Kona has just released the all-new Libre and Libre DL carbon gravel/all-road bikes. With clearance for 29 x 2.0″ or 650b x 2.1″ tires, five sets of bottle mounts on the frame and three-pack bosses on the fork, they look to be ready for just about anything…

Posted by Logan Watts

  • Quick Highlights
  • Angles (LG): 71° Head tube, 72° Seat tube
  • Chainstay: 440mm
  • Bottom Bracket: SRAM GXP PF
  • Hub specs: 12 x 100mm front / 12 x 142mm rear
  • Seatpost Diameter: 31.6mm
  • Max tire size: 650b x 2.1″ / 29 x 2.0″

After teasing two new models of the Libre at Sea Otter and Eurobike earlier this year, Kona has just announced the complete details of their Libre and Libre DL carbon gravel bikes, two new rigs designed for long days in the saddle, built around large volume tires and with a wide array of mounts for hauling gear however you please.

You might be wondering, isn’t the Libre just a carbon permutation of their esteemed Sutra LTD? Well, kind of. The Libre borrows a few traits from the the MTB-esque Sutra, such as a very similar stack height, reach, and bottom bracket drop, but it also takes a couple cues from the Rove, including a 5mm shorter chainstay. Compared to the Sutra LTD, the Libre also has a slightly slacker head tube angle and not quite as much tire clearance. With fenders mounted, the Kona Libre can fit 700x45c or 650x50mm tires, and up to 29 x 2.0″ or 650b x 2.1″ without.

To celebrate the release of these two new rigs, Kona sent Bike Magazine editor Anthony Smith to Kansas to follow 24hr World Solo MTB Champ Cory Wallace as he attempted his first 200-mile race, none other than the Dirty Kanza. They put together this beautiful mini story site about Cory’s experiences on the Libre there.

Kona Libre Dirty Kanza

  • Kona Libre Dirty Kanza
  • Kona Libre Dirty Kanza
  • Kona Libre Dirty Kanza

One Bike, Any Surface

As the Kona team sees it, the Libre was designed to be equally capable on pavement, trails, and gravel roads. Versatility is the name of the game with this new model, and they’ve tried to achieve that by combining characteristics from their Sutra and Rove models. The Libre’s carbon frame and fork mean it’s light and fast, and its interchangeable wheel platform with generous clearances allows you to swap out wheels and tires for any surface.

Libre DL

2019 Kona Libre DL

In Kona’s words: “The Libre DL is the ultimate adventure machine. Our Race Light Carbon frame, new Kona Verso Carbon Touring fork, Easton EA70AX wheels, and SRAM Force 1 components make this thing a rocket ship on any kind of hill. And by any hill we mean that: gravel grind, monster singletrack climb, or a weekend haul over a mountain pass. The Libre DL knows no limits.”

Libre DL Built Kit:

  • Frame Material: Kona Race Light Carbon
  • Fork: Kona Verso Carbon Touring
  • Wheels: Easton EA 70AX 700c
  • Crankset: SRAM Force 1
  • Drivetrain: SRAM Force 1 11spd
  • Brakes: SRAM Force 1 Flat Mount 160mm front / 160mm rear rotor
  • Seat Post: Kona Thumb w/Offset
  • Cockpit: Kona Road Bar/Kona Road Stem
  • Front Tire: WTB Riddler TCS 700x45c
  • Rear tire: WTB Riddler TCS 700x45c
  • Saddle: WTB SL8 Pro
  • 2019 Kona Libre DL
  • 2019 Kona Libre DL
  • 2019 Kona Libre DL

Libre

2019 Kona Libre

In Kona’s words: “The Libre is the result of years of dreaming up the ultimate carbon dream machine. It’s part road bike, part mountain bike, part gravel grinder, and entirely badass. A Shimano 105 2×11 drivetrain ensures maximum gear range, while WTB 650b tubeless ready wheels provide ample clearance for your favorite tires. Our new Kona Verso Carbon Touring fork is one of the only carbon forks on the market that allows for multiple rack and fender mounting options.”

Libre Build Kit:

  • Frame Material: Kona Race Light Carbon
  • Fork: Kona Verso Carbon Touring
  • Wheels: WTB KOM i25 TCS 650b
  • Crankset: Shimano 105
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Ultegra/105 11spd
  • Brakes: Shimano 105 Flat Mount 160mm front / 160mm rear rotor
  • Seat Post: Kona Thumb w/Offset
  • Cockpit: Kona Road Bar/Kona Road Deluxe Stem
  • Front Tire: WTB Byway TCS 650x47c
  • Rear tire: WTB Byway TCS 650x47c
  • Saddle: WTB SL8 Pro
  • 2019 Kona Libre
  • 2019 Kona Libre
  • 2019 Kona Libre

You can find complete details about the Libre platform by visiting Kona’s website. And stay tuned for our full review soon. We have one now and have already started putting in some miles on it…

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