I took my new Honzo out for it's shakedown ride Sunday to Annadel State Park in Santa Rosa, CA. It's a great place to put a new bike through it's paces - chunky sections, smooth flowy parts and some decently technical climbs.
In one word - fun. Kona nailed the geometry. I've never ridden a bike that is so nimble, yet so stable. I'm not going to set any PR's on climbs, but this bike climbs as well as I had hoped. And downhill it flat out rips. It manuals incredibly easy, yet the front end doesn't wander on climbs. Go figure. If I ever save enough money and have a custom all-mountain frame made, I'll just tell the frame builder to copy the Kona's numbers.
I set up the bike single speed and couldn't be happier. I've got plans for lots of days in Tahoe and the Sierras that will involve some big climbs, but after a few thousand feet in the saddle yesterday I'm not worried. It takes a little more effort to get uphill than my XC bike, but that just means I gotta build up my legs more this winter.
I definitely need to be mindful of my pedal location. I was smacking my pedals all over the place in the first mile or so of rocky terrain. As advertised, the bottom bracket is quite low, but once I started paying attention it was no longer an issue.
I'm looking forward to a long spring and summer on the Honzo.
Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking GearReviews and Roundups
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Thread: Honzo - First Impressions