#KonaDreamBuilds

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 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 ūüôā

Frame: 2005 Kona Humu Humu Nuku Nuku Apua’A Deluxe – it still glows in the dark ūüôā
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‚Äôt 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‚Äôve 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: 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 2¬ļ 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: Jouko’s 2012 Honky Inc Slays All Roads

We featured Jouko‘s head-turning¬†retro¬†Killer Kilauea¬†a few weeks back, well he’s back at it, this time with a Kona from a¬†completely different century! Hi Sweet Honky Inc frame was purchased via¬†Fillarikellari in Helsinki where Jouko works. “I found out that Kona Europe still had one of these six-year-old framesets in stock, most likely all alone waiting for me in a dimly lit dusty corner of a warehouse. The frame ticked all the boxes plus the size was perfect for me so I had to get it.”

The best roads are usually the ones in the worst condition. For the last few years, my old road bike has been a permanent fixture in our living room while I’ve been riding my cyclocross bike. I wanted to build a sort of an all-road bike with best features of the two, basically a fast enough bike I could ride all day, every day. I wanted the bike to have a steel frame, preferably a carbon fiber fork, disc brakes, enough room for 32 mm tires and a road bike-ish geometry.

Derailleurs and shifters are Shimano’s bombproof 9 speed Dura Ace 7700 series with a washing line-like cable routing. Handlebars are nice and wide Salsa Cowbell 3’s with a bit of flare and plenty of flair, it’s held in place by a Pro PLT stem. Ratio Pile bar tape is thick and soft and dampens vibrations nicely. A Cane Creek 110-series headset makes steering effortless. Brakes are also a familiar safe choice, Avid BB7’s. All in all nothing too fancy, but reliable nice parts many of which I chose because, to be honest, I happened to have them already.

My favorite part of the bike, chainset, is a lovely pair of old ISIS type Middleburns with a smooth as butter SKF bottom bracket that will most likely outlive me. Gearing is more cyclocross than road with 36/48t chainrings accompanied by an 11-28t cassette, it should be perfect for small roads and hardpack gravel rides I have in mind for the bike.

For water there’s two proven Blackburn Mountain bottle cages. Frame is roomy enough to have plenty of space for a frame bag even with two large bottles.

I’m currently running a pair of 32-622 Panaracer Paselas until my sweet 34-622 WTB Exposures arrive. I prefer the comfort, lightness and relative puncture resistance of a tubeless setup. The Exposures are super light and fast tires with just enough thread for the odd stray to a path less pedaled. Wheels themselves are nothing special but they get me where I need to go, I built them with some mismatching hubs, Alexrims rims and DT Champion spokes.

The bike feels way more relaxed and stable than my cyclocross bike and is still capable to rip on occasional singletrack. It’s really just what I had in mind, a real long distance winner. I’m still kind of going through my shakedown period with the bike but everything seems spot on. I can’t wait for the epic rides I’m going to have with this one.

Frame: Kona Honky Inc ‚Äė12, butted cromoly, 61 cm
Fork / Headset: Kona Carbon Disc Race / Cane Creek 10-series
Derailleurs / Shifters: Shimano Dura-Ace 7700 2×9
Crankset / Bottom Bracket: Middleburn, 36/48t, SKF ISIS
Cassette / Chain: Sram 11-28t / Shimano HG93
Pedals: Shimano PD-M520
Handlebars / Stem / Bar tape: Salsa Cowbell 3 46 cm / Pro PLT 110 mm / Ratio Pile
Saddle / Seatpost: Bontrager Montrose Elite / Brand-X 0-setback
Brakes: Avid BB-7
Wheels / tires: Self built with mismatching hubs, DT Champion spokes & Alexrims rims / Panaracer Pasela 32-622

Kona Dream Builds: Show and Shine, Jai Motherwell’s Timeless Shonky ST

The new Shonky ST hasn’t been out there in the wild all that long, and we’ve barely seen any make it to the Cog. Most recently we featured Danny Stewarts¬†bike and there are some pretty cool team builds out there as well under¬†Aggy, Connor, Caleb and Soren¬†Farenholtz. But Jai Motherwell‘s Shonky ST, that we saw complete for the first time yesterday, well and truly¬†takes the cake. I know your asking just how different can you even build a Shonky, it’s just a dirt jump hardtail. Well as you’ll see in this flawless build,¬†it’s by using dedicated, trusted and straight up sexy components and opting for a less is more approach. Let’s dig in.


At one time Marzocchi owned the dirt jump fork market. Right now though, if your DJ build is not sporting a Pike DJ… Well, you better start saving.


Black on Black decals keeps things stealth. What’s that out of focus hub hiding in plain sight?


If you guessed some Profile Racing Elite hubs you’d be spot on. If you don’t¬†know, Profile Racing is the Chris King of the BMX world,¬†USA made, bomb proof and just a little bit pricey, but just like CK stuff, you’ll be handing these hubs down to your Grand Children. And you may notice its a non-disc¬†hub… No chance of ever of adding a front brake to this wheel.


Oh¬†yes! More Profile Racing sexiness. This time it’s their famous three-piece Elite Crankset.¬†Profile racing produced their first 19mm 48 splined, Chromoly three piece race crank way back in 1979. Very little has changed all though the MTB version features a 22mm axle, and Jai is running a 170mm length crank.


Jai is sporting the Profile Racing Sabre Universal Spline Drive Sprocket in 28t. And hot damn that black chainring and polished crank look so damn good together!


Outback you’ll find a 12T cog…


…Attached to more Profile Racing goodness, this time though, the¬†Elite hub will take a disc rotor. Both front and rear hubs are laced to Stans Flow MKIII rims and shod with¬†S&M Speedball tires.


Jumping up to the cockpit you’ll find some Deity Black label bars with a¬†38mm rise and 750mm in width.


They are attached via Deity’s Cavity stem in 35mm length.


SRAM’s classic Elixir XO Trail handles braking duties.


Those sure look like Ti bolts to me.


Cane Creek’s long lasting and tough¬†110 headset¬†ensures the bars stay spinning smooth.


Deity’s Pivotal Frisco DJ saddle keeps things tidy and low.


And it all finishes with a set of our new Kona Wah Wah II composite pedals.


Would you do anything different?

 

Kona Dream Builds: The Return of the King, Caleb’s Process 153 29 CR DL

At 6’4″ I’ve always loved 29ers. I also love lots of travel to make up for my shortcomings¬†as a rider. Oh and I love carbon, partly for the stiffness, but more from aesthetic and design front. So last year when Kona released the G2 Process I was very torn. A carbon 27.5 or an alloy 29? It was a tough call¬†but I ended up opting for the 27.5 CR DL, and I loved every single minute on it, but when Kona released this bike this year there was not even a question about what I was going to ride. This bike ticks every single one of my needs, and don’t get me wrong, the out of the box build needs zero changing. Code RSC’s, RC2 Lyriks, a Super Deluxe out back, a full XO drivetrain and some solid hoops and tires…¬† I mean really, why would you change anything? Well, I¬†can’t help myself. For starters I have a Chris King addiction, it started a few years ago with a simple headset, then turned into hubs, and if you gonna rebuild your wheels you may as well wack some carbon hoops on too right? And after living in Squamish and being blown away with OneUp Components products and ethics and support of the local trails supporting them seemed like a no-brainer, their EDC tool is a must have and the new cable actuated seat post is trouble free especially for someone that travels with their bike a bunch. Let’s get into the details.


What¬†didn’t¬†get changed? Well, the drivetrain and suspension on this bike are faultless. The Rock Shox Super Deluxe rear shock is perfectly tuned for the Process, even though I’m a big dude, I pretty much never touch the cheater switch (unless it’s a long road climb).


The SRAM XO complete group is another bulletproof item that is absolutely perfect (unless you’re one of those Shimano for life kinds people), shifting¬†is flawless, the Dub BB and cranks have put up with some crazy bad weather already and they just feel so stiff. Plus it’s an XO Shifter, cranks, chain, cassette, and rear mech. No corners cut. I did add a One Up top guide up front.


XO Eagle out back. Flawless.


The bike comes stock with Kona’s in-house¬†35mm bar and stem. But… I’ve been addicted to the Race Face TurbineR stem¬†for as long as I can remember, actually since before it was even a Race Face product, I’ve been running this stem since Easton introduced the 35m Haven and Havoc standard back in 2012. I figured once I had the stem that matching bar wouldn’t be too bad and the red 820mm Race Face Six C was added. Cut down to 790mm. One Up’s EDC tool is a must have, I have 5 bacon strips and their tire plug kit also installed.


And once that red Race Face bar was added it was a given that I was going include my staple Chris King headset to the mix.


Oh, I love ice cream!


SRAM’s Code RSC’s are hands down the best brakes I’ve¬†EVER used. But I couldn’t help myself and I had to purchase some carbon levers for them. If you don’t know, the Guide and Code brakes share the same lever and you can buy aftermarket carbon ones for Guide Ultimates. There is nothing worse than cold levers on your fingers in winter, it’s a first world problem, but it’s one that I don’t have to deal with anymore!



One Up’s carbon dropper post¬†lever is the lightest on the market and the position is really comfortable, it allows you to really get your thumb around the bar and the throw is super light and requires minimal effort to activate.


I run it at full 170mm height, topped with a carbon railed Volt from WTB. Pretty much the second best seat ever. Hands up who still loves the WTB Silverado?


It goes all the way to S.


And then there are the wheels… Built in my hometown of Wellington, New Zealand by Wheelworks the 30mm internal carbon hoops are laced to a set of Chris King ISO hubs with DT Swiss Aero Light spokes. The build process is insane on these wheels. Check out this story here on what goes into a set of Wheelworks wheels.


The boys at wheelworks love a custom spoke treatment. They even used red nipples!


I’ve been a fan of the WTB Vigilantes tires since they first arrived on the market a few years ago. I’ve solely used the 2.3″ Tough High Grip tire but I thought I’d give this lighter Slash Guard Light casing 2.6″ a crack. So far it has been amazing and I’m yet to flat. The tough casing versions are pretty hefty so saving a little weight with these is welcome. Out the back,¬†I run the OG 2.3″ Vigilante Tough High Grip tire, it’s more like a 2.4″ and hooks up like nothing else.


The revised 2.6″ tread pattern.


Then there are the little things. One Up’s rubber ski straps are a cheap and easy way to attach the tube and Co2.


The Wolftooth x King Morse Cage combines the awesomeness of a King Cage with a huge fore and aft adjustment, allowing you to get the cage super close to the rear shock and increase the room for a big bottle, which I should say fits with plenty of room to spare. It comes in Ti and stainless. I cheaped out and opted for stainless.


Another look sans bottle.


There she is. My Process 153 CR DL 29. Without a doubt the dreamiest bike I’ve EVER owned!

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

I really didn’t want to bust out that clich√© 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‚Äôt 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.