Editor’s note: This is one of six bikes we’ve gathered together that fall between $1,900 and $2,600. Read our introduction to see the other five and watch for our long-term reviews of each in Dirt Rag #182, due on newsstands and in mailboxes in February. Subscribe now and you’ll never miss a bike review.
Kona’s line of Process bikes has been a runaway success, racking up a number of positive reviews and happy customers. The Precept line offers many of the same qualities that riders love about the Process—slack angles, short chainstays, aggressive attitude—and hits a more wallet-friendly price point.
The Precept DL pictured here retails for $1,899, well below some of the other bikes in this group test. The least expensive Process 134 lands at $2,799, and there is a less expensive Precept model at just $1,599.
The Precept DL follows the flow of the Process 134 model fairly closely: It has 130mm of travel through a classic linkage-driven single pivot layout, an all-aluminum frame with threaded bottom bracket and dropper post routing, and 140mm RockShox Sektor fork out front. The build kit includes nearly all Shimano gear, including Altus shifters, 3×9 drivetrain and hydraulic brakes. One of the highlights is the Deore thru-axle hubs front and rear with Shimano Centerlock rotors.
The numbers are right on the money for a fun, responsive trail bike: 68-degree head tube angle and 16.7-inch chainstays. The 758mm front center on my size XL tester is long, but not nearly as long as the 776mm on the Process 134 bikes, a notable difference if you like your top tubes long and stems short.
After a few rides it’s clear the Precept DL is designed for maximum fun on a wide variety of trails, from relaxed to rowdy. Watch for my full, long-term review in Dirt Rag #182 next month.