View Full Version : It's time for a new bike. Kona Sutra, perhaps? Any suggestions?

06-07-2009, 09:25 PM
Well, if you don't know, I was in a bit of a wreck last week, and my bike is now totaled. Here's the thread (http://bikeportland.org/forum/showthread.php?t=3040) if you want to read it and see some of the pictures. As you can see, I faired a bit better than my bike:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2465/3590530373_e3cbc8be3c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jr98664/3590530373/)

I've taken it in to be examined by a mechanic at the Bike Gallery, and he was able to tell me exactly what I already knew from the first second I saw my bike on lying on the pavement of that roundabout: with the cost of parts and labor to replace what's damaged on my bike (mainly my frame and front wheel) well over the cost of a new bike of the same model, my bike is totaled.

Now the question remains: What bike should I get next?

I really love(d) my Trek Soho. It worked excellently for everything I needed, from my daily commute and recreational rides to touring down the Willamette Valley earlier in the year. The new Soho comes with a few significant upgrades, namely a Gates carbon belt drive with an internally geared hub and sealed drum brakes. This would make for a perfect all-weather commuter bike, due to the practically maintenance-free components. However, I think my demands so far as longer rides and especially loaded touring are concerned would be a bit too much for this. While the practically maintenance-free drum brakes would be nice around town, I sure do like the power and responsiveness of disc brakes. The internally-geared hub would be great for commuting, but I know plenty of hills that would push its most extreme gears in both directions.

What I'm looking for is something that's going to work nicely for year-round commuting (some might say aggressive commuting) while still working well on those longer rides and something that's easily able to handle some loaded touring.

I was browsing the Bike Gallery showroom when a particular bike caught my attention as pretty much just what I was looking for: The Kona Sutra (http://www.konaworld.com/09_sutra_u.cfm).

So what do you guys think of the Sutra? Any advice or suggestions of other bikes to look at? At most, I'll not be getting anything more than $1,000 from the insurance company even if I'm lucky, and I don't have all that much money lying around, so anything pricier is probably out of my price range. I should also mention that I'm currently without a ridable bike and I would like to start my cycle tour around Washington state right around the beginning of July, so I don't exactly have much time to waste, much less get back on the saddle.

On a side note, does anyone have an extra road or commuter bike that I could borrow for a few weeks so I can get around and to school and back? I'm 6'2", so I'm probably looking at either a 58 or 60 cm frame. PM me if you can help anything in that department.

Thank you in advance for your help!

06-08-2009, 08:56 AM
looks very nice - probably well-suited for what you're looking for. discs are great for year-round commuting & the triple will help w/ touring.
and if you ever feel like racing cyclocross, you're only a couple knobby tires away...
If you do end up with a little extra $$, I'd look at changing out the bar-end shifters for integrated shfit/brake levers (although some people like bar-ends), but otherwise looks good.
good luck with getting back on the road soon

06-08-2009, 12:45 PM
You're in luck, jr...someone just posted a review of this bike on another forum I frequent:



06-08-2009, 03:11 PM
My vote is for the Surly LHT, but I'm biased. It has all the checks in the want list except for the disc brakes. If that's a deal breaker, then there's no point in looking at it as there's no option for the rear even though does have other forks available with disc tabs. It handles like a long wheelbase bike, that is to say, not real snappy in tight turns, but is stable and solid. I don't know your inseam but <&=54cm has 26" wheels while >&=56cm has 700c. Any way, lot's of other info floating around out there.

the Wumpus
06-08-2009, 07:41 PM
I know someone who has one. Believe me, the Sutra will haul a touring load. As long as they're posting the frame dimensions, get out the tape measure and compare to the numbers you can still get off of your wrecked frame. Things like chainstay length aren't apparent until you load up some panniers.

If you weren't after the disc brakes, I'd say Novara Randonee. They're kind of a compromise between road and touring. The LHT is a tougher touring bike, but the Randonee will still handle a load. It's also lighter and closer to a road geometry, faster than a full bore touring bike, but still aligned and balanced to be stable over randonneuring distances, when you're worn out and not so stable yourself. But then again, I'm clearly biased. If these framesets were as available as the LHT's, that's what would be replacing my dearly departed 7-year-old Randonee's frame! Nothing against the LHT's, I've never owned one before, (I will shortly!) but I know for sure that the Rando's sit right in the middle of all the various riding I do!