Just In: Kona Dr Good

A £699 urban utility bike with a 7-speed hub gear, hub-centric brakes and an up-front carrying rack about the right size for a crate of beer

by Steve Worland   January 10, 2014  

 

Kona have seven bike options in their commuter range for 2014, ranging in price from £549 to £799. Two of them – this Shimano Nexus 7-speed hub geared offering and the otherwise similar 9-speed derailleur gear equipped Dew DL – are fitted with enclosed tubular aluminium front carry racks, easily removable if the idea doesn't appeal or you feel inclined to trim the 14.4kg (32lb) overall bike weight.

Without the rack (we're mentioning this because the rack weighs about 1,500g on its own) the Dr Good is simply a sensibly specced aluminium framed utility bike with a decent range of gears and fast rolling 700 x 32c tyres.

There's no doubt that Kona are aiming at style influenced buyers with the Dr Good too, but the styling thankfully stops short of pose and theft magnetism with only Schwalbe's Road Cruiser gumwall tyres and the wooden rack base drawing commentary. The all-black approach of the rest of the bike appears to be aimed at pure practicality.

A tall head tube ensures that the riser handlebar is comfortably high for a relaxed posture but there's enough top tube stretch between the saddle and the bars for efficiency to get the upper hand over sit up and beg. There's about 4cm of bar height adjustment potential and the shaped grips will be popular with most riders.

Full outer cables run under the down tube to the Shimano Nexus 7 hub gear and roller brake and there's a simple sprung steering damper just behind the head tube to stop the steering swinging round when you've got a load on the front rack.

There are two sets of bottle cage eyelets plus rear rack eyelets on the seatstays and dropouts. The mudguards supplied are very basic plastic offerings but there's still enough room for slightly bigger tyres if needed.

The frame and componentry emphasis, as the overall bike weight suggests, appears to be on workhorse durability. The 6061 butted aluminium tubes are reinforced in all the right places, the paint overcoat seems hard wearing and the bolted seat clamp faces forward, away from rear wheel spray.

The wheels are solidly built 36 spoke offerings with nutted hubs and tough rims, and the Schwalbe tyres have a decent reputation for puncture-free riding on rougher surfaces.

Shimano's twist grip Nexus gears have a good longevity reputation too, and all the finishing kit is sturdy stuff that's capable of taking a fair amount of abuse.

The front brake is a cable pull Hayes disc with a 160mm rotor and the FSA 38 tooth crankset has a trouser-guard/bash-plate.

Frame sizes available are 46, 49, 53, 56, 59 and 61cm and the geometry on our 53cm test sample is 70.5° at the head and 74° at the seat, with a horizontal top tube reach of 55.5cm. Smaller sizes have slacker head angles and steeper seat angles, larger sizes vice versa.    

That's about it for now. We'll be using the Dr Good as a workhorse town bike for a few weeks and then we’ll report back with a complete review.

From www.konaworld.uk.com

13 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

"..about the right size for a crate of beer."

Why a crate of beer, is that because you want to appear manly in front of your "mates" who think your a bender because you wear lycra and ride a road bike ? Yeah look at me I might shave my legs and ride a road bike wearing lycra but I still drink beer.

posted by dreamlx10 [143 posts]
10th January 2014 - 10:36

25 Likes

It's 'humour', lighten up.

dodgy's picture

posted by dodgy [131 posts]
10th January 2014 - 11:02

21 Likes

Cheapo they may be, but it is encouraging to see this sort of bike coming with mudguards as a default.

posted by Al__S [626 posts]
10th January 2014 - 12:06

43 Likes

Presence of a steering damper shows thought about day-to-day use; add front hub dynamo and lights for increased practicality?
Looking forward to the review.

posted by Dr_Lex [151 posts]
10th January 2014 - 13:16

11 Likes

This is a crackingly good bike, and if it encourages people to dip their toe into the "cargoesque" concept then that can't be a bad thing.

But.....

Look at the distance the front of the "basket" is from the steering column, and notice too that it will be part of the steered load, rather than the more sensible design where the load is attached to the frame, like a traditional butcher's bike.

It wouldn't take more than a couple of bags of shopping from Tescos to make this bike a serious contender for the "accident waiting to happen" award.

Carrying beer is cool, but not when the rack is directly mounted to the forks, and certainly not when it's positioned that far forward of the fork column.

"Hey..... Let's be visible out there."

Neil753's picture

posted by Neil753 [451 posts]
10th January 2014 - 15:07

16 Likes

dodgy wrote:
It's 'humour', lighten up.

Really ? No indication by the way that it's written that it's supposed to be humorous !

posted by dreamlx10 [143 posts]
10th January 2014 - 15:52

14 Likes

Actually, I find booze (and bike parts) some of the hardest things to transport by bike. I'd love a bike that allowed me to move a case of beer around easily but was still a bit sporty. As it is, If I want to get something of that size then I have to go on 4 wheels...

posted by hanuman [12 posts]
10th January 2014 - 16:20

19 Likes

.

dodgy's picture

posted by dodgy [131 posts]
10th January 2014 - 16:25

19 Likes

dreamlx10 wrote:
dodgy wrote:
It's 'humour', lighten up.

Really ? No indication by the way that it's written that it's supposed to be humorous !

Stop digging, the rest of us probably at least got that it was a whimsical comment.

dodgy's picture

posted by dodgy [131 posts]
10th January 2014 - 16:25

24 Likes

Neil753 wrote:

Look at the distance the front of the "basket" is from the steering column, and notice too that it will be part of the steered load, rather than the more sensible design where the load is attached to the frame, like a traditional butcher's bike.

I noticed that too. It'll be not too bad as long as you don't turn the handlebars, but once you do, you'd better be prepared to wrestle the lever-amplified weight of whatever's in the basket. This looks like more the thing:
http://www.somafab.com/archives/product/the-pick-up-artist

posted by Ush [426 posts]
10th January 2014 - 19:23

12 Likes

First shopping trip accomplished today with ease. Steering tension relieved surprisingly effectively by the simple spring as a steering damper. Sexual tension relieved surprisingly effectively by adding a six pack of forally scented bubblebath to the six pack of gruff ale. Full feedback to follow shortly.

SteveW

posted by Steve Worland [95 posts]
10th January 2014 - 19:52

11 Likes

Steve Worland wrote:
First shopping trip accomplished today with ease. Steering tension relieved surprisingly effectively by the simple spring as a steering damper. Sexual tension relieved surprisingly effectively by adding a six pack of forally scented bubblebath to the six pack of gruff ale. Full feedback to follow shortly.

Rolling On The Floor Excellent.

posted by Ush [426 posts]
10th January 2014 - 20:09

12 Likes

....."and the bolted seat clamp faces forward, away from rear wheel spray."

And with a full rear mudguard, a rear facing seat clamp is not really going to attract much wheel spray. Confused Thinking

TDL

tourdelound's picture

posted by tourdelound [92 posts]
10th January 2014 - 21:02

21 Likes