Kona Honzo 29er Hardtail

4.71/5 (17 Reviews)
MSRP : $1799.00

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Product Description

New for 2012 we introduce the Honzo, a balls-out, aggressive all-mountain 29er Cromoly hardtail. Featuring a beyond-vogue slack 68-degree headtube angle, low bottom bracket and short chainstays, the Honzo is all about getting radical on technical singletrack near you. Featuring a zero-stack internal headset with tapered steertube, Kona continues to lead the way when it comes to the evolution of steel. A single front chainring with chain guide, 9-speed 36-tooth cassette, 31.6 seatpost with dropper post cable routing, and ISCG 05 tabs, the Honzo goes up, down, and all the way around.

  • RockShox Revelation RL Dual Air 29er
  • Avid Elixir 1 brakes
  • Shimano 9-speed 11-36 rear cassette
  • Maxxis Ardent tires

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    Reviews 1 - 15 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

    User Reviews

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Jay a Cross Country Rider

    Date Reviewed: August 19, 2016

    Strengths:    Beefy frame
    Very stable geometry

    Weaknesses:    A bit rough riding due beefy build
    Climbing geometry isn't perfect due to slackness

    Bottom Line:   
    A fun bike but tilted towards descending. I find it rough in the rocks. You never feel like you're going to endo due to long front center geometry. It is fun to ride. Very simple!

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Hard to say

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Price Paid:    $535.00

    Purchased At:   Centre bikes in Cali

    Similar Products Used:   Various bikes

    Bike Setup:   Mostly SLX/XT with a dropper post. DT hub with Stan's rims. Cushy WTB saddle. Titanium flat bar with stubby stem.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by Clayton Bigsby a All Mountain Rider

    Date Reviewed: June 2, 2015

    Strengths:    I was in the market for something new since I had given my Kong Dawg Supreme to my son. I was looking for something fun, reasonably priced, hardtail, 29'er and cool. I dont even remember how I came across the Honzo, but after reading some of the reviews I wanted this bike, I called a local shop and he just happened to have a large in stock. I went a test rode it in a total downpour but I didn't care I was having to much fun. I liked the fact that the head tube angle was the same as my Dawg (made it feel playful), chromoly frame, the short chainstay gives it a quick/snappy feel and loved my first experience of owning a 29'er. I noticed that what all the other reviews said about just pointing it anywhere was doable with no hesitation. It climbed great and with the 29" wheels found it a joy to ride on the road for cardio training. The first thing I noticed was the wide bars, they really step up the stability factor, I liked the width so much I put them on my son's Dawg and picked up another set for me. The tire width 2.40 front and 2.25 rear seemed to work great.

    Weaknesses:    The only thing I noticed was the top tube height is a little tall (2015 model is quite a bit lower) and the grips were rock hard.

    Bottom Line:   
    I can honestly say I'm glad I bought the Honzo and try my best to talk my friends looking for a new bike to consider it. I have upgraded the cranks, pedals, bars and grips (cranks and bars mostly for bling), I think in the future I may upgrade the fork (140mm) to suck up the bumps even better on the D/H sections.

    If you buy one just know that it will gather a crowd, which I dont mind.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Glass S-cool

    Duration Product Used:   2 years

    Price Paid:    $2200.00

    Purchased At:   Tim's bike shop

    Bike Setup:   2013 Large Honzo (brown frame) , RaceFace Kash Money bars, RF Kash Money cranks, Specialized fatty grips, 45NRTH Hienuspec pedals and Salsa seat clamp.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by brickwallmusic a Cross Country Rider

    Date Reviewed: March 29, 2015

    Strengths:    Climbs like a mountain goat
    Descends like a dream

    Weaknesses:    None!

    Bottom Line:   
    Winch it up and point it down!! I had a decently component spec'd bike that I got from an online company, thought it was a sweet deal so I got it. The components were awesome, but the frame, frame setup and geometry were... ugh... Left some to be desired... That, and it had a serious design flaw with the front derailleur cable routing... which went to the chain stay... on a full suspension xc bike.. (with an AM weight, mind you) What ever, I'm not bitter. Anyway, got the Honzo frame and swapped over everything and wow! This thing climbs way better, like a dream! I thought there would be a little bit of front tire lift and wobbliness over some of the technical climbs I've done, but nope! Climbs better than the old frame I had with significantly long chain stays! And then point it down and hold on! Crap! I heard you have to push it hard to really get a sense of how it descends, and I didn't really understand that until I rode it down some long descents! This thing really like to go fast and hard over stuff and around corners! It's crazy! I love it! I check everything on starve (I know I'm a bike looser) but with this first run on it I beat pretty much all of my climbing times and descending times on all the trails I rode! With a hard tail! I know when you buy the whole bike it comes with just a 120mm fork, I put my 140mm Talas on it and I couldn't imagine having any less travel, even on the long climbs!

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Crawford trails, kelowna, B.C. Canada

    Duration Product Used:   2 days

    Price Paid:    $500.00

    Purchased At:   Kelowna Cycle

    Bike Setup:   Easton Haven wheels
    Continental Trail Kings
    Fox Talas 34 140mm
    1x10 with Raceface 32t single ring, Oneup 42t on a sram cassette
    X9 type 2 derailleur
    Chromag Trailmaster DL seat
    Chromag grips
    Truvativ T20 riser bar
    Raceface chester stem 50mm

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by maximo a All Mountain Rider

    Date Reviewed: December 10, 2014

    Strengths:    The bike is just awesome! Confidence inspiring geometry.

    Weaknesses:    A little pricey for component spec in my opinion.

    Bottom Line:   
    Coming from more XC type hardtails to this took some getting used to, but after the learning curve this bike is the best hardtail I've ridden... even if I sacrifice a little time on the climbs.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Santa Fe- Winsor, Rio En Medio

    Similar Products Used:   Surly Karate Monkey, Surly 1x1, Independent Fabrication SS Steel Deluxe

    Bike Setup:   Single Speed, Chris King Hubs laced to Flow rims 36hole, White Industries ENO crank 32 tooth, 19-20 tooth surly cogs, KS LEV dropper post 150mm, DMR Defy 50mm Stem, Crank Brothers DH bars.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by TeeO a Weekend Warrior

    Date Reviewed: June 16, 2014

    Strengths:    Great geometry, springy steel, single speed ready and sexy old school looks
    Fun on the trail without the high purchase and maintenance costs of a full suspension
    Good conversation starter

    Weaknesses:    No high spec bike available (where's the XT/X9 model Kona?)
    A bit heavy, but expected for this price point and category
    Not for racers, tech geeks or weight weenies (or perhaps the bike you ride while your light, fragile and complex bike needs work)
    Avid Elixir 5 brakes lack- in all regards

    Bottom Line:   
    The Honzo is a fun trail bike that will have you smiling from ear to ear and your mates asking the CFO to release the credit card. It's not the fastest way to get to the top of the hill but that's not what you really want, is it. I run mine SS and manage to ride all but the most extreme climbs without too much pain - for an SS. A dropper post is an obvious upgrade for the Honzo and really helps unleash its aggressive character with only a small 200gram weight penalty - easily mitigated by skipping a few pieces of cake or going to the toilet before a ride. Overall the Honzo's a fun bike that will descend as fast as most 140-150mm bikes but not need to have the hundreds of dollars of your hard earned cash spent on regular shock and bearing services.

    Life's too short, just buy the damn bike!!!

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Green Smoothie - Fox Creek SA

    Duration Product Used:   1 yearish

    Price Paid:    $2150.00

    Purchased At:   Upfront Bikes

    Similar Products Used:   Specialized Pitch, Tuner Flux, Scott Scale,

    Bike Setup:   Stock 2013 Honzo setup SS with 32x21 gearing, tubeless tyres and a dropper post.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by bitflogger

    Date Reviewed: June 15, 2014

    Strengths:    Most societies categorize the levels of fun produced by this bike as as illegal or immoral. Someone thought to combine monster truck and dirt jumper in the same affordable package.

    Weaknesses:    Weight weenies go home. The design that is optimal for bike control, flight, and extreme railing turns means you need good technique for some climbing. 1x may be a limitation for some.

    Bottom Line:   
    Double 5 Chili ratings because you get the geometry and characteristics that are otherwise a boutique brand or or custom builder bike, and because this thing is just SO fun to ride.

    I always understood the big wheel concept, never had sex with a dead person, but riding 29r bikes made me think I knew what that would be like. Not so here. I'll never think of big wheels the same again. This thing lets you hit the trail with the sort of fun you have with a dirt jumper but it lets cover the miles.

    Are you a skier? Then understand this bike to be like a pair of skis that carves the high g force turns and feels great when there's air between you and earth.

    Know how to pump? This thing will send you into the unsuspecting rider in front of you.

    Ride to trail head? It might take less because of the big wheels or longer because you'll be getting air or playing with any feature, curb or driveway ramp you see.

    Big thanks to the Kona product managers for not being supply chain cheapskates (steel!), and product managers evidently interested in fun instead of grunting out a race.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Anything that pumps.

    Similar Products Used:   Other 29 hard tail bikes from well known makers.

    Bike Setup:   My stock build is changed with narrow/wide 1x, removing chain guide, tubeless, dropper post, and a premium saddle. 30t with stock gearing is not a granny gear but lets you ride about anywhere if you stand when needed.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Kona Honzo Custom Build

    Date Reviewed: May 8, 2014


    Probably the best way to describe it. I love this bike. Been biking about 5 years now, and ridden a Trek Fuel EX 8 FS bike the last 2 years. Great bike, but I love the Honzo. Mine is custom built so its a tad different. Has the RS Rev fork, Stans Arch EX rims, XT brakes, Zee shifter and derailleur... etc etc.

    The bike rocks. The frame is awesome and steel is really sweet. Soaks up a lot of the chatter, and the bike just crushes. Thought it would be heavy, thought I'd miss FS... I was wrong. My bike weighs in at 28 lbs. Pretty respectable for a steel trail bike. I'm really loving this thing so far.

    Weaknesses:    Frame only has room for a 1x9 or 1x10 setup, so missing out on the granny ring can hurt climbing a bit. Really consistently rocky trails can be annoying, but who wants that anyway. gimme something that flows.

    Bottom Line:   
    Great bike, loving it. Was skeptical about going from a full suspension back to a hardtail, but I am really really enjoying this ride.

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by JohnJohn a Cross Country Rider

    Date Reviewed: December 15, 2013

    Strengths:    Best all around and fun bike

    Weaknesses:    The stock transmission, heavy but YOU choose to ride a cromo

    Bottom Line:   
    I was looking for my first 29er and I did not want a pure XC machine... Did not want a DS all mountain... And this bike is both very weel! Most of the stock parts of my 2013 is really good (also Kona OEM pieces) but X7 for a 1800$ hardtail is a bit cheesy. A scellant rust traitment can be necessary for mud an nordic conditions. Rust drops slippings down the evacuates holes of the chainstay and at the reinforce piece of the seatube on the toptube.
    INDISPENSABLE UPGRADE: dropper seatpost! A Reverd is my nice servant... Last point... Since I ride the Honzo (depending how I feel) for the summer long... I'm stronger on my DS XC bike!

    Expand full review >>

    Price Paid:    $1600.00

    Purchased At:   Slightly used

    Similar Products Used:   None... First 29er, first AM... Long time no see cromo

    Bike Setup:   XT trans 1x10 w/ RaceFace narrow wide, SLX brakes, RaceFace Atlas bar, RS Reverb, Deore trail pedals,

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by bigfoot_mt

    Date Reviewed: March 31, 2013

    Strengths:    Confidence boost on both downs and technical ups. It just loves to eat up terrain. Handles well all around. Balance on steep climbs is great front tire doesn't wander.

    Weaknesses:    A bit heavy, but I built it up that way. No cable guides for a Hammerschmidt

    Bottom Line:   
    I have it set up with a Hammerschmidt which I love. I like having the low range for long technical climbs. I can't believe how much more confidence I have on this bike. Best explanation I have is that I rarely use my dropper post because I am comfortable on descents even with the seat fully raised.
    I went from an On One Inbred which I enjoyed, but was ready for a bike that could help me get a bit more aggressive. The Honzo fits that perfectly.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Sovereign Singletrack

    Duration Product Used:   2 months

    Price Paid:    $2000.00

    Similar Products Used:   On One Inbred

    Bike Setup:   Hammerschmidt 24/34 tooth. Gravity Dropper Turbo LP 2.5" down and 5", X-9 9 sd, Stans Flow rims, Rampage front, WTB moto rear, RS revelation.

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Pedro Man a All Mountain Rider

    Date Reviewed: February 17, 2013

    Strengths:    Wow, so much bike for your money! Get a leg over, shut up and shred!
    Forget the rest... 2013 model has 10 speed, e13 chain guide, 20mm fork and 12mm rear maxles... Slack head angle, shrt stem, and a 29" wheel right under your backside making for a nimble, smooth, and confidence inspiring ride.... Wow, it's just fun fun fun right out the box

    Weaknesses:    YOU! You are the weakness! Every bike is a compromise, in this case it is strength and price versus weight and bling. The person who is having the most fun riding is the one that's the winner, not the guy talking up the rising rate and high speed compression adjustability etc... Kona Honzo is never gonna be perfect but is 100% fun and reliable out of the box... Weakness? What?! Grips are hard on bare hands, so wear gloves, change the grips, or harden up...

    Bottom Line:   
    Rail berms, hammer over ruts, pedal up a hill and smash back down again and again... That's why you buy a Kona. Sorted geometry (really sorted) and built to last. Save up kids and get this bike, it is trailtastic shredarama goodness. Too heavy? get stronger! Simple and fun.... Exactly the reason you head into the forest in the first place, switch off and ride hard.
    Hardtail Hardcore

    Expand full review >>

    Price Paid:    $2100.00

    Purchased At:   A bike supermarket

    Similar Products Used:   GT Ruckus SS, Giant Reign X, DMR Trailstar,

    Bike Setup:   100%stock.... Price is As supplied to NewZealand market.
    Grips are a bit too grippy on your bare hands

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by i.a.n. a Cross Country Rider

    Date Reviewed: January 28, 2013

    Strengths:    Extremely nimble ride and very stable on descents. For a bike that promises to be a great descender it climbs surprisingly well. Tight, up and downhill switchbacks are a breeze and of course, or rolls over everything!

    Weaknesses:    The frame is a bit heavy, but it's well balanced so you don't really feel the heft.

    Bottom Line:   
    I purchased a frame only, so I can't comment on the value of the complete build. I set up mine as a single speed and it is the most fun I've had on a hardtail. Actually, most fun on any bike period. I can see why the wheels on a stock build would hold back this bike, so investing in a reasonably light and stiff wheelset is well worth the upgrade.

    This bike is purpose built to slay rough terrain and it delivers. I expected it to wander on climbs, but it's rock solid and never goes off track. And downhill it's incredibly stable. I never experienced any nervousness that most bikes with short chainstays experience.

    Can't say enough about this bike. Kona produced a ridiculously fun bike at a great price.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Mr. Toad's Wild Ride

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by bikepackingdude a All Mountain Rider

    Date Reviewed: November 12, 2012

    Strengths:    Chromoly frame, RS Revelation 120mm, 1x9 and decent cranks

    Weaknesses:    Elixer 1 brakes, the stock seat, the narrow handlebar and heavy wheel set

    Bottom Line:   
    I LOVE THIS BIKE! The day I bought this bike I switch out the seat for a SDG bellaire and the bars for some raceface bars that are much wider than the stock bars and I changed out the brakes for some shimano XT's and I was very happy. The only thing left is the anchors they call wheels. I didn't think it was possible for me to like a hardtail so much but I think I grabbed my FS 3-4 times all summer long, this coming from a guy that didn't even want to think about a hardtail and now it is my go to ride. If you live somewhere that has a lot of rocks and roots or there isn't a rock to be found this bike should be on your short list, whether you are going on an afterwork ride to a multi-day ride this bike is built to be punished uphill and downhill. I find that if there is a little something on the trail that you can maybe catch some air on this bike is at home. About the only place I didn't ride this bike is at the resorts and thats not because the bike thats for sure it is because I dislike riding lifts. I did some endurance racing and some epics including an overnight trip and all I can say is HELL YEAH I love you Honzo. Overall I would recommend this bike to any all-mountain rider looking for a bike that is fun and fast and can be raced or just plain punished this is the bike for you.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   all of them

    Duration Product Used:   9 months

    Price Paid:    $2000.00

    Purchased At:   Salvagetti

    Overall Rating:3
    Value Rating:3
    Submitted by RideEverything a All Mountain Rider

    Date Reviewed: June 30, 2012

    Strengths:    Geo is great for both up and down.
    Solid frame.
    Happy for the 12-*36* 9spd!

    Weaknesses:    Wheels are boat anchors!

    Bottom Line:   
    Overall this is a great, fun bike to ride!

    It has been a while since I've ridden a steel frame but the Honzo still has the trail chatter absorption of a steel frame that I remember!
    The 29" wheels make for a monster truck ride! Going up and over most everything and when pointed down the Honzo will ride over and through anything the pilot can handle! This is my first 29er and I am finding that the wheel size smooths out the terrain which leads me to choosing lines that I normally wouldn't when on a HT. Because of this sometime I am reminded harshly that I'm on HT!

    The short chainstays make for a playful and snappy bike. It is very easy to move the bike around.
    With the steeper STA it makes for a good climbing position over the bike. And, with the slack for a 29er HTA position over the bike while descending and riding aggressively is good as well. I have yet to feel like I'm going to go over the bars even on STEEP tech descents!
    I haven't had much air time yet on this bike. However the few times that I've jumped and dropped the Honzo it felt stable and predictable.

    The stock build is reasonably durable for this price point. Although I do feel a few corners were cut with component choice to hit the the price point.

    The wheels are boat anchors! And, the freehub blew up only after 3 weeks of riding! It was only the start of the season so I had not been riding it very hard yet.
    I sent the wheel in for warranty a month and a half ago and still have not received a working wheel yet!! This has forced me to purchase another wheelset so that I could ride my new bike!

    Tires are a personal choice so I can't poopoo the Maxxis Ardents too much. They are good going up and down in the dry. When it is wet the tires don't offer much traction at all.
    I also am not a fan of how these tires don't hook up when cornering aggressively regardless.

    The Avid Elixer 1 brakes aren't doing it for me either. They do stop the bike well enough. However, even after 3 bleeds I can't get rid of the spongy feel in the levers when applying the brakes.
    Also, being a big guy (6'6", 245lbs) the 160mm rotor on the rear doesn't offer very much stopping power on steep descents. I am upgrading to 180mm rotor in the near future.

    I swapped a few of the parts out to set the bike up to my own personal riding style.
    I installed a much wider bar (780mm Chromag OSX). This helps with a more aggressive riding position over the bike as well as offering more leverage when standing and climbing hard.
    A Reverb adjustable seat post was added to make for a seamless transition between going up and down the trails.
    Clipless pedals were added to make climbing easier as well as to keep my feet on the pedals when charging down through the chunder!

    (It turns out the the RS Revelation that came on my Honzo had only 113mm of travel rather than the stated 120mm. I performed the travel modification to move the travel up to 140mm and and came out with 135mm. The fork works properly. I had a look when I had the fork apart to see where the lack of travel was coming from but could not figure it out. I am still content with the fork.)
    I bumped up the travel of the RS Revelation fork from 113mm to 135mm. I've only had a few rides so far with the fork at 135mm. I do notice that I haven't smashed my pedals as much when riding through tech sections of trail. I am also having a much smoother ride down the bigger gnarly trails that I ride rather than bottoming out when it was at 113mm.

    The gearing ratio is manageable for extended long climbing.
    Although, I am looking at getting a crankset that can accommodate a spiderless 28T chainring. I feel with that gearing ratio I will be much happier with climbing the trails in my area.
    I swapped out the Shimano Alivio shifter and Deore RD to Sram X7 shifter and X9 RD because with the gear indicator on the shifter I couldn't place the shifter out-board of the brake lever so that I could easily reach the shifter paddles.

    Even with these issues I am still quite happy with the bike. It rides as expected and it is a fun bike to ride!
    I am only giving 3 chilis for both value and overall rating because of the freehub issue and having to spend more to replace the wheels so I could ride the bike.
    If I hadn't had an issue with the wheels and having to purchase new ones I would have given a 4 chillis rating for value and a 5 chillis rating for overall.

    If you'd like to see the terrain that I ride my Honzo on here are links to the videos:

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   A lot of trails!

    Duration Product Used:   2 months

    Price Paid:    $1899.00

    Purchased At:   GBB

    Similar Products Used:   2000 Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo
    2004 Cove Stiffee FR

    Bike Setup:   2012 Kona Honzo 20R
    Originally stock.
    Now with changes:
    Reverb seat post; Chromag Trailmaster saddle; Chromag seat clamp; Chromag OSX bar 780mm; ODI Rogue grips; CB Mallet 2 pedals; SunRingle Charger Pro wheelset; X7 shifter; X9 RD.
    Bumped the travel up to 140mm on the stock Revelation fork.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Brianisbrain a All Mountain Rider

    Date Reviewed: May 23, 2012

    Strengths:    it's steel, the geometry is perfect it's the most fun i've ever had on a mountain bike
    it walks when others talk

    Weaknesses:    no front der but who cares dangly bits suck anyways

    Bottom Line:   
    I cracked my cannondale the saturday before dirtfest and was devastated, until i remembered i had been saving nickles up for this bike. it just so happened that a mrkauk had one on here with a headset and he got it to me just in time to build it up and go shred some gnar!
    first impression: holy sh1t!!! this thing rips!!! this was the bike that i've been wanting since 1998. it wheelies, manuals, and hops with almost no effort. going down hill is a joke. i had a joplin dropper on my cdale that fit right into the honzo (good lookin out on that kona!) and man, when you slam the seat on a dh on this bike it's ridiculous. there is no such thing as too fast on this bike, it sucks you right into the pocket and lets you rip like a champ and float over anything you want!
    this bike is stout, it's confidence inspiring and it feels completely indestructible. even crashes and near misses feel more comfortable on this bike. it pumps unlike any other 29er and carries speed like it's got a motor on it, a big motor. climbs felt sluggish at first but then i took an attack attitude and this thing growled at me for more! seriously, push one gear bigger on climbs on this bike, it will laugh and carry you to the top of the hill like a f#ckin sherpa. this is not a sit and pedal bike, it wants you to stand up and push it, it will reward you greatly for your efforts and when you do sit on the saddle it's like riding an old cb650.
    i love the fact that i'll be able to swap between 1x9, 1x1 and igh on this bike with the sliding dropouts.
    i love that it's solid and silent.
    it fits better than any other bike i've owned (6'3" 200#)
    the color is awesome.
    it's probably right around 29 lbs with my build.
    it floats
    it corners
    it does not look like a store bought bike
    it does not ride like a store bought bike
    it made my reba feel better, but it's still gonna be replaced as soon as the xfusion slants are available.

    i'd post a follow up later but it's not even necessary, this thing is it.

    bottome line, if you are more interested in having fun on your bike, get this bike.
    if you count carbs and grams and spend time on a road bike, and like to sit at starbucks talking about your gear inches go get a niner or spec or whatever and be ready to get out of my way on the trail lol.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   allegrippis trails, fountainhead, rosaryville

    Price Paid:    $450.00

    Purchased At:   mtbr classifieds

    Similar Products Used:   my old haro freestyler sport

    Bike Setup:   20" honzo, 50mm spank stem, spank royola bar, joplin dropper post, x9 9spd shifter/der, juicy brakes, nukeproof hub on sun mtx33 rear, nukeproof 15mm convertible on velo blunt up front, reba rl, profile 175mm cranks, vp pedals and 200 lbs of ohio hillbilly.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by cford a Cross Country Rider from Milwaukee, WI

    Date Reviewed: November 13, 2011

    Strengths:    Going downhill, Going uphill, Shredding the Gnarballs, Running over anything you see on the side of the trail that doesnt really look rideable. Above all else its a really fun and realiable bike.

    Weaknesses:    it doesnt fly. the stock wheels are heavy, and the crank is ok.

    Bottom Line:   
    So, I bought this bike and the day it came in I put it together and went to GNOMEFEST, at the Levis Trow Mounds in Neilsville WI. Anyone familiar with those trails knows that it is very "west-like". Now, i knew the Honzo would be the perfect bike for this kind of riding, with its HUGE front fork and killer geometry, slacked out for a more forgiving ride while screaming down whateveryouwant. It preformed beautifully, soaking up any punishment i threw at it. Best thing i noticed is that once i got familiar with the bike i could whip it around windy single track almost as fast as the Unit. Going across more tame singletrack and feilds/swamps/pineforest this bike feels just as at home as it does when you let the brakes out and rip it down hill.

    Ive noticed that this bike produces a more laid back riding position and you should embrace that as youre not going to be over the bars pinning it on this machine. Sit back, relax and let the big tires and big fork do the work. However if you come to a really steep climb you can climb uphill just as youd expect from any 29" bike. A tip for climbing, move the rear wheel back a smidge from the front and youll notice your rear end staying a little more under control when climbing. I was spinning the rear wheel considerably when i first started gunning up tough rooty/rocky sections.

    So the stock set up will get you through anything. Sure its not a tricked out bling machine out of the box. But it works, and its a toy thats meant to take alot of unadulterated abuse.

    so, who should buy this bike? Someone who wants the perfect compliment to the rigid single speed 29er. The Honzo is going to open up new doors to what a 29er can be. Big, Gutsy, without limitations. And if the term "Drunken-Master" comes to mind when you think of this bike. Let me just affirm that you are correct.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Levis Trow Mounds, WI

    Duration Product Used:   3 months

    Price Paid:    $1799.00

    Purchased At:   Cory the Bike Fixer

    Similar Products Used:   Kona Unit, '09, and '12 SS, rigid.

    Bike Setup:   bone stock except for the grips, pedals, and seat.

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