Kona Teases New Honzo ESD & Shonky Hardtails

Jun 29, 2020
by Mike Kazimer  
Kona 2021

There's a new version of the Honzo hardtail on the way, along with a complete Shonky dirt jumper, at least according to the Tinder-esque post on Kona's Instagram account. The upcoming steel Honzo ESD has sliding dropouts, and appears to be much slacker than the current Honzo, which has a 68-degree head angle. It's not a stretch to imagine it'll fall into the hardcore hardtail category, where bikes like the Norco Torrent and Chromag Doctahawk reside.

As for the Shonky, it looks like there will finally be a complete version of that dirt jump / pump track machine. It's been available as a frame-only for years, but a complete version will make it easier for riders to snag one and head for the dirt as quickly as possible.

I swiped right on both bikes - we'll see if I can snag a date with these new options in the next month or so.





Kona 2021
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85 Comments

  • 123 2
 Sounds like the Honzo ESD will tell me my astrology, has a tapestry on her wall, has a dreamcatcher tattoo, high top vans and commitment issues. Count me in
  • 13 0
 This guy gets it
  • 10 2
 Sounds like it would only be fun for one night before it gets mad that I don’t believe in astrology
  • 12 77
flag browner (3 days ago) (Below Threshold)
 The Honzo is a woke libtard fake news loser influencer singing imagine in a pandemic. count me in
  • 11 0
 @ibishreddin Is there something you'd like to tell us there bud?
  • 14 0
 It’s all fun and games until u get a STD and head lice
  • 23 0
 @ithomas: i miss her
  • 2 0
 @artistformlyknowasdan: the lice on your _head_ is the least of your worries!
  • 1 0
 @browner: something tells me she wouldn’t let you in...
  • 75 3
 The new Honzo gets a Super-Like from me. And another Super-Like for no SX/NX in sight!
  • 29 0
 Is it’s going to be £1 million for the SLX build though? I’d take SLX over NX if it’s reflected in the pricing. I love Kona but their prices have been too high for the spec recently.
  • 4 1
 @thenotoriousmic: cambria will have for 30-50% off in a few seasons and yes their MSRP pricing has gotten a bit bonkers. Do like the looks of that Honzo tho
  • 18 4
 @thenotoriousmic: I'd happily pay a bit more to get a bike from Kona with Shimano already on it. Saves me the time and money of stripping off all the overpriced garbage, selling it, and then buying Shimano kit for it.
  • 5 0
 Exactly what I thought followed by “cassettes are f*cking ridiculous these days”
  • 8 0
 A Race Face crank on a Kona just seems right
  • 1 0
 is it just me, or does the shonky look pretty damn similar to the norco rampage?
  • 2 0
 What, you don’t like SX on the first night?
  • 3 2
 @thenotoriousmic: but NX only lasts a dozen rides. Slx is a legit grouppo. Sx and Nx only belong on supermarket bikes
  • 46 1
 Honestly the faux tinder profile is a pretty clever way to reveal their new bikes.
  • 33 0
 Steel hardtail, bomber fork, getting a stiffy like its 1995.
  • 23 0
 I've gone through a lot of bikes over the last 10 years, but I still have a 2016 Steal Honzo with a 140 pike on it. All XT. Flow rims. Nothing special and it's not worth anything. But I can say I'll never sell it. It feels like a big kid BMX bike. Rowdy. Low. It's my borrow bike, townie, winter ride, screw around go to the beech bike. It doesn't get a lot of use as my Sentinel is king, but it's priceless to me. I had an aluminum Honzo that I sold because it was so harsh. Actually really disliked the bike, felt punished after riding it, Got the steal and the ride quality is so amazing. Very forgiving. Same geo, TOTALLY different bike. Will never let it go.
  • 3 5
 Makes me wonder why steel full suspension frames havent caught on yet with all this 'steel is real' hullaballoo
  • 2 0
 I'm hearing ya @johnnygolucky.... I have the 2015 Honzo with a 140 pike. Was my only steed in the shed until I bought the 2019 Rockymtn bc edition... Rocky just got a recall and now I'm back on the Honzee.
Definitely the best thing since sliced bread brother Smile
  • 9 0
 @ibishreddin: Weight. And suspension makes up for most ride feel from a material standpoint of frame. My steel Honzo 29er hardtail is heavier than my 29er carbon full suspension Transition Sentinel.

For a hardtail, I just feel steel is much more forgiving when you don't have rear suspension, and the weight penalty is worth it.
  • 5 0
 @ibishreddin: Starling Murmur.
  • 5 0
 I just picked up a 2019 Big Honzo ST. Running it currently SS with a 140mm Fox 34 and a -1 degree headset. My Sentinel has been used as my borrow bike as I can’t stop riding the Honzo. I love it and might ditch the Tranny for good and accept the fact that I might like hard tails better.
  • 4 0
 @ibishreddin: I'm currently riding a Starling. Many other steel f/s options, mostly originating from the UK.

Only time I think about the weight is putting it on my rack. Steel rides great in F/S form.

Seems like a big miss by Niner (with their SIR/ROS history), Kona, Norco, Chromag, Transition and other North American brands to not release a modern steel f/s.
  • 3 0
 @BigBowWow: I sold my backup bike ("old" Troy)shortly after getting my instinct... kicking myself now. I'm more than a little tempted to get one of these new Honzo frames and move all the parts over!
  • 2 0
 @ratedgg13: ik. Dream bike @starlingcycles you looking for a rider?
  • 1 0
 @mikecito: I was thinking the exact same thing. That red and updated geo has definitely made my trigger finger itchy...
  • 1 0
 @shapethings: shush, don't give the game away ????
  • 1 0
 @shapethings: There’s a prototype Chromag full suspension in existence in Whistler currently. Don’t know if it will ever go to production though.
  • 18 0
 That Honzo is pure sex, plus a steel Kona and a Bomber Z1 is a match made in old-school heaven.
  • 13 0
 OK, Kona. You have peoples attention. Now, really, REALLY think about the price before announcing it.
  • 5 0
 Having had a Honzo, and a Primer, I've thought about buying another Honzo every year their new paint job version comes out. But every year I look at the now 'too steep ht' and step back. This floats my boat though. The frames are always reasonably priced.
  • 2 0
 Regretted selling my '12 Honzo. After waiting for a geo refresh for years I went with Pipedream Moxie. I'm sold on hardcore steel!
  • 9 1
 420 friendly and DTF, cool.
  • 6 0
 Bring back the Explosif!

The Honzo’s great, but if I’m on a hardtail I want a steel frame and the fun wheel size (Explosif was both).
  • 7 2
 Have you checked out our Big Honzo's? They are essentially Explosif's with plus tires. www.konaworld.com/platform_big_honzo.cfm
  • 4 1
 @konaworld: No they are not! unless you make them again Reynolds or true temper.
  • 2 0
 @bikegreece: Late Explosif were not with Reynolds, Dedaciai or branded tubes.
  • 2 0
 @smartfartbart: neither early Caldera's, Cinder Cones', Lava Dome's etc. There is a legacy behind Explosif !!
  • 4 0
 @konaworld: Bring back the Humuhumunukunukuapua'a, I have had 3 Humuhumu 29" (2 got stolen) and now they are hard to get in the second hand market. So many people love this bike Smile
  • 3 0
 @smartfartbart: the Explosifs of 2013-2018 were all made of Reynolds 520. its the Honzos that made of non branded cromoly.
  • 2 0
 @Vertik: I've got an 2006 humuhumunukunukuapua'a (at least i think its 06). Its got a coaster brake and theres never been a better bike made.
  • 3 1
 Honzo is a sick bike, I bought a 30th Birthday edition and while I waited for it to ship from Taiwan I had bought bits to replace everything but the frame fork and dropper. Shimano and Z1 and you are ready to go without having to move all the plastic fantastic SRAM crap
  • 3 0
 Lynn valley bikes had the shonky’s up for grabs in their store, had to take a second look at it... to really make sure it was a shonky due to its past availability as just a Frame
  • 5 0
 That Shonky gets a super like from me, super clean and simple.
  • 2 0
 Looks great right out of the package.

I was going to build up a pump bike recently, but I can’t justify doing so with an MTB when frames cost the same as a pretty good complete dirt BMX.
  • 1 0
 @pourquois-pas: 2nd hand dirt jumpers FTW! And shonky needs to ditch those rails for a pivotal but bike looks decent otherwise!
  • 1 0
 @kanioni: Even second hand they're too much money for what ya get.

Annoying thing is a DJ bike is probably one of the few places I can use the sweet as "non current" components I have laying around...
  • 3 0
 I reckon a slacker Honzo is a gooderer Honzo. My 2018 feels a bit steep even with 150mm forks on it.
  • 2 0
 Don’t get me wrong though, I love it!
  • 1 0
 I'm riding a 2019 Big Honzo ST set up with 29er wheels. I also have a -2 degree angleset and 160mm fork. The bike should be born this way. Under sag the HTA is about 66 degrees and it handles perfectly fine. When it's steep and fast the bike feels much more stable and controlled compared to the original fork and HTA setup. Unless it's a XC hardtail, I think all hardtails should have about 64 degree HTA unsagged.
  • 2 0
 Brilliant. A brand new Honzo. One of the best bikes ever made and its probably even better now......
Then you see the UK rrp, £965 thousand million....for the frame.
  • 1 0
 Big Grin
  • 2 0
 My new Torrent was supposed to be my new long term bike. Run it for years. Kona had to come along and mess everything up though.
  • 1 0
 been riding the 2013 shonky since it came out and was thinking it was time for an upgrade, just couldn't find a dj bike that had the same feel. suffice to say thanks for making my decision easy!
  • 4 1
 Where is Dr Dew? Thats the real question.
  • 1 0
 Dr. Dew got a new Frame already last year - sold one of those Shonky´s on Saturday. The Bike is really cool looking in person.
  • 4 1
 Finally! A honzo I'm interested in.
  • 2 0
 It seriously looks like one of those british steel HT's. I look forward to your review on it!
  • 1 0
 @GoCougars: hopefully I can get my hands on one for review. Time will tell, I don't have any connections at Kona (yet).
  • 1 0
 Thought the Shonky was a 2018 Spesh P3 for a second haha. I have the exact same color frame, fork and tires on mine
  • 2 0
 That Honzo looks pretty sweet. I'm DTR.
  • 1 0
 Looks like the Honzo CS aren’t as crazy short as they have been?
  • 1 1
 Seems like these are the best hardtails for the price for trail riders, great to see they are young even slacker.
  • 1 0
 I got everything I need for this frame. Although that build looks great.
  • 2 2
 If my nimble 9 takes any longer to get here I’ll get a new honzo instead!
  • 1 0
 Why no red bombers anyways?
  • 1 0
 80 90
  • 3 3
 when will tan side walls go away?
  • 1 4
 sliding dropouts are the worst.
  • 4 0
 Why? I'm on frames with sliders since years, never had an issue with loose bolts, neither in single speed nor geared mode On the contrary, I run 3 of them single speed, so much nicer than horizontal dropouts!
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