The Kona Operator is a mountain bike that is made for downhill cycling. It has been designed with love by famed designer Chris Mandell, and the maker’s mark is visible all over the design of the bike, from the four bar linkage to the beautiful handling.
This isn’t a cheap bike to buy. It comes in at upwards of $3000, which is very high end indeed. The Kona Operator was real value for money, especially when we tried it out.
Riding downhill on this bike isn’t scary as much as it is exhilarating, especially due to the large wheelbase and the perfect head angle that turn this into a master at control on the fast downward runs. The frame is hydroformed Aluminum 7005, with sealed cartridge bearings for enhanced durability on rougher tracks.
We noticed early on that the whole point of this bike is endurance and a longer lifetime. This is made even more obvious by the RockShox Boxxer fork and the Fox Van RC shocks, both of which did a stellar job of damping when we were rattling our way downhill. This was paired with a Gravity crank and SRAM shifters.
The saddle was amazing in terms of comfort as well, making use of a WTB Speed V Sport saddle for additional cushioning on the harsh downhill rides. From the 18.2kg weight (which wasn’t too shabby at all) to the 200mm travel on the front fork, the Kona Operator was an experience to be repeated.
Amazing build quality
High control levels
Good power transmission
Stem isn’t direct mount – can be confusing
Not meant for beginners to ride
Not many special features
A beautifully crafted, simplistically designed downhill bike that isn’t too expensive (relative to others), and is a gorgeous ride for enthusiasts.
The Kona Operator is one bike we were sad to see leave our hands when the review was done. All we love on an entry level downhill bike can be found in the Operator, and it is definitely one we all need to check out again.