The 2019 Kona Libre

The 2019 Kona Libre and Libre DL Gravel Bikes

Kona’s answer to the gravel bike has arrived, and it’s called the Libre. Kona calls this their ultimate carbon dream machine. With a name that inspires freedom on any terrain, the bike was designed to perform on road and gravel, with two very attractive build options starting at just under $3000. The entry level Libre model features a Shimano 105 2x11 drivetrain with WTB 650b wheels and tires. While the nearly $4000 version comes with 700c wheels and a SRAM Force 1 drivetrain. Their all new Verso Carbon Touring fork looks pretty sweet too, capable of multiple rack and fender mounting options. Check the photos and additional info below, and let us know in the comments if this bike is on your short list.

Libre DL

According to Kona: The Libre DL is the ultimate adventure machine. Our Race Light Carbon frame, new Kona Verso Carbon Touring fork, Easton EA70AX wheels, and SRAM Force 1 components make this thing a rocket ship on any kind of hill. And by any hill we mean that: gravel grind, monster singletrack climb, or a weekend haul over a mountain pass. The Libre DL knows no limits.

  • Frame Material: Kona Race Light Carbon

  • Fork: Kona Verso Carbon Touring

  • Wheels: Easton EA 70AX 700c

  • Crankset: SRAM Force 1

  • Drivetrain: SRAM Force 1 11spd

  • Brakes: SRAM Force 1 Flat Mount 160mm front / 160mm rear rotor

  • Seat Post: Kona Thumb w/Offset

  • Cockpit: Kona Road Bar/Kona Road Stem

  • Front Tire: WTB Riddler TCS 700x45c

  • Rear tire: WTB Riddler TCS 700x45c

  • Saddle: WTB SL8 Pro


According to Kona: The Libre is the result of years of dreaming up the ultimate carbon dream machine. It’s part road bike, part mountain bike, part gravel grinder, and entirely badass. A Shimano 105 2x11 drivetrain ensures maximum gear range, while WTB 650b tubeless ready wheels provide ample clearance for your favorite tires. Our new Kona Verso Carbon Touring fork is one of the only carbon forks on the market that allows for multiple rack and fender mounting options.

  • Frame Material: Kona Race Light Carbon

  • Fork: Kona Verso Carbon Touring

  • Wheels: WTB KOM i25 TCS 650b

  • Crankset: Shimano 105

  • Drivetrain: Shimano Ultegra/105 11spd

  • Brakes: Shimano 105 Flat Mount 160mm front / 160mm rear rotor

  • Seat Post: Kona Thumb w/Offset

  • Cockpit: Kona Road Bar/Kona Road Deluxe Stem

  • Front Tire: WTB Byway TCS 650x47c

  • Rear tire: WTB Byway TCS 650x47c

  • Saddle: WTB SL8 Pro

Key Features

  • Carbon Frame

    • Designed to be lightweight and built to demanding standards. Carbon fiber has long been praised for its weight and strength, but rather than chase grams, we place our efforts on the performance that is possible when the right high-modulus fibers are in the right places. Our designers work very closely with our manufacturer to ensure there is no compromise to the desired ride characteristics, durability and – finally – weight stipulations that we expect from our bikes.

  • Integrated Headset

    • Integrated headsets are simple, light and effective headset systems whereby the bearing race cups are actually part of the head tube, and they are either machined away and left with the head tube, bonded (carbon), or welded in with steel or alloy. Like an internal headset, an integrated headset also reduces stack height, so the height of the stem and bars are more adjustable, giving the rider the best fit possible.

  • Tapered Head Tube

    • More girth at the bottom of the head tube better distributes shock force, prolonging the bearing life of the headset itself and eliminating brake shudder, while providing confident steering performance. The inherent strength of its triangular design also means a stronger steering position and improved balance, giving the rider more control in rough terrain. A zero-stack, tapered head tube also puts strength where the load is going—into the lower headset cup—maximizing bearing durability where it’s needed.

  • 12x142mm AXLE

    • 12x142mm, 12x148 and 12x157 rear axle standards provide two major advantages to the Kona rider: the 12mm diameter of the rear axle provides the rear hub and frame with a stiff interface, while the 142/148/157mm outer diameter of the hub allows the wheel to be quickly and properly positioned in the frame before the rear axle is inserted. For 2017, you’ll see the 12x148 Boost standard in the mix. Boost spacing provides more tire clearance at the chainstay yoke, while the rear wheel is stiffer and more durable relative to a 12x142 thru-axle.

  • 650b Wheels

    • Available on the $2999 Libre model, 650b wheels and tires have a similar overall diameter to a traditional 700c gravel or commuting tire, but with a smaller diameter rim and a wider, taller tire. The extra air volume in this new generation of urban and mixed-surface tires means they can be run comfortably at lower pressures while still rolling quickly on a variety of surfaces. It’s the best of both worlds.