Results 1 to 24 of 24
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    165

    Kona Honzo 29 vs. Kona Explosif 27.5

    So my predicament is: I want to buy an all mountain hardtail. I want a steel frame and I've narrowed it down to these two Konas. My only thing is I dont know whether I should get a 29er or a 650b. I have a Medium Specialized Pitch right now and like the fact that I can throw it around and flick it through twistys. This is the reason I am leaning more towards the explosif. Am I right to choose the explosif, or will the honzo perform to my expectations.
    Also trying to figure what size frame to get. None of the Kona dealers around here carry these two bikes so I cant get a feel for them.
    If anyone has any input on either bikes, or if anyone has one of these bikes please post some pros and cons if you have any. I need an all mountain hardtail so bad!

    Thanks in advance for any responses

  2. #2
    FM
    FM is offline
    luxatio erecta
    Reputation: FM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    9,005
    What's your height and average ride length?
    Are your trails jumpy/bermy/flowy or more technical/rooty/rocky?

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    165
    I am 5'9'' / 5'10'' and i ride like an hour but would try to ride longer. the trails i ride are technical/rooty/rocky, with some jumps/launches. i would like to try riding more bermy flowy trails.

  4. #4
    FM
    FM is offline
    luxatio erecta
    Reputation: FM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    9,005
    Nice. Far as all mountain hardtails (which are awesome) go, I think you’ll be very happy with either bike.
    The Honzo is very snappy for a 29’er- in fact, I sometimes loose the back end of mine it corners so quickly! And big wheels do mow over roots & rocks…and they’re great on longer rides.
    The Explosif will be a little more fun to jump- easier to move the bike around in the air.

    I think you could really toss a coin and come out happy either way, but there’s two things I’d consider:
    Sizing- I am about the same height and ride a small honzo with a 50mm stem and 30” bars. The small honzo is actually very close to a medium canfield yelli screamy (which I owned previously). Going down a frame size on 29’ers tightens up the wheelbase, which brings back some of the playful feeling lost with the bigger wheels. If your full extension climbing saddle height is 30” or less, measured from the top of the top of the saddle above the seat clamp to the center of the bottom bracket, then I would definitely recommend the small honzo over a medium.
    Gearing- You are pretty stuck with a single chainring on the Honzo. This works for me- with the help of an aftermarket 36t cog and 30t chainring. I do some moderately big climbs but also ride a fair bit. I wouldn’t be scared off by 1x you might end up walking some steep climbs that could be pedaled with a 2x crankset. Remember the single chainring set up is ~1lb lighter though!

    My vote would be Honzo, but really you can’t go wrong with either bike.

  5. #5
    usually cranky
    Reputation: b-kul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    10,020
    i dont ride a hard tail and have never ridden 650b so take this for what its worth (probably not much) but id get the honzo all day. i do have considerable time riding a 29er and even fs it was snappy enough for me. hardtails in general are suppossed to be quick + the geo of the honzo + how well the big hoops roll, i couldnt imagine not picking it out of the two.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: playdead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    746

    Chainring

    30t chain ring?! Dude, where did you get that?

    Quote Originally Posted by FM View Post
    Nice. Far as all mountain hardtails (which are awesome) go, I think you’ll be very happy with either bike.
    The Honzo is very snappy for a 29’er- in fact, I sometimes loose the back end of mine it corners so quickly! And big wheels do mow over roots & rocks…and they’re great on longer rides.
    The Explosif will be a little more fun to jump- easier to move the bike around in the air.

    I think you could really toss a coin and come out happy either way, but there’s two things I’d consider:
    Sizing- I am about the same height and ride a small honzo with a 50mm stem and 30” bars. The small honzo is actually very close to a medium canfield yelli screamy (which I owned previously). Going down a frame size on 29’ers tightens up the wheelbase, which brings back some of the playful feeling lost with the bigger wheels. If your full extension climbing saddle height is 30” or less, measured from the top of the top of the saddle above the seat clamp to the center of the bottom bracket, then I would definitely recommend the small honzo over a medium.
    Gearing- You are pretty stuck with a single chainring on the Honzo. This works for me- with the help of an aftermarket 36t cog and 30t chainring. I do some moderately big climbs but also ride a fair bit. I wouldn’t be scared off by 1x you might end up walking some steep climbs that could be pedaled with a 2x crankset. Remember the single chainring set up is ~1lb lighter though!

    My vote would be Honzo, but really you can’t go wrong with either bike.
    "Bound to cover just a little more ground"

  7. #7
    Bro Mountainbiker
    Reputation: Sheepo5669's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    3,537
    I was in the same boat as you, and I ended up with the Honzo. I went 29er because I race XC on a 29er, and had a spare Light Bicycle/240 carbon wheelset, and about 15 spare 29er tires. It only made sense to keep all my bikes compatible.

    I have ridden 26,650,and 29 and I personally felt that the smaller wheels were more fun when throwing the bike around.

    But Ill be keeping my honzo. It absolutely shreds with a 140mm fork, and its ideal that all my mountain bikes have the same wheel size. It keeps them handling somewhat similar and I can swap wheels/ tires if something comes up.
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: kubikeman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    591
    Quote Originally Posted by playdead View Post
    30t chain ring?! Dude, where did you get that?
    104 BCD Chainrings | wolftoothcycling.com

    I have no idea what FM is riding, could be a spiderless Sram crank and ring combo. But Wolf Tooth Components indeed makes a 30 tooth 104 BCD chainring.
    The cake is a lie.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    386
    I can't comment on the Honzo, but I've been very impressed with the Explosif.

  10. #10
    FM
    FM is offline
    luxatio erecta
    Reputation: FM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    9,005
    Quote Originally Posted by playdead View Post
    30t chain ring?! Dude, where did you get that?
    I'm running an Andersen machine works chainring.
    I may go to a wolftooth soon to get the stepped teeth.

  11. #11
    usually cranky
    Reputation: b-kul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    10,020
    raceface also has a fancy new 30t chainring coming out (out?).

  12. #12
    Trophy Husband
    Reputation: geolover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    2,997
    Quote Originally Posted by FM View Post
    I'm running an Andersen machine works chainring.
    I may go to a wolftooth soon to get the stepped teeth.
    FM, I just swapped out my Andersen for a Wolf Hound...err, I mean Wolf Tooth (metal!). It has been a total win so far.
    Extreme stationary biker.

  13. #13
    FM
    FM is offline
    luxatio erecta
    Reputation: FM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    9,005
    Quote Originally Posted by geolover View Post
    FM, I just swapped out my Andersen for a Wolf Hound...err, I mean Wolf Tooth (metal!). It has been a total win so far.
    awesome dude. Curious, is it quieter? I tried a ride with 1x9, anderson 30t ring, clutch der and no lower chainguide, didn't drop my chain, but the noise & chainslap was annoying enough I put the lower guide back on....

  14. #14
    Trophy Husband
    Reputation: geolover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    2,997
    Quote Originally Posted by FM View Post
    Curious, is it quieter?
    Quieter? Well, it is quieter than my old chain guide setup, but my chain guide was not really lined up properly and it rubbed badly in several places.

    I haven't really noticed much noise and have yet to lose a chain. Just blasted down A-dog and had nary an issue with noise or dropped chain...vision is still a bit blurry though.

    For the record, I went with new drivetrain...10sp, clutch, etc. YMMV.

    Sorry for the thread hijack...
    Extreme stationary biker.

  15. #15
    usually cranky
    Reputation: b-kul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    10,020
    fm: clutch 9 sp fd? do tell.

  16. #16
    FM
    FM is offline
    luxatio erecta
    Reputation: FM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    9,005
    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul View Post
    fm: clutch 9 sp fd? do tell.
    Yep, on my prime: 10spd shimano zee clutch der with SRAM 9spd shifters. Works perfectly!

  17. #17
    usually cranky
    Reputation: b-kul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    10,020
    oh, very interesting, think it would work the same with a zee 10 sp and 9 sp shimano shifters?

  18. #18
    FM
    FM is offline
    luxatio erecta
    Reputation: FM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    9,005
    I don't think so.. could be wrong...but the magic is that 9-spd sram shifters and 10spd shimano shifters pull the same amount of cable per shift.

  19. #19
    usually cranky
    Reputation: b-kul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    10,020
    ahhh yeah that makes sense. oh well, not like i need to spend even more money on my bike right now.

  20. #20
    29ers Forever
    Reputation: CannondaleF9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    2,787
    It depends on if you want a 29er that has better rollover, or a 650b which has a better turning radius.
    2013 Trek Cobia- 29er
    2015 Raleigh Misceo- Gravel bike
    2013 Trek 3700 Disk- 26er
    1994 Cannondale R300- narrow tire roadie

  21. #21
    FM
    FM is offline
    luxatio erecta
    Reputation: FM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    9,005
    Quote Originally Posted by CannondaleF9 View Post
    It depends on if you want a 29er that has better rollover, or a 650b which has a better turning radius.
    Not sure how you figure that. If there's a correlation between turning radius and wheelsize I would love to see it explained.

  22. #22
    29ers Forever
    Reputation: CannondaleF9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    2,787
    Quote Originally Posted by FM View Post
    Not sure how you figure that. If there's a correlation between turning radius and wheelsize I would love to see it explained.
    Because the 27.5" wheel has a smaller section of the tire touching the ground, as well as there being a lower wheel with less size and a smaller diameter, of course the wheel will turn sharper and have a smaller turning radius.
    2013 Trek Cobia- 29er
    2015 Raleigh Misceo- Gravel bike
    2013 Trek 3700 Disk- 26er
    1994 Cannondale R300- narrow tire roadie

  23. #23
    FM
    FM is offline
    luxatio erecta
    Reputation: FM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    9,005
    Interesting! Not quite correct though.
    Turning radius is mainly a factor of wheelbase. The bike with a shorter wheelbase will be capable of tighter turns, regardless of wheel size, all other things being equal.

    Contact patch is driven more by tire pressure and width, rather than rim diameter. Doesn't really affect turning radius.

  24. #24
    29ers Forever
    Reputation: CannondaleF9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    2,787
    Oh yes, I must have been confused, I probably meant something more like it has tighter handling.
    2013 Trek Cobia- 29er
    2015 Raleigh Misceo- Gravel bike
    2013 Trek 3700 Disk- 26er
    1994 Cannondale R300- narrow tire roadie

Similar Threads

  1. Spam: Kona Unit, Kona Honzo, Salsa Selma Ti
    By appleSSeed in forum 29er Bikes
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-10-2012, 02:09 PM
  2. looking for kona explosif
    By JRR in forum Singlespeed
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-12-2011, 09:14 AM
  3. Kona Explosif for 2008
    By Howley in forum Vintage, Retro, Classic
    Replies: 40
    Last Post: 10-12-2011, 11:06 PM
  4. 650b Kona Explosif?
    By jdg in forum 27.5 - 650b
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-09-2011, 01:33 PM
  5. Kona Explosif
    By micyclebicycle in forum Kona
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-04-2011, 12:16 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •