Last year’s Lost and Found saw us check in with Barry Wicks (Kona) and his Kona Hei Hei full squish gravel bike he built to his liking.
Since then full suspension gravel has become a thing, and this year, Wicks has abandoned his drop bar mountain bike in favor of the Kona Libre—a bike we described as a drop bar mountain bike.
As he does seemingly every year, Wicks took his new Libre to the Sierras and the 2019 Lost and Found Gravel Grinder. The Kona rider had a good afternoon, finishing third behind Tobin Ortenblad (Donkey Label / Santa Cruz) and Carl Decker (Giant Factory Off-Road Team).
We took a look at Wicks' rather tall Libre after the podium ceremony.
Barry Wicks' 2019 Lost and Found Kona Libre DL Gravel Bike
The Kona Libre frameset bears a passing resemblance to the racier Major Jake, but it is built with gravel in mind. As such it sports a plethora of mounting points to attach bottles and other accessories, although Wicks took a relatively minimalist approach to packing gear for the 100-mile race.
Wicks' bike provided a sneak preview of the 2020 Team Edition of the Libre. For the 2019 model year, the company offered the bike as the Libre and the Libre DL. The framesets are the same, but the builds have different wheels, drivetrains and prices.
Much like his Hei Hei, Wicks built his Libre with a Shimano Di2 drivetrain, again opting for a 1x setup. Moving to a bike built around a road Q-Factor allowed Wicks to use a Dura-Ace R9100 crankset, rather than the XTR M9000 he used on the Hei Hei. Wicks used a 44t narrow/wide Wolf Tooth chain ring in the front.
In the back, a Shimano Deore XT M8050 Di2 rear derailleur handled the wide range of an 11-46t Shimano mountain cassette.
In another change from his Hei Hei, Wicks was able to use road-spaced wheels, selecting Shimano Dura-Ace C40 carbon tubeless clinchers. He stuck with wide tires, running the same 45mm WTB Riddler tires he ran last year.
Stopping came by way of Shimano Ice Tech rotors. Wicks used a 160mm XTR MT900 in the front and a 140mm Dura-Ace RT900 in the back with Dura-Ace R9170 calipers front and rear.
Curiously, Wicks, very much an off-road rider, used road shoes at Lost and Found, opting for older R7900 Dura-Ace pedals.
The majority of the remaining components came by way of Shimano subsidiary PRO. Wicks used a Vibe seatpost and handlebar as well as a PLT stem. He used a WTB High Tail saddle, but unlike Tobin Ortenblad, Wicks' saddle had titanium rails.
While the Libre has the ability to mount a fair amount of accessories, Wicks brought only two bottle cages, a small seat wedge and a plug kit on his top tube. Wicks' friend made the Dynaplug holder for him using a 3D printer.
For more on Wicks' 2019 Kona Libre, see the photo gallery and specs below.