Outerbike Whistler: Hot bikes, amazing trails, good times

Consumer-facing trade show in B.C. wonderland serves up biking bliss

26er 27.5 Event News
2015 Kona Process 167
Once again, we didn’t intend to end up on this bike. But when all the other size Large testers were gone, we found ourselves on 26” wheels for the first time in a long time. Turns out the “little wheels” aren’t dead just yet. Billed as DH/freeride/hardcore enduro machine, the Process 167 reminded us that new technology isn’t always better technology. No, she didn’t climb like a hardtail dream. But the smaller wheels provided a nimble ride in the tight, techy Whistler woods — and the bike didn’t miss a beat when we hauled it to the top of the Whistler Bike Park for a few jump-filled laps.

Once again, we didn’t intend to end up on this bike. But when all the other size Large testers were gone, we found ourselves on 26” wheels for the first time in a long time. Turns out the “little wheels” aren’t dead just yet. Billed as DH/freeride/hardcore enduro machine, the Process 167 reminded us that new technology isn’t always better technology. No, she didn’t climb like a hardtail dream. But the smaller wheels provided a nimble ride in the tight, techy Whistler woods — and the bike didn’t miss a beat when we hauled it to the top of the Whistler Bike Park for a few jump-filled laps (click to enlarge).

When asked why stick with 26”, the Kona rep explained that they believe in geometry before wheel-size hype. “The Entourage ripped because of its combination of short chainstays, low BB, 170mm travel, and slack head angle. To fit 27.5” wheels in this frame we would have had to lengthen the chainstay, raised the bottom bracket, or reduced the travel.” And that wouldn’t be any fun.

When asked why stick with 26”, the Kona rep explained that they believe in geometry before wheel-size hype. “The Entourage ripped because of its combination of short chainstays, low BB, 170mm travel, and slack head angle. To fit 27.5” wheels in this frame we would have had to lengthen the chainstay, raised the bottom bracket, or reduced the travel.” And that wouldn’t be any fun (click to enlarge).

Highlights include a responsive 170mm RockShox Lyric fork and a slack 65-degree head angle.

Highlights include a responsive 170mm RockShox Lyric fork and a slack 65-degree head angle (click to enlarge).

Chainstay length is 420mm. The drivetrain is a SRAM 1x blend with a 32-tooth chainring. As you can see from the crankarm, this bike has been ridden hard — just as it should be.

Chainstay length is 420mm. The drivetrain is a SRAM 1x blend with a 32-tooth chainring. As you can see from the crankarm, this bike has been ridden hard — just as it should be (click to enlarge).

Love the Kona head badge.

Love the Kona head badge (click to enlarge).

Kona had an extensive fleet of test bikes on hand. Photo by Norma Ibarra

Kona had an extensive fleet of test bikes on hand (click to enlarge). Photo by Norma Ibarra

Rear suspension is RockShox's Vivid Air RC2 167mm. It was plenty of squish for both in and out of the bike park.

Rear suspension is RockShox’s Vivid Air RC2 167mm. It was plenty of squish for both in and out of the bike park (click to enlarge).

The stem is about as short as you can go, 40mm.

The stem is about as short as you can go, 40mm (click to enlarge).

Travel: 170mm front/167mm rear
Wheel Size: 26″
MSRP: $5500CDN ($4484US)
More info: www.konaworld.com

Free T-shirt for all attendees.

Free T-shirt for all attendees (click to enlarge).

The morning line-up. You had to get there early to assure you got the bike you wanted.

The morning line-up. You had to get there early to assure you got the bike you wanted (click to enlarge).

Yes, there was running. Photo by Norma Ibarra

Yes, there was running (click to enlarge). Photo by Norma Ibarra

Next Bike: Banshee Rune with MRP Suspension »

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Olympics, Tour de France, MTB world champs, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying life with his wife Lisa and kids Cora and Tommy in and around their home in the MTB Mecca of Crested Butte.


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