The new Kona Libre AL is a more affordable 6061-alloy version of their popular carbon adventure gravel bike, and it’s coming exclusively to Europe this summer. Taking the uniquely upright geometry of the carbon Libre, this new aluminum bike is mean to give Europeans more options for an everyday workhorse bike for gravel road riding or bikepacking adventures…
Kona Libre AL, Europe-only alloy adventure gravel bike
After spending a lot of time adventuring on the upright carbon Libre DL, Zach came away loving the high stack height, long reach & relatively slack angles for a mix of on & off-road riding. He even walked away feeling strangely faster on the more upright setup.
But too bad for Zach in the US, and good news for me in the EU, the more affordable aluminum version is only available on this continent (at least for now.)
The alloy bike does share that same long, tall & slack geometry – available in five frame sizes (46-55cm seattubes.)
New for model year 2020, the Libre AL gets a 6061 aluminum frame with all the same mounts & tire clearance as the original, and even the same full carbon Kona Verso fork. Kona built the bike for “any terrain”, meaning any pavement, dirt or gravel road, singletrack climb, or mountain pass you want to cross on your next adventure ride.
The alloy bike gets the same four sets of standard cage mounts inside & on top of the main triangle, plus anything cage mounts on the fork, then full rack & fender mounts on both frame & fork. Curiously, the alloy bike does not get an extra cage mount under the downtube like the carbon version.
In the interest of simplicity, both front & rear brakes are routed externally in full-length housing, but shift cables are internal through the front triangle. The complete bike is set up 1x, but the Libre AL is compatible with road compact double or probably a dropper post instead.
Tire clearance is essentially the same as the carbon version, pretty close to maxed out at 700c x 45mm or 650b x 2.0″ – although both of those officially with fenders. The bike features 12mm thru-axles, a tapered headtube, flat mount brakes, a 68mm threaded BB, and a 31.6mm seatpost.
Pricing & availability
The new Libre AL will sell for £1800 / 1900€ with a SRAM Apex 1×11 drivetrain with TRP Spyre C mechanical disc brakes, wide flared Kona handlebar, and tubeless-ready 700c WTB KOM Light Team i25 wheels wrapped in 45c WTB Riddler TCS tires. The new bike is expected to roll into European bike shops this August 2019. No word on if or when the AL will make it to North America. Fingers crossed.