The journey of building this bike has been very much an evolutionary process. It started as a 2018 Honzo AL/DL, which Ben acquired secondhand as his first “real” mountain bike following years of primarily BMX. After damaging the aluminum frame, he found the 2019 Honzo ST frame to be irresistible in the striking metallic green and bronze. Most of the stock parts made a direct swap to the steel frame with a few initial upgrades, including a 210mm OneUp dropper post paired with the Wolf Tooth ReMote dropper lever, and some other drivetrain and cockpit bits. This has remained the theme of Ben’s build progression – “ride hard and fast, and when parts break replace them with something better”.

I went with Deity for their carbon bars and mega grippy Tmac pedals. After burning through a couple of mid-tier rear hubs and several alloy rims, I decided to go all in for the wheelset this bike deserves. With some luck and help from the great team at NOBL wheels, I managed to snag a set of TR37 carbon hoops laced to the legendary Chris King hubs in their limited matte bourbon color which had long been out of stock everywhere. Along with the wheelset, I needed a new Boost compatible fork and made the obvious Kashima-coated choice with a Fox 36 Factory GRIP2 at 140mm (although I bump it to 150 for certain rowdier occasions). I also swapped to a Shimano 12-speed drivetrain, pieced together with what I could find during a global pandemic. The few remaining elements from the original bike will likely continue in service until their time comes for the great parts bin in the sky. 

This bike never ceases to amaze me with how fun and capable it is on anything from XC and flow trails to fast and chunky steep stuff. Drop the seat all the way down on jump lines and it feels like an oversized dirt jumper. This is my daily driver and a true do-it-all rig. 

The crankset is a cheap and choice RaceFace Aeffect with a Race Face 30t chainring, A Shimano 12-speed chain dives the power to the rear wheel.

Out back the chain hooks up with a Shimano SLX rear mech and matching cassete. 

Suspension wise Ben has spared no expense opting for the Kashima coated goodness of a 2021 Fox 36 Float Factory GRIP2 140mm.

Wheel wise, Ben has built a set of carbon Noble TR37’s around a set of Chris King ISO hubs in matte bourbon. the wheels are shod in a Maxxis Minion DHF 3C Exo+ 29×2.5 up front and a Maxxis Aggressor DD 29×2.5 out back.

A Deity Speedway 35 carbon bar forms the basis of the cockpit, Kona’s stock stem clamps it in place while Renthal’s Lock-On Kevlar grips provide the perfect contact points. Two piston Shimano Deore brakes handle stopping duties.

The pedals are Deity Tmac’s in bronze.

The super sick Steffi Marth SDG Radar OSO saddle completes the build