Déjà Vu - Rhys Verner and the New Honzo Carbon - Video

Jul 4, 2016
by Kona Bikes  
Views: 16,678    Faves: 113    Comments: 11


Ever get that feeling - the fleeting sensation that you have been somewhere or done something before? Translated from French the term déjà vu literally means “already seen” and is a relatively common occurrence, just like endurance racer Rhys Verner is discovering on his new carbon Honzo. Developed with an aggressive trail geometry, 120mm of front end travel, and with modern trail appointments like Boost spacing and Stealth dropper post routing, the new Honzo is built for riding infamous Pacific Northwest trails. The new carbon frame has also been proven on increasingly challenging XC courses where weight and power transfer are vital. With one ‘race' and two ‘trail' configurations to choose from, the new carbon Honzo is so overly capable that, much like Rhys, you too might experience déjà vu when the start gun goes off at your next race or when you drop into a new trail.

Images for D j Vu - Rhys Verner and the new Honzo Carbon article.
When we met up with Rhys at the Bear Mountain round of the Canada Cup, he was in the process of destroying the pump track section of the course. Rhys was doubling up the jumps in his race run. This was tall seat riding at its most stylish.

Bear Mountain Bike Park mountain biking trails

Images for D j Vu - Rhys Verner and the new Honzo Carbon article.
When we returned the next day though, Rhys handed out a masterclass in hardtail riding. Maneuvering the carbon Honzo through the air with massive amounts of style and some serious airtime. He even tripled two step-down lines that we didn't even know existed.

Images for D j Vu - Rhys Verner and the new Honzo Carbon article.
The carbon Honzo is just as at home on XC race courses as it is shredding technical all mountain trails. The frame features a 600-gram weight saving over its alloy brother and a well thought out parts spec, the versatile Honzo simply devours terrain.

Images for D j Vu - Rhys Verner and the new Honzo Carbon article.
Rhys attends the University of Victoria in BC and knows the trails on Vancouver Island well. The decision to film the carbon Honzo on the trails of Mount Tzouhalem near Duncan, BC was his, and damn was it a good idea. You couldn't have picked a more fun place to film (or ride) a hardtail. The trails had the perfect mix of flow, tech and pop.

Mount Tzouhalem mountain biking trails

Images for D j Vu - Rhys Verner and the new Honzo Carbon article.
Rhys and the Honzo made use of every lip, root and rock available, they spent a good portion of the descent looking like this.

Images for D j Vu - Rhys Verner and the new Honzo Carbon article.
Joonas Vinnari (left) is Kona's in-house filmer and editor, he's responsible for most of Kona's videos (and he could also be a part time model). For this shoot we also enlisted legendary cinematographer and Vancouver Island local Rob Parkin.

Images for D j Vu - Rhys Verner and the new Honzo Carbon article.
Lush, green and wet, but oh so much fun. Rhys just toyed with the trail from the top to bottom.

Images for D j Vu - Rhys Verner and the new Honzo Carbon article.
Did we say lush, green and wet?

Images for D j Vu - Rhys Verner and the new Honzo Carbon article.
A rare, relatively flat bit of track and a tree stump, the combo is like a magnet for the carbon Honzo. This bike just hunts for things to pop off.

Images for D j Vu - Rhys Verner and the new Honzo Carbon article.
It doesn't hurt that Rhys is also hunting for things to pop off as well.

Images for D j Vu - Rhys Verner and the new Honzo Carbon article.
Long time Kona Endurance team racer Spencer Paxson explains to Rhys the nuances of pulling embarrassing faces while filming. #theressomethinginmymouth

Images for D j Vu - Rhys Verner and the new Honzo Carbon article.
Berms for dayz. The trails on Mount Tzouhalem fulfill your cornering dreams.

Images for D j Vu - Rhys Verner and the new Honzo Carbon article.
The Honzo CR Trail DL

Frame Material: Kona Carbon Trail
Wheel Size: 29
Wheels: WTB Asym i29 TCS
Front Suspension: 120mm
Fork: RockShox Pike RCT3 120mm Boost
Crankset: SRAM X01
Drivetrain: SRAM X01 1x 11spd
Cockpit: Kona XC/BC 35 bar and stem, ODI Ruffian MX grips
Brakes: SRAM Guide RSC
Front Tire: Maxxis Minion DHF EXO TR 3C 29x2.3"
Rear Tire: Maxxis Ardent EXO DUAL TR 29x2.25"
Saddle: WTB SL8
Availability: July
MRSP: $4599 (USD) / $6499 (CAD)

Images for D j Vu - Rhys Verner and the new Honzo Carbon article.
The Honzo CR Trail

Frame Material: Kona Carbon Trail
Wheel Size: 29
Wheels: WTB Asym i29 TCS
Front Suspension: 120mm
Fork: Fox Float 34 Performance 120mm Boost
Crankset: Race Face Aeffect SL
Drivetrain: Shimano SLX/XT Shadow Plus 1x 11spd
Cockpit: Kona XC/BC 35 bar and stem, ODI Ruffian MX grips
Brakes: Shimano SLX
Front Tire: Maxxis Minion DHF EXO TR 3C 29x2.3"
Rear Tire: Maxxis Ardent EXO DUAL TR 29x2.25"
Saddle: WTB SL8
Availability: July
MRSP: $3499 (USD) / $4499 (CAD)

Images for D j Vu - Rhys Verner and the new Honzo Carbon article.
The Honzo CR Race

Frame Material: Kona Carbon Trail
Wheel Size: 29
Wheels: WTB KOM i23 TCS
Front Suspension: 120mm
Fork: Fox Float 34 Performance 120mm Boost
Crankset: Shimano SLX
Drivetrain:
Shimano SLX/XT Shadow Plus 1x 11spd
Cockpit: Kona XC/BC 35 bar and stem, Kona S-LOG grips
Brakes: Shimano SLX
Front Tire: Maxxis Ikon EXO TR 3C 29x2.35"
Rear Tire: Maxxis Ikon EXO TR 3C 29x2.2"
Saddle: WTB SL8
Availability: July
MRSP: $3599 (USD) / $4499 (CAD)

Images for D j Vu - Rhys Verner and the new Honzo Carbon article.

For more information on the Carbon Honzo and the rest of our 2017 bikes, be sure to check out Konaworld.com on July 17th when the new bikes go live.

About Kona:
At Kona, we're all about the freedom and empowerment of the bicycle. We have been since 1988. We still have the same founding owners. We're still populated by a staff of keen, active, impassioned cyclists. We're not big, nor are we that small. Just a dedicated group of cyclists making bicycles for people who love bikes - no matter if that love is new or long established.


MENTIONS: @konaworld



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71 Comments

  • + 50
 This new breed of trail hardtails are so much more capable than ever. What we've learnt about geometry over the last 5 or 6 years have probably advanced the hardtail just as much as dual suspension bikes if not more! Long low and slack and the inherent pedaling capabilities combined with the roll over sh#t abilities of 29 inch wheels is seeing hardtails going full circle and being popular again. For some they never died, but for most who have been riding for under 10 or so years, the joy of "feeling" the trail will be something new. See Phil Atwill destroying all in his path aboard an Orange Crush to see what a rowdy time is all about! Kona have always been the masters of the hardtail and this latest version of their cult classic Honzo is a perfect blend of modern mtb design and trail simplicity. Very very nice indeed!
  • + 19
 I've been riding mid-travel trail bikes for the last 4-5 years since starting riding bikes, then bought a slack hardtail a few months back. Haven't enjoyed MTB as much as I do now. Everyone should own a rowdy hardtail.
  • + 3
 yep i just sold my altitude and got myself a commencal meta HT AM, and i am blown away about how it performs, man i love that bike.
  • + 5
 I couldn't agree more. My local trails are perfect HT terrain. I went from riding HTs to a couple of FS and miss the connection with the trail and the overall fun that a HT delivers. Smuggler is for sale and Honzo carbon frame arrives on Thursday.
  • + 4
 You can keep your hardtail. My back doesn't need to be "feeling" the trail that much anymore - especially on the Shore.
  • - 5
flag racecase (Jul 4, 2016 at 10:26) (Below Threshold)
 At best it's still a hard tail...
  • + 3
 www.pinkbike.com/video/342270
for all the hardtail haters take notes.
  • - 2
 The bike they showed in that earlier release looks better than any of these official versions.
  • + 2
 @rrolly: totally agree. I would ride hardtails if I could, but I get serious back aches after 15-30 minutes. Where as I can keep on riding on my fully for hours without any back ache. Hardtails are awesome but not for those with back issues like me. Nevertheless I've tried the steel and alu Honzo and totally loved it! If I'd own a hardtail mtb it would definitely be the Honzo.
  • + 2
 @Mattin:I admire guys that can fly over technical terrain on a hardtail. I can't get away with that most of the time. I either have to slow down or get rekt. The margin of error shrinks quite a bit on a hardtail.
  • + 17
 Love Kona, love my Kula Deluxe 2-9. 4g for a bike is steep for my wallet, but I love that Kona did not forget the people that just want a simple single speed steel/alloy frame bike. A company that makes a bike for all rides of life.
  • + 4
 I still have a kula primo, its kinda old 2006 or so, but its still a sweet ride, light responsive and forgiving. Kona has always made fun hardtails.
  • + 14
 Right where you think Kona has already created the perfect hardtail bike, they come with a huge improvement! Full on trail bike at an XC weight? Things we used to dream about years ago are now being made possible by Kona!

First the Hei Hei Carbon Trail, now this. Really can't wait to see the full 2017 line Kona will drop next year.

Kona is pushing boundaries exactly where the riders dream of improvements. These are the things that really make both our bikes and our cycling experiences better (better cycling because you'll spend less time grinding uphill and will have an even better performing bike on the descents). Most other companies just seem to "improve" in shit we don't want, such as "hey, let's replace the decent BSA brackets with creaking BB30s" and "let's make the hub 2mm wider so everyone has to buy a new frame". Thanks Kona for being real cyclists and also listening to what cyclists want instead of shoving shit down our throats. Kona is by far my favorite MTB company out there! Always bringing things to the next level, exactly where we want it Big Grin
  • + 3
 I couldn't agree more. Like you re saying, the "do-it-all" hardtail we've been dreaming of...aggressive geometry but almost as light as a racing machine. The Canfield Bro EPO that came out last year, I think, is a very nice frame as well. I wonder how much this Kona frame is...
  • + 17
 Honzo carbon just doesn't sound as good as Honzo steel though...
  • + 15
 And titanium version should be even better!
  • + 4
 Yeah its a nice looking bike but carbon hardtails are just brutal. I've had two; gave up after I broke the seatstay on my Ibis Tranny. Great if your'e racing, but too harsh for a fun ride. Now back to steel.
  • + 4
 Gonzo would be even better...
  • + 1
 Ya I agree, but it seems only their Aluminum and Carbon frames are 148x12 (boost), The steel and Ti are 142. I'd love to get the steel with boost spacing, kinda like the Chromag Rootdown and Primer.
  • + 1
 @alexgosu: Just built one up, my self.
  • + 10
 When they come out with the carbon process I might still buy an aluminum one. Why do I care so much about there being a carbon version then? Because it emphasizes Kona as a world class bike company. It means they got their shit together with the engineering/manufacturing of the fantastic plastic. It's the halo bike a brand needs even if they sell a a thousand less expensive models for every $6k dream machine. Looking forward to the full 2017 launch in a few weeks.
  • - 16
flag truehipster (Jul 4, 2016 at 0:34) (Below Threshold)
 So your OK with their 5 year old 26 inch downhill bike?
  • + 13
 @truehipster: ah'hem...
YES! Shredding it since 2012 ????
  • + 7
 @truehipster: ...Shouldn't you be?
  • + 2
 @Matt-Pau: Orage Kona + Yellow Deemax = Kowan Edition
  • + 1
 @truehipster: the last 26" dh bike was last year. The 2017s have some of the the most progressive geometry in DH. Sorry if that detracts from your jabbing comment.
  • + 0
 @Matt-Pau: pretty monumental difference between the days of the stinky and a modern day DH rig...
  • + 2
 @om1wan: This 'specimen' is not my Stinky. Mine still has its AlexRims DM24. Smile
  • + 2
 @nvranka: I don't really care about asymetrical frames, carbon etc, except for my eyes' pleasure and my technical curiosity ! ^^ The most important thing for me is that I still haven't reached my Stinky's limits !
  • + 1
 Don't expect anything earth shattering until next year (201Cool
  • + 0
 @Glendmcc: just stating facts. . . . .
  • + 2
 @Matt-Pau: yes^ broke my stinky. Got an operator. Broke it. Welded it back. Still riding it
  • + 14
 Superb video and awesome riding! I love it!
  • + 8
 I do enjoy a good hardtail video.
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: That's what she said! - sorry, I'll let myself out...
  • + 1
 @danielgrafik: ahhahahhahahahhah
Funny lads!
But I too do enjoy a good HT video!
  • + 6
 Hard tails are the future. I think everyone is being brainwashed and led to the slaughter house buying up all this full suspension hype, losing all their true ability to ride a bike and spending countless amounts of money. Join the new age rebellion and get on a hard tail. That is all.
  • + 2
 the XL sizing is pretty big, just look at reach and ETT numbers. However, Im pretty happy with my XL Scout 290 which has 66 HA and only 508 seat tube. Id be interested to see how those mega short chain stays feel though.
  • + 1
 Could be weird? Taller riders will end up way off the back, and if the STA is steep enough to offset that maybe long femur people are too far forward. /speculation>
  • + 1
 How is it that the CR Trail, which has a dropper and wider wheel set and RacFace crankset is $100 cheaper than the CR Race with the same spec'd drivetrain and brakes but no dropper and narrower wheeelset and SLX cranks?
  • + 2
 Not 1 picture of the rider seated. Says something. I rode a Santa Cruz Highball converted to Alpine trail duty for 2 seasons and it seriously messed up my back.
  • + 1
 In this second half of the year a lot of trail oriented new gen hardtails are poping up, it is not a bad idea to shoot out as many as possible
  • + 4
 Nice lookin' vessel.
  • + 3
 I just came for the comments
  • + 2
 Master the hard tail and you'll float on your dual suspension your body is 50% of the ride.
  • + 1
 I wish we could see the video of Aggy shredding that bike to its limits... Truly awesome video, Rhys can shred, that's for sure...
  • + 1
 Interesting to note that Fox doesn't make a 34 29 in 46mm offset. Custom CSU for Kona?
  • + 1
 How to make a hardtail looks cool again: put a fannypack on the full suspended rider!!! Wink
  • + 2
 I am still holding out for the big honzo
  • + 2
 So sick
  • + 1
 Im going to have to test ride one of these bad boys. Sooo tempting.
  • + 2
 those trails !
  • + 1
 trails look great, as does the bike.
  • + 2
 song?
  • + 2
 Steep prices
  • + 4
 Steel and aluminum frames are $525
  • + 1
 My KONA Honzo is my all time favorite bike. its got some magic to it
  • + 0
 This bike is not really xc race machine nor really trail HT bike...
  • + 4
 No, it's not a traditional "XC" hardtail, but it would be suitable for more techy courses. I'm rather surprised at the inclusion of a "race" model, though. You can certainly increase the fork travel a bit to push the bike in a more "all-mountain" direction, though. I see this bike as an extremely versatile package; however, I think the real "value" in the Honzo range is to build the steel or aluminum version from the frame up. My steel Honzo frame cost the same as a new rear shock for my suspension bike.
  • + 0
 The global limit exchange Chinese, CHarm fork com brace general agent
  • + 1
 so sick Rhys
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