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Kona Big Honzo

Old 02-07-24, 01:35 PM
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Kona Big Honzo

I'm thinking about buying a 2023 Big Honzo for my son. Do any of you own one? If you have one, are the brakes and suspension fork alright? He currently rides my vintage Klein Pulse so I'd assume it'd be a marked improvement.
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Old 02-07-24, 06:03 PM
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The fork is a hard pass (not really a fan of low cost coil forks) but the rest of the parts are decent enough especially if Shimano Deore equipped as you will be getting 11 speed.
Still OK with the AdventX but maybe a little over priced. If with Prowheel crank and not Shimano equipped I would probably pass at that price.

The Klein is generally at least under Gary Klein a pretty neat and more unique bike. Under Trek they started to falter.
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Old 02-07-24, 06:18 PM
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Yeah. The Klein is a nice bike and very light, but the frame geometry is totally different compared to new bikes. My son seems okay with riding it, but I wonder if he'd benefit from all the new technology. I can get the Kona new for $800, but I read the fork is really heavy. I don't want to buy a new bike and then have to upgrade the fork.

I've had no luck looking for an appropriately priced newer used bike and am getting impatient. I almost was able to buy a Orbea Loki, but the seller decided to keep it. I'm still on the fence about the Big Honzo, but I wish it came with a better fork.
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Old 02-07-24, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud
Yeah. The Klein is a nice bike and very light, but the frame geometry is totally different compared to new bikes. My son seems okay with riding it, but I wonder if he'd benefit from all the new technology. I can get the Kona new for $800, but I read the fork is really heavy. I don't want to buy a new bike and then have to upgrade the fork.

I've had no luck looking for an appropriately priced newer used bike and am getting impatient. I almost was able to buy a Orbea Loki, but the seller decided to keep it. I'm still on the fence about the Big Honzo, but I wish it came with a better fork.
The new geometry and wider tires and potentially more travel is well worth it.

If it is a new bike at $800 that is not a bad deal and the fork could be replaced though generally I recommend getting the bike with the right fork on it already.
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Old 02-07-24, 08:50 PM
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Is that the model that's on closeout on Jenson? If so, I think it's a decent spec for the price. It's at least Shimano 11 speed. IMO, any of the forks are going to suck at that price range. If he's used to riding a bike with old school geo, just the updated frame geo might make the fork acceptable for his use. If not, I've seen some killer deals recently on Fox forks...the only caveat is IDK what the fork selection is like for a 27.5" wheel.
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Old 02-07-24, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Sierra_rider
Is that the model that's on closeout on Jenson? If so, I think it's a decent spec for the price. It's at least Shimano 11 speed. IMO, any of the forks are going to suck at that price range. If he's used to riding a bike with old school geo, just the updated frame geo might make the fork acceptable for his use. If not, I've seen some killer deals recently on Fox forks...the only caveat is IDK what the fork selection is like for a 27.5" wheel.
You can sometimes get a Judy Air fork at or around that price (original not the $800)

You can probably get a Fox for 27.5 more easily than 29. I love my Fox Forx,
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Old 02-07-24, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Sierra_rider
Is that the model that's on closeout on Jenson? If so, I think it's a decent spec for the price. It's at least Shimano 11 speed. IMO, any of the forks are going to suck at that price range. If he's used to riding a bike with old school geo, just the updated frame geo might make the fork acceptable for his use. If not, I've seen some killer deals recently on Fox forks...the only caveat is IDK what the fork selection is like for a 27.5" wheel.
Yes it is. .

Before I saw that deal, I had him test ride a few bikes at a bike shop when I was dropping off the Klein to get some work done on it. One of the bikes he rode was ironically a Big Honzo. I had him try a large because he's 5'9", but at 15 yrs old he should still be growing. I'm 5'11" and ride a size large Trek Stache. I'm on the fence about ordering and what size to order if I do, but I'm getting impatient with trying to find something used.

My son typically rides with me and we stick to cross country type riding with some rough rocky stuff and roots, but no big jumps or steep downhill routes. Some of the trails can get soft, so I was thinking he'd appreciate the wide tires on the Kona. There's no way of knowing what type of riding he might do once he gets a little more independent.
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Old 02-08-24, 07:20 AM
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In my opinion, he’d do just fine on that bike. You’re right that modern geometry in itself will be a noticeable improvement for trail riding, and he can always upgrade the fork or bike later on if he’s riding enough to warrant it. But at that age there’s no telling how strong his interest in riding will stay.
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Old 02-08-24, 09:25 AM
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Maybe you can get your Kona LBS (if you have one) to match the price and swap forks for the price difference. Dealers are willing to deal now.
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Old 02-08-24, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by 2old
Maybe you can get your Kona LBS (if you have one) to match the price and swap forks for the price difference. Dealers are willing to deal now.
Thanks for the suggestion - I was thinking I might ask them. It's a huge discount so I'm thinking it'd be very tough for them to match that price. I'd rather buy it at my LBS if they could approach that price...
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Old 02-08-24, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud
Thanks for the suggestion - I was thinking I might ask them. It's a huge discount so I'm thinking it'd be very tough for them to match that price. I'd rather buy it at my LBS if they could approach that price...
They have a choice; get close or no deal. That might spur them a little. They probably can sell the existing fork (or,if necessary you could sell on Craigslist. You might list it just to investigate how much response you'd get).
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Old 05-20-24, 09:38 AM
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Love mine

Have a 2023 DL model, purchased used, and prior owner put on some 2 piston XT brakes (thanks!). RS 35 rekon fork is basic, but does the job for bigger hits, while the plus tires absorb the small stuff. It’s amazing how much difference even one psi makes in these tires -pay attention! Absorbing the small stuff, staying above the pressure to prevent squirm in the corners is a fine line (17psi for me at 200lbs), and the bike is great if you get that piece right.
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