When Kona wasn’t celebrating their 30th birthday with a massive bowling party, they were on hand at the Sea Otter Classic to show off a bunch of new bikes and prototypes. Mostly extensions of current models, Kona is adding more 29ers, more 700c, more Big Honzos, and yes, more e-Bikes. While some of these bikes were still shown in prototype form, this summer’s Kona collection is looking pretty on point…
Part of the birthday celebrations included a new limited edition Honzo ST of which only 201 will be available. Well, technically 200 since one lucky person at Sea Otter walked away with one of their own from the raffle that Kona was hosting. Previously the Honzo ST was only available in a frame, so this is a chance to not only get a complete bike, but one with a special finish. In addition to the shiny supercar inspired paint, the Honzo ST includes individually numbered badges on the seat tube, and 30th Birthday touches to the head tube, handlebar, and more. Pricing on all of these bikes is TBD, and they’ll be launched later this summer.
The Big Honzo carbon is also a first for Kona with the carbon frame representing the next evolution of the Honzo. Built around 27.5+ wheels and tires, the bike does come with a 29″ Pike suspension fork so it could run 29″ wheels and tires if you were so inclined.
One thing that Kona pointed out as being a big deal to them, is that every bike will have cable routing options on the left or the right side of the head tube so riders can run moto-style brake placement (front brake on the right) without having to resort to a rigged set up.
To get the clearance for big tires and short chain stays, Kona used a drop chain stay similar to other plus bikes out there, though not quite as drastic. You’ll also notice that the dropper post cable is run completely internal rather than entering the seat tube above the down tube, which is new for Kona as well. Frames will use PF92 bottom brackets, Boost spacing, and have room for two bottle cages inside the triangle. The bike is said to have similar geometry to the Process line, and will be available in carbon, alloy, and steel versions.
When Kona launched their new Process 153 Carbon line up last year, there was one bike conspicuously absent – a carbon 29er. Apparently the bike was almost ready for production, but not quite there for the big show. So Kona waited until it was perfect, and here it is.
The bigger brother has the same specs as the 27.5″ models with the exception of a new rocker link which utilizes a new construction method. The bladder molded link is hollow and ends up being slightly stiffer and easier to clean since there aren’t any pockets for mud to hide.
Again you’ll find multiple cable routing options, and mostly internal routing. You’ll also find the new RockShox Reverb 1x remote stock on a few models which is one of the first bikes we know of to sell it equipped form the factory.
Keeping the 29er train rolling, the Kona Operator is getting a big wheel makeover. Apparently developed based on Kona World Cup DH racer Connor Fearon’s personal tastes, the new Operator Carbon will only be sold in 29″ form.
However, the frame includes a flip chip and wheel base adjustment chip so that 27.5″ wheels can be used with the proper geo. In the short setting, the frame has 425mm chain stays with 29″ wheels, and 440mm in the long setting.
The frame also includes a reach adjustment system up at the head tube which includes three different head tube cup settings that change the reach from neutral to +/-10mm, but not head angle. While the Operator carbon will be sold as a 29er, the 27.5″ alloy Operator will continue in the line.
Not all the bikes Kona was showing were carbon and 29″ though – the new Hei Hei Trail Alloy will give riders a more affordable option for Kona’s newest trail bikes. Featuring the same geometry as the Hei Hei Trail carbon 27.5, the alloy bikes will be offered in two builds to make four options total.
On the road/gravel side, the new Libre DL checks in as sort of an all conditions road bike. Blending the geometry of the Rove and the Sutra, the bike has clearance for 700c x 45mm tires or 650b x 2.0″ tires, both with fenders.
One of the big features of the Libre is a new carbon fork which includes three pack mounts for bags and accessories, as well as fender mounts. You’ll also find top tube mounts for a gas tank bag, and four water bottle mounts on the frame. There’s even routing for a dropper post.
Fully rack and fender compatible, the frame uses a 50mm offset fork, PF86 bb, 12mm thru axles, and will be sold as a 700c 1x, or 650b 2x version.
Finally, Kona has two new options for the electric bike crowd but the new E-Ute was certainly the star. It was pretty much unanimous that anyone looking at the bike with young kids wanted one thanks to the set up with accessories from Yuba Bikes and Super Knuckle.
Fitted with a Bosch performance line drive system, the bike is essentially the same as the standard Ute, just with extra oomph. However, you will find a new thru axle P2 fork up front for added stiffness for what is sure to be a very heavy bike.
Kona was also showing their first true e-MTB with the Remote CTRL. Where the original Remote was meant as more of a back country exploration machine, the Remote CTRL is all MTB with a 27.5+ build and Bosch Performance drive with Powertube internal battery. The geometry is similar to that of the Process line with 150mm travel up front and 145mm in the rear.