Trail and Enduro Bikes


We have a soft spot for this type of bike here at Dirt. Twenty-nine inch wheels, a burly fork up front and a low slung frame with shorter-than-average travel. It’s a style of bike that not everyone will instantly be attracted to but take a test ride and you’ll taste the magic.

The Kona Process 111 is one from a small but select list that includes the Transition Smuggler, Norco Optic and Evil The Following. These bikes may be short on the travel numbers, but the quality of the suspension and sorted geometry combines very well with the fast rolling and high traction nature of the larger 29 inch wheels.


Our pick of the crop for the shortest travel bike in the 2017 Dirt 100 is the Kona Process 111. It’s a single model in the three tier Process line-up and the only model sporting 111mm of rear travel.

For 2017 Kona has continued to refine their entire Process range, and made some small but important updates to the 111. This is a bike that featured in the 2014 Dirt 100 (the year that 29ers really started taking hold for us) and had a winning formula from day one. Now Kona have slackened the head angle to 67.5 degrees and added length to the (already long) top tube, creating a more up-to-date layout than before. They’ve increased the fork’s travel to 130mm too, in line with bikes like the Transition Smuggler. These are small but important changes and ones we agree on. Refinements to a winning formula.

‘Low slung and hard hitting and durable, this all-action trail ripper is a bruiser in every sense of the word’

There’s only one model of Process 111. An aluminium frame with a one-by-eleven transmission and a choice of four size. With yet more length added to the frame dimensions we are now seeing reach figures of 475mm and 510mm for the L and XL sizes respectively.

A stubby 40mm stem is standard kit on all sizes and with an incredibly low standover height gives both manoeuvrability and good balance to this big-wheeled trail bike. The short chainstays and low bottom bracket allows the Process to be chucked around in the tight stuff. A short seat tube allow for a longer stroke dropper post (150mm plus) to be fitted if needed.

So, if Kona are only making one model then the spec better be bang on. A stout RockShox Pike RC fork leads the way with a Monarch RT controlling the 111mm of rear travel. The rear suspension’s consistent leverage rate curve matches the Monarch shock and gives a predictable feel throughout the stroke. Short travel this bike may well be but when combined with the high volume Maxxis Minion tyres the suspension package gives the Kona enough grip, control and support to let you push on into more challenging territory.

1×11 transmissions are almost a given on trail bikes of this calibre and as such the Process (like the Whyte T-129 S) is single chainring specific. Shimano’s recently revamped SLX (mixed with XT) is spec’d for the transmission and brakes. Wide rims and a KS dropper post round out the package well.

Kona Process 111

The Process 111 is a real ripper of a bike. You may need a test ride to convince yourself but many doubters have been won over by the way it performs. This bike mixes the urgency of a short travel 29er with the ability of a bike with much longer travel.

[monetizer101 search=’Kona Process 111′]


Selected for Dirt 100 2017

View the full 100
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