Canadian company Kona have revamped their Esatto endurance road bike with a disc brake makeover for 2015. Kona describe the Esatto as the “ultimate bike for those long, exploratory rides that you never want to end.” Sound like the sort of riding you do?
The Esatto ame was first used last year on a one-off titanium endurance road frame, and that continues for 2015 (read about it below) but they're now offering a three-bike range, all using the same Scandium 69 tubeset. While the top two models, costing £1,199 and £1,599, get disc brakes, the entry-level £799 model uses regular caliper rim brakes.
The disc models grab our attention because, well disc brakes are very much a Big Thing in road cycling at the moment, with new disc-equipped road bikes being released all the time. The Esatto features what Kona calls ‘Endurance Geometry’, so it’s an emphasis on comfort for big days in the saddle and also with an eye on the gravel grinder scene that has emerged in the US over the past handful of years. They’ll offer six sizes from 49 to 61cm.
A look at the geometry chart reveals relaxed angles for the Esatta, with a 72 degree head angle and 73.5 degree seat angle on the 55cm size frame. The wheelbase is longish at 1,001mm with 418mm chainstays and a 74mm bottom bracket drop. Reach is 378mm and stack 579mm.
Each of the two disc models uses a chainstay located rear brake caliper and a full carbon fibre disc-specific fork with a tapered steerer tube. Kona, despite their mountain bike roots where bolt-thru axles are largely prevalent, have stuck with regular quick release axles for the new Esatto.
The top-of-the-range Esatto DDL gets a Shimano 105 11-speed groupset with an upgraded Ultegra rear mech and Tektro Spyre disc brakes with a 160/140mm rotor configuration. A 50/34 compact chainset and 11-28 cassette provides a wide range of ratios. Continental GrandSport Race 28mm tyres are fitted to the new Mavic Aksium One Disc wheelset. Finishing kit, that’s handlebar, stem, saddle and seatpost, are all Kona branded products.
The £1,199 Esatto D is specced with a Shimano Tiagra and 105 mix groupset with a compact chainset and 12-28 cassette, emphasising it’s go-anywhere credentials. Hayes CX Comp disc brakes with a 160mm front rotor and 140mm rear rotor size are used, with an Alex CXD7 wheelset with regular quick release axles. The big tyre clearance allows them to fit 28mm Continental UltraSport II tyres.
The base level Esatto swaps disc brakes for Tektro R359 caliper brakes with a Shimano Sora groupset. There is a 11-32t 9-speed cassette and 50/34 compact chainset, Alex R500 rims on Formula hubs and Continental UltraSport II 28mm tyres. While this model uses the same Scandium frame, the carbon fork is swapped for an aluminium fork.
Each frame features internally routed gear cables and rear brake cable, while the carbon fork has the front brake cable also routed internally, avoiding the necessity for unsightly zip ties. Each frame has mudguard eyelets making them the perfect candidate for a sport of all-weather commuting or touring.
Wondering what Esatto stands for? It’s Italian for ‘exact’ which Kona believes makes the bikes “are all about inspiring confidence while maintaining a certain element of comfort when it comes to the world of endurance riding.”
Shared over is the geomtry which has been "tuned to Fondo, gravel grinder adn endurance riding," says Kona. Other details incude a taller head tube and shorter top tube. The frame is made by Lynskey in the US from 3AL/2.5V seamless titanium. The frame will accomodate 28mm tyres with mudguards and 32mm without mudguards.
We can’t wait to get one of these out on the road and, erm, gravel soon. Find out more at www.konaworld.com
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.