Kona’s 2021 Rove DL steel gravel bike is fitted with 650B wheels and a one-by drivetrain. I bought one in 2021 for commuting because I wanted something more comfortable than the narrow-tire road bike I pressed into service. The wide tires provide a nice cushion and the smaller wheels reduce the likelihood of toe overlap with fenders. A few months after I bought it, I built a new front wheel to add dynamo lighting.
There are a ridiculous number of eyelets, especially on the front fork, for mounting gear carriers like the King Manything. A rear rack fits without QR axle adapters or a brake bolt mount. There’s even an extra set of bottle cage mounts on the bottom of the downtube.
A proper bike needs a way of carrying gear, so I added a Tubus Stainless Logo rear rack. For the bottom bottle cage, I fitted a King Cage and use REI’s K.E.G. Bike Tool Storage Bottle to store a flat tire kit, multi-tool, and small first aid kit. The other bottle cages are King Iris Cages for storing Klean Kanteen Reflect bottles. A Silca Tattico Mini Pump is mounted under the downtube bottle cage.
To keep the drivetrain clean and make it suitable for inclement weather, PDW 650 Beast fenders wrap the tires. They were a pain to install, mainly because both the front and rear eyelets don’t fit the mounting hardware. For the front, I had to shave down the plastic safety clips (so the front fender can detach if it gets caught in the wheel) with a utility knife. On the back, I couldn’t get a good fit and had to mount them to the rack’s extra set of eyelets. But they look really nice and otherwise fit well.
It comes stock with somewhat knobby tires, so I replaced them with a pair of slick, 48mm-wide Rene Herse Switchback Hill tires. I also replaced the saddle with a Brooks Cambium C17.
I still need to install the dynamo-powered lights and wire them to the hub. You can never be too visible, so I’ll probably apply some reflective tape to the fenders.
My riding position is still a bit too leaned forward, so I’ll either install a shorter stem or replace the drop bars with swept-back cruiser-style handlebars. I might add a suspension seat post to further dampen bumps.
It would be nice if the bike was self-supporting without a bag, so I need to find a place to store an extra tube.