The first gravel bike that we’ll be reviewing this spring is the Kona Libre. We had the bike set up for Shannon, but the 54cm fit much more like a 56cm, so this week, I got to do a couple of rides on the New Libre before I got it in the hands of our product tester, Dustin Marsh. The bike is pretty damn gorgeous! It has a Silver background with olive drab graphics. It’s a good looking bike.
I’m 5’11” and fit a 56cm all day long and the 54cm Libre feels even just a tiny bit tall and stretched out for me. The bike has a tall steer tube and the stack height is as tall as the seat height. (this is not a bad thing BTW) The nice wide Kona Drop Bars accentuate the large front end feel with the Libre. After I made a couple of quick adjustments that feeling was mitigated and the Libre and I made fast friends. Just keep in mind that this 54cm fits one size up.
|FRAME MATERIAL||Kona Race Light Carbon|
|SIZES||46, 49, 51, 54, 55|
|FORK||Kona Verso Full Carbon Flat Mount Disc|
|B/B||SRAM GXP PF|
|FREEWHEEL||SRAM PG1130 11-42t 11spd|
|R/D||SRAM Rival 1|
|SHIFTERS||SRAM Rival 1|
|BRAKE CALIPERS||SRAM Rival 1|
|FRONT BRAKE ROTOR||SRAM Centerline 160mm|
|REAR BRAKE ROTOR||SRAM Centerline 160mm|
|BRAKE LEVERS||SRAM Rival 1|
|STEM||Kona Road Deluxe|
|SEATPOST||Kona Deluxe Thumb w/Offset 31.6mm|
|SEAT CLAMP||Kona Clamp|
|GRIPS||Kona Cork Tape|
|SADDLE||WTB SL8 Pro|
|FRONT HUB||Formula 100x12mm (centerlock)|
|REAR HUB||Formula 142x12mm (centerlock)|
|SPOKES||Stainless Black 14g|
|RIMS||WTB KOM Light Team i25 TCS|
|FRONT TIRE||WTB Riddler TCS DUAL 700x45c|
|REAR TIRE||WTB Riddler TCS DUAL 700x45c|
|PAINT COLOR||Gloss Polar Silver w/ Olive & Silver-Grey Decals|
The Libre has all of the cargo, rack, cage and bottle braise-ons that set the stage for adventure biking and bikepacking. The thing that’s surprised me about the Libre was how it handled soft wet gravel and the chunk to super chunk railroad area that I ride all the time. The Libre kind of reminds me of a classic hardtail mountain bike when I’m riding with my hands on the flat part of the drops.
At 37 psi, the WTB Riddler TCS DUAL 700x45c tires got the job done and feel plenty fast once the route goes back to pavement. They say right on the sidewall ‘light fast rolling’ and we haven’t even gone tubeless yet.
Dustin has all sorts of diabolical plans to get put the Libre through its paces. He plans to bikepack, commute and even sent me a couple of shots of the Libre in the snow the day that he got his hands on the thing. So look for Dustin’s full review somewhere down the smurfy gravel path amigos!
More data on the Kona Libre can be found here – https://www.konaworld.com/libre.cfm
You could win the little green Stashers bag pictured with the Kona Libre – Contest Details