Kona Continues Their Adventure Cycling Domination With the Affordable Rove Lineup

As winter approaches, cyclists have to hang up their wheels for a few months and head indoors to VR cycling sessions and all that. However, for those of us who like the pinch of cold on our cheeks and even sliding around on occasional patches of ice, Kona Bicycles has the new Rove lineup.
Rove 18 photos
Photo: Kona Bikes
RoveRove LTDRove DLRove DLRove DLRove LTDRove LTDRove DLRoveRove LTDRove DLRoveRoveRove DLRove LTDRove DLRove DL
Folks, if the name Kona sounds familiar to you, it's because this crew has been around since 1988, hailing from Vancouver, British Columbia, but with global headquarters in Washington state. If you're from North America, you've surely seen a Kona around your neighborhood. Come to think of it, even the folks over in Europe, Asia, and even Australia can get in on the Kona action.

That said, let's dive a tad deeper into one of this brand's newest additions to their family, another three bikes built upon the same do-it-all framework, the Rove. Oh, and before we go on, let me point out that Kona's Rove class is all about adventures, whether they be gravel crunching under your wheels, smooth-as-silk asphalt, and even some light trails, roots included.

Now, each of the three variations is built around a butted chromoly frame, meaning it's going to be flexible yet strong and, best of all, won't tear a hole in your bank account. For example, the standard Rove cruises in with a price tag of just $1,600 (€1,500 at current exchange rates), low enough for a number of new riders to get into the gravel/adventure game and low enough for veterans to test out what Kona's put together. Heck, it might even become your won't-feel-bad-if-it-breaks two-wheeler.

Photo: Kona Bikes
Sure, for this budget, don't expect the most amazing components to be strapped to the Rove, but you'll still understand what the lineup is all about. If you do want to max out your credit card, the Rove LTD is the option you might want. Since this is the decked-out version, we can dive deeper into it.

Overall, this version is equipped with a carbon front fork, and your choice of drivetrain dictates the rest; you can go for a Shimano GRX or SRAM Apex setup. While most manufacturers seem to only use one component brand or the other, it looks like Kona lets us mix and match, helping us find that perfect sweet spot in control, speed, and the ability to ride as far and as up the greatest hill possible.

Personally, I'd go for an SRAM drivetrain, but throw on a pair of GRX 600 brakes; I hope my mechanic friends will forgive me when I stroll into their shop and ask for such a setup. I'd definitely keep the Maxxis Rambler EXO tires until they wear out or adapt my rubber to the terrain I plan on riding.

Rove DL
Photo: Kona Bikes
Now, components and all aside, the Rove, as its name would suggest, is all about crossing long distances and making it to your destination, wherever that may be. With that in mind, let's go on a little daydream and picture what your life may be like with this bike.

During the week, you'll wake up as you typically do, and after breakfast and getting dressed, you open your garage door to the dawn of a new day. As the door slides upward, the sun strikes your Rove's paint job, and as you're putting on your helmet, you stare at your hunk of steel beauty. Since you've fitted the rear with a cargo rack, throw on your backpack or bag, secure it, and off you go. Here's where the fun begins.

Riding along, you see one of the big parks in your neighborhood, and typically, your road bike or cruiser wouldn't allow you to venture into this neck of the woods, but you don't this time either, as you're headed to work. But, you've taken note that now you can, and on your way back, you hit up the park, all its little unpaved trails, and finally ride up to some hill to watch the sunset. Thank god for that leftover sandwich from lunch.

Rove LTD
Photo: Kona Bikes
You hang out here for a while, watch the birds flying overhead, listening to the sounds of your city, and once you've had your fill, you hop back on your steel steed and bomb the hell out of that hill! Always remember that helmet. Your week will probably be filled with numerous moments such as these; maybe even switch it up with a coffee or tea at a local cafe.

But it's the weekend that the Rove is really built for. Come Saturday morning, you'll open up the garage door as any other day in the week, but this time, you'll be adding some cargo bags to the front fork, top tube, and even handlebars, all of them filled with the necessities to camp out overnight on the edge of town or however far your legs manage to take you.

You leave your home, meet up with a couple of other adventuring riders such as yourself, and two days later, you take off the bags and get ready for the upcoming week. Not a bad existential loop. Sure, I can go on painting numerous pictures of what your life with Kona's Rove may be like, but you should just head down to a local dealership and try the puppy out. Make sure to bring your checkbook, just in case.
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Editor's note: Images in the gallery include all three variations of the Rove.

About the author: Cristian Curmei
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A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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