honzo st

Kona Dream Builds: Anthony’s Versatile Quiver Killing Honzo ST

24-year-old Anthony Bacon grew up in Eastern Wisconsin, and he’s been living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for about five and half years. He graduated from Michigan Technological University and works as a mechanical engineer and am still wrenches part-time at Rhythm Bike & Board.

Steel hardtails are pretty popular among the shop employees. When the purple colorway Honzo ST was released, almost all of us ordered a frame. I received my frame just before Frostbike 2018 and caught wind of the Helm 29 that was not yet available. I waited for that while scheming the rest of the build. I got anxious and made a quick 2D CAD drawing to determine which sized fork, and stem to run, how long of a dropper I could afford, and to dial in my spacer stack.

Living in Houghton, I ride shuttles up to three times/week. I built up the bike with that in mind and wanted to experiment with additional low-slung weight, high(er) volume tires, and additional wheel weight, thinking these would all give additional stability through the rough stuff. Originally, the bike was set up single-speed with a Shadow Conspiracy half-link chain and a Platinum Deity sprocket. One day I decided that I really wanted to ride this bike on an endurance ride with some buddies so I cobbled together a parts bin drivetrain (only thing I had to order was the chainring spider) and haven’t gone back to SS. The heavy wheels really don’t pedal well at a gearing suitable for shuttling.

I built the Honzo up bulletproof, simple, and put my money where it mattered for a shuttle bike. Stout rims, reliable hubs, easily serviceable cranks, very adjustable and serviceable fork, etc. Making minor adjustments has been a constant process which hasn’t ended yet. The Honzo offers a great platform to adjust rear center and I left extra steerer tube length so I could play with stack height and so the fork length was quickly adjustable etc.

This has been my favorite bike I’ve owned yet, and certainly a quiver killer. My carbon trail bike I picked up last winter sat idle most of the summer, all I wanted to do was ride my Honzo. I will be making a few changes before spring, I’ll likely switch to Chromag OSX bars, bump up to 203/180mm rotors, throw in some tire inserts, and potentially swap out the tires WTB’s Vigilante 2.5 and a Trail Boss 2.4, and a fresh rear rim (still holds air, just dented to hell).

This past fall, my buddy Eric Isaacs and I flew out to OR, shipped our bikes, he bought a 1995 Isuzu Trooper, and we drove back to MI over the course of a week with our matching Honzos, riding everywhere we could along the way.

Specs below:
Frame: 2018 Honzo ST (M)
Fork: Cane Creek Helm 29 Air 140mm
Crank: Deity Vendetta
Chainring: Raceface NW 30T Purple
BB: Deity
Pedals: Kona Wah Wah II Plastic Purple
Sram: Something out of my misc chain bin – well used xx1 I believe
Cassette: Sunrace 11-42 11s
RD: Sram NX 11s
Shifter: Sram GX 11s
Brakes: TRP Slate G-Spec
Rotors: Shimano XT 180/160 CL
Headset: Cane Creek 40
Handlebars: Deity Skyline 787 Platinum – cut to 770mm
Stem: Deity Copperhead 35mm Platinum
Dropper: RaceFace Aeffect 150mm
Dropper Lever: RaceFace Turbine
Grips: ODI Longneck
Saddle: 1989 Selle Itala Flite Titanium
Hubs: DT Swiss 350 CL 54T Star Ratchet
Rims: Velocity Blunt 35
Front Tire: Teravail Kennebec 29×2.6
Rear Tire: Maxxix Rekon 29×2.6

Kona Dream Builds: Matt’s Honzo ST Can See the Forest and the Trees

Matt Harris is no stranger to Kona. Before immigrating to Canada he was one of New Zealand’s OG freeriders pioneering massive drops and super tech lines in and around his home town of Auckland on his old Kona Stinky. These days he splits his time between slinging icecreams with his wife Katie at Squamish institution Alice and Brohm and trail building on the Sunshine Coast. The guy still shreds on a bike, in fact, we featured his alloy DL Process on Kona Dream Builds a little while back and you may have even seen him in a Kona Process advert back in 2017! Anyhow, he’s had a Honzo in his quiver for a quite a while, but decided it was time to update his old non-boost version for the latest 2019 frame.  Matt and his Honzo can definitely see the forest AND the trees.

Like Matt, this bike is a brawler. Matt can ride faster than you can on this hardtail and that ain’t no joke. Long high speed days in Squamish require a solid build and Matt kicks that off with a set of Light Bike carbon rims laced to a set of Industry 9 Torch hubs. The fork is a 130m Pike with One Up’s tool-less axle.

A long time Shimano fan Matt is running XTR out back.

And a Race Face One-Up combo up front. You can’t see the Hope sealed bearing 30mm BB but you can see the One Up alloy pedals.

Keeping things local Matt has matched the best stem in the world (a 32mm Race Face Turbine R) with a Chromag BZA bar. Stopping is again a Shimano affair with XTR levers upfront.

And Saint calipers out back.

The 130mm Rock Shox Pike is held in place by a 2º Works Components angle set. There are more parts from Squamish based One Up up here as well, with an EDC tool installed in the steerer and One Up’s carbon dropper post lever…

…connected to the 185mm drop Bike Yoke Revive dropper post

Matt loves his one off decals and before having the whole thing custom wrapped by Ride Wrap in Whistler, he made a bunch of custom graphics.

For more rad custom Kona bikes, check out our Kona Dream Builds archives and the #KonaDreamBuilds tag on Instagram.
If you have a custom Kona that you think deserves to be featured on the Kona Cog simply tag it on Instagram or Facebook with #KonaDreamBuilds, if we select it you’ll also get one of these super sweet Kona Dream Build patches in the mail!

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.

 

Kona Dream Builds: Sapphire and Steel, Garry’s Honzo ST

Right from the very start, Kona has been synonymous with steel bikes. From the Explosif of 1988, through to the mid 90’s Kilauea and to the present day Honzos, Sutras, and Roves, steel has always formed the backbone of the Kona range. Tange Prestige, Columbus Nivachrom or Reynolds 853, steel will always endure as the material of choice for a certain type of rider.

For Garry Davoren, working for Kona in Ireland and at Galway’s MBW Bike Shop he’s not short of choice when it comes to bikes to ride. “When it came time to build the perfect hardtail, I knew that there was only one place to start. With this black Kona Honzo ST frame. I have a problem though, I don’t know where to stop”.  He’s not wrong, this finished bike well and truly ticks all the Dream Build boxes.

Featuring a 130mm MRP RibbonAir Fork and blue Hope Tech gear everywhere (cranks, chainring, BB/Headset/seat clamp, stem).

Stopping duties are taken care of by the tried and trusted combo of Tech3 levers and four-piston calipers with matching blue floating rotors, naturally.

No ordinary shifting would do for this project so it had to be Shimano XTR Di2. Yes, that’s electronic shifting. On a hardcore hardtail. Did someone say old school? You’ll also notice the very custom drilling involved in making this set-up work including some tasty heat shrink to keep the cabling tidy.

Ergon GE1 Evo Factory grips on Raceface Turbine bars, Ergon SMC4 Gel Comp seat and CrankBrothers Mallet E pedals complete the contact points with a Crankbrothers Highline dropper to make sure that seat can get well out of the way when not required.

Reynolds TR249 wheels set up with 2.3 Maxxis DD Minion DHF up front and a similarly-sized DD Aggressor out back, both tubeless and sealed by OrangeSeal.

Kona Dream Builds: Visa’s “Because N+1” Honzo St 30th Birthday Bike

As some of you might remember Visa, from BikeShop.Fi in Finland, has already built one pretty darn special Ti Honzo and that one is still his go-to bike. But when he heard about the limited edition birthday Honzo, he knew the time was right to get to work on the 29″ Honzo ST build that he’d already been planning.

Now you might say why not just build another wheelset for the Ti? A fair question, but n+1 folks, n+1!

Thus began the spec’ing. I wanted the ST to have a lot of the same feel to it as the Ti, so a lot of parts are pretty much identical: Race Face/Shimano drivetrain, Hope brakes, Race Face handlebar, Fox fork, dropper post etc. The major difference is the frame and the wheel size. I didn’t want it to look identical to the Ti so the colors have bits of blue and silver here and there and the icing on the cake in my opinion are the WTB tan wall tires. I know that a Vigilante front and rear might be a bit too wild for some, the rear will be swapped for the Trail Boss as soon as the tan wall versions arrive.

I’ve had a couple of rides with it now and a few differences between the builds are rather clear. The 29″ ST is faster… and slower… huh? The larger diameter of the 29″ wheels makes it roll over obstacles a bit better but the Ti 27.5″+ tires give a smoother ride over rocks and roots and have way more grip uphill. The Ti has carbon rims and the ST alloy, so there is another difference as well.

The Vigilantes are 2.5″ so they are rather large volume tires however and give you a smoother ride than narrower 29″ tires. So the 29″ Honzo might be faster at some trails but requires a bit more effort from the rider. I’m starting to like them both in equal measure and now I have two go to bikes, depending on the mood.

2.5 WTB Vigilante Tan Walls. D. O. P. E, Fox Factory 34 Kashima 140mm forks and DT Swiss EX511 laced up to silver Hope Pro4’s.

Fox’s Transfer post goes up and down.

Raceface Next SL Cranks with a 30t Absoluteblack cinch oval chainring propels a blue KMC chain while an XT trigger at the bars provides seamless shifts on via the XTR rear mech.

Hope Tech E4 Brakes slow thins down.

It’s the little details.

Up in the cockpit, you’ll find Race Face Six C bars with WTB’s Padloc grips, Hope Tech E4 Brakes and XT shifters.

Did you even know that Wolf Tooth make a headset?

Main spec:
Frame: 2019 Kona Honzo ST
Fork: Fox Factory 34 Kashima 140mm
Cranks: Raceface Next SL
Chainring: Absoluteblack cinch oval 30t
Pedals: Crankbrothers Candy 3
Freewheel: Shimano XT 11 spd 11-42
Rear derailleur: Shimano XTR
Shifter: Shimano XT
Brakes: Hope Tech E4
Handlebar: Raceface Sixc 35
Seatpost: Fox Transfer Kashima
Saddle: WTB Volt Carbon
Grips: WTB Padloc
Hubs: Hope Pro 4
Rims: DT Swiss EX511
Tyres: WTB Vigilante 2.5 tanwall
Extras: Colour coded stuff here and there

The Honzo ST 30th Birthday Bike is Here!

Happy Birthday to us. We’re celebrating by releasing a limited number of one of our favorite bikes, the Honzo ST. Why do we love it so much? Simply put, it just absolutely shreds. We’ve made our steel birthday bike special by adding a super unique mirror-finish paint job, special limited edition numbered decals (only 201 are being made!), a custom 30th birthday saddle, and a custom 30th birthday head tube badge. We’re not afraid to admit it: this bike is gorgeous. We’ve also built the bike with modular dropouts, so you can go full custom with it, or run it as we spec it, with a 120mm RockShox Revelation RC fork, SRAM NX 1×11 speed drivetrain, and SRAM Level T brakes.

     

Will you be one of the lucky owners of our new Birthday Bikes? Head on over to Konaworld.com for more info. Ready to buy? Be sure to visit your local dealer!

Kona Dream Builds: Darryl’s Detailed Honzo St

Darryl’s immaculate and incredibly detailed Honzo St build is the result of what he calls “the longest demo ever”. Whilst riding his two buddies Honzo’s, Darryl had plenty of time to contemplate what his dream build would look like. The result is one of the most dialed and tidiest steel Honzo builds we have seen. The beauty really is in the details on this one. Read on for to find out about Darryl’s motivation, a full set of build photos as well as the bikes complete component list.

Darryl’s Honzo ST in its current configuration.

After years of riding carbon everything cross-country race bikes, a buddy let me ride his Kona Honzo ST. Needless to say, I’m a lucky guy with good friends. Two of my buddies had Honzos and before I built my own I put about 450 miles on them combined. Basically, it was the longest demo ever and really helped me determine how exactly I wanted to build mine. I pieced together all the parts, paying close attention to the details all the way down to the Paragon Machine Works cable guides, Shimano’s I-Spec II system, heat shrink to keep the cockpit clean and tidy, and custom frame matching rim decals. As great as the bike looks, it rides so much better. From local after work dirt therapy sessions to shredding big mountain backcountry epics, this thing rides so amazingly. I raced it in my local enduro series this past year and ended up taking the overall in Master Men 30-39. The Honzo can hold it’s own against full-on enduro race bikes. For my annual bike trip this year I headed to Oregon and Washington and the bike felt immediately at home in the loam. The way it handled the trails in Oakridge was just incredible, even at the tail end of the famed “17k in a Day” ride. I love this bike!

Full build list:
Frame 2017 Kona Honzo ST Large
Fork RockShox Pike RCT3 140mm Boost
Headset Cane Creek 40
Handlebar Renthal Fatbar Carbon 780mm 10mm Rise
Stem Renthal Apex 31mm
Grips Ergon GE1 (Now Ergon GD1)
Brakes Shimano XT M8000 200mm/180mm Freeza Rotors
Shifters Shimano XT M8000
RD Shimano XT M8000 GS
Guide OneUp Components BB Mount
Cranks Shimano XT M8000 Boost 175mm/34t XT Chainring
BB Shimano XT M8000
Chain Shimano XTR HG-901
Cassette Shimano XT M8000 11-46
Pedals Shimano XT Trail
Front Rim Stan’s NoTubes ZTR Flow MK3 32 Hole
Rear Rim Stan’s NoTubes ZTR Flow MK3 32 Hole
Hubs DT Swiss 350 Centerlock Boost
Spokes DT Swiss Competition
Front Tire Schwalbe Hans Dampf 2.35 (Now Maxxis Minion DHF 3C 2.3)
Rear Tire Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.35 (Now Maxxis Aggressor DD 2.3)
Saddle fi’zi:k Tundra M1
Seatpost Fox Transfer Performance 150mm
Clamp Chromag NQR

 

Kona Dream Builds: Mark’s Honzo ST Lifer

Mark posted this sweet looking Honzo ST to our Facebook page a few weeks back. We just had to get a few more photos of it so we could share it with you in all its purple glory!

“This is my do it all shred sled from enduro racing to the ultimate goal of racing Colorado Trail race event. This is the first bike I ever had the honor of building from the ground up. This is also the first bike I have owned that I plan to have in my arsenal for the rest of my life.”

How cool is Marks us of an old inner tube to keep the seatpost QR junction clean?