My journey with Kona Bikes started off with a 2003 Kona Kahuna, and today I became the proud owner of a 2015 Kona Sutra to add to my collection.
The 2015 Kona Sutra is aimed as an intermediate level adventure/touring bike but also suited for your everyday commute or weekend leisure ride over a variety of terrains. It used to be Kona’s tourer 0f choose but over the years they have dialled it back to benefit a wider audience.
I ordered the 53cm model from Wiggle, I choose that size as I’m 5ft 7″ and its a perfect fit for me. I did worry as I previously had a 56cm 2009 Kona Dew but that had a compact frame with meant in reality it was more like a 51cm model.
Two boxes arrived from Wiggle, one the size of a small planet which contained the bike, and another which contained all the accessories I had ordered as well.
My hen Dot here gives a sense of scale, that was probably the biggest box I have ever seen.
I carefully unpacked the bike and was very pleased with how well Wiggle had packaged it, and put wrapping over it to protect the frame.
After about 30 minutes of tinkering and eating the included free bag of mini Haribo I was ready to hit the road.
The underlying frame of the Sutra is the same as the 2014 model, but the major contact points have been updated – The saddle has been updated to the Brooks B17 expedition touring saddle, and the Sutra comes with a pair of 35C Schwalbe Marathon Tour Plus tyres as stock. These are expedition level features and pretty much a given if you want to call a bike suitable for touring. Also updated from the 2014 model are the brake pedals and a different rear pannier rack.
To make the bike complete and ready to be taken out onto the road touring, I modified the base bike by adding the following accessories:
Panniers – Ortlieb Back Roller Plus Panniers Denim/Steel Blue
Lights – Cateye EL220 & Omni 5 Light Set
Pedals – Shimano A530 SPD Single Sided Touring Pedals Silver
I choose these on purpose because on one side are clip in SPD style and the other side is flat allowing for use of normal shoes without issue.
Bottle Cages – 2 x LifeLine Essential One-Piece Matte Plastic Bottle Cage Blue
Bottles – 2 x Camelbak Podium 610ml Bottle Clear/Carbon 610ml/21oz
Computer – Cateye Micro Wireless Black
Bag – Altura Speed Seat Pack Medium Black
So far I have cycled for a few hours on the Sutra, and I have found it responsive, comfortable and fun to ride on. It is on the heavy side ( approx 14kg base weight) so don’t expect a speed demon but it can happily push past 25mph if required.
I’ve tried the bike on tarmac, loose and heavy unforgiving cyclepaths and found little flex, and cause for concern. The Sutra just nods and keeps on going.
The Brooks B17 saddle is a welcome addition and really gives a nod to its touring ability. After a few hours its already feeling at home, though little hard at the moment but in a few weeks it will be the most comfortable saddle imaginable.