People do strange things when they’re far from home. Things they often could easily do in their own neighborhood but never would. Some drink sugary, fluorescent alcohol from tall, strangely shaped plastic vessels. Others rent paddle boats, read books and cheat on their spouses. I, on the other hand, choose a 27.5-inch bike despite having plenty of excellent 29ers in the garage. My pick of the Kona Process CR/DL 27.5 makes that three years in a row.

Back home in the real world, the Orbea Rallon would be a safer bet. It’s incredibly capable, but never rides like it’s too much bike. Except this choice isn’t about safe bets. Like the Process 27.5 itself, this choice is about having a good time. The Kona’s short chainstays and small wheels gain it high marks for playfulness. But its long cockpit, long wheelbase and long travel help when playtime is over. Also, it’s kinda’ heavy. There’s something about a dead-solid 32-pound

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