Kona launch the Honzo Carbon

Ever get that feeling - the fleeting sensation that you have been somewhere or done something before? Translated from French the term déjà vu literally means “already seen” and is a relatively common occurrence, just like endurance racer Rhys Verner is discovering on his new carbon Honzo. Developed with an aggressive trail geometry, 120mm of front end travel, and with modern trail appointments like Boost spacing and Stealth dropper post routing, the new Honzo is built for riding infamous Pacific Northwest trails. The new carbon frame has also been proven on increasingly challenging XC courses where weight and power transfer are vital. With one ‘race' and two ‘trail' configurations to choose from, the new carbon Honzo is so overly capable that, much like Rhys, you too might experience déjà vu when the start gun goes off at your next race or when you drop into a new trail.

When we met up with Rhys at the Bear Mountain round of the Canada Cup, he was in the process of destroying the pump track section of the course. Rhys was doubling up the jumps in his race run. This was tall seat riding at its most stylish.

When we returned the next day though, Rhys handed out a masterclass in hardtail riding. Manoeuvring the carbon Honzo through the air with massive amounts of style and some serious airtime. He even tripled two step-down lines that we didn't even know existed.

The carbon Honzo is just as at home on XC race courses as it is shredding technical all mountain trails. The frame features a 600-gram weight saving over its alloy brother and a well thought out parts spec, the versatile Honzo simply devours terrain. 

Rhys attends the University of Victoria in BC and knows the trails on Vancouver Island well. The decision to film the carbon Honzo on the trails of Mount Tzouhalem near Duncan, BC was his, and damn was it a good idea. You couldn't have picked a more fun place to film (or ride) a hardtail. The trails had the perfect mix of flow, tech and pop.

Rhys and the Honzo made use of every lip, root and rock available, they spent a good portion of the descent looking like this.

Rhys and the Honzo made use of every lip, root and rock available, they spent a good portion of the descent looking like this.

Joonas Vinnari (left) is Kona's in-house filmer and editor, he's responsible for most of Kona's videos (and he could also be a part time model). For this shoot we also enlisted legendary cinematographer and Vancouver Island local Rob Parkin

Joonas Vinnari (left) is Kona's in-house filmer and editor, he's responsible for most of Kona's videos (and he could also be a part time model). For this shoot we also enlisted legendary cinematographer and Vancouver Island local Rob Parkin

We never heard anyone say a 29-inch hardtail couldn’t have an aggressive trail geometry and carbon frame that is as fun to ride as it is to look at, so we made the new carbon Honzo CR Trail DL in the spitting image of what we’ve grown to love about full suspension trail bikes by spec’ing it with a 120mm RockShox Pike RCT3 fork, SRAM X01 and a KS Lev internally routed dropper. All the fun of a full-squish bike built into a trail capable hardtail. 

The Honzo CR Trail DL 

The Honzo CR Trail DL 

Frame Material: Kona Carbon Trail
Wheel Size: 29
Wheels: WTB Asym i29 TCS
Front Suspension: 120mm
Fork: RockShox Pike RCT3 120mm Boost
Crankset: SRAM X01
Drivetrain: SRAM X01 1x 11spd
Cockpit: Kona XC/BC 35 bar and stem, ODI Ruffian MX grips
Brakes: SRAM Guide RSC
Front Tire: Maxxis Minion DHF EXO TR 3C 29x2.3"
Rear Tire: Maxxis Ardent EXO DUAL TR 29x2.25"
Saddle: WTB SL8
vailability: July

The Honza CR Trail

The Honza CR Trail

The new carbon Honzo CR Trail is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  Disguised as a hardtail but built with our new carbon frame and a component list that includes a 120mm Fox Float 34 fork, WTB Asym i29 wheels and KS’s Lev internally routed dropper post this Honzo is ready to pounce where you’d least suspect a hardtail would want to. 

Frame Material: Kona Carbon Trail
Wheel Size: 29
Wheels: WTB Asym i29 TCS
Front Suspension: 120mm
Fork: Fox Float 34 Performance 120mm Boost
Crankset: Race Face Aeffect SL
Drivetrain: Shimano SLX/XT Shadow Plus 1x 11spd
Cockpit: Kona XC/BC 35 bar and stem, ODI Ruffian MX grips
Brakes: Shimano SLX
Front Tire: Maxxis Minion DHF EXO TR 3C 29x2.3"
Rear Tire: Maxxis Ardent EXO DUAL TR 29x2.25"
Saddle: WTB SL8
Availability: July

Kona Honza CR Race

Kona Honza CR Race

This is our version of a hardtail race bike: a lighter weight carbon frame that has a more aggressive geometry, shorter chainstays that deliver more power, and a stiffer front end with 120mm of travel for the increasingly challenging WC Courses. And if the need should ever arise, the frame has stealth dropper post routing so you can get down.

Frame Material: Kona Carbon Trail
Wheel Size: 29
Wheels: WTB KOM i23 TCS
Front Suspension: 120mm
Fork: Fox Float 34 Performance 120mm Boost
Crankset: Shimano SLX
Drivetrain: Shimano SLX/XT Shadow Plus 1x 11spd
Cockpit: Kona XC/BC 35 bar and stem, Kona S-LOG grips
Brakes: Shimano SLX
Front Tire: Maxxis Ikon EXO TR 3C 29x2.35"
Rear Tire: Maxxis Ikon EXO TR 3C 29x2.2"
Saddle: WTB SL8
Availability: July

For more information on the Carbon Honzo and the rest of our 2017 bikes, be sure to check out Konaworld.com on July 17th when the new bikes go live.