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Kona’s Unit X Rigid MTB Looks AMAZING for $1399!

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Kona’s Unit X Rigid MTB Looks AMAZING for $1399!

There aren’t a whole lot of options on the market for those seeking a rigid MTB for shredding trail or bikepacking on. So when a brand like Kona, with their expansive dealer network, puts out something like the Unit X, it piques our interest. With a 29 x 2.6″ wheel platform, multiple bottle bosses, including on the fork, a compact geometry for easier mounting, and SRAM Eagle gearing, it seems like a no-brainer for those looking to make their home trails a little more engaging, or for someone trying to tackle singletrack touring. See more information at Kona.

Equipping an Amateur Bikepacker (and Professional Filmmaker) for the Peruvian Andes

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Equipping an Amateur Bikepacker (and Professional Filmmaker) for the Peruvian Andes

Equipping an Amateur Bikepacker (and Professional Filmmaker) for the Peruvian Andes

Photos and words by Morgan Taylor

When most people think “I’d like to take on my first bikepacking trip,” they don’t think of going to the Peruvian Andes. Well, most people aren’t my friend Ben Johnson. Ben’s a filmmaker and a storyteller, and once an idea gets into his head, it’s hard to shake him of it.

Ben had long been following Ryan Wilson’s work here on the site, and lusted to pedal in the high mountains of Peru. With another film project taking Ben down to Lima, the flights were paid for, and the idea of this side trip and a passion project was sparked.

Lots of people ask Stephanie and me for advice about bike traveling and we’re happy to help. Ben came to us with an ambitious plan, a short timeline to get a bike built, and enthusiasm through the roof. He needed help.

I had recently transitioned away from full-time work to focus on creative projects: the right place and the right time to help Ben get set up for his adventure in the Andes. I’m happy to present the film here, and will get into the details of the bike build below.

Kona Big Honzo CR/DL Carbon: Good Hardtails will Never Die – Locke Hassett

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Kona Big Honzo CR/DL Carbon: Good Hardtails will Never Die – Locke Hassett

Kona Big Honzo CR/DL Carbon: Good Hardtails will Never Die
Words and bike photos by Locke Hassett, action photos by Spencer Harding

Blurred lines seem to be all the rage in the bike industry these days, and with every season, a new category seems to evolve. Gravel, Adventure, Downcountry, trail…yadda yadda. While this constant categorization is overwhelming, it also means that bikes are simply getting better. Then over here in the corner, sipping scotch while the kids play beer pong and try to “find themselves”, is the humble hardtail MTB. This has been elaborated on to a great extent on this site, so I’ll spare you the poetic wax. Sure, a few folks out there are pushing the boundaries of what to expect with hardtail geometry, with huge forks and headtube angles more suited for plowing a field than climbing a fire road, but for the most part, we can look to the hardtail for consistency.

So, what happens when a company known for rowdiness and generally not caring too much about the status quo takes their tried and true hardtail model and releases a version with boxes checked for the modern consumer (read: big tires and carbon?) That’s what I wanted to find out by spending a few months with the Big Honzo CR/DL.

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Cold Smoke

“Cold Smoking” meats at home is not recommended by The US National Center for Home Food Preservation. However, watching Washington State native Smokey shred his Kona Wozo in freezing cold conditions most definitely is.

Wendy’s Silk Road Mountain Race Bike is Now a Badass Commuter – Morgan Taylor

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Wendy’s Silk Road Mountain Race Bike is Now a Badass Commuter – Morgan Taylor

Wendy’s Silk Road Mountain Race Bike is Now a Badass Commuter
Photos and words by Morgan Taylor

Conversations began early this year around what eventually became the Kona Rove LTD you see here. For the past five or so years, our friend Wendy – an accomplished ultra runner in a former life – has applied her endurance racing experience to big solo bike rides. In that time she’s explored southern British Columbia, completed the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, ridden through much of the south-east US, and raced her first ultra bikepacking event, the 2017 Transcontinental.

This year Wendy set her sights on the inaugural Silk Road Mountain Race in Kyrgyzstan, and we began to talk about what kind of a bike she might want to ride. She wanted drop bars, she wanted discs, she wanted steel, and she wanted bigger tires than the traditional road bikes she’d ridden in the past. These conversations led to a bike based around wide 650b tires and Wendy got scheming on a build.

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Kona’s New Libre All-Road

With two models, the Libre DL and Libre, Kona has released their most accomplished all-road bike to date. Both models feature carbon frames with adjusted build kits and are priced at $3,999 and $2,999 respectively. Head to Kona for more, your local dealer to check one out in person, and see the tech details in the above video.

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Erkki Punttila is Really F*cking Far From Home

Remember Kona’s short film Not Far From Home? Well, today marks exactly a year from the release of that film, and also – not coincidentally – 100 years of Finnish independence.

The sequel, Destination North, is just as gratuitous as the first, with great sound design and narrative parallels drawn from last year’s film. Erkki’s boat gained some sails, his Kona Unit grew some gears, and now he’s Really F*cking Far From Home.

The result is the same: you’ll want to pack up your bike and head out on your own adventure after this one.