Do-All Bike: Kona Sutra

Your race bike is great for going fast, while your freeride rig is ideal for going downhill. Your fixed-gear bike is fun as long as there are not a lot of steep climbs involved. Want a bike that’s good at doing a little bit of everything? The soon-to-be-released 2010 Kona Sutra might be your ride.

Billed as a touring bike, this category represents the SUVs of the cycling realm. Throw on some panniers and you can carry enough groceries for a small dinner party. You can go off-roading on this bike, or get a road ride in with friends. Of course, you could take off and pedal across the country, too.

sutra.jpg

Kona Sutra

Built with butted chromoly steel, a lively material ideal for a do-everything bike, this rig is spec’d well with a mix of Shimano Tiagra and XT parts as well as Kona’s branded gear.

With fenders and racks (front and rear) as standard included equipment, the bike’s spec is thorough — just throw on some pedals and a water bottle cage and you’re ready to go. And the 9-speed cassette mated with a triple crank (including a 30-tooth chainring) makes going uphill almost as fun as going down.

Rounding out the parts mix are Avid BB7 road discs, which add more stopping power — important for fully-loaded touring or returning from a store with stuffed saddle bags.

So if you’re looking for one bike that does a lot, check out the Sutra. It will be available around November 1 and cost a not-too-bad $1,199. (www.konaworld.com)

—Stephen Krcmar

Posted by Tim - 10/07/2009 09:15 AM

Fantastic idea! That’s a bike that’s easy to love. Getting a bike that’s truly practical for every-day use means people who don’t want to identify with the “athletic” crowd can get a decent piece of equipment too.

Posted by walley - 10/11/2009 05:15 PM

i just picked up a 2010 sutra 58cm. the day i took it home i realized a huge design flaw in the new model. there is only 3 1/2” from the center of the pedal threads to the back of the front tire. my shoes hits the tire when the bike is turned slighlty. i even clipped my wifes size sevens in and they hit the tire also. called the seller. he told me to bring it back tomorrow. seems like the only way kona can solve the problem is to put a front fork with some bend on the new model.

Posted by Keith Cozzens - 10/17/2009 12:05 AM

Walley,
The front center of the Sutra is shorter than the same size Dew Deluxe by about 15mm. This would be the first time anyone has complained about pedal overlap though. Also, changing the fork would have no affect on the overlap because the straight fork uses the same dimensions as a curved fork. Also when Kona works out the geometry for any model they compile as many geometries as possible and average them all out. In most cases all dimensions between all of the bikes falls within 5mm of each other. The 15mm shorter front center is a result of the bike being 15mm shorter in the top tube length. The rider is not as stretched out on the Sutra but instead they are positioned a bit more upright. The slightly slacker angles means that the bike is a bit more stable descending under heavy load.

Posted by John - 10/17/2009 04:03 PM

Keith,

I think I remember reading some reviews about toe overlap being an issue on the Sutras in the past.

However, I think you are right in that it’s not a design flaw per se. It seems like Kona just doesn’t make a Sutra that is big enough for people with big feet. I have an older Sutra and have no problem, but I am not a big guy.

Also, someone posted a detailed review of this bike on bikeforums.net recently HERE

Posted by Mike - 11/25/2009 07:19 AM

Toe overlap is not a design flaw. Toe overlap is something a lot of racing bikes have. It is something you get used to fairly quickly, and is no longer a problem.

Bianchi, Cube, Ridley, Specialized, many models have toe overlap.

If you don’t like it, tant pis.

Posted by Charlie Tyack - 01/26/2010 07:47 AM

I have a 2008 Sutra and love it. This looks even better. There are three key improvements that I can see.

1. The rear disc mounts on the chain stay, so there is no interference between it and the rack and mudguards, which can therefore mount lower. This is a massive improvement as it will increase the strength of the rack mounts and lower the centre-of-gravity, making the bike even more stable.
2. The mudguards and rack are included. I had to do some hacksaw work to fit standard mudguards onto mine so this is a boon.
3. The paintjob is a lot more subtle, and thus less of a thief magnet. In fact the styling of this looks ace, especially with the saddle and bar tape matching the paint. A brooks saddle would be even better though:D

With regards to toe overlap – that’s pretty normal on road bikes. It’s true that you might hope for it not to be there on a tourer, but the handling of the bike is so good you can forgive it.

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