Kona: the Smallest Biggest Bike Company in the World

Kona’s HQ in Ferndale, Washington.

Kona: Rider-owned.

The documentary, by Matt Dennison & Kaz Yamamura.

What mountain bike company isn’t owned by riders? Who else but a rider would have the fiscal patience and insensitivity to risk required to own a mountain bike company? Yet there are brands so strongly defined by their founders that it usually turns out they sacrificed nearly every other thing in their lives for bikes. They’re the type who possess a devotion to riding that is so deeply ingrained that founding a brand seems pre-ordained.

So what the hell does ‘the smallest biggest bike company in the world’ mean anyway?

Kona is a quintessential North Shore bike brand, yet their head office has almost always been over the border in Bellingham, Washington, a logging and mining town that is becoming increasingly well-known for its riding. We were long overdue to pay them a visit, so we drove an hour South and found ourselves in the town of 80,000. Partly to ride their trails, of course, but we also wanted to learn more about Kona and how they have managed success without losing the unique flavour that has always defined them.

* Originally aired October, 2015.

Read the rest of the story and see all the photos:

Shot on location at Kona HQ in Ferndale, WA and on the trails in and around Bellingham.

Video: Matt Dennison (IFHT / Mahalo My Dude)
Photos: Kaz Yamamura