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2011 Kona Highlights – New Cyclocross, Commuter, Womens and Mountain Bikes

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While the entire (massive) range of Kona bikes get paint and spec updates for 2011, there are a few entirely new models and major overhauls hidden the lineup.

Kona decided to mix things up a bit this year for their 2011 bike releases. They’re not exhibiting at Interbike, and they didn’t invite a bunch of us press wonks to come ride their local trails aboard the new rigs. Instead, they brought in all of their dealers and let the people that actually sell you the bikes ride them and fill their gray matter with the goods.

The good news is your local Kona dealer should be on the up and up when you go in to check the out. The other good news is we spoke with Smiley at Kona to get the highlights, and here they are. Using the Hei Hei 29er above as an example, several models got full geometry reworks. Why? To bring their entire line within the same general fit guidelines. This means if you ride a large Hei Hei 29er, you could jump on a large Major Jake ‘cross bike and have it fit you pretty much the same way.

Other tweaks to this model include improved rockers, a 31.6 seatpost, 2×10 SRAM drivetrain and Easton 29er wheelset with 15mm axle. Besides bringing the fit inline, the new geometry offers better standover, a more setback seatpost and now you get a tapered steerer tube. All solid improvements on a scandium-framed mountain bike that’s already won the BC Bike Race.

Check out the rest of the highlights after the break, including their first ever carbon fiber bikes; new trail, downhill and women’s mountain bikes and a commuter for the masses…


Like the Hei Hei 29, the Abra Cadabra gets geometry tweaks to improve the ride, in this case a lower BB, longer top tube and tapered head tube. The Abra Cadabra uses Kona’s Magic Link to change travel on the fly without you having to do or think about anything, going from 100mm to 160mm of rear travel instantly upon hitting something big, then reverting right back to make it feel more like a race bike. Check out this video to see how Magic Link works. Oh, and if you want to see how light you can build up this 6″ travel bike, check this out.


The 2011 Kula Watt is Kona’s first-ever full carbon bike, making it and the Major Jake their first carbon offerings, ever. You won’t see this on the U.S. Kona website…and by that, we mean that if’n you live in the U.S., your browser automatically won’t show you this. Why? Because apparently we don’t like 26″ hardtails anymore, so we don’t even get to see it (except that we’re showing it to you because we love you).

The Kula Watt is a 1090g (18″) full carbon frame with their Kula geometry, integrated headset and BB30 bottom bracket. It’s decked out with a FSA 2×10 crankset, SRAM X9/XO drivetrain everywhere else, Easton carbon cockpit and Avid Elixir CR brakes. If you really, really want one, it’s available as a frame only for us yanks.  Or you can call a Canadian dealer and beg.


Click on this one to enlarge…it’s pretty.


The Tanuki is an all-new model for 2011. Built as cross between their Dawg and One20, but spec’d to be affordable for “entry level trail riders.” Named after a mythical Japanese creature with giant nuts, the Tanuki has 130mm travel front and rear and solid Shimano drivetrain, Avid hydraulic brakes and bits from Sun (rims), Maxxis and WTB alongside a mix of housebrand parts. All for $1,399.


The 2+2 DLX borrows the Magic Link from it’s longer travel brethren and applies it to a XC racing full suspension platform. All-new for 2011, the 2+2 DLX switches from 50mm to 100mm of rear wheel travel as needed, has a Scandium frame with tapered head tube and a claimed weight in the mid-20 pounds. Built with an XT/SLX 10-speed mix, Easton EA90 wheels and Fox 32 fork w/ remote lockout, it will retail for $4,099. It’s also available as a frame only.


Taking over the top spot for their downhill mountain bikes is the all-new Supreme Operator. The frame is a completely new design for Kona, created to be “lighter and faster, plusher and easier to maintain” than previous models. It’s got a very slack 64º head angle, 1.5″ tapered Zero Stack headtube with easy-to-replace angular contact bearings, huge 17mm ID main pivots and an alloy rear axle that slides in from the driveside. Kona designed the suspension to be sensitive on the little stuff then ramp consistently through the travel and tolerate side loads extremely well, and they say their testing bears this out. By using very, very large bearings, they could make the pivot bolts and pivot axles larger in diameter and use aluminum. This both lightens and strengthens the design. To build it up, they used a full Shimano Saint group and Easton Havoc cockpit, Mavic EX729 rims and Maxxis tires. Numbers are 200mm travel and $6,099 MSRP.


The Hei Hei Lisa is Kona’s full suspension race machine for the ladies. Based on the Hei Hei 100, it’s redesigned for the female form. For 2011, it also gets revised geometry with more standover and generally lighter, more agile handling. It comes with lockout levers for both front and rear suspension, narrower bar, Lisa grips and WTB’s Speed She saddle. Four sizes available for $2,699.


First spied as a ginormous “top secret” prototype at Sea Otter, the Major Jake’s true production colors are finally revealed. The full carbon cyclocross bike takes the helm as Kona’s top of the line ‘crosser. Details include a zero stack tapered headtube, BB30 bottom bracket and paint to match their cyclocross team, the Orange Crush. It comes built with Ultegra and FSA parts to make it move, an FSA cockpit and WTB saddle. Frame/Fork weight is 2.2lbs / 1.1lbs, and it’ll retail for $3,099 complete. Frame/fork sets are also available.


For those days when your only ride time is getting to or from work or the store, the Dr. Good is their new commuter. Priced well for the spec, you get a Shimano Nexus 7-speed internally geared hub, front disc brake, butted 7005 aluminum frame and alloy fork, Continental tires and a bell for $749. There are a whopping six sizes available, from 46cm to 61cm.

Speaking of commuters, the other big news is that the Africa Bike (shown), Humu and Bike (formerly called the World Bike, now just “Bike”) are now made of aluminum rather than steel. So, they’re lighter and they donate one Africa Bike to someone in need for every two that they sell. All three retail for $449.

Complete specs and an easy way to lose an hour of your life are found at Konaworld.com

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Paul in Virginia
13 years ago

Why does Kona kick so much ass?

13 years ago

@Paul in Virginia: Because they are Kona

Long live the 26″ wheel. Please wake me up from this bad dream that is the 29’er

Crunchy Hipsters
Crunchy Hipsters
13 years ago

Kona does not kick ass at all. They lack any recent innovation, have heavy, poorly designed bikes that are followers of others. Sure they have a great bike rental network, but when it comes to top stuff, no way.

13 years ago

I have to agree with Crunchy Hipsters, it’s the same bikes as 5 years ago! Same old sh*t, new color!

13 years ago

@Crunchy and Luxter- Are you serious?! MagicLink? Full carbon CX and 26er? All while addressing every nitch of the biking community.

Kona has long been at the forefront of innovation and design. My Kona’s have always outperformed me. Every year the weight and design improves, and the crew at Kona still take the time to address any customer issues. Has a company president ever personally replied to your question before? Oh yeah, and they have some of the best prices, too.

Try getting that with the typical overpriced, billboard looking, lack of service companies that fail to offer any real new “sh*t”. If not, then you can go drop 10k+ on some hipster rig to hang on your wall…

13 years ago

Does anyone know what the msrp is on the cadabra or abra cadabra frame only??


Gregory J Rittger
Gregory J Rittger
11 years ago

Crunchy Hipster and Luxter- Both my Konas (Dawg and Blast) have performed flawlessly for the past 6 years of constant riding. They are quality products that have been dependable and a joy to ride. If ever I need to replace them I will definitely go with Kona. Just sayin’……

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