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.
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!