Kona launch Esatto disc-equipped endurance road bike

Canadian firm Kona have unveiled two new disc road bikes for 2015

by David Arthur   July 17, 2014  

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.”

Kona will continue to offer the Esatto Ti frame that was launched last year, available not with disc brakes but with rim brakes.

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

13 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

I like the look of these Disc equipped bikes. May be a present for my lad Smile

posted by CXR94Di2 [228 posts]
17th July 2014 - 9:17

43 Likes

Oh, you've launched a new road bike? It's got discs on it? How original!

Wink

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

Gizmo_'s picture

posted by Gizmo_ [956 posts]
17th July 2014 - 9:24

43 Likes

Good review. Definitely a candidate for my new P&J next year.

posted by Joeinpoole [308 posts]
17th July 2014 - 10:13

36 Likes

I'm starting to see a pattern this year. Has anyone else noticed it? Wink

posted by bikebot [787 posts]
17th July 2014 - 11:09

30 Likes

bikebot wrote:
I'm starting to see a pattern this year. Has anyone else noticed it? Wink

yes, matt black.

joemmo's picture

posted by joemmo [908 posts]
17th July 2014 - 11:30

24 Likes

I'd take an Equilibrium Disc (that road.cc previewed the other day) over this everytime. In fact I did, last year. Which is a shame in a way, because this years looks awesome! The Kona (to me, other opinions are available) just looks a bit comme ci comme ca, a bit meh, a bit pffffft. Maybe its the post lunch carbo-malaise talking.

posted by Hoester [65 posts]
17th July 2014 - 11:47

28 Likes

I hope road.cc consider doing a spec/price comparison in their end of the week rundown. With so many released this week its difficult to remember whats out there!

STATO's picture

posted by STATO [423 posts]
17th July 2014 - 11:57

34 Likes

Well i've learnt what Scandium 69 is today Cool

posted by Ratfink [37 posts]
17th July 2014 - 12:14

21 Likes

I'm waiting for the new wheel size.

posted by IanW1968 [205 posts]
17th July 2014 - 18:48

20 Likes

You will be waiting indefinitely. I came to the conclusion that that the industry will go 2 ways for such bikes: wide-rimmed 700cc or 29inch. Both tubeless capable.
What I cannot figure out is why manufacturers still insist on equipping disk brake wheels with qr when thru-axles have proven to be stiffer (important off-road) and much more userfriendly when faffing with disk brakes. Probably a marketing strategy aimed at introducing "new and improved" every 2 years. Early adopters will be left in the cold. Therefore cynical, rushed, half-baked attempts such as this Kona - from a MTB manufacturer who should now! - are best ignored.

The entropy of the universe increases constantly. Carpe diem.

posted by noether [88 posts]
18th July 2014 - 5:47

15 Likes

Nice marketing exercise. Cable disc brakes, fancy-sounding alloy frame, space for larger tyres, integrated headset, std BB, so pretty boring all in. Gearing aimed at road use. QRs because no one owns a spanner any more.

Ride your own ride

posted by CanAmSteve [169 posts]
18th July 2014 - 13:05

8 Likes

On the debate between qr and thru-axles.

1. On stiffness: I upgraded from an excellent 26inch hardtail with heavilyy constructed Fulcrum UST qr wheels to a 29inch full suspension with tubeless ready wheels. The latter feel as stiff as the former thanks to thru-axle. The difference in stiffness between qr and thru-axle off road is spectacular. All decent MTBs are now equipped with thru-axles. Even Storck equips some of its road bikes with thru-axles. There must be a reason.

2. On ease of use: the thru-axles on my mtb (Shimano e-thru) slide through the hub and screw in at the other side of the fork; tension is applied with the same type of lever as on qr; no spanner in sight, as easy and fast to use as qr

3. On disk brakes: qr is a nightmare to use with disc brakes; when one takes the wheel out and puts it in again, minute changes occur which result in the disk brake not being exaclty centered in the calliper; which in turn results in the disk rubbing against one or the other pad. Maddening. When swapping inner tubes on my qr wheels due to "snake-bite" punctures - often in MTB until the appearance of tubeless - I used to lose most time trying to center the disk in the calliper. Thru-axles, because of their screw-in nature, reposition the disk exactly where it was initially, picture-perfect centered in the calliper.

As this is a site aimed at (road) bike aficionados, it is worth mentioning that in my opinion in the coming 5 years, most manufacturers will switch to disk brake road bikes, hopefully with userfriendly thru-axles if we demand them. Therefore road bikes - especially with strada bianca pretension - without thru-axles are already obsolete by the time they reach the showroom. Caveat emptor.

The entropy of the universe increases constantly. Carpe diem.

posted by noether [88 posts]
19th July 2014 - 7:46

6 Likes

Something really unbalanced-looking about that frame. It's not the disks, either.

I think they are holding back from the through-axle thing until there's a common standard. Otherwise early adopters will be locked to a single wheel supplier for life. Kind of Betamax problem.

drmatthewhardy's picture

posted by drmatthewhardy [414 posts]
19th July 2014 - 20:06

5 Likes