The Big Honzo DL is exactly what the name implies. It’s a Honzo with bigger tires and a nice build kit featuring hydraulic disc brakes and 130mm of suspension. You’ll get a little extra squish thanks to the 2.8” tires that absorb bumps with ease. Comfortable geometry and an adjustable travel dropper post ensure you’re always at just the right position on your bike whether you’re climbing that big mountain or descending your favorite flow trail!
Geometry & Ride Characteristics
The Kona Big Honzo DL’s balanced head tube angle not only offers versatile riding on trails but also provides stability and control when the bike is loaded with gear for bikepacking. The aggressive seat tube angle, beneficial for uphill climbs, also aids in efficient pedaling when carrying the extra weight of bikepacking equipment. The uniform chainstay length across all sizes ensures that the bike’s handling remains consistent even when loaded, a feature that can be crucial for bikepacking where balance is key. The customized wheelbase and extended reach allow for a more aggressive yet comfortable riding stance, which is invaluable for multi-day adventures.
When it comes to ride feel, the Kona Big Honzo DL offers a blend of responsiveness and comfort. The 130mm RockShox 35 Silver TK Solo Air fork provides ample suspension for tackling rough trails, while the Shimano Deore 12-speed drivetrain ensures smooth and efficient gear shifting. The bike’s geometry allows for a more aggressive riding stance, making it ideal for riders who love to push their limits on technical terrains. The 27.5×2.8″ Schwalbe Nobby Nic TLE tires offer excellent grip and control.
- Seat Tube Length: Ranging from 370mm to 530mm across sizes, the Kona Big Honzo DL’s seat tube length accommodates a wide range of rider heights. This is essential for ensuring a comfortable and efficient pedaling position, a feature that makes the bike accessible to a broad audience.
- Top Tube Length: Spanning from 592mm to 684mm, the top tube length allows for a stretched-out and aggressive riding position. This is particularly beneficial for riders who prefer a performance-oriented stance, often seen in more expensive trail bikes.
- Reach: With values from 425mm to 510mm, the reach is longer than what you’d typically find in cross-country bikes. This allows for a more aggressive riding stance, a feature often seen in enduro and some modern trail bikes.
- Chainstay Length: Consistent at 430mm across all sizes, this feature contributes to uniform handling characteristics. This is crucial for maintaining balance and control, especially when the bike is loaded for bikepacking.
- Head Tube Angle: At 67.5 degrees for all sizes, this angle offers a balance between agility and stability. This is a unique feature that allows the bike to handle a variety of trail conditions effectively.
- Seat Tube Angle: Set at 75 degrees across all sizes, the seat tube angle enables a forward and aggressive riding position. This is especially beneficial for uphill performance and efficient pedaling during long rides.
- Bottom Bracket Height: At a consistent 310mm, this height balances pedal clearance with a low center of gravity. This is key for better handling and control on technical trails.
- Wheelbase: Ranging from 1144mm to 1241mm depending on the frame size, the wheelbase offers tailored stability. This is particularly important for high-speed descents and is generally found in bikes designed for such conditions.
vs. the Kona Big Honzo
The Kona Big Honzo serves as the base model to the more performance-oriented and slightly more expensive Kona Big Honzo DL. While both bikes share the same frame, the primary differences lie in their fork and drivetrain as follows:
- Kona Big Honzo: Comes with either a Shimano MT5100 or Prowheel Charm crankarm with a 30t chainring, paired with either a Shimano Deore 11-51t 11-speed or Microshift Advent X 11-48t 10-speed cassette. This setup offers a moderate range of gearing options, making it suitable for less challenging terrains.
- Kona Big Honzo DL: Features a Shimano Deore 12-speed crankarm with a 32t chainring and a Shimano Deore 10-51t 12-speed cassette. This provides a wider range of gearing options, making it versatile for tackling various terrains from steep climbs to technical descents.
- Kona Big Honzo: Equipped with a Suntour XCR34 LOR DS Coil Spring fork, offering a more basic level of suspension suitable for moderate trails.
- Kona Big Honzo DL: Comes with a RockShox 35 Silver TK Solo Air fork, providing smoother suspension and better performance on challenging terrains.
vs. the Surly Karate Monkey SUS
The Surly Karate Monkey SUS and the Kona Big Honzo DL offer differing ride experiences due to their component choices. The Karate Monkey SUS features a RockShox 35 Gold RL fork with 140mm travel and a Shimano Deore XT 12-speed drivetrain, leaning towards a more plush and high-performance ride. On the other hand, the Big Honzo DL comes with a RockShox 35 Silver TK Solo Air fork and a Shimano Deore 12-speed drivetrain, offering a balanced yet performance-oriented ride. While both bikes aim for versatility, the Karate Monkey SUS leans more towards premium components.
- Surly Karate Monkey SUS: Equipped with a RockShox 35 Gold RL fork with 140mm travel, providing a plush ride that excels in technical terrains.
- Kona Big Honzo DL: Features a RockShox 35 Silver TK Solo Air fork with 130mm travel, offering a performance-oriented yet balanced suspension suitable for a variety of conditions.
- Frame Material
- Surly Karate Monkey SUS: Built with 100% Surly Chromoly Steel, known for its vibration-absorbing properties, offering a more compliant ride.
- Kona Big Honzo DL: Constructed from Kona 6061 Aluminum Butted material, which is lighter and more rigid, providing quick responsiveness.
- Surly Karate Monkey SUS: Uses Tektro Gemini HD-M520 hydraulic disc brakes, robust and offering strong stopping power.
- Kona Big Honzo DL: Features Shimano MT410 Hydraulic disc brakes, known for their reliability and consistent braking performance.
- Ride Feel
- Surly Karate Monkey SUS: Offers a plush and high-performance ride, particularly excelling in technical terrains.
- Kona Big Honzo DL: Provides a balanced and versatile ride, performing well in both uphill climbs and technical descents.
- Surly Karate Monkey SUS: Designed for a more relaxed ride, leaning towards comfort and stability.
- Kona Big Honzo DL: Features aggressive geometry with a 67.5-degree head tube angle and 75-degree seat tube angle, designed for performance and versatility.
vs. the Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5+
12-Speed Shimano Deore Drivetrain: While many bikes in this price range offer 10 or 11-speed drivetrains, the Kona Big Honzo DL comes with a 12-speed Shimano Deore, providing a wider gear range for tackling varied terrains without compromising on reliability.
RockShox 35 Silver TK Solo Air Fork: The 130mm travel fork is not commonly found in bikes at this price point. It offers a balanced and performance-oriented suspension, making it versatile for different trail types.
TranzX Dropper Post: The inclusion of a TranzX Dropper seatpost with internal routing is another unique feature, allowing for quick and easy saddle height adjustments on the fly, a convenience often found in higher-end models.
Bag, Rack and Fender Mounting Points
The Kona Big Honzo DL is has a few mounting points to cater to all your bikepacking needs:
Rear Rack Mounts: The Big Honzo DL comes with a rear rack mount, offering the flexibility to carry a variety of bags, gear, or panniers. These mounts are strategically placed to distribute weight evenly, making it easier to manage the bike’s handling during long rides.
Kona Big Honzo DL Featured in the Wild
The Kona Big Honzo DL received high praise in a long-term review by NSMB.com. The reviewer, Mike Ferrentino, described the bike as “burly, long, stable, and of decent value,” emphasizing its versatility and capability across a range of terrains. Ferrentino was particularly impressed by the bike’s “shut up and ride” nature, highlighting its quiet, rugged, and sweet handling characteristics. He noted, “The Honzo was one of the most refreshingly ‘shut up and ride’ bikes that I’ve swung a leg over in a very long time.” The review also touched upon the bike’s componentry, which performed well without complaint, and its surprising stability, which allowed for a lot of room for rider error.
The Kona Big Honzo DL is not your typical bikepacking-specific model; it’s a trail bike that happens to excel at bikepacking. The reviewer, Skyler Des Roches, praises the bike’s geometry, stating that it offers an “outstandingly comfortable and capable bikepacking machine.” The bike’s unique frame geometry stands out, overshadowing even its build kit and wheel size. While it has a low bottom bracket that can lead to pedal strikes on technical trails, its overall design makes it efficient and fun to ride. The reviewer particularly appreciates the Rock Shox Yari fork and Schwalbe Nobby Nic tires, highlighting their performance in various conditions.
The 2021 Kona Honzo DL has received significant updates, as highlighted in this YouTube review by Hardtail Party. The reviewer takes the bike out on the trails in Sedona, AZ, to test its capabilities. While the video doesn’t provide a direct quote, it emphasizes the bike’s updated features like sliding dropouts, a slacker head angle, and a shorter seat tube. The reviewer also discusses the bike’s new graphics and how these updates contribute to its overall ride quality. The Kona Honzo DL is portrayed as a versatile and updated aluminum hardtail that performs well on various terrains.
The Kona Big Honzo DL is equipped with a Shimano Deore 12-speed drivetrain, including a 32t chainring and a 10-51t cassette. For braking, it uses Shimano MT410 Hydraulic calipers with centerlock rotors. The bike also includes a TranzX Dropper seatpost with internal routing. The wheelset consists of WTB ST i35 TCS 2.0 rims and Schwalbe Nobby Nic TLE 27.5×2.8″ tires.
- Frame: Kona 6061 Aluminum Butted
- Fork: RockShox 35 Silver TK Solo Air 130mm Tapered 110mm Spacing
- Front Derailleur: n/a
- Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore 12spd
- Cassette: Shimano Deore 10-51t 12spd
- Crankset: Shimano Deore 12 spd
- Chainrings: 32t
- Shifter: Shimano Deore 12spd
- Chain: Shimano Deore 12spd
- Chainguide: n/a
- B/B: Shimano 73mm
- Brake Calipers: Shimano MT410 Hydraulic
- Brake Levers: Shimano MT410 Hydraulic
- Rotors: Front – Shimano RT30 180mm (centerlock), Rear – Shimano RT30 160mm (centerlock)
- Headset: Feimen HP-H868B
- Stem: Kona XC/BC 35
- Handlebar: Kona XC/BC 35
- Grips / Bar Tape: Kona Key Grip
- Seatpost: TranzX Dropper +RAD Internal 31.6mm
- Saddle: Kona Trail
- Seatclamp: Kona Clamp
- Front Wheel: WTB ST i35 TCS 2.0, Shimano 110x15mm (centerlock)
- Rear Wheel: WTB ST i35 TCS 2.0, Shimano 148x12mm (centerlock)
- Spokes: Stainless Black 14g
- Tires: Front – Schwalbe Nobby Nic TLE 27.5×2.8″, Rear – Schwalbe Nobby Nic TLE 27.5×2.8″
The Kona Big Honzo DL features a frame made from Kona 6061 Aluminum Butted, known for its strength and durability. It features a Kona Plus Fork with 110mm spacing. One of the standout features is its modular/sliding dropouts, and also allows for easy adjustment of the bike’s geometry and the option to run it as a single-speed or with a derailleur. The bike features a tapered head tube design, which enhances steering strength and balance, providing riders with more control in rough terrain. It is designed to accommodate a variety of wheel and tire sizes.
Registration is no longer necessary for your Kona warranty to be valid.
Kona Bicycle Company ( “Kona” ) makes the following limited Warranty:
ONE YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY ON COMPLETE BICYCLE (USA, UK & CANADA)
Kona warrants to the original owner that this new Kona bicycle shall be free of defective materials and workmanship for a period of one year from the date of original purchase in the United States or Canada and operated under normal conditions and use. During this one-year period, Kona shall repair or replace, at its sole option, all parts that are found by Kona to be defective and subject to this limited warranty. The original owner shall pay all labor charges connected with the repair or replacement of all parts. On Kona electric pedal-assist bikes, the electronic system is covered by a two-year warranty, whereby accidents or consumer mistakes like shorting polarity are not covered. Warranty on the battery is for one year, at the end of that period, the battery is guaranteed to retain at least 70% of its original capacity.
TWO YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY ON COMPLETE BICYCLE (EUROPE)
Kona warrants to the original owner that this newly purchased Kona bicycle shall be free of defective materials and workmanship for the two-year period stated under EU consumer protection laws, dated from the original purchase and subject to normal conditions and use. During this two-year period, Kona shall repair or replace, at its sole option, all parts that are found by Kona to be defective and therein subject to this limited warranty.
THREE YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY ON KONA BRANDED BICYCLE FORKS.
LIFETIME LIMITED WARRANTY ON BICYCLE FRAME (USA, CANADA, UK & EUROPE ONLY)*
Kona further warrants to the original owner that the frame of this new Kona bicycle purchased from an authorized Kona dealer shall be free of defective materials or workmanship for the lifetime of the product. This is ONLY VALID ON NON-CARBON FRAMES. During this warranty period, Kona shall repair or replace, at its sole option, the bicycle frame if Kona determines the frame is defective and subject to this limited warranty. The color on the warranty frame may vary from the color of the original frame. The original owner shall pay all labor and shipping charges connected with the repair or replacement of the bicycle frame. This warranty is only valid in the UK, USA, Canada, and Europe.
*This is valid on all non-carbon Kona bicycle frames. CARBON FRAMES receive 3-year warranty.
This limited warranty is made only to the original owner of this Kona bicycle purchased from an authorized Kona dealer, and it shall remain in force only as long as the original owner retains ownership of the Kona bicycle. This limited warranty is not transferable. In order to obtain service under this Limited Warranty, the original owner must deliver the Kona bicycle, and the bill of sale or other dated proof of purchase document identifying the Kona bicycle by frame number/serial number, to an authorized Kona dealer. This Limited Warranty does not apply to normal wear and tear, nor to defects, malfunctions or failures that result from the abuse, neglect, improper maintenance, alteration, modification, accident, or misuse (including without limitation bicycle racing, bicycle motocross, stunt bicycling, commercial use or rental use) of the Kona bicycle. Damage caused by transporting bicycle, especially across the tailgate of a pickup truck – even when a pad is used – voids warranty.
THIS LIMITED WARRANTY IS THE ONLY EXPRESS OR LIMITED WARRANTY APPLICABLE TO KONA BICYCLES. ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, SHALL BE LIMITED IN SCOPE AND DURATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS LIMITED WARRANTY. KONA SHALL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES SUFFERED BY ANY PARTY. THE FOREGOING STATEMENTS OF WARRANTY ARE EXCLUSIVE AND IN LIEU OF ALL OTHER REMEDIES.
THIS LIMITED WARRANTY GIVES YOU SPECIFIC LEGAL RIGHTS; YOU MAY ALSO HAVE OTHER LEGAL RIGHTS WHICH VARY FROM STATE TO STATE OR PROVINCE TO PROVINCE. SOME STATES OR PROVINCES DO NOT ALLOW LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSION OF INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES; SO, THE ABOVE LIMITATIONS AND EXCLUSIONS SET FORTH IN THIS LIMITED WARRANTY MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.
THE LIMITED WARRANTY SET FORTH HEREIN MAY NOT BE EXTENDED, ENLARGED OR OTHERWISE MODIFIED BY ANY KONA DEALER, AGENT OR EMPLOYEE, AND KONA DOES NOT ASSUME ANY LIABILITY OR MAKE ANY WARRANTY EXCEPT AS STATED IN THE LIMITED WARRANTY.
WARRANTY ONLY APPLIES IN USA, CANADA, UK AND EUROPE. PLEASE SEE YOUR DEALER OR DISTRIBUTOR FOR THE SPECIFIC WARRANTY IN YOUR COUNTRY. WARRANTY VALID ONLY IF BICYCLE IS ASSEMBLED BY AN AUTHORIZED KONA DEALER.
Warranty is made only to the original owner of this Kona bicycle purchased from an authorized Kona dealer, and it shall remain in force only as long as the original owner retains ownership of the Kona bicycle. This limited warranty is not transferable.