SOC13: First Look at Kona’s New Carbon Operator DH & Major Jake Disc Cyclocross Bikes
Over the past few years, Kona has begun to reinvent itself with a host of great new products ranging. As part of the transformation, the company has completely overhauled their world cup down hill contender with a whole new look wrapped in a carbon fiber package.
The new Kona Operator will be available as either one of two complete builds or as a frame only. We took a close look at both bikes and put them on our scale. Hop past the break to check it out.
Kona spec’d a full Raceface cockpit which offers owners a lot of built in adjustability. Mounted one way and the stem is 50 mm long and 15.5 mm lower, flip it for a slightly higher rise 30mm stem. The matching murdered out bar with the stealth logo is an ultrawide 780, which is plenty of room to grow into or trim down.
Look down and you’ll notice the Operator rolls on Hope Pro Evo hubs. These hubs are light weight, easily serviceable, and bombproof. We know exactly why the Product Managers are proud to say these hoops come stock.
Up front, careful attention was put into created the cleanest possible internal routing option.
Not down with internal routing? Swap out two bolts for frame mounts and you can just plug and chug.
Underneath, a plastic shield protects the carbon downtube from rock strikes.
When redesigning the Operator, Kona engineers looked at a variety of different suspension designs but ultimately choose to go with the tried and true four-bar system you’ll find on all their full suspension bikes.
The shock placement here in the frame keeps the RC4 clear of most mud and debris.
Also completely revamped for 2014 is the Major Jake. The new frame is now Disc compatible, will be available as a complete build with SRAMS new disc groupo, has a couple of great features for commuting, and just looks great.
In the front, you’ll notice internal routing, and the ports can be swapped out for Di2 compatible components. Head to the back and you’ll notice little tabs which screw into the frame. For everyone who has ever wanted to put fenders on a really-doesn’t-need-them-go-fast-race-bike, a manufacturer has listened. Fender away, just don’t let us see it!
When it comes time to upgrade components, nothing is worse than trying to figure out the right size and standard. For Kona owners, a quick glance behind the seat tube is all it takes. All 2014 frames will feature both geometry and standard charts so you’ll never be stuck guessing again. Amen.
On this model, disc brakes bring things to a quick stop. We would have loved to get this bike on our scale but she wasn’t built up to proper spec and would not have provided an accurate depiction of stock weight.
Bonus: Kona Hei Hei Weight