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Kona

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Kona Bikes is a bicycle company based in Ferndale, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia, in the volcanic Cascade Range. They specialize primarily in high-performance mountain bikes; their product line also includes racing bicycles like the King Zing, cyclo-cross bicycles including Jake the Snake, and touring bicycles like the "Kona Sutra". The company name comes from the owners' love of Kailua-Kona in Hawaii.

Names of the bicycles started out with Hawaiian and volcanic-based names like the Caldera, Cinder cone, Kula, Hei Hei (Hawaiian for "race") and Lana'i. As the company established itself, Kona started to use more tongue-in-cheek humor in their bike names. Names like the Stinky and Coiler started to appear. Some of the earliest full suspension bikes were named the Sex One and Sex Two. Upon receiving enough complaints, those names were dropped. New bikes came out with names like the Stab and Shred, to which no one complained. Kona joked that violence was more acceptable than sex.

The company was founded in 1988 by Jacob "Jake the Snake" Heilbron, Dan Gerhard and early MTB racer and champion Joe Murray, who has since moved on to Voodoo Bikes. Both Dan and Jake still own and run day to day operations of the company.
The 1999 Kona Stab Dee Lux with the s-bend downtube. This frame is custom painted. Photograph by Alex Cameron, courtesy asilvertouch.com
The 1999 Kona Stab Dee Lux with the s-bend downtube. This frame is custom painted. Photograph by Alex Cameron, courtesy asilvertouch.com

Kona's Jake the Snake model won the US national championships in cyclo-cross under riders such as Anne Knapp and Ryan Trebon, and the Canadian national championships under Wendy Simms. The team bike differs from the retail model in that the team model comes equipped with a full Shimano Dura Ace groupset, while the retail is spec'ed with Shimano 105 equipment.

Kona Full-Suspension bicycles have used the "4-bar" linkage system since 1999, which can be identified by the swingarms attached to the seat tube, that activate the rear suspension, inverting the forces generated by the swing of the chain stay.

Kona has been developing partnerships with many bike parks around the world, primarily with Whistler Blackcomb Bike Park, in Whistler, British Columbia, where riders can rent customized "Park Bikes" manufactured by Kona. The park bikes are versions of the Stinky model line.