2022 honzo DL cover.jpg
First Impressions Review

2022 Kona Honzo DL

Words Mike Ferrentino
Photos Mike Ferrentino
Date Feb 4, 2022
Reading time

Kona Honzo DL

MSRP: $2499USD

I first met the Kona Honzo in Squamish, at a Kona media launch in 2016. In the particular guise of that first meeting, the member of the Honzo family I met was the Big Honzo CR DL – a plus-tire, carbon frame, new school geometry hardtail. I was smitten. This was a bike, I thought, that would breathe new life into an entire category, dragging the overlooked hardtail segment back into relevance thanks to aggressive tires and fun-hog handling.

I liked it so much that since then I’ve had two steel hardtails built in homage to that geometry and versatility of purpose, and my current go-to yellow 29” hardtail is not a whole lot different by the numbers to that original 27.5+ beast. SO, when the opportunity presented itself to get some saddle time aboard the latest variation of the Honzo line, I raised my hand without hesitation.

Kona’s latest twist on the Honzo is this $2499, smurf-blue, aluminum-framed sled. Forking over that money gets you an aluminum frame that pushes burliness into burlesque with some of the most overbuilt and heavily sculpted chain and seat stays that I have ever seen, a mostly Shimano Deore build, a quite nice RockShox Revelation RC 140mm fork, and a commendable Maxxis Dissector 2.4”/Minion 2.5” tire combo. Gone are the 27.5+ tires of the bike I once swooned over, and there’s no swank carbon fiber option. It’s all 29” and aluminum, and the blue bomber hits the trail at a meaty 31 pounds five ounces (wearing Shimano XT clipless pedals).

A decade ago, every aspect of the above description would have made me choke. Nobody would in their right mind want a hardtail that weighs as much as most 140mm travel trail bikes. Nobody would want a hardtail with a 140mm fork and a 66 degree head angle. Nobody would want a hardtail. Right?

Wrong. It’s 2022 now, and apparently everyone is radder than me. By the numbers, the Honzo DL is just another status quo trail hardtail, and there’s a pretty big scrum of brands clamoring to mine this vein. This is where hardtails are now. Big, burly, tough, battleship stable, adaptable, and insanely fun. I’m conflicted.

This is a first look, with only two quick rides under the belt so far. I’ve got a whole spring and summer ahead to get my head around not just this bike, but the state of the union as far as hardtails are concerned. So here’s the initial view from the cheap seats.

Hardtail Hardcore

The Honzo’s 6061 butted aluminum frame has some neat touches, and a few nods to the absurd. The modular sliding rear dropouts are well thought out and cleanly executed. Two big pinch bolts per side, along with forward mounted adjustment grubs, clamp down on a dropout that carries a 12x148mm axle and allow for about 13mm back and forth slide. The shortest setting yields a VERY short 417mm chainstay. These dropouts sit at the rear of a set of chain and seat stays that bulge and flare either sensuously or obscenely - depending on your personal aesthetics and/or parochial sensibilities - before meeting a slightly more reserved main frame. The standover is super-low, with the gusseted seat tube jutting up but still remaining short enough for a 200mm Tranz-X dropper to be fit in place (although, my dwarfism dictated that on this size Large test bike the travel on the dropper post had to be reduced to 170mm. Thankfully that is super easy to accomplish on the Tranz-X post. For the record, I run about 29.75” inches from bb to saddle, and don’t really know what to do with a 200mm dropper post anyway).

66-degree head angle, 76-degree seat angle. For a hardtail, that seat angle almost feels a little bit too steep. I know it’s all the rage these days on the squishy bikes, but on a long travel bike you’re sagging at least a degree, sometimes two, into the geometry when you sit on them. On a hardtail, the only thing that may sag will be the fork, in which case the effective seat angle actually steepens a touch. But I digress… First couple rides, with the dropouts slammed all the way back, I would have sworn the bike was at least a degree slacker up front than it is. It’s real stable. Like, battleship stable. Like, don’t you dare call it flickable. The FORTY EIGHT inch wheelbase might have something to do with this sense of unflappable stability. Just maybe… Anyway, I’ll be playing around with sliding the chainstays around and seeing how the handling responds as we get more saddle time.

2022 honzo DL 4.jpg

Super short or middlin' long adjustability. Or (mumble mumble) singlespeeding

2022 honzo DL 5.jpg

More curves than a slot car track?

Spec Speculation

So, almost 2500 bucks for a hardtail, with Deore? Yep.

Deore is actually a pretty rad drivetrain. I think the shift performance and “feel” of Deore is amazing for what is ostensibly “budget” componentry. So that’s good in my book. The brakes are another story. They’re okay, if you like kinda gentle brakes that don’t bite hard. Slapping in a set of metallic pads would do good things, as the MT-410 calipers are decent enough. Buuuut, the RT-54 rotors have the words “resin use only” stamped on them. Which means they’re likely to get either eaten alive or cooked to death by non-resin pads. I’ll see how this goes, so far they are tolerable but some more bite would be nice.

The tires and wheels are a mixed bag. There’s easily room to slam a 2.6” tire in the rear of the Honzo, and the Maxxis 2.4 Dissector that the bike comes with is sized nicely for most people in most places. The 2.5 Minion DHF up front does the usual Minion things - rolls and sticks and corners with total predictability. Both tires are 3C MaxxTerra compound, which probably strikes fear in the hearts of my northern brethren searching for grip on frozen or slippery steeps, but which works pretty well down here in the blown out sandscapes of the Western Desert Apocalypse. They’ll do fine for around here. The wheels, 30mm wide WTB hoops on Shimano hubs, are solid and should be dependable. But dear lord, they are not light. I suspect there’s an easy pound to shave by going to some similarly strong mid-grade wheels, and about two pounds if I want to really bleed money on upgrades. That’s a chunk of rolling mass.

The Revelation RC fork is proving to be something of a … revelation? In this price range it’s basically a choice between this or a Fox 34 Rhythm, and so far this Revelation is feeling surprisingly good. The Tranz-X seatpost is also scoring high marks for being super easy to adjust travel and for not having a ton of slop – yet. The Shimano dropper lever, well, that’s not winning me over. If I mount it where I want, the lever actually catches on the handlebar grip and gets stuck. So, unless I file some metal off the top of it, it has to currently sit inboard a bit further than I want to reach. The rest of the stuff – cranks, seat, bars, stem – all does the job without getting in the way.

It may sound like I am nitpicking components. Maybe I am. I’d like it if the headset had cartridge bearings instead of teeny little caged balls, because I don’t feel like those should be found on any bike worth more than a grand. But that’s because I am a jaded old burnout bike mechanic. Realistically, this is a bike anyone can get along with easily enough right away.

2022 honzo DL honzofork.jpg

Decent fork

Contentious Contenders

That’s about it. The plan is to ride the Honzo for a few months, see what works and what doesn’t, and maybe futz around with some parts to alleviate or enhance certain traits. Right now, we’re eyeballing each other, and I suspect the Kona is thinking I’m not hardcore enough. Meanwhile, I’m wondering if maybe I should keep the beer and donuts out of reach. For both of us.

So, back to my earlier comments regarding how bikes like the Honzo are becoming hardtail 2.0. Or maybe 3.0, or whatever rebirth version you want to go by. Kona’s own Honzo ESD does it in steel and really pushes the geo way out there. Kona still has a Big Honzo as well, but it doesn’t have the adjustability of the big wheel Honzo. Rocky Mountain’s Growler 50 is aiming straight at the Honzo, in geo, spec and price, but doesn’t have the slidey dropouts either. Salsa’s Timberjack is also directly targeting the Honzo, right down to the dropouts and a SRAM GX build that retails for $2499. Canyon Stoic. Specialized Fuse. Marin El Roy. Devinci Kobain. Trek Roscoe. It’s like you can’t swing a cat without hitting an assertive geometry, long forked, short stayed, mid-$2500 priced hardtail with some rowdy tires on it. The word is out. Some of those bikes mentioned offer very similar spec and price to the Honzo. Some of them leave a bit to be desired. A couple of them might be setting a new bar for performance and price. We’ll get into that later.

For now, there’s a Smurf that needs to get dirty.

2022 Kona Honzo DL

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Comments

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+10 FlipSide tashi yardrec Mike Ferrentino Cr4w DC bushtrucker Pete Roggeman Timothy Jameson ollyh

I think the coolest thing about this bike is that Kona sells it as a frame only for $700 CAD. With sliders and geometry that's a -2° angleset away from awesome, it's a wicked, affordable, multi-project platform that's compatible with the parts kit from almost any Trail/All Mountain on the market.

Buy one this winter, swap over the parts from your full suspension bike, and give your carbon frame a break while you replace the bearings and overhaul the shock. Or heck, give your drivetrain a vacation too and single-speed the Kona for a change of pace. Your Process 134 or 153 parts will swap right over but for the purchase of a bottom bracket, other bikes you'll need a shim for your (smaller diameter) dropper post.

SWEET.

Reply

Vikb
Vik Banerjee
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+4 FlipSide Andrew Major yardrec bushtrucker

The Unit frame + Fork is $749!!! Forking hell that's a good deal! Give your suspension and drivetrain a break over the winter! ;-)

https://konaworld.com/unit_x.cfm

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+4 Vik Banerjee yardrec DanL bushtrucker

You know how I feel about the Unit frame + fork!

Reply

DanL
DanL
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Vik Banerjee

Talking to Kona today...in Canada you'll be waiting until some time after next winter for anything new in steel - in a medium at least. 
I'd be picking up a Unit yesterday otherwise.

Reply

Vikb
Vik Banerjee
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 DanL kcy4130

I guess what they say is true. The wait for steel is unreal! :-(

Reply

Wandering
Wandering
4 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Perhaps I am reading all of this geometrical evolution wrong, but would that thing end up with about 76.5 STA when sagged. Maybe that's what all the kids want these day's... I'm so confused.

Reply

andy-eunson
Andy Eunson
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major bushtrucker

It’s what the manufacturers say we want. I don’t think road angles are right either as we ride more upright on a mountain bike. Road tend to be 73 74° but with an offset seat post of 2.5 to 1.5 cm so the effective seat angle is more slack. But 76 plus degrees with a zero offset post is better for super steep sections of say 30-40% which compromises maybe 1% of a given ride? I’d rather have a slacker seat tube angle for most of the ride and longer stays to keep from looping out. A few years ago the media was telling us steeper SA was more efficient and for the most part today they say it’s more comfortable.

Reply

FlipSide
FlipSide
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major ollyh

Exactly! I am in the process of building a Honzo ESD backup bike out of new and spare parts to replace my current old-school hardtail backup bike. The ESD build is likely to be base for my next full-susp 29er frame. We'll see...

At 700$CDN for a frame that is likely to be easy to sell for a good price in a couple of years, I just couldn't resist. It's a shame that many manufacturers don't offer their hardtail as a frameset (ex.: Devinci Kobain). I am sure they would sell well.

Reply

Bikeryder85
Bikeryder85
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Vik Banerjee

This is a frame I would love to get and throw some parts on myself, I just wish I could find a place to purchase one. The most local shop that carries Kona is a terrible place. That price is ridiculous though.

Reply

SlurpyTurkey
Julian Sammons
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Karl_Hungus

Couldn't agree more. Their completes aren't the best bang for your buck (really disappointed in some of the build specs these last few years, seems like hodgepodge of parts available for best bulk price to Kona each year, an SX derailleur on their "DL" build is a joke to me), but it's hard to beat the frame price for a budget build to compliment a full suspension bike. I'm currently on a '20 Big Honzo DL w/160mm Pike and -2 works headset and it gets used year-round on days the big bike stays home. I do hope to see the Big Honzo get an update since it's still on the older Honzo geo, and I do like the bigger tires on the hardtail.

Reply

andy-eunson
Andy Eunson
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Velocipedestrian

Many, but not all, manufacturers seem to think metal bikes are budget and only lower end components are worthy. High end for carbon or titanium only. I hate that.

Reply

HughJass
HughJass
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+6 Karl Fitzpatrick toddball Mike Ferrentino bushtrucker Andy Eunson ollyh

From the angle the photo was taken, it sure looks like that dropper lever is bent upwards!

Reply

mikeferrentino
Mike Ferrentino
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 HughJass ollyh

I'll double check, but it sure looks "normal" to me. My exceptional photo talents may be causing an optical illusion, though...

Reply

Onawalk
Onawalk
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Velocipedestrian

It’s very bent,

Just checked a pic of one on the Shimano site, and the cable guides line up quite well.

Other note, not sure I understand you’re issue with the small caged bearings, I would prefer that for a headset, more balls spreads the forces around.  Remove cage, bring the balls to a local bearing supplier, get a couple extra, and add them in with some good quality grease.  Headset doesn’t see near the elements that most other bearings do, and this keeps costs down, and maintaining them way easier.  Pull fork, pull out loose balls, pack in new grease, ad new balls, it’s 10 mins and $3 for a new headset

Reply

mikeferrentino
Mike Ferrentino
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+3 Velocipedestrian JT ollyh

About the headset bearings  - back in my bike shop days, at one shop in particular we would ditch the stock retainer bearings in headsets and bottom brackets (up until Shimano rendered that obsolete) and replace them with a higher count of grade 20 balls and Campy grease on every bike that we built. Suffice to say this shop was more craft than profit, but our bikes held up for our customers.

So, yes, I get what you are saying. But my point was more about what comes as spec on a $2500 bike. At this price, and given the intended use of this bike, I would hope for something a little nicer than a low-count caged retainer and not-that-rad races. It can be made better with some thoughtful work during assembly, but very few shops are probably going out of the way to do shit like that anymore anyway, so then that becomes incumbent upon the owner. And not everyone knows to do this.

Reply

jt
JT
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Mike Ferrentino ollyh

We did the same exact thing at the shop I worked at. It was a shock coming from a larger chain op where quantity rather than quality of bikes assembled was the rule. It was even included on our overhaul package pricing. And yep, the shop was def a passion>profit business. Great lesson to have learned.

Reply

Onawalk
Onawalk
4 months, 2 weeks ago
0

If we are talking about personal preferences, then personally I think thats a good savings on the part of the product manager.  Most that dont care, prolly wont ride it enough for it to be an issue, and its an easy $50 replacement when the time comes.  Those that do care, know they can ditch the races, replace the balls, fill with good quality grease.  Makes it user serviceable for those that can, and a cheap replacement for those that can’t.

This is also a good argument for DTC bikes.  I love my local shops, but most dont have the capacity to do the things that I can do (time and profit constrained).  So I’d almost prefer to build the bike myself, if I’m saving a couple hundred bucks.  Means I can take the time to repack bearings, face BB/Headset shells, tension spokes, etc.  

How’s that dropper remote looking, was it bent?

Reply

mikeferrentino
Mike Ferrentino
4 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Yep, good eye. Bent, and with a hairline crack on the backside. Replacement is on the way!

GiveitsomeWelly
Karl Fitzpatrick
4 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Came here to say exactly this! Surely!

Reply

Vikb
Vik Banerjee
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+5 Merwinn Muesliman Mike Ferrentino Mike McArthur bushtrucker

"For now, there’s a Smurf that needs to get dirty."

Ha! I love it. Have fun on the Honzo. As you were describing the geo it seemed pretty tame in the current shreddy HT marketplace. But with the ESD in the Kona lineup it makes sense to have some less aggressive options.

I agree with you about the steep STAs on HTs. I'm pretty happy at ~74 deg with a 140mm fork as the front end will rotate ~1.5 deg forward when you sit on it.

Reply

yardrec
yardrec
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Vik Banerjee

I've been wondering why they have all the legacy hardtails (Cinder Cone/Fire Mountain/etc) in their lineup.. why not just stick with the Unit/Honzo/ESD.

Reply

Vikb
Vik Banerjee
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 bushtrucker

Maybe they are trying to lure some people in for sentimental reasons? These are going to be folks cruising around the RV park on their hardtails more than shredding.

Reply

yardrec
yardrec
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Vik Banerjee

Agreed.

Reply

lacykemp
Lacy Kemp
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Timothy Jameson

These are more like entry-level hardtails that take care of the aforementioned rider that wants to cruise around campgrounds or just try riding bikes off pavement for the first time.

Reply

rockford
rockford
4 months, 3 weeks ago
0

I pondered the same thing while selling them.  Seemed like a nostalgia play for people who didn't know what each model used to be?

And as they went out the door, and I saw who was stoked on them, it became clear: New MTB riders still think shelling out $1k for a bike is a lot of money.  And it is, in a way.  The "MTB HT" models are just like other brands up and down the spec range.  Most other brands use a number (2,3, 9.1,9.2, etc).  In Klassic Kona fashion, they do it with some artistic flare.  That and they all do each have their own bit of character.  

Their standard "XC" hardtails are on the more aggressive side of the ledger compared to most.  And that then lends into the Honzo and especially the ESD being agro HT punks :)  The ESD is the most fun hardtail I've ever ridden.

Reply

katko
katko
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+5 Vik Banerjee HughJass Dogl0rd DanL Pete Roggeman

Even the cheap Kona models like this 500 € Lava Dome I bought in 2020 are really cool...no thru axle, but decent geo, 31.6mm dropper ready, threaded BB, space for 2.6" tires...all my used parts from Ripley would fit...swapped the hubs and auctioned a new Fox 34 140mm off ebay for 200 €...the bike is perfect for winter :)

Reply

Dogl0rd
Dogl0rd
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Velocipedestrian katko

Cool pic!!

Reply

UFO
UFO
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+3 Ripbro Velocipedestrian Pete Roggeman

munimula (aluminum backwards).

Thank you for this, my mind is absolutely blown. This was a bike I semi lusted after in my youth, and always figured it was 'just another Hawaiian themed name'

Reply

Ripbro
Ripbro
4 months, 3 weeks ago
0

The munimula was the next bike up from the chromoly cinder cone. You got Rockshox Indy XC instead of Indy C forks. That upgraded elastomer made all the difference lol.

Reply

velocipedestrian
Velocipedestrian
4 months, 3 weeks ago
0

I happily rode the Indy SL for ages. Ignorance is bliss.

Reply

Jhimmel
Joe Himmel
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+3 Vik Banerjee bushtrucker kcy4130

For years I couldn't imagine going back to a hard trail,  now I can't believe how often I take my honzo over my other bikes.   And it's brought joy back to trails I had quit riding.

Reply

velocipedestrian
Velocipedestrian
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Grif Merwinn Mike Ferrentino KonaGord

I'm wracking my addled brain, but can't pick what Waits song that back end has playing in your head.

A clue?

Edit: Blue Valentine? Invitation to the Blues? Everything You Can Think Of Is Blue?

Reply

mikeferrentino
Mike Ferrentino
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Raymond Epstein
velocipedestrian
Velocipedestrian
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Mike Ferrentino

Oh I see, it's not the colour, but the way the back end makes your trousers tingle.

Reply

helpimabug
helpimabug
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major Pete Roggeman

My current and future hardtail is a ‘16 Explosif frame, built up with a Works headset and an old, non-boost DVO Diamond set at 140.  It is quite dope.

Reply

BarryW
BarryW
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Mike Ferrentino Pete Roggeman

So I've got a hack for those brakes. In talking with MTX Braking they say their ceramic pads won't ruin 'resin only' rotors. So that give you the option to get the power of metallic pads, but without the wet weather squeal. 

I have not done that specific hack as I upsized my rotors to something a little higher end (Shimano Ice-Tec) but I've been very impressed by the power and lack of noise compared to friends running metallic pads.

Reply

Ripbro
Ripbro
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major kcy4130

My first good bike was a red 1997 Kona munimula (aluminum backwards). My grandma bought me that bike in seven grade and it was my gateway into mountain biking. Best gift I have ever received and one that fueled a lifelong passion. Next was a Kona Roast that I rode the Whistler bike with back in 2001. It had lime green double wides and a triple crown junior T. Loved my Kona hard tails and it would be fun to get another.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+6 Vik Banerjee Cr4w Ripbro kcy4130 Raymond Epstein Pete Roggeman

Was your Roast grey with the big RAD-style aluminum tubes? I had a brown/black one with glow-in-the-dark decals that used the gusseted tubeset. I believe it was a 1999. The IS tabs on the frame were welded at an insane angle - it came from Kona's scratch-and-dent pile - and it took me an entire day to hand file a brake adapter to work. 

Here's a photo. I had a Jr.T as well. Mavic D521 rims. The tire clearance in the back was tight but after some [cough] self-clearing [/cough] it was okay.

This is the first bike I ever experimented with as a single-speed. Using a rear derailleur as a tensioner and a regular mountain bike cog sandwiched between two larger cogs to keep it in place and then a little 24t cog in front to get a gear that worked.

The front Hayes brake had been on a Cannondale F2000 and the line was too short, but holy crap a new line was expensive, so this is me making it work.

It's also from a very brief period in time when I was trying to learn to ride flat pedals before going back to clip-ins. It would be almost 20-years before I'd give flat pedals an honest try again!

*EDIT: That was a seriously nice gift from your grams. 

Reply

Ripbro
Ripbro
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+4 Andrew Major Vik Banerjee kcy4130 Pete Roggeman

Grandma was the best, and I was dumbfounded when I got it. I had been lusting over the Kona catalogues and posters that they use to send out, but I was a long ways away from buying one on my own. I had started shovelling snow to save up, but a new bike was still a dream.

Ya my roast was primer grey with the RAD tubing. Cool bike, and I thought it was the best thing ever. Then the shop started bringing in stinkys and big hits. We wore out the New world disorder tape at the shop and I started lusting over a DH bike. Ended up buying a big hit pro that came with Hayes mag brakes, a super T and the comical 24” rear tire. That bike manualed like nothing else and I rode it for years. Some of my favourite memories from my youth.

Fun fact, I still use the shimano 747 pedals I bought for the munimula. They are absolutely bombproof. I just rebuilt them last year when they started getting a bit of play. They are heavy, look like crap, but I can’t replace them.

Reply

velocipedestrian
Velocipedestrian
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

Scratch-and-dent got me a Scrap frame in ~'05. The IS mount was fine, but I could slide the lower headset cup in by hand. Plenty of green loctite and it was up for a thrashing.

Reply

velocipedestrian
Velocipedestrian
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+4 Andrew Major kcy4130 Mike Ferrentino Pete Roggeman

No pictures of the Scrap, but this is the reason I needed it.

Keewee

Reply

fartymarty
fartymarty
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 kcy4130 Pete Roggeman

Wow, I did exactly the same thing to my Keewee DH (K98ish) except I snapped the TT which core sampled my left quad.  Partially my fault as I took a very nose heavy landing on Rotorua Skyline and the DT buckled where it was butted and TT snapped on the HEZ on the TT gusset.

Edit - Velo, it was, 2 days in Rotorua hospital and a 7" scar on my left quad.  A whileater I got a Cromo 8 which I still have.  That thing was a tank.

Reply

velocipedestrian
Velocipedestrian
4 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Ouch! That sounds painful. 

This was just the result of a bad angle on a landing and riding into a mānuka bush - trunks skinnier than the tubes they bent. You can see the gussets line up creating a failure point. 

Lots of fun going OTB multiple times heading home through Sticky Forest.

kcy4130
kcy4130
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Vik Banerjee

I was about to make a comment about how the steel hardtail I got just over a year ago (esker japhy cheapest build) was a far better spec for the money. But I figured the price would have gone up some so I checked their website, 14 months ago it was $2000. It's 3k now for the same build (tho with slightly better wheelset now). Even compared to the rest of the bike world that seems steep. Glad I got mine when I did!

Reply

Larrabee
Larrabee
4 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Could someone post some info on the metallurgical differences between resin-only rotors and rotors approved for metallic pads. (To satisfy my curiosity.). 

Thanks.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+5 Velocipedestrian kcy4130 Raymond Epstein Mike Ferrentino Greg Bly

I don’t know that Shimano has ever published the difference in the steel alloys they use, but as I understand it the main reason the resin-only rotors are super shitty is the surface treatment.

I can tell you that in practice even with Shimano resin pads they offer less braking power (friction) compared to the same resin pads on good Shimano rotors (I’ve swapped rotors but not pads multiple times on test bikes because, as a general rule, I won’t ride these). 

If you do run sintered pads on the resin-only rotors three things happen:

1) They scream for help like you’re slowly filing away their very beings.

2) They warp if you get them proper-hot on a long descent.

3) They wear out fast.

I’ve never done it myself but have seen the results enough times that I’m confident that the ‘resin-only’ stamp should be trusted AND these rotors have not place on mountain bikes of any level.

Reply

bushtrucker
bushtrucker
4 months, 3 weeks ago
0

To my knowledge the cheaper Shimano rotors aren't heat treated which as Andrew indicated would reduce the hardeness of the braking surface.

Reply

Mberg
Mberg
4 months, 3 weeks ago
0

If you put a angle headset on the Honzo, will it slacken the seatpost or just the headset?

Tx

Reply

velocipedestrian
Velocipedestrian
4 months, 3 weeks ago
0

The SA will steepen slightly, BB will drop a little, and reach grow slightly (and shrink a bit from the stem moving back in the head tube).

Reply

Mberg
Mberg
4 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Headtube I mean.

Thanks

Reply

rigidjunkie
Allen Lloyd
4 months, 3 weeks ago
-5 Vik Banerjee Andrew Major kcy4130 DrChaos Nologo Joseph Crabtree Timothy Jameson

I love all these Canfield clones.  I loved my Nimble 9, that bike was way more capable than many full suspension bikes I have tried over the years.

Reply

lacykemp
Lacy Kemp
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+16 Andrew Major Karl Fitzpatrick Vik Banerjee Cooper Quinn Mike Ferrentino mrbrett Kos Nologo Mike McArthur DC bushtrucker Joseph Crabtree Dan shenzhe Timothy Jameson ollyh

Kona was making aggressive hardtails long before the Nimble 9 was around. The Chute debuted in 1999 and was billed as a "Northshore Hardtail." The Honzo came in 2012 but was built to carry on the legacy that bikes like Chute and Stuff created in the late 90s and early 00s. Regardless, finding a hardtail that feels as fun (I might argue they're not quite as capable, but definitely as fun) as a full-suspension bike is a real treat.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+11 kcy4130 Lacy Kemp Vik Banerjee Cr4w yardrec Mike Ferrentino mrbrett bushtrucker Dan Timothy Jameson ollyh

This. The number of companies making aggressive hardtails before Canfield existed as a company, including Kona, is extensive.

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On the 29'er front. Honzo predates suitable tires for the breed and the most aggressive 29'er fork available when it was released was a Fox 34 unless you were going to travel-limit a Manitou Dorado. Said Fox 34 was Fox's first tapered-steerer-specific fork and wouldn't even fit the first gen Nimble 9.

I think it's fair to say that Kona launched this category, but Chromag fans will note the first Surface (the first Dekerf-made Chromag) came out at the same time and the Transition Trans Am 29'er was probably conceived over the same case of beer as the Honzo (and was also a 2012 model year).

The Gen.1 Nimble-9 that was out at the same time had a 70° HTA, 27.2 seat tube, and a 1-1/8" (EC34) headtube. It was a heavy XC bike. Which isn't to take away from Canfield at all - the Nimble 9 was sweet - but although their marketing crap claims it's "the original hardcore hardtail" I think it's fair to say that's complete bullshit. It's not even the original 29" hardcore hardtail.

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Flatted-again
Flatted-again
4 months, 3 weeks ago
0

In partial defense of the above poster, the original Yelli Screamy debuted in 2011, with a 68 degree HTA using a 120mm fork, tapered 44mm upper/49.6mm lower headset, a 30.9 seat tube. This is, of course, what is reported on Canfield's website (https://canfieldbikes.com/pages/2011-2014-canfield-yelli-screamy), which also says the nimble 9 debuted in 2013 with a 68 degree HTA (https://canfieldbikes.com/pages/2013-2015-canfield-nimble-9). So, shrug?

That said, the frame details are for those entire 2011-2014 and 2013-2015 runs, so the specifics (70 vs 68 HTA) may have changed by the end of the run.

Anyways, more good bikes, the better, as I always say.

Continued edit: Unreported on the canfield website is the 2011 nimble 9,

https://thelazyrando.wordpress.com/2011/12/08/canfield-nimble-9/

Which does, in fact, look like an overbuilt XC bike.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+3 Velocipedestrian Andy Eunson bushtrucker

I'm only taking offense to the boldly stated ignorance about cloning hardtail geometry/use-case. 

I love Canfield's hardtails (despite some clearly bullshit marketing claims) and don't have any issue with folks who discovered or re-discovered hardtail riding - or learned to love 29'ers - on a Yelli or a Nimble-9.

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hongeorge
hongeorge
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 ollyh

Lol. Over this side of the pond, Cotic launched the Soul in 2003, and I doubt they'd claim to be the first hardcore hardtail.

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fartymarty
fartymarty
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 ollyh

George - How about the DMR Trailstar?  That was pre 2000 IIRC.

Jhimmel
Joe Himmel
4 months, 3 weeks ago
0

I mean,  my buddy put a super T on his 99 gary fisher hardtail.....so I think he deserves ao credit too.

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
4 months, 3 weeks ago
0

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