When the Ti Honzo original build had it’s first birthday recently we decided it was time to make some upgrades and tweak things even further. The first version was specced with always in-stock parts, so we wanted to go a bit wild and this time, we really went to town!
The original build was a ton of fun and has travelled with me from the Austrian Alps to the Lofoten islands in Norway. And never failed to deliver. We just wanted to see if we could make it even better, we sure did!
So the old wheelset had to step aside, the crankset went flying out the window and the cockpit was changed. The rims are 27.5” 45mm wide carbon rims from Whisky Parts paired with Hope Pro4 hubs (orange of course), oh that sound when blasting downhill. The XT crankset was replaced with a Raceface Next SL set and an oval ring from Absoluteblack. The Cockpit got a makeover to with a Carbon Sixc 35 handlebar from Raceface as well and a new Fox Transfer dropper post to match the Kashima fork. The fork travel is now 140mm compared to the original 120mm.
The bike is now lighter (around 12 kg, roughly 1kg less compared to the original build, depending on the tyre choice), it’s snappier, accelerates faster and the overall feeling has improved, thus earning the 2.0 title. The tyres are now WTB Rangers 3.0 light high grip front and 2.8 tough fast rolling in the rear. The Rangers have performed really well in all conditions and held up for the challenge, I’ve torn to pieces my share of lighter Trailblazers.
So we’ve come pretty far from the original idea of a moderately priced and specced bike but hey that’s the way it always goes right?
And for those of you wondering if the bike is still able to take a beating, I have an answer for you guys. It is! I participated in the Finnish National Enduro Series with it and took third place in hardtail category (yes, there were more than three riders in hardtail). Absolutely no issues apart from the rider not being fast enough!
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.
“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.