Jamis Renegade Vs. Kona Rove: Which Is the Right One For You?

The Jamis Renegade is known for its versatility, handling, and comfort, whether you’re commuting, graveling, or going on a multi-day bike adventure. The Kona Rove is a quick, steel-framed bike ready for all your adventures. But which one is better for your needs?

In this article, we’ll look at the difference between the Jamis Renegade and the Kona Rove. We’ll look at all different aspects of the bike, from the frame material to the geometry, gearing, brakes, wheels, and the price points of different models so you can decide which one is best for you. First, let’s take a look at some of the different models that are available from each manufacturer.

Jamis Renegade

BikePrice FrameFork GearingBrakesWheelsPurpose
Jamis Renegade A1$1099.95Aluminum AluminumShimano ClarisMechanical Disc700 x 37Entry-Level Gravel and Commuting
JamisRenegade S4$1399.95SteelCarbonShimano SoraMechanical Disc700 x 37 Gravel Trail
Jamis Renegade S3 $1899.95SteelCarbonShimano GRX 400Hydraulic Disc700 x 37Rough roads or gravel
Jamis Renegade S2 $2499.95SteelCarbonShimano GRX 600 Hydraulic Disc700 x 40, Tubeless ReadyRough Roads or gravel 
Jamis Renegade C2$2999.95Carbon CarbonShimano GRX 600 (1x)Hydraulic Disc700 x 37 Tubeless Ready 
Jamis Renegade C1$3999.95CarbonCarbonShimano GRX 810Hydraulic Disc700 x 37 

Kona Rove

Bike PriceFrameFork GearingBrakesWheelsBest For
Kona Rove AL 650$1099Aluminum AluminumClarisMechanical650 x 47Entry-level gravel and touring
Kona Rove$1599SteelSteelSoraMechanical650 x 47Commute or Gravel Trail
Kona Rove DL$1999Steel SteelSram (1x)Mechanical/Hydraulic650 x 47Touring
Kona Rove LTD$2599SteelCarbonShimano GRX 810Hydraulic650 x 47Adventure

Common Characteristics

The Jamis Renegade and the Kona Rove are both revered for their steel bike frames. All the models come complete with drop bars, tires, and gears made for adventure and rough roads.

Gravel bikes like these typically have wider tires for grip, stability, and comfort. In addition, the longer, more slack geometry of a gravel bike gives you more stability when you ride and a lot more comfort when the terrain is rough. Hydraulic disc brakes will provide you with the most stopping power in messy conditions, but mechanical disk brakes will save you money. 

Both the Jamis Renegade and the Kona Rove are similar gravel bikes. You’ll find they both have drop bars, wide tires, and lots of places to mount water bottles and gear.

In addition, both manufacturers have an entry-level bike that comes in around $1100, alongside a few higher models at various price points. This way, you can choose the bike that fits your budget and your needs. We’ll compare the models of both brands in this article. 

Budget and Price 

Unfortunately, we all have to work within a budget, so the price is one of the first things you may want to consider when searching for a gravel bike. The Jamis and the Kona have similarly priced entry-level bikes to get you started.

If you’re a new gravel rider, you might not be ready to invest in a high-end gravel bike until you are sure you enjoy gravel riding. But, of course, if you are an experienced gravel rider, you might be looking for something more top-of-the-line. 

Both the Jamis and the Kona have models that start at around $1100. However, the Jamis goes up to almost $4000 for its priciest model while the Kona only goes up to about $2600. The difference is that the Jamis has a carbon frame while the Kona has a steel frame. 

Geometry 

The geometry of a gravel bike differs from a road bike. This is important because a gravel bike needs to be stable in rough conditions. 

For example, a gravel bike will feel stable partly because it has a lower bottom bracket with a longer chainstay and wheelbase. It also will have a more upright position, which is more comfortable for long days of adventure. On the other hand, if you have a gravel bike with a more aggressive position, it may be more suitable for gravel racing than touring. 

If you compare the geometry of the Kona Rove and the Jamis Renegade, you’ll find that they are very similar. However, the Kona has a slightly longer reach but higher stack.

This will put you in a more upright position, which is more comfortable for touring. It also has a slightly lower bottom bracket, which might make it seem a little more stable, as well.

On the other hand, if you have short legs, you might prefer the lower standover height of the Renegade

Frame Material 

The components and the frame primarily affect the price of a bike. Like most entry-level bikes, the cheapest versions of both the Jamis Renegade and the Kona Rove are made of aluminum, which brings the price down. However, it also makes for a snappy but harsh ride – you’ll feel every bump with an aluminum bike.

The mid-range bikes by both models are made of steel. Steel is still reasonably priced, but it’s a little heavier than aluminum. It’s also a lot more comfortable to ride. 

Both manufacturers also offer a steel frame with a carbon fork, so you get the best of both worlds there. 

If you want a light, comfortable ride, you’ll find it in the carbon frame of the Jamis Renegade. Carbon is light and comfortable, but it is also more expensive, which is why the high-end Renegade is more costly than the Rove. 

Gearing

Gravel bikes are usually equipped with 1x or 2x gearing. Mountain bikers moving into gravel are used to their 1x gears, with a single chainring in the front and a wide cassette in the back.

Road bikers moving to gravel will prefer their gears to be closer together so they can focus more on cadence. They’ll probably be more comfortable with two chainrings in the front. 

The Jamis Renegade C2 comes standard with a single chainring, while the rest has double chainrings. On the other hand, only the Kona Rove DL, with the SRAM gearing, comes in a single chainring

A single chainring is probably better for flatter, muddier roads, but a double chainring will give you more gears for climbing and cadence. 

Brakes  

The best brakes for gravel riding, mixed terrain, and wet conditions are hydraulic disc brakes. They’ll give you the best stopping power. 

However, many gravel bikes, especially at entry-level,  are equipped with mechanical disc brakes. This brings the cost of the bike down significantly, but it just doesn’t have the same stopping power. 

If you will be doing a lot of riding in adverse conditions, you may want to spend the extra money on the Jamis Renegade S3, S2, C1, or C2 or the Kona Rove DL or LTD since they all have hydraulic discs. 

If you are only riding on flatter, well-groomed gravel trails, commuting, or taking easy trips with your bike, you might feel completely comfortable with the less expensive models that have the mechanical disc brakes. 

Wheels 

Your wheels will determine your speed and handling. Many serious gravel riders love riding on forties since they offer plenty of comfort and grip for rough terrain, but they will roll a little slower.  However, gravel racers often prefer 38’s for the extra speed and quick handling.  It’s all about what feels good to your ride. 

If you’re trying to figure out the perfect tire width for your gravel bike, check out this comprehensive article on Bike Commuter Hero.

All of the Rove bikes come equipped with 650 x 47 tires. These are very cushy, wide wheels that will be comfortable, great for rough terrain, and a bit on the slow side. You can purchase other wheels that are smaller if you prefer. 

The Jamis Renegade, however, is equipped with 700 x 37 tires. These will be faster, more nimble, but less capable of grip on loose rocks. 

Entry-level bikes are standard with tubes. However, you may want to have your bike converted to tubeless so that you can run the tires at lower tire pressure and be more resistant to punctures. For example, the Jamis Renegade C1, C2, and S2 are tubeless-ready and can be converted to tubeless by your local bike shop. 

Final Thoughts

Both the Jamis Renegade and the Kona Rove make great bikes for gravel, adventures, and touring. The Kona Rove has a slightly more comfortable geometry and wider tires, making it a little better for touring.

However, the Jamis Renegade is a very capable, all-road bike with lots of mounts to haul all your gear, whether it is for commuting, bikepacking, or gravel adventures

Sam Benkoczy

When it comes to Cycling to Work, SAM IS THE MAN because he doesn't just talk the talk, but he also walks the walk - or rides the ride, to be more precise... I also create content on my YouTube channel at youtube.com/bikecommuterhero Say hi to me at sam@bikecommuterhero.com.

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