One of our Finnish dealers, Visa from Bikeshop.fi, emailed us through this great little write up and a stunning photo-set on this very rad Ti Honzo that he built up as a 27.5+ bike. I don’t know about you but after reading this I really, really want to own a Honzo (Ti, Alloy or Steel I don’t care which!)
When we first saw the new titanium Honzo last summer at the Kona dealer launch in Serfaus, Austria we knew immediately that we just had to build one just for our own use. It was love at first sight, plain and simple as that. It was also pretty clear that we would build the bike as a 27,5+ instead of it’s intended use as a 29er.
We’ve been around different bikes and ridden quite a bunch during our years in the business, so it needs to be stated that the Honzo Ti got us more excited than any other bike in quite a long time. So the few months waiting time felt quite a bit longer, but now the bike is finally ready.
The Honzo has been one of our favourite bikes from Kona since it was launched back in 2012 and it’s been a fun journey to watch it evolve quite a bit during that time. It is the weapon of choice for many of us and our customers, and just provides good times on the trails.
But enough of that and now to the actual build. The main idea was simply to build a fun bike that we ourselves would love to ride (and I can honestly say that this Honzo nailed it). Titanium frames can do some serious damage to your bank account, so we wanted to keep the rest of the spec at a somewhat reasonable level. We could have built a showroom bike with all of the best components that money can buy, but a $8000-$10,000 hardtail wasn’t really the thing we wanted. So we aimed to maximize the fun factor and reliability, this is after all a bike that we are going to ride, a lot!
There really wasn’t any other option for the fork other than the new Fox 34 Float Plus 120mm with Boost hub spacing (it matches the frame like it’s supposed to come with it). The front tire is WTB’s Trail Boss 3.0 and the rear is WTB’s Trail Blazer 2.8 (we didn’t want to run into any clearance issues). The tires are paired with some sweet WTB Scraper 45mm rims, tubeless of course.
The drivetrain is the new Shimano XT 1 x 11 with a 32t ring paired with a 11-42 cassette. Brakes are also XT with a 203mm disc up front and 180mm in the rear, you need some serious stopping power with this beast don’t you? Perhaps not the sexiest of component choices but definitely some of the most reliable and some serious bang for your buck.
You can’t really ride this type of bike without a dropper post so we went with the good ol’ Reverb (stealth routing naturally) and a WTB High Tail saddle. The cockpit has a Raceface Atlas stem and handlebar. Pretty much everything on it is something that we keep in stock inthe store year around. For some eye candy we just had to colour code the pedals as well, so there was no other choice than Crank Brothers Candy 2 pedals.
There are really no lightweight or über expensive parts here but the bike sets the scale at 12.9kg (28.4 pounds). That’s a pretty decent number for a bike that is meant to handle anything you have the guts to throw at it!
So how does it ride then? We’ve only had it out for a few laps on our local trails, but it has already convinced us. It has all the good characteristics of the new aluminium Honzo with a twist. It is playful as hell and the 27.5+ tires give you loads of traction and float through gnarlier stuff like it’s nothing. As with the regular Honzo it might not be for everyone, but if you have it in you the Honzo will give back double. This bike could really be the one bike to rule them all!
So there you have it. The bike can be seen in the shop (when it is not doing what it’s meant to do) and if you ask really nicely the guys just might let you take it for a spin. Or build one just for you!