Kona have a right to feel a bit vindicated. They were one of the few brands carrying the flag for sorted, trail-ready 29ers a few years ago when very few people wanted to know. Now though, at a Eurobike swamped by big-wheelers, they’ve released a range including no fewer than 12 29ers.
The King Kahuna is their new flagship 29er cross-country racer. It uses a proprietary carbon fibre weave frame complete with a 142x12mm back end and a RockShox Reba SL 15mm-axle fork. A SRAM X7/X9 2×10 drivetrain makes it go and Avid Elixir 5s make it stop. At the opposite end of the scale, there’s the Unit. It’s a simple, singlespeed, rigid 29er designed with big smiles and future upgrading in mind.
There are plenty of wagon-wheeled Konas in between the two, including three models of both the entry-level Kahuna and the faux-bar linkaged, 100mm-travel (4in) Hei Hei. There’s the back country loving Honzo, the Mahuna and the Splice too. Oh, and the all-new Satori trail full-susser too. Plenty to be getting on with then…
Away from the big-wheeled mob, Kona’s Operator DH platform remains relatively unchanged for this year. The Supreme Operator is the bells-and-whistles race machine, with a raw finish and decked out with a RockShox Boxxer WC fork, Fox DHX RC4 rear shock and a full Shimano Saint groupset. There’s also the ‘entry-level’ Operator, which downgrades to a Boxxer Race fork, Avid Code R brakes and a chunkier but no-less-efficient Fox Van RC shock.
2012 kona operator : 2012 kona operator Ric McLaughlin/BikeRadar
The Entourage is the new gravity baby at Kona, taking up the spiritual mantle of the Stinky models of old. Again there are two build options for the 170mm (6.7in) frame, which is designed to slay bike park runs, smash berms and loft jumps. Slopestyle rider Graham Agassiz has been a big influence on the development of this bike, which has been designed and built purely for fun.
2012 kona entourage: Ric McLaughlin/BikeRadar