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  1. #1
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    Kona Rove ST experience

    So I am thinking about getting the Kona Rove ST since I can get it new for around 1100$ which is at the top of my budget.

    Wanted to see if anyone that has experience riding this bike has any Pros or Cons or just there personal thoughts on the bike?

    I wanted a steel frame bike good for the road but also good for gravel paths and minor easy single track.

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I own the bike since 2 months and have written a lot about it in this thread inside the Kona forum:

    Kona Rove 2016 - wihich framesize?

    read the second latest post for a recap of my overall experience so far.

  3. #3
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    Thanks a lot that's a big help. So your saying that the brakes are not good that come on the bike correct? Also my issue is that it goes from 51-54cm sizing so I'm a but is ire which to go with because 54 in the surly cross check was to big but I couldn't imagine I'm a 51cm.

    Guess I got some figuring to do.

  4. #4
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    I cannot imagine either as you conveniently didn't say anything about your body measurements.
    Don't be deceived by size numbers alone and better compare the full geometry charts of both bikes but if you're smaller than me (180/88inseam) the 54 will probably be too big for you.

    Concerning the brakes, both pads were glazed. I originally just sanded them but later swapped them out for new ones and painstakingly followed the bedding in procedure this time.

  5. #5
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    Oh yeah sorry that would help, I have about a 29.5"-30" inseam and am about 5'7" tall. Assuming your measurements are in Cm? Maybe the 51cm frame will be best fit for me

  6. #6
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    yes, according to Kona sizing chart the 51 is your size and I'm inclined to agree.

  7. #7
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    Thanks a lot for your help and your post about the bike helped a lot.

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    Ok so I've narrowed it down to Kona bike since I can get a good deal and they sound like a great bike. I was pretty set on the Rove ST but today I spoke with someone at Kona and they had recommended the Sutra or the Sutra LTD since I mentioned having a set of larger tires which I didn't realize you can only get up to a 38 on the Rove ST does anyone happen to have any experience with the sutra model or just any advice on the difference between the two of them?
    Thanks

  9. #9
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    The Sutra is a heavy duty touring bike with an overbuild steel frame designed to carry higher loads.

    here's a quote thats taken from the comments sections of following article:
    http://theradavist.com/2016/02/throw...morgan-taylor/

    No idea on the weight, but it's not especially light. I'd say the biggest difference is the tubeset. The Sutra uses heavier tubes to make it more stable when loaded up with bags. The Rove has a shorter rear end at 435 vs 445, so that will also make its handling a bit snappier. I think you are right that the Rove doesn't fit as much tire, putting it in the light rando / gravel category more than the Sutra's touring / bikepacking bias.
    So it eventually all comes down to your intended use. I initially considered the Sutra Ltd as well but quickly dropped the idea after reading that the tires alone are twice the weight. It's more of a light mountain bike with a drop bar than a rugged up roadbike (e.g. "Gravelbike") with wider tires that the Rove ST is.

    I don't know who you talked to at Kona but the Rove ST frame has plenty clearance for 40mm/42mm tires, if you want to go even wider and consider bikepacking/touring or trail riding a serious option maybe the Sutra, the Marin Four Corners or a lightweight 29er Mountainbike may be the better option.

  10. #10
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    Thanks again for the help, know if I can get a 40mm or 42mm on the Rove that would be great. I just know I would like to have a set of 40s at least for when I do plan on going mainly gravel and a little tougher trails.

  11. #11
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    For tougher trails you're better off with a 27.5" Mountainbike. Yes you can theoretically ride them with the Rove too depending on your skills but it's not nearly as fun. I posted some pictures in the other thread.

    The Rove is more for long distance road riding / gravel grinding where it's far more comfortable and beats all my mountain bikes hands down.

  12. #12
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    Kona Rove ST experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Steel Calf View Post
    For tougher trails you're better off with a 27.5" Mountainbike. Yes you can theoretically ride them with the Rove too depending on your skills but it's not nearly as fun. I posted some pictures in the other thread.

    The Rove is more for long distance road riding / gravel grinding where it's far more comfortable and beats all my mountain bikes hands down.
    What was your opinion on the stock tires that came on the rove? I went ahead and ordered the 51cm Rove ST

  13. #13
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    Oh you finally ordered - good choice!
    I'm pretty sure 51 is the right size for you.

    I recommend you swapping the brakes for TRP Spyres as these Hayes piece of shit brakes are a technological monstrosity. I wish I would have done it right away but decided to give them a chance - big mistake to trust a product from such a looser company.

    The stock tires a Kona specific 30TPI low cost version of the very popular Clement Xplor USH and so far I like them a lot. They're the perfect compromise for both road and gravel riding as long as it stays dry. I just completed my first 1000km and they still look fresh.

    Pressure wise I run them quite low at 2.2bar front and 2.6bar rear, put in more air and the ride gets too harsh. Still unsure if the low TPI count could have something to do with it? (a low TPI makes the tire casing less flexible in theory)

    Now I wonder how they'd compare with the 120TPI version, e.g. if you'd actually feel a difference??

  14. #14
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    Thanks so much for the help, do you recommend a place to buy the Trp Spyres?

  15. #15
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    You just have to figure out which online store is the best to order from considering your residence.
    Use Google or ask fellow riders in your area. You could order them from JensonUSA for example. I do live in Austria and order all my stuff in Germany so I cannot give you any recommendations.

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    Oh didn't realize you were not in the US. Sounds good, I'll figure it out. I'm just getting into biking so I'm pretty useless when It comes to knowing what to order.

  17. #17
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    I have been running the stock Hayes on my 2014 Rove for almost three years. I ride road, gravel, cross, tour, and technical single track on my Rove. The brakes have never been an issue for me. Rather solid.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by knl2stl View Post
    I have been running the stock Hayes on my 2014 Rove for almost three years. I ride road, gravel, cross, tour, and technical single track on my Rove. The brakes have never been an issue for me. Rather solid.
    Ok thanks a lot, good to know.

    What exactly was your issues with them Steel Calf?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by travisvt View Post
    Ok thanks a lot, good to know.

    What exactly was your issues with them Steel Calf?
    The stock brake pads got quickly glazed and started making scratch noises. I swapped them for a fresh pair of koolstop pads and painstakingly bedded them in according to instructions. Yet they quickly got glazed again. So I thought about contamination of the discs this time and cleaned them with alcohol / sanded the surface. I then cooked the pads on a stove (in order ro vaporize any possible soaked up oil) and sanded off the glazed surface. Now after just a few miles they got glazed again. I double checked the alignment of the calliper and don't see any other possible remaining cause apart from the brake design itself, which is obviously technically inferior to the TRP Spyres.

  20. #20
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    Even though there's obviously not a lot of buzz around the Rove here I decided to report back one last time:

    I've just completed 1200km with the bike. Spend 65hours riding it so far and climbed 9351metres altogether. On the right terrain it's just so much faster than my MTB that my "operating range" has about doubled. I can now reach regions on a day roundtrip that have been too far away for the MTB in the past.

    The bike just fits me great the way it is setup with the 90mm stem and still all spacers underneath. I feel very comfortable with the slightly streched out riding position over longer distances.
    On some gravel sections I used to ride with my MTB it now kinda feels as if I'm "flying" over them!

    Most of the time I'm either stuck in the 3 highest or 2 lowest gears depending on which terrain I'm riding, so even the increased 380% range of the XT 11-42 cassette (stock was 11-36) still appears to be some sort of a bottleneck here. I definitely need the lowest 38/42 gear so I quickly abandoned the idea of upsizing the front chainring to a 42T for little top speed increase. If going for a 10-42 cassette wasn't that expensive and complicated (apart from the cassette I'd also need a new rear hub) or a 11-46 technically possible, I'd have done it already! A 10cog would give me the exact same top speed increase I'd get with the 42T chainring but without sacrificing my lowest gear.

    To be honest a 2x11 bike with a Shimano 105 drive train and a 11-42 cassette would've probably been the better option in the first place due to the various different terrains I'm riding. Unfortunately I didn't know about this hack before and my LBS didn't know either, but a 34/46 11-42 combo now sounds like the perfect gravel transmission to me.

    The "Hayes CX Expert" brakes still suck, I don't know how any of you can ride with this crap, I'll swap them for TRP Spyres soon, real soon.

    Kona Rove ST experience-uploadfromtaptalk1466804835176.jpg
    Kona Rove ST experience-uploadfromtaptalk1466804859194.jpg
    Kona Rove ST experience-uploadfromtaptalk1466804895890.jpg
    Kona Rove ST experience-uploadfromtaptalk1466804919354.jpg
    Kona Rove ST experience-uploadfromtaptalk1466804966434.jpg
    Last edited by Steel Calf; 06-24-2016 at 04:06 PM.

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