I now have about 500 miles on the new mid year release KONA Process 134 Supreme and feel compelled to give a review of what I think so far since I believe it’s an uncovered gem. In short: I absolutely love it due to its brilliant geometry, component selection and suspension.
Details: Retail Price – $5499
Specs – SRAM XX1 drivetrain, Shimano XT brakes, RockShox Pike RCT3 fork and Monarch RT3 shock
Weight – w/o pedals 28.8lbs
What’s so special about the geometry? Short stays, long TT and long front to center. The bike just turns and hops over obstacles like no other that I have ridden. The short stay’s (16.7″) enable the front end to be pulled up easier while also giving a snappier feel in the corners. Although the head tube angle isn’t too slack at 68 degrees, the bike inspires confidence on the faster and steeper terrain due to the bikes longer front to center (BB to front axle measurement).
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The component spec is top-notch with full XX1, a very nice WTB wheelset including Hope hubs and top shelf suspension yet the retail price is only $5499. Yes the bike is alloy and only has a carbon suspension bridge, but I’d take the nicer component build over the slightly lighter carbon bike any day! I really like the fact that Kona didn’t take shortcuts on the suspension spec with a 140mm travel RockShox Pike RCT3 up front and Monarch RT3 out back with 134mm of travel.
The cable routing is clean and works very well. During my first couple hundred miles, I had to send back the included KS LEV Integra dropper post. Luckily I had a backup. Although it wasn’t an internally routed version like the included model, it was easy as cake to route cleanly.
How does it pedal? I confidently believe this bike pedals better than many of the more popular complex designs out there that people rave about. Does it pedal with the best? No, BUT the tradeoff is that you have a very active suspension that gives a great compromise between efficiency and plushness.
Whats not to like? The only things I can think to nitpick about is the lack of a water bottle cage and its slightly heavier weight. These are really minor concerns and can be addressed easily in different ways. I’ll just keep my hydration pack full during the hot summer months and swap out the stock wheelset for an Industry Nine set that will take over a pound off.
The Process 134SUP is one of the most versatile bikes I’ve ridden. I can’t think of another bike that matches how well the Process handles, pedals and plays with such a kick butt component spec in the sub $6000 price range. The Kona Process 134 Supreme is simply a phenomenal package that is sure to add big smiles to your rides and enable you to enjoy a wide variety of terrain with confidence.