Kona Dream Builds: Craig McPhee’s Burly Enduro Smashing Custom Kona Honzo ST

Craig lives in Sydney, Australia andhas been riding for about six years. He spends most of his time riding the east coast of New South Wales, and while he hasn’t got much vertical elevation the trails can be very rocky. Each year he does a trip to Queenstown, NZ which is where he got the idea for a burly Honzo build after seeing Kona rider, Jake Hood’s Purple Honzo ST at Bikeaholic.

I had wanted to build a steel hardtail for years but when I finally decided to pull the trigger on the purple Honzo ST, all the frames were all gone. After a fruitless search at the regular outlets, I called a small Kona dealer near me about ordering in a 2019 frame. As luck would have it they had a large purple in stock on the floor – it must have been one of the last, if not the last, in Australia.

As far as the build goes, it’s a mix of old and new. I had the Shimano XTR drivetrain, XT cassette, Raceface Turbine cranks, and Chromag BZA bars/Hifi stem. Things started to escalate when my buddy offered me his Fox 36s for a good price after he put a big scratch in one of the stanchions – it’s been repaired so the damage is only cosmetic. The fork has been dropped to 140mm and is the newest 44mm offset with Grip2 damper – I think the orange and purple really set off together, and it’s probably my favorite part on the bike.

The wheels were a Black Friday special, Mavic EN827 rims (27mm internal width) laced to Hope Pro 4 hubs. I had some Hope rotors lying around and also got some XT brakes in the same sale – I always run Shimano brakes for reliability, same goes for the Hope bottom bracket. For tires, I’m currently running Maxxis Minion DHF 2.3 front and Aggressor 2.3 rear which work great on our baking hot trails.

I used a number of OneUp components on the build – I really like their innovative products, and the one time I did have an issue their warranty service was great. For this build, I’ve used the OneUp 170mm dropper post with carbon plastic remote, EDC tool in the steerer tube, and aluminum flat pedals. DMR Deathgrips, a fabric scoop saddle, and a matched yellow water bottle complete the build.

I’ve only had the bike finished and running for a few weeks but I’m loving how it rides. It’s making my local trails more fun and I’ve noticed an improvement in my riding when I hop back on the dually.