Kona have been around the dirt jumping scene for a while now, so the Shred is certainly ready to shred. Unusually for a jump bike it comes with a front mech and downhill tyres, so as well as being set up for big air you won’t get left behind in the woods either.
Ride & handling: Bulletproof setup that performs at jump spots and in the woods
Although the Shred isn't jump-specific, it certainly holds its own on the trails. The low wheelbase provides a stable stance whether you’re rolling round a fast berm, hitting a big line or ripping down the 4X track.
We had to work it through bigger sets of jumps, though, because of the high front end and the tyres not rolling fast enough. And although stable in the air, tricks didn’t came as naturally to the Shred as they did to more specific setups.
That said, this bike will serve you well whether you’ve got basic jump experience or you’re just starting out. Its mountain bike feel will suit you for working through trails or getting loose through the woods.
If you’re an experienced trail rider you may require a higher spec if you’re hammering big sets of jumps week in, week out, but the Shred is still not to be sniffed at.
Frame: Beefy tubing removes any concerns about use of aluminium for a jump bike
Aluminium tubing is popular on jump bikes that are also designed to be ridden on 4X-style tracks. There have been some concerns voiced about the use of aluminium for a jump bike frame, but the Shred’s beefy 7005 tubing eliminates all of those.
Looks-wise, Kona have been subtle with the Shred, opting for small logos and decorations at the bottom of the down tube and seat tube rather than lairy graphics.
The oversized tubing does away with the need for a gusset on the front end where the down tube intersects the head tube. Having a strong rear triangle is important if you’re going to be taking big hits, and the Shred’s deep chainstays and rectangular seatstays are definitely man enough to take the biggest case or over-jump.
The head tube is very long, which equates to a very high front end, giving the riding position of a downhill bike for faster sections. The frame is quite long for a dirt jump bike so it holds its own on the bigger jumps. It also has enough seatpost to allow you to raise the saddle to an efficient pedalling height.
Hose clips make upgrading to hydraulic discs possible, although vertical dropouts mean it’s not as simple to switch to a singlespeed setup – you’ll need a chain tensioner if you want to do this.
Equipment: Decent all-round kit, and front mech adds versatility
The Shred runs a Marzocchi Dirt Jumper 3 fork, which rides well but can top out when coming off a lip due to its lack of damping.
Maxxis High Roller DH tyres are a real advantage on loose corners, but they don’t roll quite as fast on hard pack, so you may find yourself losing speed slightly. The deep section rims are a real bonus if you’re starting out on the jump scene – there’s nothing worse than bendy rims.
If you’re learning new tricks such as no-footers and you occasionally get it wrong, you’ll be glad to have the extra-padded Kona seat, which will save you great pain between your legs.
The Shred doesn’t feature a chain device because it has a front mech, which allows you the versatility to take the fun beyond the jump park and out into the woods. Kona also provide some sweet little metal pedals with medium pins.
Cable operated disc brakes provide the stopping power with the added feature of well shaped levers. The Shred has a quick-release for the rear wheel and a 15mm through-bolt on the front, which is unusual.