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Kona Process 153 Range Review

Kona Process 153 Review

Price:

£2,899.00 - £6,299.00

Finance from:

£80.53/month (0% APR)

Average Customer Rating:
  • 27.5" and 29" models
  • Carbon or aluminium frames
  • Dropper and Eagle on every bike
  • One colour per model
  • Not the lightest Enduro bike
  • No small 29er available

Discipline:

Enduro MTB

Usage:

Fast and technical riding

Weight:

14.2 kg / 31.3 lbs *


Seriously fun to ride, with great components

Updated: 3rd September 2019

Overview

The 2020 Kona Process 153 reviewed here is the latest evolution of a platform that has won applause from the MTB press for its grin-inducing ride characteristics and build kit. Kona recently brought in a 29er version of this proven platform that brought the bike further up to date, now there are 8 models in the range.

With 153mm of rear-wheel travel and 160mm front, available with 27.5" or 29" wheels and with either an aluminium or carbon mainframe. The process has earned its place in the top tier of enduro bikes proving itself on the Enduro World Series by taking on some of the roughest and fastest trails outside of the world of downhill.

* Kona Process 153 CR/DL - Size Medium tested, with pedals

Kona Process 153

Frame

Solid, reliable and stable

The 153mm of rear-wheel travel is delivered by a linkage-tuned single-pivot suspension design. Kona has a well-deserved reputation for building durable frames, with a huge rocker and bearings the bike feels incredibly strong when ploughing through the roughest sections of trail. Both the carbon and aluminium models both have 6061 butted aluminium chainstays but the carbon version uses Kona's DH carbon for the seat stays, rocker and mainframe. Kona does not hold back on the colour with eye-catching designs throughout the range, including this stunning "Prism Rust Purple" on the top line CR/DL 27.5 model.

The Process is renowned for how much fun it is to ride on the trail, it does encourage you to be active on the bike, popping off any lip to find a downslope and smashing through the rough stuff with it's smooth suspension. A lot of this is due to its geometry. Both the 27.5" and 29" bikes have the same key measurements and angles. A 66° head angle may not be quite as slack as some other enduro bikes, but it does give a lively and energetic feel on the trail.

This is a versatile bike that should appeal to a huge range of riders who ride a variety of trails, including those that demand some white-knuckle moments
–NZ MOUNTAIN BIKER

Kona Process 153 Geometry(Click to expand)

Process 153 27.5”

S

M

L

XL

ST LENGTH

385

410

450

485

TT LENGTH

573

600

629

668

REACH

425

450

475

510

STACK

602

607

616

625

STANDOVER

710

715

725

740

HT ANGLE

66.0

66.0

66.0

66.0

HT LENGTH

115

120

130

140

ST ANGLE

76.0

76.0

76.0

76.0

CS LENGTH

425

425

425

425

BB DROP

10

10

10

10

BB HEIGHT

345

345

345

345

WHEELBASE

1163

1190

1219

1258

FRONT CENTER

738

765

794

833

FORK LENGTH

552

552

552

552

FORK OFFSET

46

46

46

46

 

 

process 153 29”

M

L

XL

ST LENGTH

410

450

485

TT LENGTH

603

632

671

REACH

450

475

510

STACK

613

621

630

STANDOVER

706

720

733

HT ANGLE

66.0

66.0

66.0

HT LENGTH

90

100

110

ST ANGLE

76.0

75.8

75.7

CS LENGTH

425

425

425

BB DROP

29

29

29

BB HEIGHT

346

346

346

WHEELBASE

1189

1218

1258

FRONT CENTER

766

795

834

FORK LENGTH

571

571

571

FORK OFFSET

51

51

51

 


Kona Process 153

Suspension

Plush and dependable

The 153 mm of relatively progressive rear wheel travel is predictable, stable through the rough stuff, and keeps up nicely with the 160-mm travel Lyrik
–DIRT RAG MAGAZINE

The rear travel on the 153mm platform is very plush in its initial movement. Running slightly less sag than you usually would gives a very lively ride feeling, the design is very supportive in the mid-stroke, encouraging you to play with the bike, it makes you want to find trail features to create transitions and pop manuals, there is great support in the corners. Though the suspension is not as progressive as some other bikes it creates a smooth and engaging ride.

The 160mm forks are mostly handled by Rockshox, the forks ability and technology increase through the range from the Yari RC found on the base level bikes to the incredible Lyric Ultimate that is now considered the very best Enduro fork available. On the third level of the model tier, the CR carbon bikes come with Fox suspension, the ever-capable Fox 36 performance forks and the smooth Fox Float DPX2 shock.

Kona Process 153

Groupset

Eagle on every model

The Process was made for the descents; there is absolutely no doubt about that. Turning the bike downhill, we were constantly pushing harder looking for every bit of speed that we could find.
–MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION

The huge range offered by SRAM on their Eagle drivetrains has now become expected on high-end mountain bikes. The 1x12 speed drivetrains with massive 50t cassettes have proven reliable, the energy that you can save by spinning away in that 50t ring means you can stay out and ride longer. The entry-level bikes use the SX/NX combination through to the top flight enduro groupset of SRAM X01 on the CR/DL models.

In typical Kona fashion, the finishing kit is chosen to be reliable, dependable and strong without being too heavy. The bars feel great with the super short stem and 35mm clamp, even the grips feel good. WTB saddles and dropper posts on every bike from cable actuated Trans-X droppers on the entry-level bikes through to RockShox reverb hydraulic posts on the top models, Kona even adds the 1x remote for the Reverb.

Kona Process 153

Wheels

Fast and strong WTB wheelsets

All bikes in the range use WTB rims, there are a few different models of rim throughout the range of bikes, but all are wide, strong and give a confident feel on the trail. Hubs are from Formula or DT swiss through the range, proven to be reliable and roll fast with boost spacing both front and rear.

Every bike has the excellent new Maxxis Assegai front tyre. Designed with the help of multiple downhill world champion legend Greg Minnaar, Maxxis has managed to create a tyre that feels as dependable and predictable as the Minion DHF but it has even more grip with a very predictable drift point in a wider range of conditions, a real highlight of the spec. Kona uses the venerable Minion DHR on the rear, arguably one of the very best rear tyres available.

The AL 29 is like a deftly agile juggernaut; that short, stiff rear end mixed with the big front wheel and long reach make it extremely stable at speed. You feel like you can just stand on it and plow over everything in your path, yet retain the precision needed to change direction at will.
–SPOKE MAGAZINE

Kona Process 153

Best for

Fun and fast Enduro style rides

Fun, capable and durable are the words that come to mind when thinking of the new Process 153 from Kona. Fun on the trail, encouraging you to seek out what makes you grin the most. Capable, anything you want to point this bike at will be handled, it inspires confidence. Durable, as ever Kona has created a beefy and well-made bike that has your back, no need to worry about things when you're thrashing along.

If you are in the market for an Enduro bike and want to have a fun and engaging ride rather than just ploughing through trails. With both wheel sizes catered for, carbon or alloy frames and a great spec sheet the Process 153 should be high on your list.

Kona Process 153 Kona Process 153
Kona Process 153 Kona Process 153
Kona Process 153 Kona Process 153

Kona Process 153 range models

Kona Process 153 CR/DL 27.5 pictured

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