I’m DIGGING it! Two very sweet Kona 29ers came out on your Kona World blog. First is the Satori, A 130mm travel Full Suspension 29er and the second bike is the Honzo, a slack angle 120mm 29er Hard Tail. I love what you’re doing at Kona.
Why am I loving it? Because you’ve decided not to follow the 29er trends but to create your own and for that, I APPLAUD you. When many in the bike manufacturing world decided to come out with “me too” 29ers, you decided to push the envelope and develop a 130mm full suspension 29er and a slack steel HT.
I know – but then again I don’t know – that designing a full suspension 29er is tough. I get that the bigger wheels take up more space, change the handling characteristics and, in general, have to be accounted for in every little design element. I like that you have the capable Hei-Hei 29er with 100mm of travel. Its a great bike and one I’ve recommended to a few people.
But, I am happy that you decided not to rest on your laurels and have pushed the envelope in developing the Satori. Changing from your traditional walking beam linkage to a swinging link design was BOLD. This shows out of the box thinking on your part, recognizing that there is more than one way to skin a cat. Going to 130mm is… WOW. With only two other production 29ers with 130mm of travel or more, this is really a great step to get in on the ground floor of where 29ers are going.
The Honzo, though, is what really got my appetite going. When I saw it, my mouth dropped… lower than when I saw the Satori. And yes, the Honzo is what prompted me to write to you. The Honzo is VERY cool. Other companies have danced around the idea and a couple of small manufacturers have gone out and done slack 29er Hardtails, but Kona, you’re the first biggie to get behind the idea and announce it. The key features of the Honzo that caught my eyes are steel, ISCG tabs, short chainstays, SLIDING dropouts and room for 2.4″ tires on wide rims. I have already talked to a couple of friends who own nothing but boutique bikes and they are drooling over the Honzo.
Kona, you’ve done well. You are pushing and leading the way (raise for the PM’s?). As a 29er fan and advocate, I applaud you and wish you the best of luck with these new bikes… with all of your bikes.
Jeremy, 29er rider
P.S. I really like that you showed the Honzo all dirty. GREAT touch.