kona 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

Kona Dream Builds: Scott’s Strava Warrior Honzo

Ben Hazell | KONA COG
Ben Hazell | KONA COG

UK Sales Manager Scott Belshaw has been on a health kick recently. As a result, he’s been creeping up those Strava leaderboards when out for a ride. Aspiring to be King of the Climbs, he decided that his Process wasn’t quite the machine he needed and has built himself this pretty sweet looking Honzo CR/DL. His local Trails are far from smooth or easy going though so the Honzo still had to be capable of getting him through the rough stuff!

Ben Hazell | KONA COG

Pretty noticeable straight away is those ice cool Silver Pikes from Rockshox. Scott went on to match these with the Hope Pro 4 Hubs & Hope Crankset/Chainring Combo. The Hubs are laced on to Hope’s brand new Fortus 30 Rims for maximum strength for the Decents that follow the climbs.

Ben Hazell | KONA COG
Ben Hazell | KONA COG

Living in a particularly wet part of the Country, Scott’s aim here was to have super reliable components that’ll see him through the harsh British Winters.

The Stopping and Going are taken care of by Shimano. Scott has spec’d top of the range XTR Brakes and XTR/XT Gearing with a decent sized 11-46t Cassette.

Ben Hazell | KONA COG
Ben Hazell | KONA COG
Ben Hazell | KONA COG
Ben Hazell | KONA COG

UK Trails get pretty muddy so Michelin’s Force Enduros were the Tyre of choice.

Further colour matching was achieved by using Deity’s new Ridgeline 35mm Handlebar, mated to the Kona 35mm Stem. Scott has also fitted the OneUp components Tool System so that he doesn’t need to carry a bag when out on the Honzo.

Ben Hazell | KONA COG
Ben Hazell | KONA COG
Ben Hazell | KONA COG
Ben Hazell | KONA COG

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: Todd’s Jealousy inducing Carbon Honzo

We are not about to make any wild assumptions about Todd, the owner of this jealousy-inducing carbon Honzo CR Trail DL, but here at Kona just love it when people pour there personality and riding style into their custom bike builds. Whether it’s subtly updating one of our complete bikes or building a bike fresh from the ground up, the finished build tells you so much about the rider and their riding style (or the style they want to emulate). When we spied this amazing build on the OCCP Instagram page we were all gobsmacked and wanted to know more about the owner and his motivations for putting this beautiful Honzo together.  We reached out to Jared at The Oak City Cycling Project in Raleigh, NC and he had this to say.

“This was a build we did for a friend and customer at our shop, The Oak City Cycling Project (Raleigh, NC). His name is Todd Hancock. He has been mountain biking his whole life and was super excited to go from riding a Moots rigid single speed to this Honzo that we finished up for him in time for this Christmas. He loves classic bikes, hence the silver touches, Onza gum walls, and some of the USA made cockpit items as well and those silver Industry9 hubs we laced to Velocity blunt SS rims. Got to represent NC as much as we can with our custom builds (the color is also very Carolina sky blue). The Flite saddle is my favorite touch.”


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?