Things I like: the Kona Africabike

by Dave Atkinson   April 3, 2009  

Kona Africabike full bike

We took delivery of one of these a short while back and it sat in the box for a bit while we worked up the strength to lift its 42lb heft out, and remembered to bring some ols-skool spanners to put it together with. I've been riding it around the last couple of days and I'm fast falling in love with it, it's such fun. Things i particularly like include:

  • the coaster brake: I'd forgotten just how much fun they are, although it does make kerb hopping a dangerous activity if you forget!
  • the rack: steel tubing welded in as part of the frame. you can carry anything on it, i've done stints as a passenger and it'll take my 100+kg without so much as batting an eyelid. it's got bolt holes so you can fit a platform too, i'll be doing that this weekend
  • the big sweepy bars: great for cruising and lots of room for your legs when you're standing up – which you need to, a fair bit Smile
  • the step through frame: so practical and retro chic

The big test comes tonight when I have to haul it back up the 2.5km, 5% climb to the homestead. I'll be thinking of it as resistance training...

14 user comments

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interesting bike, although I can't help feeling that the Ute has a bit more capability as a load carrier.

"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

John_the_Monkey's picture

posted by John_the_Monkey [428 posts]
3rd April 2009 - 16:06


true enough, but it is more than twice as costly. and you don't get a basket thrown in Smile

Barry Fry-up's picture

posted by Barry Fry-up [193 posts]
3rd April 2009 - 19:05

1 Like

we're hoping to get the UTE in for testing too, so watch this space. in the meantime i'm glad to report that the africabike made it up the hill just fine. slowly, but without undue fuss. certainly i was a lot less tired than when i attempt it on a singlespeed or a fixed...

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7863 posts]
3rd April 2009 - 19:08

1 Like

it would interesting to find out how many of them have actually gone to Africa?

Dave, we should have a race, TT the Africa Bike and Ute up your commute hill with a combination of luggage.

Perhaps build the Worlds heaviest bike?

posted by Flo K [178 posts]
5th April 2009 - 22:22


Perhaps build the World's heaviest bike?

Surely that's going to be some battery assisted behemoth?

Mind you, surely the Ute can't be heavier than the Africabike - ours is 42 and a bit pounds. If it the Ute must be a brute. Sorry, couldn't help myself

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4202 posts]
5th April 2009 - 22:29

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i made a nice rear seat out of some 9mm ply over the weekend, daisy (4) loves riding around on the back Smile

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7863 posts]
6th April 2009 - 10:06

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42lb eh? The same weight as the Flying Pigeon ( which I so singularly failed to find and ride in China. I wonder if the Africabike is as adept at pig carrying ... that's the reason for the double crossbar


coaster brakes - ha! vienna citybikes have them and I went flying over the handlebars trying to mount a kerb Smile

jezzzer's picture

posted by jezzzer [339 posts]
6th April 2009 - 12:13

1 Like

Hey Dave, my girlfriend wants to know what the front basket looks like? I think I may have persuaded her to get one of these rather than a Pashley Princess.

It's not just about the size of your cog.

TRs Blurb n Blog's picture

posted by TRs Blurb n Blog [270 posts]
7th April 2009 - 11:38

1 Like

The front basket is a square wire affair. you can fold it all up flat and it's spring loaded, so when you undo the catch it flings itself into basket shape in amusing fashion. Just another reason to like it Smile

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7863 posts]
7th April 2009 - 11:41

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A Pashley Princess is a beauty to behold though, I really wanted to get Mrs. DaSy one just so I could justify a Roadster Sovereign to go with it.

She eventually decided against it, much to my dismay!

Complicating matters since 1965

DaSy's picture

posted by DaSy [695 posts]
7th April 2009 - 12:18

1 Like

So, what you're saying is "heavy bikes can go up hills too"? Big Grin

Seeing as the Velorbis Scrap Deluxe is a positively trim 38 lbs, I reckon I'll be flying up the climbs if/when I get hold of one.

Of course, that does make me rather shallow and fashion-conscious as the Africabike is less than half the price of the Velorbis Surprise

Conscientious Objector in the War on Vulnerable Road Users

t1mmyb's picture

posted by t1mmyb [87 posts]
7th April 2009 - 15:11

1 Like

yup, i'm a heavy bike convert. and yup, you're a fashion victim. just think of the good you'd do if you bought an africabike instead. for every two they sell, they donate one to HIV/AIDS projects in africa...

anyway, the velorbis is only 17.9kg. that ain't heavy... Smile

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7863 posts]
7th April 2009 - 15:32

1 Like

just so long as they don't air drop them in… an Africabike on the head has got to hurt

Darned if I do…

Mr Sock's picture

posted by Mr Sock [153 posts]
7th April 2009 - 15:57

1 Like

Yep, the 2-for-1 scheme is another reason to feel the weight (ha!) of expectation. I would feel really guilty spending more money on a bike that would help Africa infinitely less...

Conscientious Objector in the War on Vulnerable Road Users

t1mmyb's picture

posted by t1mmyb [87 posts]
7th April 2009 - 16:42

1 Like