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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

Le nuove Kona Unit a Unit X

Cos’è meglio di Uno?

Dal bikepacking al singletracking, su per salite vertiginose o giù per discese a rotta di collo, la Unit è una mountain bike assolutamente versatile costruita in acciaio Reynolds 520 cromoly. Nata come una trail bike singlespeed, nell’ultimo anno la Unit è diventata ancora più versatile grazie alle ruote 27.5+ . Protagonista del cortometraggio Not Far From Home che ha meritato il riconoscimento di Video Del Mese su Vimeo.

E ora abbiamo non uno ma due modelli di Unit per saziare il tuo desiderio di una adventure bike versatile in acciaio. Quest’anno il telaio Unit ha un passaggio cavi migliorato – lungo il tubo orizzontale e per i foderi posteriori – e un reggisella telescopico da 31,6mm con passaggio cavi interno. E sia la Unit che la Unit X hanno cerchi WTB Scraper i40 con copertoni WTB Ranger 27.5×2.8”. Passa a vederle dal tuo negoziante Kona di fiducia!

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La Unit è stata per lungo tempo la nostra singletrack in acciaio Reynolds 520, adattabile agli utilizzi più disparati e resa ancora più versatile dall’aggiunta delle ruote da 27.5+. Per la prima volta vi proponiamo una Unit con un gruppo cambio – uno SRAM NX 1X11 per l’esattezza – e siamo davvero entusiasti delle opportunità che si aprono. Sia che tu stia cercando una bici per divertirti lungo i sentieri o che tu stia cercando un perfetto attrezzo da bikepacking, la Unit X è






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Tu sei un artista, e la Unit è la tua tela. Una macchina da singletrack monomarcia?  Yeah! Equipaggiata per un giro notturno o per una impegnativa avventura bikepacking? Yeah! La possibilità di aggiungere qualsiasi gruppo ti piaccia? Yeah! L’acciaio Reynolds 520 assicura l’inconfondibile comfort nella pedalata, e la semplicità del gruppo single speed non pone limiti alle tue possibilità. Perché tu vuoi farlo come piace a te, e noi ne siamo entusiasti.



 

 

Presentamos la nueva Kona Unit y Unit X

Qué es mejor que uno?

Desde Bikepacking hasta Senderismo, con alternativas, o minimalista, la Unit es una versátil bici de montaña hecha en acero Reynolds 520. Desde su raíz como bici de sendero con una sola velocidad, la Unit se volvió aún mas versátil el año pasado al recibir ruedas 27,5”+ el año pasado, que fue cuando apareció en nuestro corto Not Far From Home, que fue premiado con el Vimeo Staff Pick.

Y ahora, no tenemos solo una, sino dos modelos Unit para saciar tus deseos por una bici de acero capaz de aventuras. Este año la Unit recibe una actualización en sus pasadas de cable, ahora por el tubo horizontal y luego por los tirantes, también hemos cambiado la tija por una d 31,6mm y hemos dejado todo dispuesto para montar una tija telescópica con cableado interior. Ambas Unit vienen de serie con neumáticos WTB Ranger 27,5×2,8” tubeless ready montados sobre llantas WTB Scraper i40. Anda a conocerlas donde tu revendedor mas cercano!

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La Unit lleva tiempo como nuestra destructora de senderos en Reynolds 520, adaptable para una amplia variedad de tareas y ahora aún más versátil gracias a las ruedas 27,5+. Por primera vez estamos ofreciendo una Unit con cambios, específicamente con SRAM NX 1×11, y realmente nos emociona pensar en las oportunidades que se abren con esta configuración.  Ya sea como una vivaz y alegre bici de sendero, o como una bestia de carga para el bikepacking, la Unit X está lista para la acción.






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Eres un artista, y la Unit es tu lienzo. Máquina de senderos? Si. Cargada para una salida con acampada? o una semana de bikepacking? oh si. Ponerle la transmisión que se te ocurra? si que si. El cromoly Reynolds 520 le confiere ese andar inconfundiblemente suave, y la simplicidad de la transmisión de una sola velocidad te hace mantener todas las opciones abiertas. Porque tu quieres hacerlo a tu manera, y porque a nosotros nos gusta eso.



 

 

Jetzt neu: das Kona Unit und Unit X

Was ist besser als eins?

Von Langstrecke zu Singletrack, ob voll ausgerüstet oder nur mit dem Wesentlichen versehen, das Unit ist ein vielseitiges, aus Reynolds 520 Cromoly geschmiedetes Mountainbike. Seit seinen Ursprüngen als Singlespeed-Trailbike wurde das Unit dank der Ausstattung mit 27″-Laufrädern im vergangenen Jahr noch vielseitiger – zu sehen in unseren Kurzfilm Not Far From Home, der als Vimeo Staff Pick ausgewählt wurde.

Und jetzt haben wir nicht nur ein, sondern zwei Unit-Modelle, um euren Wunsch nach einem leistungsstarken Stahl-Abenteuerrad zu erfüllen! Der diesjährige Rahmen des Unit erhält eine aktualisierte Schaltzugverlegung entlang des Oberrohrs und der Sattelstrebe, sowie eine 31,6 mm Sattelstütze mit interner Zugverlegung für Vario-Sattelstützen. Und sowohl das Unit als auch das Unit X fahren WTB Ranger TCS 27,5×2,8“ Tubeless-ready-Reifen auf WTB Scraper i40 Felgen. Teste sie bei deinem örtlichen Händler!

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Das Unit war lange Zeit unser Reynolds 520 Singletrack-Schredder, vielseitig einsetzbar und mit 27,5+ Reifen noch variabler. Jetzt bringen wir zum ersten Mal ein Unit mit Schaltung raus – eine SRAM NX 1×11, um genau zu sein – und wir sind von den neuen Möglichkeiten, die es bietet, echt begeistert. Egal ob du ein verspieltes Trailbike suchst oder ein Bikepacking-Ross fürs Hinterland – das Unit X ist bereit fürs Abenteuer.






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Du bist ein Künstler, und das Unit ist deine Leinwand. Eine Singlespeed-Maschine für den Singletrack? Jupp. Bepackt für einen schnellen Overnighter oder einen ausgedehnten Bikepacking-Trip? Jupp. Und man kann sich die Schaltung selbst aussuchen? Jupp. Der Reynolds 520 CroMoly-Rahmen sorgt für das unverkennbar geschmeidige Fahrgefühl, und die einfache Technik des Singlespeed-Antriebs lässt dir alle Optionen. Weil du es so machen willst, wie es dir gefällt – und für uns ist das okay.



 

 

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.






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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!

Winter Bikepacking with the Kona Sutra LTD and Unit

Words and photos by Morgan Taylor.

This past weekend being a long weekend here in BC, myself and some friends decided it would be a good idea to head out for our first overnight of the year. With overnight temperatures near freezing it was sure to be a cold wake up call, but the weather forecast was for sunny days, and we headed out with good spirits to meander the Sunshine Coast and hang out with good people.

I’ve recently put together a Sutra LTD, which happens to be the perfect size for my sweet polka dot Porcelain Rocket frame bag. Add the matching seat pack, a front rack with Monkey Wrench Cycles basket bag, my trusty Ortlieb panniers, and a set of full fenders, and the Sutra is quite the all-weather hauler!

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My friend Pat was stoked to get out for the first fully loaded trip on his new bike, which happens to be the only European-model Unit on this side of the Atlantic. He’s outfitting the powder blue Unit for an extended trip on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route this summer, with an 11-speed drivetrain on the way and a dialed bikepacking setup coming together piece by piece.

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To see the rest of the portraits from this set, head over to The Radavist.

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Kona’s “Not Far From Home” Featured on Bikepacking.com’s 2016 Bikepacking Awards

We only released Not Far From Home earlier this week, yet it’s been making waves with its excellent cinematography and editing all wrapped into a relatable story that makes you want to explore your own back yard.

We’re honored to be featured alongside some great films in the Cinematography category of Bikepacking.com’s 2016 Bikepacking Awards. Head over to Bikepacking.com to see the list.

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Not Far From Home with Erkki Punttila

Our Finnish friend Erkki Punttila is quite the character. Through his blog, PackGoFind, he approaches his bikepacking excursions and his position on Kona’s Super Grassroots team with a straightforward manner and plenty of dry humor. We set Erkki off with a new Kona Unit for an adventure “not far from home”. Below you’ll find the video from his trip, as well as some tips, Erkki style, for your own overnight trips – even if they’re not far from home.

Words by Erkki Punttila. Photos by Teemu Lautamies.

THE CALLING

I really love exploring new places with my bike, but I also constantly hear the call of the sea – why not combine the best of both worlds? First enjoy a nice evening cruise and then hit the trails with your lights on and find a peaceful spot to camp. My boat is an old fishing boat and has a 5.4 litre truck engine from 1972 that has proven to be quite “reliable”. They are somewhat simple machines after you get to know the basics of maintenance and repair. Just like bikes. Remember your first wheel build? Slightly scary at first, but very rewarding at the end.

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INTO THE NIGHT

On longer bikepacking trips it would be ideal to find a camp site before the sun goes down. It just makes things easier. But sometimes it’s fun to ride in a pitch black forest with your lights blazing. Your focus shifts from the scenery to the trail and its obstacles. And what better way is there to scare yourself shitless than startling a sleeping moose just a few meters from you?

A few tips for night riding:

– Set up your lights before it gets dark. Then you can just turn them on and keep going.
– Know your gear. How long does the battery run on low/medium/full power?
– Conserve power. On roads you can use the low setting on your lights and then turn it up when the trail gets nasty.
– Always have a backup light source so you can continue if one fails. Probably the best option is to have a hub dynamo powered light for riding and recharging your GPS/phone/headlamp during the day. And a good quality waterproof headlamp for camp activities.
– Know where your gear is. Try to memorize all of your stuff when packing and always pack things in the same place. You can then find spare batteries or your multitool even with your eyes closed.
– Pack wisely. Having your shelter in one place with easy access is nice. I keep my tent as the first thing in the handlebar bag along with a dry base layer. Dry clothes, shelter, food, sleep.

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FLOW

If you are planning to get big miles in for the day your only choice is to get up early and get going. There is no way around that. But sometimes it is utter bliss not to have a plan at all. Sleep as long as you feel like. Enjoy breakfast and coffee. Get going when you feel like it and do it for as long as it’s good. Have a break, take a nap. Eat warm food, look at birds – whatever makes you happy.

Steps to a quick getaway:

Set up everything for a quick start before going to sleep. I fill my Jetboil with the right amount of water for porridge and coffee and keep it on standby in the tent’s vestibule. Have all the food you plan to eat ready (but don’t do this in bear country!). Then, this:

1. Make sure your alarm goes off loud as f@ck in the far end of the tent so you’re forced to get up to turn it off
2. Open the valve of your air mattress
3. Get up and light up Jetboil
4. Shut off the alarm
5. Put on riding clothes
6. Stuff sleeping bag
7. By now the water is boiling. Pour it into your favourite titanium cup and add porridge flakes. Eat and scrape the sides with your spork. Pour more hot water and add instant coffee.
8. Since the coffee is likely too hot, pack your stuff and roll up your sleeping mattress while it cools.
9. Enjoy your coffee. It also cleans your mug from the porridge. Kind of.
10. Stuff your gear into your seat and frame bag, then take down the tent and pack it along with your dry base layer.
11. Enjoy your 15 minutes of fame.

Tips for big days:

– Eat light and fast in the morning. Ride for about 1-2 hours, take a dump and have a second breakfast 🙂
– Have food ready on your stem bags to eat on the go.
– Eat something once per hour even you don’t feel hungry. You don’t really need a big lunch break, just keep on going and remember to eat.
– Hydration is key. I always have one bottle with electrolytes and one with plain water. On longer legs I fill them from my bladder or other source and try to keep the balance.
– Your favourite candy and something salty like beef jerky is good motivational food.
– If you eat at a restaurant or gas station during the day, don’t eat in. Order 3 hamburgers and a coke, eat one standing and continue with the two burgers in your jersey pockets. The satisfaction of eating a cheeseburger while coasting along a gravel road at 25km/h is heaven.

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CLIMAX

Every trip comes to an end unfortunately. If you have a specific goal that you want to reach, why not celebrate a bit when you reach it? A mountain top, a tough hike-a-bike, a big climb, a 200km day, whatever – reward yourself and maybe take a picture of it. Later on you won’t remember all the details of the suffering, but you will feel the sense of accomplishment and have a great story to tell. Just go out there and do it your way.

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For this adventure, Erkki rode our Swiss Army knife, the Unit, in completely stock form. With its Reynolds 520 steel frame and single speed drivetrain, the Unit has been a mainstay in the Kona line for years and for 2017 we’ve given it some updates that only expand its versatility. Five bottle cages and room for 27.5+ wheels – which now come stock on the bike – will enable you to get out there whether you’re looking for a singletrack ripper or the foundation of a solid bikepacking setup. The powder blue Unit in the video is available in Europe, while North America gets down with matte olive green. Get all the details on the Unit here.

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