Kona Process 153 goes full carbon

Big Honzo hardtail and Carbon Operator also get composite frames

27.5 29er All Mountain Trail Cross Country Enduro
2018 Kona Process 153 29

The Kona Process 153 29er looks like it’s ready to party.

Kona took some of their best alloy bikes and created carbon versions that were on display at the Sea Otter Classic. These bikes are very close to the alloy models with some slight changes.

2018 Kona Process 153 29

The Kona Process 153 29 linkage.

The Process 153 29 has the same geometry as the alloy version, with 160/153mm front and rear travel and 29er wheels. Its chainstays are claimed to accommodate up to 2.5 tires, depending on manufacturer. The final version will differ slightly from the photos, including being spec’d with top of the line RockShox Lyrik and Super Deluxe suspension. If you are a shorter rider, rejoice, the medium frame seat tube has a 250mm insertion length, so it should still accommodate up to a 170mm travel dropper post.

2018 Kona Process 153 29

The Kona Process 153 29 has updated cable routing, eliminating the need to remove the shock and open the brake line.

Cable routing was also improved, with the derailleur and rear brake lines outside the shock mount to make servicing easier. It will be available in M, L and XL sizes. Pricing is TBD.

2018 Kona Big Honzo

The Kona Big Honzo shown here with 27.5×2.8 tires.

The Big Honzo also now has a carbon frame option. Maximum tire width for 27.5 wheels is 3.0 and 29er can fit up to 2.5 tires. The biggest difference from the alloy frame is the asymmetric chainstay, shown below. Geometry numbers align with the alloy frame and pricing is TBD.

2018 Kona Big Honzo

Kona Big Honzo CR with its asymmetric chainstays.

Kona has also debuted a carbon Operator. It can run 27.5 or 29er wheels, though Kona plans to sell only one of the configurations, which is, you guessed it, TBD.

2018 Kona Carbon Operator

The new Kona Carbon Operator with 29er wheels.

There are multiple geometry options for the Carbon Operator, with a flip chip on the seat stay to maintain bottom bracket height between wheel sizes. The user can also select between 425 or 440mm chainstay length and reach is adjustable at either neutral or +10mm. Other geo numbers follow the 2018 Alloy Operator chart.

2018 Kona Carbon Operator

The Kona Carbon Operator has stealth cable routing and a massive linkage.

Travel for 29er wheels is 195/190mm f/r and the 27.5 gets 200+/200mm f/r. The Carbon Operator uses a metric trunnion shock to maximize usable range. As with the other bikes, pricing is TBD.

For more information, visit www.konaworld.com. This article is part of Mtbr’s coverage of the 2018 Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California. For more from Sea Otter CLICK HERE.


About the author: John Bennett

With 210 lbs of solid, descending mass, John is a good litmus test of what bikes and components will survive out there in the real world. And with a good engineering mind, John is able to make sense of it all as well. Or at least come up with fancy terms to impress the group.


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