Words by ambassador Graham Beaumont and photos by ambassador Ben Gerrish.

Rollback 12 months ago and this bike was just landing on my doorstep. I had big intentions for this bike but I had no idea how much we would fall in love.

When the two words “carbon” and “hardtail” are put together you would immediately think of an XC World Cup race bike. But Let’s be honest now, with modern suspension platforms even the XC guys use full suspension bikes as they are super lightweight and efficient compared to their mid 90’s predecessors.

So why does this bike have a place for me in the modern mountain bike world?   

As seen photographed in its no make up, dirty from yesterday’s adventure state, I wanted to tell you why I love this bike so much!

The idea of a hardtail to me is a bike you can always rely upon, a bike you can take out in any weather and not feel too bad if you don’t wash it off after every ride. A bike you can ride and not feel too precious over—we have all been there. I have a strange knack of turning a utilitarian tool into a piece of art that I’m too precious to use. I still keep my bikes in the living room when I can get away with it

On the same note, it needs to look damn sexy when you want it too!

I spend hours staring at the lines of this bike, and I’m often so engrossed by its beauty I forget the television is on with my favourite series!

Personally I think it’s Ok to love an inanimate object like it’s your firstborn child…

Reliability, maths on this is simple. Remove all of the linkages and moving parts of a full-suspension bike and you’re left with much less to maintain, and maintenance is key when you ride on average 5 times a week. When speccing this bike I was really conscious of keeping the bike as simple as possible, primarily so I could use it every day regardless of the terrain or conditions. This bike has taken me everywhere this year, it’s climbed mountains, coached, guided, dog walked, gone camping, taught road safety, commuted and even ridden to the shops for a loaf of bread. That’s the beauty of a hardtail. It’s so useable. You can easily adapt this bike for any genre of MTB to which there are many!

Long, Low and Slack. Much like any modern full suspension bike, geometry is key to the way a bike will ride, the Honzo just so happens to of been at the forefront of the modern geometry era so rest easy, those buzz words we know so well are relevant here! One of my favourite feature on this bike is the top tube, the standover is amazing, it makes the bike feel like you have a BMX between your legs but the wheelbase makes it feel so stable you could never get out of control. It’s a magical combination.

I have spent years riding steel mountain bike frames and I love them. But at nearer 90kg often steel frames can feel a little too Flexi under my weight. carbon fiber has taken a well deserved top step for mountain bike frame building as it is so advanced. Nowadays you can easily make it stiff where it needs to be and compliant where you want comfort. Carbon is also super robust and easily repairable if damaged, I hope for this bike to last me a lifetime.

The colour of this bike takes me right back to my childhood purging the pages of mountain bike magazines and drooling over the silver components, dreaming of the mountain bike I would later save up for with my paper round. How can silver ever drop out of vogue? It’s timeless.

I can hardly wait for our next adventure, whatever it may be!