Kona Dream Builds

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.

DAMN

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.

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: The Silver Shadow, George’s Process 153 CR DL 27.5

Don’t you just love Kona builds where you just know the owner has been planning the bike well before it has shown up? Well, George from Turin Bicycles in Denver, Colorado appears to fit into that camp. His very, very shiny and blinging Process 153 CR DL has definitely not been put together with random shop parts or in a hurry. The Push Industries 11-6 shock, Praxis Lyft Carbon cranks, and the custom built wheels are a testament to that. Let’s dive in and check out this Process that’s built for the Front Range!

Kicking things off with the shoes, George has built these wheels around Raceface ARC 31 Carbon 28h rims, they are laced to Onyx mate black hubs with DT Competiton spokes. Both front and rear wheels are shod with 2.6″ Schwalbe Nobby Nic’s.
The drivetrain features a set of 170mm Praxis Lyft carbon cranks with a Wolftooth CAMO spider with SS 28t ring, out back a Shimano XT M8000 derailleur works it magic on an E-thirteen TRS+ 9-46t cassette.

Up front, the 160mm Fox 36 Performance Elite hide a Push Industries ACS3 coil conversion kit.

Stopping is looked after with TRP’s Quadiem G-spec brakes w/Zee metal pads and 203/180mm Shimano RT-86 rotors.

An I9 A35 60mm stem with a 30th birthday Kona stem cap kicks things off in the cockpit. Raceface Atlas 35mm bars and Supacaz Grizips in bling silver keep your digits attached. Wolf Tooths ever popular dropper remote connects up to a 150mm Fox Transfer post as well as the final piece of the puzzle, a well-loved Specialized Elite Power saddle.

Happy Birthday to us.

 

Kona Dream Builds: Purple Haze, Graeme’s Process 153 CR 29

Graeme‘s Process CR 29 is the first one we have seen customized since they hit stores a few months ago and damn it looks hawt! Most of the parts on this build have moved sideways from Graeme’s previous build, the purple anodized parts just work so damn well with the Seafoam cyan of the Process. Scroll down for more photos and the full story.

I actually built these wheels and spec’d these brakes for my last bike, a 2018 Process 153 29, but thought they’d look amazing on this Seafoam colored CR 29, and they do! So I swapped the brakes and wheels off my old bike onto this – I do like the serviceability and durability of Hope brakes and hubs. I build wheels with stainless steel spokes (silver colored) because that’s what bicycle wheels should be built with, and because they always look incredible when the sun catches them! I quite like the Velocity Blunt rims, they look really subtle, give a nice big volume and take knocks well.

I’m running stock suspension, with three tokens in the Lyric. So impressed with how supple it is at the top of the stroke and it’s such a beast in the big stuff. The bike handles so well, it really does truck over gnarly terrain and it’s so easy to handle when things get slow and techy – it’s an incredible bike.

All in, with my Shimano XT trail pedals and bottle cage, set up tubeless, the build comes to 15.25kg (33.6lbs, for you US types). It’s actually a touch heavier than the stock build, but I love the look and set-up, so I can live with a few hundred grams. I could get it crazy light with lots of carbon finishing kit, but I couldn’t justify it. Really looking forward to riding this and doing a few rounds of the Scottish Enduro Series next year.

Graeme Hart owns Hart’s Cyclery in Edinburgh, Scotland and they are our Kona dealer there. “We’re really proud of our association with Kona and love the bikes and the vybe!” They were nominated amongst the top 20 IBDs in the UK in 2018 by Bikebiz magazine. “We just keep doing our thing and doing our best to keep our customers happy and if they ride Konas that’s extra cool!”

Build as follows:
Frame: Kona DH Carbon with 6061 alu chainstays and Rockshox Super Deluxe RCT.
Fork: Rockshox Lyric RC Charger 2, 160mm.
Drivetrain: SRAM GX/NX Eagle mix.
Brakes: Hope Tech 3 V4, front; Tech 3 X2, rear. Shimano rotors 203/180.
Seatpost: Rockshox Reverb 1x lever, 170mm drop.
Wheels: Velocity Blunt P35s on Hope Pro4s with Sapim Race spokes, 32/3, hand-built.
Tyres: Maxxis Minion DHF Exo TR 3C, 2.5/2.3, set up tubeless, with Vittoria Air Liner in rear.
Bar/stem/grips: Kona.
Saddle: WTB KOM Trail TCS.

Kona Dream Build: Jouko’s Killer Kilauea

I’ve been planning on building a nice steel 26er hardtail for a while now. Why? I recently ended up with an old 26″ enduro bike and was reminded of how fun this obsolete historical wheelsize can be. I saw this repainted Kilauea for sale this summer but missed my chance and the bike was sold. Luckily the frameset popped up on a forum soon after and I bought it late this August.

Based on my quick research, I’d say the frame is from ’93 or ’94. I’d prefer the original paint, but this powdercoat is of reasonably high quality and desert tan color scheme has some Radavist type of street cred. I slapped some decals on the blank frame as a finishing touch.

I’ve been keeping my eyes open for a Kona P2 fork but haven’t found one yet, current fork is a Rockshox Psylo SL from the early 00’s. The group set is a bit of a mix ‘n’ match, as these bike-shop-back-room builds tend to be, parts range from a classic Shimano STX RC front hub to a brand new oval chainring. My favourite part without a shadow of a doubt is the Tioga Alchemy stem.

So what’s it like then? On a fast xc trail it’s damn good fun, a really nimble and playful bike – it turns around on a coin and accelerates like nothing else. Compared to larger wheeled modern bikes you kind of go around rocks and roots instead of over them, or you fall down trying. My future plans with the bike include installing a bottle cage and riding like I stole it.

You can follow Jouko here and get updated when he finally adds that bottle cage. If you’re in Finland you can even check out the bike in person at Fillarikellari bike shop.

Specs
Frame: Kona Kilauea 20″ Tange Prestige
Fork: Rockshox Psylo SL
Headset: Cane Creek S-8

Stem: Tioga Alchemy
Handlebars: Funn Flat Out
Grips: Lizard Skins Logo Dual Compound
Shifter: Shimano M7000
Brake levers: Avid FR-5

Seatpost: Origin 8 PROFIT
Seat: WTB Volt

Pedals: Shimano PD-M324
Brakes: Avid Single Digit 3 V-brakes
Rear derailleur: Shimano XT M781
Crankset: Shimano XT M752
Chainring: Blackspire Snaggletooth Narrow Wide Oval 36t
Chain: Shimano XT HG95
Cassette: Shimano 11-36t

Front wheel: Shimano STX-RC / Sapim / Mavic XM 117
Rear wheel: Novatec / Sapim / Mavic XM 117
Tyres: Michelin Wild Race’R2 Advanced set up tubeless

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

Kona Dream Builds: Conrad’s “I built this for my daughter” Process 24

When you run a bike park and you’re a mountain bike super fan, your parts bin is always going to be filed with some pretty rad bits and pieces. With this epic dream build Conrad Davies from Bike Park Hahnenklee has gone to town on his daughter’s new Process 24, from the one of a kind paint job, through to the custom built Spank wheelset. His daughter, Eliana, is one lucky girl.

“We had an old XTR crankset lying around and I built up some Spank rims on the standard hubs (more just for the bling factor). The Spank stem and pink Race Face bar I also had in my parts bin. I changed to the Fox fork because I’m just a fan, and one of the DJ kids in the park begged me for the Manitou fork. Found a couple of other bling bits for good measure.”

The frame I stripped and sanded and applied a light base coat, and masked up. The color-way was inspired by another Kona Dream Build I saw on cog.konaworld.com and they are daughter’s favorite colors. It was all masked and sprayed, no vinyl cutting.

Kona Dream Builds: Chris’s East Coast Ripping Honzo

We just love seeing the way people build up our Honzo’s, whether it’s our classic steel frame, or the newer alloy and carbon models, every single one is a Dream Build. And today we’ve got this very cool build from East Coast bicycle industry veteran Chris Hopwood. Chris wanted something zippy and capable to hit up the local single track where his trail bike was little overkill, this here build is the result of that goal. The complete bike as pictured weighs in at 11.5kgs (25.5lbs), that’s without going crazy with lightweight, blinging parts. This Honzo CR is burly and functional and a daily driver that’s gonna see one heck of a lot of use!  Read on for the full spec details and more photos!

Kicking things off up front is Fox’s new Stepcast Factory 34mm fork in 120mm, the fork weighs in at 1.59 kg and is as stiff Fox’s non Stepcast 34 140mm fork.

A Race Face 50mm Atlas stem holds the matching 35mm Atlas bar while Shimano’s XT Shifters and brake levers keep the cockpit reliable and low key.

The Race Face and Shimano theme continues with the drivetrain out back, Race Face’s carbon Next SL cranks mate up with an 11 speed Shimano XT rear mech while XT stoppers with 160mm rotors slow things down. e*thirteens 31mm wide TRS Race carbon wheels are shod with beefy 2.34 Vitoria 4C Martello’s, look out pesky East Coast rocks!

Fox’s Factory Transfer dropper offers Chris 150mm of height adjustability, the saddle is Fabric’s classic and super popular Scoop.

That is one very cool Honzo!

Kona Dream Builds: Flying Under The Radar with Austin’s Process 134 SE

When we released the G2 Process last year, the classic and much-revered Process G1 didn’t disappear. A selected and carefully curated parts spec on both the G1 Process 153 SE and Process 134 SE frame meant that the G1 Process was now within reach of a broader range of mountain bikers. Process G1 fan Austin Hughey saw the 134 SE model as a blank canvas to start a custom build and has put together this pretty cool build, that at first glance flies under the radar. Closer inspection reveals the color matched Fox Factory shocks,  Shimano XT drivetrain and brakes and a few other gems. The only stock parts left on the bike are the bars, stem, saddle, and cranks.

“The motivation was to build a bike that’s confident on steep rowdy terrain as well as at home on the climbs. The 134 does just that. It’s beefy enough to race in Enduro races and efficient enough to pedal on all day rides. The bike weighs in at a mere 30 lbs! Saying the bike punches above its weight class doesn’t do its capability justice. I can’t give enough credit to the team at James Bros Bikes for assisting me in choosing parts for the build and stepping in where my mechanical skills were lacking. This is my second Kona build up, and I couldn’t be happier.” – Austin Hughey

Austin replaced the stock brakes and rear mech with Shimano XT. The Fox Transfer dropper post is controlled by a Wolf Tooth remote. Up front for suspension he’s opted for a Fox Factory 34 in 150mm.

Out the back, Austin has gone for a Fox Float DPX2.

The Trans X post has been replaced with Fox’s Transfer post.

 The whole setup rolls on a Race Face Turbine R Wheelset, up front its shod with a Maxxis DHF 2.5 and out back you’ll find High Roller II 2.4’s

Kona Dream Builds

Do you have a stunning, custom Kona? Does it have custom parts or maybe a special paint job? We’d love to see it! We’re looking for submissions for Dream Build feature that we share on the Cog and on our social channels. While we know everyone loves their Kona, we’re looking for people who take the extra step in making their bike truly unique.

If you’ve got something special, let’s see it! Upload your Dream Builds to Facebook or Instagram with the tag #KonaDreamBuilds and if it fits the criteria we’ll reach out to you for details!

Check out some examples:

This gorgeous Rove LTD

Or this killer Honzo ST

or this pumpkin Operator

We’ve got more Dream Builds coming soon! Could yours be next?