Honzo

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

Behold the 2020 Honzos!

It’s what you’ve all been asking for—the 2020 Honzos! The Honzo is often imitated but never duplicated. It was the hardtail that turned heads as it redefined what was possible with only front suspension. It paved the way for progressive geometry across our line of bikes and it continues to be one badass machine today. The 2020 line of Honzos is classically simple, yet so incredibly capable. So ready or not, grab your 29er’ hardtail Honzo and drop into something that would make any other hardtail turn the other way.

Honzo DL

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

The Honzo DL is a secret weapon among those who love mountain biking at its purest. This year we’ve upgraded the fork to a RockShox Revelation RC and given you another gear with SRAM’s  SX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain. Just enough suspension to keep things moving along on the trail, but nimble, fast and easy to throw around, the Honzo is a total dream for the person looking for something playful.

Honzo

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

The Honzo is the bike that redefined Kona’s goal to push the limits and do something radically different. From biking to work to getting creative in the bike park, the Honzo inspires serious fun. This boost-spaced frame with thru-axle rear dropout features a 120mm RockShox Recon RL boost fork, SRAM SX/NX 12-speed drivetrain, and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. The Honzo sets the standard for a hardtail that’s equal parts fun and fast.

Honzo CR – frame only

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

The Honzo CR frame is for the hardtail aficionado that is looking for something truly special. Kona’s Carbon Trail frame is light, stiff, rides predictably and features an integrated headset, boost spacing, a press fit 92 bottom bracket, short chainstays, and geometry that makes this frame super playful. It’s the perfect base for your next dream bike.

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

Kona Dream Builds: Grassroots Cycles Custom Steel Honzo

The crew at Grass Roots Cycles in Grand Junction, CO have whipped up this subtle yet very rad custom steel Honzo for one of their customers. After spying it on their Instagram feed we just had to share the finished build with you. It’s got a little local flavor to it as well as a bit of bling and then some basic get it done functionality.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Being from Grand Junction it would have been rude not to build this bike up with a fork from local company MRP. The Ramp controlled MRP Ribbon fork ads some serious squish up front.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Cable guides on point.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

And for the bling, a sultry Deity bar, stem and grip combo. Magura MT7’s keep speed in check, not that brakes are needed out at 18 Road.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

We can’t not mention that cable routing, this bike was built with LOVE.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Hand-built DT Swiss EX511’s are shod with set of Maxxis Minion DHRII/DHF’s while up and downness is provided by X Fusion’s reliable Manic dropper post.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

Thanks to trickle down tech, this Honzo is running SRAM’s affordable wide range SRAM GX Eagle drive train.

Caleb Smith | KONA COG

You don’t need to break the bank to put together your Dream Build.

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: Mike’s Featherweight Big Honzo CR Punches Above its Weight

This featherweight 21 pound XC race weapon of a Big Honzo CR is Mikes second bike to be featured here on the Cog, his last one was one of the coolest Libre’s we have seen, and it seems with this Honzo CR he’s followed suit nicely. Ignoring the fact that there’s no dropper post (to each their own right), Jason from Chainline bikes has ensured that this bike ticks some pretty damn classic dream build check boxes. Enve stuff everywhere? Yes. Hope brakes? Yes. DT Swiss 350’s? Yes. XX1 Eagle? Hell Yes. Is there anything you’d change on this incredible build?

How rad is this front end, Fox Factory Float 34’s forks, DT Swiss 350 hubs mated to 29″ ENVE M525 Hoops which are shod with Goodyear’s new Escape Ultimate tires.

Hope X2 brakes with Race levers provide stopping power.

They are mounted on ENVE M5 bars and a ENVE M6 31.8mm stem. Cane Creek’s classic 110 headset keeps things turning smoothly.

XX1 Eagle. Nuff said.

DAMN…

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: Spencer’s “In With The New” Carbon SSWC Honzo CR DL

Why ditch all but one gear on your sweet modern carbon hardtail? So that you can go play bikes at Singlespeed Worlds is why! This year #sswc is one state south from me, and whereas I had originally thought I would have to miss it due to other commitments, that became a clearly unacceptable excuse. Add to that a fairly pristine 2019 Honzo CR begging to have its chain stretched and the prospect of a full day of riding on new singletrack with a bunch of friends in the mountains of central Oregon, and it just had to happen.

I’m not sure this bike has anywhere near the panache of other steeds showing up for this weekend’s shenanigans, but it’s my first singlespeed MTB and I think it’s plenty good.

The build is the Factory Endurance Team-Issue spec with MRP suspension, WTB wheels, tires and saddles, Shimano drivetrain, Pro Components and FSA cockpit, and Blackburn accessories.

Frame Size Large, MRP Ribbon 120mm fork, Shimano XTR M9020 drivetrain (w/ Chris King rear cog), XTR M9000 brakes and pedals, WTB Ci24 wheels laced to XT hubs, WTB 2.4 Trailboss/Riddler front/rear tires, WTB Silverado saddle, Pro Components cockpit, and accessories from Blackburn.

Weight? I don’t own a scale. But who cares, it’s a speedy-feeling little bike with absolutely ZERO rattles or clanks! And most importantly, it has only 1 gear, 53 teeth total. I’m looking forward to a sufferfest at 30-140rpm!!

For more on this setup and this weekend’s singlespeed shenanigans, follow @slaxsonmtb

Mountain Bike Action Reviews the Kona Honzo CR Trail Frame Set “The Honzo is Ready to Rip Your Local Trails”


“The Honzo defies the notions that hardtails were only made for racing and training, and delivers a ride experience that is fun. If you are looking for a bike that is simple and just wants to go out and have fun, the Honzo is ready to rip your local trails.”
– Mountain Bike Action

Mountain Bike Action built up a custom Honzo CR Trail at the beginning of summer and they have just posted the review live online at MBAction.com. The MBA testers loveed the everything about the Honzo, how it descended, how it cornered, and how it climbed.

“The Honzo surprised us with how far it could be leaned over in corners. At high speeds, the Honzo could be whipped around in a playful manner and didn’t stray from an inside line. ”

You can check out the full review on MBAction.com here and you can check out the updated Honzo family of bikes here.

Say Hello to the 2019 Honzos!

The 2019 Honzos have arrived. It’s the hardtail that redefined hardtails.

Throw all of mountain biking’s buzzwords in a blender and you get Honzo: capable, lively, playful, nimble, badass- you get the point. It’s not untrue to say the Honzo started something big. It’s been a head-turner from day one because it’s been radically different since its inception. It’s the hardtail that redefined how we design all of our bikes and has become the gold standard for hardtails. It’s our desert island bike. With three different frame materials and builds for different budgets, there’s a Honzo for everyone.

Honzo CR

 

 

 

The Honzo CR is for the discerning customer who knows exactly what they want in a bike. Kona’s Carbon Trail frame is light and stiff and rides predictably. A 120mm RockShox RC Revelation Fork, SRAM Level T brakes, a KS Lev dropper, and Maxxis rubber create quite the compelling package in this super fun trail bike.

 

 

Honzo DL

 

The Honzo DL is the bike for people that are looking to get serious about their riding. It’s pure mountain bike geometry in a sweet hardtail package. Just enough suspension to keep things moving along on the trail, but nimble, fast and easy to throw around, the Honzo is a total dream for the person looking for something playful.

 

Honzo

 

The Honzo is the bike that redefined Kona’s goal to push the limits and do something radically different. From biking to work to getting creative in the bike park the Honzo inspires serious fun. A 120mm RockShox Recon fork, SRAM NX 11 speed drivetrain, and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes equal the perfect blend of fun and fast.

 

We previously announced our birthday bike which is our 2019 Honzo ST. But… just in case you missed it, here it is!

For all of the hot new 2019 bikes, be sure to check out Konaworld.com!