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Old 01-02-09, 12:43 AM   #1
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First Tour - Kona Dew?

Hi all,

First off, I've been browsing through many of the threads today and there's been some great information I have picked up so thanks for that!

Two of my friends and I are embarking on our first tour in late May/early June, hoping to complete one of the longer routes towards Santiago de Compostela in Northern Spain, from either Vienna or Dusseldorf (roughly 2000km/1250 miles).

I've been training physically for a while and with the weather hopefully improving within the next couple of weeks, I was looking to pick up a half decent bicycle that could take this distance with comfort and be used for further tours across parts (or all) of Canada one day. Now, I'm a student in Canada so naturally price is a major issue for me.

I have been looking at the Kona Dew (I see little improvement in the Dew Plus other than the disk brakes, which I don't feel are terribly necessary for me now), and looking to outfit it with a few upgrades (most likely tires, saddle, and handlebars). From the photos on Kona's website, it looks easily equipable with both front and rear panniers. How are the ergonomics of the Dew for touring, as we'll be going for up to 5-6hrs each day? Are there any specific upgrades to the handlebars that you would recommend to improve circulation?

Does anyone have any similar touring experience that could help me out please? Is this a reasonable idea? As much as I would like to splash out $1000+ on a specifically designed touring bike, my budget is just over half that! Alternatively, if you know of a better bike in a similar price range, could you please let me know ?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-02-09, 03:09 AM   #2
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If you're totally set on the Dew, it's a completely completely capable bike.

(Looking at Kona's site for the 2008 basic Dew)
You're right about the frame accepting both front and rear racks. Disk brakes are GREAT for descending, but those v-brakes should do just fine- better than cheap sidepulls, IMO. The drivetrain looks capable enough (low-end, but thats just me being a snob). Chainstay length looks good enough.

As for upgrading- Saddles and tires are up to you. For handlebars, I have a couple simple suggestions- theres really only one hand position on that bike, and you'll want more. First, consider adding some bar-end handles. It's a quick way to get new hand positions. If the standard round grips don't feel right over long trips, try ergon grips ( ). Beyond that, if you want MORE positions, get some trekking bars ( ). They're cheap at REI or Nashbar. You can simply transfer the old grips and shifters over (those bar-end handles, if you get them, will probably bolt on somewhere, but they might be pointles- YMMV.)

Drops are POSSIBLE on that bike, but 1) the geometry of the frame is set up for flat bars; I would only attempt drops if the frame were honestly too small for you- and then 2) you'd be talking about swapping the stem, bars, brake and shift levers. At that point, you might as well have just bought a drop-barred road bike).

OK, that's enough from me right now
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Old 01-02-09, 07:36 AM   #3
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I own a Dew and a member converted one to an electric bike. I love it, but it's not a touring bike. The gears are wrong (especially if you are doing the Compo route).

You say you live in Canada, but don't say where. If you live in Toronto, you have lots of choices including craigslist. You might be much better off buying used.

Last edited by JakeEdwards; 01-02-09 at 07:46 AM.
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Old 01-02-09, 02:45 PM   #4
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I own an 08 Dew and have put a lot of work into it in preparation for some touring in 09. I it mainly as commuter when I first got it, 34mi r/t 4 days a week. About 2 months after buying it I converted the straight bars to drop bars and added a set of Shimano Sora brifters, along with a front rack and now a rear touring rack. It's alsoTset up with planetbike full fenders. the longest tour I've taken it on was 4-days and 200 miles. I only had a rear rack on it at the time and loaded it up with 45lbs of gear, tent included. It was a bit much but I made it to the end. I've added a front rack since then and am looking forward to my next tour on the dew. My only wish is to have stronger rims. After only 4 days, the rear wheel was really ou tof true but nothing that could not be fixed. I don't weigh much either, 5'9" at 130lbs. I got the bike on sale so I didn't mind adding an extra $250 for the touring conversion and I did all the work myself. I thought about buying a new touring wheelset but decided to ride this bike into the ground and then buy a touring specific bike. Overall: It's a great commuting bike and light touring bike. I can get away with loading the bike because I'm really light. The wheels are okay but will go out of true quickly under a heavy load.

Last edited by ObjectAgnosia; 01-02-09 at 02:48 PM.
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