By Emily Walley and Justin Steiner
Kona launched its Process line of enduro bikes back in 2014 with the 111, 134 and 153, with each of the numeric model names referring to the bike’s rear wheel travel in millimeters. The 134 and 153 were initially available at two price points, with just one price point for the 111 (read our review of the 111 here). For 2015, Kona added the 167 model with 26-inch wheels and a special edition of the 134, dubbed the SE.
This new 134 SE model takes a very interesting approach to fulfilling the otherwise underserved market of bikes for smaller stature riders. By adding an extra small size to the existing small and medium frames, Kona is able to fit riders slightly under five feet tall, depending on body proportions, of course. Across the SE size range, standover height very low, just 25.6 inches. From our perspective, this seems like a refreshing approach to serving the women’s market while also providing a good option for smaller men as well as teens and kids.
Kona was kind enough to set us up with the 134 SE and 134 DL for our recent trip to the Sedona MTB Fest in Sedona, Arizona, which was a great opportunity for some early season bike testing.
Sedona’s challenging terrain is a great place to test bikes; if you are not intimately comfortable with the bike you’re riding, the combination of technical terrain and exposure will soon rattle your confidence. Fortunately, we both felt immediately as home on our respective 134s, Emily on the SE and Justin on the DL.
Initial suspension setup was a snap thanks to the RockShox SoloAir system in the Revelation RL fork and Monarch RT rear shocks. Being particularly light, Emily often has trouble achieving proper setup on forks using coil negative springs, such as Fox’s Float system on current model 32 and 34 forks. Fortunately, there were no such issues in this case.
From the first pedal stroke, Kona’s somewhat radical approach to the geometry of the Process line is very intuitive. The long front center provides good stability, while the short rear center makes lofting the front wheel a breeze. These bikes follow your every command.
Stay tuned for the full review of the Process 134 SE and 134 DL in issue #184 of Dirt Rag. Subscribe by April 10 to have this issue deliver to your door, or pick it up on your local newsstand beginning May 12.
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