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.
Frame: 2018 Honzo ST (M)
Fork: Cane Creek Helm 29 Air 140mm
Crank: Deity Vendetta
Chainring: Raceface NW 30T Purple
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