bikepacking

Finding Remote with Graham Agassiz and Matt Stevens

Finding Remote

Your escape. Your secret stash. Your remote. The place you long to be all week, and can’t wait to head out to, even if just for the day. The Kona Remote is the bike to get you there.

What exactly is remote? Well that’s really up to you. For Kona Gravity team rider Graham Agassiz and Kona Canada’s resident fishing enthusiast Matt Stevens, that thing is fly fishing. So, they made a plan, packed up their Remotes, and converged in Lytton, British Columbia to head to their own secret stash. Prepped with fishing and camping gear, Matt’s fishing kayak, and Aggy’s dog Autumn, they headed straight for the goods.
















Find Your Remote

Whether you’re a fisherman, an outdoorsman, or a recreational enthusiast, the Remote can take you where you want to go and get you there quickly. It’s a capable mountain bike with Bosch’s top end Performance Line CX pedal assist system. We equipped the Remote with Bosch’s compact Intuvia display, high capacity 500 watt Power Pack, and a re-keyable Abus Plus battery lock.

With the made-in-the-USA Old Man Mountain rack, you can add accessories to carry just about anything you can think of. The wide range SRAM 1×11 drivetrain and Level T brakes ensure you’ll be happy going both uphill or down. The Remote is an access tool, adaptable to your needs. Swing a leg over one, and find your remote.

The Remote is one of three Bosch-equipped pedal assist bikes in the Kona lineup this year. Get the details on the Remote from Kona Product Manager Trevor Porter:

Kona Remote – North America

 

Kona Remote – Europe

 

Head to Konaworld.com for all the details on the Remote.

Toni Lund’s Custom 2011 Kona Dew FS Allroad Bike

Bikes have always been my passion. I pretty much live the ‘n+1’ concept. The bike industry brings something new every year and lately a more capable gravel/all-road bike has certainly been something I have wanted. I like to explore small, rugged gravel forest roads and for my liking 700X40C tires are just not enough sometimes. Sure, I could pick up a 29+ bike or even a fatbike, but sometimes there are longer paved transitional sections to those gravel and forest roads so a well-rolling and faster bike makes a lot of sense.
I have built several new roadplus bikes at work like Kona NRB bikes. 650BX47 roadplus tires or even slightly wider tires look like the right size for my needs. However I can’t afford a complete new bike at the moment. But living with the ‘n+1’ syndrome often means that there are some old parts in the garage. So, I found a brand new 2011 Kona Dew FS frame from Kona’s warehouse and the plan was ready: build a completely custom allroad bike. A bit of inspiration came from my coworker who had built a Dew Drop as a roadplus bike.
There were several things I wanted to achieve with this bike project:
– Build a very unique bike
– Reuse the old parts and save money
– Build the wheelset myself
– Run largest possible tires that the frame accepts
– Front dynamo hub for USB charging
– White/blue Suomi-Finland color theme
After several late evenings building the bike after work and building the wheels during the midsummer the mission was accomplished. Here are some shots of the bike. All the photos where shot on the Hanko coast, the southernmost point of Finland.
Something new and something old. New: Ritchey Comp VentureMax 42cm handlebar, very comfortable and spot-on tuck and top positions. Old: Shimano 105 STI 8-speed gear/brake levers. The front fork is one of the many Kona P2 forks. I painted it myself. The complete build looks very good indeed.
Handlebar tape is Lizard Skins DSP 3.2mm, definitely best looking and most comfortable tape out there.
Thomson Elite Setback seatpost has been my favorite on my fatbikes over the years so it was a natural choice. Kona saddle from the original Wo build.
Kona clamp came with the frame.
Stem is a Thomson Elite X4, 90mm +/-10°, slammed as -10° as as low as possible to get better top position.
The headtube is pretty massive at 18cm. Kona’s metallic head badge is very nice.
Shimano Deore 175mm triple crankset (smallest chainring removed) with Hollowtech bottom bracket, Shimano Tiagra rear derailleur from the old parts, Shimano HG-93 XT 9-speed chain (8-speed in the picture, 9-speed is MUCH smoother!), Shimano Ultegra 6703 triple front derailleur with Problem Solvers adapter.
Then to the wheels, starting with the hubs. I’m using a dynamo hub for the first time .It’s a Shimano DH-3D32-QR.
The rear hub is the reliable Shimano XT 756A.
The front dynamo hub required a 36-hole rim. Not many rim choices for 27.5 so I ended up with the NoTubes Arch MK3. 36 spokes front, 32 spokes rear. Spokes are DT Champion and DT brass nipples.
Tires are Schwalbe Thunder Burt Evolution SnakeSkin TL-Easy 2017 27.5 x 2.10 / 584-54, set up as tubeless with Muc-Off NoPuncture sealant. These tires are fast! I have averaged 30-31 km/h on my 40 km commuting route!
WTB TCS tubeless valves in blue of course.
Brakes are Hayes CX Expert (originally on my Kona Rove ST 2015) with Hayes rotors.
Top tube is frame taped to protect from frame bags.
The bottom bracket sits pretty low at 26cm. It’s too low for trail riding but this bike is surprisingly fast on all roads, and that is really the main purpose. This bike will see different setups with bikepacking bags and other adventure equipment. I’m pretty excited for future allroad adventures with this bike!

Bikepacking the Denali Park Road

Words by Kona Supreme, Delia Massey. Photos by Delia and her riding partner, Kinsey.

Two days before I left for a week-long vacation to Anchorage, I decided I wanted to bikepack the entire Denali National Park Road. My last-minute trip planning escalated quickly, from realizing that Denali was a 4-hour drive from Anchorage, to discovering that the 90-mile road through the park was only open to bikes and park buses, to finding blog posts from people that had bikepacked the whole 180 miles out and back. I had never full-on bikepacked (just done an overnight with a stay at a hotel), but I figured why not go big for my first real trip?!

My partner in forest crime, Kinsey, reluctantly agreed to my crazy idea, and we quickly rounded up some lightweight gear, packed our bikes and lots of warm layers, and got on a plane to Alaska. The night before we left, I sent an email to Revelate Designs, an Anchorage-based bikepacking company, asking if we could stop by and get some bags the next day. They responded yes, so we got off the plane, picked up our bags, and after a trip to REI for food, a bear can, bear spray, bear bells, and some other emergency supplies, we were as ready as we would ever be!

Fast forward to Sunday, May 27th. Kinsey and I drove up to Denali National Park, checked in with the ranger, and picked out our planned backcountry camping locations (both were around mile 60 on the road, assuming we would cover 60 miles a day for 3 days). We watched a video on park etiquette and safety, which was very useful, but also heightened my fear of having a bear encounter. We had our final meal of burgers and beers at 49th State Brewing, and did a practice run with our borrowed Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL 2 tent at a local campground. Aside from putting on the rain fly inside out, we were dialed.

Monday morning, we got up early and drove to the Denali Visitor’s Center, where a couple of moose wandered the parking lot while we attached our bags to our bikes. We set off around 8:30, starting with the climb up the first 15-mile paved section of road (and the only section open to cars). Spirits were high, our fully loaded mountain bikes were cruising on the pavement, the sun was shining, and excitement was in the air. We got our first views of Denali around mile 9.5, and I was awestruck with how large it was. Rainier seems big, looming over my home of Seattle, but Denali is simply massive. At the 15-mile mark, we came to the gate that only allows bikes and buses through, and we saw our first grizzly bear, near a river. Seeing the size and speed with which the bear moved did not make me feel any better about camping in bear country!

As our tires hit gravel, the adventure truly began. No more cars, just buses full of tourists rumbling by every so often (and that only lasted to mile 53, where the buses turned around due to snow). I felt like we were part of the park as the people on the buses took photos of us and waved. We steadily pedaled mile after mile, with plenty of breaks for food, water, and bathroom breaks. There were bus stops and designated campsites with bathrooms and trashcans along the way, which was a huge help. Water was plentiful, with clear streams from snow melt along the way, so we never carried more than 2 liters each (treated with a Steripen).

We climbed over Sable Pass and Polychrome Pass, both of which offered spectacular views, and made our way to our first campsite on a gravel bar right near mile 60. The park rules dictate that you must camp at least a half a mile off of the road, and must be out of site of the road, which is why I chose to pedal in flats to make the hiking easier. We cooked our freeze-dried dinner, had some M&M’s, and stored our bear can away from both the cooking area and our tent. We attempted to sleep, with sunset around 11:30pm. I woke up at 5:00am with the sun and was convinced there was a giant animal walking around outside our tent, sniffing at our things. Kinsey woke up and poked his head out of the tent, and we didn’t see any evidence of any big animals, so perhaps it was just the wind and my overactive imagination. We did find that his helmet straps had been chewed by a hungry ground squirrel!

Day 2 was bright and sunny, and as we came over the Stony Hill Overlook, we had a crystal-clear view of the south side of Denali. It was absolutely breathtaking. I stopped and took the greatest photo I have ever taken with my self-timer, and after soaking in the views, we pedaled on to the end of the road. We passed many kettle ponds, formed when large chunks of ice detached from a glacier and become buried in sediment and melted, and finally reached Wonder Lake at mile 85, and pushed on to our final stop on the road, a beautiful outhouse between mile 89 and 90, that offered us shelter from the wind to cook lunch, and a stream nearby for water.

After that, we began the slog back up the 30 miles we had just descended. We paused for a bit at the Eielson Visitor Center at mile 66, made friends with a marmot, and kept moving back towards mile 60. We saw a momma bear and 2 cubs around mile 62, headed directly for our planned camping spot. We decided it was safest to continue on a few more miles, finding a bluff at mile 58 with a good view of the surrounding terrain.

We survived without any midnight bear attacks and pushed through a headwind on Day 3 to finish up back at the car around 3:30pm. Tired, delirious, with sore butts and sore legs, we were full of joy and adventure! Riding through the park was the ultimate experience, something you can’t get on a bus or in a car, and I highly recommend it. The wildlife was abundant, and in total we saw 18 grizzlies, as well as caribou, Dall sheep, marmots, countless ground squirrels, ptarmigan, hares, and magpies.

I learned that nothing compares to the simplicity and teamwork of bikepacking. Your only goal for the day is to pedal, and your only concerns are food, water, warmth, and wild animals. It was challenging and painful at times, but I loved it, and I’m already planning my next big trip!

Gear list:

  • Tent: Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL 2 (Thanks Mal and Kelly!!)
  • Enlightened Equipment Revelation down quilts, 20 degree
  • Cocoon silk mummy liner
  • Thermarest Neo-Air
  • Sea to Summit pillow (for delicate Delia)

On bike (Delia had a Kona Honzo CR Trail DL, and Kinsey was on an Evil Following MB):

  • Revelate Egress handlebar pocket: (snacks, map, gloves, hat, buff, Steripen)
  • Revelate Handlebar Harness and Salty Roll: Sleep system, synthetic puffy jacket, rain jacket and pants
  • Tent (Delia) or bear can with food (Kinsey) attached to harness with pocket
  • Revelate Ranger frame bag (1-L water bottle, fuel, tubes, toilet paper, charger/cords)
  • Revelate Gas Tank (Tools: pump, tire levers, tire plugs, multitool, derailleur hanger, master links, knife, headlamp, ski straps)
  • Revelate Pika Seatbag: full change of base layers, extra fuel, emergency bivy, emergency ponchos, MSR reactor stove
  • Swift Industries Sidekick Pouch w/ Nuun water bottle
  • All food aside from clif bars/shotblocks was carried in the bear can at all times unless cooking!

On Delia:

  • From High Above Cascadia hip pack, with 2L bladder
  • Bear spray!!

Food:

  • 3 dehydrated dinners
  • 2 freeze dried breakfasts
  • 1 freeze dried lunch
  • 4 tuna packets
  • 1 bag of beef jerky
  • 1 bag of roasted dark chocolate almonds
  • M&M’s
  • 1 bag of instant mashed potatoes
  • Various clif bars and shot blocks
  • Nuun electrolyte tabs

 

 

Bikepacking.com Review the Sutra

“‘The Kona Sutra LTD is a drop-bar bike “designed by mountain bikers, for mountain bikers.’ As simple as that statement may sound, the result is one of the most versatile, category-shattering rigs in the mainstream bike market.” – Logan Watts, Bikepacking.com

Recently the riders from Backpacking.com spent a few months aboard the Sutra LTD. Riders and writers Logan Watts and Ryan Sigsbey weigh in on just what makes the Sutra so unique, from it’s tire clearance, frame thickness and overall geometry. From pavement to gravel to singletrack the bike was tested around Pisgah’s dark winding forests. The net result? Watts ended up buying a Sutra LTD, and we think that’s as good of a review as we could ever hope for.

Check out their very thorough review here.

 

Cycling Ireland

Irish cyclist David Flanagan has recently completed a book about cycling all around Ireland’s gorgeous countryside. The book is gorgeously illustrated with route maps, elevation profiles, and detailed descriptions of dozens and dozens of rides. The photography features a Kona Sutra in various gorgeous environments.

A word from Flanagan:

“This book documents the best cycling that Ireland has to offer. With eighty routes spread across the entire island, there is something for everyone; from gentle, traffic-free cycles, ideal for the whole family, to long challenging routes packed with relentless climbs.

The routes range in length from 8km to 207km on a variety of surfaces including tarmac roads, gravel tracks, canal towpaths and singletrack. – David Flanagan

Each route description includes:

  • A full-colour map.
  • Turn-by-turn directions.
  • A route profile.
  • A detailed description of the route.
  • Advice on variations, extensions and shortcuts.
  • A downloadable GPX navigation file.

The book also includes details of over fifty family-friendly greenways and trails, information on Ireland’s long-distance cycle routes and sixteen pages dedicated to cycling along the Wild Atlantic Way.

This comprehensive guide is packed full of detailed information and inspiring photography that is sure to appeal to everyone interested in cycling in Ireland.”

 

The book is available for purchase here for the price is €25 which includes shipping worldwide.

 

“David Flanagan is a publisher, writer and freelance journalist from Dublin. He is the author of a number of climbing books including Bouldering in Ireland, Bouldering Essentials and Rock Climbing in Ireland. In 2016 he published Exploring Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, a collaboration with Kerry-based photographer Richard Creagh. A keen cyclist with a particular interest in off‑road exploration and bikepacking, he published Cycling in Ireland in May 2018 after more than 18 months of research.”

Birthday Bikepacking

What would do you like to do for your birthday? Kona Pro cross racer Kerry Werner is all about adventure. Yesterday was his 27th birthday, and to celebrate he is going on a mini 2-day bike packing trip from central North Carolina to Western North Carolina.

He will be pedaling the Kona Super Jake. After a great CX season domestic and abroad, Kerry is showing just how versatile this bike is by strapping some bike packing gear to it and saying, “say0nara” to the status quo for what an elite-level CX bike can do.

“I have some friends getting married just west of Asheville, NC. The whole family is going to be going and bringing mountain bikes fpre-weddingdding ride, so I figured, why not kill two birds with one stone? I’ll be riding down on Wednesday and Thursday. Thursday evening my crew arrives and the weekend will resume per usual. I like to do these mini-adventures, especially during structured training, which I am just getting back into. These kinds of things help keep my mind fresh and ease the stress of having a regime to follow every day. I like a mix-up,” Werner said.

His route is just shy of 200mi with 15,000ft of climbing. There will be plenty of dirt/gravel roads along the way, scenic rivers, and hopefully lots of blue skies.

Godspeed, and happy birthday Kerry!

 

 

Bike Packing Tip: Making Your Own Handlebar Harness

Bikepacking isn’t new, but it’s certainly growing in popularity. We’ve shared our love of bikepacking with our Not Too Far From Home Videos and the with the launch of our Remote eBike.  If you’ve been considering dabbling in bikepacking, one of the more creative aspects to consider is how you’re going to carry all of your gear. A while back Bicycle Times Magazine posted a really clever DIY handlebar harness for your gear. They used a Hei Hei Trail DL in their write-up, but we offer a ton of bikes that are awesome for bikepacking. Check out the link to learn howto make your very own handlebar harness with only a couple dollars and a few supplies.

 

Considering venturing out on a bikepacking adventure? Be sure to check out the Unit, Unit X, Rove LTD, Big Honzo, Remote, or a Sutra LTD.

Not Far from Home – Destination North

There’s a common saying that life is like a wave and our existence is essentially surfing whatever kind of water comes our way. Metaphorically there may not be a better way to justify the ebbs and flows of good and bad that everyone undoubtedly experiences. What sets certain people apart though, is their ability to ride the waves in their own, unique way. Erkki Punttila knows that the best way to reset is to embrace the tides and sail away into a different mindset.

The setting is the far north of Finland in the Lapland area. It’s north of the arctic circle. It’s dark and cold; exactly what you think northern Finland would be like in the depths of autumn, except it’s also stunningly beautiful. Erkki’s path has led him to sell most of his possessions and move his life onto a sailboat. The S/y Sanibonani was built in South Africa in 1978. She has a luxurious history of cruising the Caribbean and Mediterranean, but now she’s finding her home in the cold waters of Finland. “Living aboard a sailboat has been a great experience,” Erkki said. “Extremely limited storage space makes you focus on the stuff you really need. Enjoying a sunset with good coffee really beats having eight pairs of shoes you never wear and a metric ton of random stuff around you.”

Erkki’s preferred method of transportation while in port is his Unit X. “I had the Unit on deck ready for grocery runs and the occasional bike packing trip,” he said. “In the spring, the boat was still bound in the ice so I had to haul 20-liter diesel canisters for the heater with the bike, which was no problem with a sturdy front rack.” Erkki’s need for adventure runs deep and he recently took his Unit X to explore Finland’s largest national park, Lemmenjoki. Known for its gold digging claims, Lemmenjoki spans 2,850 square km, and is peppered with huts where travelers can spend the night out of the extreme cold.

Follow along with Erkki as he traverses Lemmenjoki National park during Finland’s centennial year alongside herds of reindeer and takes in the astonishing views from one of Finland’s greatest treasures. Sometimes the best way to find yourself is to get lost in the beauty of nature.

Photographer: Jaakko Posti

Autumn on the Rothaar Trail

The Rothaar Trail is a 150 km (90 miles) long hiking trail along the crest of Germany’s “Rothaargebirge”, a mountain range right at the border between the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse.

Not knowing what to expect and having never been in this part of Germany before, Lukas and Sven headed out to explore it on the Big Honzo DL. It turned out much better than what they hoped for. A stunning countryside and perfect weather. There are very few greater ways, to enjoy the beauty of a golden fall.

Curious about their setups? Here’s the lowdown.

 

About Cycling Krauts:
Lukas, 20 and Sven, 23 met at University of Stuttgart, German while studying aerospace engineering. While Lukas stuck to rocket science, Sven left university to later become a student pilot. Since they don’t live close to each other anymore, the rare occasions they meet up are usually for bikepacking trips like this one.

Introducing the All New Kona Remote with Bosch Pedal Assist

Your escape. Your secret stash. Your remote. The place you long to be all week, and can’t wait to head out to, even if just for the day. The Kona Remote is the bike to get you there.

Whether you’re a fisherman, an outdoorsman, or a recreational enthusiast, the Remote can take you where you want to go and get you there quickly. It’s a capable mountain bike with Bosch’s top end Performance Line CX pedal assist system. We equipped the Remote with Bosch’s compact Intuvia display, high capacity 500 watt Power Pack, and a re-keyable Abus Plus battery lock.

With the made-in-the-USA Old Man Mountain rack, you can add accessories to carry just about anything you can think of. The wide range SRAM 1×11 drivetrain and Level T brakes ensure you’ll be happy going both uphill or down. The Remote is an access tool, adaptable to your needs. Swing a leg over one, and find your remote.

Get the details on the Remote from Kona Product Manager Trevor Porter:

North American Kona Remote with 27.5 x 3.0″ tires

 

 

European Kona Remote with 29 x 2.4″ tires

 

Remote Details




















Finding Remote with Graham Agassiz and Matt Stevens

What exactly is remote? Well that’s really up to you. For Kona Gravity team rider Graham Agassiz and Kona Canada’s resident fishing enthusiast Matt Stevens, that thing is fly fishing. So, they made a plan, packed up their Remotes, and converged in Lytton, British Columbia to head to their own secret stash. Prepped with fishing and camping gear, Matt’s fishing kayak, and Aggy’s dog Autumn, they headed straight for the goods.

Check out the full Finding Remote story and photo gallery here.

For all the details on the Remote, head over to Konaworld.com, and check out the technical details on the Remote Innovation page.

Introducing the New Kona Unit and Unit X

With new Kona models arriving in your local bike shop over the next couple of weeks, we’re doing a series of posts here on the Cog to introduce the new bikes. Keep an eye here all week for rad new bikes and updates to current models. Next up: the singlespeed Unit and the new Unit X…

What’s Better Than One?

From bikepacking to singletracking, geared up or stripped down, the Unit is a versatile mountain bike made from Reynolds 520 cromoly. From its roots as a singlespeed trail bike, the Unit became even more versatile with the addition of 27.5+ wheels last year, featuring in our short film Not Far From Home – which was selected as a Vimeo Staff Pick.

And now, we have not one, but two Unit models to satiate your desire for a capable steel adventure bike! This year’s Unit frame gets updated shift cable routing – along the top tube and down the seat stay – and a 31.6mm seat post with internal dropper post routing. And both the Unit and Unit X sport tubeless-ready 27.5×2.8″ WTB Ranger tires on WTB Scraper i40 rims. Check them out at your local shop!

UNIT X

The Unit has long been our Reynolds 520 singletrack shredder, adaptable to a wide variety of purposes and only made more versatile with the addition of 27.5+ wheels. For the first time we’re offering a Unit with gears – a SRAM NX 1×11, to be specific – and we’re truly excited about the opportunities this opens up. Whether you’re looking for a fun-loving trail bike or a backcountry bikepacking rig, the Unit X is ready for action.






UNIT

You are an artist, and the Unit is your canvas. Singlespeed singletrack machine? Yep. Loaded up for a quick overnight or an extended bikepacking trip? Yep. Add whatever drivetrain you like? Yep. Reynolds 520 cromoly gives that unmistakable smooth ride, and the simplicity of a single speed drivetrain keeps your options open. Because you want to do it your way, and we’re cool with that.



 

Keep an eye here on the Cog throughout this week for more new Kona models!

Good Living and Good Times in Arizona with the Kona Adventure Team

The Kona Adventure Team has recently published a big photo story from their trip to Arizona for the first of the Epic Rides Triple Crown – the Whiskey 50 – and a multi-day bikepacking adventure on the Prescott Circle Trail. The Adventure Team is predicated on the idea that traveling to races provides the opportunity to slow things down and see another side of the places that host events. So far, it seems to be working!

“We travel for more than just racing nowadays. We travel for mountain biking and seeing the world and bringing our friends along for the ride. For some of us this is a vacation from work, for others, it’s an evolution away from the height of our competitive careers, and for a couple, it’s a route towards the next peak. For all of us, it’s good living and good times.”

Check out a few more photos from Patrick Means below, and the full photo story on Pinkbike.