Ti Tuesday: Eric’s Ultimate bike packing rig

Eric Plankton is a Finnish Kona Super Grassroots rider who spent last year bike-packing around Europe onboard his trusty Kona Rove. For 2016 he has refined his tastes and built up what he calls “the ultimate bike packing rig“. That ultimate rig is this Ti Raijin and just looking at these photos, it seems to be moving up my list too. He may have built it for bike-packing but Eric’s Rajin is built for all round good times on ALL terrain!

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Kona Raijin Ti, size 21”

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Ti Raiin-3 First we have the super light and sexy Race Face Next SL crank in 175mm length with a direct mount 30T ring. The SRAM X1 11-speed derailleur provides reliable and precise shifting without breaking the bank. For the cassette we decided to try something new and went for the Sunrace 11-42T wide ratio. So far the performance has been excellent with smooth shifting.

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Ti Raiin-8

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Since the bike will be primarily used for bike packing I decided to go for 27.5 wheels with a plus sized tire. The Easton Heist 30 if fairly light yet strong enough for riding with a loaded bike. The wheel set comes fully tubeless ready with rim tape and valve installed. Another good thing about the wheels is that the straight pull spokes are the same length all around. So changing a spoke in the bush should be quick and easy. The set came with 5 spare spokes, which is great. The WTB Trailblazer 2.8 tires mounted on to the 30mm wide rim super easy with a loud snap. The Trailblazer casing is actually wider than the knobs, so there is plenty of clearance in the back even with the sliders in the front position.

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I was originally planning on building the Raijin with 29 wheels and a light carbon fork. But when I decided to go with the more “fun” 27.5+ tires I also figured out that a suspension fork would add not only a kilogram of weight, but also a ton of fun. So now the Raijin is equipped with a Rockshox Pike RCT 29” with 120mm of travel. The Pike should handle everything that comes easily, even with a loaded bike.

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The Race Face Next 35 carbon bar weighs just 180g! It has a 20mm ride and is wide enough for a big guy at 760mm. The Aeffect stem is 70mm. I have to do more riding and longer days to fully dial in the riding position and bar height. Then I can cut the steer tube to the correct length.

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SRAM Guide RSC brakes with 180mm rotors offer plenty of power and good modulation.

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The frame has internal routing for a dropper seat post, so installation was simple and looks clean. The Turbine dropper seatpost has been great so far. Works like a charm and should increase confidence on steeper descents. Saddle will be the Brooks Cambium once I get another one for this bike. I had one on the Kona Rove all of last year, and really liked it.

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I really like the reliability of Shimano pedals. The XT M8020 pedal has a small gage to give extra support and reduce the possibility to slip. The cage makes it possible to do short rides without SPD shoes when camping. For example getting water or doing a grocery run in the good old Crocs, which are by the way great camp shoes after a long day of riding. They also work for wading rivers.

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Ti Tuesday: Dave Harder’s Ti Honzo

For this weeks #tituesdaywithkona we are featuring Alberta based Aussie ex-pat and Kona Super Grassroots rider Dave Harder’s latest enduro weapon. Dave won the KR Enduro Series this year on his Kona Process 111 and has just finished building up this little beauty for a spot of winter riding and some serious trail dominance next summer.


Sweet build with 150mm Pike RCT3 and Energy Lab carbon rims.

“The Kona Ti Honzo has had me interested since I first heard a rumor about it a couple of seasons ago, owning two other steel Honzo’s made it an easy decision to upgrade. The Honzo is my go to trail bike because of it’s dependable capabilities on fast flowy single track and on steep technical gnarly trails, the Honzo has you covered. The steel frame was on the heavier side for racing so that’s why I was excited to go to the new Ti Honzo and with this build I was able to drop the weight to 29lbs which is not bad with big rubber.” Dave Harder


The Reverb works in all temperatures and if you service them regularly they are super maintenance free and ultra reliable, I’ve gone for the 150 Stealth Post and a Chromag Lynx DT saddle.


For the drive train it’s a mix of Race Face cranks, a Shimano XT drivetrain with OneUp RadR cage and extended 42t OneUp cog. The wheels are Energylab prototype carbon rims laced to Hope ProII’s and the shoed with a Maxxis minon 2.5 up front and a Bontrager SE5 2.3 out the back.


I’m not getting any points for clourmating here but I love my pink Hope brakes, and the Hope ProII’s are just so damn relaibale. And yes those are Dirty Dog Dragon rotors! You know you want some!

Ti Tuesday: Eddy’s Ti Honzo brawler

Ti Tuesday this week brings the winds of change. For the past few weeks we have focused on pavement orientated titanium beauties, but today we are changing that up and giving you the monster truck of hardtails, Eddy’s Ti Honzo to be precise.  Now don’t be fooled, this particular bike isn’t brand new (although it’s a new 2016 model), Eddy’s been riding and testing this work of art for a while now, and despite being ridden daily, after every ride, it looks this clean. I’d expect that to be a trait most Ti owners share. eddy_honzo_titues-2704 Okay the bike. As you can see from main picture no expense has been spared in this build, from the SRAM XX1 drive train though to the carbon WTB hoops Eddy’s Ti Honzo is the perfect mix of function and bling. On a side note why can’t all cable guides be that rad!

eddy_honzo_titues-2703 A 74.5 degree seat tube is one of the only numbers on the Honzo that differs from its full suspension Process 111 cousin (the Process features a 74 degree seat angle). The head tubes angles are the same at 68 and the reach again is the same at 460mm on a size large. And like the Process range of bikes, the Honzo features massive standover clearance and as you can see, just the right amount of Titanium (in all the right places).

eddy_honzo_titues-2708 Although with no linkage to get in the way and that super funky curved seat tube, the Ti Honzo pulls off ultra short 415mm rear stays with ease.

eddy_honzo_titues-2713 I Probably should have broached this earlier in the #tituesdayswithkona series. What does 3-2.5 Titanium actually mean? Well 3-2.5 Titanium is an incredibly strong and lightweight metal consisting of 3 percent aluminum, 2.5 percent vanadium, and 94.5 percent pure titanium. It’s characterized by excellent fatigue life, lightweight property consistency, form-ability as well as corrosion resistance.

eddy_honzo_titues-2714The drivetrain that started it all off, SRAM’s XX1. There is not much left to be said about this, I mean it changed the way we ride. Oh and by looking at that 28t direct mount SRAM ring Eddy is running, you’d be correct in guessing he lives where the climbs are steep and the desents are well and truly earned.eddy_honzo_titues-2712 Gears not your thing? Just like the steel Honzo the Ti version comes complete with sliding dropouts should you want to enter that single speed pain cave.


eddy_honzo_titues-2727 Tried and true SRAM Guide RSC brakes slow things down and SRAM’s new centerline rear rotors eliminate that pesky squeal. Unlike the 2016 alloy Honzo (which features 148 x 12) the Ti model sticks with a 142×12 rear axle configuration.

eddy_honzo_titues-2711 The always reliable Maxxis Minion EXO DHF is wrapped around WTB’s latest carbon 29″ hoops, the Ci24’s (that would be C for carbon and i24 for an internal rim width of 24mm).eddy_honzo_titues-2733 Chromag’s carbon BZA bar holds things down in the cockpit. Its 800mm width and 15mm rise are all held in place by a matching 35mm bar clamp Chromag BZA stem. It most certainly is business time.

A straight 44mm head tube keeps things classy up front.
eddy_honzo_titues-2731 I just can’t get enough of that cable routing.


Ti-Kona-2723The Ti Honzo has tire clearance for days.

eddy_honzo_titues-2738I didn’t even know Hope made headsets? Well they do and Eddy has them on his bike. Stainless ball bearings and a bunch of seals will keep these puppies running smooth all winter long.

eddy_honzo_titues-2737 Eddy put a Pike on it.

eddy_honzo_titues-2705Titanium Kona owners seem to share a few things in common. A love for King cages is one of them. Oh I Almost forgot to mention the Ti Honzo is stealth dropper compatible.

eddy_honzo_titues-2736There you have it. Eddy’s Ti Honzo and now my dream bike. Production models of these works of art are literally on their way to our distributors now and will be at dealers very soon. Numbers are limited, so if you like what you see here you best get a pre-order in with your local Kona dealer soon. In the mean time you can find even more info on the Ti Honzo here.

Ti Tuesday: 1997 Retro Ti Hei Hei King Kahuna Commuter

Some of you out there are going to think turning a beautiful bike like this 1997 Ti Hei Hei King Kahuna into a commuter is sacrilege. Bear in mind, that although this seriously tidy hard tail is currently in commuter guise, it only really requires the addition of some 1.9″ knobby tires and the removal of the rack and front fender (that’s just so you don’t have to gouge your eyes out) to bring it back to its glory days.

Ti tuesday dan-2548The frame is a 1997 Kona Hei Hei King Kahuna made by Sandvik. It has a Thomson seat post, Race Face stem, Cook Bros cranks, Cane Creek headset, Mavic Cross Ride wheels and Rock Shox Sid Race fork. All pretty high end parts in their day. Heck, World Champion Cindy Devine and future World champ Steve Peat raced DH on these frames. And of course Joe Murray (the bikes designer) and a lot of other top racers raced XC on them.

Ti tuesday dan-2571They were/are pretty damn versatile, indestructible and forgiving bikes. We made them from 1990 until 2000 at Sandvik in WA. We figure maybe we produced around 4000 over that time period. Most of these are still around.

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Sandvik 3-2.5 Titanium. Nuff’ said.

Ti tuesday dan-2554Bit of a mixed big up front. Top mounted cable routing, a classic 1-1/8th Cane Creek Aheadset and short(ish) Race Face Prodigy Stem.

Ti tuesday dan-255280mm travel Rock Shox Race SID’s from 2000 look after the ride up front. Stopping (slowing down) is taken care of by the always classic (and a little bit squeaky) 1998 Shimano XTR BR-M950 V-brakes.

Ti tuesday dan-2550Oh boy, thank goodness for the Marsh Guard and Mucky Nutz fenders, imagine if we were still running these things. I have to admit I never put one of these Toby Henderson fenders on my bike but a lot people certainly did. You’d have to agree that a commuter bike is probably the best place one of these heinous fenders can be up-cycled to.

Ti tuesday dan-2568Radial spoked Mavic Cross Ride wheels from the same year as the fork add another splash of colour.

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Ti tuesday dan-2569Probably the most desirable item on this bike apart from the frame would be these Cook Brothers E Cranks. I’d trade a whole bunch of carbon bits and pieces for these bad boys. I do highly doubt that there are many people out there willing to even think about selling them though. Call me…

Ti tuesday dan-2567Easton Monkey Lite GT2 carbon bars and Avid Single Digit levers (with adjustable reach) keep the cockpit tidy. Oh and the all important Kona commuter horn.

Ti tuesday dan-2562Looks like somebody misplaced the rear set of XTR brakes for the build so it’s a step down to the slightly louder XT versions.

Ti tuesday dan-2564It’s the little details.

Ti tuesday dan-2561Bullet Proof.

Ti tuesday dan-2555There you have it. What’s your favorite bit about this retro Ti build?