Sneak peek: Kona Rove 2013 crosser/super-commuter

Go-faster steel all-rounder unveiled

by John Stevenson   May 22, 2012  

If you like fast but super-practical steel bikes, you're going to love this. Kona has published a few images of the Rove, its 2013 'Monster Cross' or 'Gravel Grinder' model, that looks like it could be spot on for urban pothole bashing during the week and blatting round dirt roads and easy bridleways at the weekend.

“We wanted to design a ride that would excel on as many rough surfaces as we could throw at it,” says Kona. “Everything from bumpy backroads to dusty highways, with all forms of irregularity in between. A bike that could go on a month long tour one day, ride to school the next, then race cross on the weekend. The Rove is all about filling that slot – or slots we should say.”

To that end, the Rove features lots of tyre clearance, eyelets for racks and mudguards, and mechanical disc brakes - Hayes V-Series CX-5s with 140 rotors, if you were riding on the road you'd want to go for a 160 up front. It will be made from chromoly steel, so it should take a beating, and if disaster strikes steel is still the most easily repaired material.

Kona goes on to say, “Based on extensive testing in and around our Ferndale, WA product development offices—on everything from full-on singletrack to rough rural roads—we’re extremely happy with the versatility and ride feel of the bike. It doesn’t ride low, like some bikes in the category. It’s aggressive yet comfortable, nimble but sturdy.”

It'll be available late summer 2012 as part of Kona's 2013 range

The main points of the spec include:

  • SRAM Apex drivetrain with 36/46 chainrings and 11-32 spockets
  • 44cm Kona Road bar
  • Kona chromoly straight blade fork, with oversized crown, low-rider mounts, and IS disc mounts
  • 700C 35mm Freedom Ryder tires
  • Hayes V-Series CX-5 mechanical disc brakes with 140mm rotors
  • Room in the frame for a 45mm tire without guards, or a 40mm with guards
  • Six sizes: 47, 49, 53, 56, 59, 61cm
  • US price will be $1699USD – UK price still to be decided.

More details from Kona's website.

10 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

add belt drive and I'm buying one.

posted by miuzikboy [60 posts]
22nd May 2012 - 15:04


and a bb 30 so I can single speed it... looks like an ideal commuter/cross/winter bike!

Carpe Diem ab absentis: seize the day off

Coodsta's picture

posted by Coodsta [110 posts]
22nd May 2012 - 16:51


Similar idea to the Salsa Vaya and the Surly Disc-trucker and somewhere in the middle price wise it would seem. Although this does spec SRAM Apex which many will prefer over bar end shifters (tho i quite like bar end shifters now after using them on my canti-braked Surly LHT).

STATO's picture

posted by STATO [457 posts]
22nd May 2012 - 17:20


It'll be above the cycle to work schemes' top end budget which is a bit of shame. Angry Crying

posted by sam_smith [56 posts]
22nd May 2012 - 23:25


Not sure on the 46/36 for a do anything bike. Long standing Genesis CDF a better option IMO.

posted by GodleySpinner [21 posts]
23rd May 2012 - 8:22


GodleySpinner wrote:
Not sure on the 46/36 for a do anything bike. Long standing Genesis CDF a better option IMO.

I disagree.

Having looked at gear ratios in greater detail than is really necessary, I've come to the conclusion that 46/36, combined with a wide range cassette, is probably better than a 50/34 compact. You avoid the big jump when shifting at the front but still have plenty of useable ratios when riding on either ring. 46x11 is enough for most people most of the time and 36x32 is 29", normally the preserve of the granny ring on a triple!

This bike wouldn't be the choice of a dedicated road racer or TTer for his competition machine but neither would a sturdy steel frame, 35mm tyres and discs.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2374 posts]
23rd May 2012 - 13:46


If this was aluminium i'd be all over it.

posted by finbar [116 posts]
23rd May 2012 - 14:42


I appreciate the finished article will have a nice paint job but it just looks pug ugly to me. If the headline was 'my first frame build' I genuinely wouldn't have been surprised.

TheHatter's picture

posted by TheHatter [811 posts]
23rd May 2012 - 20:19


finbar wrote:
If this was aluminium i'd be all over it.

What, like the Genesis Vapour?

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2374 posts]
23rd May 2012 - 21:14


So in essence this is Salsa Vaya with more traditional geometry (BB height, TT slope, stays, HT). Just like the Vaya's predecessor La Cruz, but with more mounts. Could be a hot seller since I think many (including me) are a bit confused by Vaya's funky looks.

posted by kide [25 posts]
24th May 2012 - 7:19