Many enthusiasts have been waiting for this bike for a long time: the new Kona Process! The previous model was known for its super-fun riding characteristics. The successor should be able to do it all a little better, so we were curious to find out if it could!

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The Crème de la Crème – Nine high-end enduro bikes of 2018 in comparison

Kona Process 153 CR 27,5
160/153 mm (f/r) | 13.70 kg | € 5,499

With the new generation of the Kona Process, the bike is now also available as a carbon version for the first time. For this test, we were given the second-best model going for € 5,499. It has a carbon front triangle and aluminium chainstays. As the name suggests, 153mm of travel is available at the rear, which is taken care of by a trunnion-mount RockShox Deluxe. Kona has created space for a water bottle in the front triangle thanks to the now vertically-mounted shock. The components of the Kona Process 153 CR won’t cause anyone to have wet dreams at night, but they’ve been chosen sensibly and are reliable. Even when standing, the low slung top tube attracts attention, giving the rider plenty of room to move around on the bike – a feature that is clearly felt on the trail.

Helmet POC Tectal | Goggle 100% Aircraft | Jersey AMS Ape 3/4 Jersey | Knee pads Fox Launch Pro | Shoes ION Rascal

  Tanktop and tattoos are mandatory if you want to ride the Kona Process. This bike is a hooligan and wants to be ridden that way!

Kona has significantly revised the kinematics of the new Process in order to make the bike more efficient uphill. They’ve been successful in this effort, but as the dropper seat post extends, the seat tube angle becomes increasingly slacker – and in combination with the very short chainstays (420 mm) – places you very far back over the rear wheel. If you push the saddle completely forward, the position is okay, but a slightly steeper seat tube angle would definitely be desirable. The Kona comes into its own on the downhills. Even in the first few meters, the character of the Process reveals itself; it practically roars at the rider, “Get loose or go home!” Thanks to the roomy cockpit and short chainstays, the bike is very willing to drift through curves, flick, and manual. However, the Kona has to be ridden actively. Anyone not wanting to get too involved will quickly become a passenger and lose grip on the front wheel. It is necessary to shift your weight back and forth to generate sufficient grip where it’s needed. The rear linkage is very plush and readily swallows hits of any size, feeling like there is more than just 153 mm of travel. Just the right amount of end progression also ensures that even miscalculated lines are reliably cushioned. Only under hard braking does the rear end stiffen a little, but this suits the untamed character of the bike.

The Kona Process 153 CR 27,5 in detail

Fork RockShox Lyrik Solo Air 160 mm
Rear shock RockShox Deluxe RT Trunnion 153 mm
Brakes SRAM Guide RSC 200/180 mm
Drivetrain SRAM GX Eagle
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth 150 mm
Stem Kona XC/BC 35 45 mm
Handlebar Kona XC/BC 35 780 mm
Tires MAXXIS Minion DHF 2,5″ / 2,3″
Wheelset WTB Asym i29 TCS
Weight 13.70 kg
Price € 5,499

Das Kona Process 153 CR beherbergt trotz dem niedrigem Oberrohr Platz für eine Flasche im Rahemndreieck.
Lots of room
Thanks to the roomy cockpit and short chainstays, the Kona is very willing to drift through curves, flick, and manual
Space, finally
By mounting the shock vertically, Kona has freed up space in the front triangle for a water bottle
The large bearings on the rear linkage of the Kona seem as though they would last well beyond a single season (although we couldn’t verify their durability in the scope of this test)
The area around the bottom bracket, as well as the chainstays, are massively overbuilt

The geometry of the Kona Process

Size S M L XL
Seat tube 385 mm 410 mm 450 mm 485 mm
Top tube 573 mm 600 mm 629 mm 668 mm
Head tube 115 mm 120 mm 130 mm 140 mm
Head angle 66° 66° 66° 66°
Seat angle 76° 76° 76° 76°
Chainstays 425 mm 425 mm 425 mm 425 mm
BB High 348 mm 348 mm 348 mm 348 mm
Wheelbase 1160 mm 1187 mm 1216 mm 1255 mm
Reach 425 mm 450 mm 475 mm 485 mm
Stack 602 mm 607 mm 629 mm 668 mm
Das hohe Maß an Agilität sorgt beim Fahren des Kona Process 153 CR für extrem viel Fahrspaß.


The Kona Process 153 CR 27.5 is a bike for those who aim to have fun instead of racing against the clock. It’s made for drifting, manualing, and huck-to-flat drops. However, realising its full potential requires a bit of manhandling by a skilled rider.


+ a lot of standover clearance and room to throw your weight around
+ potent rear suspension
+ good value for money


– requires an engaged riding style
– sluggish climber

Value for money

For more info head to:

The test fleet

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The Crème de la Crème – Nine high-end enduro bikes of 2018 in comparison

All bikes in test: Cannondale Jekyll 1 | Canyon Strive CF 9.0 | Evil The Wreckoning X01 | Merida ONE-SIXTY 8000 | Orbea Rallon M-Team | Santa Cruz Nomad 4 CC XX1 | Specialized Enduro 29 Pro | Trek Slash 9.8

This article is from ENDURO issue #032

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Words: Photos: Christoph Bayer, Valentin Rühl