Kona's Brilliant Plan

An E-Bike You Can't Hate

Photos Dave Smith

What could be done to make an e-bike palatable to the most ardent opponents? The answer is nothing of course. Zealots aren't generally responsive to mitigating factors. Thankfully our audience is passionate rather than zealous, and passionate opponents of e-bikes will likely appreciate Kona's effort to put this 'evil technology' to work. 


Some of the fittest and strongest trail builders won't have any desire for the Kona Remote, but for most over-worked and under-appreciated builders this will make one aspect of the process a little more convenient and less time-consuming. 

The Remote is a 27+ trail builders' special hardtail. It doesn't come with a power saw but optional equipment includes a sleeve to transport your saw and other options for tools and supplies come standard. It's powered by a Bosch motor and it's a true pedelec so it won't move without pedal power. The motor is mounted at the bottom bracket for more agile handling and it is geared relatively low to access steep terrain.


Everything you see is included aside from the chainsaw and the sleeve that holds it which, along with racks, is built by Old Man Racks


Trails that are way out in the bush require an out-sized commitment, but the Remote will bring the builder closer to the trail. 


The Bosch motor puts out power based on the power you put in - up until its governor kicks in at 20 mph/ 30 kmh.


You can use it for working on easy access trails, but this will make building in the hinterlands more accessible. Hence the name.

If you are against trail builders a) getting to the trails more easily and faster b) spending more time building and less time in transit and c) building more often by taking advantage of smaller windows of time, then you clearly hate freedom. (note to zealots - I am just kidding).

If you are cynical, you may see this as a chance to ease into the market to prepare for a big play, and we can never be certain about corporate motivation, but Kona's position as communicated to me today is that e-bikes should only be used where access is clarified. Beyond that, improving access for overworked and under-appreciated trail builders is a beautiful thing.

I didn't get production dates, pricing or numbers from Kona but we'll update this when we have that info clarified. 

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+3 Andrew Major Metacomet Cam McRae

This will all end badly. I recall being challenged by a couple of disgruntled dirt-bikers, as to why I was allowed to use motorized transport to maintain the remote and iconic Seven Summits trail, while they were being prevented from riding it. They hadn’t conceived that I might actually walk and carry my chainsaw up the mountain to clear windfall, but when I made it clear that that’s what I do on a regular basis, their sense of fairness and consistency was satisfied, and we’ve had almost no issues with unauthorized dirt bike use since that time. Dirt bikers in my area almost uniformly respect the non-motorized status of trails, but ask any of them what they think about allowing electric powered bikes on non-motorized trails, and they’re very clear that an electric motor is a still a motor. The self interest that blinds the e-bike lobby to this is astounding, but Dirt bikers are clear that they won’t stand for being discriminated against if trails are opened for electronic motors.  



what a crock. an e-bike and a dirt bike to any informed person are not even remotely on the same page.



Pretty simple ask them how many pedal strokes they have made on their ride....


+1 Cam McRae

The allowances for trail builders should be much greater - they should be, and often are using ICE machinery to access and build trails. Therefore I don't see how one would be against trail building e-mtbs (and I am firmly in anti e-mtb camp and also in the cynics camp).
On the other hand this particular example is really not a good tool for the job it ascribes to. The small chainring suggests that it utilizes some kind of transmission to convert your leg power to the chain, and that in turn suggests additional drag when your battery pack is empty. Which usually happens when hauling heavy loads to remote locations.
Maybe adjacent would be a more appropriate name?


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