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As Easy As 1,3,4 - Kona Process 134 Review

May 18, 2015

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Fitting into the middle of Kona’s Process range, the Process 134 is a true do-it-all bike. It climbs without fuss and transfers into a serious weapon when the trail points down. The particular bike we rode is the entry level Process 134, so at this price point it is aimed at the lower end of the market, but that by no means translates into low end performance.

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As the name suggests the Process 134 has 134mm of rear travel, 140mm front travel with 27.5 inch wheels rolling underneath it all. These numbers put it well and truly in the ever growing All Mountain and Enduro scene. Let me tell you, it’s not that simple. The geometry of the Process is that of pure genius with super short chain stays, a long top tube, low bottom bracket, short stem and long wheel base. From first ride I felt at home on this bike and it was begging to be pushed harder and harder.

Along with the geometry, the rear end stiffness is a massive highlight - initial inspections will have you realising just how big and chunky the seat and chain stays are. Combine that with the over sized pivots and you have rear end that means business. Not only does the rear end stiffness inspire confidence, the plush travel keeps the rear wheel planted to the trail providing unbelievable grip levels. The Process range features Kona’s Rocker Independent suspension, which Kona claim to have leverage rate curve that matches the tune on current air shocks. The idea of this being a consistent and predictable feel throughout the entire length of travel, this is exactly the sensation the bike provides on the trail; small bumps are gobbled up with ease and there is no harsh bottom out feeling on big hits or drops.

Given this is the entry level Process 134 the spec list does not make for exciting reading, however nothing on the bike let us down during our riding around Bright and Mt Beauty.

A RockShox Sektor RL fork handled the front end with ease, whilst not being the plushest or stiffest fork around, the front end grip was never in question. The drive train sees mostly Deore components with a XT clutch rear derailleur, the clutch held the chain securely on the 2x10 setup and our only gripe was the slow up shifting of the Deore shifters. Having a bike that is so capable downhills and riding it down some descents over ten minutes, the brakes were always going to get a thorough test and they delivered the goods. Shimano have always been known for their trickle down technology and the Deore brakes are a great example of this. They handled everything thrown at them, never suffering from fade or having us desiring extra power. With tubeless wheels and a KS E-ten dropper post, this bike comes with everything required for All Mountain and Enduro riding.

The overwhelming highlight of the Process 134 was the handling, the bike always felt stable, agile and planted to the ground. Kona have definitely nailed the geometry and I expect to see many try and emulate this. While spec-for-spec this bike may not appear to be great value, the frame delivers true high level performance and with rumours of a carbon frame in the near future the Kona Process 134 should be on your radar if you’re in the Enduro game.

I know it’s on mine.

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