Hardcore hardtails are all the rage agina and Kona has updated the Kona Honzo ESD, the 150mm forked steel 29er, that can ride down anything.

With a 150mm Marzocchi Bomber Z1 fork and daringly progressive geometry, the Kona Honzo ESD will go places few riders dare. But if you have the bike skills, it is a double-black diamond grade capable hardtail. Even in a world where the hardcore hardtail is no longer a rarity in the best hardtail mountain bike category.

Kona Honzo ESD

Coming in to land. Leah Lind-White shows what the 2022 Kona Honzo ESD hardtail, can do.

Honzo goes from scarlet to deep purple

For the 2022 model year, Kona has kept the alignment of its Honzo’s steel tubes unchanged. The build kit is similar, too, with proven Maxxis tyres and 4-piston brakes.

What has changed for the 2022 Honzo ESD? The colour. Kona has added a new grape colourway, differentiating the 2022 Honzo ESD from its 2021 predecessor, which was red.

Proving just how adaptable and radical a hardcore hardtail can be, is Leah Lind-White. She pilots the Honzo ESD as a hardcore hardtail should be ridden, showing an abundance of bike skills.

Kona Honzo ESD headtube badge

Goat or GOAT?

Big numbers, for a bike, with big ambitions

With 490mm of reach on a large frame and a 63° head angle, the Honzo ESD’s front end will go anywhere you point it. The trick is possessing adequate bike skills to keep the back wheel tracking where you want – something Leah does with aplomb.

In theme with its hardcore nature, the Honzo ESD has an ornate metal head badge.

Kona Honzo ESD

Very metal

There’s a sliding rear drop out, too, for wheelbase adjustment. Or, if you are crazy enough to try and pedal a 150mm single-speed hardtail.