2021 Kona Dew - Initial Impression

2021 Kona Dew - Initial Impressions - Review

If you have been following the Indian bicycle scene you know that the China hostility has caused a severe bicycle shortage in the country. There are just no "quality" bicycles to be had. The shops are dry and the online stores read "Out Of Stock".

But there's a ray of light that's comes our way today courtesy BumsOnTheSaddle - The Kona Dew 2021! So what is the Kona Dew? As Kona puts it - 

The Dew is our classic all-around commuter/townie option for someone looking for an affordable, comfortable ride. We’ve modernised the Dew with a sweet new 2x8 Shimano drivetrain and integrated brake and shifter levers. Equal parts functional and fun, the Dew is at home hopping curbs on urban rides, cruising the bike paths, or rallying your local taco truck time trial.

But let us get the bad out of the way first

The Cons

  1. It is not a fast bike.
  2. The welds look ugly (caveat we haven't seen it in the flesh, yet).
  3. A square bottom bracket, In 2020 ugh!

Now that we've dispensed with the caveats, here's what's good about this bike.

That weld could be a lot cleaner

The Pros

  1. Colour. Yes, I can already see the purists erupting in a blaze of righteous indignation. "What does the colour of the bike have to do with anything!" But a beautiful bike also makes me ride it - more. It makes me want to get out of the house, makes me proud to own one and therefore makes me fitter and happier. I love the Matte Blood Orange.
  2. 650B rim choice. We Indians are short, our standover height is far less than our European brethren. So a 650B tyre or 27.5 as it's also called gives me a lower standover height than a 700c wheel.
  3. 47c WTB Horizon tyre. WTB is crushing the gravel tyre market. Almost all quality cyclocross/gravel bikes are shod with WTB offerings and we are glad it's found its way in a sub 40k bike. 47c may not be the fastest rolling tyre but because if its width and flex it will be supremely comfortable around town (here's looking at you ugly Mumbai monsoon roads).
  4. 2x8 gearing. Simpler is better for new cyclists and using a 2x cranks up front (as opposed to a 3x) adds to that feeling of simplicity. I bet someone in the engineering department at Kona has friends he's introduced to cycling.
  5. No front suspension. This may seem like an odd choice for a pro, hey even ₹ 10,000 bikes come with front suspension. Well, two things - cheap suspension is poor and cheap suspension is heavy (adds over a kilo to the weight). With 47c tyres there's hardly any need for poor pogo stick front suspension. Nuff Said!
  6. Mechanical disk brakes with 160mm rotor. Disk brakes are just better than rim brakes. Ask me, I ride downhill at over 60 kph everyday thanks to the confidence of disk brakes on my bike. 160mm is the most common rotor size which means spares is easy. No hydraulics means no messy liquid to deal with should your cables get scrunched, cut or vandalised (yes, it has happened to my hydraulic disk brake Sweep 4 in Delhi).
  7. Multiple Mounts. 2 bottle mounts, a top tube mount and eyelets for putting on a rack if needed. Versatility is excellent here.
  8. Price. ₹ 36000 is a good price. It is hard to get a good brand bicycle with no "Tourney" components at this price. Yes, I do believe "tourney" is Satan's spawn.
Kona Dew 2021 initial impressions 700 47c tyres
WTB horizon 47c tyres with tan sidewalls! Groovy 

Conclusion

I'm so glad that the bicycle shortage hiatus is in sight and my heart gladdens at the launch of the Kona Dew 2021. A simple bike, priced just right, this is just perfect for someone starting to cycle or one who commutes by bike. It doesn't matter if you live in the city or the hills, you have plenty of low gears for climbs.

Kona Dew 2021 - Initial Impressions
Kona Dew 2021 - Lama loves the Matt orange colour

Pssst, I will let you on to a little secret - With some thoughtful accessories and thanks to its numerous mounts, I think this will make an excellent bikepacking/touring bicycle. To Ladakh and beyond!