2015 Kona Splice Review

8 When quality, price & functionality come together
8

Maybe you aren’t new to cycling but you haven’t ridden in years and want to rekindle the connection you once had with the bike. Or, could it be that you really want a new bike but you want the benefits of having both road and off road capabilities. Either way the 2015 Kona Splice is a great match for the described cycling enthusiast. We like to think that this bike will allow you to have multiple riding personalities to please both your friends and you family.

The Splice is built on an all aluminum frame with a mix of Shimano and Tektro componentry. The 24-speed Shimano drivetrain is well designed for the budget minded cyclist who wants durability and functionality while not placing much emphasis on weight and technology. The 63mm fork comes with lockout for the days when you want to work on your climbing legs. Stopping power has been upgraded to hydraulic disc to make this bike a true crosstrail contender. From dust to mud we never experienced a brake failure and haven’t had to make any adjustments through a months use. As long as you purchase the bike from a trusted Kona dealer there really shouldn’t be any concern as to when this bike will need a service.

Upon receiving our Splice we were very impressed with the clean build and classy look of the black components with metallic gunmetal paint that looked great but was sensitive to chips and scratches. For a rider that may not follow everyday cycling trends and probably doesn’t care what the pros use this bike will wow them (we learned this while testing the bike in public). In typical Kona fashion this model looks to favor the trail aspect with mountain qualities in the frame and durability in the componentry. Coming from light hardtails and aero road bikes the splice isn’t light by any means. With a retail value of $659 this Kona is all about quality the variety of terrain that you can ride from the local bike path to the park trails. It’s truly amazing what Kona fit into this affordable package.

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While riding on the dirt trails next you our local river path we unanimously agreed that Kona has the geometry down on their Splice. The compact rear triangle is a welcoming feature for use on faster bike path rides or daily commutes. When our testers climbed out of the saddle they received a noticeable amount response to the tires, which is a feature that can be undervalued in the sport category of bikes. On the dirt trails the bike responded well to quick maneuvers to avoid rougher terrain that might suit a mountain bike. We appreciated the more narrow 40c tires on the bike path but not so much on the dirt. Something a bit more burly and capable of rolling over ruts or rocks would fit perfectly on the Splice. The confidence that the frame and brakes instilled on us may have also overcompensated for the mediocre fork. Again, with price in mind the suspension gets the job done and on the streets it’s reduced road vibration to a minimum. Crosstrail can often be considered vague in terms of a bikes capability but we assure you that this bike will hold up well while you determine your preferred riding style.

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Another notable feature is the internal headset that allows for super smooth cruising as well as protection from the elements. The stack height resembles that of a performance mountain bike and was easily adjusted when we switched riders for a more thorough review. The 2015 Splice is a very dynamic bike that doesn’t need to specialize in one style of riding. You shouldn’t expect it to act as a flatbar road bike just as It wont replace your 29er hardtail. It is however, just as comfortable on the bike path as it is on the gravel road and responds well when pushed to its limits on either surface. The hearty yet meticulous frame is a standout feature with a quality drivetrain that held up to our abuse. With about a month of riding this bike we can definitely recommend it to you as dynamic and most importantly fun ride for all skill levels.

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