The ﬁrst question that pops to mind with Kona’s Dew Drop is, erm, what kind of bike is it? The frame and disc brakes look mountain bike-esque, but the drop bar is deﬁnitely road, plus it’s got rugged tyres so it must be a cyclo-cross bike. But then there’s the weight and those discs again and rack mounts… ooh it’s confusing.
The Dew Drop is a bit of a mash-up, and that’s both a strength and a weakness. At £650 there’s a lot to be said for buying a bike that can do more than one thing – who wouldn’t want an unburstable hardcore commuter that can cope with some light offroading but also haul a decent amount of luggage across a country or two? If Kona pull this off with the Dew Drop then they’re onto a winner. So does it? Well … sort of.
- Frame: Smart-looking, mountain bike-inspired and built to be bombproof. Feels heavy though and transmits bumps (6/10)
- Handling: Safe as houses, but not especially responsive. A bike for cruising not caning (7/10)
- Equipment: Disc brakes could perhaps do with more power; entry-level Shimano shifters do the job; Deore rear mech is well proven (7/10)
- Wheels: Basic but sturdy, roll well and stand up to plenty of abuse (7/10)
We’ll get the ﬁrst obvious point out of the way. The Dew Drop is not a lightweight bike. The all-in weight of 12.3kg feels substantial compared to a road bike, though it won’t faze you if you’re used to riding mountain bikes. On the move it means that the Dew Drop isn’t a bike for whizzing up to speed quickly – it takes effort.
On the plus side the Drop is a strong old boy – you’ll really have to do something special to bust the frame, and if you get a disc-speciﬁc rear rack then you’ll be able to load it up nicely. If you’re after an urban commuting battle cruiser that can double up for a bit of light touring then the Drop could be the answer.
The sturdiness comes from a butted 7005 aluminium frame which is paired with an old school straight chromoly steel fork. Soft isn’t how we’d describe the ride – there’s deﬁnite buzz to be felt through the frame and the fork when on the road, and we found ourselves avoiding potholes we might not on other, smoother bikes.
Despite its all-in weight, the Dew Drop actually climbs well – the FSA triple chainset and 11-34 cassette give you a 24in granny gear that lets you spin sedately and comfortably up most climbs. On the way down, though, we did ﬁnd the Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes took a bit of time to bed in. They’re reliable and long lasting but for the Dew Drop we’d prefer something with a bit more stopping power.
At ﬁrst glance you might think the Dew Drop is one of the new breed of disc-shod ’cross bikes, but it isn’t. The handling is predictable and precise, but it isn’t a responsive point-and-shoot machine and the Continental Country Ride tyres are ﬁne for mild towpath or ﬁre road duties – and the Dew Drop is a lot of fun here – but they aren’t designed for slick mud.
The riding position is good – the mountain bike geometry means that with your hands on the swept back tops you’ll ﬁnd yourself pretty upright. Good for the back and sensible for the commute. The padded saddle also offers all-day comfort for even the boniest of backsides.
After riding the Dew Drop we’re less confused – it is a versatile machine, but probably best suited to the urban environment. As a tough, knock-taking commuting cruiser – that can lend itself to a bit of out-of-hours fun – the Dew Drop is worth a look. And if you don’t want a drop bar then the Dew Deluxe at £599.99 or Dr Dew at £799.99 are both ﬂat-barred. Try them ﬁrst, though, as the ride just might not be to your liking.
|Name||Dew Drop (10)|
|Available Sizes||45 49 52 54cm 54cm 56 58 60cm 60cm 62cm|
|Rear Hub||Shimano M475|
|Top Tube (cm)||58|
|Standover Height (cm)||81|
|Seat Tube (cm)||46|
|Bottom Bracket Height (cm)||28.5|
|Stem||Kona forged alloy 10cm, 4-bolt o/s bar clamp, twin-bolt 1 1/8in steerer clamp|
|Shifters||Shimano STI ST2300 triple 8 speed|
|Seatpost||Kona alloy 27.2 x 350mm, forged alloy twin-bolt zero offset seat clamp|
|Saddle||Kona by Velo, padded vinyl with rubberised cut-aways, steel rails|
|Rims||Alex DC25 box channel alloy|
|Rear Wheel Weight||2600|
|Rear Derailleur||Shimano Deore long cage|
|Bottom Bracket||RPM sealed cartridge square taper steel spindle and cups, English threads|
|Headset Type||FSA 1 1/8in semi-integrated aheadset, steel cups, standard ball and cone, contact seals|
|Handlebar||Kona Sweeper alloy shallow anatomic, 31.8mm, 44cm c-c|
|Front Wheel Weight||1928|
|Frame Material||TIG-welded 7005 butted shaped alu, forged dropouts, replaceable hanger|
|Fork||Kona Project 2 full chromoly, forged dropouts, 1 1/8in steerer|
|Cranks||FSA Vero forged alloy square taper, 175mm, 110mm bcd, 5-arm triple, 52/42/30 steel rings|
|Chain||KMC Z narrow|
|Cassette||Shimano MegaRange, 11-34 8-speed steel cogs|
|Brakes||Avid BB7 cable discs, 160mm rotors|