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2019 Kona Sutra.

Old 08-22-18, 12:29 AM
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AlanK
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2019 Kona Sutra.

Rather than link to the Kona site I thought it would be better to get the perspective of an experienced touring cyclist. Seems like a nice bike. I really like the geometry: it's a bit more nimble than most touring bikes (higher BB, shorter wheelbase), but still adequate for touring. My guess is an effort to broaden it' appeal; not only is it suitable for touring but also works well as an any-type-of-road bike.
https://www.cyclingabout.com/2019-ko...touring-bikes/
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Old 08-22-18, 08:58 PM
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I have a 2017 and really like it, you can get the new one with through axles now which would be nice. Kona makes very good bikes, great paint jobs and excellent welding, the Brooks seat was not for me but the shop would probably swap it out for you if needed, my shop did for me. I actually sold the one in the pic. a 56 cm bike and bought a 54 cm exactly the same but removed the fenders and rear rack for now.

Last edited by RoscoeP; 08-22-18 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 08-25-18, 10:28 PM
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RoscoeP,


Thanks for the input. I'm curious about the sizing. How tall are you and what's your inseam? I'm 5'9" with a 30" inseam. Size 55cm bikes usually fit me just about perfectly, but I've read Kona's sizing is somewhat atypical; specifically their sizes are usually a little larger than similar nominal sizes of other makers. For instance, their 54cm size might be more typical of a 55-56cm bike. Any input you have is appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 08-26-18, 09:08 AM
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I am 6' with about a 33" inseam and found that with the 56 cm bike I didn't have much space when standing over the top tube compared with other 56 cm bikes. The 54 cm felt better but I switched out the stem on the 54 for one 10 mm longer. If you really want one I would try and see one in person and at least stand over the top tube, better yet go for a test ride. They are very nice bikes and I would get the new one with the trough axle.
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Old 08-26-18, 09:28 AM
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Still a steel frame and fork, that's good.. thru axle, disc brakes, is just following the pack ..

everything else, component wise, can be changed , if you wish.. TRP Spyre is popular ..

In Seattle you have several dealer selling Kona brand bikes, I see 4 listed..

KONA BIKES | DEALERS | FIND A DEALER

go, take a test ride..




...

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-26-18 at 09:40 AM.
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Old 08-26-18, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by RoscoeP View Post
I am 6' with about a 33" inseam and found that with the 56 cm bike I didn't have much space when standing over the top tube compared with other 56 cm bikes. The 54 cm felt better but I switched out the stem on the 54 for one 10 mm longer. If you really want one I would try and see one in person and at least stand over the top tube, better yet go for a test ride. They are very nice bikes and I would get the new one with the trough axle.

Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Still a steel frame and fork, that's good.. thru axle, disc brakes, is just following the pack ..


everything else, component wise, can be changed , if you wish.. TRP Spyre is popular ..


In Seattle you have several dealer selling Kona brand bikes, I see 4 listed..


KONA BIKES | DEALERS | FIND A DEALER


go, take a test ride..

...
Thanks to both of you for the input. I actually live on an island outside Seattle now. My LBS and wrench is a very small operation that would have to order it for me. He's a first-rate mechanic, so he should be able to size me without any problem. Based on their web-site sizing info it looks like I'd either fit a 52 or 54. Your're right about top-tube being higher than is standard for the size. For instance, the size 54 height is 31.9"; for most other touring bikes it's typically about 30-31".

As for the components, most of them seem like good options. At first I was tepid about disc brakes, but have warmed up to them since they're much easier on rims and are now very reliable. Thru-axles also seems like a good idea since they seem more durable and secure, and keep the wheels from shifting so the brakes probably won't need much adjustment. The web site doesn't indicate how many spokes the wheels have. 36 hopefully?


The only thing I'd change is the front cranks: 48-36-26 is just way too high for touring. I'll see what's compatible, but I'd actually like to make it even simpler and lighter by fitting it with double chain-rings. Hopefully something along the lines for 44-24 will work. If it won't, then I'm pretty sure there's a 40-30-22 Alivio crank that will work. Thanks again!

Last edited by AlanK; 08-26-18 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 08-26-18, 05:55 PM
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I just walked out to my garage and counted the spokes, 36 front and back. I also had a great ride on the Sutra this morning, did 52 KM, really enjoyed the ride now that the smoke has buggered off. Good luck on your choice and I think you are right about the 52 or 54 size, I would lean to the 52 cm at your height. Cheers Roscoe
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Old 08-26-18, 07:34 PM
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My friend purchased a 2017 Sutra when she came to join me on the trip we are currently on. As I was getting the bike set up I noticed that the forward-most weld of the lower horizontal bar of the rack did not look finished. It looked like when you just tack two parts together to hold them in place initially before going over the joint with your complete weld. It didn't look sturdy at all. Sure enough, two and a half months later in the middle of nowhere in Ecuador the rack failed on one side at that joint. She was not anywhere close to the carrying capacity of the rack. We were lucky enough to find someone in the next town who could weld aluminum. After fixing the broken side, he looked at the side that hadn't broken yet and suggested we cut it and reweld that one too.

Now, take this with several grains of salt. The racks on the 2019 look exactly the same as hers in pics online, but I don't know if they are actually the same. Additionally, I don't know if all the racks look like hers, or if she just received a defective one. If they are the same racks, and they're all welded like hers, I don't think they are suitable for 'heavier' touring. Lots of variables there, though. I'd love to see some other racks up close to compare but haven't had the opportunity.

That being said, she loves it and in all other respects it's been a fantastic bike. It's lighter than a Surly Disc Trucker making it more fun to ride unloaded, but still carries weight well. I think it's a really great choice if you can only have one bike. We did change the 26 tooth ring to a 24 and it's much better for her.

Last edited by DanBell; 08-26-18 at 08:33 PM. Reason: Clarity
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Old 08-26-18, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by DanBell View Post
My friend purchased a 2017 Sutra when she came to join me on the trip we are currently on. As I was getting the bike set up I noticed that the forward-most weld of the lower horizontal bar did not look finished. It looked like when you just tack two parts together to hold them in place initially before going over the joint with your complete weld. It didn't look sturdy at all. Sure enough, two and a half months later in the middle of nowhere in Ecuador the rack failed on one side at that joint. She was not anywhere close to the carrying capacity of the rack. We were lucky enough to find someone in the next town who could weld aluminum. After fixing the broken side, he looked at the side that hadn't broken yet and suggested we cut it and reweld that one too.
Wait, I think I'm confused. Are you referring to the bike frame or the rack? I'm guessing it's the rack because the Sutra frame is and always has been (as far as I know) made of CroMo, not aluminum. I don't know what the rack is/was made of.

Last edited by AlanK; 08-26-18 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 08-26-18, 08:31 PM
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Yes, the rack. I'll edit my post to make that clearer up front.

But to be fair, I don't think it's that confusing. From the paragraph you quoted, shortly before the part you highlighted:

Sure enough, two and a half months later in the middle of nowhere in Ecuador the rack failed on one side at that joint.

Last edited by DanBell; 08-26-18 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 08-26-18, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by DanBell View Post
Yes, the rack. I'll edit my post to make that clearer up front.

But to be fair, I don't think it's that confusing. From the paragraph you quoted, shortly before the part you highlighted:
Sorry, my bad. I missed were you mentioned the rack.

I'm not too surprised if it's the same rack as the newest model. I don't know much about the rack, but they're probably lighter-duty commuting rather than touring racks. I would guess Kona probably included a light-duty rack as an inexpensive marketing add-on that will work fine for commuting which many Sutras will also be used for. For touring I'd almost certainly replace it with one that can handle heavier loads.

Last edited by AlanK; 08-26-18 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 08-27-18, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by AlanK View Post
Sorry, my bad. I missed were you mentioned the rack.

I'm not too surprised if it's the same rack as the newest model. I don't know much about the rack, but they're probably lighter-duty commuting rather than touring racks. I would guess Kona probably included a light-duty rack as an inexpensive marketing add-on that will work fine for commuting which many Sutras will also be used for. For touring I'd almost certainly replace it with one that can handle heavier loads.
Unfortunately Kona bills it as "ready for your biggest adventure," so you'd hope they'd spec a rack that's up for that task. I think I remember someone on here once saying that Kona used to use much higher quality racks (maybe from Rack Time?), but now it seems they're on some unbranded stuff. And again, I don't know if hers was just defective or if they all look like the one on her bike, but since one of the things that drew us to the Sutra is that it comes equipped with rack and fenders, items you would normally pay more to add to any other touring bike you might buy, it's disappointing that it failed.

In any event, we still think it's a great bike and a good value and as I mentioned before, dropping the gearing was as simple as swapping out the smallest chainring.
​​​
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Old 08-27-18, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by DanBell View Post
Unfortunately Kona bills it as "ready for your biggest adventure," so you'd hope they'd spec a rack that's up for that task. I think I remember someone on here once saying that Kona used to use much higher quality racks (maybe from Rack Time?), but now it seems they're on some unbranded stuff. And again, I don't know if hers was just defective or if they all look like the one on her bike, but since one of the things that drew us to the Sutra is that it comes equipped with rack and fenders, items you would normally pay more to add to any other touring bike you might buy, it's disappointing that it failed.

In any event, we still think it's a great bike and a good value and as I mentioned before, dropping the gearing was as simple as swapping out the smallest chainring.
​​​
At the risk of seeming like a mark for Kona, I'm pretty sure the cheap rack was a cost/marketing decision. With a touring-capable rack it would probably cost about $100 more and since the bike biz is highly price-sensitive I understand why they didn't. On the other hand since the stock rack doesn't cost them much per unit it's a way to broaden it's appeal and make it at least somewhat more useful to some riders in some situations.

I prefer this approach tosay, the Masi Giramondo which comes stocked with a first-rate Tubus rack, but to keep it at a certain price-point they made significant compromises with some components (the brakes, wheels,and saddle are low-end and unsuited for loaded touring). Since changing a rack is simple and fairly inexpensive I understand why Kona compromised on the rack rather than other more important components.
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Old 08-27-18, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by AlanK View Post
At the risk of seeming like a mark for Kona, I'm pretty sure the cheap rack was a cost/marketing decision. With a touring-capable rack it would probably cost about $100 more and since the bike biz is highly price-sensitive I understand why they didn't. On the other hand since the stock rack doesn't cost them much per unit it's a way to broaden it's appeal and make it at least somewhat more useful to some riders in some situations.

I prefer this approach tosay, the Masi Giramondo which comes stocked with a first-rate Tubus rack, but to keep it at a certain price-point they made significant compromises with some components (the brakes, wheels,and saddle are low-end and unsuited for loaded touring). Since changing a rack is simple and fairly inexpensive I understand why Kona compromised on the rack rather than other more important components.
Oh yeah, I totally understand it from a business standpoint. The issue is that the rack works fine now that we've had it broken/cut and rewelded. I don't think they need to slap a Tubus on there, just needs ten more seconds (if that) in the machine that welds the racks to connect those two spots more sturdily. I also looked online to see if I could find other people reporting this issue and didn't turn anything up, so either people aren't touring with this rack (or on Sutras in general), or this one was defective. Anyway, still a great bike, still very happy with it.
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Old 08-27-18, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by DanBell View Post
Oh yeah, I totally understand it from a business standpoint. The issue is that the rack works fine now that we've had it broken/cut and rewelded. I don't think they need to slap a Tubus on there, just needs ten more seconds (if that) in the machine that welds the racks to connect those two spots more sturdily. I also looked online to see if I could find other people reporting this issue and didn't turn anything up, so either people aren't touring with this rack (or on Sutras in general), or this one was defective. Anyway, still a great bike, still very happy with it.
Good to know. Yeah, as you say the rack might have been defective. Sometimes it happens unfortunately. TC.
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Old 08-28-18, 08:56 AM
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I think it was probably a one off fault. I actually like the design, with the two back bars running length ways on it. (refer to photo above) You can hook your bags on the lower bar to keep the weight low the maybe attach your tent or some thing on top of the rack. I would just give it a good look over and check the welds.
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Old 02-23-19, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by AlanK View Post
At the risk of seeming like a mark for Kona, I'm pretty sure the cheap rack was a cost/marketing decision. With a touring-capable rack it would probably cost about $100 more and since the bike biz is highly price-sensitive I understand why they didn't. On the other hand since the stock rack doesn't cost them much per unit it's a way to broaden it's appeal and make it at least somewhat more useful to some riders in some situations.

I prefer this approach tosay, the Masi Giramondo which comes stocked with a first-rate Tubus rack, but to keep it at a certain price-point they made significant compromises with some components (the brakes, wheels,and saddle are low-end and unsuited for loaded touring). Since changing a rack is simple and fairly inexpensive I understand why Kona compromised on the rack rather than other more important components.
Just for those who may stumble upon this, the new 2019 Masi Giramondo up'd the brakes to TRP Spyre-C Dual Piston Mechanical Disc, 180mm Front, 160mm Rear Rotors which those brakes are raved about on reviews even with heavy loads. Masi can throw the cheapest saddle they want on that bike because most people are not going to be riding on a factory stock saddle on any bike, they'll swap it out for one they like anyways, and I think Masi knows that. I personally think that Masi is slightly better than the Kona after I've studied a bunch of touring bikes in that price range and immediately rejecting the more expensive tank with subpar components called the Trek 520. I also rejected the Surly because the top tube is a traditional style instead of sloping which is what I want, besides I already have touring bike with a traditional top tube so not interested in getting another since I'm looking for something a bit easier to dismount when heavily loaded. Another good option is the Salsa Marrakesh; the Salsa has their weird Alternator Dropout which means you can convert this bike from geared, to single speed, to QR or through the axle, or freehub or Rohloff without buying anything to make the conversions work! Plus it allows the racks to be lower for better center of gravity-but only IF you use their Alternator rack, well all of that that is a great idea but I don't need it. But the gearing isn't as low as the Masi so there will be a small expense there at least for me since I will be touring over mountains; and the other issue with this bike is it's a tad heavier than either the Kona or the Masi by about 3 pounds.

I'm not an expert in touring bikes, just know what I want in a touring bike, your all needs will probably be different.
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Old 02-23-19, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by greatscott View Post
Just for those who may stumble upon this, the new 2019 Masi Giramondo up'd the brakes to TRP Spyre-C Dual Piston Mechanical Disc, 180mm Front, 160mm Rear Rotors which those brakes are raved about on reviews even with heavy loads. Masi can throw the cheapest saddle they want on that bike because most people are not going to be riding on a factory stock saddle on any bike, they'll swap it out for one they like anyways, and I think Masi knows that. I personally think that Masi is slightly better than the Kona after I've studied a bunch of touring bikes in that price range and immediately rejecting the more expensive tank with subpar components called the Trek 520. I also rejected the Surly because the top tube is a traditional style instead of sloping which is what I want, besides I already have touring bike with a traditional top tube so not interested in getting another since I'm looking for something a bit easier to dismount when heavily loaded. Another good option is the Salsa Marrakesh; the Salsa has their weird Alternator Dropout which means you can convert this bike from geared, to single speed, to QR or through the axle, or freehub or Rohloff without buying anything to make the conversions work! Plus it allows the racks to be lower for better center of gravity-but only IF you use their Alternator rack, well all of that that is a great idea but I don't need it. But the gearing isn't as low as the Masi so there will be a small expense there at least for me since I will be touring over mountains; and the other issue with this bike is it's a tad heavier than either the Kona or the Masi by about 3 pounds.

I'm not an expert in touring bikes, just know what I want in a touring bike, your all needs will probably be different.
Yeah, the brake upgrade on the latest Giramondo is a much needed improvement that makes it more appealing. While I think it would also be a great option, I wish the wheels had 36 spokes (they only have 32) and I also prefer a 9-speed cassette, but this is really just a minor gripe and I know 10-speed seems to be the direction the industry is moving.

I'm looking for a touring bike that's also suitable as an all-arounder, so the Sutra or Giramondo wold suit my needs better than the Marrakesh. I like that the Sutra has more nimble geometry and the components are a bit better than the Giramondo, but the Giramondo seems to lean a bit more towards more mountain bike design elements which is definitely appealing for some.

If I were looking for a dedicate touring bike the Marrakesh would a top consideration, but for all-around riding it's a tank.
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Old 02-23-19, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by AlanK View Post
Yeah, the brake upgrade on the latest Giramondo is a much needed improvement that makes it more appealing. While I think it would also be a great option, I wish the wheels had 36 spokes (they only have 32) and I also prefer a 9-speed cassette, but this is really just a minor gripe and I know 10-speed seems to be the direction the industry is moving.

I'm looking for a touring bike that's also suitable as an all-arounder, so the Sutra or Giramondo wold suit my needs better than the Marrakesh. I like that the Sutra has more nimble geometry and the components are a bit better than the Giramondo, but the Giramondo seems to lean a bit more towards more mountain bike design elements which is definitely appealing for some.

If I were looking for a dedicate touring bike the Marrakesh would a top consideration, but for all-around riding it's a tank.
Well stock wheels on any bike are usually not that good, so I would upgrade the wheels to 36 for added safety and durability. I'll probably go with Velocity Dyad unless someone has a better suggestion.

The components on the Masi seem to be a tad better than on the Sutra from what I can tell, the Masi uses Deore for front and rear instead of Deore rear and Alivio front; the brakes are the same except the Masi uses a larger rotor on the front than Sutra; the gearing on the Masi is more suited for climbing steep mountain roads with a load than the Sutra is; both wheelsets are just low end heavy wheels and can't really tell what if any difference they are since they're not sold individually; and the Masi comes with Tubus racks which by themselves sell for around $250 and are the best steel touring racks on the market while the Sutra is a lowend aluminum rack that's already had reports of failing when loaded. Handling wise I can't say since I have ridden either.
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Old 02-24-19, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by greatscott View Post
Well stock wheels on any bike are usually not that good, so I would upgrade the wheels to 36 for added safety and durability. I'll probably go with Velocity Dyad unless someone has a better suggestion.


The components on the Masi seem to be a tad better than on the Sutra from what I can tell, the Masi uses Deore for front and rear instead of Deore rear and Alivio front; the brakes are the same except the Masi uses a larger rotor on the front than Sutra; the gearing on the Masi is more suited for climbing steep mountain roads with a load than the Sutra is; both wheelsets are just low end heavy wheels and can't really tell what if any difference they are since they're not sold individually; and the Masi comes with Tubus racks which by themselves sell for around $250 and are the best steel touring racks on the market while the Sutra is a lowend aluminum rack that's already had reports of failing when loaded. Handling wise I can't say since I have ridden either.
I think we might splitting hairs a bit. The Sutra wheels seem better because they have 36 spokes and Formula hubs while the Giramondo seems to have generic no-name hubs. While the Formula probably aren't top of the line, Formula is a highly reputable manufacturer. While the Brooks saddle isn't for everyone, most riders would regard as significantly better than the WTB spec'd with the Giramondo. The drive-trains seem pretty comparable. While I do prefer the Giramondo's lower gearing, as I said I prefer the simplicity of a 9-spd cassette. While the Giramondo's drive-train is nominally Deore, it's a lower-end variety, so qualitatively they seem pretty comparable.

The Sutra's Schwalbe Marathon Mondial 700x40c are better both in terms of quality and versatility. They're reasonably efficient on pavement and also suitable for rough dirt roads. The Giramondo's Kenda Quick Drumlin 700x45c are wider and lower quality, so it will be more suitable of dirt roads and and single-track, but will be significantly less efficient on pavement. Tires are one of the most important components since flats and tire-wear is far more common than drive-train failure.

If you compare the geometry, the Sutra has a significantly shorter wheelbase and a slightly lower BB, so it has a shorter turning radius and will be more nimble at higher speeds on pavement while the Giramondo will be more stable at lower speeds and has slightly higher clearance. The Sutra is more or less equal parts touring, road, and mountain bike while the Giramondo is a combination of touring and mountain bike with fewer road bike characteristics. Considering this, I prefer the Sutra because overall the components seem better and I will be doing mostly pavement and dirt road touring as well as commuting and general riding. If my intentions were mainly dirt road and light single-track touring I'd probably go with the Giramondo.

Last edited by AlanK; 02-24-19 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 02-24-19, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by AlanK View Post
I think we might splitting hairs a bit. The Sutra wheels seem better because they have 36 spokes and Formula hubs while the Giramondo seems to have generic no-name hubs. While the Formula probably aren't top of the line, Formula is a highly reputable manufacturer. While the Brooks saddle isn't for everyone, most riders would regard as significantly better than the WTB spec'd with the Giramondo. The drive-trains seem pretty comparable. While I do prefer the Giramondo's lower gearing, as I said I prefer the simplicity of a 9-spd cassette. While the Giramondo's drive-train is nominally Deore, they're of the lower-end variety, so qualitatively they seem pretty comparable.

The Sutra's Schwalbe Marathon Mondial 700x40c are better both in terms of qualitatively and versatility. They're reasonably efficient on pavement and also suitable for rough dirt roads. The Giramondo's Kenda Quick Drumlin 700x45c are wider and lower quality, so it will be more suitable of dirt roads and and single-track, but will be significantly less efficient on pavement. Tires are one of the most important components since flats and tire-wear is far more common than drive-train failure.

If you compare the geometry, the Sutra has a significantly shorter wheelbase and a slightly lower BB, so it has a shorter turning radius and will be more nimble at higher speeds on pavement while the Giramondo will be more stable at lower speeds and has slightly higher clearance. The Sutra is more or less equal parts touring, road, and mountain bike while the Giramondo is a combination of touring and mountain bike with fewer road bike characteristics. Considering this, I prefer the Sutra because overall the components seem better and I will be doing mostly for pavement and dirt road touring, as well as commuting and general riding. If my intentions were mainly dirt road and light single-track touring I'd probably go with the Giramondo.
Yeah, I'm sure I'm splitting hairs, but your explanation did indeed point me toward the Masi more than the Kona because I'm looking for a dedicated touring bike that will be used mostly on the road but I want the ability to use on gravel and dirt if necessary.
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Old 02-24-19, 04:56 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by greatscott View Post
Yeah, I'm sure I'm splitting hairs, but your explanation did indeed point me toward the Masi more than the Kona because I'm looking for a dedicated touring bike that will be used mostly on the road but I want the ability to use on gravel and dirt if necessary.
Yeah, I can see that especially since the stock Tubus racks on the Giramono are among the very best. Unfortunately for a long unsupported tour some things would need to be changed on both bikes. For the Sutra I'd probably get better racks, but everything else seems fine. For the Giramondo I'd probably get a better saddle and maybe beefier wheels and tires.. In terms of overall quality and value they do seem to be among the best production touring bikes. As I said, I think the Salsa Marrakesh is also a strong contender as a dedicated all-road touring bike while the Sutra and Giramondo are better for a combination of touring, commuting and some single-track.

Great discussion.
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Old 02-25-19, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by AlanK View Post
Yeah, I can see that especially since the stock Tubus racks on the Giramono are among the very best. Unfortunately for a long unsupported tour some things would need to be changed on both bikes. For the Sutra I'd probably get better racks, but everything else seems fine. For the Giramondo I'd probably get a better saddle and maybe beefier wheels and tires.. In terms of overall quality and value they do seem to be among the best production touring bikes. As I said, I think the Salsa Marrakesh is also a strong contender as a dedicated all-road touring bike while the Sutra and Giramondo are better for a combination of touring, commuting and some single-track.

Great discussion.
i liked the 'Salsa but the top tube didn't slope down enough for my taste, and I wanted to be able to mount and dismount a loaded bike a bit easier, it seems my age and various injuries hinder me a bit with flexibility, I can get off my vintage touring bike but as I have gotten older it's becoming increasingly a bother and I can see in another 10 years it may be a problem so that's the reason for the top tube being more slanted rather than horizontal.
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Old 06-28-19, 02:38 AM
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Stock weight

Hi all, I'm looking at several touring bikes and strongly considering the Kona Sutra - the one thing I can't seem to find anywhere is the weight. Does anyone here with one know the stock weight of the bike?
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Old 06-28-19, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Oedipus View Post
Hi all...
It is likely that few people own this bike, then actually built it out for loaded touring (racks, fenders, pump, lighting, lock), and fewer still would have weighed it after this preparation. Many tourists overload their bikes with panniers and gear, somewhere in the range of 30-70 lbs including food+water, which consequently makes the weight of the bike itself less critical. If you, your bike and gear weigh 280 lbs total, is it really a big deal if you can cut this total to only 275 lbs with a titanium frame and $xxxx more cost, or on the other hand, does a 285 lbs total bother you if you take the 4 season sleeping bab, extra thick mattress, 2-3 person tent, etc?

Most modern touring bikes weigh ~25 lbs rim-braked naked, ~30 lbs additionally with disc brakes, fenders and a rear rack, and ~35 lbs additionally with Schwalbe tires, Brooks saddle, hi/low platform front rack, pump, lights. They can weigh more (Thorn Nomad=40-45) but few weigh less than the estimates I have provided.

You best bet is to call Kona directly and ask them. In the long tradition of bicycling and backpacking gear makers/sellers, they will likely understate the weight of the bike. Good luck.

My standard recommendation is to look at Surly LHT or Disc Trucker (DT). I've owned and used both, Surly has sold thousands since introduction >15 years ago. They are manufactured by the leading Taiwanese steel bike maker Maxway (so are their cousins Salsa), so I can recommend these knowing it is unlikely you will get a bike with poor joint welds, crooked or mislocated brake mounts, badly threaded or faced bottom bracket, crooked dropouts, etc etc. These are "hidden" defects which you may not discover until months after purchase, beyond a date where you can insist upon a refund. These defects tend to occur in the manufacturing process of new models, or bikes made in very small production runs, etc. They are unlikely to occur in products which have been made continuously for an inordinately long period with few revisions like the LHT/DT.

It is also worth mentioning that Surly LHT/DT are sold in 26"/700c wheeled versions, and in more sizes than any other touring bike, so you are more likely to find a bike that fits well. Also LHT/DT are sold as framesets, so if you are handy it is possible to build a bike customized to your needs at same or less cost than a Surly Complete (their name for bicycle vs frameset).

Salsa and Trek have several models of touring bikes. Also Thorn sold through SJS cycles of UK. Plus dozens of relatively unknown brands from Germany, Netherlands, etc.

Note to others, this is a resurrected nearly 1-year-old thread.
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