So I looked at a Kona Honzo today...Do i sell my Speci Pitch and upgrade????- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    So I looked at a Kona Honzo today...Do i sell my Speci Pitch and upgrade????

    I picked up my 1st bike this past summer which was a 2018 Specialized Pitch Expert in 27.5 and rode several times around my local trail. Love at 1st ride even though I hadn't planned on trying any off road trails. My bike has the Suntour XCR fork and a 3x9 drivetrain. During the winter I have been looking at upgrade options ranging from a Suntour Fork upgrade to a Fox Rhythm fork along with a 1X drivetrain. Upgrades would run me $400 if I can find deals.

    Talking to a friend on here who will remain nameless but has given me great advice, I started looking at a few other bike options that will last me for several years if I grow and explore more trails. I ran by our local Kona dealer on lunch and took a look at a Honzo which was in a Large frame but it actually felt better than my Medium Pitch, I am 5'7 160lbs. I also looked at the Honzo DL which is out of my budget range by about $700 but the difference between the 2 didn't seem huge to me but I am not a parts guru. They both had 1x SRAM NX drivetrain and Dropper post but the LRG had a RockShox Recon fork and the DL had a RockShox Sektor fork. I also did some research on t Trek Roscoe 8 but reviews seem scattered as many do.

    I am thinking of selling my Pitch and trying for a decent price on the 2019 Honzo as I think it would last me for several years not needing any upgrades and the shop offers lifetime free tuning. Any thoughts on the Honzo as way to go? I will go back one day when I am not in work clothes to test ride it but I immediately noticed a difference in the GEO from sitting on them alone. The DL which was in a medium almost felt smaller than my Specialized. The seller told me the frames were the same so to try both to get an idea of size needed. Being a 29'r with the different GEO, they felt way better than a Speci Rockhopper in 29 to me.

    Links are below to the 2 I looked at but the regular Honzo would be the one I would lean towards due to budget range if I can sell my Pitch for a reasonable amount.

    KONA BIKES | MTB | HONZO | Honzo

    KONA BIKES | MTB | HONZO | Honzo DL
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  2. #2
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    I just bought a 2018 steel 30th Anniversary Honzo. While itís not my only bike, and while I have not yet ridden it on dirt, I view it as a ďkeeper for lifeĒ bike. I have owned enough bikes and enough Konas to know what I want.

    The only other bike I would have looked at would have been a Chromag Ti Surface or a Mike Truelove welded Chromag Primer. That said, the Chromags are in a different snack bracket entirely, so to speak.

  3. #3
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    Honzo is an awesome bike. Don't own one, but did test it (and ended up with process 153 instead).

    If i were you, just get the regular Honzo (non DL) and upgrade as you get better or break stuff. Another bike to check is Santa Cruz Chameleon - very similar to Honzo. This bike will last a long time.
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    I don't have a Honzo but do have a Unit. Konas are awesome bikes, and much better than the Pitch. A buddy has one, and it does the job, but I think you will enjoy the upgrade.

    Steel Honzo is on my short list for my next bike.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bim6180 View Post
    Honzo is an awesome bike. Don't own one, but did test it (and ended up with process 153 instead).

    If i were you, just get the regular Honzo (non DL) and upgrade as you get better or break stuff. Another bike to check is Santa Cruz Chameleon - very similar to Honzo. This bike will last a long time.
    They did have a Chameleon there but i didnt look at it since it was on the rack hanging up but i will next time. I have read about that bike as well. I will definitely check it out especially if i can sell my bike for enough to justify me putting the extra money towards another.

    @MTNBKRMIKE

    That 30th anniversary model was right beside the one i looked at. Pretty bike. Almost too nice to ride and get dirty. They said there were a limited amount of them made which knowing me would make me not want to ride it.

    @BATTERY Still trying to cost me money i see lol

    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    I don't have a Honzo but do have a Unit. Konas are awesome bikes, and much better than the Pitch. A buddy has one, and it does the job, but I think you will enjoy the upgrade.

    Steel Honzo is on my short list for my next bike.
    Our mutual friend is also encouraging me to go for the Steel version. Im sure there is animation you have ready to silence him lol
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by NigelMTB View Post
    That 30th anniversary model was right beside the one i looked at. Pretty bike. Almost too nice to ride and get dirty. They said there were a limited amount of them made which knowing me would make me not want to ride it.
    You have to ride it man! That's how you praise the Kona and mountain bike gods by putting that bike to work. A mountain bike is worthless unless you ride it whether it's a collector's edition or not!

    If I could handle riding a hardtail, I probably would have bought that bike over the summer so JCD could worship me all day.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battery View Post
    You have to ride it man! That's how you praise the Kona and mountain bike gods by putting that bike to work. A mountain bike is worthless unless you ride it whether it's a collector's edition or not!

    If I could handle riding a hardtail, I probably would have bought that bike over the summer so JCD could worship me all day.
    And it begins. I also thought about the Big Honzo which is the plus version but thats added weight. I think i will demo few to see what i like when the weather settles down here
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  9. #9
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    Collector's edition who collects brand new entry level mountain bikes?

    I think the most cost-effective thing you can do is upgrade your fork. Suntour has a trade-in offer, or you can find another to suit you.

    Will that satisfy your need for owning something better than you have now? Well, briefly. Then it's back to the dealer for more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
    Collector's edition who collects brand new entry level mountain bikes?

    I think the most cost-effective thing you can do is upgrade your fork. Suntour has a trade-in offer, or you can find another to suit you.




    Will that satisfy your need for owning something better than you have now? Well, briefly. Then it's back to the dealer for more.
    True, i don't know if the upgrade of the fork will help over all? I also noticed a difference in feel with the GEO which really made a big comfort difference in sitting on the bike alone. Ive been looking at the sun tour upgrade but still debating on the quality of the Suntour upgrade option and if it will last me over time.
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  11. #11
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    I ride a large honzo at 6'....I can't imagine any scenario where the large would suit you at 5'7"....

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    Quote Originally Posted by NigelMTB View Post
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    That 30th anniversary model was right beside the one i looked at. Pretty bike. Almost too nice to ride and get dirty. They said there were a limited amount of them made which knowing me would make me not want to ride it....
    Not to worry my friend. That bike will be ridden into the ground.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
    Collector's edition who collects brand new entry level mountain bikes?
    Entry level? Says who?

    So I looked at a Kona Honzo today...Do i sell my Speci Pitch and upgrade????-fullsizeoutput_90.jpg

    Quote Originally Posted by ElwoodT View Post
    I ride a large honzo at 6'....I can't imagine any scenario where the large would suit you at 5'7"....
    Nope. Me either. It's a big bike. I am 6' and am on a Large. They have an Extra Large at my LBS as well. That thing is GIGANTIC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElwoodT View Post
    I ride a large honzo at 6'....I can't imagine any scenario where the large would suit you at 5'7"....
    i agree. That was just the standover feel I was going by. I didnít ride it or really test out the fit but the Medium version felt fine as well or even better. I was comparing that Lrg to what I have now. The guys even suggested a Medium which is where I would go but I would test out both for the heck of it too see reach differences.
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  14. #14
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    OP, I looked at the links you provided and I'm not seeing $700 difference in part spec as Kona lists them out, I'd go for the standard Honzo and then upgrade/replace stuff as it wears or breaks. Personally when it comes to HTs I like steel, but if they are only offering the steel frame as a special anniversary edition at a premium price that's out of your budget, nothing to do about that, except maybe be a bit patient and save a bit more.

    FYI, now been on a Kona Unit setup 29+ for a year and loving it, was previously on a Surly Karate Monkey for 10 years for rigid duties.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    OP, I looked at the links you provided and I'm not seeing $700 difference in part spec as Kona lists them out, I'd go for the standard Honzo and then upgrade/replace stuff as it wears or breaks. Personally when it comes to HTs I like steel, but if they are only offering the steel frame as a special anniversary edition at a premium price that's out of your budget, nothing to do about that, except maybe be a bit patient and save a bit more.

    FYI, now been on a Kona Unit setup 29+ for a year and loving it, was previously on a Surly Karate Monkey for 10 years for rigid duties.
    I agree, the $700 seemed very steep for only the fork change and a different dropper I believe. They don't advertise which brakes are on it but that still wouldn't equal $700. I have had a couple hits on my bike so if someone picks it up, i'll do some more research and a few test rides and then decide. Im guessing no one cared for the Trek Roscoe 8 as an option but I haven't seen one of those in person as the dealer is a little ways away and this Kona thought and option kind of sneaked up on me.
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  16. #16
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    Sorry, may have glossed over the thread after a few replies. I say, this time around, take your time, go look at and try to test ride as many bikes as you can get your hands on, you've not got some experience and a better idea of what you like and want out of a bike. As to the Trek, I think that they do excellent bikes, Stache is a great bike and as far as I can tell, the Roscoe is a sort of paired down Stache at a lower budget, so definitely take a look at it, the Chameleon and anything else that tickles your interest in the least.

    Quote Originally Posted by NigelMTB View Post
    I agree, the $700 seemed very steep for only the fork change and a different dropper I believe. They don't advertise which brakes are on it but that still wouldn't equal $700. I have had a couple hits on my bike so if someone picks it up, i'll do some more research and a few test rides and then decide. Im guessing no one cared for the Trek Roscoe 8 as an option but I haven't seen one of those in person as the dealer is a little ways away and this Kona thought and option kind of sneaked up on me.
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    You're doing mtbr wrong, you're supposed to get increasingly offended by the implications that you're doing ANYTHING wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    Sorry, may have glossed over the thread after a few replies. I say, this time around, take your time, go look at and try to test ride as many bikes as you can get your hands on, you've not got some experience and a better idea of what you like and want out of a bike. As to the Trek, I think that they do excellent bikes, Stache is a great bike and as far as I can tell, the Roscoe is a sort of paired down Stache at a lower budget, so definitely take a look at it, the Chameleon and anything else that tickles your interest in the least.
    Thanks bro. There are not a lot of dealers in my area to really check out and im also basing judgement on the attitudes of the guys at the LBS as some don't seem to interested in answering questions or taking time to explain things. One LBS just referred me to the brochure when I asked about a certain Cannondale so I crossed them off the list which also would cross out Scott since they sell them too. This happened on both visits I made just incase I caught someone on a bad day.

    The bikes in my area that I know of are Specialized, Trek, Kona, Salsa, and Santa Cruz. The last 3 being at the same small shop I went to yesterday. The guys all seemed really nice and informative, even when I called back after I left for some additional information about the specific model of brakes on the Honzo and If it was tubeless ready.
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  18. #18
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    Medium is definitely the right size.
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  19. #19
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    If I could stand the beating of a HT, It would be a Honzo. They are sweet bikes. let us know what you decide on and post up some pix.
    Good Luck.
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    Will do. It may be a while since it depends on me selling my current ride before the season or weather breaks here, otherwise I will be riding it again.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by NigelMTB View Post
    Will do. It may be a while since it depends on me selling my current ride before the season or weather breaks here, otherwise I will be riding it again.
    I went into the future and found this photo of you jumping on your Honzo.

    So I looked at a Kona Honzo today...Do i sell my Speci Pitch and upgrade????-p5pb13636120.jpg
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Entry level? Says who?
    Maybe he's one of those people who equates all hardtails with entry level. Can't wait till mine is finished.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Maybe he's one of those people who equates all hardtails with entry level. Can't wait till mine is finished.

    No I don't equate all HT's as entry level either and especially not the Honzo. I have learned from on here and through friends the difference between entry level Hard Tails and more advanced hard tails.

    @Battery I don't plan to show that much thigh when im jumping
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by NigelMTB View Post
    No I don't equate HT's as entry level, was saying my Pitch is often referred to as entry level. I have learned from on here and through friends the difference between entry level Hard Tails and more advanced hard tails.
    Darth Lefty is the one who called the 30th Anniversary Honzo entry level.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Darth Lefty is the one who called the 30th Anniversary Honzo entry level.
    Realized that after scrolling back through so I made a correction in my reply. Thanks Harold for the clarification
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  26. #26
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    At 5'7" the large seat tube is likely too long to install a useful length of dropper. I suspect you will be more comfortable on a medium with a 150mm drop or longer post. Welcome to the hardtail resurgence.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    At 5'7" the large seat tube is likely too long to install a useful length of dropper. I suspect you will be more comfortable on a medium with a 150mm drop or longer post. Welcome to the hardtail resurgence.
    Thanks Travis, I plan to go with a Medium if I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to upgrade. Trying out the dropper in the store was pretty cool since I hadn't seen one in person before.
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  28. #28
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    Sounds to me like you've found yourself a good shop, so start carefully checking and researching all the bikes from them in your price range, definitely don't go back to the other shop, they obviously don't need your money. Hope you get your pitch sold and onto something that inspires you to ride. Getting my new Unit last year really did that for me, the '08 geo and bit too small fit of the Monkey were wearing on me, was reaching for the FS most of the time, but last year after getting the Unit, even rigid, was reaching for that over the FS most times

    Quote Originally Posted by NigelMTB View Post
    Thanks bro. There are not a lot of dealers in my area to really check out and im also basing judgement on the attitudes of the guys at the LBS as some don't seem to interested in answering questions or taking time to explain things. One LBS just referred me to the brochure when I asked about a certain Cannondale so I crossed them off the list which also would cross out Scott since they sell them too. This happened on both visits I made just incase I caught someone on a bad day.

    The bikes in my area that I know of are Specialized, Trek, Kona, Salsa, and Santa Cruz. The last 3 being at the same small shop I went to yesterday. The guys all seemed really nice and informative, even when I called back after I left for some additional information about the specific model of brakes on the Honzo and If it was tubeless ready.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
    You're doing mtbr wrong, you're supposed to get increasingly offended by the implications that you're doing ANYTHING wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    Sounds to me like you've found yourself a good shop, so start carefully checking and researching all the bikes from them in your price range, definitely don't go back to the other shop, they obviously don't need your money. Hope you get your pitch sold and onto something that inspires you to ride. Getting my new Unit last year really did that for me, the '08 geo and bit too small fit of the Monkey were wearing on me, was reaching for the FS most of the time, but last year after getting the Unit, even rigid, was reaching for that over the FS most times

    Exactly, my thoughts as well. I was referred to that first shop by a co worker but I never mention a name until I see how they actually treat me on their own. My Speci shop is great and the new shop selling Kona, Salsa, and SC is really cool and laid back. Much smaller shop that has only been around for about years. A lot more mom/pop style which I actually like better since they have a small inventory and footprint. I hope it sells too. They are calling for snow here this weekend so maybe as the weather gets better in the future, more people will start looking in this area.
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    Throw a leg over a medium sized Salsa Timberjack, I think you'll like it.

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    I'll give that a try as well along with the Chameleon if things work out.
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  32. #32
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    IMO, the Honzo is a very long bike for it's size. If anything, I would personally err on the side of sizing down rather than up. A 5'7" rider on a large Honzo sounds ridiculous based on my experience. It's partially subjective, but the fact is that the geometry of a large size Honzo is closer to a extra-large frame for most other bikes in it's class. That may feel great in a parking lot test ride, but out on the trail, a bike like that might be taking you on a ride, rather than the other way around.

    For reference, I've done the math, and for a Honzo to fit my body proportions, I would need medium with a 35mm stem with the bars low to account for the low BB/ high stack and long reach. I am about 2" taller than you. I would prefer a small Honzo but it would require a LOT of exposed seatpost.

    YMMV and all that, but keep that in mind. Look at the reach figure for your frame, the Honzo, and any other bike you're considering.

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    Thanks @mack_turtle I would go with a Medium.
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  34. #34
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    Would the Kona shop take your Pitch on trade? Looking forward to the pics of the new bike when it happens.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotHead View Post
    Would the Kona shop take your Pitch on trade? Looking forward to the pics of the new bike when it happens.
    I'd be surprised if they did something like that. Shops I've known that have historically done trade-ins or sold bikes on consignment or similar have been moving away from that, because ebay, craigslist, and other used bike resources have been driving the prices of used bikes down so much that they've had a nightmare of a time even breaking even on that stuff.

  36. #36
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    ^^Plus he can get a bit more by selling it. OP should look at the value in bicycle blue book to get an "idea" of what he can sell it for.
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    Smart bike shops are opening eBay store where they take trade-in for store credit and then sell them. Seems like a win-win for customer and shop. Customer gets more value out of the sale than if they sold it locally, shop gets to make money from their efforts in dealing with eBay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Smart bike shops are opening eBay store where they take trade-in for store credit and then sell them. Seems like a win-win for customer and shop. Customer gets more value out of the sale than if they sold it locally, shop gets to make money from their efforts in dealing with eBay.
    Tell me more, how does that work? If a bike shop gives credit to a potential customer and sells it on eBay they need to build in margin for eBay and Paypal fees that total 14%, plus a profit. That doesn't include the labor to pack and ship the bike.

    Unless I'm missing something the bike owner/customer would do better to sell it them selves. I don't get how both the customer and the bike shop could win/win and make out in that situation.

    It sounds similar to the used car trade in. You will get more money if you sell it yourself but it's easier to trade it to the dealer.

    (I get that the bike shop gives store credit and makes a sale. I feel like I'm missing something or you explained it funny)
    Last edited by *OneSpeed*; 01-12-2019 at 02:09 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I'd be surprised if they did something like that. Shops I've known that have historically done trade-ins or sold bikes on consignment or similar have been moving away from that, because ebay, craigslist, and other used bike resources have been driving the prices of used bikes down so much that they've had a nightmare of a time even breaking even on that stuff.
    This is consistent with the practice of my LBS. There was a day when one could trade their used bike in, and be credited some amount against the cost of a new bike. To be clear, it was never a great deal, but I did it the odd time just to free up garage space and get rid of a bike that was not in the Ēkeeper for lifeĒ category.

    But now...

    Exactly as you have said.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Smart bike shops are opening eBay store where they take trade-in for store credit and then sell them. Seems like a win-win for customer and shop. Customer gets more value out of the sale than if they sold it locally, shop gets to make money from their efforts in dealing with eBay.
    Not IME. The shops I know hate going to ebay because they get skinned alive on it. But they do it because they get the damn bike off the sales floor so they can put something in its place that will sell faster and with some profit.

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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    ^^Plus he can get a bit more by selling it. OP should look at the value in bicycle blue book to get an "idea" of what he can sell it for.
    Hey JCD, I hear there is an awesome Specialized Pitch for sale. You should check it out on PB and buy it!
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  42. #42
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    I'll try to sell it on my own and price it so i know that anyone with interest will negotiate down to be about where i want. I agree with most that the trade in will be so much less than what i could do as private sell. It something happens and i get an influx of free money, it could be kept as a spare bike. I agree with Harold, JCD and others that a lot of shops probably don't want the hassle of selling a bike online or having one take up extra space in the shop especially when its not a home brand of theirs.
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    The parts difference between the base Honzo and DL aren't clear on the website. I thought about getting a base model and upgrading the fork until I looked at them both and realized:

    - The DL is a completely different frame. Probably lighter, and with more tire clearance. I don't think the base could do better than a 2.3.
    - Fork, as you saw
    - NX cranks on the base model are the lower end version with spline bottom bracket - probably isis I guess.
    - Hubs are marginally better on the DL.
    - The DL has quality tires - DHF TR EXO Maxterra. The WTBS on the base model aren't tubeless ready, though I think the rims are the same.

    It's a pretty confusing differentiation, and I wish Kona did a better job calling out the differences, especially with regards to the frame.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Burning Pines View Post
    The parts difference between the base Honzo and DL aren't clear on the website. I thought about getting a base model and upgrading the fork until I looked at them both and realized:

    - The DL is a completely different frame. Probably lighter, and with more tire clearance. I don't think the base could do better than a 2.3.
    - Fork, as you saw
    - NX cranks on the base model are the lower end version with spline bottom bracket - probably isis I guess.
    - Hubs are marginally better on the DL.
    - The DL has quality tires - DHF TR EXO Maxterra. The WTBS on the base model aren't tubeless ready, though I think the rims are the same.

    It's a pretty confusing differentiation, and I wish Kona did a better job calling out the differences, especially with regards to the frame.
    Thanks for the breakdown, so would anyone say the base Honzo isn't as greatly spec'd as we thought...?
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  45. #45
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    Let's look at the base level Honzo vs the Honzo DL.

    Comparable notes:

    Frame: 6061 alumnium butted (both)

    Fork: RockShox Sektor RL 120mm (DL) vs RockShox Recon RL 120mm (base)

    Crankarms: same

    Chainring: 28T steel (base) vs 30T narrow wide (DL)

    Freewheel: 11-42 11spd (both)

    BB: Powerspline (base) vs SRAM GXP PF92 (DL)

    Rear mech + shifters: SRAM NX (both)

    Rotors/brakes: Shimano RT30 (base) vs RT54 (DL) \ basically Shimano Altus vs Deore

    Handlebar/stem/seapost/grips: same (including internal dropper)

    Saddle: Kona Trail (base) vs WTB Volt Comp (DL)

    Front/rear hub: both boost with centerlock

    Tires: WTB Trail Boss 29x2.25" (base) vs Maxxis Minion DHF 3C/Dual 29x2.3" (DL)

    Forks:
    So right now, there is a $500 difference in price between the 2 specs. Probably the biggest driver in the price difference is the fork. I honestly don't know anything about either of these forks, but I believe you can't go wrong with either of them. Someone might chime in on this thread with their experiences with either fork.

    Drivetrain
    Kona isn't very clear about the SRAM 28T steel chainring. I think it's an NX model chainring. All I've ever used were narrow wide chainrings and they work perfect with an 11spd drivetrain. The difference in chainring isn't a huge deal considering that you could swap out the chainring on the base model if you decide that you want a couple extra teeth. Both seem to use the same cassette as well. While researching the PG1130 cassette, it came back as the SRAM NX/Apex 1 cassette so you can't really go wrong with it. Both bike models are 1x11 which is always nice to have for simplicity reasons! I think most of us have ridden a 11-42 gear range and it's pretty well rounded for most trails you run into!

    Brakes
    Kona wasn't specific on the actual brake calipers so I will presume that it could be Shimano Altus vs Deore based on the rotors listed. Altus brakes belong in the entry level category of brakes while the Deore is the entry gateway into the trail series of brakes. You can't go wrong with Deore brakes. They work pretty good. I could be off the mark with the brake systems, but I'm working with what I see based on the rotor selection.

    Bottom Brackets
    It's SRAM Powerspline vs PF92. I don't know much about the Powerspline bottom bracket design so someone else may need to chime in on this. Based on what I saw in photos, the crank shaft is already installed into the BB and you just attach the crank arms to it. I don't know how well this design actually is, but I'm sure there are a few people who have had some experience with this BB design. The PF92 is a standard press fit design and you just slip your crank through it like any other standard BB.

    Rotors
    As noted before, it's Altus vs Deore. These are centerlock vs 6 bolt design so it's something you should remember when it's time to swap out your rotors in the future.

    Tires
    Here, we have WTB Trail Boss vs Maxxis Minions! I have no experience with the Trail Boss tires so hopefully someone will chime in with their experiences with them. I do have experience with the Minions! Here in the PNW, the Minion tire is a pretty solid performer for just about any trail out here. The 3C compound is great for additional grip on rocks, roots, and wet surfaces when you run lower tire pressures with a tubeless setup. The Minion tires are tubeless compatible and I would presume that the Trail Boss tires are as well.

    Also, there is a difference in tire width: 2.25" vs 2.3"
    I think the width of the tire is based on weight savings and the trail conditions you are encountering. I think the weight savings may be very minimal but it could be based on the tire construction. For you, I don't see anything wrong with either tire. You can always reevaluate your need for a tire later on after you wear them down.

    Rims
    Both bikes use WTB ST i29 TCS rims. The TCS stands for Tubeless Compatible System which is always a plus. I just started riding on WTB rims and overall, they are pretty strong. I am on my 2nd set of WTB rims. I picked up the WTB Asym 29 and mated them to Hope Pro4 hubs and they have a stiff feel to them. Overall, I think having WTB rims will be a good start for you on the Honzo.

    Saddles
    Kona Trail vs WTB Volt Comp. Saddles are entirely up to the rider. I've owned way too many Volts and I like them all. Just make sure you get your sit bones measured to get the right size for your ass! I also noticed that the internal dropper model is the same. It's always great to have a dropper!

    I think the question is simple. If you bought the $1499 base model, would you end up spending $500 in upgrades on that model? If you believe that you will, it may be worth it to just buy the DL model and have something specc'ed out better for you in the long run.

    Personally, I like the DL model better based on the parts on the bike. If I were to never upgrade a bike and only swap out the regularly worn items, the DL would be a better choice. However, I am an upgrade-aholic and prefer to buy base models and rip everything off it. I should just buy a frame and build it from scratch but sometimes you find clearance deals on built up models and just go with that instead. I'm just crazy like that
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    Thanks for that breakdown and in depth review of everything. These would be some good points to bring up with the shop if i do decide to go that route. Im sure i will have some questions after i read through the items @Battery broke down above but it will take some time to process everything i read.
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    To revive this thread and update, i sold my Pitch this past Thursday and was pretty much sold on going with a Salsa Timberjack SLX. I was and still am torn on the 27.5+ version of the 29ír version. The LBS currently doesnít have either in stock but they did have the base Honzo and was pushing that pretty hard but they would have to order a medium.

    They could also order the TJ in a medium for either wheel size. There is pretty much a $90 difference between the TJís and the base Honzo which makes the decision even harder. Since they donít have my size in stock, throwing a leg over either will be difficult unless they have one coming with this weeks shipment. They suggested riding a diff model Kona with a similar frame to get an idea but am I right in similar isnít going to be exactly the same?

    Kona Honzo be Salsa TJ SLX and wheel size for the TJ are my dilemmaís now


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    Also. The 2020 models come out the end of July and he stated the Konas will be different but didnít have any specifics yet


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  49. #49
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    Kona Honzo base vs. Salsa TJ SLX, tough call. Here's what I like about each, and don't like.

    Honzo: longer reach. This is a high priority for me.

    TJ: Better drivetrain, I much prefer the SLX to the NX on the Honzo. Better tires, I'd rather have 2.6" than 2.25. Major plus that it has swinging dropouts. Major bummer that the Reach is so short.

    They share similar rims, forks, and brakes. Cockpit components are likely very similar.

    Ultimately the geo is a high priority for me, the Salsa is more conservative. Not that the Honzo is extreme but it's more progressive. However the TJ geo isn't terrible and has sliding dropouts, tough call.

    B+ isn't for me. I know a lot of people like it and it suits a lot of different terrain and personalities, but I'm not a fan so I'm only comparing the 29er versions. (for the record I'm 6'3".)

    Really, there is no wrong choice here. Just choose the one you like better based on your preferences.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

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    Thanks @*OneSpeed* very good points on each item. I was wondering about the diff in tire width as well since my previous was a 27.5 at 2.3 and as you stated the Honzo would be a 29 with 2.25 vs the 29 and 2.6 on the honzo. I definitely need to test ride each to get a feel for them. Im hoping he gets some in vs having to order blindly based off looks. Then again I guess I could hold out and see what the 2020's offer in each bike. I wonder if there will be a price increase...
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  51. #51
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    I have spent an unmentionable amount of money on bikes over the past 25 years. I have owned and loved at least a dozen Konas of one sort or another. Every single Kona fit like a custom bike, and I ďbondedĒ with every one of them. For me, there is something very magical about Konas.

    It breaks my heart to see them speced now with components that just donít cut it for me. And I have given up trying to rationalize some of their recent design decisions and product line choices. But at the heart of them, they still are really special bikes. I wish I would have never sold even one of my Konas over the years.

    I donít care about any of my current bikes like I do my Konas. Not even my blinged out Druid. That Honzo is just as special as every other Kona I have owned.

    Maybe itís just me but I swear they put some kind of magic in the downtube of every one of their bikes. I love Konas.
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    @mtnbkrmike Sounds like a die hard Kona fan. I read some passion in that post. Good to see people feel that strongly about them. I see you have the 30th edition one as well so you are a true Kona Man
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  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by NigelMTB View Post
    @mtnbkrmike Sounds like a die hard Kona fan. I read some passion in that post. Good to see people feel that strongly about them. I see you have the 30th edition one as well so you are a true Kona Man
    So I looked at a Kona Honzo today...Do i sell my Speci Pitch and upgrade????-img_7989.jpg



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    That's a beauty and I like the custom bike rack for the truck.
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    I was able to test ride a few bikes at shop in a neighboring city today. I rode the 27.5 plus and 29r Timberjack both in Deore builds as they donít stock the SLX builds. The bikes did feel big to me but Iím sure that has something to do with the 4 spacers they had on the stems. Shifting was a bit rough on both bikes but that could be due to the build and adjustments from the shop. The lady tried to make some adjustments but it didnít help. The plus bike was easier to wheelie but Iím sure thatís due to the wider tire in back. The bikes rode fairly well even though I wish or wonder if the SLX would have made it better but this was mainly a sizing test ride.

    The other bike I tried was a Kona Honzo but in a small frame. The bike felt really good and shifting was smooth and precise with the SRAM NX. Small was definitely not for me as I felt like I could go over the bars at any moment but itís all they had. I will say the dropper post on all 3 was definitely a nice touch. Tr TransX on the Honzo felt nicer though. Iím currently leaning towards the Honzo now but my LBS is going to order a medium for me to try out.

    Here are a few shots from my test rides today




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  56. #56
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    You should have jumped off the train cars
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    That would have been perfect footage. Didnít think about that


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    Well I put my deposit down on the Kona Honzo today. Looking forward to taking this baby home in a couple of weeks.



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  59. #59
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    https://youtu.be/IyC_RT0K12U
    Congrats on the buy! Iím very happy with mine! Swapped out the handlebars and grips, other than that itís stock. And yes, you can run the tires tubeless. Hereís a little inspiration for you.

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    Thanks. I think I actually saw your vid on You Tube. Not many Honzo vids out there so yours came up during a recent search. Bike looks good. Iím stoked to get it in a few weeks


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  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by NigelMTB View Post
    Thanks. I think I actually saw your vid on You Tube. Not many Honzo vids out there so yours came up during a recent search. Bike looks good. Iím stoked to get it in a few weeks
    Cool! Enjoy and be safe. Itís a very fun bike and I feel I made the right decision so Iím sure you will be happy with yours as well.

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    I believe so too. I was torn between that and the timberjack but I believe I made the right source. Fun times are around the corner. Keep posting your vids too


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    Quote Originally Posted by NigelMTB View Post
    I believe so too. I was torn between that and the timberjack but I believe I made the right source. Fun times are around the corner. Keep posting your vids too


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    Congrats on the buy. Iím in the same boat right now deciding between a Timberjack and Honzo. Saw a Timberjack the other day and hope to see a Honzo this week. Tough decision.


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    Quote Originally Posted by smerri1029 View Post
    Congrats on the buy. Iím in the same boat right now deciding between a Timberjack and Honzo. Saw a Timberjack the other day and hope to see a Honzo this week. Tough decision.


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    I was sold on the TJ initially but something about the geo just didnít feel comfortable to me. They typically have 4 pacers on the stem so it feels really tall in the front. That can be changed. Also the bike just felt bulkier to me compared to the Honzo. Honzo rose really smooth to me and felt nimble and light. Definitely get some seat time on both to try


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