honzo st

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?