At Kona we’ve been making gravity bikes since the beginning of gravity bikes. We’ve always had a passion for making fast, competent rides, and we also create bikes that enable the rider to take it to the next level. With the launch of our carbon Operator series, we’ve hit the sweet spot. Capable of wowing the crowd at the Red Bull Rampage, to contesting the podium at World Cup DH events, to the great opportunities of gravity riding in between, the Operator returns as one of the lightest, most playful DH bikes on the market today. For those especially budget conscience but looking to jump into the downhill game, we offer the all-new Precept 200, our first Swinger Independent Suspension downhill bike, specifically designed for those who don’t want to sacrifice performance but are looking for something somewhat subtler on the pocket book.
To create our growing fleet of Kona Carbon bikes our design team works intimately with our manufacturers to ensure the desired ride characteristics, durability demands and weight stipulations are met to the highest standards possible. Kona Carbon bikes are feather-light, super-fast, extremely durable and wildly fun.
WHEN DO WE CHOOSE CARBON?
The first step in the design phase is ensuring how carbon fiber can be optimized for its intended use. An increasingly refined and tested material, carbon fiber is the ideal choice when it comes to creating light, tough, playful bikes. While we’re selective when choosing carbon fiber for a given application, for certain models it provides that perfect balance of weight, strength, frame damping, stiffness, compliancy and durability.
DESIGNING THE KONA RIDE
It’s imperative that key elements of the Kona Ride come to life in our carbon bikes. Like with all of our designs, it is efficiency, agility, comfort, and overall strength that are key considerations. We work to leverage all the inherent properties of the material, which are markedly different than steel or aluminum. For our designers it’s crucial that our carbon bikes still feel, ride and last like a Kona.
THE WEAVE: Kona Carbon bikes use TORAY fibers, the most technologically advanced in the industry. Toray is the same weave used in Formula 1 cars. Our entire structure is built with unidirectional prepreg carbon fiber underneath a UD frame finish. The result is frames with industry-leading weight, stiffness and durability.
THE FRAME: Kona Carbon frames are built with a monocoque main triangle that allows continuous fibers at tube junctures, resulting in a stronger, lighter overall structure. Our production process also eliminates as much bonded-in aluminum inserts as possible. Kona Carbon frames are only molded with internal air bags, which are removed after the molding process.
During the prototyping process, our frames are tested on veritable bike torture machines that push our designs through tens of thousands of test hours. What we learn from this directly translates into making stronger frames, while eliminating unnecessary material. Kona Team athletes are next on the beat down list, but even after they’ve had a rigorous go, our product team steps on to abuse the same prototypes, day-in and day-out, usually through a cold and wet Washington winter.
KONA 6061 ALUMINUM BUTTED
Kona 7005 and 6061 Aluminum alloys are used extensively throughout our fleet of mountain and asphalt bicycles. A tough, durable, affordable, light alloy, both Kona 7005 and 6061 deliver fantastic, reliable performance that lasts for thousands of rides. Much of our 7005/6061 tubing is butted and/or formed, meaning the tubing’s wall thickness can be increased or decreased, as well as shaped, allowing us to fine-tune a particular frame’s strength and ride characteristics depending on its intended application.
The major benefit of an internal headset, whereby the bearing cups are actually pressed into the frame and are easily removable, is the extra layer of protection it provides the bearings against the elements. Additionally, the bearings are commonly available angular contact bearings, which are easily and inexpensively replaced. An internal headset also reduces stack height, so the height of the stem and bars are more adjustable, giving the rider the best fit possible.
Aside from improving the aesthetic, due to its cleaner lines and smooth transition between the fork crown and the headset cover, tapered headtubes also offer a more solid interface between forks with tapered steertubes and the bicycle frame itself, thanks to more weld contact area. More girth at the bottom of the headtube better distributes shock force, prolonging the bearing life of the headset itself, eliminates brake shudder, all while providing positive steering performance. The inherent strength of its triangular design also means a stronger steering position and improved balance, giving the rider more control in rough terrain. A zero-stack, tapered headtube also puts strength where the load is going—into the lower headset cup—maximizing bearing durability where it’s needed.
12X157 REAR AXLES
The XC/Trail/Enduro 12x142mm and the DH 12x157 rear axle standards provide two major advantages to the Kona rider: the 12mm diameter of the rear axle provides the rear hub and frame with a stiff interface, while the 142mm/157mm outer diameter of the hub allows the wheel to be quickly and properly positioned in the frame before the rear axle is inserted. The take-away? 12x142 and 12x157 standards make a bike that rides better and is easier to work on.
BEAMER INDEPENDENT SUSPENSION
Designed to be off-the-top progressive, helping the bike to stay higher in the travel and recover from hits more quickly, and imbued with what our product managers like to call “pure shock movement,” whereby the shock is protected from side load, Beamer is featured on our super-playful Carbon Operator platform, and the fast but fun MTB Race Light Hei Hei dual-suspension bikes.
mm | inches | sizing chart