Kona Rove LTD 2021
The Kona Rove LTD is the company's top end gravel/adventure bike that offers an excellent ride feel, loads of mounts for those epic trips off the beaten track, and plenty of tyre clearance. The thing I like best about it, though, is the way it handles.
Like a lot of the recent gravel/adventure bikes, the Rove LTD has a butted steel frame which delivers a beautiful ride feel.
Okay, when you have a pair of 47mm-wide 650B tyres on a bike, that is going to mask a lot of what the frame and fork are doing, so for a bit of extra testing I swapped in a set of road wheels with 25mm tyres at 100psi. This highlighted the vibration-damping qualities of the tubeset and showed just why this material is such a great choice for comfort when riding off-road
Riding along on the flat, the Kona requires very little input, it's just a point and shoot kind of bike. On long, steady efforts you can just tap on the pedals and take in the scenery, whether that's with the Kona loaded or unloaded.
Kona has managed to achieve this without making the Rove LTD boring. There is enough 'fun' factored into the handling that, should you be bimbling along a country lane and spy a track or byway, you can turn the power on and go for a blast.
The brakes feel extremely powerful when grabbing hold of the 160mm RT54 Shimano rotors. The shifting quality is also top notch, and you won't get any issues even when the chain and sprockets are coated in mud and water.
The groupset gives a usable spread of gears from top to bottom, and when paired with the Rove's responsive nature it never felt over-geared on the steep climbs.
Overall, the Kona Rove LTD may not be quite as competitively priced as others on the market, but I wouldn't say that that makes it expensive. After riding a number of steel-framed bikes of this style lately I'd say that the Kona offers one of the best ride qualities I've found. The geometry is absolutely bang on for the gravel – and it's no slouch when it transfers to the tarmac