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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I own a 2014 Kona Honzo and absolutely love it. I came off a Karate Monkey and when I use to live in Ohio, I had some dirt jump bikes (Scott Voltage & Black Market MOB). Since moving to Utah, I bought a Honzo about 8 months ago.

But I gotta admit, I sometimes think the grass is greener on the other side...regarding full suspension bikes, that is. I'm tempted every-time I get my new mountain bike mags in the mail and start reading about all the new coolness & trickness out there regarding the FS trail & all mountain bikes on the market.

Well, my son and I were at the Fruita Fat Tire festival this past weekend and I got to demo ride 9 different bikes on the various trails on 18 road and also Mary's loop and Horsethief. At first I didn't want to demo a new FS AM bike because I was perfectly happy with my Honzo and was afraid I would then end up finding that I NEEDED a FS...especially since I'm almost 48 now. However, since I never rode a FS bike before, I wanted to see what I was missing and if it would be easier on my older joints.

The bikes I rode were:
- Kona 111 DL
- Kona 153
- Diamondback Mission (the new 27.5 that was just released couple weeks ago)
- DB MASON FS Pro
- Scott Genius LT700 (27.5)
- Yeti 575 (27.5)
- Niner ROS (parking lot only...started raining)
- Trek Stache 8
- Diamondback Mason pro (HT)

Well, don't get me wrong, all were great bikes but I was shocked because NOTHING I rode left me thinking...wow this rides so much better than my Honzo and I gotta have this. I rode my Honzo over the same trails as these demo bikes to compare the differences and I seemed just as fast on the downhills, launched over the same drops and jumps, and didn't seem any more beat up as I did on the FS rides. None of the bikes I demoed seemed too have the fun factor like the Honzo has either.

My favorite FS bike that I demoed was the Kona 111 and my favorite HT that I demoed was the Mason...although I think the Niner ROS would have won this category if I could have gotten it out on the trail...parking lot ride felt awesome but hard to compare when not trail ridden.

I always loved the Honzo but I was thinking of getting something new next year and was thinking FS but I'm scratching my head now because I can't seem to understand why I would need anything else than the Honzo...Honzo felt just as fast and just as comfortable but more fun riding.

By the way, the Honzo just rips on the 18 road trails...PBR was especially fun!

Was I expecting too much out of the newer FS bikes or what? Or is the Honzo's geo and chromoly frame along with a dropper seat post and 2.4 Ardents (front & back) just that good?
 

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Fruita trails are pretty buff. You might feel differently about the demo if you had ridden somewhere with lots of fast, square-edged rock, huge roots or flat landings.

Not saying Hardtail is better than FS or vice-versa... I like having both & grabbing whichever bike fits the trails & my mood best.
 

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too many variables, maybe

wheels size, setup, terrain and what youre used to.. those can make a big difference
 

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I'm with stupid
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frutia= buff. Hardtails do just fine there.

I Had a ahrdtail 29er and a 6" bike and sold that hardtail. The trails are quite a bit rougher here then fruita though. Plus you might have felt you were going just as fast on your hardtails but feeling is subjective, only timing will be the true judge. Plus if you ride a FS like a hard trail then it will feel like a hard tail ( picking smoother lines around the rocks instead of over). You have to ride a hardtail and a FS different to get the best out of them. If you ride them both like a hardtail then there is zero reason to get a FS. But if you try to ride a hard tail like you would a FS longer travel bike you will notice the difference quickly. Just my thoughts on the subject.
 

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CoolArrow
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Glad to see you get out of Ohio - congrats! (I left in 2005).

I'll echo the buffness of Fruita comments. I had a blast there on my Airborne Goblin, felt more connected to the trail and much faster accelerating than my FS bike.

Where in Utah are you riding?

The whole HT/FS is pretty subjective, and depends a lot on what you expect out of your bike and riding in general, not just the bike. I think you have to be at a point in your riding where you feel that a HT is not enough. No magazine ad will convince you of that. If you find that your Honzo is not holding you back from the things you like to ride, the way like to ride - then why ever switch? No need.

I like to ride at speed over chunky technical stuff, drops, jumps and scary things. While much of what I ride CAN be done on a hard tail, I'm 46 and find that I like the way suspension smooths some things out, and also make other things possible. And yes, it even covers my ass sometimes when I don't do everything just right.

IF I go to Fruita again, I'll be taking a hard tail, again. But most other rides, it's FS for me.
 

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I would echo what everybody above stated & add this. There is a fairly big learning curve coming off a hard tale to full sus.

I remember riding with a bunch of guys I didn't really know on some burly hometown trails. The guy behind me (on a hardtale) says "man I need to get a full sus, you don't even need to stand up going over all that stuff". What he didn't realize, having never ridden a full sus, was just how much I was actually working the bike. While it may have looked like I didn't come out of the saddle much I was unweighting my seat weighting it, weight right pedal, weight left pedal, english here, english there etc. So again there is definitely a learning curve from hardtale to full sus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes, I really enjoy Utah over Ohio! I grew up in Ohio and was stationed at Wright-Patterson AFB thinking I was safe until retirement. Then out of the blue, I received orders to Hill AFB and came out here kicking and screaming. Plan was to keep the house in Ohio, come out here for 2 years and then head back to Ohio. Long story short, I retired 10 months ago, sold the house in Ohio, bought a house here and plan on staying. Love it out here...so much to do, cleaner, less crime, strong economy, and seeing the mountains in your face every day never gets old. Best of all is the fabulous skiing, hiking, and riding out here! Just a 20 minute drive and I can be skiing or straight from my house I can hop on the Honzo and be riding on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST).

Most of my riding is on the BST (since my house is only a few hundred feet from it) between Layton and Fruit Heights. I did a lot of riding up at Snowbasin last year along with some rides in Park City. Would like to spend more time in Park City this summer. Also have done Muller Park, the I street trails (I only had courage to hit the smaller lines!) and the Bountiful Bomber (downhill trail). My all-time favorite trail so far has been the Bobsled trail! I hear there is a fun flow trail down in Draper so might try that next weekend.

Regarding the FS rides,many of you are right and perhaps it was because of the trails in Fruita and already being familiar with the Honzo. Perhaps I need to give the FS rides more time. I plan on hitting other festivals this year like Outerbike this October in Moab (still have'nt ridding in Moab yet) and Ride Sun Valley this July so I will give them another shot!



Glad to see you get out of Ohio - congrats! (I left in 2005).

I'll echo the buffness of Fruita comments. I had a blast there on my Airborne Goblin, felt more connected to the trail and much faster accelerating than my FS bike.

Where in Utah are you riding?

The whole HT/FS is pretty subjective, and depends a lot on what you expect out of your bike and riding in general, not just the bike. I think you have to be at a point in your riding where you feel that a HT is not enough. No magazine ad will convince you of that. If you find that your Honzo is not holding you back from the things you like to ride, the way like to ride - then why ever switch? No need.

I like to ride at speed over chunky technical stuff, drops, jumps and scary things. While much of what I ride CAN be done on a hard tail, I'm 46 and find that I like the way suspension smooths some things out, and also make other things possible. And yes, it even covers my ass sometimes when I don't do everything just right.

IF I go to Fruita again, I'll be taking a hard tail, again. But most other rides, it's FS for me.
 

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29ers Forever
2021 Rocky Mountain Altitude A70
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The Honzo is a really nice bike. I think Full Squish bikes are great, but there is nothing simpler and more fun than a slack steel hardtail. That is just a fact. Not to mention the price of some of those FS rigs take the fun out of them :).
 

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Take a hardtail on the whole enchilada. If you're going as fast as the fs guys through everything, you'll be pissing blood.
 

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Seconded on the Process. I have a Canfield Yelli Screamy and a 111. The Process is awesome and surprisingly capable especially with the Pike! Can't resist a chance to show her off.
What's it pedal like? Squish fest out of the saddle?
 

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What's it pedal like? Squish fest out of the saddle?
No not really, it's pretty efficient actually. You have to remember the rear travel is quite short (111mm) so it's relatively snappy. The rear suspension ramps up quick and really limits wollowing.

I leave the I shock in full open most of the time unless I know I'll be climbing on a relatively smooth surface for more than 20minutes or so.
 

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Take a hardtail on the whole enchilada. If you're going as fast as the fs guys through everything, you'll be pissing blood.
Not true at all! Out of all the Moab trails I've ridden on my hardtail I had the most fun on the Whole Enchilada and had no trouble keeping up to my buddies on fs bikes...
 
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