The recent Eurobike Media Days event in Austria provided the perfect opportunity, if not the ideal weather, to put Kona’s brand new Libre carbon fibre adventure and gravel bike through a first ride.
The Libre is a dedicated adventure and gravel bike compared to the more road-focused Rove, and taps into the company’s mountain bike DNA to bring something a little different to the burgeoning category.
The distinguishing feature is the tall head tube, designed to put the rider in a more relaxed position when pitching down steep off-road tracks. The stem is short and the bars very wide to provide an emphasis on control when tackling roots and rocks and gravel. There’s also internal cable routing for an optional dropper post too.
There are two bikes in the range, sharing the same carbon frame and fork, with a choice of 650b or 700c tyres and Shimano 2x or SRAM 1x drivetrains.
Dave and David took both bikes out for a little spin around the mountains and tackled some sup-optimal weather to get a feel for the new bike, both on the road and down some proper rough gravel tracks.
We’re hoping to get one of these bikes into the office for a decent ride soon so we can deliver a full in-depth review.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.