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Go-faster steel all-rounder unveiled

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.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

10 comments

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miuzikboy [59 posts] 3 years ago
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add belt drive and I'm buying one.

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Coodsta [112 posts] 3 years ago
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and a bb 30 so I can single speed it... looks like an ideal commuter/cross/winter bike!

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STATO [493 posts] 3 years ago
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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).

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sam_smith [66 posts] 3 years ago
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It'll be above the cycle to work schemes' top end budget which is a bit of shame.  14 20

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GodleySpinner [22 posts] 3 years ago
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Not sure on the 46/36 for a do anything bike. Long standing Genesis CDF a better option IMO.

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Simon E [2620 posts] 3 years ago
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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.

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finbar [125 posts] 3 years ago
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If this was aluminium i'd be all over it.

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TheHatter [770 posts] 3 years ago
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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.

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Simon E [2620 posts] 3 years ago
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finbar wrote:

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

What, like the Genesis Vapour?

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kide [27 posts] 3 years ago
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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.