With the new version of the Honzo, Kona wanted to create the ultimate do-it-all hardtail. In the pursuit of better handling, the brand has combined a really long front end with a ridiculously short rear, thrown in 29in wheels for maximum straight-line speed and lightened the frame too. But has it worked?
Super short back end
Compared with the old steel Honzo, the 2016 frame is a claimed 40% lighter. Butted 6061 alloy tubes form a long front triangle, and a low BB and curved seat tube squeeze around the rear wheel to keep the chainstay length to a skimpy 412mm – we had to measure it twice to make sure!
There’s nowhere to mount a front derailleur or an ISCG chain guide, but stealth-routed droppers are catered for in case you upgrade. The frame feels stiff when riding, and a Boost rear axle helps deliver this rigidity to the trail. Clearance is tight though.
The RockShox Recon up front isn’t the most refined performer
The 120mm (4.7in) travel RockShox Recon fork isn’t particularly smooth or refined, but does the job okay. The wide 760mm bar and 60mm stem help massively when descending.
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