The original Honzo was a steel play bike. It had stays so short, it couldn’t accommodate a FD, and we loved it. It was a bad ass bike with forward thinking geometry that kept a grin spread across your face.
Fast forward to today and that little hardtail is all grown up. In addition to the OG steel version, there’s a now a (significantly lighter) alloy bike, a drool worthy Ti frame, and a plus model. Could it get any better? Well, yes. For 2017, Kona is launching a carbon Honzo.
When the original Honzo launched back in 2012, the geometry was considered forward thinking, but that aggressive 68 headtube angle and stretched out TT are the new normal for XC race bikes.
This shift in ideology has transformed the Honzo from a fringe bike for the all mountain hardtail enthusiast to the preferred choice for Kona’s endurance athletes. Spencer Paxson has raced the Honzo at several World Cup events and both Barry Wicks and Rhys Verner are riding them at the National level.
Regardless of how fast the bike can be when equipped with ultra light tires, the Honzo is still great fun when pointed downhill. As a result, Kona will be offering decked out in two very different styles.
For the XC racer, there’s the Honzo CR Race. It retails for $3,599 USD and comes equipped with Shimano SLX components and a regular post. One unusual spec choice is the fork, which has 34mm stanchions. This burlier fork will feel stiffer and handle better in rough terrain, but also weighs more. That’s a trade-off I’m willing to make, but spandex clad racers may feel differently.
If you prefer to rip trail, the CR Trail and CR Trail DL will be love at first sight. Both bikes come equipped with wider rims, grippier tires, and a dropper post.
The DL is the premium version and will set you back $4,599. The main difference is that it ships with a Pike and X01 build kit, rather than the Fox 34 Elite and XT/SLX components found on the $3,499 CR Trail.
For more information, visit www.konaworld.com