Okay so I love a good 26″ wheeled bike, but that fact that I’m 6’4″ means that often they don’t fit that well. So I’m starting to learn to like 29ers, but at the moment the all-mountain 29er choice is pretty damn limited. Enter Kona with what looks to be a well thought out addition to this small but increasingly important category: the Satori.
Born from the ethereal minds of Kona’s product group, the new 2012 Satori is a 130mm travel, aggressively oriented, all-mountain 29-inch wheel mountain bike designed to blaze through technical, rough terrain while still excelling at being light, nimble and quick of climb. We chose the name wisely. In the Zen Buddhist tradition, satori refers to a flash of sudden awareness, or individual enlightenment, and is considered a “first step” or embarkation toward nirvana. On a more specific (and somewhat weirder) tangent, satori has been described as being similar to awakening one day with an additional pair of arms. Bonus! In the case of Kona’s all-new 2012 Satori, we’ve substituted those new arms with a pair of 29-inch wheels. We think you’ll like them.
Inspired by a solid eight-year history manufacturing 29er bikes, Kona’s product group set out to create a nimble bike that provides plush suspension in a simple, light, stiff and aesthetically pleasing package. The bike features all the benefits of Kona’s long-standing commitment to 4-Bar suspension, the most notable of which being shock tune-ability. But instead of using a Walking Beam linkage configuration, the Satori uses a Swing Link design that allows increased standover for a more aggressively oriented 29er bike. Another key feature of the bike is its short chainstays, one of the main design elements contributing to its quickness and agility when it comes to more technical terrain.
The inspiration for the bike came from our US sales force, many of whom are die-hard 29er lovers, all of whom are extremely skilled bike handlers who like to push trail and rider limits. The design brief was to make a slacker (head tube angle is 68°), shorter, longer travel (130mm) dual suspension 29er that could find that sweet spot between plush travel and aggressive geometry, without sacrifice climbing efficiency and trail quickness. It’s purposed specifically for those who ride on rough, rolling, technical terrain where big wheels and longer travel enables you to lay to waste anything in your path.
The frame is made using 6061 shaped aluminum for a light, strong, super stiff frameset. The bike uses a 142×12 rear axle and a 20mm front fork thru axle, both using a Maxle QR. The front fork is a Rock Shox Revelation 29er RLT with tapered steertube, while the rear shock is a Fox Float RP2 XV, which features an extra volume chamber to reduce ramp-up and retain plush, consistent suspension characteristics through the entire stroke.
The Satori comes with wide 710mm bars, an Easton Vice 29 wheelset, Maxxis Ardent tyres (2.4 front, 2.25 rear) and a SRAM X7/X9 drivetrain. The prototype you see in these photos weighs in at 27.5 pounds. The 2012 production model will probably weigh in at 28.5 to 29 pounds. The Satori will be available at a Kona dealer near you Fall 2011.