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  1. #1
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    Transition Trans Am or Kona Honzo, which is a tougher bike.

    I am looking to get a new bike and have been looking at these 2 as possible candidates, I am 6 foot 4 and 285 so I need a heavy duty bike,

    Any input is welcome ,thanks

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    Paging eurospek....

  3. #3
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    is he the authority?,

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    I considered the same and went with the Honzo. I liked the shorter chainstays and the dropouts. I think the bb is lower as well. I like the Honzo a lot although my Bandit still sees the majority of my riding. I am 5'7" and ride a medium Bandit and a small Honzo and they fit me similarly with 50mm stems and 780mm bars.

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    Thanks but I am 6 foot 4 and 285, I do not know if this makes a difference.

  6. #6
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    I don't know about the Honzo, but I'm on my second TransAM frame. I had a 26er and now I have a 29er. Both are stiff and super strong - no flex and very stable.

    The beauty of steel is its repairable if you bend or crack it, but I don't think you need to worry about that with the transAM.

    FWIW, Transition has an awesome warranty and customer service.
    2013 Transition TransAM 29er
    2011 Yeti 303R DH
    2012 Banshee Spitfire V1.5

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    Thanks

  8. #8
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    I am 6'4" and have a Transam, I can't see being able to break it. If it was me though I would just buy whichever is cheaper. My only issue is how low my handlebar is on the TransAm 29, I have an inch of spacers, 70x10 degree steem, 20mm rise bar and its still about 2 inches below my saddle, I realize this has more to do with my steer tube length on the fork, but I was surprised how low it ended up. (I'm also 6'4" tall).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by in the trees View Post
    Paging eurospek....
    Yes sir!
    Quote Originally Posted by VTSession View Post

    FWIW, Transition has an awesome warranty and customer service.
    2 years warranty on frame by Transition vs. lifetime frame warranty on the Honzo by Kona. Which is more awesome?

    Quote Originally Posted by unrooted View Post
    I am 6'4" and have a Transam, I can't see being able to break it.
    Funny, I broke my TransAM 26er frame within one season of riding singletrack. Seat tube had cracked, and my 30.0 Thomson post slipped from day 1. I could never get it tight enough to prevent slippage mid ride and had to adjust it a few times every ride. The stock QR clamp didn't work too well, neither did the DKG lock-on clamp. At the time I was 6'4" and around 265 lb on a good day. It was my first true All-Mountain bike that I've built from the frame up and while I was stoked for the first few months coming from a 21.5" XL Gary Fisher XC hardtail, the major stokage soon disappeared, especially after longer rides. The bike was just too small for me it turns out. I was sitting quite high to extend the cockpit, tried 50mm, 70, and 90 stems, bars of various rises and I could never get the thing dialed like I wanted to. It was also quite sketchy going DH and always felt uneasy with a constant OTB feeling.

    Transition warrantied the frame for me, they said it was the first TransAM back for warranty which I find hard to believe since the bike has been out a couple years previously, and even offered me the new 29er TransAM version at the time. Knowing I would be selling the frame asap, I stuck with the 26er and sold it, barely broke even on it too, even though it was a brand new latest version frame, 44mm head tube and proper seat tube size.

    Then I built myself a Kona Honzo in 20" Long and couldn't be happier. The bike has held up beautifully in these past 2 years of ownership, finally found myself a frame that I wasn't looking to sell at the end of the season looking for the best next thing around. And I should have been on a 29er from the get go. My riding has improved ten fold, I'm much more aggressive now and ballsy. With a 29er, you pick a line and just go. With the 26er TransAM, you had to pick a line and pray you didn't get hung up on big roots or obstacles.

    And sizing couldn't be anymore different between the two, the TransAM was like a 24.25" ETT, 16.8" reach, 44.6" wheelbase. The Honzo has a long 26" ETT and almost 18.6" reach and 46.3" wheelbase with a 50mm stem and 780mm bars, slammed with only 10mm spacers below. I have never felt more comfortable on a bike as I do now, and while it sounds long and big on paper, it's a lot more nimble and poppable than my TransAM ever was.

    Would I want an XL TransAM 29er? No I would look for another Kona Honzo because Transition's cockpits tend to run super short, and I'm all about longer ETT and shorter stems around 50mm. As for quality between the two, the welds and paintjob on my Honzo are also better than on my old TransAM which was hit with a ton of rock chips. And weight wise, my TransAM with a Fox 36 Float, Shimano SLX 2x9 and brakes, Mavic EX721/Hope wheelset was just under 34 lbs. My Honzo, with a Fox 34 Float, Saint 1x9, SLX brakes, Reverb post, Sun Ringle Charger Expert wheelset is 31.3 lbs. It rides a lot lighter than it weighs and definitely lighter than the TransAM.

    So while the TransAM was a good starting point to my All-Mountain HT quiver, I wouldn't call it the best HT out there like some may lead you to believe. For the best 29er AMHT, look no further than the Kona Honzo.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the help, I ride a 23" right now and I run the seat all the way up. I am a long legged goof!

    What about the Satori by Kona?. I want to start jumping.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by eurospek View Post
    2 years warranty on frame by Transition vs. lifetime frame warranty on the Honzo by Kona. Which is more awesome?
    I had a situation with Transition where I was the second owner of a frame when it cracked. They could've told me to I was sh!t outta luck but they hooked me with a new frame and it was on my doorstep within a couple weeks. The warranty length is one thing, but the extra steps a company takes to keep a customer is another. But that's just me.
    2013 Transition TransAM 29er
    2011 Yeti 303R DH
    2012 Banshee Spitfire V1.5

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    Sorry eurospek I have to completely disagree with you. I have read you bag out the transam 26 every chance you get then you compare it to your Honzo. To compare the ride qualities of the two bikes is crazy as they are different sizes as well as wheel sizes. The Honzo 20L is essentially a XXL in any other manufacturers line up. So you are comparing a XL to XXL, 26" to 29". Bikes should be proportional to the size of the rider - wheels, TT, chainstay etc and at your height (and Mine 6'3") 26 just does not fit as we'll as 29. This seems to have completely biased your view of the Transam. Have you ever ridden a Transam 29?

    I own both bikes in question and both have seen multiple configurations and components. Currently the Transam is single speed and the Honzo 1 X 10.

    As far as frame quality goes my Transam is holding up better than the Honzo and the paint/finish is also better on the Transam. I ride the Transam during winter and wet weather so it gets ridden more and in harsher conditions. Which is tougher??? Hard call, both are built to take a smack down.

    The stock seat post QR has been perfect and my Thompson post has not slipped once under my heavy ass.

    Yes the Transition runs short in the top tube but this is how the guys at Transition prefer them to keep wheel base in check. Even though I am on a smaller size than I should be it works great as a Single Speed as you stand 90% of the time. It also keeps the bike nimble with its short wheel base.

    The Honzo has shorter chainstays and does feel more maneuverable when at speed but the short stays can limit tire choice. Ardent 2.4 and Hans Dampf 2.35 do just fit at the shortest setting but will rub the stays through corners and in mud. As I mentioned bike geometry should be proportional so maybe the XL Transam with its 435mm stays is the good length for a big bike (2 Souls certainly think chainstays on L and XL bikes should be longer) The Transam also has huge tire clearance so you can run anything you want.

    To compare the ride of both bikes simply the Transam is a more balanced all round bike and the Honzo is a more aggressive down hill oriented slayer. The Transam is better until you really start pushing hard in fast technical down hill runs and this is when the Honzo shines. You need to ride really hard to get the best from the Honzo.

    I absolutely love both my bikes.

    Choose one and be stoked.

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    Thanks for the reply, good info for sure. They make a Honzo in how big? I ride a RH 23 and it is perfect accept I have to run the seat post to high.

    I was looking at the Airborne 21 and 22 inch frames they sell, does anyone know anything about those?

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    Eurospek ATTACK!

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    Quote Originally Posted by southj View Post
    Sorry eurospek I have to completely disagree with you. I have read you bag out the transam 26 every chance you get then you compare it to your Honzo. To compare the ride qualities of the two bikes is crazy as they are different sizes as well as wheel sizes. The Honzo 20L is essentially a XXL in any other manufacturers line up. So you are comparing a XL to XXL, 26" to 29". Bikes should be proportional to the size of the rider - wheels, TT, chainstay etc and at your height (and Mine 6'3") 26 just does not fit as we'll as 29. This seems to have completely biased your view of the Transam.
    According to both companies, I am on the right size of the bike if you follow Transition's size guide for a Large 19.5" TransAM which fits 5'11-6'4" and per Chris Mandell's recommendation as well, same height as myself on a 20" Long Honzo. But two very completely different rides and attributes. And bag out the TransAM 26er? Sure because if I knew all that I have learned these past 3 years with the TransAM and the Honzo, I definitely would not have been so deliberate in starting out with it first, definitely not a 26er, and definitely not on anything with an ETT below 25.5". So much for trusting a company to steer you right sizing wise? But you live and learn, all part of the hobby of mountain biking I guess. And why not voice my opinion, that's the point of this whole forum anyway, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by southj View Post
    Have you ever ridden a Transam 29?
    Nope and would never consider it anyway based solely on geo alone. Owning one was enough for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by southj View Post
    Yes the Transition runs short in the top tube but this is how the guys at Transition prefer them to keep wheel base in check. It also keeps the bike nimble with its short wheel base.
    Short wheelbase? It's definitely nothing to write home about. Going off stock geometries listed, an XL TransAM 29er has a WB of 45.7", a Kona Honzo 20" Long is 46.1". You make this frame size sound massive and long. It really isn't. And yet the reach is over an inch longer on the Honzo, as well as ETT. To get that nimble feeling, one would need to run much longer stems on the TransAM, and as we all know, anything over 70mm these days is XC long. The sweet spot for me is 40mm-50mm in stem length. Anything longer I would rather size up and run shorter stem.

    Not too many companies are running with such sizing philosophy like Kona, and it's a damn shame because it just works. If I wanted a TransAM 29er to ride like that, then I would really need to be on an XXL TransAM 29er. Which again, I wouldn't want lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by southj View Post
    The Honzo has shorter chainstays and does feel more maneuverable when at speed but the short stays can limit tire choice. Ardent 2.4 and Hans Dampf 2.35 do just fit at the shortest setting but will rub the stays through corners and in mud. As I mentioned bike geometry should be proportional so maybe the XL Transam with its 435mm stays is the good length for a big bike (2 Souls certainly think chainstays on L and XL bikes should be longer) The Transam also has huge tire clearance so you can run anything you want.
    How much rear tire does one need? I'm running 2.4/2.25 Ardents and the rear is just fine. Anything bigger IMO is just not needed. And the Ardent sizing/volume is massive anyway, so they really are bigger. Huge tire clearance on the TransAM? Sure, if you run it the same way as the Honzo, in 1x9/10/11 or SS. I have read threads on here with people running into rubbing issues with bigger tires and front derailleurs where you had to trim them accordingly.

    I see nothing wrong with such short CS lengths on the Honzo, it's a wheelie machine, when you want it too, but definitely does not hinder regular riding, climbing, or even tire choice really.

    And the TransAM has the longest CS lengths of any All-Mountain 29er hardtail these days. But why?

    Banshee Paradox, Chromag Surface and 2Souls QH all 16.9", Canfield Yelli Screamy is 16.7".

    Quote Originally Posted by southj View Post
    The Honzo is a more aggressive down hill oriented slayer. You need to ride really hard to get the best from the Honzo.
    If I'm such a fan boy of the Kona Honzo riding these tame ant hills of the Midwest, then could you imagine if I truly shredded DH gnar with it out West?

  16. #16
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    Nice ATTACK!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Realslowww View Post
    Nice ATTACK!
    Nice Attack?

    Eurospek and I obviously have differing opinions on the bikes you began this thread about. Realslowww you asked a question and we both gave you our thoughts on the bikes you were interested in. I would have thought different views would have helped you create your own informed opinion. Instead you seem more interested in fuelling some kind of online war of words.

    Like Eurospek said in his post he was voicing his opinion and I agree, that is the point of this forum. Eurospek and I both like the same style of bike but we obviously have slightly different views on some aspects. Eurospek has great bike knowledge and I respect his opinion. Even though I could continue to debate I won't as It seems like Realslowww you are here to troll.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by southj View Post
    It seems like Realslowww you are here to troll.
    I concur.

    OP created numerous threads on this topic, plus is all over the place on bike selection too, looking at Airborne aluminum frames now too, not quite in the same league as the mentioned AM frames so far.

    Unsubscribing from thread.

  19. #19
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    What is the problem with the Airborne, I like them because they are cheaper that is all. I am interested in both of these frames but took interest in the Kona because I was told it was good for what I want then somebody told me to look at the Trans Am.

    I want to build a 29 but on a budget, I want something good for going up and down steps and is good at high speed, Aluminum to me does not ride as good as steel.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by southj View Post
    Nice Attack?

    Eurospek and I obviously have differing opinions on the bikes you began this thread about. Realslowww you asked a question and we both gave you our thoughts on the bikes you were interested in. I would have thought different views would have helped you create your own informed opinion. Instead you seem more interested in fuelling some kind of online war of words.

    Like Eurospek said in his post he was voicing his opinion and I agree, that is the point of this forum. Eurospek and I both like the same style of bike but we obviously have slightly different views on some aspects. Eurospek has great bike knowledge and I respect his opinion. Even though I could continue to debate I won't as It seems like Realslowww you are here to troll.
    People can joke around, don't get your panties in such a bind, thanks for the help.

  21. #21
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    As a Clydesdale I ride my Transam 29 on chunky trail and its been fine. No frame breakage to speak of. I actually like the geo as it makes a fun bike to ride. Less XC more fun.

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    Thanks for the help

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