Kona Ambassador Jake Hood had absolutely no reason to change anything on his Honzo ESD. It was pretty much perfect out of the box. The Marzocchi Z1 was the fork I would put on a hardtail anyway and the Shimano SLX 12spd drivetrain with an XT shifter is the perfect choice for a hardtail. RaceFace Affect R cranks are perfect due to the face of the 24mm spindle meaning it runs standard Shimano BB. Cheap and reliable. Raceface AR rims laced to Shimano SLX hubs are fantastic. The rims have held up amazingly over the two months of abuse Jake has given them. The whole setup comes correct from the start and you’re on for a winner. The Shimano Deore 4 pot brakes are simply fantastic and the Trans X dropper hadn’t missed a beat once Jake cleaned out the stock grease, pumped it up to 300psi and put some Slickoleum in there.  

To be honest, the only thing I changed for the “It’s a match” release video was the tires, Cush Core in the rear and I put some Pro Impacts in the forks and Maxxis Double Down tires to hangle the jank of Cable Bay. I’ve been riding the bike stock for 2 months now and been loving every minute. It hasn’t missed a beat yet. It’s pretty much perfect”


 I’m a sucker for silver parts and putting my own spin on my bikes.”

The stock Marzocchi Z1 takes care of the business upfront. 150mm. I run them with some Andreani Pro Impacts in the air spring instead of tokens, It gives unreal small bump compliance while maintaining great support. I used to run 100psi in my fork. Now I run 85 but it still rides high in the travel. I think it might be the best suspension upgrade out there just now. Foamies for the Homies.

Maxxis Assegai 2.5 Exo plus tire up front and a Maxxis reckon 2.6 Exo plus in the rear. I run a CushCore Pro in the rear. Normally run about 21psi front and 22 in the rear.  The Rekon might look a little out of place but I flipping love that tire on the back. It rolls super fast and seems to work in all conditions.

I’m a big fan of Shimano cranks. I’ve had a lot of them on my bikes in the past. They just work. When the new 12sp stuff came out with direct mount chainrings I got really excited. Finally the perfect crank. I’m not a fan of any cranks with 30 (28.99) spindles. It’s not so much the cranks I have an issue with. It’s the over priced bottom brackets that I have an issue with. I’ve had much better results with BB’s on cranks that have a 24mm spindles and they are so much cheaper. I love the look of the new SLX cranks so that’s what I went for. I use an SLX 32t chainring as well but will swap out to a silver Burgtec when it wears out cause… well cause silver…

I’ve kept the slx mech and cassette as it just works. I bent the mech twice during filmed and it’s still going strong. Paired with some SP41, a good inner cable, and the XT shifter and you get some fantastic shifting performance.

The good people at Burgtec sent me over some of the finest bike components out there. Their new MK 3 stem is a thing of beauty. A machined piece of metal art. I think it’s the best looking stem on the market. 42.5mm length was for me. Top cap and stem spacers just to match the stem.

Barwise I chose the Ride Wide Enduro Carbon 35mm 30mm rise, last year I had the Ride Wide Josh Bryceland 38mm ride alloy bars on my old Honzo. I loved the bars. Great shape and ride quality. This year I thought I was about time to get back on the carbon program and I’m glad I did. They definitely have a little bit more comfort than the alloy bar while still keeping that great 9º back sweep 5º up sweep that I love. The finish is just fantastic on them. I run them at 780mm wide.

I decided to put my wheels on the ESD. I brought the wheel across from my Honzo birthday bike. They have almost two years of hard riding on them and they are still going strong. Honesty I’ve put so many miles in on these wheels. Industry Nine Hydra hubs laced to Praxis Works AL32 rims. I love these rims. Light, strong, and I’ve yet to put a dent in them. DT Prolock nipples and comp spokes. Great combo.

I’ve kept the Deore 4 pot brakes as they do what they need to do. I’ll maybe eventually put some SLX’s on it but the Deore 4 pots do the job just Now. Shimao M800 rotor takes care of the rest of the braking. I not a fan of QR’s axle, hence why I’ve got a Burgtec axle in the front. I think this also stiffens up the front as well.

A Chris King headset keeps the bike tracking smoothly. Oh those Code calipers from before, those are operated by SRAM Guide Ultimate levers complete with carbon lever blades. 

I decided to swap the trans x post out for a one-up 210mm post. Mostly just because 10 extra mm. That’s the only reason.  A bike company whose name begins with an S takes care of the saddle. It just works for my arse that saddle. That’s all I will say.

I’m a flat pedal rider out and out. I think I tried clips twice in my life but they aren’t for me. I’ve run so many different types of flat pedals. You name it, I’ve probably ridden it. This time I’m giving the Burgtec MK 5 a go. After a few rides, I can say they are super grippy and have a pretty good shape to them. Not wide.

Finishing touches are they Dyedbro stay free tape (although I did want to get the cats one, but it was out of stock) and a wolf tooth morse cage.
Weight is was it weighs. I don’t weigh my bikes

It’s now finally “my bike”. Love this hardtail. Might be my favourite Honzo yet!