My Kona Dew-e DL 2022

Bikeknit

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Kansas City
Finally my Kona Dew-e DL is here. I just rode it home from my bike shop. A short ride but it is 28°F here so a bit nippy for me. My intention is to report my experiences with this bike over the next few months. Essentially the kind of information that I would have liked to have found when I was making my decision.

First, Court's review is great and gives a lot of good information. Secondly, for the first time in my life, I felt I could afford the upgraded version (The dl). The regular version of the Dew-e looks to be a perfectly good bike and would probably be a good choice. I vascillated between the two but went for the higher end components.

So, why did I choose this bike? I'm someone who has ridden bicycles at a moderate level most of my life. Some moderate touring, group rides with people willing to go slow, some modest errand riding. But I'm 68, got knee replacements a little over a year ago, my friends are switching to e-bikes and I can't keep up or find myself resisting getting on the bike because I anticipate hills or other issues. I wanted a class 1 bike that wasn't very heavy but had a decent range and a removable battery. My upper body strength is minimal and I wanted to be able to get the bike on the rack by myself if I needed to. I also want to ride it as a bicycle but with some help going up the hills and on long rides.

First thoughts. The cost of this bike went up a couple of hundred dollars from last year and it now does not come with pedals, adding a little more. I also added a rack(it does have fenders, lights, a kickstand) and will need a better lock as it has no lock for the motor, making it easier to ride off if someone cuts my chain. It is expensive. Only one color choice. This year it is root beer - okay but not my favorite. I had to wait about half a year til my shop got one.

But it is fun! It looks pretty sleek for an electric bike. I live at the top of a hill. All rides end uphill. I rode home, mostly with the motor off so I could experiment with shifting. It really does ride like a non-electric bike in this mode. But I put the motor on for my hill. Definately fun! The display is small and mostly intuitive. It took us a bit to figure out how to turn on the lights in the shop and I promptly forgot. I'll need to experiment with the settings until they are intuitive for me.

I'll check back in when it gets a little warmer.
 

Bikeknit

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Kansas City
Two rides. Yesterday and today are decent weather. So I got a couple of rides in. Fourteen miles yesterday and 20 miles today. Below are a few thoughts.

1. Ride. I love riding this bicycle, with or without assist. The gearing is such that I can ride up modest hills as easily as on my Surly even without assist. That said, some hills used to do me in and now I can just turn on the assist and get the needed boost. I did some riding without assist, some on eco mode and a very little on normal mode. The shifting is smooth but see #2. My first time with disc brakes, also very smooth and responsive.

#2. It is best to quit pedalling while shifting and using assist. It does grind a bit if you don't and as discussed in the forum, that's not so good on the chain. It's been pretty easy to learn to do this.

#3. Motor noise. I was a little worried, based on Court's review that there would be a constant whirring noise when the engine is engaged. Though I do hear engine noise sometimes, it is not all, or even most of the time. Based on conversations with other ebike owners,there seem to be some combinations of assist level, gear choice and pedaljjng pressure that result in engine noise. I haven't quite figured that out yet.

#4 Getting the bike on my platform rack. I had help getting the bike on so I'm not sure how difficult that will be for me. I did get it off by myself pretty easily. One of the reasons that I chose this bike is because it is lighter than many of the bikes I was looking at. Only 8 pounds lighter than my friend's Gazelle (42.4 lbs vs 51 lbs) but 8 pounds can make a difference if you are at your strength limits.

#5 Misc. Issues from the review on this site. Perhaps because I don't have anything to compare them to, I have no issue with taking the battery off; using the computer display; having the on switch, the assist level switch, and the mode button in different places. They seem fairly easy to use.

#6. Range. As I rode, mostly in eco mode but sometimes without assist
20220214_135045.jpg
, after 34 miles, it is showing me with a remaining range of 89 miles ( starting with a fully charged battery).
 

Bikeknit

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Kansas City
I've snuck a few rides in during the warm days in our snow melt cycles this month. Not a lot to add except you guys are right. E bikes are a lot of fun. And my Kona is pretty much what I was looking for - a fun bicycle that can help me out when things get tough but that I also enjoy riding even without assist.
 

Bikeknit

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Kansas City
I've got 150 miles on the bike and still loving it. We've had some strong headwinds and I really appreciated the boost. Springtime in my city can be blustery.

I spent some time reviewing the Shimano Steps e6100 manual and then went back to look at the specs for the bike to confirm what I was seeing: They chose to put the more compact display for the mountain bike motor e7000 on the bike with the e6100 motor. Personally, I'd probably prefer the bigger display for the e6100. I would love to have been in that meeting and know why they made that decision. It isn't a big issue, just wonder why they didn't use the bigger e6100 display with more info so you don't have to scroll through to see things like cadence and range. Maybe Kona's mountain bike roots?

I've replaced the seat with a Terry seat and bought a new back bag to carry my stuff. I plan to replace the perfectly adequate grips with some more ergonomic grips possibly with bar ends and have my bike shop raise the handlebars with a spacer at my check in next month.

The somewhat wider tires help smooth out our potholed streets. It has been a bit of an adjustment with the slightly faster speeds and the much more responsive disk brakes. This is my first bike with disk brakes instead of calipers. I've had a couple of rather abrupt stops but I'm retraining myself.

I love that this bicycle rides like a regular bicycle when I've got it set on off and actually feels like a regular bicycle with a stronger version of me when I've got it on. I've gone on several rides that I would have skipped without it, because of cold headwinds, longer or hillier routes than I felt ready for. Happy riding everyone.
 

Bikeknit

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Kansas City
Only one color choice. This year it is root beer - okay but not my favorite.
Though the web site originally described this color as root beer, it now says mauve - a more accurate description as there is some red in it. Perhaps there was some confusion in the paint supply chain? Anyway the color has really grown on me and I'm pleased with it.
 

Bikeknit

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Kansas City
Stopped by the bike shop after my ride Thursday to have them put a different handlebar stem in so I can raise the handlebars a bit. A local mechanic had outfitted my Surley to make it more comfortable for my aging body and raising the handlebars helped. They also tightened my fenders which were rattling a bit. I've ordered ergon gp3 grips. This is my first bicycle with grips instead of handlebar tape so learning what will make it more comfortable.

It is a fun bike - light and zippy! I went with my husband to look at the Trek Allant +7 for him. He needs front suspension and would like a step through. People at the Trek shop didn't know much about the e-bikes, which seemed weird. The Allant is a full 10 or 12 pounds heavier than my Dew-e. Some nice features but it also made me really happy with my choice of the Kona. Anyone who wants a little lighter class 1 bike with a longer range should really consider Kona bikes. I'm approaching 200 miles on the bicycle and really enjoying bicycling again.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
It is a fun bike - light and zippy! I went with my husband to look at the Trek Allant +7 for him. He needs front suspension and would like a step through. People at the Trek shop didn't know much about the e-bikes, which seemed weird. The Allant is a full 10 or 12 pounds heavier than my Dew-e. Some nice features but it also made me really happy with my choice of the Kona. Anyone who wants a little lighter class 1 bike with a longer range should really consider Kona bikes. I'm approaching 200 miles on the bicycle and really enjoying bicycling again.
All versions of Allant+ are meant as a car replacement while your Kona is a recreational e-bike made as a "straight handlebar gravel e-bike". That explain the difference in weight and handling.
Your husband could look to the Specialized Vado 2022: still heavy compared to your Dew E but it seems to tick all the boxes.
 

anton.somora

New Member
Region
Europe
He needs front suspension and would like a step through.
It's is a hard mission - to find a lightweigh ebike :). I spent a lot of time with it. From big brands there is
Cannondale Canvas Neo about 44 lbs, but front suspension is no standard, it's not steptrough
Specialized Turbo Como 4.0 48 lbs
Giant Explore E+ 2 49 lbs

but you cen check smaller brands like Schindelhauer, Whyte, Devinci, Vitus, Raleigh, etc
but it will be hard :)
 

Bikeknit

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Kansas City
I love my bike but just got my first flat at a little over 500 miles on these tires. The rear tire, of course. My husband picked me up as we wanted to have our first experience changing the tire in the garage in case we had problems. Everything went fine til We went to put the tire back on. Had some problem getting it in place but it slid in when we turned the bike upside down. Went for a short ride today and all is fine. Nice to know I can, at least in theory, change the tire.

Just a small shard of glass. I'm pretty sure my Schwalbe Marathons on my other bike would have shrugged that off. I'll ask elsewhere but wondering about the puncture resistance of these tires : Maxxis Re-fuse Maxx Shield. Anyone have experience?
 
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EmilyRides

Member
Hello Bikeknit! I read your reports on your Kona Dew-e DL with interest, and I really appreciate your posting in such detail. I have been dreaming about and researching e-bikes since 2020 and have seen (online only) so many different makes and models that interested me initially, but upon further research and consideration, have ruled out most of them. I have been a road cyclist (with a tiny bit of MTBing thrown in) for many years and am now reaching the age where I think "e" is the way to go. I'm 61 and still fit for my age, but we just moved to a rural area with many rolling hills, and I am much slower than I used to be on the hills back in my 40s, which was my peak cycling decade. I am also quite short (5'1") and light, which makes the e-bike search even more difficult than for some folks, since a super heavy e-bike is going to be hard for me to manage, and many models don't come in a small enough size for me. We live on a gravel road, and unless I buy a fattie, there is little likelihood of riding on our road, as the gravel is plentiful and loose. I don't want to buy a fat bike for 1/2 mile of road and then have to ride it on the paved roads for 20-30 mile rides! Currently I walk my Bike Friday road bike up and down our road at the beginning/end of every ride.

All of these considerations sent me off on the search for a "light" e-bike that I could manage to walk on our road without killing myself. I found Court's reviews of the Kona Dew-e and Dew-e DL, which led me to this forum, where I then found your posts. Interestingly, if you look closely at the geometry specs for the Dew-e vs DL, the Small size DL is just slightly larger (TT length, standover, reach) than the Dew-e, which may lead me to the Dew-e, though I like the wider gear range on the DL. I doubt I'll have any luck getting to do a test ride and will probably have to order the bike from my local dealer, because of my size, if I decide to go forward with this. It looks like it's going to be next spring before budget allows.

By the way, we used to live in the greater KC area (Prairie Village) and loved the cycling paths around that area. Wish we had something like that in our part of North Carolina. Really glad you're enjoying your Dew-e DL, and I may have a question or two for you later!
 

Bikeknit

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Kansas City
Great to meet you Emily. I went back and forth between the regular Dew-e and the DL. In the end I chose the DL but suspect I would have been fine with the other model. As an experienced cyclist I suspect you'll do fine with the gear range on either. This bike is considered a gravel/city bike and though I haven't ridden it on much gravel, my city streets can be pretty rough. You might do some research on tubeless tires. I decided not to do that but it is an option. Also, you'll be running your tires on lower pressure than you may have with your bike. I am in the process of trading my tires for some with more tread.

My women friends, some of whom are quite short ride gazelles, treks, and specialized, mostly as step throughs which make it easier to fit a short person.
When I lived in Prairie Village all rides ended downhill, now all end uphill. I'll be happy to answer questions to the best of my ability.
 

Bikeknit

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Kansas City
live on a gravel road, and unless I buy a fattie, there is little likelihood of riding on our road, as the gravel is plentiful and loose. I don't want to buy a fat bike for 1/2 mile of road and then have to ride it on the paved roads for 20-30 mile rides! Currently I walk my Bike Friday road bike up and down our road at the beginning/end of every ride.
Many ebikes, including the dew-e have a walk mode which should help you walking the bike. That said, I love that my ebike is lighter than most. I can get it off the rack by myself and suspect I could get it on by myself if I had to. It just feels more bicycle-like than some other, heavier bikes.
 

EmilyRides

Member
Thanks for your replies! I am glad to hear that the Dew-e has a walk mode; I think that would be very useful, as the very end of our road is a hill, and I struggle with it even with my light Bike Friday, mostly because my shoes don't provide much traction on the gravel once I am on a hill. I do the vast majority of my rides right from my house, so I don't even have a car rack to worry about at this point, but that could change someday. I have been leery of tubeless tires, maybe mostly because they are something new (old dog, new tricks, etc.), so we'll have to wait and see on that. I will probably start with the stock tire and go from there. Our rural roads are pretty good, for the most part, mostly smooth. That is cool that you lived in Prairie Village too! We were only there a year, house sitting for friends, but we really enjoyed our time there and were able to walk or ride our bikes to a couple of grocery stores and one frozen custard place we'd stop at at the end of our rides sometimes...yum!
 

rarobo

Member
I have a non electric Kona Dew DL in addition to a ebike, well at least I think I do, my grandson (12) has somehow impounded it. I always liked this bike, they seem to run small, I am 5’6” and have a medium and could probably ride a large. I don’t know what tires are on the ebike, mine came with 1.95 MTB, I have been on every surface with this bike, regrettably tried to follow my grandson on a trail once, I did 22 miles on Cumberland island off the coast of Georgia twice with it in the sand without big issues, last year on my ebike I almost lost it several times on the sandy roads ( weight maybe?). Great bike
 

EmilyRides

Member
@Bikeknit , I just finally watched Court's entire video review of the 2021 Dew-E DL, and I am sold on the higher DL line. He really didn't emphasize the differences between the DL and the standard Dew-E all that much, mostly just focused on the integrated battery, which is the least important difference to me -- it looks nice, but is not a deal-breaker. More important, and like you mentioned, are the higher-end components. The 11-46t cassette is a big upgrade, as is the carbon fork to help mellow out the road chatter. Those items alone are enough to cause me to fork out the extra for the DL. I liked that Court said that this was a more "advanced" bike that would be best appreciated by more experienced riders. :cool:

There were a couple of negatives he pointed out that I wanted to get your feedback on, when you have a moment:
1) The bottom (mode) button on the display unit being hard to reach when riding. That does seem a bit awkward. Do you find it hard to change from speed to distance or range while you are riding your bike?
2) The motor noise. I was under the impression that the Shimano E6100 was much quieter than the Bosch, but sounds like it really isn't. Does that whirring noise bother you, being that you are also used to riding a silent bike?
3) What is your height, and what size did you buy? I am less concerned about the fit now, since Court said he is 5'9" and riding a Large...surely the Small would not be too big for me. I also think this based on my attempt to measure the reach on the two bikes I ride the most. I just hope the Small isn't too scrunched up for me in the cockpit, but I doubt it. I couldn't ride the Medium based on the standover being too high.
Thanks so much!
 

Bikeknit

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Kansas City
@Bikeknit , I just finally watched Court's entire video review of the 2021 Dew-E DL, and I am sold on the . :cool:

There were a couple of negatives he pointed out that I wanted to get your feedback on, when you have a moment:
1) The bottom (mode) button on the display unit being hard to reach when riding. That does seem a bit awkward. Do you find it hard to change from speed to distance or range while you are riding your bike?
2) The motor noise. I was under the impression that the Shimano E6100 was much quieter than the Bosch, but sounds like it really isn't. Does that whirring noise bother you, being that you are also used to riding a silent bike?
3) What is your height, and what size did you buy? I am less concerned about the fit now, since Court said he is 5'9" and riding a Large...surely the Small would not be too big for me. I also think this based on my attempt to measure the reach on the two bikes I ride the most. I just hope the Small isn't too scrunched up for me in the cockpit, but I doubt it. I couldn't ride the Medium based on the standover being too high.
Thanks so much!

1. The mode button is a tad awkward but I wouldn't say hard to reach. I'm getting used to it. The minimal display does have a 5 bar display for battery charge which gives you an idea of how much you've used without checking the range. The default is the speed and just one push to see distance. A couple more pushes to range. Once you stop pushing it reverts to speed after a bit. Not how I'd design it but not bad. Like anything, you learn to work with it. About the most I've ridden in a day is 26 miles and that doesn't come near to exhausting the battery so I'm not too anxious about checking the range.

2. I was really worried about the motor noise as reported by Court, but on my bike the whirring noise is rare. And not as loud. I wonder if he had the microphone near the motor? Definitely not all the time. I think some combination of cadence, gear, and assist level (maybe low gear, low assist, and rapid cadence?). It has not been a problem. On the occasions where it happens I'll shift or let up on the pedals and it stops. I can only report on this one bike but not a big deal.

3. I am 5' 7" and ride a medium. I. tested a small Dew-e DL at my bike shop before they ordered my bike in medium and it was definitely too small for me. My shop put a riser on my handlebar stem to give me a slightly more upright position on the bike. There are a few other things the shop can do to adjust a bike though they can't do anything about the basic geometry.

I am glad I got the DL. I can ride this bike up hills without assistance more easily than I can on my non-e bike! That gear range is great! Having the battery underneath makes it easier to have a water bottle cage in the normal place. Since you are an experienced cyclist I think you'll appreciate the DL.

The tires are fatter than any bike I've had - though not a fat tire bike. You ride them with lower pressure than road bike tires but that gives you a little more comfort on the bike.

Good luck.
 

EmilyRides

Member
Thanks so much for your quick reply! Sounds like the display is no biggie; I think because Court has tested so many bikes with better displays, that's the kind of thing that would bother him more than it would bother those of us who haven't.
As for the motor noise, his test was the 2021 model, so perhaps Shimano made a tweak in the 2022 and it is quieter? My friend in Wisconsin has this motor on one of her bikes (a 2022) and said it was quiet, so with her and your perspective, I feel more comfortable.
I'm glad you mentioned a riser stem -- I've got those on two of my bikes so will likely want one on this bike as well. And the water bottle cage, I forgot to mention that, but I noticed it as well. Not sure where I'd put one on the non-DL model, but that would be annoying, since I'm used to having it there.
Thanks again! I'm keeping my fingers crossed it will work out and truly appreciate your insights and experience.
 

EmilyRides

Member
UPDATE: I just got back from riding a small Kona Dew (non-e) at the local Kona dealer, and I loved it. It fits just like my Jamis MTB and, even though I have to get used to throwing my leg over a higher top tube than my little Bike Friday again, I can do it. The hardest part of the test ride was riding with flat pedals (I'm used to clipless), how the heck do you start 😅, and no rear-view mirror! I forgot my bike glasses with my Take-a-Look mirror attached, though I did take my helmet and gloves.

The shop manager is contacting her rep to see if she can locate a small Dew-e DL. However, the dilemma is, whether I go for that one, assuming she can locate one, or wait until the 2023 model is available sometime this winter. She was able with her credentials to log in to the Kona site and see (and show me!) the 2023 lineup. Next year's color is going to be a deep matte blue, which I like a lot better than the mauve/brown of this year. I was able to see the current color in person today in a size large that they had in stock. So, the dilemma would be, wait for the better color but not get to go "e" until next spring, probably, since I am a wimp and doubt I'd ride in the winter unless we had a unseasonably warm day or week. I may not have a dilemma if she can't even get her hands on this year's model in a small. We shall see!
 

Bikeknit

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Kansas City
@EmilyRides The mauve color grew on me. My bike came without pedals and though I went with platform pedals, I suspect you could choose clipless - though I don't know that for sure Do they have a price for the 2023 model? The price jumped $300 between 2021 and 2022 so one thing to consider if you wait. I'm sure you'll love it either way.