Pedaling response: 7.5/15
“A mini downhill bike,” one tester said. “Just wants to rip,” said another. The Process is clearly built by and for riders who want to hit descents hard and fast.
Climbing, unfortunately, is not all that pleasant on the Process. It’s heavy and sluggish, with a poor pedaling platform and squishy feel. But you don’t buy this bike to climb.
The Process opens up when it’s fed by gravity. The rear suspension feels bottomless, and the slack, modern trail geometry sets it up for snappy handling at any speed. This is why we love 27.5” wheels for this travel range: Unlike with a 29er, it’s still possible to build a quick, flickable frame even with big travel.
The geometry hits all the right talking points for a modern, long-travel 27.5” bike — 425-millimeter stays, 460-millimeter reach, and an 1,173-millimeter wheelbase. The front wheel picks up easily and the whole bike seems to want to bound along the trail like a jackalope, spending half its time off the ground.
The 68-degree head angle is a little steep, at least on paper. Oddly, it didn’t feel that way on the trail. If you’d asked us after the first ride, we’d have guessed it was a 67 or 67.5. No matter, Kona’s decision seems to be based in actual riding, and its chosen figure works exceptionally well.
The build, including big Maxxis Minion tires (not pictured), is excellent for the the blossoming enduro fiend.
If uphill Strava KOMs are your thing, leave this one at home. But if the downhills are your playground, hop on it.
Component highlights: SRAM XX1 drivetrain; Shimano XT brakes; Rockshox Monarch RT3 shock; Rockshox Pike RC3 140mm fork; Hope Pro2 wheels
Weight: 29.24 pounds (size large)