Inside Line: Kona drops info on 2016 mountain bikes

In: Bike Industry News, NEWS By: Eric McKeegan On: July 14, 2015

Kona dives into 2016 a little early with release of 2016 models including new aluminum Honzos, a longer travel Precept and redesigned Hei Hei.

We got a sneak peak at some for the new Kona’s for 2016. The website should be going live soon, but here are the highlights that stood out to me.


The Honzo has been successful enough for Kona to spur development of two new aluminum models, although it seems the steel bike is now frame-only, joined by a pretty swank looking Ti model. If my own 29er hardtail slot wasn’t filled with a Black Cat, the Ti Honzo would be damn tempting.


Honzo AL $1,600

The entry level Honzo, just add a dropper post and go rip. RockShox Recon 120 mm fork, new Maxxis Tomahawk tires, and the slack and low geometry we have come to expect should add up to a bike that can stand up to hard riding while not depleting that trust fund.


Honzo AL/DL – $2,200

More money gets you more bike than the base model Honzo . A Fox 34 is the most obvious upgrade, but tubeless ready rims and tires, nicer brakes and upgraded cranks and saddle are also in the mix.


Honzo ST frame – $TBA

Geometry has been updated here to more closely match the Process bikes, which results in loooong top tubes and reach. Might as well buy that 40 mm stem now if you order one of these frames.


Honzo Ti frame – $TBA

Those who get it, get it. Those who don’t keep moving. Nothing to see here.

Hei Hei 

The long running Hei Hei cross-country race bikes have been updated this year with new suspension, dubbed FUSE. The new design dumps the rearmost pivot, depending on the flex engineered in the stays to provide the motion necessary for the bike to move through its 100 mm of rear travel. While there is talk of both Race bike with 100 mm forks and Trail bikes with 120 mm forks, we only have info on trail models, which is fine, since 100 mm forks are for children and people who might take EPO to win a masters’ championship. Both models here have aluminum frames, no word on carbon versions.


Hei Hei Trail – $2,500

If we do our $2,500 trail bike round up in 2016 again, this bike is high up on the list. RockShox Recon Gold fork, 2×10 Shimano drivetrain, Shimano hydro brakes, and 68-degree head angle makes this look like a winner to me.


Hei Hei Trail DL – $3,300

Some nice upgrades include Stans Rapid tubeless rims, 1×11 Shimano XT drivetrain and Fox 34 fork. For riders who think the Process 111 is too much bike, but an cross-country race bike is just too racy, this could be an excellent option.


Kona’s Precept line can be looked at as a less expensive version of the well regarded Process line, and it gets a new edition for 2016 in the form of a 150 mm travel trail bike.


Precept 150 – $2700

Straight out of the box, this is a bike looking to be ridden hard and fast on rough terrain. The Sektor fork might have zero recognition, but it works better than it has a right to for the price. A 2×10 drivetrain is going to get you around and up and down for all those all-day adventures you should be having on this bike. It’s even got that 40 mm stem and Maxxis High Roller 2.4s, so you are going to look legit at the trailhead, and if your skills are up to it, you won’t have trouble keeping those 10k bikes in sight on the descents.


This is just a cherry-picked selection of the new bikes, and there should be more news to come. At least I’m guessing there will be since there seems to be a distinct lack of carbon fiber models here.  Stay tuned to Kona’s website for the 2016 models to go live.


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