Kona's 650b Explosif Steel Hardtail Now Available

We missed it when it first started appearing around the internet at the very end of last year, but it looks like the 650b Kona Explosif started shipping back in February. Even a bit late, it’s worth a post as Kona’s first offering of a 650b hardtail, and one in beautiful raw double butted Cromoly steel to boot. Seeing as how my first real bike was essentially an Explosif (a ’97 Lava Dome built with a parts kit similar to the Explosif by the guys at West Chester Cyclery), it’s cool to see basically the modern incarnation of my first bike – that is still going strong.

In addition to the modern wheel size, the Explosif features quite a few other modern touches like ISCG tabs, slider dropouts with 135 or 142×12 compatibility, a 44mm head tube, and dropper post compatibility. With a slack 68-degree headtube, low bottom bracket and short 420mm chainstays in combination with the bigger wheels – the Explosif looks like an awesome hard tail.

Check out a sweet video of the Explosif after the break.


  1. Looks very fun! I love that more longer travel HTs are hitting the market. I have wanted one for years.

    Now the question, 26, 29, or 650??? 😛

  2. The main differences are front derailleur capability on the Explosif and a slightly slackened seat tube angle in comparison. They are similar enough they could have called it a Honzo 27.5, they certainly fill the same niche.

  3. What I’m most impressed with is that companies that had previously (and in print) poo poo’ed the idea of making 650b bikes getting on board, and doing it well. Even better than the early adopters.

  4. Brian: The tubing is lighter than used on the Honzo. It has a different ride to the Honzo and it’s less heavy. I nervously test rode the Honzo after buying my 2013 Explosif. I was worried I’d love the Honzo and regret getting the Explosif… The Honzo felt more of a descent tool, but by-crikey the weight difference was obvious. Due to 80% of my riding being trail centres, I’m so glad I got the Explosif. There’s no doubt 650b has it’s advantages.

What do you think?