the Kona process 153 Dl
Taken From Dirt issue 140, October 2013
Numbers, sizing, damper parity, balance. It’s subtle and then it’s not. It’s simple in that very few have managed to get it right… anywhere near right for some. There are many bright ideas floating around, there are ‘estimates’ without any real–world testing. There is testing without the reality of where the bikes will actually be used, there is use, but the reality is often abuse.
On the hills south of Bellingham (Washington State, USA) is a track, actually there are hundreds of tracks, but one stands out. It’s where Kona bikes have been tested for many years. It used to be the domain of the Stinky and the Stab, nowadays it’s all–mountain/enduro territory. And this is where Kona bikes (after some time) have brought their range of bikes fully up to date in line with what’s happening.
Bellingham and the UK have a lot in common, the tracks are similar to the hand cut backyard stuff we have here, only on a bigger scale. Just out of town I rode a track not dissimilar to what we have around Dirt HQ – only twenty minutes long not two.
An enduro bike needs to have several key traits. It’s not difficult, it’s how it should be, in fact many manufacturers will tell you their bikes have all the qualities necessary when the reality is somewhere they are slightly out. Trouble is ‘slightly’ is massive. Half an inch is massive, support is essential – when you describe the key traits of an enduro bike then chassis balance is everything.
Look, you can get used to any bike, it’s what the majority of people do. It’s exceptionally rare that you get on a bike and simply ride. Look at the numbers on the Process 153 and you’ll think ‘well those angles seem pretty close to many other bikes’. After all (on a large) it’s 6mm more out back than a Specialized Enduro, but almost identical up front, 764mm plays 765mm.
With a marvellously low standover throughout the size range and a good sized downtube that allows for a 40mm stem to be fitted as standard, the Kona Process 153 DL will most certainly be one of the key bikes that puts Kona back in the picture. How it stacks up with bikes such as the YT Wicked and Specialized Enduro will be key but ultimately, for us at least it’s set on a collision course with the Lapierre Spicy. It could be very, very interesting.Prices
Process 153 £2699
Process 153 DL £3999
The Kona Process 153 DL is available from Kona.
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