Join Date: Oct 2012
Bikes: Gary Fisher Sugar 4+, Kona Rove
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I just recently bought the Rove and so far I love it. My previous bike was a Redline Metro Classic which I liked as well but I felt a little too stretched out on the Redline. Test rode the Trek Crossrip, Crossrip Elite, the Raleigh Roper and the Kona Jake, but kept going back to the Rove. The Rove just felt like the all round bike I was looking for. Since the purchase, I've logged 120 miles and haven't experienced any of the discomfort I experienced on the Redline.
I have the Rove set up for commuting with an Axiom Journey rack, and XLC fenders. There are only one set of eyelets on the rear to mount the rack so the fender struts are mounted to the same eyelets as the rack, where as on the Redline it had rack and fender eyelets on the rear. I also swapped out the 700x35's for some 700x32 Vittoria Randoneer Pro's, as I felt that the 35's were a little sluggish for general commuting.
The SRAM Apex group is great, although its taken a while to get used to the double tap of the SRAM vs the dual shift levers of Shimano, but the shifts are smoother than the tiagra groupo and the drivetrain is very quiet. I have absolutely no complaints about the CC gear ratio of the compact double. I hardly ever shift into the small chain ring and I have some pretty decent climbs out of Portland and across the 205 bridge into Vancouver.
I like the Hayes CX5 disc brakes on the Rove but don't think they are any better or worse than the Avid BB5's that were on the Redline, although they do have more adjustment capability on the fixed brake pad than the Avids did. I do like the Avids no tool adjustment knob, and the fact that they were 160mm rotors, the Hayes on the Rove are 140mm. I have ordered the caliper adapters and V6 rotors to upgrade to 160mm rotors or I can put on the brand new BB7's that I bought for the RL before I purchased the Rove. The 2014 Rove gets an upgrade to a newer Hayes disc brake caliper and 160mm rotors.
I can't say that the Rove is the perfect bike, because I haven't ridden many drop bar bikes, although this is my third new bike in less than a year, but as far as comfort goes, I'm very happy with my decision to have bought the Rove. Just wish I would have done a little more homework and been a little more patient when purchasing the first two. I may have ended up with the Rove to start with.