The Good: Overall the bike has awesome features. It boasts great geometry, solid drivetrain and brake selections, Kona has always done an awesome job with picking wide handlebar and short stem combos (and this process has no exception), and last but not least is the addition of a KS Lev Dropper post, which on a build this inexpensive is pretty awesome!
The Bad: Front Suspension - Man I have got to say that the Rock Shox Sektor fork on this thing was terrible, I felt as if it dove every time I would push the bike into the corners. Trying to compensate for this, I increased the preload air pressure in the fork, without much success.
Riding the Kona 134
This season I have demo-ed quite of few bikes, and this bike was by far the cheapest, and quite possibly the heaviest as well, which made me think that I wasn't really going to like this ride. While that may have been the case, once on the trail I was pleasantly surprised. Climbing on this bike was quite good, and just as efficient as most other bikes on the market. Additionally, that extra weight seemed to go away once moving along. I did notice a bit of pedal feedback pedaling through larger sized rocks, but it wasn't that big of a deal, and many other bikes I've tried out this season have had similar issues. Descending on this bike was great as well, the moderately short chainstays, and 68 degree head angle allowed me to move through mixed terrain quite well. The Maxxis Ardent tires, while even though 2.25 in the front and rear, hooked up great! And I was able to corner almost as quickly and as hard as some much more expensive bikes. Jumping the Kona Process 134 was also blast, feeling light on the pedals, it is very easy to pick this bike up and place it where you need it, allowing me to jump over smaller rock gardens, and lateral roots. Honestly my only complaint about the entire bike was how bad that fork was, I just could not get it to be firmer. It was as if Rock Shox needed to increase the standard compression circuit, as it was much too easy to move through all of the travel on that thing. If I were to buy this bike, I would almost immediately swap that Sektor fork for either a used Fox Float, or a new Revelation, or X-Fusion.
I would say all in all, the new Kona Process 134 is a great bike (I wish I had a chance to ride the 134DL). It's somewhat amazing to me these days that regardless of which bike you bike you can't end up with a lemon, like you could just a few years back. If you are on a budget and want to get a perfectly capable trail bike, then look no further, the Kona Process 134 is it. Swap that fork out and I would give this bike a solid 4 or 4.5 stars.