Urban Velo

Kona Ute

2k8_ute.jpg

Behold the 2008 Kona Ute.

The short story: I really want one. Bad.

The longer, better story: One size fits most, $799 complete. 26in wheels, disc brakes and low gears make sense for hauling potentially huge loads. Sensible spec keeps the pricepoint reasonable while allowing the end user some coin to customize the bike for their given purpose. The scale says 41lbs, which ain’t bad considering the bike. A touring bike with full racks and fenders runs around 30+lbs – an extra 10 for really big load carrying ability is a fair tradeoff.

I’m left wondering… Clearance for 700c disc wheels for some touring action? Is that a kickstand I spy? When are these going to be available?

9 Comments

  1. PatrickSeptember 17, 2007 at 10:45 am

    It’s like the Surly Big Dummy, sort of. Does it fit Xtracycle panniers?

    Yeah, I want one, too.

  2. JoshSeptember 17, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    Doesn’t look like the Kona is will accept Xtracycle stuff. I’d like to add a Big Dummy to my collection someday.

  3. JamesSeptember 17, 2007 at 7:53 pm

    There’s only one disc brake. The front is a Hayes MX4 mechanical disc and the rear is an Avid Single Digit 5 V-Brake.

  4. KMSeptember 18, 2007 at 10:12 am

    The big question is, how does she wheelie? Those long chain-stays would make it quite tough. Afterall, crossing the intersection on one wheel after a grocery run is the most important thing! Maybe nose-wheelies are it’s forte.

  5. justin dubinSeptember 19, 2007 at 4:34 pm

    I’m planning to purchase a sub very soon, but after comparing this with the yuba mondo, I’m really leaning towards the mondo. It has better carrying capacity, the upright seating position I admire in dutch bikes, and might turn out to be slightly cheaper. It’s supposed to be between $650-800, plus $50 shipping. I initially suspected the ute might be lighter, which could have swayed me, but at 41 lbs, it’s actually a pound heavier. So far, other than the Surly Big Dummy outfitted with the xtracycle kit, there doesn’t seem to be many other options… except maybe paying $1200 for an azor shipped from Holland. That’s actually where my search started.

  6. Rob BushillMarch 20, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    The Mondo is now available in the UK, soon the USA, completed its first race, a duathlon (chilly duathlon at castle combe uk) rider came 44th out of 150+ bike section 10 miles in 31 minutes….standard. It handles, goes well and carries a load.

  7. My very own Kona Ute - Urban VeloJuly 23, 2008 at 12:02 am

    [...] I first spied a Kona Ute, I knew I wanted one. Long bikes make sense, and the Ute hit my spending and actual use [...]

  8. pimpbotSeptember 11, 2008 at 1:08 am

    Looks pretty sweet.

    My only gripes are:

    1) no rear disc tabs. WTF?!? What decade are we in again? Maybe it was a bag clearance issue. The Surly Big Dummy has rear tabs, but FWIU from owners is that mech discs (such as Avid BB7s) have issues with the actuator arms rubbing on the bags. I guess this isn’t really a bike you do DH runs on, but load it up with a bunch of weight, and you can easily overwhelm a V-brake rear with a 6″ front disc.

    2) Bags on the 2007 are itty bitty weaksauce considering the room back there. Looks like the ’08 Ute has longer bags. Still, the snap deck and Xtracycle low rear platforms rule for hauling really big items. I read one guy’s blog who hauls tool chests and bookshelves. C’mon! Let’s haul some real stuff!

    3) 26″ wheels. I’ve become a Kool Aide guzzling fool for 29er wheels lately. The roll of a 29er is just soooo much better than 26ers. So much so, I’m selling off all my 26″ stuff. I have 5 bikes total, and so far two have been traded up to 29ers. Okay, one is a Cyclocross/Commuter bike that is already 700c.

    I can maybe see why they didn’t wanna do the bigger wheels for lateral stiffness under big loads, but 36 spoke wheels and burly rims would solve this. The additional rotating mass isn’t really an issue with an already 41 pound bike. You aren’t winning any standing start sprints as it is. The bigger wheels would go a long way towards keeping momentum going, especially over rough pavement like we have here in Oakland.

  9. pimpbotSeptember 11, 2008 at 1:27 am

    *edit*

    Wups!

    The 2009 Ute has 700c wheels! Sweet!

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