Reviewed: Kona Sutra LTD
Pedaling Response: 11.8/15
Describing the Sutra simply as a gravel bike would be an injustice. This go-anywhere explorer is capable of so much more than a spin around dirt roads or a pedal down your favorite gravel trail. There’s not a lot of glamor to the Sutra, with its chromoly frame and no-nonsense aluminum stem and handlebar. But what it lacks in wow factor it more than makes up for in value and fun.
It’s wrapped in smart touring and bikepacking details, like extra water bottle bosses on the underside of the down tube and on both fork legs. So you can strap up a frame bag and still carry enough water for backcountry adventures or gravel excursions. If classic touring is more your style, the Sutra comes with rack and fender mounts.
Tapered fork blades add a little compliance to the ride, while the longer wheelbase (1,047 millimeters, size M) adds stability, and the 50 millimeters of fork offset provides extra tire clearance in case of mud.
SRAM’s 1x drivetrain simplifies things further while providing a wide gear range for those leg burners when the bike’s loaded down. This bike is no featherweight, so even without hauling gear, that 42-tooth cog in the rear will come in handy. WTB Frequency Team i23 tubeless rims with Novatech hubs are nothing to write home about, but they’re plenty durable for lots of abusive miles.
Component Highlights: SRAM XG1150 10-42 XD drivetrain; SRAM Rival brakes; WTB Frequency Team i23 tubeless wheels
Weight: 25.20 pounds (Size M)