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Old 07-30-08, 09:56 AM   #1
Mr. Jim
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Kona Sutra

I'm getting a new bike and am torn between a cross bike or a touring bike, max I am spending is $1200. I will be using it as my "do everything" bike. Daily commuter, light touring and grocery getter. I want drop bars. I just spotted the Kona Sutra and this might do, but know nothing about it, anyone have one or have an opinion?
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Old 07-30-08, 10:40 AM   #2
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I would take a look at anything but the Sutra.
I like Kona's, but what's up with the rack mounts???
Probably used to get around the disc brakes.
Discs on a full on tourer?
I wonder who designed this bike.
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Old 07-30-08, 06:42 PM   #3
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Discs on a full on tourer?
Yes, True North Cycles had one on display a few months back.
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Old 08-01-08, 11:03 AM   #4
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No one has an informed opinion on this bike?
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Old 08-01-08, 11:35 AM   #5
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I'm betting discs will be more and more prominent on bikes of all types.. touring, commuters, cx. maybe not road racing. Schwinn got around the rack issue by mounting the caliper to the "triangle side". Simple solution to what's appeared to be an age old problem of getting racks on a disc bike.
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Old 08-01-08, 02:54 PM   #6
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No one has an informed opinion on this bike?
Did you do a search here? There is quite a bit of information about it.
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Old 08-01-08, 04:27 PM   #7
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I'm betting discs will be more and more prominent on bikes of all types.. touring, commuters, cx. maybe not road racing. Schwinn got around the rack issue by mounting the caliper to the "triangle side". Simple solution to what's appeared to be an age old problem of getting racks on a disc bike.
Nothing wrong with a good set of hydro discs brakes, on a Stinky maybe.
I don't want the cost or the weight/complexity of discs on my touring bike. I've had no trouble stopping since 1982.
And no special rack needed.
To each their own.
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Old 08-01-08, 10:13 PM   #8
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Search the forum. A couple years ago another member, Ziemas, posted about a series of problems he had with the bike. I am not to impressed with the rack mounts. Discs can be a pain. I have a True North custom frame that was built with Marinoni dropouts which swing the rear caliper out, rearward. It works fairly well. I would prefer the caliper mount inside the rear triangle. That is starting to show up on the scene now. I would never go back to rim brakes on my daily ride/tourer again.
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Old 08-01-08, 11:17 PM   #9
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Kona makes good bikes for the money -the Dew is a decent around-town errand bike- but I wouldn't call them high-end. For $1000-1300, you can get bikes of higher quality, with better frame designs that also have braze ons for racks and fenders.

I suggest you take a look at:

Surly LHT (no surprise here)
Surly Cross Check (okay for light touring)
Bianchi Volpe
Trek 520

Also, I wouldn't make disk brakes a high priority for a touring bike, at least for now.

And, to be honest, IMO, the Kona Sutra is just about the ugliest touring-type bike out there.
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Old 08-02-08, 08:31 AM   #10
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I'm betting discs will be more and more prominent on bikes of all types.. touring, commuters, cx. maybe not road racing. Schwinn got around the rack issue by mounting the caliper to the "triangle side". Simple solution to what's appeared to be an age old problem of getting racks on a disc bike.
I don't know that it's exactly an 'age-old' problem yet, though...
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Old 08-02-08, 09:48 PM   #11
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Kona Input

A couple of my guides have the Kona Sutras. One has logged alot of miles in Europe and N.A. He loves it. The Kona is definitely heavier than most other touring bikes but it comes with a decent parts kit for the price. So far I'm positive with the disk brakes. They work well and I've seen no component failures over many miles.

Cheers,
Ben
Wild Heart Cycling
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Old 08-02-08, 10:43 PM   #12
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Friend of mine has one. Can't think of any reason to get the Kona Sutra over the LHT. Why get the "meh" bike over the "yay" bike that everyone seems to love? Price is pretty similar from memory.

Steve
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Old 08-03-08, 09:51 AM   #13
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Decided on the LHT. LBS gave me a decent quote on the bike with fenders and a rack.
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Old 09-21-08, 01:13 AM   #14
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It looks like they've changed the rack mounting position and rear rack for the 2009 model. That should solve any issue people have had with their previous design. The disc brakes do seem like a bit of a pain, but they are also quite alluring. Does anybody know the maximum tire size with fenders?
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Old 09-21-08, 04:22 AM   #15
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Apparently 29 (700c) x 2.4" fits.

I think the idea is for a touring 29er, not for a road tourer. If you imagine it with straight bars rather than drops, it looks like a very cool touring MTB.

Not sure why they put drops on it - I guess most American touring bikes take drop bars, so they're probably conforming to that stereotype, even though they're positioning it as an expedition bike or off-road tourer.
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Old 09-21-08, 06:14 AM   #16
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I have a Kona Sutra, and have logged plenty of miles on it. Mine is a 2005 model. My biggest trouble is the wheels. I believe the disc brakes stress the spokes more than canti's. I have replaces the rear wheel with a hand built wheel. Had a little trouble finding a rack, but Topeak makes one that reaches around the disc. It is heavy, but very comfortable. Would I buy another? Probably
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Old 09-21-08, 07:31 AM   #17
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We have been looking for a touring bikes and were considering the Kona also but in the end got a Long Haul Trucker's for under $1000 each from a very nice shop in Tampa. We just took delivery yesterday and I spent the day installing Tubus racks and Ortlieb panniers. The racks fit perfectly on both bikes, one is a 54cm with 26" wheels the other is a 56cm with 700c wheels. After a short ride yesterday the first impressions are very favorable.
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Old 05-06-09, 07:12 AM   #18
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I have a Sutra and the brakes are the best part of the bike. The are super reliable and perform like no other rim brake. On long heavily loaded decents you can tell a difference and try riding away from a bent wheel with your rim brakes. I have gone off the road and taco'ed a wheel bent it back on a tree and rode away like nothing ever happened. You just cant do that with a rim brake. I really love the bike but need to sell it.
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