Kona Libre

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Release Year
Wheel Size
Number of Gears
Gearing Type
22.9, 24.03 lb
Frame Material

Summary of Reviews

We have read all expert and user reviews on the Kona Libre. In summary, this is what cyclists think.

15 reasons to buy

  • The Libre is available in three builds: aluminum, CR (carbon), and CR/DL (carbon deluxe).
  • Five frame sizes cover riders from 4'10" to 6'5".
  • Experts agree the aluminum Libre offers “great value.”
  • Multiple reviewers describe the bike as a solid "all-rounder."
  • This bike earns high marks from testers for its comfort.
  • This bike is compatible with 650b wheels.
  • Experts highlight the high stack, which creates a very upright, "comfortable" riding position.
  • The Libre has bento box mounts, three-pack cage mounts, three water bottle bosses, and mounts for a rear rack.
  • Reviewers appreciates the "confident," "stable" ride thanks in part to the long wheelbase and chainstays.
  • Experts say the "wide" handlebars offer "a lot of control off-road" and ample space for a bar bag.
  • Testers praise the damping and grip of the Maxxis Rambler 45mm tires, allowing the rider to "take some great trajectories."
  • Experts say the TRP hybrid hydraulic disc brakes work well (aluminum, CR builds) and are easy to adjust.
  • According to one tester, the capable Libre could "replace a hardtail mountain bike.
  • An expert thinks swapping the tires would turn the Libre into a good road bike.
  • The Libre CR/DL has a dropper post; the others are dropper-ready.

5 reasons not to buy

  • One expert describes the acceleration as "sluggish." Another feels the Libre isn't suited to terrain with lots of stops and starts.
  • Testers are disappointed by the tire clearance, saying the rear won't fit anything wider than 45mm.
  • Reviewers feel the 40t, 11-42t gearing (aluminum, CR/DL) isn't low enough for steep climbs or loaded riding.
  • The aluminum Libre's "greater weight" and "lack of responsiveness" mean it isn't a gravel bike for the speed-conscious rider.
  • A tester complains that the handlebars are "too hard" for their liking.

Bottom line

The Libre is Kona's "all-rounder" gravel and adventure bike, available in three builds: two carbon and one aluminum. Experts relish the stable, confident ride, wide handlebars, and capable tires, which make this bike well-suited to aggressive off-road riding. These characteristics, the comfortable geometry, and ample mounting points lend well to bikepacking, light touring, or commuting. The Libre's biggest drawbacks are its limited tire clearance and gearing, though the Libre CR has a broader 2x10 gear range. Additionally, the lack of responsiveness will deter speed-focused gravel riders. No expert reviews of Libre CR or CR/DL were available, but testers consider the aluminum Libre a great value do-it-all gravel bike.

Expert Reviews

80/100 based on 3 rated expert reviews
This review has been given a score. Read more here
Hiker Biker Omar

Should You Buy the 2021 Kona Libre Al?

… I think the Kona Libre… is an excellent choice, and I highly recommend it.

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Kona Libre AL Test

Extreme off-road capability, that’s what the Kona is designed for. It can replace a hardtail mountain bike and impresses with its agility and robustness.

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Bike Café

Kona Libre: Gravel Fun on a Budget [French]

I was taken aback by the bike’s heavier weight and lack of responsiveness on hills… really enjoyed this Canadian gravel bike, which will suit a lot of riders: beginners looking for a good brand, great value for money… riders looking for a versatile bike…

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The Path Less Pedaled

Kona’s Best All-Rounder? – Kona Libre Aluminum

I think that with a simple swap, it’s going to be all the road bike that anyone who’s not racing would ever need. It’s stable, it’s comfortable, it’s got all sorts of utility… I think it’s a great all-round bike.

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Wombat Vision

Kona Libre Al 2022 Quick Look

All in all, a nice comfortable bike with lots of mounting options for both racks and bikepacking bags and capable of handling everything but the roughest of tracks; basically everything a good all-round gravel bike should be.
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Test: Kona Libre [Czech]

… a very interesting all-rounder suitable for both tourers and sport riders.

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User Ratings

0/100 based on 0 ratings
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Compared to other bikes
#48 Best Gravel - Adventure
Bottom 40%
#21 Best Touring
Bottom 50%
#3 Best Kona Bike
Bottom 30%
#460 Best of All Bikes
Bottom 40%

Bike Comparison

Kona Libre in comparison to averages

Forum Discussions

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