• Kona Sutra 2015 Build and Review

    by  • June 10, 2015 • Journal • 2 Comments

    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.

    Kona Sutra Wiggle Delivery Box

     

    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.

    Kona Sutra Wiggle Bike Packaging

    After about 30 minutes of tinkering and eating the included free bag of mini Haribo I was ready to hit the road.

    Kona Sutra 2015 Bike

    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.

    Kona Sutra Saddle Brooks

    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.

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    2 Responses to Kona Sutra 2015 Build and Review

    1. March 15, 2017 at 10:23 am

      Hi Kevin, I am in the market for a new bike and I am looking at the Kona Sutra 2017. Would you still recommend this bike? I am looking for a multipurpose bike to ride to work and along our windy sea front on the south coast near Brighton. I have dreams of short touring trips or day trips.
      Cheers,
      Randall

      • March 15, 2017 at 3:55 pm

        So I’ve had this bike for just over 22 months now, I use it as my primary commuting bike doing just under 20 miles a day primarily on a hardpack gravel canal towpath with a little bit of pothole covered road as well.
        I’ve owned several other Konas (Dew, Cinder Cone, Stinky, Zing, Kahuna) and this is by far my favourite and most comfortable to ride. Apart from that, as a touring bike, it is built like a tank and shrugs off being fully loaded carrying two full panniers to work and back with ease. I’ve had no issues with it over several thousand miles only having to do the usual minor saddle adjustment tweaks. It is a little heavy, but it is a steel touring bike so to be expected.
        This is a bike that will last you a life time if you treat it well. I am currently planning using my Kona Sutra to do the Lands end to John O’Groats next year, so I have a lot of faith in it.

        So yes, I recommend this bike!

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