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matt.picio

matt.picio

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Kona Sutra
I have the 2008 Sutra. Overall, I love it - it's responsive, nimble, and rock-solid on turns. Kona's odd frame sizing and top tube design makes the bike easier to mount, which is good thing when fully loaded, and it's obvious by the design changes since its introduction in 2005 that Kona has addressed many of the shortcomings of the earlier models. I totally love the disc brakes. They are responsive under any and all conditions, and practically bulletproof so far. I've put about 1,250 miles on mine since February 1st, including 3 or 4 fully-loaded overnights. The bike itself with racks, lights, frame pump and water bottles comes in at a hefty 36 pounds. On my loaded trips, total weight of bike, bags and gear ranged between 108 and 115 pounds. (I travel heavy) I weigh about 235, and the Sutra didn't even flinch at the combined weight. That said, the Sutra has some quirks. Thanks to the disc brakes, it is virtually impossible to mount a kickstand in the rear triangle, and thanks to the routing of the cables under the bottom bracket, it's nearly impossible to mount a kickstand down there as well. The rear rack has a low weight rating, and is effectively useless for heavy touring - if you buy one, get a Jandd Expedition rack and replace the rear rack that ships with the Sutra. The Jandd rack will also keep your panniers from bouncing against the adjustment screw for the read disc. The front rack is fabulous, and I haven't had problems with it. Another quirk is the placement of the 3rd water bottle cage - it's virtually useless once you've put fenders on the bike (another challenge). I hope Kona further improves this bike, because I think that its benefits far outweigh its drawbacks.

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Kona Sutra