Kona Dream Builds: The Ultimate Upgrade, Bryan’s 2018 Honzo

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Bryan Dexter went into Pedal Driven, his local bike shop in Sanford, Florida with a recent craigslist find; a Trek X Caliber 8 to get some quotes on some upgrades for it. Matt the owner pointed him in the direction of a new Honzo, the ultimate upgrade, once Bryan laid eyes on it, he just knew he had to have it. Two weeks later the bike was in pride of place in his living room.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

The confidence that the Honzo gave Bryan in those following rides made sure that he wanted to keep riding harder, faster, bigger and on more technical terrain. “I took it to Raccoon mountain about a month after I bought it and had the most fun I’ve ever had on a bike.”

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

“Once I came back to Florida, I continued to progress like crazy and ask for more out of the bike. I put the Renthal Carbon Bars on it to alleviate some of the arm pump I was experiencing on long rides (and can happily say it worked).

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

It was about a month or two later that I decided to do the wheel and fork upgrade. I bought a 140mm RockShox Pike RCT3 and had the truly awesome guys (Matt and Julio) at Pedal Driven build me that gnarly wheelset, which consists of those gorgeous red Hope Pro 4 hubs laced up to the sick RaceFace Arc 30 Offsets. 

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

I cannot in words describe how dialled this thing feels compared to anything else I’ve ever owned after the changes. The most recent upgrade was the brake system and the grips. I loved the Shimano brakes on the bike, but wanting to ride Pisgah, Dupont and Windrock I figured I needed to up my brake game a little. I went with the Shimano Zees since they were a pretty budget friendly and well reviewed four piston system. The Ergon GA2 grips are by far the comfiest thing I’ve had on the bars.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG