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.
Hardtails. Antiquated examples of mountain bike technology to some but to others, they’re liberated and simplified machines. Each year, I plan on riding a full suspension in Downieville, yet I always end up bringing my hardtail for one reason or another so this year, I took a look at just some of the bikes that were rolling around this Gold Rush town.
We’d like to give this video another little nudge, after featuring it in the post about Ben and his Kona which he used on this trip.
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
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.
“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
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.
… and they’re looking for everyone from trail rippers, to gravel riders, to roadies, to park rats and everything in between. Check out all the necessary information to see how you can apply at Kona!
Just over a week ago, I was meant to be racing this bike, in my first ‘cross race in a very long time. The Friday night before the race, I pre-registered to make things go more smoothly on race day, and had everything ready to go. As it turns out, I wasn’t going to make it to that race.
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.
This is wild. Of course, the bike is great, but the fact that this is the second time today the dream intro has been used is blowing my mind. See more actual bike information and less banter from me at Kona!
Shreddable geometry? Check. Three frame materials? Check. Components that last? Check. Chunky tires? Check. Good lookin’? Check. See more at Kona! Also, damn, that trail looks amazing!
Jake Hood shreds the all-new 2019 Kona Satori.
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.
Graham Agassiz and Matt Stevens use the Kona Remote to haul in fishing equipment to a secret spot.
Morgan just sent through some photos of his new Kona Rove LTD. Reynolds 853 tubing, carbon ‘cross fork, WTB KOMs with 47c Horizons, Force 1 hydraulic… this thing looks great. Can’t wait to see what you get up to with it, Morgan!
Kerry Werner takes the Major Jake out for a ripping good time.