Bang for your buck: The Precept DL makes compromises in some areas compared to the Process 134, but that’s not the case with the
RockShox Sektor fork, which is standard on both models. The triple crankset felt a bit clunkier, but will offer newer riders a wider range
of gear options. Kona’s more simple Swinger linkage design helps keep the price of the Precept DL down.
Budget brawn: The Precept DL isn’t as technically advanced as
its more expensive sibling, but it’s still a very capable trailbike
that can be pushed harder than its price tag would let on.
predictable-handling bike but can’t compete with the
Process in terms of stiffness and planted cornering.
Kona did a great job spec’ing the Precept’s cockpit,
and the Maxxis Ardent tires provided solid grip, even
in sketchy, loose-over-hardpack conditions.
Process: Kona’s downhill influence is apparent
from the first time you let the Process loose on a
descent. The geometry is a balanced blend of stability
through the rough and “choose your line then change
your mind” nimbleness. The Process is fun to pop
off the trail, and the short rear end helps keep the
front end light when you want to manual or pump on
the trail. The Process doesn’t provide the same level
of small-bump compliance as some Walking Beam-equipped Konas of the past, but it is a known trade-off, and the Process still feels very controlled through
medium and big hits, even with a basic shock.
Precept DL: The Precept doesn’t quite provide
the same level of downhill confidence inspired by
the Process, but Kona’s knack for designing fun trailbikes—even on a budget—is apparent. The Precept is
fairly playful on the trail but gives up some of the precise feel that the Process’ stiff chassis provides. The
suspension is more responsive to small bumps and
chatter than the Process, and it still handled big hits
like a Kona should.
Process: We weren’t blown away by the braking
performance of the Process’ Shimano setup. Even
with the large, 7-inch rotor up front, the brakes often
felt overwhelmed when we really put them to the test.