The Kona Big Honzo is a sharp-handling hardtail with a decisively stiff feel. The Maxxis Rekon 2.8-inch tires are responsive, provide a small element of cushion, and allow riders to change lines quickly. Cornering abilities are precise on mellow and flowy terrain. The Big Honzo is a respectable climber in and out of the saddle so long as the trail surface is smooth. Things get rough over chunky terrain. The short chainstays and stiff frame design translate the trail surface directly to the rider beyond normal levels for a plus-sized hardtail. This results in a particularly harsh and jarring ride over rocks. The build kit is respectable, but weak brakes and fork are two striking lowlights.
Riders who want a responsive and nimble hardtail might like the Big Honzo, just be prepared for a very jarring ride over rocks and roots. Those seeking a more muted and comfortable ride will love the Specialized Fuse. Riders who are interested in an ultra-fun ride and a nimble feel should check out the less-jarring Santa Cruz Chameleon.