Our chief Invisiframe fitter, friendly sales assistant and Dirt School coach Fi, has recently become the lucky owner of a new small Kona Process X with mixed wheels!
Fresh out the workshop, and ready to hit the trails, we take a closer look at this stunning bike and share some of Fi’s initial set up thoughts with you...
Fi is 160cm, that’s 5ft 3 inches, and weighs in at 59kg – she rides the small frame and finds it a perfect fit.
Why did you choose the Process X?
As I spent a lot of time on the hill with our BASE performance mountain biking programme with Dirt School, I wanted a longer travel more capable bike that can handle anything. The numbers and angles looked ideal on the Process X. A steep seat angle to give me an efficient climbing position was an important factor (at 78.2 degrees that box was ticked), coupled with the super slack 63.5 degree head angle, the bike seemed to be what I was looking for on that front.
The Process X also comes with an adjustable chainstay which I’ve been trying in both the short and long positions - 435mmm or 450mm respectively. Having spent a bit of time riding each set up, I’m leaning towards the shorter chainstay set up as it’s more fun to ride, and easier to move around which works well on the local Tweed Valley trails, especially as they’re quite steep and tight in a lot of places.
I was intrigued by the mixed wheel option - my bike in the small size comes standard with a 29” front wheel, and 27.5” wheel on the rear. Having ridden both 27.5” and 29” specced bikes for a few years I thought it’d be fun trying something new. So far, so good - the smaller wheel on the back eliminates wheel buzz when riding steeper, tighters corners with hard compressions - I think this setup will work well for us smaller riders.
Most importantly, the paint job is amazing and sparkles in the sunlight!
Suspension Set Up
The Process X comes with a 170mm Fox 38 Performance Fork with Grip damper and they feel super stable and plush to ride. It took me a little while to set them up, and I find I’m running them slightly softer than I would have thought, with 54 psi, high speed rebound at 13 clicks from closed and compression to fully open.
I have a Fox DPX2 Performance Elite shock set at 130 psi and rebound running at 12 clicks from fully closed. I also run 4 clicks of compression without any volume spacers. The lockout lever is essential for climbing long fire roads, I take this off for technical climbs as the bike's traction is excellent.
Cockpit Set Up
My Kona has been kitted out with Toxic Barbie pink Burgtec components to stand out from the crowd. I’m running a 42.5mm Burgtec MK3 stem, with the 30mm rise Carbon Enduro Bar cut down to 730mm - a good width for my narrow shoulders and also ideal for squeezing between the Tweed Valley's tight trees with ease.
I am running Shimano Deore 4 pot brakes - 203mm discs front and rear mean I have all the stopping power I need, and more.
Wheelset & Tyres
I’m super happy riding the mixed wheel set up. Having the benefit of a larger 29” wheel soaking up the bumps, and something a little nippier on the back, it's the best of both worlds. The Process X is easy to pump and move around and all round great fun to ride.
The DT Swiss 370 hubs are equipped with sturdy WTB KOM Trail i30 rims and the well respected Maxxis tyres. I’m running Assegai Exo+ 2.5” on the front and the classic DHR II Exo+ 2.4” on the rear, I find this to be a great all year round combo for most trail conditions.
The Kona pedals up the valley’s fire roads superbly with the shock locked out. The 12 speed Shimano XT/SLX drivetrain combined with a smaller 30T Burgtec chainring let’s me spin easily at a higher cadence and conserve energy on longer rides.
Frame/Shock: Fox DPX2 Performance Elite 161mm
Fork: Fox 38 Performance with Grip Damper, 170mm travel
Wheelset: DT Swiss 370 hubs with WTB KOM Trail i30 rims
Seatpost: TransX Dropper 150mm
Tyres: Front - Maxxis Assegai EXO+ 3C 29x2.5 WT Back - Maxxis DHR II EXO+ TR 27.5x2.4 WT
Cockpit: Burgtec Carbon Enduro Bar 30mm Rise, Burgtec MK3 Enduro Stem 42.5mm in Toxic Barbie and Burgtec Minnaar Grips.
Drivetrain: Shimano XT/SLX 12spd and Burgtec 30T Toxic Barbie Chainring
Brakes: Shimano Deore 4 piston with 203mm rotors front and back
Saddle: Burgtec Cloud
Pedals: Burgtec Penthouse MK5