Rove

Cycling Weekly Rides Madeira

Cycling Weekly recently took part in our gravel trip to Madeira. They just released their report on what it’s like to ride around the small but incredibly hilly island. With amazing gravel and tarmac roads and for being well known for incredible singletrack for mountain biking, plus views that are straight off of a postcard, could Madeira be the ultimate bike destination? Read on to find out!

 

For more information on Madeira, check out Visit Maderia!

Dr Dew Does Madiera

Kona’s legendary Dr Dew recently skipped across the Atlantic with product manager Mark “Donny” Allison to help launch our line of drop bar/gravel bikes to the European media. The setting was the ever-so-scenic island of Madeira- the perfect terrain for Libres, Sutra LTDs, and Roves. We’ll be rolling out reviews from the press as they come in, but for now, please enjoy this recap of riding and local culture by the doctor, himself.

I was aware that I had a work assignment coming up in the second half of October. I would be attending a gravel launch in Madeira with Mark Allison, a.k.a. Donny, Kona’s most junior product manager. As I pondered his recent 21,000 vertical single day achievement, I began to think of the story of the old bull and the young bull only we wouldn’t be walking down the mountain. We met in Vancouver airport and three planes later landed at the Christiano Ronaldo airport in Madeira. Known as the most dangerous airport in Europe it was good to be on terra firma.  Once at the hotel we were warned of the impending hurricane forecast for the next day. I thought back to the plane landing somewhat relieved that our flight had been so smooth. Timing is everything.

The following morning, we awoke to a pleasant hurricane. The brunt of the storm was passing us to the north and we were looking at a promising day with light rain, wind and high seas. After breakfast, we were introduced to the guys from Madeira who would be our guides for the launch. The morning was spent assembling bikes. During the afternoon we weathered the storm and checked out one of the planned rides on the west side of the island. The following day was much the same spent detailing bikes in the morning and riding another trail in the afternoon. Trail guide Joe Sanchez would clear trails and Kona lensman Joonas Vinnari scoping the best photos opportunities. The riding reminded me of California meets Hawaii. It was going to be exciting to have a large group on the ride.

Day one of the launch started at breakfast with introductions. Some of the journalists arrived late and were a bit groggy. Everyone’s spirits were high. Madeira has had good riding reviews lately and everyone was anxious to get on the bikes. After bike assignment, we were shuttled off to the east side of the island. We arrived high in the hills above Machico and had a light rain to contend with. Twisting mountain roads gave way to a modest gravel climb. We ascended up the gravel road until we entered a single track that was part of an old aqueduct system. Banana trees, eucalyptus and sugarcane provided a cover from the wind and rain as we wound our way across the side of the mountain.  About a dozen mountain bikers shot us bewildered expressions as we passed them on our drop bar bikes. After maybe 24 kms of singletrack we came out into dry warm skies and continued onto more twisting roads traversing the mountainside. An exhilarating decent led us to a piazza with great views of the ocean. After a quick traditional lunch, the bikes were loaded into the van and it was off to the west side of the island. The west side had slightly denser vegetation and was the same area where the enduro trails are located. This ride was more open and led into some sweet single track. The single track turned into urban trails and finished with a stunning steep descent down to the ocean. At the beach, we hung at two little Rasta bars. Everyone relaxed and reflected on the day’s riding with beer and poncha. Poncha is Madeira’s traditional drink and can help to cure a cold among other things. One of our guides named Alex had his board shorts and convinced everyone to jump into the Atlantic. As we were bobbing in the Atlantic he gave us some advice. “Go where the current takes you,” and, “The waves come in sets of seven. Don’t panic.” After the swim it was back to the hotel for dinner. Everyone looked content after dinner and we retired soon after. Tomorrow would be an early start.

Donny-not working on his tan.

Day 2 started with a 6:30 breakfast. By 7:15 we were off on our bikes equipped with lights heading to the ferry terminal. A 1.5-hour ferry ride ensued as we headed to the island of Porto Santo. Northeast of Madeira this island makes for a great day trip. Porto Santo “Holy Harbour” has lots of sandy beaches that are sheltered. The stark landscape is a result of feral rabbits that were introduced back in the 1400’s. They decimated the island and left it sparse with vegetation. We set out and really experienced what these bikes are all about. Smooth twisting tarmac got us to the top of the island where we rode off into gravel singletrack that circled the island. Singletrack opened into “German Gravel” that was smooth and fast. The riding was excellent and the views unbelievable. It wasn’t until mid afternoon that we completed the ride down at the beach, exhausted. Lunch was relished. Soon after the lunch Donny, Joe, Henry and Joonas took the journalists to a small airport where Tourism Madeira had them booked on a hopper flight back to Madeira. I settled on a swim with Alex, Jim and Bart before boarding the ferry back with the bikes. At dinner everyone seemed to be glowing. Two good days of riding left everyone feeling content. Most of the journalists were talking about the next time that they would be back to ride. We chose to walk back to the hotel from the old town and enjoy the night air. A lot of journalists had early flights so there was no time for any shenanigans.

For our last day in Madeira we had been invited to play a round of golf at the Palheiro golf club. Despite this tempting offer I graciously declined so that I could spend the bulk of the day riding the bikes and exploring Funchal. Joe was kind enough to take some of the remaining journalists along with Donny and myself on a little tour. Tight cobbled roads, coffee bars, the fish market, old forts were just a few of the spots that we visited. It was like old world meets Hawaii as we finished watching the sun traverse the ocean. As we shared a beer and some beans the journalists were comparing the hours that they had between this launch and their next. I was reminded that this was their work and in fact it was our work as well.

I would like to thank everyone but especially Joe www.bikology.pt and tourism Madeira for their hospitality. Everyone else I hope to thank in person next time I am back in Madeira. Oh yeah there better be a next time.

Dream Builds: Ride Here Now, Ryan’s Light Touring Kona Rove

For today’s Kona Dream Builds post we are doing something a little different. We are going to send you somewhere else to check it out! Well, not before whetting your appetite with few inspiring photos and words. BikePacking.com recently profiled Denver based Ryan Santoski and his Kona Rove in their Riders and Rigs series and it’s an inspirational little story. Ryan runs Totem Cyclery, a service-based shop in Denver, CO. and he practices Zen and the art of bicycle maintenance on a daily basis. His shop motto Ride Here Now “is a concept I try to practice daily, the act of simplifying and cutting away the unessential to get to the heart of the thing, whatever that thing may be. The process and style of such matters; paying attention to our immediate surroundings equally so.”

We’ve posted an excerpt from Bike Packing’s story below and a few photos but you really need to head here to check out the full in-depth post that just may have you wanting to drop everything and start your own niche repair workshop!

BikePacking.com: I love your bike, it seems like a dream commuter and tourer. Why the Kona Rove?
Ryan: Its steel frame with disc brakes and big tire clearance make it a quiver killer. I use it as my daily rider, take it on longer road/adventure rides, can load it up for touring, and rip it on gravel and dirt trails. It’s comfortable enough for all-day riding but also feels nimble and responsive – sometimes I like to go fast and it seems to react to that quite well, too.

BikePacking.com: Talk us through a few of your favorite components and accessories on the build.
Ryan: The SON/Edelux Dynamo system has been my favorite upgrade, and I love the rack-mounted light. Getting the beam out in front eliminates shadow from the front wheel and I can still carry anything on the rack without interference. As far as accessories, the Sturdy Bag Designs frame bag really ties everything together – Joe is a dear friend and this was one of the first frame bags he built when starting Sturdy. Despite being courted by many other makers, I only carry two bikepacking bag brands at the shop: Sturdy and John Campbell aka Alpine Luddites out of Ouray, Colorado. I think they do some of the best work in the industry and both have personal resonance with me.

 

Rove NRB DL makes Bicycling’s “The 17 Best Road Bikes You Can Buy Right Now” List

Bicycling magazine has just posted up their round-up of “The 17 Best Road Bikes You Can Buy Right Now” and our Kona Rove NRB DL has made the cut. They had this to say about our ready-for-anything drop bar Rove NRB

Mountain bikers, meet your road bike
The huge 47mm-wide tires on 650b rims tell you this isn’t your ordinary road bike. Indeed, this bike does have a significant tilt towards the gravel genre, but those wide tires roll surprisingly smooth and fast, and the bike’s geometry and gearing allow it to perform admirably on a spirited Sunday morning group ride. So while this bike may have one wheel pointed towards unpaved adventures, there’s no reason to shy away from joining the pack

Check out their full review of the 2018 Rove NRB DL here.

Six Updated Roves For 2019

THE SWISS ARMY KNIFE OF DROP BAR BIKES

Wherever you may Rove… Is the perfect place to be. On-road, off-road, gravel, touring, bikepacking- the Rove is the bike of all drop bar trades. With six offerings in multiple wheel sizes, gearing configurations in both 1x and 2x and frame options in both steel and aluminum, you can truly get the Rove you’ve always dreamt of for whatever size adventure you’re planning and at whatever budget best suits your needs.

Rove LTD

“This bike has it all.” “How can it get any better?” “I’m speechless. It’s perfect.” It’s not uncommon to hear people talk about the Rove LTD in similar terms. Simply put, there’s nothing left out of this thoughtfully spec’d bike. Reynolds 853 steel is the chassis for SRAM Force 1 components, our full carbon flat mount CX race disc fork, and WTB ASYM i23 wheels.

“Whether weaving through lush, green ferns like a speeder bike on Endor, or sprinting it out on the pavement, the Rove LTD felt stable without being too muted, but still playful enough to wear the Kona badge.”

– Bike Rumor

  

 

Rove NRB DL

We had fun designing the Rove NRB DL. With homage to its steel cousin, the NRB has creative geometry to allow for bigger tire clearance, and custom dropouts that are easily used with fenders. Size XS comes with smaller 40c tires. Nicely dressed with a Shimano 105 2×11 drivetrain, a carbon fork and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, the NRB DL is a unique bike that is ready for anything.

Rove NRB

Sometimes we hit a crossroads where the pavement ends, and the dirt begins. Enter the Rove NRB. 650b wheels, a carbon flat mount disc fork, and mechanical disc brakes mean that transition from pavement to dirt is seamless. Couple those features with a SRAM Apex 1x drivetrain, and the Rove NRB is begging to take you away from your traditional route and into territories unexplored.

“This rig is a go nearly anywhere and ride nearly anything drop-bar rolling fun factory.”

– Peloton Magazine

Rove ST

For those that have a love affair with steel, the Rove ST will slide rightfully near the top of your “next to buy” list. New this year, the Rove ST runs on 650b wheels that are tubeless ready right out of the box. A SRAM Rival 1 drivetrain and flat mount disc fork round out what we consider to be a killer value.

Rove DL
When the ride requires speed, it’s important to pay attention to the little details. Fenders for bad weather and 9 speed gearing provide the comfort and range needed to access any kind of road in any kind of weather. The Rove DL is the answer to your road needs no matter when and where you ride.

Rove

The intention is in the name, as the Rove is the perfect bike to use as a wandering companion. Our most traditional drop bar offering, the Rove is willing to go the distance whether on pavement, dirt, or even gravel. Outfitted with Hayes mechanical disc brakes, and a wide range of gearing, the Rove is an affordable, road-ready steed.

“Kona hasn’t pushed the boundaries of what is possible with a gravel bike, but they’ve created a bike that is happy across a broad spectrum of riding and perhaps the beginning of the reinvention of the road bike market with a focus towards more versatile and adventurous experiences.”

– Road.cc

 

Road CC Love the Kona Rove DL

Recently, the team at Road CC spent some time aboard the Kona Rove DL. They just posted this super in-depth look into the bike and breaks down the full frame spec, and overall ride of the bike. Their verdict? “Virtually all of the competition can be had for less money, but do you know what? I’d still happily pay the small premium for the Rove DL. It’s a complete package and I’d know every time I go out for a gravel blast on it or negotiate a commute in tricky weather conditions I’d have a little smug grin on my face.”

You can read the full review here.

Roving the Kootenays with Morgan and Stephanie

Rove Further Than Ever

Your rides are as varied as they come. Paved roads end and become gravel, gravel leads to doubletrack, and before you know it you’re ripping singletrack and forgetting you’re on a drop bar bike. And you love every moment of it.

Big tires and tried-and-true Rove geometry are at the heart of our new Rove LTD and Rove NRB. The Rove platform riders have loved for years as a commuter and a gravel adventurer has expanded to include new possibilities. The NRB and LTD are both spec’d with tubeless-ready 650x47c WTB Horizon tires, maintaining a similar outer diameter to a narrower 700c tire while adding the flotation and comfort of high volume.

Set up tubeless and at pressures you’d normally consider mountain bike territory, the 47c tires roll surprisingly quick on pavement, giving a ride quality that really steps outside the norm for bikes this fast. Stand up on the pedals and the efficient frames with full carbon forks do exactly what you ask of them, yet sit back and spin and you notice something’s different: road imperfections disappear underneath you while the miles disappear behind.

The high volume tires truly shine when the going gets rough. The lower pressures these tires are comfortable at makes for a natural transition to unsealed surfaces. Climbing and descending grip is improved, bumps in the road don’t feel quite as big. These characteristics can really open up a different kind of riding.

From pavement to singletrack and everywhere in between, the new Roves are a distinctly Kona take on a modern drop bar bike. We like to get rad and we hope you do too.

Roving the Kootenays with Morgan and Stephanie

Everyone has their own special place, and to Morgan and Stephanie of Found in the Mountains, that’s the Selkirk Mountains in British Columbia’s West Kootenays. For two years, these two lived in a tiny cabin on Slocan Lake just outside of New Denver, and over that time they found that a bike that could handle all types of terrain was most suited to adventuring in the area.

We set Morgan and Stephanie up with a Rove LTD and a Rove NRB DL knowing they’d seek out some special spots as former residents of this natural and undammed glacial valley. Over a couple of days, they found blissful pavement with expansive views, rail trails along the lake and through the forest, and high mountains on forest service roads.

New Denver to Idaho Peak

Idaho Peak is a classic destination for visitors to the Slocan Valley, the narrow and winding forest road leading from valley bottom to Silver Ridge and a relatively easy mile-long hike to the peak. As a riding destination, Idaho is known for its mountain biking trails which allow riders to explore the remnants of the area’s silver mining history. Yet the rail trail from New Denver to Three Forks, the dirt road through Sandon – a bustling mining town of more than 5,000 at the turn of the century, and the 12 km climb to the saddle are the perfect stage for the new Roves.
















Slocan Lake, Rosebery, and Cape Horn Bluffs

Down at lake level, the Slocan’s resource extraction history remains in the villages of New Denver and Silverton, with the old CPR rail line coming in from Nakusp to the north. The rail line now serves as a recreation corridor, and a great way to get away quickly. Across the lake, Valhalla Provincial Park is the only park in the province to protect three biogeoclimatic zones, from temperate rainforest at lake level all the way to rugged alpine peaks. Ride the lakeside, stop in for a sandwich, and head south to Cape Horn Bluffs for one of the most scenic roads in the province.








Rove Line Expansion

With the addition of three models with 650b wheels, the Rove line now comprises six models. The Rove enables you to expand your horizons and get just that little bit further out there. Head to the Rove platform page to check out all six models, and the Rove Innovation page for technical info and video.

Kona Rove ST … Jetzt mit Steckachsen und mehr Reifenfreiheit

Rove ST

Der ehrwürdige Stahlabenteurer ist zurück und bietet neben den geschmeidigen Fahreigenschaften von Stahlrahmen erlesene Komponenten mit riesigem Potenzial. In diesem Jahr bekommt das Rove ST ein CroMoly-Rahmenset mit Flat-Mount- und Steckachsenaufnahmen, sowie mehr Reifenfreiheit an den Kettenstreben, damit noch breitere Reifen reinpassen. Die großen alten Schotterreifen? Jupp. Umstellung auf großvolumige 650B Reifen? Gern. Das Rove ST behält seine SRAM Rival 1×11 Schaltung mit der großen Übersetzungsbandbreite, sowie die Tubeless-ready-Felgen und -Reifen. Wohin wird dich das Rove ST bringen? Das hängt ganz von dir ab.








Kona Rove ST… Now with Thru-Axles and More Tire Clearance

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 venerable steel Rove, further modernized…

Rove ST

Our venerable steel adventurer is back, offering that smooth steel ride and a great parts spec in a package with a whole lot of potential. This year the Rove ST gets flat mount disc brakes and thru-axles on its cromoly frame and fork, as well as more tire clearance at the chainstays to let you squeeze even more tire into it. Big ol’ gravel tires? Yep. High volume 650b conversion? Sure. The Rove ST keeps its wide-range SRAM Rival 1×11 drivetrain, and tubeless-ready wheels and tires. Where will the Rove ST take you? That’s up to your imagination.








Keep an eye here on the Cog and on Konaworld.com for new models arriving at Kona dealers every day!

Peloton Magazine says “the Kona Rove NRB defies expectations…”

“What do you do if you’re given an open-ended brief to make whatever drop-bar bike you want? If you’re a Kona Bikes’ product manager, you embrace your company’s quirky Pacific Northwest, off-beaten-path spirit and go for broke.”

Bryan Yates from Peloton Magazine joined us at our drop bar launch in Squamish a few weeks back, and got a chance to ride our new Rove NRB DL. We must agree that the Rove NRB defies expectations!

Read on at Peloton.

Sag Hallo zum Kona Rove NRB und Rove NRB DL!

Erweiterung der Kona Rove Linie

Allterrain- und Mehrzweck-Bike: Das neue Rove ist Konas Interpretation von einem modernen Alltags-Randonneur. Zwei nagelneue Rahmen bilden die Grundlage für die Erweiterung der Rove Linie: Das Flaggschiff Rove LTD weist einen Reynolds 853 Stahlrahmen auf, während das Rove NRB und NRB DL über einen leichtgewichtigen 6061 Aluminiumrahmen verfügen. Alle drei Modelle sind mit einer Vollcarbongabel mit Flat-Mount-Aufnahme für Scheibenbremsen und großvolumigen 650B-Reifen ausgestattet.

Dank WTBs neuer Serie großvolumiger Tubeless-ready-Reifen in Größe 650B fährt das Rove weiter als jemals zuvor und bewahrt zugleich seine Schnelligkeit auf glattem Untergrund. Das Rove war immer schon sowohl schnell auf dem Asphalt als auch zupackend auf vielen anderen Oberflächen, und die Ausrüstung mit Laufrädern und Reifen in 650B erweitert diese Möglichkeiten zusätzlich.

Rove NRB DL

Hast du dich schon mal gefragt, was einen modernen Randonneur ausmacht? Wenn du uns fragst, wäre es schnell auf dem Asphalt, müsste aber auch auf vielen anderen Terrains überzeugen. Steckachsen, Hydraulikbremsen und Platz für große Reifen. Das Rove NRB DL ist unsere Interpretation eines modernen Alltags-Randonneurs – unverkennbar Kona.








Rove NRB

Das Rove NRB ist die Weiterentwicklung des Bikes, das ein Gravelbike war, bevor es diese Kategorie überhaupt gab. Wir haben ein nagelneues Rahmenset einschließlich Flat-Mount- und Steckachsaufnahmen mit den legendären Kona Fahreigenschaften kombiniert und so einen modernen Randonneur geschaffen, der wieder einmal alle Grenzen überwindet.