Incoming: Kona Process 153

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Crackerjack orange. Size Large. 33 pounds (with pedals) on my fishing scales. This may be a strange post for me since I have publicly sworn off full suspension bikes for 12 months, but as the saying goes, never say never.

The Kona Process range launched last year received widespread positive feedback for its smart angles and outstanding performance. It was the one bike (whether it be the 111, 134 or the 153) that I wanted to ride more than any other but with the range selling extremely well (the 153 rumoured to have sold out before it was even landed) it was a bike that never made its way to Spoke for our impression.

Now the 2015 model has made its way to us with our opinion being in an upcoming issue of Spoke. This is the base level 153 (153mm travel - 27.5 wheels), but no apologies necessary here. The spec is good enough for you to lay challenge to Wairoa Gorge come Feb (if you're lucky enough). Any changes will only be necessary due to personal preference or weight, but certainly not performance.

In the first couple of shakedown rides I can feel a positive review brewing. I have heard about its inspiring performance and neutral handling and I can confirm that those comments are completely appropriate. The last time I felt as confident pushing through corners and smashing out rough sections was on the then newly released SB66. That comment might be a bit premature, and there are certainly differences between those two bikes, but the confidence can't be mistaken.

However, before I prejudice my own review, I'll leave you with an overview of the bike as it stands now.

Highlights include:

  • RockShox Pike SC Solo Air 160mm fork
  • RockShox Monarch RT rear shock
  • 27.5 Wheels WTB i25 rims on Deore Centrelock hubs. Maxxis Minion DHF 3C EXO tyres
  • X7 Shifters and X9 Type 2 rear derailleur
  • KS Lev seatpost and WTB saddle
  • 40mm Kona stem and 760mm Kona bar
  • Shimano Deore Brakes with 203mm front and 180mm rear rotors

...just in case you forget which one you're on

'This bridge is carbon' - the only plastic you're going to find here.

Matching Monarch in the rear for the Pike up front.

Oversize seat and chain stays for a very stiff rear end.

Internal cable routing and appropriately placed holes for stealth seat posts

All the numbers for easy reference.

With short stem, wide bars and good tyres the Process rips right off the shop floor.

I look forward to the day when front derailleurs are a thing of the past. The process certainly climbs well enough for a single ring.

Look out for our review in Issue 60 of Spoke, or if you have one already let us know your thoughts in the comments below.