2017 Kona Big Honzo Bike (discontinued)

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Discontinued
2017 Kona Big Honzo Bike
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A breathe of fresh air

Rating: Featured Member Review
The Good:

Beautiful lines, simple, reliable, great value, grippy as hell, great geometry

The Bad:

the dropper post and the fork

Overall Review:

The decision

I chose to get this bike after soul searching and some rigorous online searching for the best full suspension bike on the market. I was getting really sick of the indecision and all the uncertainty with getting a new full sus bike. It seems that of the last 5 full sus bikes that I have purchased, I have wanted to or felt obligated to trade them in the very next season because they were obsolete in a few years or that something new and great just came out that I "HAVE TO HAVE" in order to enjoy the trail more than my last bike. This marketing stuff may be right but I"m just really sick of all the hype so I decided to remove myself from all this hoopla and go back to my roots with a hardtail. Boy am I glad that I did!

I forgot how much fun hardtails are and especially with these

Overall Review:

The decision

I chose to get this bike after soul searching and some rigorous online searching for the best full suspension bike on the market. I was getting really sick of the indecision and all the uncertainty with getting a new full sus bike. It seems that of the last 5 full sus bikes that I have purchased, I have wanted to or felt obligated to trade them in the very next season because they were obsolete in a few years or that something new and great just came out that I "HAVE TO HAVE" in order to enjoy the trail more than my last bike. This marketing stuff may be right but I"m just really sick of all the hype so I decided to remove myself from all this hoopla and go back to my roots with a hardtail. Boy am I glad that I did!

I forgot how much fun hardtails are and especially with these new plus sized tires on there, they add a bit of cushion and some major grip. The simplicity and the clean look of a hardtail is hard not to love, but what has really made me come around is the way that having a hardtail changes the way you ride. Now I have to ride out of the saddle through most sections and be a lot more aggressive and detail oriented in my line choice/exit speed through sections. Overall it makes me a more focused rider which makes me get a better workout and overall ride enjoyment. Looking back, I was starting to get into lazy habits with my full sus bikes. I would sit down through rough sections because I knew the suspension would eat it up or I wouldn't pump as hard because I knew the suspension would bottom out and I would lose traction or it would take some of my energy from me. NOT with a hardtail! It doesn't let you get away with many mistakes which I am enjoying.

To say that my local trails right now "require" a full suspension bike would be ludicrous so that is a small reason I went with a hardtail but it has gotten me to think; do ANY trails really "require" a full suspension bike?? I"m not sure if any really do, short of north van. I was surprised how capable my new hardtail is and how much faster I ride through sections compared to what I thought it would be. The lack of rear suspension really did take away much from my speed besides some few rough landings. 

The ride

my first ride on this beast was a refreshing realization that hardtails rule and that I should have one at my disposal at all times. It brought back so many memories of my first blue Schwinnn moab hardtail from 1999 and lets be honest, I think we all can look back fondly at our first hardtail and how it opened up options for the future to us. The climbing was grippy and stable as anything I had experienced before, the ability to maintain speed through pumping trail obstacles is supreme and the addition of the dropper post makes it a blast to attack downhills with. The turns are so much fun now because it is really hard to loose grip on these plus sized tires, so its fun to try and play with the limits of their traction by railing turns harder and harder than you normally would. The weight is considerable but you have to factor in that 1. Its a kona and is traditionally built more for durability so weight will be higher than most brands 2. It's got more rolling weight because of the plus wheels/tires 3. the weight doesn't affect its handling or climbing abilities much if at al, so to hell with the scales! 

the parts

overall I'm pretty impressed with the parts on this bike. I looked at a nukeproof hardtail of similar price online but I"m glad that I went with the kona even though the parts weren't as nice as the nukeproof. I immediately got rid of the stock kona bars and stem because thats how I roll and I'm a renthal guy all the way so I can't speak to their quality at all, but the frame is a thing of beauty. It has internal cable routing, a low slung top tube for crotch clearnance, the paint job is awesome and It can handle regular 29er wheels to!! 

the tires are okay, but they can't be converted to tubeless so I will just wear them out asap so I can upgrade and save some weight with tubeless. The grip is starting to wear a bit after half a dozen rides though. The dropper post started out good but now is getting stuck at the bottom of the stroke and requires a descent nudge to get it working again. My mechanic has tried lubing it up but I don't know if it can be fixed that easily to be honest, but I wasnt' expecting much out of this KS piece of crap anyways so I will plan to upgrade that in the future. The drivetrain is great so far and even though its the bottom level sram 11 speed I still love it. Same goes for the brakes, even though they are bottom level, they are still shimanos afterall! The fork had started to make a big "clunk" noise when I was taking descents so I had my local shop check it out and they replaced the air spring in a week so now I am back to normal, but it for sure lessens my trust of this fork. Plus the stancions are open at the bottom, this just looks weak and weird to me but I'll ride em till they break!

I plan on upgrading the brakes and tires during this winter so I can't wait to take this bike on some big adventures once it is all dailed!

Specifications

Product Kona Big Honzo Bike
Model Year 2017
Riding Type Trail
Rider Unisex
Sizes and Geometry
S, M, L, XL View Geometry
Size S M L XL
Top Tube Length 589mm 617mm 644mm 682mm
Head Tube Angle 68° 68° 68° 68°
Head Tube Length 90mm 100mm 110mm 120mm
Seat Tube Angle 75° 75° 75° 75°
Seat Tube Length 370mm 420mm 470mm 530mm
Bottom Bracket Height 310mm 310mm 310mm 310mm
Chainstay Length 415mm 415mm 415mm 415mm
Wheelbase 1117mm 1146mm 1175mm 1213mm
Standover 725mm 725mm 735mm 760mm
Reach 425mm 450mm 475mm 510mm
Stack 614mm 623mm 632mm 641mm
Wheel Size 27.5+
Frame Material Aluminum
Frame Material Details 6061 aluminum butted
Rear Travel Hardtail
Rear Shock N/A
Fork RockShox Recon Silver RL Solo Air, 110mm boost spacing
Fork Travel 120mm
Head Tube Diameter Tapered
Headset FSA No.57B, internal zero stack
Handlebar Kona XC/BC Riser
Stem Kona XC/BC
Grips Kona Race Light LOG
Brakes Front: Shimano hydraulic caliper, Shimano RT30 180mm rotor, centerlock
Rear: Shimano hydraulic caliper, Shimano RT30 160mm rotor, centerlock
Brake Levers Shimano hydraulic
Drivetrain 1x
Shifters SRAM NX
Front Derailleur N/A
Rear Derailleur SRAM NX
ISCG Tabs No
Chainguide N/A
Cranks Race Face Aeffect
Chainrings Race Face 30 tooth narrow/wide, direct mount
Bottom Bracket Shimano PF92, press fit
Pedals N/A
Chain SRAM PC1110
Cassette SRAM PG1130, 11-42 tooth, 11-speed
Rims WTB STP i40, aluminum alloy, 40c inner width
Hubs Front: Shimano Deore, 110x15mm
Rear: Shimano Deore 148x12mm
Spokes Stainless Black, 14 gauge
Tires Schwalbe Nobby Nic 27.5x2.8" front and rear
Saddle Kona Trail
Seatpost KS Eten Integra, includes shim for 34.9mm seat tube diameter
Seatpost Diameter 31.6mm
Seatpost Clamp Kona Clamp
Rear Dropout / Hub Dimensions 148mm x 12mm, boost spacing
Max. Tire Size
Bottle Cage Mounts Yes
Colors Matte blue/copper/tan
Warranty One-year limited warranty on complete bicycle
Lifetime limited warranty on bicycle frame
Weight N/A
Miscellaneous Tubeless rims
Internal seatpost cable routing
Price $1,699
More Info

www.konaworld.com

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