Monday, 5 September 2011

2011 Kona Dew Deluxe


During the summer I was working about 5 days a week Vancouver (around Broadway and Cambie). During that time, I drove a gas guzzling SUV which doesn't go down well with my financial situation, so I decided to go green and begin cycling to work instead. Initially I had to commute 11k to work and 11k back home, plus hills, on my mountain bike. A long story short, I couldn’t get the access card which allowed me into the bike room, so I had to temporarily lock up my bike outside until I got access to the bike room. During that time I was using a flimsy, thin cable lock for my bike. Stupid me, locking it up by Broadway and Cambie... I was just asking for it to be stolen. Which is exactly what had happened.
Anyway, the stolen bike gave me an excuse to get a new one. Now that I don’t do so much mountain biking/ off roading any more, I decided to get a bike primarily for commuting. I spent a few hours scavenging google for reviews for good commuter bikes. Most of them were outdated, and the ones that I was interested in had next to nothing to say about them. I got fed up of finding the same pages, so I went to Differentbikes (http://www.differentbikes.ca/) on Broadway to look at/ test out a few models. After an hour of testing out bikes, I finally went home with the 2011 Kona Dew Deluxe.
I am 5’10, and I got the Large frame of the bike. For anyone my size, I recommend the Medium frame, and then just jack the seat up high. The large for me is a personal preference, however my seat isn’t set much higher than the frame.

Asthetics:


A very pleasing (forest?) green paint job. However with hindsight, I can warn you that this paint chipps easily, so be careful when locking up the bike. Stock lock on Handlebars provide rather good grip without gloves. I personally really like the look of the hydraulic Tektro Draco disc brakes.

Performance:
The bike runs sooo smoothly. Gear shifts are great and I have no problems with them. You need to be a bit careful when the gears get really dirty. Make sure to clean them out when that happens because it could hinder your gear changing and smooth running of the bike. The 29 gears are more than enough for getting up and down the hills of Vancouver quickly. It takes me on average ~25-30 minutes to get to work and 35-40 to get back (depending on how I feel/how rushed I am).
The bike itself is quite back heavy IMO, but thats probably because I have a bag on the bike rack which holds my Kryptonite bike lock. Sorry to say that I haven’t weighed the bike yet, but definitely don’t think its a bike to jump curbs in. 
The Tektro Draco hydraulic disc brakes are more than enough for stopping you on a dime and giving you 9 cents change. The levers are easy to pull and control. Sadly, sometimes the brakes will make a slight squeaking noise, but I actually welcome it, because you can “feel/hear” the stopping action. This squeaking happens occasionally. When I was testing several bikes at the store, I noticed that this had superior braking compared to the other bike models I’ve tried, which included the 2011 Kona Dew Plus (hydraulic) , 2010 Rocky Mountain Whistler 50 (mechanical), and a few others which I can’t remember (with mechanical disc brakes). 
The stock seat is a bit too hard for my liking, so I changed the seat to something smaller and more comfortable. 
The wheels & tires are great. I believe they are 700x32, and are a bit thinner than most “commuter bike” wheels, and they let you go as fast as you need. The tires I use are CityRides I think? They are great in terms of grip. However I did get a puncture, possibly because I occasionally bike through construction areas. The puncture was caused by a metal pin stuck in the tire which punctured the tube. 
Handling is as smooth as silk and I have nothing significant to really complain about. 
A few niggles here and there: I noticed that because how the wheel is placed on the bike, along with the disc brakes, standard mud guards don’t fit on perfectly. The front mudguard will be noticeably out of alignment with the wheel, but not enough to not perform normally. Its just an aesthetic thing. Also, because this is a commuter bike, without any suspension mechanism (what I’m used to), you need to keep an eye out for potholes, because 700x32 wheels (being thinner than “usual”) are more susceptible to being wrecked. I got used to the shock I experience from riding a suspension-less bike. It really doesn’t bother me. 
All in all, the bike is fast enough for what I need it to do. Commute. It does the job. I paid $800 CAD for the bike itself, and an additional $200 CAD for upgrades: Lock (expensive), front and rear lights, mudguards, bike rack and two side bags, (plus the labour). I do recommended it for anyone who was a quick, tough, reliable bike to commute in which can handle hills. 
I feel great to join the commuting scene.  After almost 3 months of biking on weekdays and driving on weekends (to campgrounds, fishing locations and hikes), I think I've almost saved ~$500-$700 CAD in gas money. The bike has halfway paid for itself in just 3 months. Gotta admit, it feels great to bike instead of drive.



6 comments:

  1. Hi APV i just bought a kona dew deluxe just ilke you and i can't find a kickstand, were did you find your. I am near Montreal. Sorry for my english, thank you.
    Pierre Nadeau
    Duster360@videotron.ca

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    1. Hi Pierre, sorry for the late reply. In the shop I asked if they would put a kickstand on for me and they gladly did. It doesn't come with the bike. I'm sure if you go to any local bike store and ask, they could help you out.

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  2. hi i have bought the kona dew plus, and am unable to get a kickstand for the same. can you tell me which brand kickstand you are using.

    Dhaval

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    1. Sorry man, I'm not in Vancouver at the moment, I can let you know in a few days!

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  3. Hi APV, nice bike! I have a Kona Dew DL 2013 that doesn't come with a kickstand either. Here in Santiago de Chile it's very difficult to find models like the one you show in the pics, though I think I found one. How long is yours? is its length adjustable? Thank you so much for your answer. Regards from Chile!

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    1. Hey, thank you! I really love the new Kona models, such as the Kona Dew DL 2014, Dr Dew 2013, etc. Yeah, kickstands are generally considered "uncool" and unnecessary these days. Mine is 59cm, and I am 5'10; however after leaning about bikes for a few years, I believe 56cm would be better for me. 56cm frames would be better for people 5'9-6'2, whereas 59cm frames would better suit a person 6'2-6'5. Good luck on your bike hunt! -apv

      ps. I'm actually trying to sell this baby at the moment because I realised it's too big for me, and I'm getting really into road cycling at the moment. I've been slowly upgrading my BMC as you may have seen on the latest post.

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