New Hei Hei hikes its suspension numbers

Kona Hei Hei
Hei Hei now has 120mm of suspension and integrated frame protection (Image credit: Kona)

Kona’s Hei Hei has gained more travel and a new suspension design for 2020.

The American mountain bike brand’s popular cross-country frame is the latest addition to a catalogue of increasingly capable options, which straddle the traditional segmentation between pure racers and downcountry capable trail bikes.

With its latest iteration of the Hei Hei, Kona’s designers analysed trends and considered evolving customer expectations, in the cross-country bike market. The result is an all-carbon dual-suspension frame with more travel, reworked suspension linkages and slightly slacker geometry.

Fitness-obsessed cross-country mountain bikers have slowly become more comfortable with the idea of longer-travel frames and geometry numbers which boost confidence on the descents. Mindful of these market trends and customer expectations, Kona’s new Hei Hei has increased its rear shock suspension travel from 100- to 120mm.

With 29er wheels and 120mm of suspension front and rear, Kona’s 2020 Hei Hei can do a lot more than lunch huge mileages and grind out steep climbs. A 67.5-degree head angle is class average, but it should encourage riders to get a bit more forward, over the front third of the Hei Hei, which should increase descending confidence.

Climbing ability is supported by a 75-degree seat angle and Kona’s revised Hei Hei suspension system. The shock position has been reconfigured to a horizontal mounting point, below the top tube, primarily to allow for increased water bottle carrying ability in the front triangle. Lowering the rear end’s overall mass – and reducing bearing service complexity – are pivotless chainstays.

Kona’s restrained from stretching the new Hei Hei’s top tube too far, unlike some of its class rivals. Reach numbers are not that progressive, with a size large Hei Hei measuring out to 465mm.

Frame details? The new 120mm Hei Hei has internal cable routing and ISCG tabs, to run a small chain guide if you are going to be using it as a hard-riding trail bike.

Build options vary from £3,799 to a SRAM Eagle drivetrain version of the Hei Hei CR, priced at £5,249.

Lance Branquinho
Freelance writer

Lance Branquinho is a Namibian-born journalist who graduated to mountain biking after injuries curtailed his trail running. He has a weakness for British steel hardtails, especially those which only run a single gear. As well as Bike Perfect, Lance has written for, and Cycling News.