Kona Unpacked: Phil's Custom Unit X

Kona Unpacked: Phil's Custom Unit X

Phil purchased his complete Kona Unit X back in August. “I was looking for a hardtail for future bike packing rides.” He already had a 2021 Kona Sutra ULTD but wanted something with more range of gears as the Sutra only has an 11-41 cassette. Phil wasted no time customizing his Unit, immediately stripping down the bike when it arrived and removing all the components he didn’t want. 

DT Swiss rim with a Maxxis tire

Phil added a brand new Shimano XT 12-speed groupset, he also wanted a decent wheelset so went with the DT Swiss XMC 1501 Carbon wheelset with 240 hubs.

Blackburn frame bag in Kona Unit X Frame

The frame bag is an old Blackburn, used on many a bike packing adventure in the past and the OneUp pump sits nicely next to the full-size bottle.


He opted to keep the bike fully rigid so sourced an ENVE Boost mountain fork for its weight. The fork was kindly installed free at Bikefit Marlborough who Phil brought the fork through. He also added an FSA headset. The bike runs on Maxxis Rekon 2.4 tan wall tires, setup tubeless.

Race Face Stem

The stem is a 50mm Raceface Atlas 35mm clamp with a 780mm Race Face Next carbon bar with Ergon grips.

Shimano XT Brake and disc rotor

The bike is slowed down with a set of XT 2 pot brakes, sporting Ice Tech center lock 160mm and 180mm rotors. He previously had used these on a past bike, and knew they would come in handy one day for another bike.

Brooks B17 Saddle on a Kona Unit X

Phil’s build is rounded out with a Brooks B17 saddle for comfort on long rides. The only original components left on the bike are the bottom bracket and the seat post!

Want to see your Kona bike packing setup featured here and on our social media channels? Just submit your bike via email to unpacked@konaworld.com with a full set of photos (the more the merrier) of your bike and a write-up letting us know what goes where. If the photos pass our quality control, not only will your bike get featured, but you will receive a an exclusive UNPACKED patch, it doesn't matter where you are in the world!

Reading next

Picture of Kona Bikes Process X in the English countryside
Kona Dream Builds: Ludwigs Custom Painted Roadhouse