As some of you might remember Visa, from BikeShop.Fi in Finland, has already built one pretty darn special Ti Honzo and that one is still his go-to bike. But when he heard about the limited edition birthday Honzo, he knew the time was right to get to work on the 29″ Honzo ST build that he’d already been planning.
Now you might say why not just build another wheelset for the Ti? A fair question, but n+1 folks, n+1!
Thus began the spec’ing. I wanted the ST to have a lot of the same feel to it as the Ti, so a lot of parts are pretty much identical: Race Face/Shimano drivetrain, Hope brakes, Race Face handlebar, Fox fork, dropper post etc. The major difference is the frame and the wheel size. I didn’t want it to look identical to the Ti so the colors have bits of blue and silver here and there and the icing on the cake in my opinion are the WTB tan wall tires. I know that a Vigilante front and rear might be a bit too wild for some, the rear will be swapped for the Trail Boss as soon as the tan wall versions arrive.
I’ve had a couple of rides with it now and a few differences between the builds are rather clear. The 29″ ST is faster… and slower… huh? The larger diameter of the 29″ wheels makes it roll over obstacles a bit better but the Ti 27.5″+ tires give a smoother ride over rocks and roots and have way more grip uphill. The Ti has carbon rims and the ST alloy, so there is another difference as well.
The Vigilantes are 2.5″ so they are rather large volume tires however and give you a smoother ride than narrower 29″ tires. So the 29″ Honzo might be faster at some trails but requires a bit more effort from the rider. I’m starting to like them both in equal measure and now I have two go to bikes, depending on the mood.
2.5 WTB Vigilante Tan Walls. D. O. P. E, Fox Factory 34 Kashima 140mm forks and DT Swiss EX511 laced up to silver Hope Pro4’s.
Fox’s Transfer post goes up and down.
Raceface Next SL Cranks with a 30t Absoluteblack cinch oval chainring propels a blue KMC chain while an XT trigger at the bars provides seamless shifts on via the XTR rear mech.
Hope Tech E4 Brakes slow thins down.
It’s the little details.
Up in the cockpit, you’ll find Race Face Six C bars with WTB’s Padloc grips, Hope Tech E4 Brakes and XT shifters.
Did you even know that Wolf Tooth make a headset?
Frame: 2019 Kona Honzo ST
Fork: Fox Factory 34 Kashima 140mm
Cranks: Raceface Next SL
Chainring: Absoluteblack cinch oval 30t
Pedals: Crankbrothers Candy 3
Freewheel: Shimano XT 11 spd 11-42
Rear derailleur: Shimano XTR
Shifter: Shimano XT
Brakes: Hope Tech E4
Handlebar: Raceface Sixc 35
Seatpost: Fox Transfer Kashima
Saddle: WTB Volt Carbon
Grips: WTB Padloc
Hubs: Hope Pro 4
Rims: DT Swiss EX511
Tyres: WTB Vigilante 2.5 tanwall
Extras: Colour coded stuff here and there