Kona Rove AL 650 review - a big-tired, big-on-fun bike for under $/£1,100

The only thing stopping the Kona Rove AL 650 from being a great bike is poor-performing brakes

The Kona AL 650 gravel bike
(Image credit: Tim Peck)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

Ironically, the one thing holding this big-on-fun bike back is its brakes, as their lack of stopping power sucks some of the enjoyment out of the ride. The Kona Rove AL 650 is the type of bike that’s at its best on unmaintained roads and easy singletrack, and while it won’t get you to gravelly terrain quickly—it’s slow and steady on pavement—it always delivers a smile thanks to its playful spirit.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Really fun to ride

  • +

    WTB Rambler tires

  • +

    Ample number of mounts

  • +

    Comfortable on rough roads and techy terrain

  • +

    Clean, understated good looks

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Brakes lack stopping power

  • -

    Slow on the road

  • -

    Lack of thru-axles

  • -

    Uncomfortable seat

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

The Kona Rove AL 650 delivers a fun, not fast, ride that’s sure to put a smile on your face but probably won’t put you on the podium of a race or in the lead of your local ride. While fun is the main flavor of the Rove, it’s also adaptable. The bike is capable of ripping singletrack one day, navigating in-town traffic the next, and lives up to Kona’s description as “the road biker’s gravel/touring/do-it-all steed.”

Kona Rove AL 650: construction

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