Konda Roadhouse 2016

If the heat wasn’t a solid indicator that summer was here, the wave of new model year 2016 product launches should be. While many brands are content to merely introduce new color ways, Kona is “going deeper.”

With that theme in mind, the traditionally mountain oriented brand has expanded its line of road bikes, redesigned its cross country models, and updated several other MTB models to better meet new and growing riding segments.

Up first is the new Roadhouse, which is a classic steel road frame built with Reynolds 853 tubing, modern touches like disc brakes, a tapered headset, and 12×142 thru axle dropouts…

Konda Roadhouse Disc

With a price tag of $2,399 USD for a complete, the Roadhouse offers the a similar look to a hand built custom frame, but at a price us mere mortals can afford.

Kona Roadhouse Geometry 2016

The Roadhouse will be available in six different sizes.

kona Private Jake 2016

Also new for 2016 is the Private Jake, which is a cyclocross inspired aluminum frame that can easily be converted to a single speed. Designed to be something of a play bike, the frame has a relatively low BB, slack head angle, front and rear thru axles, and can accommodate up to 40mm tires.

Kona Private Jake 2016 CX Geometry

There is no provision for a front derailleur, which allowed Kona to shorten the chain stays for maximum shralpage. The complete will retail for $1,999, although a frame & fork kit is available for $749.

Kona Hei Hei DL

Over on the knobby side of the line up,  the entire XC line up has been redesigned using the brand new Fuse Independent Suspension system.

This suspension platform is similar to a traditional single pivot system, but relies on frame flex, rather than a pivot at the seat and chain stay junction. According to Kona, the “result is an efficient, laterally stiff suspension system that takes weight savings to a new level—Fuse is 240 grams lighter than its Beamer predecessor.”

The Hei Hei pictured above (which we spied this bike in prototype form at some early season races) utilizes the new Fuse suspension platform and will be available in two configurations – Trail (with a 120mm fork) and race (with a 100mm fork). The Trail complete will retail for $2,499 USD, while the Race model runs $3,299 USD. You can also purchase the 29er frame separately (w/ Fox Float shock and SRAM Maxle) for $1,699 USD.

Kona Kahuna Hardtail 2016

The Kahuna model is a race oriented 29er priced between $1,299 and $1,999, which received major geometry updates for this model year – including a slacker head tube angle, lower BB, and shorter chainstays.

The frames are also now available in four different sizes (S, M, L, & XL), which should provide riders who were previously between sizes with better fit options.

Kona HonzoFans of “all mountain” oriented 29ers will be happy to hear that Kona has also revised the beloved Honzo. Across the board, the frame geometry has been revised slightly and now has a longer TT, as well as a 12×142 rear axle for improved tire clearance.A new aluminum tube set reportedly reduces weight by up to 40% (depending on size) when compared to the original chromoly version.

Kona Operator 27.5

Last but not least, the new Operator 27.5. Australian Connor Fearon has been spotted aboard a prototype of this model for several months and rumor has it a carbon version will follow shortly.

This new aluminum Operator is claimed to be as light as the previous 26″ carbon model, but has a longer reach, slacker head tube, and longer wheel base. It also utilizes a 12×142 rear thru axle and 73mm BB for a narrower profile, which is claimed to reduce pedal clipping issues without compromising wheel stiffness.

Want more? Head over to Kona for the full story, and stay tuned for a more in depth look when we visit Kona in a couple weeks!


  1. The Roadhouse has thru-axle dropouts, heavily swaged head tube, TIG-welded joints….but it’s still a “classic” frame because it’s made of steel? “Offers a similar look to a hand built custom frame, but at a price us mere mortals can afford”?

    Weak. That’s like saying Eddy Izzard looks similar to Kate Moss because they both wear dresses.

    I guess steel bikes finally have a cliche of their own to parallel carbon’s “laterally stiff but vertically compliant”

  2. If you don’t need custom geometry or want specific details, there is probably little difference between a well made non-custom high end steel frame and a “custom” high end steel frame.

    Anyway, I like the way prices are going here.

  3. @Original Mark V

    Well, I did say it had modern touches….

    I’m digging the combination of Reynolds tubing and thru axles and disc brakes. If I were to call up Rick Hunter or Paul Saddoff, I’d probably ask them to build me something very similar to the Roadhouse.

  4. Kona has zero carbon road bikes now? did I miss something or is that for real? they want to be taken seriously in road and this is how they do it?

    Now that the carbon Hei Heis are dead the only carbon bike they sell is the 26″ operator?

  5. @Ted
    Maybe carbon does not have a high enough sales take rate. So it would make sense to phase it out of certain products due to the high tooling cost.

    Kona has a gift for putting together bikes that are almost exactly as I would personally build a bike (if I could frame build). As a result, I have three Konas and I love them all. I think this is where they really shine, not one-ups’manship of other brands. They build bikes that real people love to ride, I think this is why they are taken seriously. Just my 2 cents though.

  6. Stoked that Kona is out there producing great stuff at affordable prices! The Honzo should be on everyone’s short list.

  7. Yeah, those brifters are hideous. But I like the rest of the bike.

    Looks like the Kapu (Reynolds 853) is gone from the lineup.

  8. My Bro got a Honzo this year and loved it, I nearly got one but didn’t have the money this year. The new one looks awesome!

    And that Roadhouse looks like one cool bike. I like riding my cross bike on local trails but we have a lot of rocks and 35 or even 38mm tyres are too narrow and pinch flat often. Being able to run 40mm would make all the difference.

  9. I really like the road house. Wish they hadn’t removed the Kapu from their line up. When I buy a steel road bike, I’d like to get it with a steel fork. Would love to buy both of them. Kona is making some compelling products.

  10. Be interesting to ride one of the new xc machines. Flex pivoty type things always have a tendancy to feel under-damped I feel.

  11. I have always liked Konas, although I’ve never had one myself. They manage to be a bit different from other bikes, maybe like the Subaru of the bike world. Someone else commented that they come spec’d with the stuff and the geometry that a seasoned rider would choose. The new Honzo is definitely tempting, I just wish it were available in carbon… Maybe someday. For now, the Canfield EPO is the only carbon short CS mountain bike I know of…

  12. The new Operator has a 142 rear axel? Everyones going wider and wider to get stiffer. For comparison the Trek session has a 157 and even the trail Remedy has the Boost148 now. I’d be worried they’d SNAP THAT SH*T UP.

  13. What’s the max tire size that can fit in the Roadhouse? Kona oem is 30’s and those look tight; maybe max is 32 or 35?

  14. While this seems a bit subdued on the aesthetics front, at least by Kona standards, this whole line is appealing. The Private Jake is exactly the sort of bike I’d like to see more of. It’s got enough gearing to be appealing both as a nice commuter and a trail banger. This is great for urban residents like me who would like to minimize the number of bikes in their apartments, while maximizing fun and versatility. I’m glad to see a frameset offered for the tinkering set.

    Also, great call on resurrecting the Honzo. I see a lot of them out here in New England and everyone who rides one seems to really love it. Dropping some weight with the Alu tubes will definitely increase its appeal to people looking for their first real trail hardtail.

  15. @drosser I don’t know what’s going on but last year’s 105-level hydraulic levers were much better. I don’t think these are 105-level; I think these are the non-series levers. In any event, they’re horrible. They look like a more bulbous version of Sora.

  16. @Ted @Sully I noticed the lack of carbon bikes too. As far as I know, Kona don’t sponsor a team. There’s no real reason to make a carbon “race” bike. That segment is so completely saturated.

    Personally, I’m most bummed that the Kapu, which came back for 2015 only, is now gone. Not only are they focussing on steel, but there are very few options made in anything other than 520 or straight chromoly.

  17. I finally pulled the trigger last year and bought a new bike, the Kapu. It’s my first road bike and I love it. Glad to hear it mentioned in the comments as one that’s missed. My next bike will have discs, not sure about Carbon, hopefully it’ll be Ti.

  18. That roadhouse shure looks sweet. Tougher than the rest 853 tubing, tappered fork, axelthrough, relative short chanstains, deep BB, discbrakes and room for a nice smooth +30mm tyre.

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