Big news for fans of Kona Bikes! We’re heartened to share the news that founders Dan Gerhard and Jake Heilbron have purchased the company back from Kent Outdoors. They’re shaking things up and charging full steam ahead into a fresh chapter. Find a press release with details on the exciting announcement here…

Kona made headlines earlier this spring when they suddenly and mysteriously backed out of the 2024 Sea Otter Classic after setting up their booth, leaving many to fear the worst. Not long after, the news came in that its owner, Kent Outdoors, had put it up for sale and was seeking a new buyer. Today, after a month of hanging in the balance, we’re excited to share that two of Kona’s original founders, Dan Gerhard and Jake Heilbron, purchased the storied brand back from Kent, and they aim to return the brand to the roots they planted in 1988.

  • Dan Gerhard, Jake Heilbron
  • Dan Gerhard, Jake Heilbron
A couple of photos of Dan and Jake over the years (source: Kona Cog)

We can’t think of a better outcome for Kona, and this new chapter is already shaping up to be a bright one. According to the press release, they are pausing all direct-to-consumer sales and reinvigorating relationships with the many local retailers that have been spreading the stoke and getting folks out on Konas for several decades. They’ll be maintaining their offices in Ferndale, Washington, and North Vancouver, British Columbia, and working restore the beloved brand’s legacy after a bumpy few years. We’re here for it. And based on the outpouring of support in our recent tribute, our readers have their back, too. Best wishes, Kona! Read the full statement below.

Dear Friends,

Kona Bicycles has been in the news lately. We’d love to say that it’s because the new Ouroboros is blowing everyone’s minds (because it really is that good), but truthfully, it has been a bumpy couple of years. So, it’s time to print a positive headline: Kona is returning home to its roots.

Dan Gerhard and Jake Heilbron have purchased the brand back from Kent Outdoors, and along with a team of dedicated, experienced Kona employees, are reuniting to keep the Long, Sweet Ride rolling. There are a lot of familiar faces here who you know from epic dealer launches, My Kona videos and trail days who are dedicated to the cause. Kona’s employees, dealers, and our dedicated customers have always been our strongest resource, and they keep on jamming to the beat of their own drum. With this return to being rider-owned and operated, we’re doubling down on our unique brand legacy and getting back to some basics.

Kona Ouroboros Review

Renewing relationships with our nearly 1000-strong North American and European dealer network is our highest priority. Most of us started out in bike shops, and in our eyes, IBDs are our strongest advocates and allies. Healthy retailers are integral to making sure that Kona fans everywhere experience the ride of a lifetime. To best honor our dealer relationships, we are pausing D2C for all bikes. Konaworld will show changes to reflect this, and our social and communications channels will be getting reworked as well once we get things rolling. Bear with us, and we will keep you informed as we move through this transition.

On the bike side, new Kona inventory is headed to our warehouse and distributors, and alongside the freshly released Ouroboros, we’ve got some incredible bikes in the pipeline that we are looking forward to unveiling. We’re beyond grateful for the support that our suppliers have shown us in this endeavor. Vendors like Fairly Bikes, who have been with us since our first bike in 1988, are a testament to the value of longstanding relationships where people take care of people.

Kona Unit X

In more good news, we are now positioned to price our bikes much more competitively. Private ownership allows us to be more streamlined, more flexible, and quicker on our feet. This, combined with the support of our suppliers, means we can deliver high quality bikes in a distinctly Kona flavor at super attractive prices. We’ll never do a BOGO Sale again, so don’t ask, but we promise to offer good value for good money, always.

Kona Sutra ULTD Review

Our Pacific Northwest roots are as strong as ever. Offices in Ferndale, WA and North Vancouver, BC continue to anchor us proudly in place. Tenacious, resilient, straight talking, gritty and sometimes covered in grease, we are committed to keeping the distinctly Kona flavored bike buzz flowing, and helping people find freedom and fun. We are back. We are still here. Let’s ride.

Welcome back to the smallest biggest bike company in the world.

See you soon,

The Kona Crew

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