The all-new Kona Process has been totally revamped and remodelled for 2018 with the addition of carbon construction and a new suspension platform. Is this a brave move from Kona after having such a successful design with the previous bike? We report back from the launch.
Words: Ieuan Williams Images: Kona
Both the Kona Process 153 (27.5″) and 111 (29″) models have been hits in our Dirt 100 yearly selections and have become very well regarded trail bikes. With the shorter travel 111 29er disappearing for 2018 (and being replaced by a longer travel big wheeler), will the will the new version of the popular Process 153 still retain its magic? After all, in 2016 we quoted ‘The Process range of bikes are without doubt the most inspired bikes that Kona have ever produced’.
The new Process 153 will be available with either a carbon or aluminium frame. We rode the top spec carbon framed carbon DL model.
The 2018 Process frame
Looking past the carbon construction for a moment let’s take a look at what the new Process 153 design has to offer. As the name suggests, this bike has 153mm of rear travel, is designed around a 160mm fork and rolls on 27.5″/650b wheels. There’s a 66 degree head angle, -10mm bottom bracket drop with the 29” model measuring in at the same height (you do the math). An XL size has a reach of 510mm – all numbers that seem to work in my book and are a promising start. The low standover height remains too.
Kona seem to have brought the Operator feel into the trail bike range now, having the same idea of a short chainstay and longer front centres. The rear stay length of the 27.5 Process measures in at 425mm so that’s super-short but with the seat tower having a nice steep 76mm angle it doesn’t affect the climbing efficiency.
There has been some real detail and effort put into the silence and cleanliness of the new Process with neat internal hoses/cables and a great amount of chain slap protection. This is something that in my eyes should be perfect, there really is nothing worse than a bike making a racket down a trail.