There’s a first time for everything, even amidst an activity that you have done for over two decades. For the last weekend in April 2019, my wife and I packed up the car for our first family trip centered around bike racing, the inaugural 3-day Cascade Gravel Grinder in Bend, OR. Our 21-month-old Director Spotif sat patiently in the back seat as we finished loading the last of the gear – the familiar bikes and spare wheels stacked up against the ceiling, with the less familiar Pack-n-Play, stroller, story books, extra diapers and cargo bike piled underneath.
As regular road racing seems to be going the way of the Rock ‘n Play (sorry, parent joke), the new road racing, that is, gravel racing, seems to be realizing its own manifest destiny. In any case, it’s still road racing in my book because it happens on drop-bar bikes with skinny-ish tires. The roads are rougher but the bikes are smooth. The Cascade Gravel Grinder was touted as the first gravel omnium event in the country. An omnium is a multi-day event similar to a stage race, but instead of tracking overall time, riders score points based on their result each day. The rider with the most points wins. I just hoped the points I might win in the bike race would balance out with the points I needed to spend to get the family to come along.
The plan and outcome went as follows:
Day 1: 7-hr drive to Bend, set up shop at guest house, jump in 5-mile prologue time trial. The dry washboard was a wake up call compared to the damp dirt of Bellingham, and the car legs were good enough for 5th.
Day 2: 70-mile loop through the dusty sage and pine near the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, clean up for a cargo bike ride an afternoon picnic at Drake Park. An early morning gave way to a blistering pace across the sage land, zipping around in the lead group and 3rd on the day.
Day 3: 67-mile loop outside of Sisters, OR at the foothills of the Twin Sisters and Mt. Jefferson, load up for a visit to great grandmother’s house. A good start was thwarted by drawing the short straw in the rocky road pace line and popping my tire. After fixing, and despite a few KOMs during the chase, I was unable to make it back to the lead group, and rolled in for 10th.
Day 4: travel home, admire faint tan lines, tally our lessons learned
Family + bike racing works as long as everyone can accept that only about 80% of their needs can be met. For those too young to accept, the others must work an extra 20% harder to keep the wheels on the wagon 😉
To whomever is racing, the fitness required isn’t just about the racing, but also about the post-race activities. You’ve got to have fuel left in the tank to be useful!
Again, to whomever is racing, make the effort count! Any time wasted on course is time lost with family!
“For those skeptical action-oriented new parents out there, it turns out that cargo biking is a way, for me at least, to experience a terrific oxymoron: to step out of one comfort zone while staying completely comfortable. That is to say, my comfort zone on two wheels typically involves some element of performance, speed, distance or other mix of benign masochism. It was gratifying to have none of those elements, save for the 100-pound bike to lug up the hills, yet still have every bit as much fun on this trip as I had on pre-kiddo outings. Instead of being stressful, I found it satisfying to feel the responsibility of our family outside the comfort of home. And like any backpacker has experienced, we were energized by the simple act of traveling under our own power with all of our needs at hand.”
For the avid commuter where no hill, no amount of rain, or no gust of wind is enough to stop you, we bring you the Dew-E. From our beloved Dew platform, the Dew-E is the ultimate commuting machine. Bright front and rear lights, fenders, and a Bosch motor make quick work of all conditions. Outfitted in quality Shimano components, the Dew-E is ready for the daily grind.
Cruising has never been more fun. The Splice-E brings the joy of a pedal assist bike to familiar territory. Bosch power meets a Shimano Alivo drivetrain and Suntour suspension fork. Hydraulic disc brakes provide excellent stopping power, giving you total control while out on your next adventure, whether that’s bar hopping through town or out ripping around backwoods bike paths.
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!
Happy New Year, Kona friends! We hope you had a wonderful holiday with your friends and family and that time moved slowly for you. With a new year, we often see changeover or a refreshing of all kinds of things. We have resolutions, goals, and expunging the old and bringing in the new. With that thought in mind, we are offering you a great deal on 2017 Konas. Vist Kona Ride Online and find a huge selection of 2017 bikes are 20% off. If you’ve been wavering on getting a new bike, now is the perfect time to update your ride!
This is just a small sampling of some of the great deals you’ll find:
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 super stylish Dr Dew.
The Raddest Dew Yet
This could be the raddest Dr Dew yet, and that’s saying a lot considering the popularity of our flagship Dew model. The SRAM NX 11-speed single ring drivetrain keeps things simple and smooth, while hydraulic brakes and full fenders ensure all-year confidence. This year the Dr Dew gets sweet tanwall WTB Horizon 650x47c tires and a color-matched parts kit that looks oh-so-sweet.
Designed to turn heads, the Dr Dew is built to last like only a Kona can. Our flagship urban bike features an 11-speed SRAM drivetrain, fast and cushy 650b wheels and tires, sensible fenders, and a bell right out of the box. It’s ready to take on whatever you can throw at it.
Keep an eye here on the Cog and on Konaworld.com for new models arriving at Kona dealers every day!
Questa potrebbe davvero essere la più fica di tutte le Dr Dew, e non è poco considerando la popolarità della portabandiera della serie Dew. Il gruppo cambio SRAM NX 11 monocorona la rende semplice e raffinata, mentre i freni a disco idraulici ed i parafanghi in dotazione ne fanno una bici perfetta per tutte le stagioni. Quest’anno la Dr Dew monta dei bellissimi copertoni WTB Horizon 650x47c bicolore che si abbinano elegantemente alle rifiniture del telaio.
Disegnata per far voltare le persone, la Dr Dew è costruita per durare nel tempo come solo Kona sa fare. La nostra ammiraglia tra le urban bike è equipaggiata con un cambio ad 11 velocità SRAM, comodissimi ruote e pneumatici 650b, parafanghi su misura, ed un campanello. E’ pronta ad accettare qualsiasi fardello vorrai caricarci.
Dies könnte das bisher großartigste Dr Dew sein, und das will was heißen, angesichts der Beliebtheit des DewSpitzenmodells. Die SRAM NX 1×11 Schaltung ist unkompliziert und präzise, und die hydraulischen Bremsen und Schutzbleche sorgen für ganzjährige Fahrsicherheit. In diesem Jahr erhält das Dr Dew sympathische Tanwall WTB Horizon 650x47c Reifen und ein farblich abgestimmtes, cool aussehendes Teile-Kit.
Das Dr Dew ist zwar ein echter Hingucker, doch zugleich so langlebig, wie es nur ein Kona sein kann. Unser Urbanbike-Flaggschiff bietet standardmäßig eine SRAM 11-fach Schaltung, schnelle und komfortable 650B-Laufräder und -Reifen, praktische Schutzbleche und eine Klingel. Bereit, um es mit allem aufzunehmen, was ihm in den Weg kommt.
Bien puede que esta Dr. Dew sea la Dew mas radical que hayamos hecho, eso es bastante decir si consideramos lo popular de nuestro modelo Dew tope de gama. Su transmisión de un plato SRAM NX de 11 velocidades hace que de las marchas una cosa sencilla y sueva, mientras que los frenos hidráulicos y los guardafangos completos dan seguridad todo el año. Este año la Dr. Dew llega con ese toque especial que dan sus neumáticos de flanco café WTB Horizon 650x47c y la maravilla de componentes con que viene vestida.
Diseñada para acaparar miradas, la Dr. Dew está hecha para durar como solo lo puede una Kona. Nuestra principal bici urbana viene con una transmisión SRAM de 11 velocidades, veloces y tragonas ruedas 650b, guardafangos sensatos, y cuando la saques de su caja verás que incluso trae una campana. Está lista para enfrentarse a lo que sea que le arrojes.
His name is Dew. Dr. Dew. In this episode our vagabond traveler has made his way to London with a few friends and a handful of Kona’s Steel Road bikes to further investigate how bikes make cities cool. From the coffee shop to the bike superhighway, Dew explores the British capital with hopes that he might catch sight of agent 007.
Dew and his crew of urban adventurers chose bikes from our Steel Road lineup for their time in London: the Roadhouse, Penthouse, and Paddy Wagon. Lively and durable, Kona started with steel bikes back in 1988 and this heritage is engrained in the Steel Road line. Take one for a spin, and you’ll quickly realize that all the talk about how “steel is real” is more than just talk.
At Kona, we’re all passionate about the bike. Whether it’s bombing around the trails of Bellingham, lighting up the CX scene in Seattle, or spinning out a commute in Europe. We’re fortunate to have a gold mine of a rad people within the company that are as diverse as our family of bikes. They’re fathers, mothers, advocates, promoters, band members, sportsmen, sports fans and metal heads. They’re all an integral part of Kona and the Kona experience.
We want to celebrate the individuals, and at the same time give a look behind the scenes at Kona. These are our employees, their bikes, and their lives.
If the character of this episode already looks familiar to you, it’s probably because he has been a member of the Kona family since 1990 and is the star of our video series The Dew Files. For this chapter of the My Kona series we travel to the Southern Interior of British Columbia to the sleepy town of Penticton to learn more about one of the biggest personalities at Kona, Dew.