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  1. #1
    Ipe
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    Building a Process 134 "better" than a DL - How would you do it?

    Hey folks,

    I'm planning on getting a new bike this spring and the Process 134 has really caught my eye. Reading all your reviews in the Process 134-134DL thread, plus Bike Mags 2014 Bible tests show that the bike is awesome. I have a feeling that I'll be stopping at my LBS to throw down a deposit soon.

    But lets say the DL just isn't available anytime soon and the non-DL is. What would you do to make your non-DL into something better. Given that there is a $1000 usd difference between the two, what would you do with $1000 to $1500 to make your non-DL into a DL killer?

    Can it be done inside that budget or would it be better to wait for a DL?

    Thanks in advance.

    Ipe

  2. #2
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    Yes. The 134 has a pretty solid build as-is.

    Build up WTB i23 with Hope hubs; or get Flows + Hopes from Wiggle
    Convert to 1x10 w/ BBG bash, maybe get an SLX crank someone else is selling as a takeoff. Don't need a guide with the Shadow+ mech.
    XT brakes

    Sell the take-offs.

    The Sektor fork is ok, and is easy to maintain. You could upgrade it next year...

  3. #3
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    light-bicycle.com Carbon wheels. $500-800 depending on hubs
    Then upgrade the fork to a better one other than that i would let stuff just wear out.

  4. #4
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    A race face NEXT SL crankset 1X10 with a Narrow Wide ring, shadow+ RD setup. Hope brakes & hubs laced to 35mm blunts.

  5. #5
    Ipe
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    Hey folks, Thanks for the replies. I'd been thinking along the lines of wheels and a fork as well. I'd love it if the LBS would give a credit for the Sektor towards a Pike but thats probably wishful thinking. We'll see. Maybe an SR Auron instead....

  6. #6
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    I think its been stated here already - but if mine:
    1 swap out Sector for Revelation or Pike - pike preferrably
    2 swap wheels as suggested - rim is tuf so good/lighter hubs or complete swap for flows or WTB KOM
    3 poor man 1x10 w wolftooth or 1up 42t rr + a n/w frt

    dont forget to buy some anodized bits and cool stickers to make the bike go even faster - its scientifically proven that a good sticker - flames or skulls - will make the bike lighter for climbing and faster on downhills!

    If your lbs is worth their salt - they will work to swap out stock build bits - before ridden so they can resell/ebay them

  7. #7
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    Honestly, every single thing (except the cassette and bar/stem) is better on the DL and well worth the difference in price. That's not to say you couldn't get the non-DL model and upgrade some key parts with that difference in price, but you will not bridge the gap between the two models.

  8. #8
    Ipe
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    Quote Originally Posted by kamper11 View Post
    dont forget to buy some anodized bits and cool stickers to make the bike go even faster - its scientifically proven that a good sticker - flames or skulls - will make the bike lighter for climbing and faster on downhills!
    Oh hell yeah! Everyone knows that stickers = SPEED!!!

    Just look at all those fast 'n furry-ous ricer cars. Those thing have got like 10,000 horsepower! You can always tell 'kus those carz have got all the awesomest stickerz


  9. #9
    Ipe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogboy View Post
    but you will not bridge the gap between the two models.
    Bingo.... this is my concern as well. Can it be done. Kona can purchase parts at a volume and cost that we can't match so it really does become difficult to bridge the gap in the same or similar dollar range. I guess the true point of this thread is: can it be done or is it a waste economically? In other words, hold out for the DL.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ipe View Post
    I guess the true point of this thread is: can it be done or is it a waste economically? In other words, hold out for the DL.
    When presented with an obstacle do you avoid it or take it on? I suppose for MTBers the vast majority would take it on and figure a way up,over around it in order to continue on. Does this thought process apply here? To some degree I believe it does then some not so much.

    I enjoy the challenge hence why I personally would and since many of us do the upgrade / mod thing if not immediately some time down the road it happens if only small bits here and there to appease ones desire. Does this bridge the gap to some extent? yes it does, will it transform it into the DL? no, but it doesn't hurt to try if you have the means, knowledge & $.

  11. #11
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    In looking at Specs - and based on upgrades of Fork, Wheels and maybe something like the 1x conversion

    if you get a decent shop credit on takeoffs - I think a pike and wheels would put you right at that 1000. (i've spec'd doing this exact thing at my lbs and w fork, wheels and slx brake upgrade it went right to the 1000)

    now - slx vs xt rr der maybe a few negligible grams of weight - but no shifting performance gain.

    crank - mostly wieght and minimal stiffness - but if throwing on a n/w 1x - and remove frt der - negligible diff so just get out and ride

    rear shock - not sure if there's truly a performance or capability diff btw the 2 so cant comment - but would send to PUSH regardless and for the price will transform your rear shock

    with a lighter, better wheel build and Pike up front - maybe a brake upgrade - and the 1x conversion - i believe you than surpass the DL in terms of legit trail/enduro capable bike - and for not much more than a stock DL

    The revelation on the dl is no slouch - but pike up's the DH ante...

    or - you simply buy the DL - and to get most bang for buck upgrade - wheels - and go ride the life out of the other bits - replacing as you feel the need

  12. #12
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    I didn't think the DL is that much better. I'm pretty close to having all my dream build parts on my base Process...XT Brakes, Mid Cage XT derailluer, KS LEV, Kings/Flows. The Pike is on it's way which leaves the Monarch Plus RC3 as the final main component that I will have to cough up money for...other than drivetrain bits that will get replaced as they wear out...
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you’ll crash.
    - Julie Furtado

  13. #13
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    Been very impressed with the Sektor on my Taro; I wouldn't consider swapping the Sektor for a Rev. For a Pike yes, in the right context, but not for a Rev. Sektor is light, 20mm Maxle, tapered steerer, and damper is very good. What's not to like?

  14. #14
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    I'm not recommending my route, but I bought a 153DL and found it to be too much bike for my trails and swapped everything over to 134dl frameset. So, I have a 153dl frameset and crankset for sale. The only changes from the 153DL build were a Renthal bar, Renthal 35t chainring, E-thirteen guide, slx cranks, Minion DHF front and rear, specialized grips, and gorilla taped seat and chainstays. It's awesome!

    Here's a pic. Ignore the sweaty guy. I'll post better photos in the build thread later.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Building a Process 134 "better" than a DL - How would you do it?-photo-1.jpg  


  15. #15
    Ipe
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    I went to the dealer yesterday to have another look about. They had one base model Process 134 in a small and had one medium in a box but I'm pretty sure I'll need a large (short legs, long torso). They said they would call to see if they could get a 134dl, but by all indications the chances are slim (according to the LBS guy).

    While I was there I saw a Rocky Mountain Altitude 750 which was pretty nice, but there was no standover clearance at all. I think my guys would be much happier with the lower standover of the Process, but if you can't get one, you can't get one. Hopefully the LBS guy can come through. We'll see.

  16. #16
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    I'd probably do a take-off trade the Sektor for a Pike ($500) walk out of the shop paying maybe $3000 or so.

    Save some more pennies and go for the carbon LB wheels when you can.
    I do custom ArcGIS and Google Maps, including data collection and sustainable trail layout. Ride Welsh Mountain

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by carabao View Post
    I'm not recommending my route, but I bought a 153DL and found it to be too much bike for my trails and swapped everything over to 134dl frameset. So, I have a 153dl frameset and crankset for sale. The only changes from the 153DL build were a Renthal bar, Renthal 35t chainring, E-thirteen guide, slx cranks, Minion DHF front and rear, specialized grips, and gorilla taped seat and chainstays. It's awesome!

    Here's a pic. Ignore the sweaty guy. I'll post better photos in the build thread later.
    You need to write up a full comparison for the 134 v 153 thread.

  18. #18
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    +1 - love to hear your thoughts on the compare/contrast

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluidworks View Post
    You need to write up a full comparison for the 134 v 153 thread.
    You asked for it, stream of consciousness style:

    I'm 39 y/o, 200lb. rider who only rode hardtails up until my 153DL purchase. When I bought the 153DL I did so thinking I didn't want to half-ass it and get something similar to my very capable Honzo. Long story short, I went too far. My local trails that I ride 90% of the time don't necessitate the descending capabilities of the 153. Also, I stand a lot. I mean 90% of the time, no dropper, seat low, pulling up on the bars and mashing. I have gone back and forth with a dropper post, but always return to my stand and mash style. That's mainly where the 153 and I didn't gel. It did better with a dropper, but it wasn't as fun.

    Climbing:
    Locked out, the 153 and 134 are very similar. I can isolate this because I did a complete swap of parts with only the frames and handlebars being different. The 134 holds a slight edge locked out, but not much. I'm not a suspension guru, but I think it has better antisquat than the 153 and I may be feeling this even in the firmer compression settings. Open is where the 134 is so much more efficient. It's poppy and accelerates much faster than the 153. It feels like sports car where the 153 feels like a truck. It's not like a hardtail, but closer to the feel of a hardtail than the 153 is. It doesn't numb the trail as much and gives the perfect balance of feedback and suspension for my style of riding and the trails I enjoy. Basically, it's just flat out faster and doesn't bog down in sprints and climbs like I felt the 153 did in the open position. One last thing, I did PR a 20+ minute climb using 153 beating my old honzo time by over a minute. So it isn't awful, it's just not better than the 134.

    Descending:
    Easy, the 153 wins. It makes you attack, plow, seek and destroy. You feel like finding things to smash. It loves rough, chattery, chunk, big drops and rutted terrain. Just get in attack position, point and shoot. I even had two oh **** moments where I went off a drop and really screwed up and nose dived bad. The 153 saved me both times. I couldn't believe it. The long front center and slack head angle just eat up the terrain and you'll find yourself literally grinning, literally. I started taking bad lines just to test its limits.

    Now the long front center, 35mm longer than the 134, was also a little hard to maneuver in the tight switchbacks and fast twisty terrain. I also think the long front center may have caused the nose dives off of drops because I don't have that problem on the 134. I don't suck at riding, so I adapted, but what I'm saying is the 134 is just more intuitive to me. Maybe because it more closely resembles my Honzo's geo. Either way, the 134 would just do what I wanted without any additional thought. If you're older and know who Clint Eastwood is, you'll remember that movie where he controls the jet with his thoughts, Firefox, well that's how the 134 works, except you don't have to know Russian.

    The 134 is just responsive, agile, and poppy feeling. The 153 is a fullback and the 134 is a tailback. It accelerates great, climbs and sprints well wide open, and changes direction with less effort. I'm running it with a 160mm Pike which I was going to lower, but haven't found a reason to. Coming from the Honzo, I'm use to unbalanced suspension. The Honzo had 10mm suspension in the rear via fat tires and steel damping, and 140 in the front. The 134 feels bottomless in the rear and I haven't used up all of the suspension yet even off 4-5 foot drops to flat. I have bottomed out the Pike though. To sum up the descending differences I would say the 134 likes to zig and zag, jump, pump, and play. The 153 wants to flatten terrain, find trouble, get in fights, and be tested.

    I wish I could find the words to convey the differences. I tried. Remember, this is how I feel and of course riders with different skills, priorities, and terrain could say the 134 is not enough bike. I also want to mention that if you're into enduro racing and it's at all pedally and you're an above average bike handler, I would highly recommend the 134 with a Pike at 150mm or 160mm. You could run it at 140mm with an air spring from a 150mm 26" Pike, but I think you'll suffer a lot of pedal strikes. With a 160 Pike my head angle is 67 degrees.

    So I hope this helps. Read this interview with Chris Mandell, Kona designer, where he too TRIES to recommend a frame. It ain't easy. It always goes back to rider style/ability, terraing, and values.

    Interview with Kona?s Chris Mandell | Wiggle Blog

    Building a Process 134 "better" than a DL - How would you do it?-two.jpg

    Building a Process 134 "better" than a DL - How would you do it?-bridge.jpg

    Building a Process 134 "better" than a DL - How would you do it?-rooster.jpg

    Building a Process 134 "better" than a DL - How would you do it?-darkk.jpg

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by carabao View Post
    I'm running it with a 160mm Pike which I was going to lower, but haven't found a reason to. I would highly recommend the 134 with a Pike at 150mm or 160mm. You could run it at 140mm with an air spring from a 150mm 26" Pike, but I think you'll suffer a lot of pedal strikes.
    With a 160mm Pike, I don't think your shorter front center exists. The longer the axle to crown length of your fork is it will put the front axle further forward from the rest of the bike. Even dropped to 140mm, the axle to crown is a few mm longer than the stock Sektor or Revelation, which will still slightly raise the bb and lengthen the front end, both of which will slow the handling of the bike. If I were 200lbs, had a 160 on my 134 and did 4' drops to flat, I would be concerned about the additional leverage that is being put on the head tube...
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you’ll crash.
    - Julie Furtado

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by woahey View Post
    With a 160mm Pike, I don't think your shorter front center exists. The longer the axle to crown length of your fork is it will put the front axle further forward from the rest of the bike. Even dropped to 140mm, the axle to crown is a few mm longer than the stock Sektor or Revelation, which will still slightly raise the bb and lengthen the front end, both of which will slow the handling of the bike. If I were 200lbs, had a 160 on my 134 and did 4' drops to flat, I would be concerned about the additional leverage that is being put on the head tube...
    It's only 3/8" shorter, but it makes a difference coupled with the steeper head angle.

    The Pike is only 3mm longer than the Revelation at the same length.

    I can feel the handling difference, but I can't prove it to you.

    I think you're over thinking this one. Jared graves ran a 180mm fork on a Yeti SB66 on a world cup DH course. Many riders are doing similar setups for the first round of the World Cup in South Africa. Also, I read about a few pro Enduro riders running 140mm frames with 160mm forks. The reason I know it's okay for me to do this is because I'm not pro so I don't go anywhere near as fast as these guys. Also, the 153 and 135 are basically the same frames with different geometries. In fact, the 134 is heavier than the 153. It also has 10mm more headtube, possibly making it stronger. Finally, with all the suspension's moving parts the head angle and the A-C of the fork is not static so the greater leverage you mentioned is not as dire as it seems.

    If I crack the frame I'll be sure to come back and warn everyone, but I think Kona almost over built this frame. We'll see.
    Last edited by carabao; 02-16-2014 at 05:51 PM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by carabao View Post
    It does exist because I measured it. It's still a full inch shorter in wheelbase.

    The Pike is only 3mm longer than the Revelation at the same length.

    If I crack the frame I'll be sure to come back and warn everyone, but I think Kona almost over built this frame. We'll see.
    I believe that a Rev is within a few mils of a Pike AT THE SAME LENGTH. If you compare a 140 Rev to a 160 Pike, there's going to be more than a couple mils of difference in A-C. I can't believe that it is a full inch shorter than the 153's wheelbase. The stock wheelbase of a 134 is only 2 cm shorter than that of a 153 of the same sized frame...less than an inch. Put a longer, more raked out fork on a 134 and the wheel base should grow, not shrink.
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you’ll crash.
    - Julie Furtado

  23. #23
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    Decisions... decisions..... Trying to decide between Process 134 (non-DL, no one in town has DL version) and a Giant Trance 27.5 - 1.

    Cost is a wash $2,700 for Kona, $3,000 for Giant.

    Thoughts?

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