Photo: Jordan May
A customized Honzo shaved some major weight.
From our Tustin shop, this 2017 Kona Honzo Carbon Trail was customized with a wheelset swap to Santa Cruz Reserve carbon wheels and RaceFace Six C handlebars. Add to that the customer's own saddle and pedals.
Stock the bike originally weighed 27.6lbs. With all the changes, the bike dropped to 25.9lbs!
2017 Intense Recluse build specs:
by Jesse Peterson, Bike Technician at The Path Bike Shop.
I have a relatively new bike and it's pretty unique.
What I've built for myself isn't your usual Santa Cruz Bronson 2 CC. Although the Bronson 2 with it's 66 degree head angle and 150mm of snappy VPP travel is enough bike to race down most descents with predictable liveliness, I wanted a bike with as much rake as a DH bike could give without the dead feel of 8 inches of travel, so I created one!
It all starts off with a bike you think will accommodate the modifications you want to make. For instance, when I decided to slacken my bike and put a 29er fork and wheel on the front of the Bronson 2 (which I'll elaborate on later), I anticipated a raised bottom bracket height, so I didn't want a bike that had a bottom bracket that was over 13.5". Likewise, the seat tube will slacken too, so it had to have a steep angle to begin with! After all is said and done, the 13.43" bottom bracket height grew to 13.8," and that wasn't what I was going to be satisfied with. If I had started with something higher I might end up above 14" and that is a kind of weird feeling. Thus stated, I found the Bronson to accommodate these changes very well.
First, after choosing a bike that fits both your body, your style, and your plan, then you begin to compile your build.
Here's another great custom build to come from The Path Bike Shop, from the frame up.
The Foes Mixxer runs a 29 front end and a 27.5 rear. Here are some specs on this custom build:
Here's what the customer had to say after his first ride:
"Went for a short spin on Saturday (Meadows, Stair Steps, Lizards) - WOW this thing is crying for the off menu goods! It ate up the waterfall on Stair Steps like nothing (of course), and held speed like crazy (of course) but what was really surprising was the acceleration and how efficiently it climbed."
Sometimes it's not a definitive plan that allows one to reach a heightened level of consciousness or elation but it's in the succession of unforeseen events that lends to one's superlative education and experiential uprising. Sequentially, my experience in building the bike I ride right now turned out to be a pretty good example of how unexpected factors can contribute to and be combined to create some pretty amazing results.
The build started with one very baffling bike, the Kona Process 111 that had a 27.5" rear wheel and a Cane Creek Inline with a stroke measuring 7mm longer than the stock 184x44mm shock. That gave the 111 15mm more travel, a 5mm drop in bottom bracket height, and a head-tube angle of 67deg opposed to the original 68deg of fork rake. The customizations made the 111 very aggressive and extremely fun, but I got bored nevertheless. That's when I got the idea to try a little experiment with the Giant Trance 3 I bought for my girlfriend Trinity for Christmas. It wasn't being ridden much so I decided to Indian give it to her and make it baddass!
Firstly, I stripped the Trance down to the frame as well as the 111, swapped the Cane Creek DB inline 190x51mm shock and rear 27.5" wheel onto the Trance, and replaced the Trance's fork with my 120mm Pike 29 and 29" front wheel. That essentially made the geometry of the Trance slacker than a Trance SX and maintained the 140mm of travel while dropping the bottom bracket height about 1cm. I put on Maxxis Minion tires, a 150mm KS Lev Integra Seatpost, Race Face Turbine cranks, XT 11 speed drivetrain, XTR M9000 bakes and Santa Cruz 800mm wide carbon bars. Although that setup made the trance very capable descending and also maintained a decent climbing geometry for an enduro bike, I had to take it a step further! I raised the fork travel to 130mm, extended the stem 20mm longer, and shoved the saddle all the way forward on its rails to correct the very slack seat tube angle. I now had created a beast of a bike and the Trance's head tube was SLACK! I had succeeded in maintaining a 64.5 deg head tube and my bottom bracket height was still only 13" high. I rode the trance like that for six months regardless that I had exceeded the manufacture's specs and would have forfeited the warranty, therefore I changed it once again.
With an overall weight which hovers at 29lbs, the final incarnation of the Giant Trance 3 was realized with having new wheels built for it, which were both 27.5" Dt Swiss FR570 DH rims on classic Dt Swiss 350 hubs, and replacing the Rock Shox Pike with a 27.5 Manitou Mattock Pro with 160mm of travel. The only significant change in performance I was impressed with was that the steering had now become very responsive. The DT FR570 rims are a great choice for those who want a high quality welded rim that has an inner width of 27.5mm and a weight of 590g. The head tube angle is now at a conservative 65.75deg, but I cannot lie that I miss the super slack setup I previously was riding. All in all I think I have found a logically intermediate bike build with the attention to detail I am learning is needed when you expect to have a bike that will help you ride at the highest performance possible, as you strive to be the best rider you can be.
The build is made even sweeter with custom built carbon Derby rimmed wheelset, hand built here at The Path Bike Shop as well.
A few custom build specs:
In preparation for the SoCal DH season coming just around the berm, Tani, the owner of The Path Bike Shop (a gravity-minded rider) has built up an extraordinary Enduro bike as well as a shop favorite - a Kona Process 153.
Many riders can definitely benefit from a true DH rig but if you have enough bike handling abilities, an Enduro bike can offer a more lively feel for the kind of terrain we have down here in SoCal. Especially at local ride locations like Snow Summit in Big Bear, CA!
Some of the unique features of this particular 153 build:
Photos (clockwise, from top left):
Dog Rosie overlooks the new build.
Custom ODI lock-ons add a personalized detail.
Tani (pictured, left) and Erik "Auk" Akiyoshi (pictured, right) discuss future plans.
Weighing in at 27.5 lbs, this bike is SOLID and trail ready.
Custom Kona Raijin Build Specs:
This customized build is lightweight like an XC bike (26.3lbs) but set up aggressively like a Giant Trance SX.
This is a custom MTB wheelset build for a customer who wanted something stiff and light for trail riding. I suggested he go with DT Swiss 240 Center Lock 28h Hubs and NOX Composites Teocalli Carbon 29er rims for his particular riding needs.
The finished wheelset with rotors weighed in at just 1620g. Contact Us to order a set of your own custom wheels!
I built up a Kona Process 111 29er after many long rides on several other bikes. Three of my other favorite bikes are the Kona Process 153 29er, the Kona Hei-Hei 29er, and the Santa Cruz Nomad 27.5 Carbon. The reason for not building one of those last three models is because none of them can double as an XC bike and an Enduro bike quite the way the Process 111 does. They may handle in similar ways, but none of them have the ability to climb long ascents like Motorway, haul a$$ down steep descents, plus cruise over the Main Divide's dual-track the way my Kona Process 111 can.
Also, I like to manual a bike. When I need to pick up the front end, the Process 111 is King...and it's a 29er! It's got 111mm of plush rear travel on stiff 430mm chainstays, the standover of a DJ bike, and a 68-degree head tube angle. Plus, it's backed up for life by Kona. That's my bike. The components I chose for the custom build just sweeten it's handling and performance.