The New 2016 Kona Big Rove Off-Road Touring Bikes

Kona do quite the range of adventure and touring bikes – so far we’ve covered the Sutra, Sutra LTD and Roadhouse. Those bikes will cover your light touring duties, perhaps a round-the-world trip, and most touring in between. But what if you wanted to get really rugged? This is where the 2016 Kona Big Rove starts to shine.

The 2016 Kona Big Rove is an off-road adventure touring bike, and it will take you right off the beaten path. The Pamirs? Sure. Across a desert? Sure. Not only will it help you ride on rough surfaces, but won’t slow you down too much either (like a fat bike). Here’s a list of every adventure off-road touring bike available.

The geometry of the 2016 Kona Big Rove frame is almost the same as the Sutra. It has a high-trail front end which provides stability with a heavy load, it has long chainstays and a tall front end. The main point of difference is the higher bottom bracket which affords more pedal clearance off-road. The longer top tube is optimised for flat handlebars too.

Adventure touring bikes come with mountain bike parts – 29er wheels, wide range cassettes, small chainrings, wide tyres and hydraulic disc brakes. All of these features help with off-road terrain to take you up and down the steepest hills. Both Big Rove models have provision for front and rear racks as well as fenders.

With the Big Rove, you get to choose between steel and aluminium frames. Head over here to read about my thoughts on frame materials for touring.

2016 Kona Big Rove ST

2016 Kona Big Rove

The Big Rove steel is the flagship model in the range, and will likely be favoured for its more traditional frame material. It has a SRAM X5/X7 10-speed drivetrain with a small gear of 21 gear inches, but still has a decent upper gear with the 42t big ring. It comes with 29×2.00 Schwalbe Big Apple tyres which are fast on asphalt, but also offer lots of support on the dirt.

You can get the Big Rove ST for US $1199.

2016 Kona Big Rove AL

2016 Kona Big Rove

Apart from using aluminium as the frame and fork material, the Big Rove AL has a lower quality drivetrain across the board. It employs Shimano Alivio/Deore 9-speed parts which may not snap into place as nicely as the SRAM, but what you will get is a triple MTB crankset with a really low gear of 18 gear inches. Like the ST, you get wide 29×2.00 tyres which will see you flying along on any terrain.

The Big Rove AL is available for US $899.

Want To Compare These Touring Bikes With Dozens of Others?

Check out The Touring Bicycle Buyer’s Guide which compares touring bike steering, sizing, gear ratios, specification, pricing and more. The Bikepacking Bike Buyer’s Guide does the same thing, however, with a focus on lighter bikes and models with more off-road capability. Both of these guides are updated annually with the latest models at no extra cost!

Helpful Resources

All About Touring Bike Brakes
Frame Materials for Bicycle Touring
How to Select Touring Bike Gearing
Understand Bicycle Frame Geometry
What’s the Difference between Cyclocross and Touring Bikes?

Touring & Bikepacking Bike Overview

2016 Advocate Lorax
2018 All City Gorilla Monsoon
2016 Basso Ulisse
2016 Bianchi Volpe and Lupo 2016
2016 Bombtrack Beyond
2017 Bombtrack Beyond
2018 Bombtrack Beyond
2018 Bombtrack Arise Tour
2019 Bombtrack Beyond
2016 Brodie Elan Vital
2016 Cannondale Touring
2019 Cannondale Topstone
2020 Cannondale Topstone
2016 Cinelli Hobootleg Geo
2018 Co-Op ADV 4.2
2017 Curve Grovel V2
2017 Diamondback Haanjo EXP Carbon
2016 Fuji Touring
2017 Fuji Touring
2018 Fuji Touring
2018 Fuji Touring Disc
2016 Genesis Tour de Fer
2016 Giant ToughRoad
2017 Giant ToughRoad
2018 Giant ToughRoad and ToughRoad GX
2016 Jamis Aurora and Aurora Elite
2019 Jones Plus SWB
2020 KOGA WorldTraveller-S
2016 Kona Big Rove
2016 Kona Roadhouse and Sutra LTD
2016 Kona Sutra
2017 Kona Sutra
2018 Kona Sutra
2018 Kona Sutra LTD
2019 Kona Sutra and Sutra LTD
2020 Kona Sutra and Sutra LTD
2020 Kona Unit X
2016 Marin Four Corners
2017 Marin Four Corners
2018 Marin Four Corners
2016 Masi Giramondo
2018 Masi Giramondo
2016 Niner RLT9
2016 Rawland Ulv and Ravn
2016 Salsa Deadwood
2017 Salsa Fargo
2018 Salsa Fargo Ti Frameset
2018 Salsa Journeyman
2016 Salsa Marrakesh
2017 Salsa Marrakesh
2018 Salsa Marrakesh
2020 Salsa Marrakesh
2017 Salsa Vaya
2019 Salsa Warbird
2016 Specialized AWOL
2017 Specialized AWOL
2017 Specialized Diverge
2018 Specialized Diverge
2019 Specialized Diverge
2017 Specialized Sequoia
2018 Specialized Sequoia
2019 Specialized Sequoia
2018 Surly Bridge Club
2017 Surly Troll
2016 Traitor Wander
2019 Trek 520
2016 Trek 920, 720, 520 & CrossRip
2017 Trek CrossRip
2018 Trek 920
2018 Trek 1120

  1. What a great blog Alee. Thanks. I’m not a tourer (yet), I’m a French 45 year old going to work in Paris with a bike on daily commute (we call it “velotaf” here, “velo” meaning “bike” and “taf” a slang word for “travailler = working”) looking for a bike I can also have fun with on weekends and resistant for multiple hits with the pavement.

    I considered the ROVE AL (at 1.450€ in France) quite a few people use for “velotaf” here (paniers are also useful for transporting a laptop) and wondered if the BIG ROVE AL was the same bike except for the BIG APPLE tyres (fine with me, if not better thanks to the extra comfort) as the 2015 model is currently on sale at 900€, more in my budget.

  2. I am 5′.03″ and have a new Specialized ruby 43CM. I have an older wonerful trek 47 CM- but it is a tad too big for me. I am interested in a touring bike but not willing to spend over 1K. What do u suggest

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