For the first time in more than a decade, Kona has departed from its basic four-bar suspension design—and what a departure it is.
The new CoilAir, designed in collaboration with Brian Berthold, the former racecar engineer behind Brake Therapy floating brake arms, has the same temperament as last year’s model, but uses a “magic link” that morphs 6 inches into 7.4 inches when duty calls.
Despite its high funky-freaky factor, the bike is actually fairly simple. The lower shock mount, on what otherwise would be a standard four-bar design, is connected to a small spring-loaded swing link, aka, the magic link. Under normal pedaling, the swing link defaults to the forward position, aligning the shock and swing link vertically, and effectively keeping the bike in Classic Kona Mode. But when either bump or brake forces are introduced to the rear wheel, the ensuing action of the chainstay (which is looped underneath the bottom bracket) prompts the swing link to move rearward, adding up to 1.4 inches of travel, lowering the bottom bracket, lengthening the wheelbase and slackening the bike’s 66-degree headtube angle by as much as 4.4 degrees—but only when fully bottomed out, when you need it most.
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