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  1. #1
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    Kona Process 153 29er or Nukeproof Mega 290?

    Iím interested in an all rounder long travel 29er <$3.5k and both the Kona and Nukeproof options sound like pretty solid choices. Anyone have any personal experiences with these two bikes? The Nukeproof is speced really well, but the Kona seems like it might be the better Ďall rounderí? Is the Process worth the price premium over the Mega 290? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I have demo'd the Kona Process 153 29er. It pedaled pretty well for what it is, and descended like a beast. If your local trails are pretty burly, I'd think it would make a good all-rounder.
    East Bay Parks AKA East Bay Cattle Ranches

  3. #3
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    I have a 2018 Mega 290. It has long chainstays. An inch longer than the Kona. That makes it incredibly stable in descents. But not as playful or lively. It climbs well, but it's heavy. There are lighter and more pleasurable bikes out there to pedal uphill. Point it downhill and it shreds and carves with the best of them. I wouldn't call it an all-rounder. It's definitely more gravity biased. It's fairly tame unless you're going fast. Only then will it come alive.

    It's specced really nice for the price. An equivalent bike from another manufacturer costs hundreds, if not thousands more. The value is amazing and it looks awesome.
    I no longer like to party. But I like the idea of it.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the input. The components for the price on the Nukeproof is pretty amazing in the age of 9k+ bikes. Makes Kona and some of the other aluminum bike manufacturers look a little too proud of their product.
    Last edited by rj9294; 11-26-2017 at 07:41 PM. Reason: Adding

  5. #5
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    I test rode the process 153 at a demo day. It climbed amazing and I posted my fastest downhill time on a long decent. I dont know anything about the other bike but if I were to get a long travel bike I would pick the Kona. I do a lot more long distance riding and bikepacking so ended up going with the 29Ē hei hei instead. The Process is a sweet ride though.


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  6. #6
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    rj9294 if you're after a modern all rounder have you considered the 2018 Smuggler?

    I'm in a similar situation as you, looking for a radically modern all rounder (something that pedals well, is reasonably agile and descends well too), long, low, steep st angle etc (which imo rules the mega out)...undecided between the Process 153 G2, the Smuggler (which weighs almost the same as the Process and has longer CS, which makes me think the 2 don't ride so differently)... for other reasons too I like the Kona better but the 160/153 travel just seems too much for an all rounder, I think a lot of people feel the same way, if Kona put out a G2 134 Process I would have no doubts though!!

    Are you listening Kona??

  7. #7
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    Been on the Mega 290 for over a year now. The price/spec was unbeatable at the time of purchase. It didn't take much to get it under 30 lbs and still run a big tough tire. The only 150mm bike I've demoed that I liked more was the Hightower LT. Could have been the Carbon frame or the shorter chainstays, not sure. But I just didn't think it was $3-4000 better than my Mega. I use my bike as an all-rounder. No park days or lift service. Just a good ole grinder. I've taken a lot of demo bikes on my local trails. I've got 100s of laps on the Mega 290. I have not found any bikes that descend better. Maybe equal, but nothing earning new koms on Strava. I'm not the best rider that squeezes every ounce out of my bike. My skill level is below the ability of my bike. But I know fun and confidence. The Mega does have it in spades. Never riden the Kona but I bet it's awesome too.

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  8. #8
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    The Kona sounds like a better long travel all-rounder and a bit more fun even when not going full tilt, but is the Mega that far off?

    In regards to the Mega's seat tube angle, it's 75.5. Not that far off from the Kona which is 76? The Smuggler is 75.3 in XL. The Smuggler certainly looks like an interesting option, but between the bike's weight and geometry I don't think I would be given up too much stepping up in travel to the Kona 153 and potentially gaining a few more smiles for those "big" days.

  9. #9
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    I got my Process 153 29er the weekend before Thanksgiving and have been riding it a lot last week as an excuse to eat more at Thanksgiving . While I have no experience on the Mega, i can say that process is a great all rounder for me. I ride both tech and flow trails in the new england area (CT and NH). It climbs extremely well (compared to my cheap cannondale catalyst) and can go down confidently as well. The steep ST angle really makes the pedaling a breeze for a bike this burly.

    At the end of the day, i think it's hard to get a "bad" bike these days. I got the 29 AL version and am very happy with it. For sizing, i'm very close to 6'2 and riding XL size. Perfect sizing IMO.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rj9294 View Post
    The Kona sounds like a better long travel all-rounder and a bit more fun even when not going full tilt, but is the Mega that far off?

    In regards to the Mega's seat tube angle, it's 75.5. Not that far off from the Kona which is 76? The Smuggler is 75.3 in XL. The Smuggler certainly looks like an interesting option, but between the bike's weight and geometry I don't think I would be given up too much stepping up in travel to the Kona 153 and potentially gaining a few more smiles for those "big" days.
    The shorter chainstays on the Kona definitely does make a noticeable difference in the playfulness of the bike. This means that the rear end of the Mega wants to stick to the ground rather than drift and bounce and come around. Itís also a bit harder to get the front wheel up on the Mega. This makes it feel like itís not as lively. The seated riding position on the Mega puts you near the center of the bike rather than further back.

    I guess you have to figure out what style of riding you enjoy. Both a incredibly capable bikes. I donít think you can go wrong with either one. I bought the Mega because of the value it represented for the money. The geo numbers, at least for the 2018 S and M sizes, have been the same for years. Theyíre not extreme low and slack and theyíre not old school short reach either. More like in the middle. The L and XL have longer top tubes now as well as a few tweaks here and there to better fit larger riders.
    I no longer like to party. But I like the idea of it.

  11. #11
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    Another bike in this price range is the Whyte S-150. Looking at the geometry alone, it looks somewhere between the Kona and the Nukeproof. Can't say I've ever seen one in person or know anyone who rides one, so a bit of an unknown.

  12. #12
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    Whyte is well established in the UK, the S-150 is an interesting bike and as you say its geo sits in between the Kona and the Nukeproof, and IMO is more of an allrounder than both of them; one thing to consider about the whyte is the low BB height, which could be an issue for some; also looking at the spec, especially the fork on the basic (revelations) and mid range Whyte (pikes), I would prefer the Kona (Yari), or even better the Orbea Rallon M10, which comes with a fox 36 and has a geometry similar to the Whyte, except a bit lower in the front and with the option to switch between 2 geometries.

  13. #13
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    I really love everything about the Ralllon except the price. The geo on paper at least looks almost perfect.

    Regarding the Whyte-150, I worry a little about the slacker (74.3) seat angle. As a taller rider, (6í5) Iíve come to appreciate steep SA. Iím also not necessarily sold on the idea of super short chain stays on XL frames. I like feeling ballanced on a bike and think chain stays lengthening increasing frame size makes a lot of since for tall riders. The Mega 290 has that in spades.

  14. #14
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    If youíre going XL, the reach and chainstays on the Mega are a perfect combination. It doesnít put you further back. Itís a nice and neutral riding position with plenty of room to move about.

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    I no longer like to party. But I like the idea of it.

  15. #15
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    Thanks everyone for all the comments and advice. I ended up going with a Nukeproof stable. Opted for the Mega 290 Pro for my main sled, and then picked up a Scout frameset to put the components from my old bike on for a "fun" winter bike. Looking forward to the snow melting this spring....

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