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Kona Opens Up The All-Road Rove For 2018

We're all about bikes that open up new ways, places, and options to ride. The much-loved Kona Rove has already built a cult following around the go-anywhere, do-anything platform. It's no surprise that we were pretty darn pumped when we saw the full Rove offering for 2018! 

There are now NINE options on the Kona Rove, making it easier than ever to select the build specifications for how you ride. The Rove used to provide a different spec compared to the race-oriented Private Jake. With the PJ on hiatus (we'll miss you) the Rove gets to open up its offerings to include a more 1x and 2x builds, plus a whole new wheel size. 

First, the Rove starts at just $850 for the aluminum, Shimano Claris rig with 700 wheels. There's no better way to get onto a do-it-all drop bar bike, and one that is truly ideal for commuters. The next big jump is to the Rove ST, the classic steel frame option that we absolutely fell in love with. That boasts the ease of a Rival 1x drivetrain and essential offer a Private Jake build on a steel frame, with very similar geometry.

Here's the real jump. For 2018, Kona went all in on all-road, offering up Road Plus options utilizing WTB's 27.5" wheels and Horizon 47c tires. The wheel size allows for wide tires that can handle singletrack, loose sandy roads, and massive days of exploration. Especially in Michigan, this wide footprint makes a big difference, especially for linking together gravel and trails by pavement without feeling sluggish.

Kona offers three Roves with Plus Road wheels out of the bikes, starting with the Rove NRB. The Rove NRB DL gets you into Shimano 105 and, for our vote, is the best bang for your buck of the whole enchilada for $2099. The blingship of the line-up , however, is the Rove LTD. It's Reynolds 853 steel, Force 1 drivetrain and WTB's KOM carbon wheels in the 27.5" size as well. 

You're going to see more and more of the Rove and all of Kona's 2018 in the shop, so make sure you swing by! Watch our Facebook and Instagram to see what else we're building up. 

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Short's Brewing MTB Series: The Michigantuan September 30-October 1

Fall is a busy time for bike racers, but there's one weekend you're going to want to keep wide open! The Short's Brewing MTB Series takes you into autumn proper with two days of racing right here in Grand Rapids with the Michigantuan! 

Join us Saturday, September 30 at the Art Van Sports Complex for the cross-country race. Riders will take on a tough 6 mile loop that includes parts of the Merrell Trail system, as well as a big chunk of the now infamous short track loop. It's a course that demands a strong technical rider that can deal with short, punchy climbs.

Sunday, riders will be back in action for the short track events! There's no more entertaining way to watch a bike race than short track, and Grand Rapids has some of the very best riders in the state in this discipline. Almost all of the action is within sight of the start/finish, and riders can hop in and race twice in a single day, too. 

Short's Brewing is bringing the beer and the fun, with great prizes from Short's and Central District Cyclery. 

You find out more about the race here, plus get yourself signed up for race day through USA Cycling. 

 

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It's Like Christmas In July! But In August!

2018 is here! One of those fun things in the bike world is the slow release of the next model year bikes well, well before the calendar reflects said model year. And for a long, long, long time that meant seeing the new stuff and then losing sleep over actually getting it until January, or February, or maybe March, who knows. It physically hurt. Seriously. 

Well, no more. Kona made a change, and it's a change that makes so much sense you'd get a $5 bill back. Here's the million dollar idea; you don't see the new stuff...until you can actually get the new stuff. Yeah. Crazy, huh? 

That means you'll be seeing all the 2018 models popping up on The Cog as they're ready to ship. To make sure you don't miss anything, we'll be relaying the unveils and announcements via our social media. We've already seen the new Sutra and two (2) Unit options out. We're expecting to see more Rove, Jake, and Wozo options coming down that long and glorious pipe very soon, too. 

That Unit? Well, in addition to the famous singlespeed, Kona is offering a SRAM NX geared version. It's the flipside of the "Well, if I get a singlespeed Unit I can add gears"; now, you can start with a bomb-proof drivetrain and go SS whenever you want to/need to. For the people into frame color, it also gives you at least consider the choice to grab black or red and get what you're into. 

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Making Room For 2018: Closeout and Demo Sale!

It's 2018 already! New models are shipping right now, and we've got give the new arrivals a bit of elbow room heading into a busy August and autumn. That's pretty rad news for you; it means we have a number of closeouts on Rocky Mountain, plus a few lingering demo Konas including the impossible-to-find Hei Hei! 

Rocky Mountain closeouts include some of our favorite bikes, including the Thunderbolt 730, a race-ready full suspension rig that's still plenty of fun, too. Don't miss the Growler, either; it's one of our favorite plus bikes out there. For more on each of these models, get a hold of us or check out Rocky Mountain's site to compare and contrast. 

2016 Instinct 950 $1,700.00

2016 Thunderbolt 730 L $1,400.00

2017 Thunderbolt 710 M $1,600.00

2017 Thunderbolt 730 M $1,800.00

2017 Thunderbolt 730 S $1,800.00

2017 Growler 730 S $700.00

2017 Growler 740 S $900.00

2017 Soul 700 M $450.00

2017 Soul 710 S $500.00

2017 Soul 700 S $450.00

2017 Soul 710 S $500.00

2017 Soul 700 S $450.00

2017 Soul 700 M $450.00

2017 vertex 930 M $1,100.00

2017 Vertex 950 M $1,300.00

2017 Vertex 950 L $1,300.00

2017 Instinct 930 msl L $2,600.00

2017 Instinct 950 XL $2,000.00

2017 Instinct 950 XL $2,000.00

All Konas Are Demos!

2017 Big KahunaKona M $999.00

2017 Big KahunaKona L $999.00

2017 Big KahunaKona XL $999.00

2017 Jake the SnakeKona 51 Green $1,100.00

2017 Private JakeKona54/Pink$1,500.00

2016 HeiHeiKona LG $1,600.00

2016 HeiHEiKona M $1,600.00

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5,000 Miles with My Kona Private Jake

If I had to, absolutely had to pick just one bike, it would be a bit of no brainer. Sure, I don't want to have just one bike, and n+1 states quite simply that you always need another. But hypothetically, a cyclocross bike is tough to top, and an easy bike to rack up the miles with. 

My Kona has taken on everything from the Barry-Roubaix gravel road race, a massive pre-ride of the Cherry-Roubaix road race, an Iceman Cometh Out and Back ride, and is used almost daily as my commuter. The Private Jake is a workhorse; aluminum frame, carbon fork, the simplicity of a single chain ring, and a proven track record over the last 5,000 miles of being pretty tough to stop. 

It's a bike that's been beaten and put away bloody. It's been crashed, tipped over, thrown over singletrack and saturated with rain and snow and slush so many times that riding it in dry weather seems to short-change the experience a bit. It's simply been a bomb-proof bike, and has reinforced my conviction that everyone should have a cyclocross bike in their quiver for gravel, bad weather, and the ability to go out and do it all. 

Maybe my favorite ride ever on the Private Jake was at The Divide Race last year. They call it a gravel race, but that's only part of the story. There are plenty of sections that barely qualify as two-track, with washed out sections and sand pits and some steep, loose climbs that I'd love to see cars actually try to drive. In other words, it's the perfect course for a burly bike with wide knobbies and a smart, simple gear ratio. Up and down, and even through those annoying, soul-crushing sandpits, the bike just flew. It was a beautiful day on the perfect bike, and one of the best days I've ever had on two wheels. 

As my bike rolls past the 5,000 mile mark, I really can't wait to see what else it can do. My goal is to finally give this bike a chance at its first Iceman Cometh Challenge, with a warm-up for the big day at the Peak2Peak race at Crystal Mountain a few weeks before. This bike deserves to get a shot at all of the races and rides we love doing in Michigan, and it's certainly up for it. 

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15% Off Any Rocky Mountain: Meet the Thunderbolt

Right now, take 15% off any Rocky Mountain. That's in the shop or on order, but we've hand-picked a selection of RMs to that we think are really ideal for West Michigan. Those models are in stock, and we're bringing you a closer look at the full suspension option that's perfect for Grand Rapids, the Thunderbolt. 

Coming from BC, full suspension can mean a lot of different things for a brand like Rocky Mountain. It usually means some much longer travel models like the Slayer (170/165mm) for more all-mountain or enduro riding. The Thunderbolt is a very appropriately spec'd XC bike, with geometry that balances an aggressive racing position with predictable handling for long days in the saddle. 

Instead, the 27.5" wheeled Thunderbolt is 130/120mm and is available in both a Smoothwall carbon frame or aluminum. That carbon option is just 2300 grams for the frame, making it a race-light option that should appeal to those Iceman racers and guys that just want to put in snappy rides in the singletrack. 

The Thunderbolt line-up starts with the aluminum frame, Deore equipped 710. The 750 bumps to SLX, and it's the 730 MSL that adopts the carbon frameset with the same spec. It's the 770 MSL that gets a true World Cup quality build, combining the carbon frameset with Shimano XT 1x drivetrain, RaceFace Turbine crankset, and ZTR Crest Tubeless wheels. 

Stop by and see the full Thunderbolt line-up and get 15% off your new bike. If it isn't on the floor, we'll get it if it's available. 

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Trade In Sale: Trade In, Trade Up, and Get A Rocky Mountain!

You've had your eye on that new ride for months now. This month, we're making it easier than every to get off your old rig and onto any Rocky Mountain in stock at CDC, or one not even on the floor! 

Yup, you read that right. We're believers in the great design, quality, and fun of Rocky Mountain Bikes, and we want to get you on one. Trade in your old bike and you'll get 15% off any Rocky Mountain, whether it's in the store or not. 

You can find out more about how we do the whole trade in thing here, and of course, feel encouraged to call with any questions. But then, you better get lookin' at all the options. 

Option 1: You're Going To Win Iceman. For most Michigan races, it's a pretty simple recipe. 29" wheels, hardtail, with 100mm of travel. Rocky Mountain's XC offering is the Vertex, and like much of their line-up, there's a spec for every price point and every rider. If you're headed to Europe for a World Cup, there's the 990 RSL, a serious bling ship that offers the best stiffness-to-weight ratio out there. The best bang for your buck might be the 950, an alloy version of the Vertex dressed out in XT that's up for anything. 

Option 2. You're Going Full Suspension. The Thunderbolt is RM's full suspension all-rounder that's perfect for Grand Rapids. A balance of travel and XC geometry gives you capable, efficient suspension in a singletrack-ready position that keeps the bike quick and snappy. From the aluminum 710 to World Cup quality 770 MSL, there's a rig right for you. 

Option 3. You're Going To Have Tons of Fun. The Growler, no doubt. 27.5"+ wheels are so, so much fun, and if you haven't tried them, you really need to. Sure, they add some practicality to your ride, especially here in West Michigan. The sand pits tend to disappear with 3" tires, and the added traction on steep, sharp climbs lets you put down the power. But the biggest thing is how fun,  they are; they add an inch to the width of the trail, and allow you to lay the bike out in corners even more than your fat bike. There are a few builds of the Growler, with the 740 serving as our go-to for many area riders. 

What else is in stock? You can check to see what's bouncing around here, or stop by. Call to check Rocky Mountain's availability, too, and we'll make sure we get the bike of your dreams out of bed and into the store. 

 

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Active Commute Week Tips That Don't Stink

It's Active Commute Week in Grand Rapids, and you're probably one day into five fruitful days of smart commuting. If you're going by bike, we've got some ideas to make it more fun. 

If you're riding your bike to work for the first time, there might be some uncomfortable things you're not digging. From what to ride, what to wear, and how to get there, it's easy to get a bit turned off at the idea of rolling to the office late, sweaty, and tired. But it ain't gotta be that way! We've got a few tips that'll make your roll to work funner-er than ever before. 

1. Get going! Leave two minutes before you think you need to. This is useful on both ends of your journey. Giving yourself a bit more time takes the stress out of the ride, so you can enjoy the pedaling and allows for any issues with stop lights, crosswalks and other travel issues. Since those probably aren't going to slow you up, it also gives you a few minutes to lock up and change before you hit your desk. 

2. Freshen up. If your place of work doesn't have a shower, don't worry. One way to make sure you don't smell is to stash some cooling wipes at your desk. They'll help you cool off and get the worst of your sweat, too. Of course, keeping a stick of deodorant either in your back or at work is also a pretty easy to way to smell like an Irish Spring, rather than a Kent County Ditch. 

3. Two shirts. Pack your nice attire, wear something else. Especially if you're using a backpack, your shirt is bound to get a little perspiration in the pits and back. Wear a light jersey or active t-shirt to stay cool, and toss on your nice Armani dress shirt when you're at your destination. At the end of the day, change again and your snappy shirt stays clean! 

4. Racks vs. Panniers vs. Backpacks. This totally depends on your commute and plans. Having your bike set up with a rear rack or a rear rack with panniers greatly increases your carrying capacity, but also your comfort. It also makes it easier to work in daily errands into your commute, saving you time. Panniers make it easier to stop for a few groceries on the way home, or transport other things you'll need throughout the day. For most day-to-day commutes, a good backpack should be enough, plus it means you can keep your bike nice and light in case you're heading out to train or join a group ride when you leave the office. 

5. Be safe. Wear a helmet, and we strongly encourage daytime lights, especially a rear blinker. If you're riding during morning and evening rush hours, making yourself as visible as possible makes the roads safer for you and for all cyclists. Know the rules of the road and ride defensively...and make sure you smile and wave to everyone. Let's get those good vibes going with everyone on the trail and roads. 

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Down and Dirty (Kanza) on June 3!

This Saturday, our very own James Gunderman is heading out for another run at the Dirty Kanza! 

The 200 mile race takes riders through the rolling hills of south of Emporia, Kansas. It's early June date means the weather is always a toss-up, with rainy years turning the race into a muddy, slow slog. Dry years can offer clouds of thick, choking dust for hour after hour, mile after mile. 

The race has become the iconic gravel road race, with hundreds of cyclists from all over the country flocking to Emporia for the race. There are all 100, 50 and 25-mile options, ensuring there's something accessible for all skill levels. 

Dirty Kanza also offers some interesting bike choices. You'll see riders on road bikes, gravel and 'cross bikes, mountain bikes, even fat bikes. In muddy years, lots of racers opt for singlespeed to avoid potential drivetrain disasters, grinding out a massive day without shifting. 

It's a big deal. You can follow James LIVE! on the Athlete Update website on Saturday, and don't miss his recap on Thursday from 7-8pm at the shop, where he'll tell us how it all went down! 

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Rocky Mountain and Demo Bikes Sale Starts Tuesday!

The Tuesday after Memorial Day Weekend can be a bit of a buzzkill. After three days of fun in the sun (on a bike), it's back to the grind. Well we've got a few things to make it a TON better.  First, all Rocky Mountain bikes are 15% off! But that ain't it. We're trimming our demo fleet, which means you get a SWEET deal on 2015, 2016 and 2017 demo bikes. 

Get yourself up to 40% off retail on hot demo rigs from Kona and Rocky Mountain. You already know how much we DIG the Hei Hei  and you can grab one for a nice deal. These bikes are in great shape and are carefully tuned-up to make sure it'll feel like new, even if they aren't actually new. 

Below is a list of the bikes up for grabs. Stop by to check the bikes out for yourself! 

2015 Kona Hei Hei. 18"

2016 Kona Hei Hei. M

2016 Kona Hei Hei L

2017. Rocky Mountain Blizzard-10. L

2016 Rocky Mountain Altitude 930 L

2016. Rocky Mountain Instinct 930 M

2016 Rocky Mountain Instinct 950 M

2016 Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt 920 L

15% off ALL Rocky Mountain bikes, and up to 40% off on demos....Tuesday is going to be a darn good day! And yep, we're closed Monday to go shred, too! 

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The Kona Hei Hei Line Up Is Ready To Roll!

It's the time of year where we've got some good miles in and the big one-day adventures are calling! Ready for your biggest day on a mountain bike yet? The Hei Hei gives you the forgiveness you need for rockin' day in the woods. 

Kona does a tremendous job with the Hei Hei line-up, and every year they seem to tweak the spec to make sure there's a Hei Hei for every type of rider. From aluminum to carbon, race-ready to trail-tough, they always mix things up to the point there's an almost hand-picked parts list coming stock on their model choices. 2017 is no different, and with a slew of 100 mile races and weekend rides coming up, it's a great time to take a closer look. 

The base level Hei Hei is all aluminum and features 100mm/120mm travel, perfect for West Michigan. The spec is solid, with a Race Face Aeffect crank and Shimano XT 1x11. It's a bike that really balances race and trail geometry without feeling like it comes up short on either end. 

From there, things get carbon, and there are no fewer than four build specs to choose from. The 'Race' options forgo the dropper post for a lighter option, with the Supreme builds cranking it way past 11 to 12 speed SRAM Eagle. The Hei Hei DL is the best bet for Shimano lovers, coming with XT 1x11 and a Fox Float 34 fork paired with a Float Premium shock. We think this is a great bike for around Grand Rapids, especially if you do more than a few Quadfectas throughout the season. 

Plus, that green is so, so cool. 

For us, the top of the line is the Supreme. It keeps the same 120mm travel fork, but in the shape of the Rock Shox RS-1. Internally routed dropper, WTB's sick Ci31 rims, SRAM Eagle 12 speed in *GOLD*, all on the FUSE suspension platform that's stiff but playful. It's a dream bike, for sure, but after seeing these in person, you really appreciate how much things have changed since the Hei Hei first came out as Merlin titanium, fully rigid 26" rig with canti brakes.

 

 

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Adventure! Into The Wild with James, Chris and Dave

While Nate put on the Short's Brewing MTB  Series opener in Suttons Bay, James led a fearless expedition into the wild with Dave and Chris. 

After a long spring of Adventure Series bikepacking nights, James led our first bikepacking trip of the season. Scheduling anything in May is an adventure in and of itself, but aside from some seasonably chilly nights, it was warm and dry for the three brave explorers. 

Some special propers for Chris T., who showed up and joined in as a first-timer. Mile for mile and pedal stroke for pedal stroke, he was up for anything and made two new friends and brought a spark of eagerness that was greatly appreciated. 

The trip started with 42 miles to the first campsite, taken at an easy pace to open up the legs. After setting everything up, the guys rolled out for another 27 miles of fun, exploring the Hardy Dam and Coolbough Natural Area. It was tough pedaling, but the views and terrain was totally worth it. 

After an evening at the local public house and a night of much-appreciated rest, the guys rolled out on some season roads that went from smooth and fast to deep, soft and sandy. It was a goo mix of 'cross bikes (including a Kona Jake the Snake) and Chris' well-chosen Rocky Mountain Blizzard, which proved a great option for the bushwhacking and sand-crossing of such an adventure.

All in all, over 110 miles of exploration and fun, and three pretty tired but happy dudes! 

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Choose Your Own Adventure: A Busy Week with Central District Cyclery

This week, spring is finally here and we've got a full slate of fun things to do. Choose your own adventure, 'cause there's a ride for every taste. Whether you're looking to race, ride, or bikepack, we've got some killer options for a terrific weekend! 

Thursday night, get your weekend appetizer with our next Adventure Series night! From 7-8pm, join us at the shop as we go over our checklist ahead of the BIG bikepacking adventure of the weekend. James will run you through what to bring, what to wear, and what to pack for your first bikepacking trip. 

That trip leaves the shop Friday, and you can see all the details here. Join for the full trip, one night, or even one leg of the ride! If you have any questions, give us a call at the shop and we can give you the full itinerary and work with you to make sure you get out there and give bikepacking a try! 

Ready to drop the hammer? We're heading north to beautiful Suttons Bay for the first race of the 2017 Short's Brewing MTB Series. The Barrel Roll takes place between the vines of Forty Five North Winery, with a 3 mile World Cup-style lap race that is a blast for riders and a treat for spectators. Nearly the entire lap is in view, and what an incredible view it is from one of the higher points in Leelanau County. The race offers multiple categories ranging from 2 laps to a 5 on a course with almost 300 feet of climbing per circuit! 

The final kick of the 45 Climb! It's STEEP! 

The final kick of the 45 Climb! It's STEEP! 

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CDC Shop Shirts Are IN!

Our shop shirts are in the shop and ready to get on your body! We've have people asking for months, and good news, the 2017 CDC shirt is finally in stock. These are available in store and by order over the phone, so show your CDC pride, wherever you roam. 

The shirt features our classic logo and a casual fit. They really turned out sharp, and the guys at the shop are digging them. 

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Zoic and Funkier Cycling Aparrel: Casual Style, Comfortable Performance

It's finally spring! It might even be safe to put away your winter riding gear and look towards your spring and summer clothes. Things looking a bit worn or dated? Freshen up your kit selection with the new line of Funkier Bike clothing, as well as plenty of options from Zoic

James and the guys have handpicked a selection of pieces that combine fit, function, and a few great price points. Funkier has been making high-end clothing since the 90s, slowly adding more and more cycling-specific lines over the years as they fine-tuned their materials and designs. They've shown a great eye for combining good-looking clothes that meets the demands of cyclists around the world, and we're very excited to have them featured right here in Grand Rapids. 

We can always order in anything you'd like from Funkier, but we brought in a selection of loose fitting and trail-ready jerseys and shorts that are comfortable, especially for mountain biking and bikepacking. Spandex is always going to be an option, but having a few quality baggy pieces is certainly nice for commutes, bike trips, and for looking like less of a geek stopping for coffee after a big day on the trails. 

We also have a big line-up of the classic mountain bike brand of Zoic. They've been making some of the toughest trail apparel around for years, and they've become a go-to for riders in West Michigan. We picked out some shirts and baggy shorts, as well as the all-important liner. Those short liners provide a comfortable pad and a breathable layer that make your baggy shorts just as cool and comfortable as simply wearing bibs. 

Get your fashion fix this weekend, and get the most out of your kit with Zoic and Funkier. 

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Rocky Mountain Demo Weekend UPDATED

Do you like Christmas? Easter? Halloween? The Daytona 500? For bike nuts, a demo day is all of those things wrapped into one, dunked in chocolates and sprinkled with carbon fiber. 

We've got a literal truckload full of awesome. The demo truck is packed with the latest Rocky Mountain rigs for you to enjoy. Test the line-up and see if the bike you've been lusting over lives up to the hype. Here in West Michigan, we're really lucky to have so many trails to ride, and we're making the most of the terrain at Cannonsburg for some thorough testing. 

Due to the copious amounts of rain in the forecast for the weekend, we've moved the demo to Friday from 3-? When will it end? When it's too dark, when you're too tired, or when we're out of beer. Whichever comes first. 

Weather permitting, we'll head back out Saturday from 10-3, but please check with us for official word on the Saturday demo.

You'll need a helmet, pedals, and a form of ID, then you're off on the bike that tickles your fancy. Rocky Mountain's demo truck is currently stocked and loaded with the following bikes:

-Thunderbolt 790 MSL BC

-Element 990 RSL

-Pipeline 750 MSL

-Instinct 990 BC

Stay up to date on all things Demo Weekend here on our Facebook page

Want to check out the demo bikes and the rest of the Rocky Mountain line-up? Here you go! Let us know if you have any questions. 

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Kona Honzo AL: Shred-Ready For Under $2k

You know, you can get a heckuva bike these days for less than a 1998 Subura Legacy Outback. That's a pretty incredible value! 

We're taking a look at the 2017 Kona Honzo AL, the bike that opens up the Honzo line. With the addition of the carbon frames and high-end race specs, it would be easy to skimp on the aluminum options, but Kona always keeps every type of rider in mind. Nothing gets overlooked in the line-up, and certainly not the AL. At $1599, it's tough to beat the value and ride quality of this hot bike. 

That 'AL' is the 6061 aluminum frame you'll find on most of the range, with 29" wheels that rock for most Michigan trails. As Kona mentions, it's a more aggressive, trail-ready geometry than more traditional XC platforms, and the rubber is picked to match. The rig comes with a full 2.4" Maxxis Ardent up front and a 2.25" out back on WTB SX25 rims. 

Kona is totally dedicated to 1x drivetrains, and they sneak a SRAM NX1 setup on at a very competitive price point. Another nice spec is the RaceFace Ride crankset, which has a 32t ring on for now. That's a decent size for most riders, although some may opt to bump up to a 34t for flatter, faster races with less singletrack. (Iceman. We mean for Iceman.) 

There are two other things worth mentioning. The world, it seems, is drifting towards longer travel, and the 120mm RockShox Recon Silver certainly is heading in that direction. With the geometry of the frame (think short stays, long top tube, slacker headtube, and short stem) you're in a good position to make the most of that extra cushion, especially in singletrack. 

Of course, there's the dropper. Once you ride one, you'll get it. To see a KS mechanical dropper at this price point is awesome, and gives riders a chance to improve their descending and bike-handling. It's internally routed, keeps the lines clean, and looks incredible, too. 

We've got just a few of these left in the shop, so swing through and check out the Honzo AL and the rest of the Honzo line-up. 

 

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Our Dream Bike For Paris-Roubaix...

A few weeks ago, as the attentions of the cycling world turned to the hellingen of Flanders and then the legendary pave of Northern France, we mused of the potential of a Kona WorldTour team. Of course, that's not exactly the goal or vibe of the company, although more than a few people pointed out that, like the fun-loving Peter Sagan, professionally roadies could do with a bit more laid-back personalities at the upper level of the sport. 

So if we'll never truly know what a Kona Bicycle Co. WorldTour team would look like, we began to assemble (in our heads, at least) what their bike would be. What would Kona-CDC ride in the cobbled Classics? Let's imagine...

For the frame, we're bringing back the look, feel and performance of classic steel with the Roadhouse. With all the suspension, jelly 'serts, and wild frame designs many bike companies are cobbling (hope you caught that) together, and with their bike weights nearing the 18 and 19 pound range with all of those do-hickeys, why not just use steel? Reynolds 853 is relatively light and provides a buttery smooth ride over rough surfaces. Even the slightly taller head tube lends itself to a more endurance geometry. 


Wheels
Now, let's get dreaming. Discs are totally legal, and our frame is setup to make the most of it. With so many killer options, you'll probably have plenty of opinions, but we're going to go with some wheels we've seen in person and have spent some time with. ENVE's SES 5.6 offers a great balance between aerodynamics, lightweight, and incredible stiffness. ENVE is the official wheel supplier for a WorldTour team already, Team Dimension Data, and the team tends to use similar depths on their rim brake bikes much of the year. The 5.6 would have done us pretty darn well at Paris-Roubaix, where every team, by our count, was on tubulars. We think tubeless clinchers are finally ready for the big stage. 

Cockpit Bits
We'll leave ENVE to the wheels and select some other stuff for the cockpit. Since it's Kona, since it's Central District, and since we love the stuff, we're going for Thomson. We're going with the Masterpiece post, which comes in at just 158 grams. That's about the same as most carbon posts, and less than many, and with so much suppleness in the frame, we can afford a little stiffness in the post. We'll pair that with a 100mm X2 stem, Thomson seat collar, and our favorite drop bars, the Thomson KFC. Yep, we're going carbon on the bars, because they're light, tough, and Katie F'n Compton is a living legend. 

Saddle
This one is tough, but we'll stick with what we know. Sure, it's not a 'road' seat, but if your butt is on it and you're on pavement, voila, now it's a road seat. We're talking about the WTB Volt. Versions of this saddle come branded or unbranded on all sorts of Konas, and we always tell riders to give it a week, even if they don't like it at first. Almost all of them end up sticking with it, and some even upgrade to carbon or titanium railed models down the line. 

Tires
Since we're kind of building this for the cobbles, we're going to give it some rubber to match. Kona nails it with the stock build, actually, with the 2017 Roadhouse coming with our pick, the Schwalbe S-Ones. It's a perfect tire for someone looking to do a bit of everything. It has the same dimpled patterned as its wider brother, the G-One, but slots in between the widest Pro One (a 28) and that G-One, which comes in a 35. At 30, it's a great width for gravel and pavement, and we've ridden it as low as 40psi on loose, sandy gravel and still felt like it was floating over the top. 

Drivetrain
It's 2017, folks. If we're making a rocket ship, we're making it with the best electronics possible, and we have to give SRAM eTap a shot. The wireless components group may not be quite as crisp as Shimano Durace Ace Di2, but the difference in minimal, and with their Hydro levers now available, we love the clean look. For Paris-Roubaix, we're going for a 52/36 with an 11-25 cassette. There's nary a hill between Compiegne and Roubaix, and of course we want something for the sprint on the velodrome...right?

Finishing Touches
We'll opt for Shimano Dura Ace pedals (taped over, because it's a SRAM drivetrain), Elite Ciussi bottle cages, ZIPP Service Course tape (single-wrapped), and a Quarq power meter, just to have something to tell us how hard Paris-Roubaix is. 

Alright, your turn! What's your build on the 2017 Kona Roadhouse?

 

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The Little Things: Getting Picky On Accessories

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Folks in the bike world are notoriously picky, and that shouldn't be a surprise. The industry that gave you guidelines on pedal alignment for pictures of your bike, rules to match your seat and bar tape, and athletes looking for 'marginal gains' are bound to have some pretty strong opinions on things like bottle cages. 

This weekend, getting ready to Barry-Roubaix and knowing full well that every item on bike and person would be tested by rain, grit, mud, and cold, we took a step back and thought about just why some of the things we get so excited about matter so much. Heading into the squalls and harsh conditions, surely there was an element of comfort knowing our meticulously selected things would stand up to the challenge. 

Here are a few of the small things that, we think, add up. 

1. Bottle cages. It's something that you start to get a preference for right about when you lose a bottle on a long, hard day in the saddle. There are several camps; die-hard King Cage fanatics, nostalgic ELITE Ciussi fans, Velocity cage adherents, and plenty of others, too. It's not unusual to walk into your buddy's garage and notice that he's got Whisky C3 carbon cages on his road, mountain, fat and urban bike...because you need to keep your '73 Varsity lightweight. 

2. Bar tape. This one is actually a pretty big deal. If you're spending 62 miles on wet gravel and tossing yourself and your bike over unseen and water-filled potholes, you want as smooth of a ride as possible. We're still fans of good ol' fashioned cork tape. It's easy to install, lasts just long enough to get sick of the color and change it, plus it feels great even after some big miles. There are also plenty of other options, including Lizard Skins, with multiple thicknesses and about as many color options as a bookcase at IKEA. 

3. Tires. This is a tough one. No matter what bike you're on, it's nice to have a few options to meet the demands of different terrain. But everyone still has a go-to that they trust for a wide variety of terrain or conditions. The Schwalbe G-One, for example, gets about 2,000 miles on my gravel bike a year, from late February until spring. You'll also find people that wouldn't imagine running anything but WTB, or Continental, or Panaracer tires. If something works, and works well, you have a hard time getting people to try something else. 

What about you? What are some products you stick with, no matter that?

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