2013 Kona Rove Chromoly Steel cyclocross touring bike

The first preview of Kona’s 2013 lineup has just ‘crossed our desks – the Rove is their all-purpose cyclocross bike that’s designed to tackle any terrain you point the wheels toward.

The frame is prepped for racks and fenders, a tall bottom bracket and a forgiving chromoly steel frame and fork. It’s designed with plenty of tire clearance, too, accommodating 45c tires in the open or 40c with fenders. It’ll come spec’d with mechanical disc brakes and retail for just $1,699 complete. Available late summer. Click on through for more pics and the build spec…

2013 Kona Rove Chromoly Steel cyclocross touring bike

2013 Kona Rove Chromoly Steel cyclocross touring bike

Straight leg chromoly fork. Is it just us, or does the unfinished look totally rock?

2013 Kona Rove Chromoly Steel cyclocross touring bike

2013 Kona Rove Chromoly Steel cyclocross touring bike

Spec/frame Highlights:

  • Sram Apex drivetrain with 36-46t, 11-32t gearing and 110mm BCD
  • 44cm Kona Road bar
  • Kona Cromoly straight blade fork, with oversized crown, low-rider mounts, and IS disc mounts
  • 700x35c Freedom Ryder tires
  • Hayes V-Series CX-5 mechanical disc brakes with 140mm rotors
  • Key geometry numbers: 435mm chainstays, 73° seat tube, 72° headtube, and a 58.5cm toptube (size 59cm).
  • It’s also important to note that the frame will accept a 700x45c tire without fenders, or a 40c with fenders
  • Six sizes: 47, 49, 53, 56, 59, 61cm

More on their COG blog.


  1. The fender mounts are terrible, they look like a complete after thought. For starters, the distance between tire and rear seat stay bridge and tire and underside of fork are different. They should be the same. also there’s no attachment point on the underside of the bridge or the underside of the fork. I know most people these days use L clips to attach fenders but just because most people do it that way doesn’t mean it’s the best way. Bolting directly to the bridge/underside of fork crown is more secure and than using a L clips and also results in longer lasting fenders. That’s kind of important if you’re going to be riding on gravel roads. Fenders are one place where the frame builders from 50 years were a lot smarter than the frame builders of today.

  2. Also what’s the point of the eyelet on the fork tip? No way you’re going to mount a fender or rack with it in that position. The scallop of the fork tip and close proximity of the skewer don’t leave enough room for fender hardware.

  3. Kona, hope you’re listening! Generally speaking, this looks like a well thought out machine, and should make for an ideal gravel grinder. Apart from Chris’ excellent suggestions above, I think a few other detail changes are really needed before production:
    Dual rear eyelets for separate fender and rack attachment.
    No way a 140mm front rotor is large enough. Go with a 160mm minimum, please!
    And as an aside, I hope the middle sizes will come with a 172.5mm crank.

  4. You do realize this is still a prototype, right?

    The L clip method is the most prevalent, even if it isn’t your favorite way to mount them. Got any links to more info on your preferred fender mounting method, or any manufacturers that include that mount stock?

    The fork tip eyelet is certainly usable on the disc side as long as you have a spacer, which are easily sourced. The majority of fenders are able to use that mounting point. Besides, fender hardware is just a bolt and washer, there’s plenty of room for that.



    Looks like another delicious and affordable bike from Kona. Good job, guys.

    No unicrown fork though plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  6. nice work Kona, sure beats the heck out of the dew drop…can’t wait for full production. Gotta agree with jesus, no unicrown fork.

  7. “does the unfinished look totally rock?”

    That is an interesting question. What is the typical unit cost of a paint job for a bike like this?

  8. @ APS Biker:

    Yes, L clip is the preferred method but again, that doesn’t make it the best. As for who does it the way I suggested, well a short list would start with Rene Herse and Alex Singer. Ever hear of them? It would also include modern builders such as JP Weigle and Sacha White. Pretty sure these guys know what they’re doing, especially JP. There are 60 year old bikes using this method of fender mounting that are still going strong despite daily use. I can promise you that by using an L-clip you won’t get anywhere near that lifespan before either the fenders or clip crack and fail due to the vibrations from riding. Direct mounting also greatly reduces the rattling and buzzing noises from fenders. Believe it or not it is possible to have silent fenders, even when riding over gravel or cobblestones. There are a few modern production frames that get this right – Rawland and Boulder being good examples. Keep in mind, proper mounts don’t add any real cost to the bike so why not do something the best way possible?

    Yes, you can use a spacer on the front but it’s a really bad idea, especially on a bike meant to be ridden on gravel. Vibrations will eventually cause it to work loose. Personally I don’t want my fenders coming undone mid-ride.

    Companies use the L-clip method because it’s cheaper and easier at the shop level. That and a lot of product managers simply don’t know any better because they’re background is based more in road racing or MTB. Direct mount fenders take longer to install and that’s bad news in a factory setting. Same reason factories embraced threadless headsets and more recently pressed in bottom bracket bearings (though I have to say I’m quite happy to see threaded headsets go away!) Like so many other “innovations”, these things are not done because they’re better for the rider but rather because they’re cheaper.

    BTW I do like that Kona put the read caliper on the chain stay rather than the seat stay.

  9. Overall, this looks awesome. A few drawbacks (IMHO):
    – Cable routing should be on top of the top tube.
    – The oversized headtube for the integrated headsaet looks goofy with the small tubing of the fork. Either put a thicker tubed carbon fork on, or use a traditional 1/8 pressed headset with a smaller headtube.
    – the disc brakes are sweet but put mounts for rim brakes option too!

What do you think?