Thoughts on Good Hard Tail - < $2.2K- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Thoughts on Good Hard Tail - < $2.2K

    Hey everyone,

    I am a longtime lurker here, happy to get more active!

    Anyways, I am looking into a Kona Honzo DL 2019 OR 2020. Wanted to get everyones thoughts on the bikes and if you think the 2020 is worth the extra $200.

    Also, if you think there is a better value in the $2.2k or less range, please provide some suggestions.


    Some things to note:

    I live in Northeast Ohio and frequently visit my hometown (Metro Detroit). There is no trail IMO that requires a full suspension bike, so I'd rather get better components for the price as opposed to getting a FS in the same price range.

    This price range would be a big upgrade from my starter Trek Marlin 5, which I have beat to crap over the past 3 years.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    I'd go with the 2020 unless you plan on upgrading the fork. The 2019 has the RC Sektor which has 32mm stanchions (too flexible for aggressive riding) but the 2020 has the Revelation with 35mm stanchions. The eagle SX is going to be heavy and I'd rather just have the NX 11speed but I couldn't live with that Sektor fork.

    I was actually considering buying a 2019 DL and upgrading the fork to something else until I realized I could get a Guerrilla Gravity Pedalhead for cheaper with all the components I wanted from the get go.

  3. #3
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    Ragley Big Wig, Sunday Soundwave (BMX), Nashbar CXSS (workout)

  4. #4
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    I started with a Marlin 7 about 4 years ago, and got myself a Fuel EX 9.8(carbon FS) 2 years ago. Now, I'm in about the same market you are.

    -I'm looking at the Surly Karate Monkey due to its versatility, shredability, and minimalistic setup. It has loads of braze-ons, plenty of clearance for + sized tires, and 4130 Chromoly Steel. At $1500 with a rigid fork, you would have a bit of money left over for a nice set of wheels and/or front suspension fork.

    -The Salsa Timberjack is closer to $2000 in a few different builds

    These are the two options I am looking because I want a commuter/singletrack/bikepacking rig I can use everyday and forever...

    Provide more insight into what you want to do with this new bike for better/more info.

  5. #5
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    if you are visiting the metro D area, might wanna give the trail at DTE in Chelsea a try.

    I ended up choosing a 2018 timberjack last year

  6. #6
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    I've been riding a Pedalhead this year, too, with 29x2.6 shoes and a 140mm fork.

    I tossed the budget for mine, but it is SUCH a rad bike. I've been riding it all over Pisgah this summer. In an OEM config with a 120mm fork, it'd be excellent for midwestern riding.

  7. #7
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    Been riding HT the last two years and from my experience I would suggest looking for a frame that you really like and building it up , theirs always sales going on online and super good local deals youíll end up much happier with a way more solid build


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #8
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    Currently riding a 2019 Ragley Mmmbop build up frame


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  9. #9
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    Thoughts on Good Hard Tail - &lt; $2.2K

    My 2019 140 mm Kona Honzo ST may be the funnest bike I have owned in over 25 years of biking. Given the bikes I have blown through, trust me - this is a significant statement.

    Thoughts on Good Hard Tail - &lt; .2K-img_7989.jpg
    2020 Kona Unit (in progress...)
    2019 Forbidden Druid
    2018 Kona Honzo ST 30th BDay SE
    2015 Kona Paddy Wagon Fixed Gear

  10. #10
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    About a month ago I purchased a 2020 Commencal Meta HT AM Essential. It has 27.5 plus tires, and a 160 mm fork. As hardtails go this on the aggressive side considering the geometry. On the trail it is surprisingly capable on the climbs and tight switch backs. Where it really shines is on rough flats and any kind of downhill track. Personally I like the plus tires on a hardtail, it softens the bumps and grips well in the corners. The component spec is solid in my opinion, and so far it has been a low maintenance ride. You can pick one up for less $2000 delivered. It is an online purchase so I would only consider this if you know how to do your own bike maintenance. If you want to only buy through a dealer the Santa Cruz Chameleon or Specialized Fuse are worth looking at as well.

  11. #11
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    I too am looking at next year for a new HT so far RSD and OptOut are my two leading the pack on frames.

  12. #12
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    Jenson currently has the Ibis DV9 on sale for $2100, all NX drivetrain + Fox Float 34 SRAM Level brakes... no dropper but that can be installed for 250 (SDG). Can't go wrong while getting a carbon frame. I own one and I too threw the budget out the door. Currently running XX1 Eagle/Code RSC/Pike RCT3 Fork 130mm/Chris King Headset/Industry 9 A35 stem/Carbon bar 760mm/Ergon GA3 grips/Ergon SR Pro saddle etc etc... rides real nice.
    https://www.jensonusa.com/Ibis-DV9-NX-Bike-2019





    Also have a Niner Air 9 I got from Bike Bling for 1600 but wouldn't recommend it with the Judy Gold fork it came with, would be the first thing to change other than that it comes with an NX Eagle drivetrain and level brakes, no dropper. Don't have any pics of the Niner yet.

    $1600 w/dropper you can probably upgrade the fork to a reba or revelation and still be under 2K
    https://www.jensonusa.com/Niner-Air-...xclusive-Build

    Wife's is a Orbea Loki/Laufey H10 27.5 (convertible to 29er), upgraded the shimano m7000 drivetrain and brake to SRAM GX Eagle + Code RSC brakes Terry saddle etc etc... lots of mods.. came with a Fox Float 34 130mm fork.



    Air 9 and Loki came in under 2200... the DV9 got it under 5K with the GX eagle drivetrain and shimano brakes it came with but with the added mods listed well over 5K now.

    The Orbea Laufey and Loki 2018/2019 are limited in supply and the 2020's are backordered till next year I believe. I think there is an orange one or light blue available in R&A Cycles

    Another good contender would bethe Santa Cruz Chameleon D 29er or the D+ 27.5 whichever you ultimately decide on. it's $1800 all Sram NX/Raceface drivetrain Recon RL 120mm Sram Level brakes 6000 alum frame.

    https://www.jensonusa.com/Santa-Cruz...D-29-Bike-2019
    https://www.jensonusa.com/Santa-Cruz...t-Bike-2020-18

    Next teir up on the Chameleon is the R for $2400 (over your budget mentioned but it's a hella bike, I built one for a coworker in R+ version and it's so nimble and playful. came with a Fox Rhythm 34 fork 130mm, full NX Eagle, SRAM Level T Brakes https://www.jensonusa.com/Santa-Cruz...um-R-Bike-2019 )
    Last edited by }{yBr!D^; 3 Days Ago at 10:32 AM.
    2019 Ibis DV9
    2019 Niner Air 9 2-Star
    2018 Orbea Loki 27+ H10

  13. #13
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    Iím also on a Honzo, the AL from 2019. I would highly recommend the model but I swapped the fork to a 140mm Pike which made a world of difference! If youíll be buying a Honzo I recommend including a better and slightly longer fork in the budget.

  14. #14
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    I haven't ridden one and the 2020's aren't in stock yet, but the Vitus Sentier VRX via Chain Reaction seems like a really good value on a bike with good components and geometry.

    For $1800 you get a Fox 34, an SLX 1x12 drivetrain, Shimano brakes, and a dropper. The next steps down are even cheaper and absolutely trail worthy as well.

  15. #15
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    I have a 2019 Vius Sentier VRS, ran me 1400 bucks on sale. I am too new to the sport to really have an opinion though. Obviously I love it and the spec vs price ratio is pretty good.

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