from Ezra at Bicycle Express in Northfield, Vermont

For those of us who’ve been around mountain bikes for a (long) while, the Kona will forever be associated with cool hardtails.  Not the chunky, big-travel kind, but the thin-tubed Joe Murray type.  Despite lusting over my friend Glenn’s Hot, I never owned one myself- ultimately having to make do with a Project 2 fork on a lesser frame.  Given all that, this photo of the company’s new Raijin is awakening some old desires.

Set to release in early 2012, the Kona Raijin will be built in the USA by the titanium pros at Lynskey Performance- impressive given the frame’s $1,900 suggested retail price.  It looks like the cool old-school decal here will be replaced by a more subtle laser etched version when they land- here’s my vote for keeping the OG font.  The sliding vertical dropouts make it a good candidate for a single speed.  The 44mm head tube is the nicest of the current ‘standards,’ readily accepting tapered or straight steerer tubes.  And, saving the best for last, a 27.2mm seatpost and relatively short seat tube should keep things comfy.  Click through for the details…

From Kona’s Cog blog:

Due for release in early Spring 2012, the Kona USA product and testing group has been hard at work on a new titanium hardtail 29-inch wheel mountain bike – the all-new Raijin. With a long history in titanium design, and some serious expertise in designing unique, industry leading 29-inch wheel bikes, the new Raijin comes loaded with cool custom features, on a frame designed by Kona and manufactured in the USA by Lynskey Performance Designs.

The Raijin (the Japanese god of lightning and thunder) is all about maximizing the inherent virtues of titanium with geometry ideally suited to fast, efficient, simple, and ridiculously fun singletrack riding. Our Kona USA product testers are loving every minute riding their prototypes, so much so we’re having a hard time keeping them in the office.

The Raijin will be available as a frameset only in early April, 2012. Suggested retail is $1,899USD with a target weight of approximately 4-pounds (1.8kgs) for an 18-inch frame. It comes in a raw, industrial mill finish with lazer-etched graphics and features a stylish Kona engraved logo on the driveside chainstay yoke.

The super sexy Raijin frameset is made using 3/2.5Ti tube material with a shaped downtube that is curved at the headtube. The design aims to perfectly balance the need for both stiffness and compliancy in a trail bike. We take all that we’ve learned in 29, hardtail and titanium bike design and create a trail master that channels rider forces perfectly, while at the same time using the compliant nature of titanium to take the edge of off trail feedback. All in all, a real gem of a bike, designed specifically for the discerning mountain cyclist.

Some of the cool frame features on the Raijin include:
* Press fit BB30 bottom bracket
* 44mm diameter HT designed for a 1.5? external lower cup for tapered fork, with a zero stack upper cup
* Frame is drawn around 100mm fork using external 1.5? lower cup
* Sliding dropouts
* Comes with both singlespeed and derailleur hangers
* 27.2mm seat post
* 5 frame sizes: 16?, 18?, 19?, 20?, & 22?

Geometry Highlights (for 18? frame):
* Head tube angle – 69.5
* Seat tube angle – 74
* Bottom bracket height – 12.2? (310mm)
* Bottom bracket size – 773mm
* Stack – 24.8? (629mm)
* Wheel base – 43.5? (1105mm)
* Reach – 16.3? (415mm)


  1. Ti is where it’s at on the mountain… When ur latest greatest squishy carbon rig’s all busted a week out of warranty, this thing will be laughing all the way to the top of the next hill and back down the other side. I’m groovin on this.

  2. Its nice to see some companies still have single speeders in mind. I have a 2011 Kona Unit and I love the sliding dropouts. So much better then any EBB setup.

  3. Lynskey does great work and it is nice to see Kona have a Ti model in the line up again. I used to love Kona’s, I lusted after many of their early bikes, but their latest offerings don’t seem to have the appeal for whatever reason. I do like the throw back to their classic decals (their latest paint and decal schemes are some of the worst). I suspect the etched logo won’t have the same appeal to many. Overall though, kind of just looks like a Kona branded Lynskey ridgeline with BB30 with a slightly slacker HT.

  4. Epic,

    A 27.2 seatpost is a great choice for hardtails- there’s nothing more comfortable than a small-diameter carbon post…


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