The Hei Hei DL is for fast trail riding, the Hei Hei Race DL is for XC racing
The new Hei Hei bikes sees some of the attitude of the Process models put into a lightweight carbon 29er frame with a modest 100mm of travel at the rear.
Kona have recently been undergoing something of a return to form with their enduro focussed Process full suspension bikes and these new pair of Hei Hei bikes look like they may continue this resurgence.
Two Hei Hei versions
There are two versions of Hei Hei. The XC racer Hei Hei race DL (pic above) which sports 100mm travel front and rear, and the trailbike Hei Hei DL (the green bike at the top) which ups the travel up front to 120mm but keeps it 100mm at the back.
The finishing kit of both Hei Hei guises also differs significantly. More about this later.
The same carbon frame is used on both versions. It’s Boost axled and has cable routing for Stealth dropper seatposts. It’s a carbon frame with a claimed weight of 1,800g. The front triangle and the rear swingarm are carbon (the linkage is alloy).
It uses Kona’s ‘Fuse’ suspension design, essentially a linkage-driven single pivot.
Hei Hei Race DL
Developed on, and intended for, World Cup level XC events the Hei Hei Race DL is designed to climb well (which is still where XC races are won) and be able to descend the increasingly technical downhill sections found on World Cup XC events.
Kona Endurance racer Spencer Paxson: “World Cup courses are more frenetic and technical than ever, there are still stupid super steep climbs, but now you have slippery rock shoots, drop offs and jumps. The versatility to adapt to these types of terrain is not only required from the rider but also from their bike.”
The 100mm travel fork is a RockShox Reba RL. The rear shock is also supplied by RockShox – a Monarch RL. The wheels are WTB KOM i25 TCS which are shod with Maxxis M340 Maxxlite 29×2.0 tyres.
Drivetrain is SRAM’s GX1 1×11 system. SRAM also supply the brakes – Guide RS.
Hei Hei DL
This is the bike that we think most rider will be interested in. It sounds like it could be a very rapid trail bike. It has more real-world riding spec as well as that extra 20mm of bounce up front.
The fork is a Fox Float 34 Performance 120mm. The rear shock is a Fox Float Performance unit too. The wheels are WTB KOM i29 TCS – wider than the Race DL’s rims. The tyres are similarly bigger – Maxxis Ardent EXO TR 29×2.25 front and Ikon EXO TR 29×2.2 rear.
The drivetrain in predominantly Shimano XT 1×11 (the cranks are from RaceFace). The brakes are Shimano XT too. The dropper post is a KS Lev.
The geometry of the two Hei Hei models is fundamentally similar (it’s the same frame after all) but the longer fork on the Hei Hei DL slackens the head angle and seat angleone and also raises the BB slightly.
The Hei Hei DL is currently available in North America, while the Race DL will follow in August. Both models are currently available in the EU and UK.