I am in the market for a SS frame to build up. I currently ride a XC bike I converted to SS with conversion kit. I enjoy the SS aspect and am looking to invest in a frame with proper dropper to run a true SS setup and build out the other components. I have been looking into the Kona Honzo Steel frame. Also see a lot of Niner SS bikes with appealing geometry but have heard mixed reviews on their durability?
Anyone with experience in SS setup that wish to provide insight would be much appreciated
I had a Niner SIR 9 in the past and I have the Kona Honzo ST now. Both are great bikes but serve slightly different purposes.
Niner just launched a new version of the SIR and it has good looking geo numbers, it’s more trail-oriented than XC. They’re speccing it with a 120mm fork and it’s got a healthy reach, fairly short chainstays. Looks like a good all-arounder.
The Kona is definitely more about getting rowdy. The frame is overbuilt using good ol’ cheap chromoly steel (the Niner gets a Reynolds 853 tubeset), but it still has a surprisingly nice ride quality. It’s specced with a 120 fork as well and has the same headtube angle as the Niner, but then they part ways. The Kona has shorter stays, lower standover, longer top tube, lower BB height.
My guess is the Niner would build up lighter because of the frame. The new Niner SIR also has mounts for 3(!) water bottles, while the Kona only has one 🙁 . It also has a bunch of other braze-ons for mounting other shit like frame bags, racks, etc.
So it really depends on what kind of rider you are and how you plan to use the bike. If more conservative geo, lots of mounting options, and lighter weight is important, go with Niner. If you just wanna get rad, get the Kona.
Aaron, thanks for the detailed comparison and useful insight. While a second (or 3rd) braze-on could be useful and I would prefer the higher quality steel, I think I’m leaning towards the Honzo due to its price point and propensity to get rowdy