking bumps it feels way more stable than all my other DH bikes I have ever owned and the bike tracks very well through high speed corners to rocky off camber turns. The short chainstays really enhance the cornering and at the same time is still super stable at high speed chunk and straightaways. I felt comfortable the first time I jumped this bike, it handles well and was very predictable in the air and getting back on the ground!
Five Weeks, Zero Chain Drops
SRAM's XX1 Still Causes Fits
Live with SRAM XX1, the new 11-speed, single-chainring, slackless drivetrain for five weeks and you're going to have some regrets.
First, you'll find yourself stuck with the urge to burn all front derailleurs. Not just yours, either. Your friends will be beating you away from theirs, too. But that's not all. Oh, no. All your old-school chain-slapping rear derailleurs will be destined for the flames as well.
Truth is, if you ride in a way that's ever made your chain fall off, you'll be riding this stuff inside of 12 months. It's that good. With the switch from a Shimano 2x10 setup I lost both the chain-dropping antics common to clutchless drivetrains (yes, Shimano makes one. No, I didn't have it) and three quarters of a pound from the bike. It was like losing a noisy anchor. Missed it about as much, too.
by James Matsubayashi, contributing writer and The Path Bike Shop customer
With my Ibis Mojo SL approaching 5 years in age, I started looking at different trail bikes to replace it and at the same time compliment my other bikes: a Salsa Spearfish (all-day endurance bike) and a Kona Raijin (singlespeed). I was thinking about something a little more burly, only because the Spearfish does okay as a trailbike if needed, at least for the trails I most often ride, and actually so does the Raijin for that matter! Why have something that overlapped? I was intrigued by 27.5 inch wheel models such as the Turner Burner and Banshee Spitfire, but didn't want to spend that much, because I likely wouldn't be riding this bike as often as the others. I even thought about buying a Heckler when I saw frames on sale for $500.
Review and photos by Neil, General Manager at The Path Bike Shop
I had to get one...
2013 Surly Krampus. Been riding it about a week. I have about 100 dirt miles on it already.
In all honesty I did not think I would like it this much! It climbs just fine, obviously has a ton of traction and great cornering. Rolls much faster then it looks, climbs like anything else and descends so much better then a regular rigid...the 3" wide, low psi tires help a ton!
The geometry is less XC, which is nice. I have the rear hub slammed forward in the horizontal dropout for a 17.25 chainstay length and with a 69.5 degree head angle = fun with 3", 16 psi tires!
This build weighs in at 26-1/2 lbs with Thomson post, or 27-3/4 lbs with dropper post.
report and photos by Eric (Auk) Akiyoshi, The Path Bike Shop Ambassador Race Team
Yes, this is a bike review, but it starts with a story of a lost “friend.”
About a month ago, I thought I had lost one of my favorite house slippers: not the pair, just the left one. You know, it’s like that favorite pair of jeans, sneakers, t-shirt, old sweatshirt, or stuffed animal: I was lost without it. Not one brisk evening went by without me thinking about my lost slipper. Flash forward one month to the day it was found stuffed inside an igloo at the back of the family van (really?). Eureka! Reunion! My lost friend! It was a joyous reunion! Nothing could be better than being reunited with a long lost friend: or could it?
So it has only been a week and a few days with the SRAM XX1 setup, but lots of miles and lots of vertical gain and loss.
I have to say, being a long time SRAM drivetrain fanboy I was still wondering. Why add the Direct TV dish to the end of a already excellent gear range? The 42t cassette ring has not seen much action yet but when I get the drivetrain on a full squish set up it will most likely see some "rotation".
After countless rocky, bumpy, loose and very fun descents, the chain still has yet to drop...that I really really like. Granted the set up is on my Kona Raijin, so no rear triangle moving all over the place. Regardless, I was dropping chains ala 1x10 with a Type 2 RD and fake FD on this same bike. It took the Bionicon C.Guide to keep it on.
Now the bike is no longer "busy" up front and IMO looks nice and clean.
"…no sir, I'm holding on too tight, I've lost my edge…" (Top Gun)
Ten months ago, my left Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) was completely ruptured, every other ligament in my knee was at least partially torn, and one of the meniscus required repair work (basketball injury). Enter one magnificent orthopedic surgeon (Dr. David Gazzaniga), one stellar rehab center (Breakthrough Physical Therapy), and six months of arduous rehab and the knee is back FSA (Full-Speed Ahead).
Six weeks on crutches, 10 weeks off the bike, and about 14-weeks off the dirt messed with my mind: Or perhaps it was just mental games of wanting to avoid another blown ACL. I felt like that pilot, Cougar, in Top Gun, "…no sir, I'm holding on too tight, I've lost my edge…"
Road Bike…Cyclocross (CX)…Monstercross…Fargo Cross (FX)?!?!?!
After almost 9 years of commuting to work via bicycle on everything from an Ellsworth Joker to a Moots Compact Road bike, I met the Salsa Ti Fargo. The Fargo has been around since 2008, and in 2011, Salsa released their Ti version: US made (by Lynskey) and weighs in right around 3.25-lbs +/-. The Fargo is Salsa’s “…drop-bar, offroad, adventure bike” complete with 3 (on the small) or 4 waterbottle bosses on the frame, rack tabs, and disc only brakes.