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Kona WoZo Review ~Fat Bikes Gone Wild~ by Dustin Carlson

 

kona-in-creek

 

Two months ago, my take on fat biking was this: I love it! It is a great way to switch up the local trails and make them new again. If and when it snows, I can keep right on truckin’, never miss a beat. But when it comes to “epic all mountain” trails, and long hard grinds, I’m going with my full suspension bike. The Kona WoZo has changed my mind.

 

the WoZo is a love child of the trail-shredding Honzo and the Wo fat bike that Kona offers. With its aggressive geometry, Schwalbe Jumbo Jim tires, 100mm Bluto fork, and bullet proof 7005 aluminum frame, the WoZo is capable of riding any terrain! Kona has gone with 4.8” tire in the front and 4” in the back, a great mix to maximize traction and minimize rolling resistance.  It has routing for internal or external dropper posts. Shifting is done with a SRAM GX/NX 1X11 setup.

 

 

The most important distinction between the Kona and most fat bikes is the geo. It is set up to be used year round on gnarly terrain. The rear dropouts are adjustable to take on many sizes of rear tire. Up to at least a 4.8”  The adjustability allows this bike to have super short chain stays, 420mm,  further enhancing the the playfulness of the bike. The bottom bracket and chain stay areas are made to withstand the toughest abuse!

 

geo

 

specs

 

Everything on the bike works well together, and I haven’t had one tiny problem with the components over this entire test period. SRAM 1X11 shifts just as sharp as day one, and the Schwalbe Jumbo Jims haven’t had a single puncture, despite my most questionable lines through rock gardens. I could spend pages going over the components of this bike, but suffice it to say, everything worked perfectly.

 

Now I would like to get into my experiences on the WoZo.

 

crest

 

Very first ride, outside of my driveway anyway, was a gamble. The Wasatch Crest is a trail in Salt Lake City, Utah that I frequent during the season. it tops out at 11,000 feet and is approximately 25 miles depending on your route. It is steep and fast and rough, a true test of a bike. Especially the tires. My usual riding buddies were secretly hesitant to ride will me that day because they thought I would be fixing flats, or worse, complete blow outs all day. We did fix flats all day… Not one of them mine.

idiot-friends

The Kona blew everyone away. I was as fast or faster than everyone I was with and even set a few PRs on Strava. The Bluto along with the 4.8” front tire soaked up everything on the trail and asked for more. the only thing holding it back was my skill. On top of all the downhill feats, the bike climbs like a mountain goat. There is a climb on the trail aptly named “puke hill” it is 400’ climb over 0.4 miles. I have never cleared it, that is not to say it can’t be done, but I surely never have. This bike and I climbed like I have never climbed before. the gearing along with the hardtail and super grippy tires never let me down! I was absolutely red lined  at the top, but I was at the top. A first for me that I will never forget. A few highlights are captured h

 

klondike

 

After such a great first ride, I doubled down. Moab, Utah a week later.  First stop, the Klondike Trail System. Alaska is my favorite trail in the Klondike, and it is just as rough and fast and techy as any other trail in Moab. I never slowed down. The fork, tires, drivetrain, everything handled the trail like it was nothing. I even got a couple PRs.

 

 

Later the same day I went to Captain Ahab, easily one of the top ten trails in the world. Fast, hard, sharp, rough, techy, exposed, all describe this trail. No problem. Even got a PR on the climb!

 

 

top-of-burrow

 

Now for the coup de grace (google it). The week before my WoZo review is due. Back to Moab. The Whole Enchilada…  30 miles. Starting at 11,300” and 15 degrees (in October). Ending in Moab at 80 degrees. You ride through pine forests, frozen creek crossings, aspen forests, scrub brush hillsides, slick rock cliffs, high speed double track, and totally exposed canyon ledges. I rode with a couple Moab locals, and others that have ridden the Whole Enchilada too many times to count. Once again, no problems. I took every line, every drop, every exposed ledge without a second thought. I even PRed a couple segments… Anyone noticing a pattern here?!

 

 

The testing period of the Kona WoZo has been an odyssey for me. I keep trying to find a trail or a line that this FAT BIKE can’t take. I haven’t found it yet. It has become a thing that I keep bringing this bike on rides that everyone thinks I’m crazy for doing. I’ve become that guy “who keeps fat biking everything, even though there isn’t any snow.” I beg you not to roll your eyes at this next sentence. I think that a person could have just this bike, and ride any reasonable trail in the world. A hard tail fat bike that is a quiver killer?! For $2400?! I have said it, and it is on the internet, so it has to be true.

 

One more statement, to drive this point home even more. I sold my Fatboy, I will now buy a Kona WoZo.

 

5 epic enchiladas out of 5 with 5 exclamation points!!!!!

epic-enchilada-copy

 

 

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7 Responses to Kona WoZo Review ~Fat Bikes Gone Wild~ by Dustin Carlson

  1. Rico V October 31, 2016 at 10:02 pm #

    I couldn’t agree more with this review. I have had my WOZO for a month now and it keeps out doing ll my local technical trails here in Wyoming, both on the climbs and the descents. We haven’t even begun our 6-7 months of snow riding season and I am already happy as can be with this fatty.

  2. Marc October 31, 2016 at 11:43 pm #

    Cool bike. Crazy cool ride too. What kind of BB does it have? I can’t find the info on their website. Also, any plans to review the new Salsa line up?

    • Gomez November 1, 2016 at 7:30 am #

      Press Fit BB – Like ghost pepper salsa and stuff? I like La Vittoria Thick and Chunky Salsa Medium.

  3. thub November 1, 2016 at 3:11 am #

    Git Some

    • Gomez November 1, 2016 at 7:31 am #

      Epic Enchiladas!

  4. Allroy November 1, 2016 at 4:46 am #

    Impressive!! Kona breaking the mold! Can’t wait to see the others following suit.

  5. Ben November 28, 2016 at 10:37 pm #

    Got a frame on the way, just like the Honzo, Kona makes it happen!

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