Hi, I am in the market for a new bike and was wondering what to look at. I'm planning on going on a 1000km trip from edmonton to christina lake this summer and then would be riding 20km to work everyday once i got there. After coming home i think i would use the bike mostly more commuting. I have a budget of around $1000. I was quite interested in the Kona Jake (1050$) but after reading a whole bunch of posts on this site today I began second guessing this choice. Edmonton has lots of bike stores but they dont seem to carry many of the ones suggested on this site. Is the kona going to work well for what i want it for or is it the wrong choice, I think the frame is alluminum which sounds like a poor choice.
Specialized.... schwinn..... enough to fill my needs..
From Kona I would think the Sutra would be a better choice if your going to use it for commuting a bunch after your tour. It would also make a better touring bike.
Plenty of other choices available though. What about stuff from Rocky Mountain and other Canadian brands? Seems like you should be able to find something in your price range that would be a little more adaptable.
Here in Calgary half the commuters on the pathways seem to be using Kona Jakes. In terms of Bang for the Buck it's a pretty sweet bike. Kona pricing is pretty good in Canada. Throw some 32mm tires on it and it's super comfy for the long rides. They seem to hold rear panniers pretty well too.
A touring bike will do commuting, but will a commuting bike do touring? If you're going to take a long, fully-loaded tour you'll want a tourer with the ability to carry front and rear racks, fenders, with long chainstays to avoid heel-strike, good handling when fully loaded, and a low granny gear. A bike like that will work fine for commuting also.
The Jake is really a cyclocross bike and while cyclocross bikes often make good commuters, it is a bit harder to turn them into a real self-supported touring rig. If you think touring will be the primary duty of the bike, then a cyclocross bike is probably not ideal. If you just need to do one tour and that's it, then maybe it will be OK (although don't blame me if you have to wear a backpack during your tour!)