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Angus bought a Kona...

Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
edited May 2015 in Your mountain bikes
After much procrastination, about a thousand changes of mind and almost buying the Mondraker Foxy, I went for the Kona Process 134. So glad I did! Fantastic bike.

Kona_1.jpg

Kona_2.jpg

Upgrades include...
150mm Pike up front (taking it up from 140mm)
Superstar Carbon AM wheels (on Tesla hubs)
High Roller II front (tubeless)
Ardent Race back (tubeless)
Superstar Nano Tech pedals (gunmetal)
Nukeproof saddle
Nuke proof Carbon Warhead bar

Upgrades to come...
Reverb Stealth
E Thirteen TRS+ AM Double Crankset
Replace rear shock with either...
Cane Creek Inline or Monarch Plus RC3 DebonAir

Thank you to everyone who chipped in with advice in my thread asking about upgrade options.
All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
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Posts

  • CitizenLeeCitizenLee Posts: 2,227
    Awesome mate, such nice bikes! You must be chuffed!

    Have you christened it yet?
    Current:
    NukeProof Mega FR 2012
    Cube NuRoad 2018
    Previous:
    2015 Genesis CdF 10, 2014 Cube Hyde Race, 2012 NS Traffic, 2007 Specialized SX Trail, 2005 Specialized Demo 8
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    CitizenLee wrote:
    Awesome mate, such nice bikes! You must be chuffed!

    Have you christened it yet?

    Ha, yes, chuffed would be one word. It really is a fantastic ride.

    I've had it about a month now so it's been well and truly christened - It arrived late on a Monday night and I went down to BPW the following morning! Since then it's been down to Surrey Hills, Croft in Swindon and many miles on local stuff around where I live. Not too many miles on the upgrades yet, though, as they only went on in the last week or so and the weather has just started to turn.
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • CitizenLeeCitizenLee Posts: 2,227
    Good to hear you've gave it a good thrashing! I must admit, if I was in the market for a new complete bike then the Process would be very high on the list. Upgrades both done and coming seem well considered too, although I'm surprised you're planning a double up front. Not tempted by a wide range cassette or 1x11? As for shock, I'm not hearing that great things about the new CC, although I think the problems may be exclusive to heavier guys. Have a look on their forum for info on that though.
    Current:
    NukeProof Mega FR 2012
    Cube NuRoad 2018
    Previous:
    2015 Genesis CdF 10, 2014 Cube Hyde Race, 2012 NS Traffic, 2007 Specialized SX Trail, 2005 Specialized Demo 8
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    I've been thinking about going one ring upfront. I think that might be something I do next summer once I've got some more miles on the thighs. Not that I use the small ring much, but for now I'm probably going to stick with two rings.

    I followed your link in Rockmonkey's thread and that has given me pause for thought on the Cane Creek. Plus, it does seem like a fiddly little censored and I'm not sure I'm experienced enough to get the best tune out of it.
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • CitizenLeeCitizenLee Posts: 2,227
    That sounds like a good plan regarding the gears. May as well use what’s fitted and keep the cash towards more important upgrades.

    As for the shock, you obviously can’t take one person’s word but the guys knows his stuff and reading the whole thread and links provided it seems that there are more reports on the CC forum, and even TFT seem to have acknowledged that there may be an issue with the rebound. I’m sure CC will rectify it, but if I was currently in the market I’d probably just go for the DebonAir or wait it out and see what CC do. You’re right though, CCs are certainly not fit and forget shocks. Definitely one for the fettlers.
    Current:
    NukeProof Mega FR 2012
    Cube NuRoad 2018
    Previous:
    2015 Genesis CdF 10, 2014 Cube Hyde Race, 2012 NS Traffic, 2007 Specialized SX Trail, 2005 Specialized Demo 8
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    I am leaning more towards the DebonAir. I'm sure it would be a great upgrade. The amount of control and precision now at the front with the Pike is exposing the fact that there is slightly less control at the back. It's not a disaster at the back by any means, but it does feel like it could do with being brought in to line with the Pike.
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • benpinnickbenpinnick Posts: 4,148
    Debonair will only add better small bump compliance, and can affect your big bump performance if you're a big guy, so its probably only worth it if you really think its needed better small bump performance.
    A Flock of Birds
    + some other bikes.
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    benpinnick wrote:
    Debonair will only add better small bump compliance, and can affect your big bump performance if you're a big guy, so its probably only worth it if you really think its needed better small bump performance.

    I'm 78kg, so somewhere around average I guess. What are your thoughts on replacing the RockShox Monarch R on there?

    Why does everything mountain bike have to be so complicated! Lol!
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • CitizenLeeCitizenLee Posts: 2,227
    Why does everything mountain bike have to be so complicated! Lol!

    To keep you spending money ;)
    Current:
    NukeProof Mega FR 2012
    Cube NuRoad 2018
    Previous:
    2015 Genesis CdF 10, 2014 Cube Hyde Race, 2012 NS Traffic, 2007 Specialized SX Trail, 2005 Specialized Demo 8
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    It's working. :-)
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • asdfhjklasdfhjkl Posts: 333
    Love the yellow colours there - looks great. Yellow fork decals like the Remedy in the thread below this would look neat.
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    Yeah, I like the black and yellow, though I'm not sure I'm completely sold on the over all look of the bike - that super low standover makes it look like a traditional girl's bike (though it does make it easy to bail in an emergency) and when I look at it in profile I just see WHEELS!!! Lol!

    Yes, I've seen those stickers. Not sure if that's a bit of yellow too far, though. I think the yellow on the seat and bar work well, just brings a slightly dull looking bike up a few notches...

    Seat2.jpg

    Seat_A.jpg

    ... but I'm not sure I care enough about what the bike looks like to start changing stickers on my forks. Never say never, though, I might crack at some point!
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    Very nice bike. The Process 134 is one of the best AM bikes I have ridden.
    Have you ridden on that Nukeproof saddle? I had one on my Scalp and it was like a torture device.
  • whitey161whitey161 Posts: 110
    The stickers on my forks were under a tenner and really easy to put on so no hassle.

    I love the process, if i were to buy a new bike the process would be it although id probably go for the 153. Looks amazing and from what i hear performs well too.

    The pike has certainly exposed the deficiencies in my rear shock too and so considering what/how to upgrade.

    Awesome bike.
    Gravity-Fed Media - A page to showcase my MTB and Snowboard Edits

    http://www.facebook.com/GFM2005
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    Very nice bike. The Process 134 is one of the best AM bikes I have ridden.
    Have you ridden on that Nukeproof saddle? I had one on my Scalp and it was like a torture device.

    I've ridden lots of bikes now, at demo days and the like, most of them twice the price, and I can't think of any I liked better.

    The saddle's been on there since day one so I've had lots of miles on it, from BPW to XC, and I don't think I can tell it apart from the Spoon on my old bike. It's like most saddle's I've tried - it's not particularly comfortable but neither does it bother me particularly.
    whitey161 wrote:
    I love the process, if i were to buy a new bike the process would be it although id probably go for the 153. Looks amazing and from what i hear performs well too.

    I did consider the 153 but I think that would have been overkill for me.
    whitey161 wrote:
    The pike has certainly exposed the deficiencies in my rear shock too and so considering what/how to upgrade.

    The front was easy: Pike! Even if it's not the only game in town, seems you can't go wrong with a Pike. The back, though, there's not such a clear cut choice. Yes, decisions, decisions...
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • paul.skibumpaul.skibum Posts: 4,068
    I just put a Monarch Plus on my Bronson and it is very nice - super supple and plush, progressive through the 75% of the travel I have had cause to use so far and simple to set up. Seems very nicely matched to the Pike too.
    Closet jockey wheel pimp censored .
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    I just put a Monarch Plus on my Bronson and it is very nice - super supple and plush, progressive through the 75% of the travel I have had cause to use so far and simple to set up. Seems very nicely matched to the Pike too.

    Sounds good. And I dare say that you're probably asking more of your bike than I will be for quite some time.
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • paul.skibumpaul.skibum Posts: 4,068
    Only had a couple of rides on easier terrain on it so far but the bike feels more active, balanced and playful from the off. Climbs better too.
    Closet jockey wheel pimp censored .
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    Only had a couple of rides on easier terrain on it so far but the bike feels more active, balanced and playful from the off. Climbs better too.

    In the Bike Bible video where they gush about the Kona one of the guys says he'd like to try the Process with the Fox Float X. Any thoughts on that?
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • Nice bike!

    I've been running a 134DL since April and love it. The only mods so far have been a Renthal Fatbar Light Carbon bar that I already had and a Works Components 1 degree angleset headset. Oh, and the WTB Vigilante tyres!

    It's a very capable bike that's seen me through an enduro as well as a big day out in the hills. But you'll know all of that too.

    While I'm quite happy with the set up, I am curious about the pike fork & monarch plus. Also interested in how you find the carbon wheels.

    By the way, are you managing to keep the chain on? Mine is forever trying to jump off the front. I've just reduced it in length by a couple of links, but if that doesn't work then I'm after something like a Blackspire twinty chain retention set up. No 1x10 for me given the hills around here.
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    Nice bike!

    I've been running a 134DL since April and love it. The only mods so far have been a Renthal Fatbar Light Carbon bar that I already had and a Works Components 1 degree angleset headset. Oh, and the WTB Vigilante tyres!

    It's a very capable bike that's seen me through an enduro as well as a big day out in the hills. But you'll know all of that too.

    While I'm quite happy with the set up, I am curious about the pike fork & monarch plus. Also interested in how you find the carbon wheels.

    By the way, are you managing to keep the chain on? Mine is forever trying to jump off the front. I've just reduced it in length by a couple of links, but if that doesn't work then I'm after something like a Blackspire twinty chain retention set up. No 1x10 for me given the hills around here.

    The chain dropped once on the first day while a friend was riding it, but then we discovered that the clutch was off. Not sure if that's how they're shipped, so have you checked that? Since then it's not dropped once. Chain seems very quiet and stable.

    Here's a copy and paste from another forum of my first impressions of the upgrades, in response to a question about the effect the Pike is having on handling...

    Hard to say. Having done Pike, carbon wheels, carbon bar and tubeless, upgraded tyres all at the same time it's difficult to say what's having what effect. I've ridden a lot of miles on the original spec (at places like Bike Park Wales) and even from only a few miles on the new set up (upgrades have been on just over a week and the weather's not been kind) I can say that...

    The bike feels more confidence inspiring. More accurate and easier to place exactly where I want it. For example, on my local route there are some very tight turns which then leave you pointing straight at things you want to avoid and they're right on you as soon as you exit the turn. On the old set up it was always a bit of a frantic tugging match to get the bike back onto the safe line in time. On the new set-up it's stopped being an issue - I'm round and back on line with hardly a thought.

    The bike is more instantly accelerative - stomp on the pedals and the extra go is noticeable and feels very directly connected to the effort through the pedals. Mind you, with the extra rolling resistance on the tyres, any weight saving that might have helped me up hill has been canceled out. So a long grind is no easier, but if you need some extra instant zip on something technical, it's there.

    I'm definitely going faster down hill now. I'm definitely hitting things harder where I might have held back a little before.

    The Pike feels glued to the ground - some small steps on my usual route that I know well would bounce the original fork - the Pike just rolls straight over without, seemingly, breaking contact with the ground.

    I now realise there was some flex in the original wheels. I suspected there was but wasn't sure. It's not much, but they're definitely a little twangy under duress.

    Tyres are so much quieter!

    Bike feels smoother through the bars (and if you've ever ridden a 134 back to back with other full-sus bikes you'll know it's a really smooth bike anyway).

    Over all the bike feels more stable and you really notice it when the going gets rough down hill. Is that the extra 10mm? Or is it a bit of everything? I don't really know. One thing I can say for certain is that it's not done it any harm. When I ordered the Pike I was wondering if I should do the mod to take it down to 140. I see no reason to do that now.

    There are a couple of caveats to the above. First, I'm not the world's most experienced rider and certainly not the greatest, so I'm an unreliable witness at best. A better, more experienced rider might file a completely different report. And second, as the weather hasn't really allowed me too many opportunities to play I've not had chance to get to grips with the adjustments on the Pike. As of yet I've not touched any of the settings so I'm hoping that once I get a chance to sort that, there'll be more to come in terms of performance.

    All in all I absolutely love this bike. And I love the upgrades. I've ridden a lot of expensive full-sus bikes at demo days and the like and I think I can honestly say that I've not ridden another bike that I like so much.
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • Thanks, sounds great.

    Looks like the wheels are having an effect if you're feeling the response when pedalling. I'm a bit wary of carbon rims, but also curious. I'm interested in the Light Bicycle rims with Hope Hubs and the likes of CX Ray spokes for a strong and flexible build. Or ... for £400 Moonglu do a fantastic set of blue combo Hope Hubs & Stans Arch EX rims that'd go very well with the DL colours!! It makes more sense for me to have another set of wheels that are lighter and wearing less aggressive tyres. Then I can choose which set best matches the ride I am doing that day. The WTB wheels have been fine and I am impressed with the Vigilantes. But even if I add more air for less technical rides, they are still overkill for trail centres or XC stuff.

    I love the idea of the Pike, but wonder if that's just the Magpie effect of shiny new things as the Revelation is a great fork. I may just call TFT for some advice on custom tuning Vs the Pike. And also ask about reducing travel to 140mm since I already have the angleset headset.
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    I love the idea of the Pike, but wonder if that's just the Magpie effect of shiny new things as the Revelation is a great fork.

    Oh, it's definitely the 'magpie effect' for me. The carbon wheels are a perfect example. Do I need carbon wheels? No. Can I tell the difference? Maybe. Am I good enough to exploit the difference? Absolutely not. But, hey, this is for fun and it's 'trick', so why not! At work I only buy what I absolutely need. At play I buy anything I want. :)
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • Quite right too!
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    Have you considered a CCDB Inline rear shock? Cheaper than a Float X and a massive upgrade from the Monarch.
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    Have you considered a CCDB Inline rear shock? Cheaper than a Float X and a massive upgrade from the Monarch.

    Not sure where to go on the back. CCDB Inline, CC DBAir CS, Monarch Plus RC3 DebonAir, Fox Float X? Something else? The extra control and sophistication at the front with the Pike definitely calls for something better than the standard shock at the back, but what is another matter. Don't care too much about the money - I'm going to be keeping this bike for a long time so I want to get it right and a few hundred pounds here or there doesn't matter. Going to have to do a lot of research on this.
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    I have the same problem but the other way around. The rear suspension feels so good that the front now feels censored . I guess it has to be a Pike really.
  • paul.skibumpaul.skibum Posts: 4,068
    I have the same problem but the other way around. The rear suspension feels so good that the front now feels censored . I guess it has to be a Pike really.

    You didnt get on with your Monarch (or Monarch Plus?) at the back right? I am finding the Plus a HUGE improvement over my Evo Float POS - I had a Monarch on my old Heckler which was super nice too - how much does the suspension leverage affect the perception of how a shock is working - ie Is VPP giving me better feel with the Plus over a Plus on the TR?

    Just wondering how like for like shocks on different bike designs might give different feel (I guess also like for like shocks with different build riders, different strokes etc etc). I dont know with my wide ranging experience of two air shock fitted bikes that I have ridden further than 100 yards!
    Closet jockey wheel pimp censored .
  • POAHPOAH Posts: 3,369
    what is the linkage ratio on the kona? the standard monarch plus doesn't have a great rebound range. the inline is a huge improvement over the monarch plus I had (non-debonair can). like mentioned above the debonair will only improve small bump and you may find you have to add volume reducers but that's not a huge issue.
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    POAH wrote:
    what is the linkage ratio on the kona?

    I have no idea. How would I find that?
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
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