Endure Handsomely: Kona Ti Esatto
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Kona’s Esatto line of bikes are built for road endurance and adventure seekers everywhere, most of the models offering conservative budget friendly build options. However, at the top of the line sits the Kona Ti Esatto, a frame only option that begs to be built with bells and whistles to match its sexy, brushed titanium body.
The Esatto Ti is handmade here in the USA by Lynskey Performance Designs, folks with years of experience, who are quickly carving out a reputation as the go to builders for titanium bike production. Kona selected industry standard 3-2.5 Titanium for the Esatto Ti which incorporates a blend of aluminum and vanadium with the primary metal, titanium, to deliver the ride and resistance quality Kona engineers were seeking.
The titanium frame is matched by Kona’s own hi-end carbon race fork featuring a tapered steer and sleek internal cable routing to conceal and offer a direct route to the front brake. The fork also sports a 15x100mm thru-axle configuration and flat mount disc brake setup. The rear dropout uses a 12x142mm thru-axle and the replaceable, oversized rear derailleur hanger we’ve noticed on other Lynskey creations.
If your next ride happens to take you on the road less maintained, or you just favor running an oversized tire, the Esatto Ti offers plenty of clearance for both the front and rear tires. Depending on what wheel you are running and how accurately your tires measure against size claims, you can safely run up to a 32mm tire without issues.
Every time we ride Ti we are reminded of its unique qualities, our favorite of which is its ability to make road vibrations vanish at speed. Somewhere around 20 mph everything settles in and becomes silky smooth, it’s a beautiful thing. Our first ride onboard the Esatto Ti was a quick reminder. The motorist’s equivalent of road noise with the window down versus up, it’s that good.
During our test we ran 27mm Challenge Roubaix tires between 80-90 psi adding to the comfort already being supplied by the titanium. The tires with their large contact area combined with the Esatto Ti’s extra long wheelbase gave the bike stability at speed with plenty of grip for big sweepers at high speed. For out of the saddle climbing the front end is plenty rigid and when you wind it up on the flats power transfer is smooth and direct.
Don’t buy an Esatto Ti, put on 23mm tires, pump them up to 120psi and try to race your buddies up the climb. You’d be missing the point and stealing some of the fun factor that the Ti Esatto possesses. Don’t get us wrong, the Esatto Ti can rip and handle an aggressive ride if provoked, but its element is delivering comfort and dependability for hours on end.
If you are a rider seeking to pickup an endurance style road bike with a unique flare that offers up all the modern amenities like front and rear thru-axles, flat mount disc brakes, and heaps of tire clearance there is no doubt the Esatto Ti is a contender.
Our test bike was kitted out with a full SRAM Red 22 group, reminding us in this electronic world, the SRAM’s ultimate mechanical offering is still the best when cables are involved. We turned to Easton for wheels, cockpit and seat post. The EC90SL components are some of our favorites, stiff where needed, compliant where needed and all with light weight and durability endurance demands.
Even though the price of the frameset alone is more than the complete build of the next Esatto model down, the Esatto Ti offers something special to riders. Buying an Esatto Ti is a purchase that can last a lifetime, and it’s backed by a lifetime warranty. So ride, enjoy and repeat.
Price: $2,399 (Frameset Only)