Kona Dream Builds

Kona Dream Builds: Murray’s Shonky is a Weapon of Dirt Destruction

We’ve already seen one extremely rad Shonky build come out of UK dealer Harts Cyclery. Well now it’s official. With Murray‘s bike, Harts is now two for two. These guys definitely hit it out of the park with this classy Shonky ST.

Murray’s weapon of a bike has some seriously cool touches that add up to one crazy light dirt jumper/park bike. The whole thing weighs in at just 25lbs 8oz (11.56kg) and that might due to these Race Face SixC carbon cranks.

The back end is slammed (would you have it any other way).

Hope’s burly Pro 4 trials hub handles the single gear.

More Hope matchiness up front with another Pro 4 hub. This one is bolted to a set of Rock Shox Pike DJ’s

Keeping it UK, Murray has kept the Hope theme going with the rims and opted for a set of Hope Tech DH hoops. These are shod with Maxxis DTH tires front and rear.

Stopping is a classy affair and another spot where saving weight has kicked in. There are no parts bin stoppers here. Murray has opted for a SRAM Guide Ultimate (the one with the carbon lever) rear brake with a 140mm rotor.

That’s enough brake line there for at least two bar spins or tailwhips. Looks like Murray is planning on getting zesty on this thing.

Oh look, more Race Face. The cockpit is running the Canadian brands legendary Atlas bar and stem combo.

Out back you will find even more weight savings courtesy of Race Face. The SDG I-beam saddle is attached to a cut down Race Face SixC carbon seat post.

You can’t tell us that you aren’t going to dream about this serious whip tonight. I can’t think of a single thing I’d do differently (well maybe some Maxxis DTH’s instead of the Ikons). I’m salivating just typing this up.

Kona Dream Builds: Kim’s Game Changing Process 153

Kim submitted her cool looking 2016 Process 153 via the #KonaDreamBuilds hashtag on Instagram, the moment it appeared in the feed we knew it just had to be featured here on the cog. The green and blue themed build is not just about color, it’s about functionality and tuneability, and Kim has the DVO suspension dialed just right. But you have to admit the limited color does have a WOW factor.

I am a nuclear scientist by trade, but I would much rather be riding my bike anytime of the day. My husband built and maintains the website for The Broken Spoke here in Santa Fe (on the side of his normal 9-5 job), so we are often found hanging out there after work. We are both members of the rather informal Broken Spoke race team.

I wanted to try out enduro racing, but I also wanted a bike that was versatile, playful, and durable for hitting up the bike park. My previous “trail/enduro” bike was a Commencal Meta 5.5 that was one size too small (among other things). The 153 was a game-changer for me. As my skills progressed, I started changing out parts, and 2.5 years later, I now have a perfectly-dialed enduro machine.

The Magura brakes were one of my first upgrades – I love the modulation and the stopping power of the MT Trails. I then replaced the rear shock with a DVO Topaz for better fine-tune adjustments and better overall feel. As a lighter rider, changing the negative volume on the Topaz helped me to dial in the right balance.

I am a snob when it comes to engagement, so some Industry Nine hubs laced to Stans Flow rims were next. Thus far, the new MK3 Flow rims have been stout, without needing a true yet! Then I upgraded to the SRAM Eagle GX drivetrain to help with the steep terrain here in New Mexico. A little dash of green was added with the OneUp chainguide, a much needed device for riding the trails at Angel Fire and Glorieta.

Most recently, I replaced the fork with a DVO Diamond, not only because the green matched the bike decals so damn well, but also because I wanted a stiffer, more predictable fork. Again, as a lighter rider, the numerous adjustments allowed me to finally get the correct feel.

This bike crushes it. The geometry is ideal for the type of riding I do. I can’t see myself needing to upgrade for a long, long time…

Kona Dream Builds: Jason’s Immaculate Hei Hei CR DL is Ready to Party

If you are a regular here on the Cog, or at least a regular here checking out Kona Dream Build’s then you will be well familiar with what Jason and the crew at Chainline Bikes get up to. If you are new here, then after checking out this beauty of a bike you may want to have a gander at this Process, or this Process, or maybe this Libre, this Big Honzo, or perhaps this Honzo ST. You get it right? Jason, and his customers don’t skimp on their builds and this Hei Hei CR DL is a testament to that. Only the finest components from Fox, Enve, Hope and SRAM have gone into this bike, the result has me thinking that owning this Hei Hei CR DL might just be akin to mechanical doping. Let’s Check it out!

In an ever so slightly reserved move from Jason, he has left the Fox suspension on the Hei Hei CR DL stock. The rest of the build saw upgrades and a whole bunch of carbon added. Up front you’ll find ENVE’s carbon M6 handlebar, held in place by a matching ENVE M6 carbon stem.

Hope brakes seem to be popular with the crew at Chainline and the Hei Hei gets a set of the British companies powerful Enduro Tech 3 E4 stoppers. Shifting is courtesy of SRAM and their XX1 line. Ergon’s popular GD 1 grips round out the cockpit.

ENVE M6 carbon rims are laced to DT Swiss hubs…

…And then shod with Onza’ Canis 29 x 2.25 tires front and rear

The drivetrain itself is a mix of SRAM XO and XX1 Eagle, with the later handling shifting duties while the XO looks after power transfer. Ergon’s carbon bodied and Ti railed SME3 Pro Titanium saddle sits atop a KS Lev Integra seat post.

And like we mentioned earlier, the stock Fox Float DPS Performance Elite rear shock and 120mm Float 34 SC Performance Air fork remain unchanged from the bikes stock form.

Jason getting after it on Mt Laguna onboard the Hei Hei CR DL

Kona Dream Build x Ti Tuesday: Teemu’s Monstercross’n Ti Raijin

Boy do we have a special treat today, it’s a combined Ti Tuesday With Kona and a Kona Dream Build post. I think it’s safe to say that Teemu’s rig is one unique bike, I highly doubt there are any other Ti Raijins rocking drop bars and a lefty!

I cycle all year round. In Finland, seasonal variations are big, so I require my bikes to have the ability to transform. In the summer I especially like riding in the countryside along small sandy roads and singletrack. I wanted my bike to have a suspension fork to add a little comfort and the Cannondale Lefty was the only option.

I find cyclocross tires too narrow tires for my use, about three years ago i began dreaming of a building a wide-tire drop bar gravel bike. I started by trying to build a gravel bike on my old Cannondale F4000 frame, and of course with Lefty! It was a great bike. Armed with this success I knew I wanted to take the gravel bike to the next level and decided to get a Titanium frame.

I knew what I wanted and started a new gravel project. Finding the right frame and the Lefty fork kit took time. In June 2018, I finally found a suitable frame, a 2014 Ti Raijin and I was able to start the build. In August, I took it for its first test ride and I discovered that this is ’it’! My dreambuild.

The drive train consists of a SRAM X01 crankset and 11 speed rear derailleur.

Mounted to that seriously flared Salsa Woodchipper 2 bar you’ll find SRAM’s Force 22 hydraulic Brakes and shifter. The bars are wrapped in Brooks leather bar tape. And we simply can’t ignore that Cannondale Lefty PBR 90 fork with custom decals of course. The 30th-anniversary head badge and Chris King headset, keep things classy.

The wheels are Industry Nine Torch hubs laced to MCarbon (Nextie) rims. A set of 700 x 45C WTB Riddler tan walls complete the package.

Stopping comes courtesy of SRAM’s Force 22 brakes and a Hope floating disc rotor. Sixpack Racing’ Chopstix skewers keep the purple theme rolling.

Given it has drop bars, it should really follow the rules, luckily it does and the curtains match the drapes thanks to this rad Brooks Cambium C15 saddle.

Kona Dream Builds: Jarrod’s Well Loved Humu Humu Nuku Nuku Apua’A Deluxe Has Seen Things

Jarrod‘s Kona Dream Build Submission came via Instagram and looked intriguing from the start. We love Humu‘s (well we love all Kona’s) and this one appeared like it was getting some serious use and abuse in and around Moab. After reaching out to Jarrod for a few extra photos and a bit more information on the build we got a small essay on the life of the bike (and the life of Jarrod) since its purchase in 2007. So without further ado we’ll hand this over to Jarrod.

I have owned this ride since new, purchased in 2007 from Bicycle World of Louisiana when I was living and wrenching down there after hurricane Katrina. I registered it with the NOPD, when the number of my year of birth was coming close to circulation, 1979. Its New Orleans roots are what inspired the headset, what I like to call the Mardi Gras King, Black, Green Purple and Gold pieced together not purchased, dont think that color combo was ever available from Chris King. (random side note, I helped dig and construct a dirt jump park with the local MTB chapter NOMAMBA that was funded by a grant from Kona during the grassroots Kona Jump Park days)

I was drawn to the Humu when we received two in the shop, mostly due to the adjustable dropouts with disc brakes and the additional mid tube that just screamed Klunker to me! It was almost identical to the singlespeed Kona Unit but it had discs! I originally purchased it as a commuter, installed fenders and swapped the BMX bars for a more traditional riser bar. 

Over the years it has seen many miles, I was living car-less and towing a bob trailer for grocery and laundry duties in its early years. Took it out for a self-supported weekend touring around central Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire, about 180 miles of country roads averaging 11mph… it was fun! I had done some minor upgrades like tires, custom color chains, small things to customize it like the built-in tensioner using a headset bolt, v-brake washers and a nut to lock it down.

Then in 2013, I entered the Red Bull Road Rage event held in Georgetown, CO. I gave it a decent facelift to compete, including sourcing a derailleur hanger equipped dropout, 1×9 drivetrain that was road oriented with an 11-27t cassette, and skinny 26×1.5″ tires. I ended being the only 26″ bike that qualified for the finals, top 16, all others were on 700c road bikes! The Humu and I made a couple appearances in the official vid, wearing my girls pink skid lid and all! (https://youtu.be/gblfrn%lpJ4)

Fast forward to 2015 and I found myself back in Massachusetts caring for my Mother and riding the MTB trails I grew up on with it, after installing a 100mm travel Fox Vanilla to handle the rocks and roots that is! After my Mom passed, we went back to Colorado, and I decided to stop riding it on the trails so much due to abuse that CO will deal out and built a full squish to ride offroad and went back to rigid singlespeed with the Kona.

The parts and pieces have changed many times, so it’s difficult to give an exact purpose in which it was built for, one thing I love about it is the versatility, but I have always tried to keep it on the Klunker side of things. In its current build, the most recent epic adventure it has embarked on was a White Rim lap in a day, my first offroad century! Fully rigid single speed, 100 miles of doubletrack, 6,000ft of elevation gain, that was epic indeed. I have also taken it up onto Slickrock from town, and ridden it up Amasa Back then down Rockstacker and Jackson trails, both while rigid and one geared.

The build isn’t all top of the line parts, but I do try to make upgrades as I go, I love throwing random parts on it and changing it up from time to time. I would love to upgrade the wheelset as they are the originals to the bike, but other than that I am really happy with its current setup! As you can tell, it has led a long life and is quite weathered, no, make that Well Loved 🙂

Frame: 2005 Kona Humu Humu Nuku Nuku Apua’A Deluxe – it still glows in the dark 🙂
Fork: Kona Project 2 26″ Disc
Headset: Mardi Gras themed Chris King NoThreadset
Stem: Thomson 6-bolt BMX Stem
Handlebar: Oddity Cycles custom riser bar
Grips: Lizard Skins Peaty Grips
Brakes: Avid Juicy 5Front
Hub: Stock Disc Hub converted to solid axle to prevent theft (Bolt-on instead of QR)
Rear Hub: Stock SS Disc hub
Rims: Alex DM-24
Tires: DMR Supermoto 26×2.4 Skinwall
Freewheel: 18t fine engagement, mfr unknown
Chain: KMC Z-410 Black – Half-linked to tuck rear wheel
Chainring: Race Face 32t 
Crankset: Truvativ Stylo
Bottom Bracket: GXP
Pedals: Shimano DX 636
Seatpost: Bear Bone Ti Pro Lite Scandium
Saddle: Vintage Kona Race Light

Kona Dream Builds: Tim’s Custom Throwback Process 153 CR

Tim is a service tech at a bike shop in Colorado. He’s been riding/racing the Process lineup since it had 26″ wheels and this custom painted beauty is his fourth or fifth Process. He’s had it since late 2017.

“I REALLY like these bikes! The original paint job had sustained some wear and tear so when I separated my AC last fall, I figured a new finish might keep me off the bike.”

Tim’s extraordaniry paint job is clearly a homage to another era, an era when bikes weighed more and beer and gas were cheaper. “There is a remnant out there of us washed up millennials still trying to keep freeride alive. But seriously, the Process is the do-it-all for me. When you can only afford one bike, this is the ride that can take you places. “

Which Kona Clump rider is this graphic based on?

Why does Tim’s cable routing look so damn tidy? Well he runs his dropper post on the right hand side, allowing him to wrap the rear brake, shifter and dropper cables all together for one seriously tidy set-up. The front brake runs BMX style through the fork steerer completing the simple package.

While this Kona Dream Build is most definitely about the paint, Tim has still made a few changes to the bike. The SRAM XO/Descendant Eagle drivetrain has remained the same as have the Guide RSC brakes.

Tim has added MRP’s Ribbon Coil up front as well as swapping out the stock hubs for bullet proof Profile Racing ones.

Out back he’s kept things ColoRADo and installed MRP’s Hazard coil rear shock.

Kona Dream Builds: Hagen’s Process Possesses Pizzazz

Ever since Hagen Kluge first saw a Kona Lava Dome cruising Victoria, BC back in 1994, he’s been a fan. “When I was an 11-year-old kid, I never could have imagined that the Kona’s of 2019 could be any cooler than those of the early nineties. This Process 153 CRDL 29 is my dream bike. A bike that can climb like a goat, corner like a frightened rabbit and out-sprint a greyhound. It constantly impresses me.”

This punk rock-inspired build is something the boys at Straight Up Cycles helped me with. We started with the standard bike and swapped the wheels out to bring in some DT goodness. We stuck with alloy rims because accidents happen. The rear hub has the upgraded 54 tooth pawl and it sounds like a swarm of angry bees. The guys at Fluid Function in Squamish helped me locate some candy red lowers for the Lyric. I don’t want to tell you (or my wife) how much that cost but it brought some pizazz to the bike fo sho. The cockpit is a Renthal and ODI affair because I appreciate quiet quality and 35 mm bars are for gorillas. The Bontrager saddle has been on three bikes. I’ve been in hospital twice for prostatitis so a comfortable seat is not something I let go of. Most people comment on the decal kit, the DYED boys really knocked it out of the park with the ‘Merica F Yeah frame kit!

Kona Dream Builds: Rafa’s Triple Duty Performing Sutra Ltd

When Rafa first approached Juan and the crew at Ciclos La Ferro in Bilbao, Spain and said he wanted a bike for short 3-4 day escapes from Madrid into the nearby mountains, they knew they could help. Then he said he also wanted the same bike to pull triple duty and take him on pure road adventures as well as be ready and willing to take him off the gravel and paved roads of Spain and on to some classic Spanish single track. At first, it seemed like a challenge, building a bike from the ground up that would tick all these boxes. But using the now legendary Sutra Ltd frame as a base, Juan found the perfect canvas to build Rafa what is clearly a work of art.

It’s built around a set of DT Swiss 27.5′ hoops, a 25mm wide M1900 wheel out back and a M462 laced to SP PL-8 Dynamo Hub up front. Both front and rear wheels are sporting Schwalbe G-One’s

Bike packing/touring is not new to Rafa, here he is circa 1978, traveling from Santander to Paris.

A Sram GX Drive crankset with a North Shore Billet narrow wide chainring mates up with a matching Rival rear mech out the back. TRP cable actuated Spire brakes take care of stopping duties.

The SP PL-8 Dynamo Hub powers both front and rear Busch and Müller lights on Rafa’s Sutra Ltd.

Juan has also added some beautiful Ritchey components to the mix including this WCS Zero seatpost and that sexy Super Logic headset.

Brooks all weather C17 saddle is just a thing of beauty.


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: 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: Graham Beaumont’s Earthy Sea Foam Process 153 CR

The drivetrain has us intrigued. A Hope set of CNC’d cranks with an oval chainring, an XTR rear mech, and a SRAM Eagle cassette.

Hope is CNC and these cranks really show what the Barnoldswick based company can do.

Hope F20 flat pedals keep Graham firmly attached.

There’s that XTR shifter…

And the Hope Tech 3 levers.

If you didn’t know, Kona’s cable routing is UK, Australia, Japan, and NZ friendly.

Hopes’ AM Freeride 35mm stem holds Burgtec’s 800mm Ride Wide Carbon Enduro handlebar firmly in place.

The bike rolls on E13 TRS SL Carbon Race rims laced to Hope Pro 4 hubs.

Kona Dream Builds: Ben’s Hei Hei CR DL Looks Fast Standing Still

I really didn’t want to bust out that cliché up their in the title, but I think you have to agree that Ben’s fricken rad Hei Hei CR DL does indeed look fast standing still… I mean I don’t race XC, but this bike kinda makes me want to. Ben swapped a bunch of the parts of his much loved 2017 Hei Hei as he just fell in love with the graphics and gloss finish on this new 2019 model. He really wanted to combine a cross-country race bike with a capable short travel trail 29er. Well I’d say with this Dream Build he’s well and truly hit the mark.

Ben has kept the suspension setup on the Hei Hei CR DL stock, but as switched up almost every other aspect.

For the drivetrain, he’s running Rotor’s Rex 2 cranks with an Absolute Black oval chainring up front and a bulletproof 11spd Shimano XT rear mech out the back.

The Kona bar and stem have been swapped out for a Thomson bar and stem combo.


Shimano XT stoppers don’t really need anything else said about them. Solid and Reliable.

Ben has a love love relationship with Hope Wheels. Hope Pro 4’s are the heart of these bad boys.

It wouldn’t be an XC bike without ESI silicon grips. If you know, you know.

And he’s swapped out the lighter plunger style Reverb lever for the 1X Remote.

And the whole package is wrapped up in some sexy skin wall Maxxis Ikons.