Sneak Peek: 2014 Kona Process

Kona is poised to release three all-new shred sleds under the Process name

Here's a look at a prototype Process 111, one of three new bikes in the range. It offers 111 millimeters of rear wheel travel, rolling on a pair of 29er hoops.

From one to three, the Kona Process takes on some new identities. The idea was to design a series of bikes that cover the entire spectrum from trail to enduro. To do that Kona eventually landed on three framesets, the Process 111, Process 134 and Process 153 with the numbers denoting the exact rear-wheel travel. The 111 will be the only 29er in the group, while the 134 and 153 land on 27.5-inch hoops.

As interesting as the bikes themselves, is the way Kona’s engineers went about designing them. Rather than trying to fit a bike into a cookie cutter, like, say 27.5 wheels and 150 millimeters of travel, they focused on achieving certain desirable ride characteristics and built the series around those. They knew they wanted low bottom brackets, slack head tube angles, short chainstays and long front centers designed around 40 to 50-millimeter stems, and they knew each bike should pedal like an XC bike, but descend like a DH rig. “This may seem like a minor point: ‘Where did Kona start the design process for these bikes?’ But I think it had a huge impact on the final product,” says product manager, Chris Mandell.

“We looked at travel, leverage rate curve, wheel/tire size, bottom bracket drop, seat tube angles, shock configurations, fit geometry (short stems, long reach) and sought to create a line of bikes that best covered the range between XC and DH,” Mandell added.

Low and long. The whole series will get low bottom brackets and long front centers.

We just took delivery of all three models, and so far they’re very good. Stay tuned for in-depth ride impressions in the coming weeks.

This prototype Process 111 has a sexy carbon link. Hopefully this makes it into production.