I did consider ss but I already have a trek 69er ss that I've been using for forest rides. I bought this after I'd stripped the blast down for rebuild. The blast I'll be using for long rides 30+ miles or allday pissup rides
I decided on the 1x9 simply because I'd sunk more money than I'd planned into this build and as the say, in for a penny, in for more than necessary.
Now if the treks rear hub **** it , then I would be tempted to turn it Into an alfine geared bike and switch the kona to ss.
This allows me to keep a decent stable of bikes justified to swmbo.
Mind you, I have been gazing wistfully at the fatbike pages.