First Ride: Kona Process 134
The Process lineup joined Kona’s fleet around six years ago when Kona introduced three new models, including the 111, 134 and 153. The three Process bikes quickly became the workhorse models in Kona’s quiver—until just last year when they dropped the 111. Attention was then focused on making the 153 more capable with a carbon frame and a 29-inch wheel option, as well as a 27.5-inch version. The Process 134 was left hanging around until just recently when the all-new second-generation model was released.
Kona reduced weight by using a new carbon rocker link.
Kona invited us to meet up with them at their headquarters in Bellingham, Washington, a location that’s quickly becoming an MBA must-ride destination. We gathered A that Kona had plans to launch a new trail bike, and we imagined two possibilities—a return of the 111 or an all-new 134 with 29-inch wheels. Upon our arrival, the latter proved to be true. Standing in front of us was a full-carbon Process 134 with 29-inch wheels. Keep in mind, the 134 was first introduced as a 27.5-inch model only. Looking around the room, we spotted two full-carbon 29 models, two aluminum 29 options and two aluminum 27.5 bikes, including an additional frame size—extra small.
An integrated chainstay protector was added to reduce chain noise over rough trails.
During our stay in Bellingham, we spent a couple of days riding Kona’s top-tier Process 134 over some of the same trails Kona’s engineers used to develop the new bikes. The terrain mixed a bit of root- and rock-filled trails with fast and smooth ones. Essentially, we put the bike through its paces over a variety of trails to prove its promise of being a do-it-all, ride-anything trail bike.
Kona designed the internal cable routing with a Y-connector, which allows riders to easily swap the front and rear brakes should they choose.