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 (click to enlarge).
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 (click to enlarge).
Love the Kona head badge (click to enlarge).
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 (click to enlarge).
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 (click to enlarge).
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 (click to enlarge). Photo by Norma Ibarra