TECH AREA
Tech Doctor
.........................................................................................................................................................................................
The Kona Way
We just finished explaining why Kona refuses to incorporate complicated multi-link suspension
designs in our line of bicycles, and now, here we are, releasing a new platform called Magic Link.

Every bike and suspension company struggles to find the balance between plush, active suspension
and pedaling efficiency. Kona is no different. We're constantly striving to provide the best combination
of function and durability across our entire range of bikes. Magic Link is our response to this ongoing
quest as it applies to a specific, fast-emerging genre of bicycles, Enduro/Freeride. Bikes that need to
go up as good as they go down.
Coilair

However, look a little closer and you'll see that the Magic Link isn't a huge departure from our 4-Bar system.
In fact, it uses all of the same design elements of 4-Bar, with one major tweak. The Magic Link is, in its'
simplest terms, a “fifth bar”—an additional moving part that enables a wider range of performance virtues on
our Enduro/Freeride line of dual suspension bicycles.

For this mid-to-long travel range of bikes—our Coilair series—we felt the 4-Bar wasn't giving us all that we
needed. We wanted a bike that could both climb exceptionally well and descend like a demon, without using
any gimmicks or external adjustments. A bike that could adapt to the terrain inherently…by itself. By making
further innovations to our tried and true 4-Bar system, we feel we've found the solution. A bike that can do it all.

Kona's Magic Link technology is PATENT PENDING.


works
A. Imagine a mid-to-long travel bike that's designed to excel when
it's climbing or pedaling really hard: 6 inches of relatively stiff,
linear rear travel with steeper head and seat angles and
raised seat height.

B. Now imagine that same bike when it's going downwards,
braking or hitting big bumps. Not ideal, right? Well imagine
that same bike has the ability to change its rear travel to be
more progressive, with softer suspension in the initial stages
of travel. Not only that, imagine the travel on this bike could
grow from 6-inches to 7.4-inches, while its geometry changed
to slacker head and seat angles, with an improved wheel path.

 

ill b

Sounds too good to be true? We're not done yet. Now
imagine this change could happen automatically, with no
need for the rider to adjust anything, unaware that these
changes are happening constantly and seamlessly.
Sounds like magic, right?

C. It's not. By incorporating
what can best be
described as a “fifth” arm
in our 4-Bar platform—
a spring that connects
the bottom shock mount
to the seat tube enabling
the bottom rear shock
mount to move—we're
able to achieve all of the
aforementioned riding
characteristics. The
ability to climb like a
short travel XC bike and
descend like a downhill bike all in one, no switches or
tools necessary. No sacrificing one for the other.

These aren't two separate modes, either. The Magic Link is constantly reacting to all of the forces acting on it,
and it's not like an on/off switch. It's never "stuck" in one mode. It just does what you need. Sometimes it's in
between modes, or cycling between modes, but there's no sudden feeling of change, such as a sudden
alteration of the bike's geometry. The rider is unaware of what's going on, just having fun, riding like a bat out
of hell, up and down.

..........................................................................................................................................................................................................

Virtue
Developed over the course of the last two years with our in house designers and in conjunction with Brian
Berthold of Therapy Components, Magic Link is sure to be a dramatic evolution in the performance of our
dual suspension bikes, redefining what an Enduro/Freeride bike is all about.


• Steeper head and seat angles
• Higher seat height
• Stiffer, shorter travel
• Shorter chain stay
• More forward rider position

Descend
• Slacker head and seat angles
• Lower seat height
• Longer, more progressive travel
• Longer chainstay, especially in response to square
..edge bumps, allowing the wheel to react like no other
• Better suspension performance while braking

..........................................................................................................................................................................................................

test
The designers and testers at Kona love ride bikes. They also love talking about bikes. So when setting out to
perfect the new 2008 CoilAir with Magic Link technology, we had them take their jobs very seriously. Lots of
riding, and lots of talking. Below are some conversational snippets that took place during the many months of
testing that have gone into perfecting our new Magic Link technology

This bike felt incredible on downhills and out-of-the-saddle climbing. Carving corners I could feel the link swing
into the rearward position nicely. I found riding trails with rolling terrain a complete blast. A quick downhill into a
short climb and the advantages of the link really shine.

–Dave McNaught

So far I have not been hucking, just rolling stuff, but the bike sure feels connected to the trail and tracks great.
So far everything has stayed tight; no bolts have backed out, there's no excessive noise and the whole system
seems to be working very smooth.
–Maurey Olsten

Got out Friday afternoon for a couple hours. One of the first things I noticed was when applying the rear brake
the link activates. I can now actually set the bike's geometry accordingly before going into corners by fanning
the rear brake, or completely staying off of it depending on how I want the bike to be. Super cool.
–Pat White

First off, I forgot just how good the bike is for all around, technical, lots of up and down trail riding. For me it
really doubles the fun compared to a DAWG.
– Kevin Hall

Between the Lyric fork's travel adjust, floodgate, lockout, lockdown and all the settings of the RP23XV, I felt I
could go from fully rigid track bike to full on World Cup DH bike. Another cool thing is climbing trails with the
fork and main rear damper locked out. Rigid bike until you hit a big enough bump and then only the Magic link
sucks it up, slips back into climbing mode and off you go. Can't remember the last time I had so much fun
riding a bike. Wicked fun.
–Pat White

The bike climbed amazing for a big bike. I told the guys I'd be off the back due to the heavy bike and the fact
that my fitness isn't great, but I cruised up the road pretty easily. At the top, I dropped into the soaking wet
rooted sections with ease and lots of confidence thanks to the bike's performance. Ladders and skinnies that
require you to sit forward and pedal smoothly were absolutely destroyed. It was really easy to balance and
move across logs with the low centre of gravity and shock position.
–Trevor Porter

All in all, I think the bike's strong points are: pedaling in tech situations, high speed performance, drops—it
handles them as good as any other bike with similar travel, and cornering—it corners so well I just want to hit
berms all day. The set up was great for the trail we were on and the bike is better that any other bike we
make for that situation. I would like to ride it on a different trail to see how it would handle.
–John Cowan

 


-------------