The Kona Bicycle Company has always designed bikes for specific riders' needs. Kona bicycles have been piloted to World Championship titles, National Championships titles and World Cup victories but, in partnering with Bicycling magazine’s BikeTown Africa project and Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation’s Secure The Future program, Kona has embarked upon the design of what could be the most important bicycle the company has ever developed.

The Kona “AfricaBike” will address the unique needs and demanding conditions that health care workers will face in treating HIV and AIDS patients in two Botswana cities, Bobonong and the capital city of Gaborone. More than 200 of the specially-designed will be delivered in late March 2006.

The research, design, development and delivery of the Kona AfricaBikes will be documented at Kona’s Design Group has assembled a bike that will address the challenges southern Africa presents, including rough, unpaved roads, diverse terrain, long distances, thorns, and general lack of service personnel and facilities. The AfricaBike will be a 26″ wheeled, single-speed, step-through frame design, with a Shimano coaster brake, chain guard, comfort saddle and basket. As well, Kona is working with Kenda to develop a special edition, puncture-resistant tire that will withstand the rough terrain the bicycles will travel over.