Choosing a touring bicycle; Kona Sutra 2009.
Now that I’m back from Hong Kong, even though I didn’t actually get to go, I’ve got another touring bike for you all.
Next up is the Sutra from Kona. Please comment if you have ever ridden, owned, or know anyone who owns this bike. Email photos of your setup to me at recklesscognition @ gmail.com and have them posted on this site.
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Let’s have a look at the Long Haul Trucker’s spec sheet.
Frame- CroMoly steel.
Chainstay Length- 440mm or 17.3 inches
Brakes- Avid BB7 Road Disc
Tires- Continental Contact 700x32C
Hubs- Shimano Disc 36 spokes
Components-Mostly entry-level Shimano Deore components with an XT rear derailleur.
First off, the 2009 paint job is much improved over the drag colors on previous model years. I love colorful frames. The Kona sutra is a dedicated touring bike and comes with front and rear racks for your heavy loads. Although our initial review stated the bike only had 32 spoke wheels, further review and helpful comments from our visitors have led us to the conclusion that there are actually 36 spokes. Thanks for the input! Expect this bike to be heavy, disc brakes, racks, fenders, etc are really gonna load this bike down. Even though it is heavy, from what I’ve heard, the frame is super rigid and actually handles the weight well. There has been a set of complaints about rear-wheel spoke breaking being quite frequent.
There are also disc brakes on the bike, which are good for poor weather, but not necessarily good for bike tours. Looking past the brakes and spokes, there is a bit of an issue here with foot clearance. Just looking at the photo of this bike with racks hints at a possible problem. They look mighty close to the pedals, especially that front rack mounted at such an angle. There have been numerous issues with lack of foot clearance with the Sutra. If you’ve experience otherwise, please let me know.
Let’s look at the ratings a little more in detail.
Value: This bike retails for about $1,200. This price is too high for the package. You’re getting basic components, and a steel frame. Sure, you’re getting two racks, but is that worth $300?
Quality: I don’t think there are any problems specific to this bike frame, but the wheels have caused problems to numerous customers.
Compliance: Disc brakes and a short chainstay (lack of foot clearance) are the main issues here.
I didn’t think think bike would score so low but looking at it closely I think the rating is justified. I’d love to hear otherwise, so let me know if you’ve owned this one before.