It seems Kona has a tendency to tease us with their newest carbon products, like when they were first introducing the new all carbon Jake the Snake. So it should come as no surprise, that their newest hint at what’s to come, takes the form of a grainy camera phone shot to be “leaked” online.

What can we tell you about the new bike? Well, for starters it is a beautiful full carbon 29’r hard tail frame. It appears to have a pressfit 30 or BB30 bottom bracket, tapered head tube (most likely ZS), and braze on front derailleur mount. It also appears to be one of the first hard tails that I have seen with a 12mm thru axle out back, that’s right, thru axle on a hard tail! No way to tell whether it would be 142 or 135mm spacing (confirmed as 142), but the prospect of a super light hard tail with full thru axles, is exciting. Hard to tell, but it looks like it may also feature the post mount standard for the rear disc brake. If this is a sign of things to come, more shops might need to start purchasing tools like this.

While some were quick to criticize Santa Cruz for being “late to the carbon 29’r HT party,” it seems that they may not be the last company to enter the market. It is safe to say though, that if everything seen here makes it into final production, this will be one of, if not the most technologically up to date carbon 29’r on the market. That’s all for now, but keep an eye out for future updates!


  1. The OnOne, is a killer bike with almost every feature of the future Kona, except the 142×12, which is really the standout feature (for me) of the Kona.

  2. I tend to think that folks who like “142” spacing don’t understand it.

    It’s no better than 135×12… except it’s slightly easier to INSTALL your wheel. No better chainline. No better flange spacing. No improvement to wheel durability. No weight decrease.

    But, thankfully, it’s not compatible with anything else.

    If you cared about function, you’d want 150mm or “157”.

  3. @Steve There is no denying the benefit of the 12mm axle, it will make nearly any XC/Trail bike much stiffer in the rear, the problem is how to get there. It isn’t as simple as just putting 12mm end caps on a 135 spaced hub: This is some interesting reading from Trek’s Dylan Howes.

    “The goal of a 12 x 142 mm axle standard is to make thru-axles as quick and easy to use as a quick release system. The idea is to achieve the stiffness of a 12 mm thru-axle, but with a quick release wheel’s self-centering feature.12 mm is the axle diameter, 142 mm refers to overall shoulder to shoulder width of hub (end cap to end cap). Cassette and disc rotor are in the exact same relation to the hub’s centerline as a standard 135 mm QR hub, and wheel dish remains the same as a 135 mm quick release wheel. The frame’s dropouts have 3.5 mm of inset per side that the hub endcaps fit into – the same as with a 10 x 135 mm QR wheel.

    There is not enough room on the driveside of a 12 x 135 mm thru-axle hub to build in the same hub locating ability, the extra 7 mm of overall width was required for the system to work. Whereas 150 mm rear hub spacing requires the use of an 83 mm bottom bracket shell for proper chainline, 12 x 142 mm produces the same chainline as a standard QR rear wheel and works perfectly with any variation of B.B. that you’ll find on modern XC or AM bikes

    Most hub manufacturers will simply make slightly different hub end caps to work with the new 12 x 142 mm spacing.”

    I’ll touch on this subject a little more, in a post that’s yet to come.

  4. ok, so I fit bikes for a living and have come across only a few 142 X 12 rear ends thus far. As a Pro MTB rider that’s super active, i’m sure i’ll see more. If you have used one then you know there are no end-caps or any sort of QR stub to fit into a trainer. The axle is more or less flush to the frame when installed. That’s problem #1. Problem #2, it’s too wide to fit into a trainer. I know what you’re thinking, why would I want to put my bad ass MTB in a trainer? well, if you’re serious then I hope your position is dialed and you’ve had a proper fit done. With 142 it’s impossible to install in any traditional trainer. Someone please tell me if there is a trainer out there that accepts 142… I’d buy two tomorrow. Even the trainers that run on the rim are a problem. Low profile disc rims don’t have enough room to set up well. It can be done but it’s a pain.I even called Specialized about this, they replied; “Call us back in 30 days, we’re working on that” when asked “what are you doing about 142 rear ends in trainers?”. Lastly…what is the major benefit of a 12mm axle on a super stiff carbon hard tail? Wasn’t the purpose of the system in the first place to stiffen the somewhat wonky suspension rear end? I can see yes it would make things more firm in any application but are we splitting hairs here on an already uber-stiff Carbon bike? Seems to me that it’s not worth the hassle here. On the dually….for sure. I’m sure in two or three years after every major company adapts this system it’ll be the new standard. Will trainers adapt also? my 2 cents…

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