Kona Bass – first ride review

Big fun slopestyle full suspension bike

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £1,700.00 RRP | USD $2,299.00

Our review

Great fun, sorted spec and more confidence than you’ll ever need.
Skip to view product specifications

Designed with input from Kona’s legendary Clump team, this is a hard as nails slopestyle thrasher that can be set up as a singlespeed.

Advertisement

Aimed at the new generation of slopestyle riders, the Bass aims to combine the lightning-fast handling of a hardtail with the capability of a full suspension rig.

Ride & handling: roomy, fun & capable

This is one of the most fun bikes we’ve ridden this year. It looks amazing and rides like a gem.

Spend a little time adjusting it and you’ll be able to nail your perfect jump bike set-up.

Thanks to the security of having some bounce underneath you and the dialled angles, the Bass inspires confidence.

It retains all the ultra-responsive qualities of a hardtail and lets you throw it around without a second thought.

We slammed the back wheel as far forward in the sliding dropouts as possible and ran both shocks really stiff to make sure the Bass sprinted, hopped and manualed nicely.

The Maxxis Minion tyres offered plenty of grip on dirt but are quite slow rolling on harder surfaces – street riders may want to replace the tyres.

The Bass is roomy for a small bike. Our 6ft-plus riders found that the 23in top tubed medium size was ample.

The RaceFace bars are a good width, although we’d run a slightly lower stem.

At 15.8kg (35lb) fully built it’s no size zero model, but once rolling its weight is not really a factor.

Frame: neat details

Despite the signature brown and gold paint job, the Bass’s frame is essentially a Cowan DS.

At first glance it may appear to be the usual Kona faux-bar style frame, but look a little closer and there are some neat details.

Up front you get gyro tabs and box-section tubes while out back there’s a eccentric bottom bracket and sliding dropouts.

These mean that you can run the Bass as a singlespeeder without needing a chain tensioner.

In effect you can dump the weight and hassle of gears and retain the advantages of full suspension.

The angles are spot on too with a 69.7 degree head angle, 23in top tube (medium) and the dropouts mean the wheelbase can be tailored to the rider’s needs.

Equipment: great looks, stoppers & shocks

We love the look of the Bass. The signature paint job is amazing in the metal, and the graphics are spot on, especially the exclusively finished Marzocchi DJ1s.

Although diminutive, the Hayes Strokers offer more than enough stopping power for trails, but we’d prefer to see a larger 180mm rotor up front to add some off-road versatility.

The wheels are super strong and came up straight as a die, despite our tester’s best efforts.

The suspension is the Bass’s trump card. The DHX rear shock can be run super firm to the point that you forget you’re riding a full-bouncer, but it soaks up the hits amazingly.

Advertisement

The Dirt Jumpers track well and are ultra-stiff thanks to their 20mm bolt-through axle.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Bass (08)
Brand Kona

Bottom Bracket Evolve DH X-Type
Rear Hub M525
Available Colours Red/White
Stem Evolve DH
Shifters Deore
Seatpost Evolve DH
Saddle Laser V
Rear Shock DHX Air 5.0
Rear Derailleur XT Shadow
Brakes Stroker Trail Disc
Handlebar Evolve DH
Grips/Tape Log
Front Hub Disc DH 20mm
Frame Material 7005 Aluminium
Cranks Evolve DH
Chain HG-53
Available Sizes 15 Inches 15.5 Inches 17.5 Inches