Morgan Taylor

Ti Tuesday: Cam’s Leave-No-Stone-Unturned Ti Honzo

Leave no stone unturned. That’s the idea with Cam’s Ti Honzo. This bike has so many details that you’ll keep finding more the more you look. Cam’s story is also one that might resonate: selling a previous bike and immediately regretting it. Fortunately, Cam’s day to day at Joy Ride Bicycles in Lacey, WA keeps him in the loop, and he was able to atone for his past mistakes.

“A couple of years ago I sold my Steel Honzo for something that I thought ‘was a better bike’ and I’ve been regretting it ever since. Turns out there may not actually be a better bike than the Honzo, so when the stars aligned earlier this year and the prospects of affording a Ti frame became feasible it was a no brainer. While the initial build is focused on shreddy and durable, there is a ‘B’ build in the works for bikepacking so stay tuned for an update on the most versatile Honzo in the PNW.”

Scroll down to pore over the details on Cam’s Ti Honzo covered in Pacific Northwest loam. For more Ti Kona goodness, check out the Ti Tuesday archives and #TiTuesdaysWithKona on Instagram. If you’ve got a Ti Kona bike, please do get in touch!

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Toni Lund and his Kona Wo are Headed to the Iditarod Trail Invitational

New to the Finnish Kona Grassroots team is Toni Lund, an adventure cyclist and endurance athlete who has finished twice on the podium in the Rovaniemi 150 race. He is also the first participant and finisher from Finland in the longest winter ultra race in the world, the 350-mile Iditarod Trail Invitational.

This winter Toni has been riding the 2017 Kona Wo. As you can expect, it’s highly modified by the man himself and in the following pictures it’s equipped with winter bikepacking gear by Porcelain Rocket and BarYak so he can travel long distances without external support.

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“The key changes I made to Wo are Nextie Wild Dragon 90mm carbon rims with DT Swiss 350 Big Ride hubs and 45NRTH Dillinger 5 studded tires, Thomson stem, seatpost and seat collar, Renthal Fat Bar carbon bars and Fizik Gobi XM saddle. The drivetrain is the stock SRAM NX, but the cranks are Race Face Turbine Cinch for 170/177mm rears with AbsoluteBLACK 30t oval chain ring which gives me narrower q-factor.”

Toni has earned himself the nickname “extreme bike mechanic” at his day job at Bikeshop.fi / Ajopyörä, and for good reason.The ultimate test for these skills and for the Wo will be Toni’s next target, the Iditarod Trail Invitational 1000 mile race to Nome in 2018. Follow Toni’s preparation and adventures on Instagram.

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Video: Life as a Pro Cycling Mechanic

Kona Pro Cyclocross racer Kerry Werner is a force to be reckoned with, but his accomplishments between the tape don’t come without support. Enter Doug Sumi, Kerry’s mechanic on the road. And, at many of the US ProCX stops, Ricoh Riott. Ricoh and Doug teamed up to create this video from a veteran mechanic’s perspective on wrenching on the road.

Keep up with Ricoh Riott Photography on his website, and on Facebook and Instagram.

Spencer Paxson Update and Arrangements with the Weather Gods

Kona veteran Spencer Paxson returns in 2017 for his seventh year with Kona Bikes, and provides an update after a long but productive winter. After the last few years dancing around the globe, Spencer has a refreshing “homecoming” season planned with his Adventure teammates Wicks, Wallace and Sneddon.

His aim is set on high profile North American marathon and stage race events, with many peculiar backcountry and frontcountry adventures in between. Amidst all of that, he also provides an explanation for the heavy winter that befell Western North America, starting his own small business, what it’s like to evolve with the maturation of the sport (and himself), and more.

Head over to Spencer’s blog for lots of great photos and stories from his eventful 2016 – and his requests of the meteorological powers that be.

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Chasing Sunshine in Malaga, Spain with the Kona PhD and Esatto Fast

The PhD and Esatto Fast are our quick-handling, extra-spicy city and fitness bikes. The quick way to work or the quick way to get your workout done, these two bikes feature the same Kona Superlight 7046 aluminum frame and full carbon fork, with a heads-up riding position. Whether it’s your daily commute, your cruise around town, or your way out of town, the PhD and Esatto Fast get you there – quick.

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Esatto Fast

Frame Material: Kona SuperLight Aluminum Butted 7046
Wheels: Alex CXD6 Wheelset
Fork: Kona Carbon Road Disc
Crankset: FSA Vero Pro
Drivetrain: Shimano Tiagra 10spd
Cockpit: Kona Flat bar, Kona Road Light Stem
Brakes: Tektro HDR310
Tires: Schwalbe Spicer K-Guard 700x30c
Saddle: Kona Road

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PhD

Frame Material: Kona SuperLight Aluminum Butted 7046
Wheels: Alex CXD6 Wheelset
Fork: Kona Carbon Road Disc
Crankset: FSA Vero
Drivetrain: Shimano Tiagra 10spd
Cockpit: Kona Flat bar, Kona Road Light stem, Kona Fast Road grips
Brakes: Tektro HDR310
Tires: Schwalbe Spicer K-Guard 700x30c
Saddle: Kona Road

For more information on the PhD, Esatto Fast, and the entire Kona lineup, head to konaworld.com.

Ride a Kona Wo Fat Bike on the Arctic Ice Road This April!

You may have considered traveling somewhere to enjoy a bike tour, but have you considered doing so in Canada’s Arctic… in April? Borealis Bike Tours has a fleet of Kona Wo fat bikes and they’ve got a once in a lifetime opportunity to ride the infamous ice road from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk in Canada’s North West Territories.

In early April 2017, Borealis will be guiding a fully supported fat bike tour along the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktak ice road, which crosses the Beaufort Sea in Canada’s Arctic. This is the last year that the ice road will be built and maintained as it is scheduled to be replaced by an overland highway. Experience the true wild of the North West Territories while being fully supported to have a safe and successful trip.

The deadline to register is March 17th, so if you’re interested, you’d better get on it! Contact Borealis Bike Tours Unlimited for more information.

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Kona Dream Builds: A Very Sweet Roadhouse from Belmar Bike Shop

A bike as rad as the Roadhouse deserves a bit of custom flair, and that’s just what Belmar Bike Shop in New Jersey has done with Alex’s bike. The Roadhouse already stands out from the crowd with its clear-over-raw finish and brass brazing on the Reynolds 853 steel frame, and yet they’ve managed to turn it into something even more striking. Here’s the story from Kyle at Belmar:

Back in September we got a call from Alex to see if we had the new 2017 Kona Roadhouse that had just come out. We hit it off right away due to our mutual lust for this bike. The bike had not become available yet so instead he came by just to meet us and check out the shop and the other Konas we have here. We talked him into taking our Sutra LTD demo bike out for the day to see what that big tire bruiser is all about. After putting back 30 miles on the Sutra he was hooked on Kona no matter what.

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That ride confirmed that although Kona is a known as a mountain bike company they really know what they are doing when it comes to their drop bar offerings – but Alex did not waver on his desire for the Roadhouse and nothing else. He stared me in the eye and shook my hand as hard as he could and said that as soon as the Roadhouse becomes available to call him for the order. That is normally great but it turned out this bike was even more limited than we knew and already had more customers who felt as strongly as Alex than the amount bikes Kona had coming in.

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By five months later I had assumed the math didn’t add up in our favor and the Roadhouses were all gone until next year. When Jordan at Kona called us in the middle of January I figured it was just to check in and see how things were going as he does every few weeks. This time he had unexpected news. Alex’s bike was in. Good thing I didn’t follow up with Alex to tell him I thought the bike wasn’t gonna happen!

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When I called Alex was shocked. The call came at just the right time, because with spring right around the corner he started to look around to see if there was a different bike out there that tickled his fancy. Looking for something similar just confirmed what he already knew: the Roadhouse is a very unique, very special bike and could not easily be substituted.

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Now that the dream bike existed and we finally had it en route he wanted to go the extra mile and make it a very classy affair. He wanted some accents that would make the bike pop. We went right for the solid brass Sim Works fenders and the same final touch I do to all of my own bikes, honey Brooks saddle and tape. Perfect.

Getting this thing together was a longer process than normal but it ultimately fell together like it was meant to be. We are very thankful to have such patient customers who love the same rad bikes we do.

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Follow along with Belmar’s great custom builds on Instagram! And if you’ve got a custom Kona you’d like to share, hit us up on the #KonaDreamBuilds tag on Instagram or send us an email at dreambuilds@konaworld.com.

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Throw Back to Tokyo with Kerry Werner

Words and photos by Kerry Werner.

It all started when I decided it wasn’t a good idea to do the China CX races at the beginning of the season. I started thinking, “What else can I do?” and then it hit me… I remembered Timmy J., Jeremy, and Zac McDonald all had done the CX Tokyo!

I had recently, even before thinking about CX Tokyo, grown a keen interest in Japanese culture, food, and the city lights. It blows my mind how their traditional views within society can keep 40 million people in line. You would think that crime would run rampant in the streets, it would be dirty and littered, and people would be jerks. Everything was quite the opposite.

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People were nice, even though I was a little shocked to learn that many people spoke little English. I guess I am too use to the melting pot of Europe where everyone speaks 3-6 languages. Apparently, the Japanese study English in school but then never have an opportunity to use it so they lose it (if you don’t use it you lose it).

The city was eye popping and with so many tall buildings! The only way to build as a contractor is up. The streets were clean and respect for the space of others was apparent everywhere I went.

I was most excited about the food scene. I had been watching “Mind of a Chef” on Netflix and David Cheng was really getting me excited for some ramen. I had tried to make it myself and I thought it was ok, however, my ignorance was immediately realized upon digging into my first bowl of tsukemen.

So after the post World Championship races Doug and I flew through Istanbul and then into Narita, 30miles west of Tokyo. The next morning we met up with Ryoji Aybeki, the CX Tokyo promoter. He was privy to my quest for the best bowl of ramen consequently we stopped for lunch on the way into Tokyo. In hindsight this was a blessing because when you walk into a ramen shop there is a vending machine type thing that you pick your ramen on, you pay, it prints your ticket, you hand it to the waiter and then wait for a steamy bowl of love.

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The problem was that all the text on the machine was in Japanese and completely indecipherable to Doug or I. We tried to shoot from the hip later in the trip and it wasn’t a complete failure, we still got great ramen, but Doug ordered the biggest bowl on the menu by accident and didn’t eat until the next day at dinner.

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Doug and I spent the first two days in the Tiato-Ku district, NW of Downtown, in Hotel Kurame. We walked everywhere, which may not have been great for the race but I have no regrets! We checked out historic Asakusa and the Skytree.

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And from 350 meters up…

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We had ramen all over and great coffee at “Bridge” recommended by my good friend Hans. We loitered in shop windows, picked up authentic handmade Japanese knives, bought souvenir chopsticks, frequented multi level malls, ate mochi on the road, and tried to blend in. We should have bought some medical masks to do this, maybe next time.

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We wandered through temple grounds…

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And were inspired by the intricate bike parking garages.

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Pre-ride was Saturday. The course was all sand, which didn’t make me particularly excited. There was no need to do openers, simply riding the course was hard enough.

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Doug and I spent all nights riding the train to somewhere new and checking out new districts. The night before the race was no different. We headed to Shibuya to check out the hustle and bustle. If I sat in the hotel room with my feet up, while in Tokyo, I would be looking back on the trip with regret.

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We raced Sunday afternoon, which was nothing special for me. I felt as though I had the fitness just not the finesse. The sand was raping me. Aerobically, I wanted and felt as though I could pedal harder but, technically, my constantly shifting body weight was hindering any power output. I finished 6… I wanted that podium, but instead I pulled out my notepad (literally I pulled up the “Notes” app on my phone and wrote“sand practice”) next year will be better. Notice I had to cut the sleeves off my long sleeve jersey. Sun’s out guns out in February.

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Big thanks to the Shimano boys for letting us take up room in their tent and all their help.

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Doug and I headed back to the hotel, packed bikes, and hit the town. We were going to check out the Imperial Gardens, but were stopped by a guard. I think they close at dark. We had some Gyoza, dumplings, and sake. Then to soak up the nights festivities we had Yakatori in the bowels of the subway station and it was marvelous.

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Monday we embarked on a sobering Journey to find “The Great Buddha”. This entailed a short 5k trail from Kita-Kamakura station to Hase Station. We saw Mount Fuji on the way, which was epic.

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We found it!

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We even checked out the beach then trained it back to the hotel.

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Tuesday we woke early to walk 3 miles to the Tsujiki fish market.

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We were greeted with fishermen who looked annoyed to see tourists wandering around their domain but who cares.

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We plopped down for sushi in the markets next to the auction area and enjoyed. The raw fish had a texture I had never experienced before. It melted in my mouth and the flavor was enhanced that much more as I was watching the Sushi master hand craft my sashimi no more than 3 feet away.

A ball of mochi for the walk back and that was all she wrote. Doug and I grabbed our bags and trained it to the airport.

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I can’t thank Ryoji and CX Tokyo enough for the experience. I don’t think I have a regret or a bad thought about my experience in the city, interacting with the people, or the culture. Though, the jet lag was brutal!

Follow Kerry on his blog and on Instagram.