Kona recently introduced their all-new King Zing carbon fiber road bike. It’s made in Italy by Dedacciai, uses custom designed “spined” stays and sports a pretty solid component spec for the price. So why haven’t we heard about it?
We asked Kona just that, here’s the response and some details on the new road bikes:
“People see us as a mountain bike company, which is really how we started, but we’re all roadies here, too,” said Dewey, Kona’s head designer. “I guess we need to hire a better marketing manager,” he joked.
“We do all kinds of road bikes, and we’ve done titanium models in the past and had some of the earliest sloping top tube frames. And we’ve been doing different forms of carbon bikes for a while, and over time we’ve run the gamut from bonded to monocoque. With our new King Zing, we looked at our changing volume-versus-cost dynamic. In the past, we haven’t had the volume to put a lot of money into road bikes. Now, though, we’ve done enough business with Deda that they said we could take one of their frames and customize it to make it Kona. So we’ve modified the stays heavily, with all of our work really done from the seat tube back.”
Whip past the break for frame details…
Kona started the process by laying out the numbers they wanted. The Deda frame they used had the geometry they desired, so their energy could be focused on making the bike feel they way they wanted through the stays. Their product manager Pat White fine tuned the ride to match what he’d been looking for out of their past bikes.
Both seat- and chain stays have a sort of flattened, twisting and pinched shape, making it look simultaneously aero and curvy. The front end has a tapered head tube with inset headset and full carbon monocoque fork, also from Dedacciai. Kona says the result is a bike that smooths out harsh roads and track well while still being able to go fast.
The King Zing is the top model and retails for $3,099 with a mostly Ultrega drivetrain and Mavic Ksyrium Equipe wheelset.
The Zing Supreme uses the same frame and fork but steps down to a Shimano 105 (Ultegra Rear Der.) group with Mavic Aksium wheels. Retail is $2,299.
Frame weights are about 1200g for a 53, 1260g for a 56, 1300g for a 59. Fork is 400g. Dewey says that had it a bit lighter but reinforced the rear end a bit more for production.
The Zing Deluxe (above, 105 and Shimano wheels, $1,499) carries over the geometry from some of their prior road bikes but get a little new tube shaping using Kona Race Light 7005 Superplastic-formed tubes.
The base Zing uses Kona Race Light 7005 butted tubing, but both bikes get a Dedacciai carbon fork. This one retails for $1,049 with a Sora/Tiagra mix and Shimano wheels.
Related: Check our visit to their press launch for 2012 mountain bikes here.