The Kona Big Honzo DL is a bike that sits second from the bottom of the range of aluminium Big Honzo hardtails. It costs £1,800 and is the 27.5" Plus version of the bike that is also available as a 29er called the Honzo DL.
Above the Big Honzo DL in the range is the carbon and steel versions of the bike and below it is another alloy version. The range was released last year, updating the 29er version with carbon, alloy and steel brothers and sisters in the Plus tyre size. The bikes are designed for up to 27.5x 3" tyres or if you want, you can make your bike more like a regular Honzo and swap the wheels out for up to a 29x2.6" wheel/tyre combo.
The Big Honzo comes with the same 130mm of front travel whereas the 29er Honzo gets 120mm fork. Our DL spec bike gets a Rockshox Sektor RL Debonair fork to deal with suspension duties up front. The recently updated 32mm stanchion fork allows the build to benefit from the Debonair air spring, low-speed compression adjustment and a lockout as well as the rebound adjustments.
Elsewhere on the bike, there is a mix of kit from the big names. There's a SRAM NX 11 spd drivetrain with a 30T chainring and an 11-42t cassette and a press fit bottom bracket. Shimano is in charge of stopping, the bike is kitted out with non-series Shimano hydraulic lever and callipers - they look akin to old OEM only M325s but with a smaller lever.
The brand has specced WTB STi35 rims built on Shimano hubs, the wheels are then fitted with two Maxxis Recon EXO TR 27.5" x 2.8" tyres. The bike also gets a dropper post, this one is a Trans-X post with 150mm drop on this large model.
Lastly there is Kona kit specced in the cockpit, a nice short 35mm stem with 35mm clamp and 35mm diameter bars.
The geometry of the Big Honzo looks fairly progressive, there's a pretty long reach of 475mm on this size large test bike. This is coupled with a 75-degree seat tube angle and a 646mm effective top tube meaning the seated position shouldn't feel too stretched out. The classic short Kona chainstays have morphed into something a little longer no doubt to accommodate bigger tyres and a 29er wheel options. Finally, the bike has a 67.5-degree head angle which isn't as slack as you might expect on a trail hardtail but the longer reach should go some way to provide a confidence inspiring ride.
Our Jon is going to get out on this bike soon, check back for a full review in the next couple of months.
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