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  1. #301
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectBomber View Post
    Hey all, great bikes! Just a couple questions though. Did you all start with the frame and build up from there or did any of you buy the fully built bike and tweak it as you saw fit. Is there a reason not to go with the built bike from Kona (i.e. cheap component spec, etc.)

    Second question, what led you to pick the Honzo over the other bikes in the genre. I'm currently considering an AM29 for my next bike and have narrowed it down to the Honzo, Paradox, or new Mason. The Stache from Trek may make the short list if the reviews are positive, however I doubt they'll have a build as nice as the Mason (Fox 34 Talus, KS dropper, X9) for a similar price if not more.

    Thanks again.
    I was considering the same bikes, but sub a Yelli for the Paradox. I kept going back to the Kona due to 1) steel and 2) ability to SS.

    Stache has LONG CS, so it was out as soon as I saw specs.


    Quote Originally Posted by eurospek View Post
    The Mason complete has an awesome spec for $2100 (current price on Jensonusa.com). I don't think any complete bike (Honzo, TransAM 29, Paradox) can touch it.
    Diamondback was doing a promo to win several new models for the year. If you entered, and didnt win, they sent you a code to pick up the bike from Jensonusa.com for a significant amount less than the price listed for all parties on Jenson. That had me thinking for a good while on the Mason...



    Quote Originally Posted by noot View Post
    Frame up for me.

    That Mason is a sick build for the price. Pretty slack head angle though...

    For that price, it might be worth buying and riding it. Once you've got some time on it, you could pick up another frame if you wanted (ie - Honzo) and probably still come out way ahead price-wise.
    To the geo - It was pointed out elsewhere on the forum that with the off set of the fork, the trail numbers with the head angle were actually very similar to a 68* head angle with a 95mm Fox 32. It is slacker, but it should still handle better than the head angle suggest...


    With that said, that was going to be my plan as well, but I ended up deciding to go Frame + fork on the 2012 Honzo from The Path, and I have that on its way to me now.

    The issue I was having was the seatpost wouldnt fit without a shim (and I dont want to shim a dropper post) and I dont think I really need it in my terrain.

    Cranks - I have some E13 in the parts bin.
    Fork - the big win, but with the other issues...
    Wheels - Already have some King hubs in the parts bin for a build for the bike
    Cockpit - planning on Chromag or Atlas bars (depending on height needed - already have a set of each on other bikes, so I know I like em), but the stem would be fine.
    Drivetrain - would definitely keep the rest
    Brakes - I am an Elixir fan, but I have my eyes on some Hope or maybe the new Shimano brakes this time around.

    So basically I would be buying the Mason complete for the fork and shifting components, then need to add an adapter to get the King hubs down to 15mm, and end up selling almost all of the parts from the bike anyways...

    It will probably take the rest of the summer for me to build the Honzo, but the hunting of parts is a small thrill in my simple mind.

  2. #302
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    Oh yeah...

    2012 Honzo on the way. Called the path after a week of emails, and decided on the Frame + Fork + Headset combo from them. The couldnt sell me a complete due to dealer agreements (not that I wanted the complete anyways, I would be changing most of the parts...) so they gave me a price on the combo I couldnt turn down.

    I really like the 2013 lower standover (though it would not be much), but the cost of powder coat and new stickers, plus the 142mm adapter for my rear hubs kept me away from that.

  3. #303
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    Quote Originally Posted by eurospek View Post
    The Mason complete has an awesome spec for $2100 (current price on Jensonusa.com). I don't think any complete bike (Honzo, TransAM 29, Paradox) can touch it.
    Kona Taro? Granted the spec isn't as good, but at an MSRP of $1300 it's the best value complete bike aggro 29er HT right now. Isn't the 2013 Honzo still at $1800?
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  4. #304
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    Quote Originally Posted by noot View Post
    Pretty slack head angle though...
    .
    Too slack IMO. I can't imagine how it would ride uphill; the travel-adjust fork might be a must. This is all conjecture of course
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  5. #305
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    Quote Originally Posted by el_chupo_ View Post
    Oh yeah...

    2012 Honzo on the way. Called the path after a week of emails, and decided on the Frame + Fork + Headset combo from them. The couldnt sell me a complete due to dealer agreements (not that I wanted the complete anyways, I would be changing most of the parts...) so they gave me a price on the combo I couldnt turn down.

    I really like the 2013 lower standover (though it would not be much), but the cost of powder coat and new stickers, plus the 142mm adapter for my rear hubs kept me away from that.
    I find it odd that they couldn't sell a complete. Seems like it would be the other way around. Does anyone have any idea why this would be the case?

  6. #306
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    Quote Originally Posted by r1Gel View Post
    Too slack IMO. I can't imagine how it would ride uphill; the travel-adjust fork might be a must. This is all conjecture of course
    I'm not convinced by the conventional guidance that a slack HA=poor climbing and vice versa. I find it to be more stable and easier to track stand in super steep technical climbs. Could be that the old XC type geo was usually coupled with long stems, while Honzo geo is designed for short stems, effectively reaching the same effect. BTW I ride the now discontinued and forever classic Steely. Best geo ever!!

  7. #307
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    Quote Originally Posted by el_chupo_ View Post
    Diamondback was doing a promo to win several new models for the year. If you entered, and didnt win, they sent you a code to pick up the bike from Jensonusa.com for a significant amount less than the price listed for all parties on Jenson. That had me thinking for a good while on the Mason...
    Out of curiosity how much was it after the coupon? I entered the contests but won nothing.

    Quote Originally Posted by howard619 View Post
    I find it odd that they couldn't sell a complete. Seems like it would be the other way around. Does anyone have any idea why this would be the case?
    Idk but I tried purchasing a Santa Cruz Heckler frame from them this weekend and spoke with the general manager over the phone about it. They bought a couple of different frames from the recent SC clearance sale, but no Hecklers have shipped to them. And SC cancelled my order as well. But he said if they did have it, I would have to have someone local come in and purchase the frame and they would have to ship it themselves too. The Path could not ship it for me which I found weird as they were very anxious to accept a deposit over the phone via credit card on the frame. But due to SC policy, they can't sell over the phone. Too bad, cause The Path has some killer deals on clearance bikes if you follow them on FB.

  8. #308
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    Quote Originally Posted by howard619 View Post
    I'm not convinced by the conventional guidance that a slack HA=poor climbing and vice versa. I find it to be more stable and easier to track stand in super steep technical climbs. Could be that the old XC type geo was usually coupled with long stems, while Honzo geo is designed for short stems, effectively reaching the same effect. BTW I ride the now discontinued and forever classic Steely. Best geo ever!!
    I think it is part of the dealer agreement for the brand. I dont recall, but it seems like Wheel World used to be the same way, completes were in store only, but they did clearance frames online. Been a while since I looked...


    Quote Originally Posted by eurospek View Post
    Out of curiosity how much was it after the coupon? I entered the contests but won nothing.
    Sub $1700 shipped. That was the dilemma with using it as a parts bike, a smoking deal on the bike...

  9. #309
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    Quote Originally Posted by el_chupo_ View Post
    Sub $1700 shipped. That was the dilemma with using it as a parts bike, a smoking deal on the bike...
    That's a screaming deal even if you don't want the Mason frame, sell it for $600-700 and still have an awesome build with the frame of your choice. As long as it's 142x12 though.

  10. #310
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    Quote Originally Posted by eurospek View Post
    That's a screaming deal even if you don't want the Mason frame, sell it for $600-700 and still have an awesome build with the frame of your choice. As long as it's 142x12 though.
    All about your needs on a build kit. I would not be keeping very much, and have an investment of $1700 until I could recoup. Or I could use that on other parts.

    I may still try to get it, have not decided just yet. I dont think I could get anywhere near $600-700 for the frame though, not with the Yelli at that price, and it being proven for all this time.

    Wheels are no good for me, dont need the 142, but I have King hubs to get laced up anyways.
    No need for cranks or cockpit either.

    Etc, etc.

    We shall see. It would certainly help with the credit card points!

  11. #311
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    What size honzo frame are the 5'11" guys riding? I ride a 19.5 Fuel ex and a 19 Fisher Bigsur, I would tend to think the 18 would be ok, but I don't want it to feel too short.

  12. #312
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectBomber View Post
    What size honzo frame are the 5'11" guys riding? I ride a 19.5 Fuel ex and a 19 Fisher Bigsur, I would tend to think the 18 would be ok, but I don't want it to feel too short.
    I'm just over 6' tall and the 18" fits me fine. I put a slightly longer stem than stock on but I didnt feel cramped at all with the shorter stem.
    I ride a 19.5" on Trek's as well.
    "So do me a favor. Find your bike, whatever kind of bike it is. And RIDE it." -Gary Fisher

  13. #313
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectBomber View Post
    What size honzo frame are the 5'11" guys riding? I ride a 19.5 Fuel ex and a 19 Fisher Bigsur, I would tend to think the 18 would be ok, but I don't want it to feel too short.
    Just got an 18", and I am 5'11" as well.

    Can you find reach/stack info on your current bikes to compare?

    If not, at least the TT will will you an idea

  14. #314
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    Quote Originally Posted by el_chupo_ View Post

    If not, at least the TT will will you an idea
    One thing to bare in mind is with the slack HA and super steep SA, the ETT doesn't appear to be as long in fit as it does on paper.

  15. #315
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    2012 Kona Honzo Mountain Bike | eBay

    Very interesting combo with the Hammerschmidt and those tires.

  16. #316
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    ^^
    I would agree eurospek. I'm 5'6" if I stand up really straight so ETT on the Honzo would indicate a 16" frame for me.

    I purchased the 16" to build up a couple months back and it's too cramped unless I run a 70-80mm stem which impacts handling. It's never felt quite right.

    I had a chance to ride a stock 18" last week the cockpit felt great and the handling was spot on for me. Needless to say I'm on the lockout for an 18" Honzo frame to replace the 16".
    Rollin just to keep on rollin'. I don't want to leave this heaven so soon. - Mark Lanegan

  17. #317
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    Quote Originally Posted by eurospek View Post
    2012 Kona Honzo Mountain Bike | eBay

    Very interesting combo with the Hammerschmidt and those tires.
    Speaking of the Hammerschimdt, is anyone using one with their Honzo? Or maybe even a Schlumpf?

    This probably would be my next big upgrade if I could find a good deal.

  18. #318
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackSheep01 View Post
    Speaking of the Hammerschimdt, is anyone using one with their Honzo? Or maybe even a Schlumpf?

    This probably would be my next big upgrade if I could find a good deal.
    Members Drew M and Julian Peters were both running the Hammer at one point on there Honzos.

  19. #319
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    Im looking to build a Honzo and was hoping to get some info from the experts. I will be building it on the 20l frame since I am 6'5" and a clyde 260-290 depending on the month...actually lost 25 so im on my way down...ha!

    I havent decided on the 2012 frame or the 2013? I dont know what the price difference would be just yet? I actually like the look of the 13 frame and it comes with the 142 x 12 already. Here is what I was thinking so far....let me know if I am way off base.....this would be my first bike build and I want it to be bulletproof. Im ok with spending money as long as its worth it. I road bike and am new to MTN biking so pretty much a noob.

    Frame : 20L hopefully this will be big enough...35.5 inseam and am proportional to height.
    Fork: Fox Talas 34...open to suggestion
    Wheels: Chris Kings/Hadley with Stans Flow Ex 36 front and rear
    Tires: ??
    Seatpost: Thompson
    Seat Collar: ??
    Strem: was thinking Thompson 70 ...open to suggestions?
    Handlebars: something 750 - 800.....open to suggestions?
    Headset: CK
    BB: CK
    Drivetrain/ Cranks : this is were I think I need the most help. Im not sure on beefy cranks or gearing that will help my fat ass get up climbs since it will be a 1x9 or 10? Any suggestions as well as chain guides? Always heard SLX cranks were good? 30-32t up front?
    Brakes : XT 180 rear and 210 front
    Last edited by sheranian; 08-30-2012 at 03:00 PM.

  20. #320
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    The 20L should work great for you.

    Here's what I can tell you, fork wise, get a Fox 34, but Talas travel feature really isn't needed. Had one before, never used it at 110mm, too many pedal strikes. Plus the Talas feature likes to stop working and you're dead in the water with only 110mm travel.

    If you can wait a bit, the new X-Fusion Trace fork looks great too, 34mm stanhions, 140mm travel, and looks to be a great alternative to the $$$ Fox stuff. Even a Rockshox Revelation 140 might work for you.

    Tires, whatever you get, definitely go tubeless. I would either go with a 2.4/2.25 Maxxis Ardents, or the Schwalbe Hans Dampf but it's going to get tight in the back with the 2.35 tire. I'm plenty satisfied with my 2.4/2.25 Ardent combo.

    Seat collar if you're looking for a quick-release, get a Chromag QR, best I've used. No slippage, works smoothly, and very comfortable to use. I would also get a Chromag Ranger stem with Chromag OSX bars, both are bombproof and look great. The bars are quite long at 785mm. Or if you don't like the look of the Chromag stem, stick with the Thomson X4 stuff. I'm using the Thomson X4 50mm and it's great as well. More bar clamping area than the Chromag Ranger too. If you seek some lower rise bars than 25mm, Raceface Atlas FR bars are great as well.

    Also I'd recommend ditching the Thomson post in favor of a dropper post like a Rockshox Reverb. Definitely a game changer and it's the best $300 you can buy for your frame.

    Cranks, no point in getting anything beefier or newer than Shimano SLX M665 cranks and ditching the stock rings for an E13 Guidering chainring. The cranks are plenty stiff, cheap, and look great. You might have trouble spec'ing a 30T chainring without some crank modification or dropping $$$ on a chainring.

    I'm running 1x9 with a 12-36 cassette and love the spread. Had a 11-34 before and couldn't make some of the climbs. The 12-36 is perfect. And I really wouldn't gain much by going with 1x10 as the gearing is almost the same in the bigger cogs, and I'm rarely hauling ass to be down on the cassette to see gains from the 11-36 10 spd cassette.

    As for guides, I'm running one without a bashguard and has been good so far. Depending on where you live, you might not need a guide with a bash as well. I like the MRP Lopes SL or the E13 TRS+, but both are way overpriced for what they really are. But no other options of keeping the chain on.

    Grips, personal choice really. I've been on ODI Rogues for years as I like a thicker grip, but recently switched to ESI Chunky foam grips and couldn't be happier. They are definitely more comfortable on the longer rides and while they are not lock-on grips, these don't move at all. And I was very skeptical about trying them for years.

  21. #321
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    Thanks Euro...thats a big help! I will have to look at that fork...are you running the Fox Float? Also, have you had any problems with your Reverb post? I have read mixed reviews...but I know how that goes. I hear the gravity dropper is good for the Clydes...its not the best looking though...ha! I really like the Chromag stuff so will go that route for bars and maybe Ranger stem....if not X4.

    Also, since you know your stuff any other frames I should be looking at for my size/weight? I like the look of the 2 souls stuff but who knows how to get one? Thanks again!

  22. #322
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheranian View Post
    Thanks Euro...thats a big help! I will have to look at that fork...are you running the Fox Float? Also, have you had any problems with your Reverb post? I have read mixed reviews...but I know how that goes. I hear the gravity dropper is good for the Clydes...its not the best looking though...ha! I really like the Chromag stuff so will go that route for bars and maybe Ranger stem....if not X4.

    Also, since you know your stuff any other frames I should be looking at for my size/weight? I like the look of the 2 souls stuff but who knows how to get one? Thanks again!
    I am running the Fox 34 Float. It's good but I've always wondered how it stacks up to the 2012 Rockshox Revelation RL that came stock on this bike, and same fork on the 2013 Honzo. I still want to try one and compare if the 34mm stanchion/15 QR axle vs 32mm stanchion/20QR Maxle debate has much truth to it, especially for where I ride, singletrack of the Midwest.

    The Reverb has held up extremely well for me. I'm 230 lbs on a good day and it's been problem-free since day 1 (knocks on wood). Only thing that bothered me was constant creaking, but took me half a season to finally track it down. SRAM recommends using carbon slip paste instead of regular lube on the post when you insert into the frame, and that carbon gritty paste cause creaking so bad it was annoying. Now a thin layer of lube, the Chromag QR clamp tight, and my post is noise-free, doesn't slip down, and works smoothly up and down (even though SRAM says they are very finicky when it comes to seat clamp pressure and it cycling smoothly).

    The only other frame you might want to check out is the Chromag Surface ($1500), but sizing is more similar to the regular 20" Honzo and really expensive. Plus no sliders longer chainstays. There really isn't any other frame that I would want to be on these days, except somehow maybe drop a pound off mine.

    I did look at the 2Souls Slim-Jim/Quarterhorse frame and been emailing back and forth with 2Souls in Germany this winter when I first saw it. But the XL size looks small, definitely close to the Transition TrasnAM that I had previously and was way cramped. As for the XXL Slim-Jim or QH frame, I've been told there is problems getting the proper Reynold tubing long enough for the top tube if I recall correctly and was told something might come out by the end of the summer. Well summer is coming to an end and I haven't heard anything and 2Souls isn't answering emails anymore either. Last time I spoke with them, they said they have other important projects on the table (like a 650b frame), so I'm not really expecting anything to happen there this year, or even next as I doubt XXL sizing will make it worth their while to make. That would really be the only other frame I would want to have, but their headtube on the XXL seems super long, especially when I'm so comfortable on the Honzo with a much shorter HT.

    To sum it up, you can't go wrong with a Honzo, anyway you slice it.

  23. #323
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    Sounds like the Honzo will work great... Thanks again for all the suggestions! I will look into the reverb I think it wiill be a nice add. Do you have any opinion in the Bling Ring set up? I was thinking I would do a 30 or 32t Bling Ring with AKA cranks. Would this be as durable? Also, do I have to use a SRAM BB or could I still use a CK?

  24. #324
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    I have just installed a SRAM X9 crankset and 28t MRP Bling ring on my Honzo and it absolutely rips! I was running SLX AM cranks for the last year and was really stoked on them. I was nervous about running SRAM cranks at 112kg but so far have been very impressed! I run 1x10 with a modified e13 ls1 chainguide and 11-36 cassette. My local trails are steep tight single track with rocky rooty downhills. With a 32t chainring I gased out on the climbs and only used the top half of the cassette. With the 28t I can clear most climbs and now use the entire cassette during a ride. 28t on a 1x10 29er is an awesome option if your local tracks are steep and rough. Plus the the Bling ring is BLING!

  25. #325
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    South J that's good to hear.. That's probably what I will get an run the micro MRP guide. I guess I'm
    Still confused if I hav to get a different BB to run that set up? Will a CK BB work or do I have to get a press fit BB30 to run SRAM cranks and bling ring?

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