When it comes to producing cool bikes, Kona is on it! The 2013 Kona Operator is definitely one of the best downhill bikes I have owned and pedaled and honestly I was really sold on a Specialized Demo 8 thinking there was nothing better. Once I rode the Kona Operator, I was blown away!
It didn’t feel like a big, sluggish DH bike and I immediately noticed it sat higher in the travel. When I corner in braking bumps it feels way more stable than all my other DH bikes I have ever owned and the bike tracks very well through high speed corners to rocky off camber turns. The short chainstays really enhance the cornering and at the same time is still super stable at high speed chunk and straightaways. I felt comfortable the first time I jumped this bike, it handles well and was very predictable in the air and getting back on the ground!
Kona walking beam 4-bar linage system works super well from small bump sensitivity to big drops, just set up the sag and off you go! The system is very plush and the smooth linkage creates a super progressive feel, it cannot get any better! With a 64 degree head tube angle, the geometry of the frame is near perfect. A benefit I discovered (having a shorter inseam) is how the top tube has a bend in it which gives the rider a couples inches of top tube clearance for getting loose and getting flat!
I wouldn’t change anything on the 2013 model of this bike!
This review was also published by Kona on the Kona Bikes Cog.