KONA Honky Inc 2011, £1199, www.konaworlduk.com
A long-time member of the Kona stable, the now revised Honky Inc includes trademark touches like compact geometry and sloping top-tube. This makes for a riding position that’s spot on for city commuting and relaxed enough for longer tours.
The classic-looking steel frame is beefy enough to shrug off potholes, yet compliant enough to not leave you feeling battered after a day in the saddle; it’s paired with a carbon fork that definitely takes the edge off chattery roads. Curiously, however, the overall bike weight is very similar to the hub-geared Genesis.
The rest of the spec is an excellent mix. The transmisson’s Shimano 105 and Ultegra, a combination of 50/39t chainset and 10-speed cassette more than adequate in the hills of Surrey and the Cotswolds too. The Avid BB7 disc brakes are the best on test; they feel well modulated, have proved adept and responsive in fairly horrendous conditions and lever shape is very neat.
Most of the finishing kit comes from the Kona in-house line-up and special mentions go to the bar tape and saddle. Conti’s 28c Ultrasport tyres haven’t flatted yet, though we swapped them out for some gentle off-roading at Xmas. Comes with a lifetime frame warranty and in five sizes (49-61cm).
PROS top performing drivetrain and brakes
CONS getting pricey