Big Honzo

In Full Bloom

Words by ambassador Molly Sugar. Photos by Charries Cafe

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

Springtime in the Pacific Northwest usually means a lot of rain, but on the days that the sun comes out – expect the trails bursting with color. We took full advantage of a sunny day by mountain biking at Syncline where we had sweeping views of the Columbia River and Mt Hood. 

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

At the top of the trail, we even had an impromptu engagement photo shoot with a bouquet of trailside flowers. My partner Skyler and I got engaged only a week before, and our friend Rie thought it was the perfect time to capture our love in full bloom! We couldn’t have chosen a better backdrop to all the things we love – sunshine, flowers, mountains, rivers and mountain bikes.

Kona Dream Builds: Rob’s Big Honzo CR Will Make You Mint with Envy

This post is a part of our Dream Build series. To start your own dream build, click here.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Rob from Vedder Mountain Bike Co in BC’s, Fraser Valley has built this absolutely stunning and pretty damn blinging Big Honzo CR. Rob wanted the bike to showcase the new and current product in his store, and the Cane Creek Helm fork, NOBL wheels and SRAM AXS groupset and Reverb really are a testament to this.

“I have a trials background so use this bike a little around town hopping onto ledges and tables etc and having fun, but the trails on Vedder Mountain is where the bike really feels at home. “

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

The bling on the Big Honzo really kicks off with SRAM’s XX1 AXS drivetrain and AXS Reverb. The wireless system cleans up the bike, removing all but the bikes brake cables. NOBL’s single walled TR45 Plus rims are laced to Industry 9’s Torch hubs.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Cane Creek’s 140mm Helm fork keeps things tracking true, while Schwalbe’s Nobby Nic (27.5×3.0) tires add a shit ton of traction.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Braking is courtesy of Magura’s MT 1893 LE brakes, the special edition celebrate Magura’s 125th-year anniversary. The brakes are mounted to a Chromag BZA handlebar and stem, the cockpit is completed with ODI Float grips.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

The Magura 1893 LE brakes feature Magura’s powerful 4-Piston calipers. The build is rounded out with a Chromag Trailmaster Ltd saddle and Chromag scarab pedals and then wrapped with one of Ridewrap’s tailored protection kits

Squirrel Chasing

Words: Matt Falwell of Gear Up Cycles in Kentucky

My granny’s people lived on the banks of the Tennessee the river and were forced out by the TVA during the reclamation of floodplain areas in order to usher in the advent of affordable hydropower for the common man.  When dammed, the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers rose to create an unintentional recreational area that resulted in 170,000 acres of “Land Between the Lakes,” home to a wealth of outdoor activities, such as water sports, cycling, fishing, hunting and the like. I spend most of my time on the bike solo in these woods, on lonely back roads poking around the remnants of often-forgotten communities and homesteads. The plan for this trip came about while on these back roads–the idea of bridging together the two worlds of bikepacking and hunting.  Squirrel hunting does not require a massive firearm. In fact, you can legally hunt them with a slingshot if you have the dexterity.  It is also a social activity that can have several people out together walking the ridgelines and hollows, sharing conversation and stories that continue post-hunt back at the fire.

I truly love traveling by bike. It is often with the mindset, though, to get to and from a destination with the minimum amount of equipment as fast as possible.   This trip would be in the winter months with temperatures hovering in the 30’s.  So slower, more comfortable travel was made with the intent of riding to an isolated primitive camp.  Said camp hopefully would be full of squirrels to provide a meal and tales of daring bushwhacking and the eventual outsmarting of our prey.   I invited my longtime friend, Nathan Brown–artist, and avid outdoorsman, and Rockabilly music legend–along with my eldest son Isaac, also a musician and accomplished adventure paddler, to come out with me and wander the woods.  It had been a long time since we last camped together.   We packed light, as far as equipment, although, I carried equal the weight in fresh food.  With the potential of possibly not shooting any squirrels, my “Be Prepared” attitude kicked in.   Loaded, we rolled off into the forest.  With a few water crossings and pauses to watch our bushy-tailed prey flit back and forth taunting us, we made our way into a series of remote glades that typically are flush with rabbit, squirrel, and birds.  We rode overgrown roads, past remnants of farms, further back into the hollows.

Once we arrived at our destination, we set to the business of making camp, filtering water, gathering firewood, and building our cookfire.  It was clear and cold with the temperature just above freezing.  We warmed ourselves by the fire and had an appetizer of Brie and crackers with hot tea and bourbon. We are not savages after all.  Foil packs of roasted veggies and a squirrel I had shot and marinated beforehand were our supper.  That would be the last squirrel we would see for the rest of the trip.  The freezing rain that night drove all the wildlife deep into their winter burrows. We awoke the next morning and shook off the ice.  Strong cups of coffee were made while bacon warmed in the skillet.  The sun began to show its face above the ridge, setting the glade ablaze in golden warm light.  We spent the day wandering from hickory tree groves to tall stands of oaks, finding piles of empty eaten nut shells and worn entrances to hollow trees. Our bushy-tailed friends eluded us.

As the day drifted into dusk, we loaded our bikes and rode back to the trailhead, eyes at the ready for signs of movement in the trees, just in case.  We had returned empty-handed with no meat for the pan. Yet the time away from the hustle of daily life was reward enough.  A day in the open and a night on the ground, the song of the wind in the trees, or the laughter of a friend while feeling the warmth of the fire growing in your toes is what we really brought back.  I remember my granny always ready to set a place at the table for family or friend that came to her house, with a gesture of time and a warm plate.  I believe it is the shared experience that is the meal that feeds the heart–the meal oftentimes skipped in our daily rush.  There will be future days riding in the woods with lone solitude or with the harmony of friends. Till then, I look forward to the abundance of nature and the freedom the bike provides, while I roll my way through my granny’s land between the rivers.

TVA: Tennessee Valley Authority

Bike info:

XL Kona Wozo stock

MD Kona Big Honzo

54cm Kona Sutra LTD frameset, 27.5×2.8 WTB wheels w Arisun tires, Sram Freagle  12 spd Eagle drivetrain with 11 spd microshift thumb lever set on friction, Crust Jungle runner bars, Brooks C17 saddle with Specialized CGR seat post. Shimano hydro disc


Dirt Rag Reviews the Big Honzo “Big mountain fun on a small mountain budget”

“Dropping into the first section of fast and flowy singletrack on the Big Honzo DL was like plugging a Les Paul into a Marshall stack and hitting an open A chord. We are not talking about a Roy Orbison open A; we are talking a full windmill Pete Townsend open A! This bike turns the gain up to 10 and the volume up to 11.”

Dirt Rag reviewed the Big Honzo DL in issue 203 (it’s on sale right now) and we have the full review right here on the Cog.

Kona Dream Builds: Chuck Passe’s Radient Big Honzo

Chuck Passe’s luminous orange Big Honzo is hard to miss. The 2017 Big Honzo frame was custom painted* in Rockstar Sparkle Orange by Josh Putnam at Coating Source, with the emphasis heavy on the sparkle. All the Kona logos and branding are knocked out and show the raw alloy under the paint. The build itself turns just as many heads as the finish, with the blue and orange theme resonating throughout. Being the general manager at Blue Line Bike Lab in Houston, Texas meant Chuck cut zero corners in spec’ing this beauty up.

Photos: Chad Mcclain Check him out on Instagram here.

The wheels are WTB Scraper I40 rims laced to Hope Pro 4 Hubs, The large burly hoops are shod with Maxxis Rekon+ 2.8 tires and the front end is suspended on Manitou’s Magnum Pro 27.5+.

Clearly, a bunch of thought has gone into this drivetrain, a Shimano XTR Shifter and rear derailleur handle shifting duties while a Wolf Tooth Components GC45 Range Extender has been added to the cassette. Race Face Next SL cranks combined with an Absolute Black Boost Oval chainring and Blue KMC X11SL chain transfer the power and you can’t see that it runs on possibly the best BB in the world from Enduro.

HT’s T1 pedals in blue.

Magura’s MT8 Next brakes and a whole bunch of Ti bolts take care of slowing this rig down.

Even in the age of droppers, nothing beats the pure sex appeal of a Thomson Masterpiece seatpost, this one is finished off with a WTB Volt Team 135 saddle and Hope seatpost clamp.

More blue and even more CNC alloy from the UK! Race Face’s Next 35 Carbon Bar attaches to the bike via the always rad Hope Freeride 35mm Stem, and Hope headset. Ergon GD1 Grips are finished off with more goodnes in the way of Hope Grip Doctor Bar Plugs.

*Unless your repainting is done by an authorized Kona painter you will lose your lifetime coverage.

Autumn on the Rothaar Trail

The Rothaar Trail is a 150 km (90 miles) long hiking trail along the crest of Germany’s “Rothaargebirge”, a mountain range right at the border between the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse.

Not knowing what to expect and having never been in this part of Germany before, Lukas and Sven headed out to explore it on the Big Honzo DL. It turned out much better than what they hoped for. A stunning countryside and perfect weather. There are very few greater ways, to enjoy the beauty of a golden fall.

Curious about their setups? Here’s the lowdown.


About Cycling Krauts:
Lukas, 20 and Sven, 23 met at University of Stuttgart, German while studying aerospace engineering. While Lukas stuck to rocket science, Sven left university to later become a student pilot. Since they don’t live close to each other anymore, the rare occasions they meet up are usually for bikepacking trips like this one.

Kona Big Honzo e Big Honzo DL: nuovo look, nuove caratteristiche

Grande trazione, gran divertimento, grande Honzo

La Big Honzo è uno dei quattro telai della serie Honzo, ed è l’unico con geometrie ottimizzate per ruote da 27.5+. La Big Honzo e la Big Honzo DL assicurano tutto il divertimento al quale le Honzo ci hanno abituati, con trazione aumentata e compatibilità per copertoni da 2.8”.

Big Honzo DL

Prendi la maneggevolezza e il leggendario divertimento tipico della Honzo, aggiungi la rassicurante capacità di trazione ed il comfort degli pneumatici da 27.5+, quello che otterrai è una hardtail di nuova generazione.  Geometrie ottimizzate per ruote da 27.5+, la nuova forcella RockShox Revelation, copertoni Maxxis Rekon 2.8” veloci, aderenti e tubless-ready, un gruppo SRAM 11-velocità: la Big Honzo è pronta per i percorsi più duri che ti troverai ad affrontare.

Big Honzo

La nostra linea Honzo era già molto famosa prima che introducessimo la Big Honzo, ma ora c’è un sapore in più da gustare. I copertoni 27.5+ aggiungono una deliziosa trazione ed una morbidezza nella pedalata che fanno della Big Honzo una divoratrice di strada.


Three Kona Bikes on Bike Magazine’s 10 Best Hardtails Under $2000

If there has ever been an accolade for our MTB Hardtail and Honzo ranges, this is it: three bikes in a list of 10, with great notes from Bike Magazine on the value of Kona’s trail-ready, yet affordable mountain bikes.

“Another Kona? Yeah. Another. Three Konas made this 10-bike list because they’re smartly specced values and have modern geometry. We scoured the internet looking for an alternative from another brand that could top the Big Honzo at the $1,700 price point, but couldn’t find anything. So here it is, another killer Kona.”

All of these bikes are in stock now and available to order through your local dealer or Kona Ride Online. Read on at Bike Mag!

Cinder Cone

Big Honzo

Honzo AL/DR

Las Kona Big Honzo y Big Honzo DL: Nueva gráficas y componentes

Gran Tracción, Gran Diversión, Gran Honzo

El Big Honzo es uno de los cuatro cuadros de la familia Honzo, y es el único con geometría óptima para ruedas 27,5+. Las Big Honzo y Big Honzo DL ofrecen toda la diversión que ha hecho famosa a la Honzo, con la tracción y suavidad de los neumáticos 2,8”

Big Honzo DL

Tomemos la agilidad y legendaria diversión que brinda la Honzo, y agreguemos  la tracción, confianza, y comodidad de los neumáticos 27,5+, y el resultado es una hardtail de la nueva escuela. Con una geometría optimizada en torno a las ruedas 27,5+, la nueva horquilla Rock Shox Revelation, veloces y tenaces neumáticos tubeless ready Maxxis Rekon 2,8”, y una transmisión SRAM de 11 velocidades, la Big Honzo DL está preparada para encarar los terrenos más espesos y abrasivos que puedas encontrar.

Big Honzo

Nuestra gama Honzo ya era extremadamente popular antes que introdujéramos la Big Honzo, y ahora existe un sabor más a disfrutar. Con la tracción y suavidad adicional de las ruedas 27,5+, la Big Honzo es tu inyección de confianza para destrozar ESE sendero.

Keep an eye here on the Cog and on for new models arriving at Kona dealers every day!

Kona Big Honzo and Big Honzo DL: New Graphics, New Spec

With new Kona models arriving in your local bike shop over the next couple of weeks, we’re doing a series of posts here on the Cog to introduce the new bikes. Keep an eye here all week for rad new bikes and updates to current models. Next up: The Big Honzo and Big Honzo DL.

Big Traction, Big Fun, Big Honzo

The Big Honzo is one of four frames in the Honzo lineup, and it’s the only one with geometry optimized for 27.5+ wheels. The Big Honzo and Big Honzo DL offer all the fun the Honzo is known for, with the added traction and compliance of 2.8″ rubber.

Big Honzo DL

Take the agile handling and legendary fun of the Honzo, give it the confidence-inspiring traction and comfort of 27.5+ tires, and you get a new-school hardtail. With geometry optimized around 27.5+ wheels, a new RockShox Revelation fork, fast and grippy tubeless-ready Maxxis Rekon 2.8” tires, and a SRAM 11-speed drivetrain, the Big Honzo DL is ready to tackle the chunkiest terrain you can find.

Big Honzo

Our Honzo line was already wildly popular before we introduced the Big Honzo, and now there’s yet another flavor to enjoy. With the addition of traction-happy and smooth-riding 27.5+ wheels, the Big Honzo is a confidence-inspiring singletrack shredder.

Keep an eye here on the Cog and on for new models arriving at Kona dealers every day!

“Reasonably priced and unreasonably fun” – Big Honzo Wins a Bicycling Magazine Editor’s Choice Award

The Kona Big Honzo DL has won a Bicycling Magazine Editor’s Choice award! Bicycling revealed their 2017 Mountain Bike Editors’ Choice Winners at Sea Otter this past week and the Big Honzo – “reasonably priced and unreasonably fun” – made the list.

“If you want to shred trails—without the expense, additional complexity, and service requirements of full suspension—this Kona is reasonably priced and unreasonably fun.”

Read the full writeup at Bicycling.