Question for slack hardtail 29er riders? (Particularly Yelli owners)
Have any of you also ridden the Kona Honzo? What other slack hardtails have ridden, and how did they compare?
I want to build up a hardtail 29er to compliment my FS (Banshee Rune, set up more trail than all mountain). I had my first chance to demo a 29er, aSpec Stumpy FSR EVO 29er. I really liked the slack front end. Steering felt completely comfortable coming from my Banshee. I like that. It keeps me from hitting trees! I then tried a Kona Big Kahuna (steeper) and I think I went off the trail about 4 or 5 times untill my brain made the adjustment. I don't like the big change going from bike to bike, so I like the idea of a 29er with a slackish (68 or 69 with120mm fork) geo.
But I don't need another full squish, so hardtail it is. The 29er will be used for hillier, flowier trails, the occasional race, and sometimes on my local trails (no significant elevation, but very technical (mostly rocks and roots, very little dirt). Hoping to do a build at around the 26-28lb range iwth out getting to crazy with parts.
One of the frames at the top of my list is the Yelli. I like the slightly longer reach compared to my Banshee and the HA looks just right. I was very exicted about the possibilities of this bike and the reviews were all good.
Next bike I got to try was the Kona Honzo. Looked great on paper, and the reviews were good, so I was excited to give it a go. The steering was great, however, the ride on the Honzo was nothing short of punishing. I thought there was supposed to be some compliance in a steel frame, but it felt like I was riding a iron girder (I guess the Honzo only gets compliant after a 5ft drop to flat??) Now I am not new to hardtails, my other bike is an old Kona Scrap that I use for riding with the kids and about once a month for my local trails (so I don't get too lazy). I find with the scrap, I can at least sit down a little from time to time while riding. When sitting on the Honzo it felt like I was getting kicked in the a$$ with every bump. Now it could be me not being used to the seat, or that my Scrap has the the seat post at max extension, or that I am not used to the big 29er tire hitting bumps that little bit sooner.
What ever the reason, riding the Honzo gave me some big second thoughts about the Yelli. So Yelli riders, have any of you also tried a Honzo? how do they compare in rear end compliance?
Only other slack 29er frame I have seen that has the reach I am looking (approx 440mm for a Large) for is the Carver 420. Any other options out there? (Paradox, very stiff, short reach, Chromags-possibly too stiff and again reach is short than I would like).
And out of complete left field, the other bike I was considering was a carbon On-One 456 set up with 650B wheels, and a 100mm fork to steepen the front end slightly and lower the BB height.:eek: When I replace my Rune, it will most likely be with a Banshee Spitfire in 650B. So a 650B On-One would make for some wheel/tire compatibility and lest inventory in my garage.
Other particulars, been riding for about 5 years, consider myself a low intermediate rider, with average cardio. I'm 42 yrs old, 6ft, 195-200lbs with pack.
Thanks in advance, And sorry for the long winded post.
I own a nimble nine basiclly the same geo as a yelli only in steel. I have ridden my buddies Honzo and it beat me up compared to my nimble nine. I have not ridden a yelli yet so I cant tell you which is stiffer and hurts more to ride. But I will tell you that if you are wanting a slack HT that feels super nice to ride and dont plan on going supper big ( i have dont 3-5 drops and jumps on mine) then take a look at the nimble nine. Mine is set up with heavy wheels and a 120mm zoke fork 1x9 with big bars and came in at 28lbs in size large so it can easily fit into your weight and geo range.
You won't get much compliance with any of these frames but one that take a large rear tyre will help.The Yelli is fine with a 2.4 Ardent.;)
My Honzo feels fine to me.
I think any HT frame will feel stiff to you after riding FS primarily.
Not ridden the Kona but I do own a bright-green Yelli. :D 120mm fork? I'd go with a Nimble 9. The Yelli just loves a 140mm fork too much! And if I read the emails I bounced between myself and Canfield... Sean @ Canfield said a Yelli would be happy with a 150mm fork (getting hold of one is a different matter though)...
I have a Yelli Screamy, never tried or even seen a Kona Honzo. It does not beat me up, in fact I'd rather ride it than any of my other three mtn bikes; FS, FS, SS HT. I run it with 2.4 tires set up tubeless, circa 29psi. Super fun. It is a hardtail, so just keep your butt off the seat on stairs. :) I use a dropper post, natch; Reverb.
I've owned several hardtails in 26 and 29 wheel sizes (GF Rig, Origin 8 Scout, Trek Sawyer, Ragley Blue Pig and an older Cannondale 29er SS). I have not ridden a Honzo. I do own a Yelli Screamy. Taking into consideration the Ardent 2.4 tires run at pretty low pressure (25ish pounds), the Canfield is far and away the most compliant hardtail bike I've owned or ridden. I live and ride in the rocky gnar of Phoenix.
I mean, you know it's a hardtail, but it's not bad at all.
26 pounds might be a challenge. I run mine with big tires, geared, flats, dropper, 140 fork, etc. and I imagine it's around 30 pounds.
Yelli is my go-to ride. Like it so much I sold my Rip9 within a week of riding the Yelli. When I' feeling strong and in shape it is perfect. At times I miss full suspension a bit, but not willing to go back to longer chain stays.
My current experiment is to piece together a Santa Cruz Xcc with 650 wheels. Trying to maintain the angle/lengths of the Yelli, but with some cush in the rear. If it works I'm going to have a light, full sus XC bike and a more all-mountainish hardtail--the Yelli. Sort of backwards, perhaps, but that's where my riding and experimenting has taken me.
Originally Posted by Blatant
26# shouldnt be too hard. My XL Yelli is 27# when I put my lighter wheels & tires on it. With Flows/Purgatory's its a little over 28#.
As for the ride, stand up through the rough stuff. Large volume tires help.
I ended up going with a Banshee Paradox.
Was thinking of going Yelli, but size Large sold out.
Others in consideration, Yeti Big Top, Kona Honzo, Chromag Surface/Rootdown.
The Paradox was in stock and on sale and had most of the features I was looking for. Slack angles, fits wide tires, 120mm-140mm fork, short chainstays, solidly built, etc.
I'm outfitting it with Maintou Tower Pro, Sun Ringle Charger Pro, Xt drivetrain/brakes, and Raceface components.
I'm going to use it a solid trail bike. Just something to rip around on, an hopefully handle the roots,rocks of New England trail riding. I'm 45 years old.
The Yelli is fairly compliant compared to the Honzo, (short test ride). It is not as stiff as my monocogs but is less whippy than a zion I used to have. Probably similar feel to the Fisher Rig I had in 2009 but with much better geo and standover. For an aluminium AM styled HT frame it is pretty cushy.
Thanks so far..
Thanks for the feed back so far. Sounds like the Yelli will be similar to my Kona Scrap. with a 2.35 Nevegal and its not too bad. So I am definitely planning on running something wider in the back for sure on the Yelli, or what ever hardtail I end up with. I will stick a 2.1 on the back for the occasional race, which are usually on hillier, flowier trails.
Originally Posted by Nail Every Trail
Sounds like a great build. The fork and wheels are top notch :thumbsup: