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  1. #1
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    2017 Kona Process 153

    I was debating to add this to the current '15 thread but I figured with the latest changes to the geo it was deserving of its own thread. I found the 16 153 to be a bit dull in its ride. It just didn't excite me but then Kona made the changes that I thought it could use. Just a touch steeper seat tube angle, a little slacker, and a little longer up front. And they did exactly that. When Kona had their demo van come through I pulled a 17 out for a test run.

    2017 Kona Process 153-kona153_2.jpg
    2017 Kona Process 153-kona153_3.jpg

    I think the color looks a lot nicer in person than on the website.

    Climbing: It climbed great. Other AM/Enduro bikes I've used on this trail I found myself using the granny gear almost the entire time. But on the process I was pushing myself uphill just a bit faster and using more of the gearing than just the granny gear. It was a very efficient bike.

    Descending: Lighting. It accelerates so fast. I took it down this track faster than anything else before and I was entirely comfortable with every second. Some bikes I'll get up to speed and it catches up to me in my head and I'll hit the brakes. But not this bike. Even though I was shooting past the landing on all the jumps it felt like I was in cruise control and wanted to just go faster. The minions saved me from shooting off the hill and Yari performed much better than I expected it to. The suspension handled all the rock gardens with ease, even with a suspension that wasn't 100% tuned to me.

    Summary: If you're looking for an all mountain bike that likes to get rowdy but is an efficient climber then this deserves serious consideration. I've been demoing bikes for two years and I am thoroughly impressed with how capable this bike is.

    Other bikes I've demoed this year:
    2016 Process 153
    2016 Giant Reign
    2016 Rocky Altitude Rally Edition
    2017 Scott Spark
    2016 Devinci Troy and Spartan
    2016 Pivot Mach 6
    2016 Spec. Stumpjumper 29er
    And several others through the last 2 years.

    TLDR; out of the above bikes, I liked this one the most as an all mountain ride.

    I'd be happy to answer questions and let this roll into a '17 owners thread when they start hitting the shops.

  2. #2
    Sim
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    I'm curious if you rode the same size 16 vs 17? If so, how did the longer top tube and wheel base compare? Thanks.

  3. #3
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    Funny, I fell between sizes (L and XL) and was looking at other brands for a while, then they fixed those little adjustments and have my attention again. My wife rides a 16' 153 and absolutely loves it. Kinda funny to have two of the same bike, but there's a great chance that will happen. I look forward to hearing more ride reports

  4. #4
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    I'm 5' 10", or 178cm for you chaps across the pond. I rode a medium in both years. When I rode the '16 my friend (who rides a '15 process 153) noted I was riding better and faster than he'd ever seen me before. And I felt better on the '17. When the speeds start to pick up, it was still a super nimble bike. I don't think it would handle tight single-track switchbacks all that well, but you should be looking at the 134 or 111 if that's what you mostly ride.

    If it was my way I would have made the reach about 443 and put a 45 mm stem on it. The front wheel would pull on slow technical ascents but I think once I got more time with the bike I could figure out where to shift my weight and I could mitigate that.

    I would pick the '17 over the '16 10 times out of 10. The bike is a ripper and so much fun. Kona has something real special with it. I could definitely see it winning some awards from the magazines.

  5. #5
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    I would expect you to clean house on everything besides Downhill with those bikes. They aren't even in the same league. The 153 is an all mountain bike with a very strong attitude towards descending. The "all mountain" moniker really describes bikes that do ok on everything except DH which they do really well at. The downhill is more important than anything else and compromises are made other places for that. An aggressive trail bike like the process 134 or 111 will be much more balanced.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushamster21 View Post
    I would expect you to clean house on everything besides Downhill with those bikes. They aren't even in the same league. The 153 is an all mountain bike with a very strong attitude towards descending. The "all mountain" moniker really describes bikes that do ok on everything except DH which they do really well at. The downhill is more important than anything else and compromises are made other places for that. An aggressive trail bike like the process 134 or 111 will be much more balanced.
    Thanks for the review. Let us know if you end up buying one. Sounds (loosely) like my current 153 from 2014 might feel like a 2017 year 134?...

    I could barely tell the difference between the 2016 models of the 134 & 153 when I tested them this summer but there was hardly any DH at the site.

  7. #7
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    I find it surprising you called the 2016 153 "dull" and then completely change your opinion of the bike by merely lengthening the TT and front end.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluidworks View Post
    I find it surprising you called the 2016 153 "dull" and then completely change your opinion of the bike by merely lengthening the TT and front end.
    Thinking same thing. Lengthened bike and slacked 1* for 17 ..........
    16 Process 111DL
    15 Process 134DL
    16 Process 153DL
    16 Honzo DL
    16 Private Jake
    17 Hei Hei DLc

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by aelf View Post
    Slackened 1 more degree? Must really corner like $hit now on anything somewhat tight
    sarcasm meter is broke

    @65* they do get a little wonky on the steep climby stuff
    16 Process 111DL
    15 Process 134DL
    16 Process 153DL
    16 Honzo DL
    16 Private Jake
    17 Hei Hei DLc

  10. #10
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    Did you demo the new 134 as well or just the 153?

  11. #11
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    New Process 153 mishap

    What a difference 48 hours can make. New Process owner here. Was loving this bike 3rd ride and a very lazy pedal into a gap jump, just cased it... Ok ...Slammed rear into landing big bang.
    The opening post in this thread mentions how fast this bike is. It really is, I had demoed a lot of bikes and this is fast. I cleared the said jump 1 run earlier easily but a combo of fatigue and laziness and wammo
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2017 Kona Process 153-img_20170202_120744.jpg  

    2017 Kona Process 153-img_20170131_133454.jpg  


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tokrot View Post
    wammo
    I would blame it on the excess weight of the spoke protector.
    Living the dream at TDA Global Cycling – epic bike tours from 500 to 15,000 km.

    TDA Global Cycling

  13. #13
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    I am very interested about this bike, this is a mix between the process 167(RIP) and the 16' 153. I am really curious to know if it is still as playful as the 16' one because from what I read, it seems more stable so I guess it should be less nimble. I am also interested to know how does it compare to the transition patrol, does someone have been able to test then both?

  14. #14
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    Wow.

    Well mountain biking season is coming back. I sorta forgot about this thread I started but I'll comment on a couple of things.

    1. I stand by what I said before. I found the '16 to be dull and yes slackening out the bike will change the personality of a bike, no matter the degree it was done. Both generations are excellent bikes, I prefer the '17; quite a few people have wanted a bike that is less slacked out and the '16 would be a good bike for them and I have recommended it.

    2. There was a comparison done between the Ibis Ripley and the Ibis Ripley LS (Low and Slack). The reviewers in that comparison said almost exactly the same as I did between the '16 and '17. I'm not sure how mtbr views linking to a competitors website but I just typed into google "ibis ripley vs ls" and the very first link is the one I'm referring too.

    3. I really REALLY wanted to demo the '17 134 but I they were all out when I brought my 153 back. The '16 process 134 was a buttload of fun. It was kinda heavy to climb with, but I had so much fun on that bike. I loved my time on it.

    4. I did ride the Patrol. It has a very similar demeanor to the Process on the downhill. they are both fun and playful. There are two differences. The bottom bracket and ascending. The BB is very low on the patrol. Low enough to cause some minor issues with pedal strikes. All the bikes that I've seen with lower BBs have some sort of flip chip/mino link/ etc. to drop it lower than the Patrol's. I HIGHLY recommend switching to 170mm cranks. Climbing, the Patrol wins no contest. I rode a '15 process 153 and a '16 Patrol back to back. My friend and I switched halfway through. His comments would echo mine. I wanted the patrol back for the climbs and he was sick of the pedal strikes.

    5. My apologies for getting back so late. I was finishing up college and really needed to study this last Fall. Fortunately I have graduated, I finally got hired working at an excellent job and look forward to purchasing a bike in the next 6 to 8 weeks. I will be more active from now on and will try answer questions as best as I can.

  15. #15
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    How does the new Process 153 compare to the Giant Reign you rode?

  16. #16
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    Just picked a '17 up today - and yes I know what's coming next, I didn't have a desire to wait. Old bike was a '16 Devinci Troy - the reach and TT on my large troy felt closer to the Med. process. It's terrifying to think what this bike is capable of, especially in a 29'er configuration. It made my troy feel like a dwarf. It was very balanced in the air, and never once was knocked off line through gnar.

    I can't imagine slacking the head angle any more, as I wouldn't want to climb anything with it. I can certainly tell it will take some time re-learning how to balance this thing for climbing, mostly due to the long front end.

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