Capability has been the theme of test bikes lately, and it is really one of the more important aspects of this
shootout. The Process 134 is a very capable bike built on the same suspension platform all the way up to the top of the line.
Kona developed the Process in the chunder
of the Pacific Northwest and carries its
roots to trails all over the world.
WHAT IS IT MADE FROM?
The Process has a full-aluminum frame
and linkage, with the exception of the carbon bridge behind the shock mount. Kona
uses the same suspension platform across
the whole line of Processes, regardless of
price point. The Process caps out with the
Supreme at $5500, but our Process 134
starts things off at $2900, which is near
the price cap for this shootout.
The KS E-Ten Integra post was a welcome sight, along with the RockShox
Monarch RL rear shock. Kona did a good
job choosing a beefy tread with the Maxxis
DHF EXO front tire and Tomahawk rear tire
and coupled it with Shimano brakes and
HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
Moving out: The geometry of the
Process felt slack and low, giving us as
aggressive of a position as we wanted on
the bike. With a super-short stem and wide
bars, the ergonomics felt spot-on. Kona
has been pretty big on 35-millimeter bar/
stem combos, and this level of Process is
well-equipped. It came in second place for
loudest paint with the bright-green paint
and orange decals. The paint didn’t bother
most of us; we thought it looked fun.
BIKE TEST / KONA PROCESS 134
One very capable bike
Cornering: With the super-wide front
tire and low geometry, the Process could
be pushed hard through any type of
corner. The wide bars gave us plenty of
leverage and encouraged us to push the
bike harder and lower. The Process has a
low standover height that kept us active in
Climbing: The Process isn’t a tank,
but it was far from the lightest bike in the
shootout. However, when the suspension
was locked out and we put our heads
down, we were able to crawl over technical
sections and up steep trails. This bike carries its weight very well.
Descending: There was no doubt that
this was the best descending bike in our
shootout. In steep, rocky descents or fast,
flowy sections, the Process ripped through
everything. The impressively supple and
controlled suspension kept the Process
feeling more planted and confident than
any other bike in our test. It also carried its
momentum well, feeling like it accelerated
faster, despite the slight weight penalty.
The wide bars had us feeling quite confident, and the rear suspension felt active
over the ever-changing terrain on the trail.
Needless to say, we felt the need to push
the speed with this bike on the descents.
TRICKS, TIPS OR UPGRADES?
We would love to help the Process shed
some weight. We would convert this to
a 1x10 and ditch the bash guard for a
narrow-wide chainring. Although we didn’t
have any issues, Process riders should plan
on upgrading the fork down the road to
keep up with the very capable aspects of
the frame design.
The Kona Process 134 has a lot to offer
potential buyers, from a solid framework
to a burly complete build; there are a lot of
ways that this machine can go. While this
bike is near the top of the price range for
this shootout, there is more than enough
value to justify the price. ❏
Strong bones: This wasn’t the most
impressive build kit out of the bunch, but
the suspension made up for that. From
the entry level model to the top of the line
version, the Process uses the same suspension platform.
has proven itself
to be a sturdy
will always come
back for more.
drivetrain is solid
and left us with
it can take a
A trail-born slayer:
With 134 millimeters of
travel, on paper the Process
falls into a mid-travel trailbike
mold. On the trail, however,
the capability feels endless
and pushes riders on to