Just in: Kona Ute

A big boned load hauler to replace your car?

by Dave Atkinson   June 26, 2009  

Kona Ute full bike and bag

Our next test steed is literally a bike and a half: the Kona Ute. The long wheelbase cargo bike is a growing sector with people looking to replace their car for more and more journeys, with the Xtracycle standard leading the way in terms of modular design. The Ute isn't as long as an Xtracycle but it's a big old beast nonetheless with a wheelbase a foot longer than a standard frame.

The 7005 frame is pretty unexceptional (save for a pretty slack 71° head tube and a low top tube) until the seatpost area, where the top tube ramps up steeply and continues to form the top section of a huge rear rack, topped with a wooden platform. The seat stays are welded to the top tube and angle down very gradually to the rear wheel; the rack extends well beyond the rear axle. So nearly all of the changes are behind the pilot, meaning that when you ride the Ute you're oblivious most of the time that it's any different to a normal bike. Up front you get Kona's legendary P2 fork, which is still hard to beat for a utility bike.

You'll notice the difference when you've stuff to do though. The platform will easily take a passenger (side saddle is most comfortable) if you've got friends who need a lift, or you can lash anything that needs moving to it, within reason. The rubberised nylon pannier is truly cavernous, easily big enough for a week's worth of shopping, and to get back up the hill there's a 26/36 chainset (no need for a big ring) and an 11-32 MTB cassette to give some nice low winching gears. Shifting is via Deore mechs mated to Alivio flat bar units on Kona swept riser bars. A Hayes MX-4 mechanical disc up front and Tektro V-brake at the rear do the stopping.

As befits a working bike you get a full length mudguard at the front and the platform will keep rear wheel spray at bay. there's also a proper double kickstand which will be invaluable when you're loading the Ute up. We'll certainly be doing that over the next few weeks: watch this space for the review.

17 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

I want one of those!!! Smile Smile Smile

Think they'd PX for my old Cove?

DaveP's picture

posted by DaveP [467 posts]
26th June 2009 - 8:34

4 Likes

Cargo bikes are really interesting - the Ute seems to have changed a bit from the version I looked at (the panniers weren't rubberised then, I'm sure, for one thing).

Looking forward to the fully review.

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

John_the_Monkey's picture

posted by John_the_Monkey [423 posts]
26th June 2009 - 8:39

3 Likes

as my car gently absorbs into the tarmac outside my house and i have to force myself to use it once a week just to rotate the flat-spots in the tyres something like this is becoming more and more appealing

how many people can you sit on that rack for back-from-the-pub taxi services?

posted by VecchioJo [769 posts]
26th June 2009 - 9:00

2 Likes

Quote:
how many people can you sit on that rack for back-from-the-pub taxi services?

only one, really. if you need space for two you'll have to get a surly big dummy...

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7506 posts]
26th June 2009 - 9:23

6 Likes

unless one passenger sits on the other's lap Smile

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7506 posts]
26th June 2009 - 9:25

5 Likes

Perfect for the school run... Been looking at a Tag along, but that't do it fine. Big Grin

DaveP's picture

posted by DaveP [467 posts]
26th June 2009 - 9:26

5 Likes

Any idea on price or when they will be available?

bicycle bob's picture

posted by bicycle bob [19 posts]
26th June 2009 - 10:26

4 Likes

The Ute sells for a very reasonable £650, and it's in the shops now...

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7506 posts]
26th June 2009 - 11:06

5 Likes

£650... With stand and bags?? Thinking

DaveP's picture

posted by DaveP [467 posts]
26th June 2009 - 12:02

4 Likes

It used to come fully kitted out - I had a close look at last year's model.

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

John_the_Monkey's picture

posted by John_the_Monkey [423 posts]
26th June 2009 - 12:51

4 Likes

Or an Xtracycle kit, if you've a handy donor bike to form the front part.

Cool surly big dummy action here;

http://www.surlybikes.com/surlyblog.html

(Look at 24th June Entry).

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

John_the_Monkey's picture

posted by John_the_Monkey [423 posts]
26th June 2009 - 12:53

2 Likes

heh. that's some load...

DSCN4615-771677.JPG
Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7506 posts]
26th June 2009 - 15:12

4 Likes

It wants to be a cargo bike but isn't, quite. Try the Yuba Mundo - only slightly more expensive, good looking, more accessories, bigger bags, seats 2 adults or children, hauls huge loads, comes in Kawasaki Green and Carrot Orange. There's a singlespeed, a 6 speed and an 18 speed. We've got them in stock for immediate despatch too! (apologies for the blatant plug Wink ). www.practicalcycles.com

zaynan's picture

posted by zaynan [4 posts]
26th June 2009 - 15:59

3 Likes

If you think the Yuba's a winner then send us one to test... you know where we are Smile

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7506 posts]
26th June 2009 - 21:31

4 Likes

Incidentally, the fact that the Kona isn't as big as an Xtracycle or Yuba doesn't mean it's not a cargo bike: it is. Many people won't need that extra person capacity or bigger bags, and the kit you get for £650 on the Kona is several classes above the Yuba, plus the bag is thrown in.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7506 posts]
26th June 2009 - 21:34

3 Likes

I like the look of that Yuba, especially considering you can have one for 600 notes. and when the tourney gears fall apart i've got plenty of stuff in the shed to replace them with Smile

cactuscat's picture

posted by cactuscat [303 posts]
29th June 2009 - 13:20

3 Likes

If you're riding it back from the shops and you live at the top of a hill - you'll only have to push it half way up Smile

Spinning on a wheel

Hammy's picture

posted by Hammy [97 posts]
29th June 2009 - 14:31

4 Likes