Kona Rove

86/100
BikeRide Score
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Facts

Gender
Release Year
Brand
Wheel Size
Number of Gears
Gearing Type
Weight
27.00, 22.50, 25.70, 26.83, 22.50 lb
Suspension
Frame Material

Summary of Reviews

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

15 reasons to buy

  • Despite their differences, all Kona’s Roves performed well on and off-road.
  • Ride quality was portrayed positively, as being stable and neutral.
  • Whether aluminum or steel, with or without a carbon fork – the Rove gave a comfortable ride.
  • Schwalbe Delta Cruiser tires had 3mm thick puncture protection and were good on or off-road. WTB Asyms were grippy and comfortable.
  • An all-weather bike; the Rove performed well in mud, loose gravel, water and snow.
  • Some experts said aluminum frames didn’t feel harsh. Steel models were comfortable and resilient.
  • Internal cabling ensured a clean appearance.
  • The Shimano Sora drivetrain represented good value on the DL.
  • Wheels? Abuse was handled by strong 32-hole WTB SX19 rims paired to Formula hubs.
  • The Kona-branded saddle was well-shaped, with a decent amount of padding.
  • The 44cm, flared Kona handlebar was comfortable for certain expert testers.
  • Tire clearance on the Swift left room for fat tires and mudguards.
  • In terms of color, the “Matt Sage” struck owners as highly attractive.
  • It was the opinion of one expert, that the NRB climbed well.
  • On the NRB, brown bar-tape and buffalo / arrow graphics were nice touches.

7 reasons not to buy

  • Although durable, WTB wheels left an expert with a heavy, ‘dead’ feel.
  • The DL model tested was equipped with QR skewers, not thru-axles.
  • TRP Spyre brakes apparently lacked bite and stopping power.
  • On the NRB DL, component spec-level sometimes diappointed.
  • The steel Swift felt heavy, more like a tourer than a gravel rig.
  • For some, the narrow handlebar wasn’t comfortable on longer rides.
  • An expert said the aluminum fork was chattery on the rough stuff.

Bottom line

Kona’s Rove range serve as commuters, adventure, gravel and road bikes. The higher-end models (NRB DL, LTD) are built around 650b wheels with fatter, ‘road-plus’ tires. Other commuter models are designed with 700c hoops in mind. Frames are available in either steel or aluminum (with or without a carbon fork). The bike has a cult following but experts definitely give mixed reviews. Frames are complimented, but componentry on higher-end models is sometimes seen as underspecced and overpriced. The safest bet seems to lie with the steel models (ST and Swift).

Expert Reviews

76/100 based on 5 rated expert reviews
80

Kona Rove LTD 2021

After riding a number of steel-framed bikes of this style lately I’d say that the Kona offers one of the best ride qualities I’ve found. The geometry is absolutely bang on for the gravel – and it’s no slouch when it transfers to the tarmac.

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80

Kona Rove DL

Kona says that the Rove is a multi-purpose, multi-surface drop-bar bike and that really does sum it up. It works everywhere, on the same day, on the same ride.

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80
crazyguyonabike

2020 Kona Rove ST

I can see this bike as a great all around machine, commuter during the week and bike packing or light(er) touring on the weekends. Personally? I would opt for a beefier rear wheel for more serious touring loads though. Long & short of it? I really REALLY like this bicycle!

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65
off-road.cc

Kona Rove NRB

Let me start by saying that this is a very capable bike… Infuriatingly, the poor braking holds it back.

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Review: Kona Rove NRB DL

The Rove is a great off-road bike, but it is not built to score KOMs. In numbers: 70 percent adventure, 30 percent gravel.

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The Path Less Pedaled

Review: Kona Rove NRB DL

Is it a good bike? Does it run well? Is it a fun bike? It definitely ticks all those boxes.

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The Path Less Pedaled

Your Next Adventure Bike? (Swift x Kona Rove)

…a pretty solid bike. Out of the box, I think it makes an awesome commuter. It makes a good lightweight tourer.

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Gran Fondo

Ready for the Island – Kona Libre & Kona Rove LTD. in Review

The Rove LTD loves long distances, gravel tracks and demanding terrain… the steel frame and progressive geometry. .. goes beyond the usual gravel and racing standards, the handling is nimble and sporty.

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Bikepacking.com

Rider and Rig: Ryan Santoski’s Kona Rove

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.

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The Kona Rove Is a Cheap, Go-Anywhere Gravel Bike We Love

Over a rolling loop that saw pavement, dirt, gravel, and frighteningly sharp rocks, weight was the last thing on my mind. Instead, I was thinking about where I could take the Rove next.

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User Ratings

95/100 based on 4 ratings
  • 5 star
    75%
  • 4 star
    25%
  • 3 star
    0%
  • 2 star
    0%
  • 1 star
    0%

Rankings

Compared to other bikes
#40 Best Gravel - Adventure
Bottom 50%
#39 Best Bikepacking
Bottom 50%
#2 Best Kona Bike
Top 50%
#387 Best of All Bikes
Bottom 50%

Bike Comparison

Kona Rove in comparison to averages

Forum Discussions

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