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Digital Subscriptions > Singletrack > 114 > KONA



Price: £4,399.00

From: Kona Bikes,

Kona is a brand that has been doing the hardtail very well for a long time. It’s delivered some cracking entry-level bikes and top-flight cross-country race machines over its 29-year history, but the brand is better known for its approach to producing capable hardtails that place the primary focus on fun, rather than on price or weight. And with a knack for reading the mountain bike market like a tarot card, Kona has also made a bit of a habit for setting wider industry trends in its wake.

Take the original Honzo that was launched in 2012 – a burly steel 29er hardtail that was anything but cross-country. The Honzo wasn’t quite the first rad 29er hardtail to hit the market (the Banshee Paradox and Canfield Yelli Screamy preceded it), but Kona did a lot to win over non-cross-country riders to the big wheels. And boy did it bring the rad to the 29er party.

With its slack head angle, tight 420mm chainstays and burly parts spec, the Honzo quickly became the benchmark for other big wheel trail bikes. It was heavy and somewhat under-geared with its 1x10 drivetrain, but it was mighty tough and mega fun for ripping apart singletrack. Its addictive ride quality set the bar for 29er trail bikes, and many other brands are still trying catch on today.

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About Singletrack

This issue has adventures from every corner of Britain, plus features from far flung corners of the globe. Whether you’re stay-cationing or joining the jet-setters, this summer issue is sure to have you occupied for those hours by the pool or sheltering from the rain outside your tent. (Hand) Made In China – We get unprecedented behind the scenes access to some of the bike factories in China and Taiwan. Is it a sorry sight of oppressed workers in shabby conditions? Or skilled bike builders in state of the art facilities? Classic Ride: Northern Ireland – Ian Bailey finds us a rare legal loop around the trails of Northern Ireland. Trail Hunter: Snowdon – Just because something is popular doesn’t mean it can’t be a classic. Tom Fenton opts for the dawn raid on the highest peak in Wales. Bike Test: Killer Hardtails (in Innsbruck) – Three tough trail hardtails from Kona, Nukeproof and Trillion make the trip to Innsbruck to see just how capable a modern hardtail can be. Group Test: Hi-Tech Tyres – James Vincent checks out the current generation of burly rubber. Is there such a thing as a tyre for all seasons? Or even a tyre for a whole Lake District ride? He’s been getting the punctures so you don’t have to. Interview: Keith Bontrager – Keith has been designing bikes and components since the eighties. He invented the mantra ‘Cheap, light, strong – pick two’ and has been behind Trek’s component line for over two decades. Chipps tries to get a little more than the usual stock answers to the stock questions. Column – Jason Miles discusses the merits of riding the wrong bike. Room 101 – Charlie the Bikemonger decides which bike world items and issues shall be thrown to the bears, or whatever it is that lives beyond the door of Room 101, and what shall be allowed to continue to roam our earth. ST Recommended – We’ve picked three products so good that you need to go out and buy them now. All of them. Oddball: Fuel – Coffee…