Kona has long been known as the blue collar bike brand, which is no accident. The company was built on offering extremely reliable bikes at affordable prices. Sure, at times, Kona has left out some bells and whistles in order to do so, and they've often been a bit heavy, but being the lightest or the flashiest brand on the block has never been Kona's mission. Kona has traditionally focused on making bikes that ride well and last forever, something we can all appreciate.
So, does this new carbon Operator signal a shifting of the tides at Kona HQ? Yes and no. Kona is investing heavily in engineering and industrial design, and it shows, but the foundation on which the company was built remains. Each design element on the new Operator focuses on providing better durability, ease of service and improved ride experience.
Kona will offer two specs for the new Operator. The one pictured here, the Supreme Operator includes a full Shimano Saint group, Fox 40 Air fork and DHX RC4 shock, Hope hubs and Mavic 729 rims, and goes for under $7,000. While that's not cheap, compare that to the Specialized S-Works Demo 8 at $10,000. The other Operator, with the same exact frame, will come in under $4,100 with Shimano Zee cranks, Sram Code brakes, and Rock Shox suspension. We can't wait to throw our leg over one.