KONA PROCESS X DREAM BUILD
by Ben Robles
Our answer to big days of gravity-fueled riding!
Ben Robles is a Full Cycle Ambassador, former Full Cycle mechanic, and Lead Coach & Co-Founder of the Boulder Junior Cycling Enduro & Gravity Program. He also holds a BS in Chemical Physics and an MS in Mechanical Engineering from CU Boulder.
My name is Benjamin Robles and I am a Full Cycle Bikes mountain bike ambassador in Boulder, CO. I am very excited to be riding the all new Kona Process X this season. As an Enduro coach and racer, as well as a former bike mechanic, I have a good degree of knowledge that allows me or rather makes me be quite picky with what is on my bike and how it performs.
Below are some highlighted parts about my build and why I chose them. This is my opinion, so take it with a grain of salt. And of course, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.
I am around 5’8” and I am typically in a medium sized bike. I actually chose a small Process X frame because the geometry numbers fit me better than the medium. The reach in this small frame is 440mm and the wheelbase 1213 or 1228. The reason it has two wheel base numbers is because it has adjustable chainstay lengths of 435 vs 450 mm via a flip chip that slides the through axle forward or backwards. The shorter chainstay setting gives it a more poppy and playful feel to the bike and changes the effective rear travel to 157mm. The longer chainstay setting gives it a more stable and planted feel, and it changes the effective travel to 164mm. I have my bike in the short setting currently for a snappier feel in the switchbacks of the Front Range.
Another thing that makes this bike unique and add to the snappy feeling, is that the rear wheel is a 27.5 and the front a 29er: yes, that is what we call a MULLET bike. The small frame ships out of the factory with a mullet set up already, while the medium and up sizes ship with 29ers front and rear. What allows the bike to be compatible with both rear wheel sizes is a flip chip on the upper part of the seatstay. Another benefit of having a 27.5 rear tire is that it gives you more butt-to-tire clearance on those steep sections when you just have to lean back and go. I have ridden the bike only a couple of times and so far I like it! I am going to keep the mullet set up for a while and I can later give a better review on it.
And of course, everybody wants to know the head tube angle… it is a wapping 63.5 degrees giving me plenty of slack for that steep terrain!
Now onto the parts on the bike…
I have Cushcore both front and rear. What is Cushcore? It is a revolutionary tire insert specifically designed to go bigger, corner harder, and ride faster. It improves suspension performance by 16% and reduces impact force from big hits by 50%. It also adds 35% more sidewall stability to let you corner harder without burping a tire. And lastly it provides 12% smoother ride and 3% reduced rolling resistance to help you go faster. Of course, having a tire insert adds protection to your rim allowing you to run lower pressure with less fear of damaging your rim. Do they sell a mullet set for my bike? Yes they do!
I have a Bike Yoke Revive dropper seat post with 160mm travel, paired with a PNW Loam Lever. Other than the dropper being incredibly smooth up and down, the biggest feature is the Revive Valve. Here is how this valve works, but to sum it up in my words: when the dropper post gets “squishy,” you can get a 4mm alemn key and turn the revive valve (near the upper part of the post) and press the post down, then release the revive valve. What this does is it pushes all the built up air inside the post out of the post through the revive valve, effectively bleeding or reseting the dropper post. The Revive dropper also features a short stack height allowing you to fit a longer drop dropper post in your bike. Now, pair this with the PNW Loam Lever, which is super smooth feeling, and I call that a win.
I have a RockShox ZEB ultimate with 170mm of front travel. I’m sure that if you are into big bikes, you’ve heard about this new fork by now. Let me tell you, it is extremely supple and planted feeling! I’ve only ridden it a couple of times and I’m super impressed by it.
I also have some SRAM Code RSC (4 piston) brakes. These brakes use DOT fluid, which has a higher boiling point over mineral oil. The fluid also absorbs water so as you wear through the life of the fluid, the bite point will gradually and constantly get closer to the bar. This is as opposed to mineral oil that does not mix with water causing water to sit on top of the mineral oil and when you go to grab a hand full of brake, the water instantly boils or “flash boils” giving that feeling of no brake fluid in your line momentarily, which can be scary. Another feature I’m excited about these brakes is the Bleeding Edge technology. This is essentially a bleeding port on the caliper that connects seamlessly with the bleeding syringe, making it super clean and easy to bleed brakes and allowing you to pressurize the line with a little extra fluid.
I have a full SRAM X01 drivetrain on my Process X. The features I like about this drivetrain are the lock mechanism on the derailleur allowing you to more easily work on your bike, and the 52 teeth 12 speed cassette for that little extra climbing gear.
Last but not least, a feature I definitely needed to complete my build was the MRP AMg chain guide and chainring protector. This gives me a peace of mind that it is going to help me keep my chain on even when I’m bombing down some chunky terrain, as well as peace of mind that it is protecting my chainring from me smashing it into a rock or down tree.
Of course there are many more parts that make up my bike, but these were just a few of the ones I was most excited to share with you. If you have any questions about the bike, the parts listed here or any other parts on the bike, don’t hesitate to ask. You can also ask the Full Cycle crew as they are extremely knowledgeable and would love to help you out with any questions!