Please Help Me Decide: Kona El Kahuna, Splice E, or Dew E?

timacn

Active Member
I am looking for an ebike with an upright riding position that will do well on paved roads, gravel, single track, and dirt. An "all around" bike.
There are, generally speaking, no bikes in shops to try out, so I was wondering what your opinion was on the bikes I've listed above. Which would be a good choice? Thanks for your help.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
kahuna has a suspension fork and mtb tires so will out perform the Dew-e off road. Splice E is not showing on the Kona website at the moment. Dew-e is good for road and gravel
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
I am looking for an ebike with an upright riding position that will do well on paved roads, gravel, single track, and dirt. An "all around" bike.
There are, generally speaking, no bikes in shops to try out, so I was wondering what your opinion was on the bikes I've listed above. Which would be a good choice? Thanks for your help.
@timacn: Dewey has given a good answer. Let me, however, tell you something I learned from my own experience:

An "all-rounder bike" doesn't exist.
  • e-MTB will be great off-road, painful to use in the city
  • A city oriented e-bike will be hopeless off-road, especially on single track
  • So called "gravel e-bike" is the most universal but it is not comfortable, requires riding it in road-bike position, and is not equipped.
I wouldn't dare to take the Splice-E off-road. It looks a city e-bike to me.
Dew E is a proper gravel e-bike with flat handlebars. It is even equipped. Not an off-road e-bike.
El Kahuna is a proper e-MTB. In the city, you will suffer from tyre noise, and forget riding it fast.

If an universal e-bike existed, it would need to meet contradictory goals. For instance, fenders are simply dangerous off-road. In e-MTB, it is possible to replace noisy knobby tyres with all-rounders such as Johnny Watts but such tyres won't meet the demands of a technical single track. And so on and so on.

When I bought my full-suspension e-MTB, I loved it off-road, hated on-road. Eventually I decided I didn't need an MTB. I brought my Vado to the level of a heavy, flat-handlebar, and equipped "gravel bike" but I enter off-road with real reluctance, and riding there makes funny looks of MTBers :) "How can you ride with no suspension in the forest?"
 

rcode3

New Member
Region
USA
I have a Dew E (and will probably be selling it soon). I would not say that it offers an upright riding position. I use it for commuting 25 miles per day (12.5 each way), and at the end of each ride my hands are generally tingling from needing to lean on the handlebars.
 

Bikeknit

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Kansas City
I have a Dew E (and will probably be selling it soon). I would not say that it offers an upright riding position. I use it for commuting 25 miles per day (12.5 each way), and at the end of each ride my hands are generally tingling from needing to lean on the handlebars.
@rcode3 Can you tell us a little more about your experience with the Dew-e ? This is the bike I'm leaning toward but none to try now. What else besides the forward position did you not like? What are the pros and cons? What model year bike do you have?
 

rcode3

New Member
Region
USA
I'm not sure about the model year, but I bought in June 2020. It has the Bosch Active Line motor, not the current Shimano motor. Some of the other things I don't like about it is that it does not come with a rack or any way of carrying stuff, which is a pretty big negative for a commuter bike. Also, I don't think the sizing is correct. I have a medium frame but I found getting my leg over the frame to be difficult (admittedly, I'm not as spry as I once was). I also measured the crank arms and they seem to be longer than what you normally get for a medium bike according to charts I found on the Internet.

Another negative are the metal fenders, which make quite a bit of noise when pebbles and small rocks get on the wheels. I had to have the front one adjusted once. I'm also not a fan of the seat.

It does handle well, but I attribute that to it's more sporty posture.
 

Bikeknit

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Kansas City
I'm not sure about the model year, but I bought in June 2020. It has the Bosch Active Line motor, not the current Shimano motor. Some of the other things I don't like about it is that it does not come with a rack or any way of carrying stuff, which is a pretty big negative for a commuter bike. Also, I don't think the sizing is correct... I also measured the crank arms and they seem to be longer than what you normally get for a medium bike according to charts I found on the Internet.

Another negative are the metal fenders, which make quite a bit of noise ... I had to have the front one adjusted once. I'm also not a fan of the seat.

It does handle well, but I attribute that to it's more sporty posture.
Thanks. I'm thinking I can add a rack and change the seat (something I've done in the past with analog bikes) and will need to really check out fit and what I think of the fenders on a test drive - when they show up in shops again. I'm very picky about bike seats and usually replace the ones that come with bikes. I really like that it is a lighter bike than many ebikes and handling is important to me. I'll be interested in any further comparisons you make with your new bike. Appreciate learning about your experience.
 

rcode3

New Member
Region
USA
It's definitely lighter than my Dost, but I wouldn't say it is light. It's not "pick it up and sling it on your shoulder" light, like you could probably do with a decent road or mountain bike.