Corresponded by email today with Robin Sansom, Kona USA, about the Ute and learned more. The kona.cz photo we posted is an early version from Kona’s product launch and some changes have been made to the final production version (new image below is from their catalog and more current), including
- 700c wheels & tires
- longer head tube for better handlebar position
- lower top tube to increase standover/clearance
- change of specification on stem, grips and saddle (aesthetics)
- rear plastic deck on the rear is machined from 100% post consumer recycled material
- Ships standard with two specifically designed, grocery-style pannier bags that include a raincover. Four bags capacity with with additional bags and accessories offered.
And Robin shared the insight that, “I see these types of bikes blossoming over the next couple of years, with the rise in fuel prices, green awareness and the escalation of overseas economies.”
Click for full-size version
- MSRP is $799, explaining some of the spec decisions (rear V-brake, no internal hub, etc.).
- Xtracycle compatibility – ” … the design concept was to make a complete bike that is economical, comfortable, light & offers a cargo area/options. Although we considered making the bike compatible with Xtracycle bags, this compromised the other design objectives. Xtracycle is a wonderful concept, but to accommodate their accessories, we would have added to the weight, complexity and expense of the model. We are definitely considering a variety of accessories & bags that will become available for the bike.”
- Wheels – Kona tested this bike with both 26” and 700c wheels and 700cc was preferred
- Foot Rests – Kona is considering and will keep us posted