Canadian designers Kona have been an influential player for a long time now, this year they’ve got practically every base covered one way or another.
Here’s the highlights we rooted out on their dealer roadshow.
Not the most visually impressive sight we know, but old time Kona afficionado’s will be delighted to see the Kona Explosif back in
True Temper Platinum OX custom butted cro-moly steel. XTR / XT / Avid / Race Face mix with Marzocchi MXR air fork completes the stealth grey picture for £1,300.
The same top spec True Temper steel is used for the Unit singlespeed too. Those with strong knees and £750 can get ready to retro rock with rigid fork, Race Face ISIS chainset and Koski finishing kit.
The neat looking Blast typifies a very good looking mid range with two tone graphics throughout. Judy Fork and Deore kit on butted aluminium frame really should make this a blast for all round riding at £500.
Kona’s £600 Scab gets a reworking with an ultra tough, heavily gusseted steel frame, reinforced dropouts and fork. Hardcore finishing kit includes Truvativ Hussefelt chainset and Kona’s own heavy duty Jackshit pedals.
Kona have carried on their evolutionary development of the rocker driven full suspension bikes, and the lightened rocker plates now get a bolted bridge to stiffen the rear end. This King Kikapu comes fully equipped with Marzocchi Marathon fork, Tioga tubeless tyres and top end Shimano / Race Face kit, for a low fat full floating race bike at £2,400.
This year’s big theme seems to be a freeride coming of age thanks to lighter aluminium tubesets and reliable air shocks and forks. Kona call their two bike “Backcountry” range the Bear bikes. Presumably because they’re for wandering around in northern Canadian woods rather than stealing picnics out of cars, though they’re probably good for that too.
Anyway what the bears get are square headed Easton Rad style aluminium tubesets, with Kona’s standard rocker linkage rear
(but remember pivot spotters that seatstay – not chainstay – pivots mean it’s still just a swingarm axle path). A Fox air shock sits on the inboard end with Marzocchi MXC fork and Hayes mecahnical brakes on the basic Bear (£1700), and full lockout Float RC rear shock and new Fox Float RL fork suspend the Bear DL with hydraulic Hayes discs for stopping at £2,200.
Finally the new Stinky Nine uses a Stab DH inspired chainstay that most bikes would be happy to have just as a swingarm let alone part of a 4-bar set up. The sliding dropout pivot travel adjust is stolen from the Stab too, so we presume all those bolts in the back end hold up with no problems. Motorbike sized Shiver fork and various brute componentry complete the Nine’s ironmongery for £3,400 all up.
The rest of the range includes hybrids, courier style bikes, a single cyclo cross bike, and the return of a road bike to the range. Full details at www.konaworld.com.
So that’s some of the hardware excitement from Kona but now we’ve got some Team Kona Ford Focus softwear to give away. And it’ll go to whoever comes up with the best Canadian fairy story containing the names of all 8 bikes mentioned above. That should keep you quiet for a bit, but send your completed tales in and whichever we and the lads from Kona like most gets a team T-shirt and baseball cap (still in a wrapper so no danger of mange from Scoop).