Inspired by an alcoholic chain-smoking chimpanzee, Kona’s product group has taken an irreverent approach to creating the Honzo–a wildly agile, trail abusive Kona Cromoly hardtail 29er. Gravity Product Manager Chris Mandell reports on the process:

“To be truthful, the Honzo came from our affinity to the Steely,” explains Chris Mandell, the Honzo’s product manager. “We loved that we could ride that bike on all day epics and still hit the gnarly option lines. We also love the 29 inch wheel, making the Honzo a natural progression for 2012. The key design and frame features of the bike are its simplicity and the snappy feel of a hardtail with all mountain capabilities. The intended use of which is reflected in the geometry, spec and frame attributes. Crafting ‘ideal’ geometry requires a series of compromises. We knew that in order for the Honzo to be true to its intended use it needed short chain stays: 415mm/16.3 inch. It would also need to be able to run a 2.4 tire on a wide rim and have chainstay clearance for mud and mangled wheels. This left no space for a front derailleur. For 2012 the bike is spec’d; 1×9, with a 12-36t 9-speed cassette. Another critical geometry number is the 68° head angle—climbable but not too steep as to hold you back when the trail points down.

Other defining frame features include: ISCG 05 tabs, internal headtube (HT length was selected to accommodate the FSA NO.10/No.7B/44 internal headset for tapered steerer, so that the steel frame will accommodate a tapered fork), custom seat tube with 31.6mm inner dimension and cable routing for height adjustable seatpost, sliding dropouts to allow for singlespeed, and low top tube. Undeniably there is a bit of nostalgia in this bike; it was important for us to blend the modern geometry and frame features with the classic steel feel. Spec’d with a Revelation RL Dual Air 29er fork, Shimano 11-36 9-speed cassette, and a The Hive LS1+ w/o taco, the Honzo will be available to your local Kona dealer by the end of October just in time for fall muck riding. Call your Dealer now to get yours on order.

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