bikepacking

Bikepacking.com Review the Sutra

“‘The Kona Sutra LTD is a drop-bar bike “designed by mountain bikers, for mountain bikers.’ As simple as that statement may sound, the result is one of the most versatile, category-shattering rigs in the mainstream bike market.” – Logan Watts, Bikepacking.com

Recently the riders from Backpacking.com spent a few months aboard the Sutra LTD. Riders and writers Logan Watts and Ryan Sigsbey weigh in on just what makes the Sutra so unique, from it’s tire clearance, frame thickness and overall geometry. From pavement to gravel to singletrack the bike was tested around Pisgah’s dark winding forests. The net result? Watts ended up buying a Sutra LTD, and we think that’s as good of a review as we could ever hope for.

Check out their very thorough review here.

 

Cycling Ireland

Irish cyclist David Flanagan has recently completed a book about cycling all around Ireland’s gorgeous countryside. The book is gorgeously illustrated with route maps, elevation profiles, and detailed descriptions of dozens and dozens of rides. The photography features a Kona Sutra in various gorgeous environments.

A word from Flanagan:

“This book documents the best cycling that Ireland has to offer. With eighty routes spread across the entire island, there is something for everyone; from gentle, traffic-free cycles, ideal for the whole family, to long challenging routes packed with relentless climbs.

The routes range in length from 8km to 207km on a variety of surfaces including tarmac roads, gravel tracks, canal towpaths and singletrack. – David Flanagan

Each route description includes:

  • A full-colour map.
  • Turn-by-turn directions.
  • A route profile.
  • A detailed description of the route.
  • Advice on variations, extensions and shortcuts.
  • A downloadable GPX navigation file.

The book also includes details of over fifty family-friendly greenways and trails, information on Ireland’s long-distance cycle routes and sixteen pages dedicated to cycling along the Wild Atlantic Way.

This comprehensive guide is packed full of detailed information and inspiring photography that is sure to appeal to everyone interested in cycling in Ireland.”

 

The book is available for purchase here for the price is €25 which includes shipping worldwide.

 

“David Flanagan is a publisher, writer and freelance journalist from Dublin. He is the author of a number of climbing books including Bouldering in Ireland, Bouldering Essentials and Rock Climbing in Ireland. In 2016 he published Exploring Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, a collaboration with Kerry-based photographer Richard Creagh. A keen cyclist with a particular interest in off‑road exploration and bikepacking, he published Cycling in Ireland in May 2018 after more than 18 months of research.”

Birthday Bikepacking

What would do you like to do for your birthday? Kona Pro cross racer Kerry Werner is all about adventure. Yesterday was his 27th birthday, and to celebrate he is going on a mini 2-day bike packing trip from central North Carolina to Western North Carolina.

He will be pedaling the Kona Super Jake. After a great CX season domestic and abroad, Kerry is showing just how versatile this bike is by strapping some bike packing gear to it and saying, “say0nara” to the status quo for what an elite-level CX bike can do.

“I have some friends getting married just west of Asheville, NC. The whole family is going to be going and bringing mountain bikes fpre-weddingdding ride, so I figured, why not kill two birds with one stone? I’ll be riding down on Wednesday and Thursday. Thursday evening my crew arrives and the weekend will resume per usual. I like to do these mini-adventures, especially during structured training, which I am just getting back into. These kinds of things help keep my mind fresh and ease the stress of having a regime to follow every day. I like a mix-up,” Werner said.

His route is just shy of 200mi with 15,000ft of climbing. There will be plenty of dirt/gravel roads along the way, scenic rivers, and hopefully lots of blue skies.

Godspeed, and happy birthday Kerry!

 

 

Bike Packing Tip: Making Your Own Handlebar Harness

Bikepacking isn’t new, but it’s certainly growing in popularity. We’ve shared our love of bikepacking with our Not Too Far From Home Videos and the with the launch of our Remote eBike.  If you’ve been considering dabbling in bikepacking, one of the more creative aspects to consider is how you’re going to carry all of your gear. A while back Bicycle Times Magazine posted a really clever DIY handlebar harness for your gear. They used a Hei Hei Trail DL in their write-up, but we offer a ton of bikes that are awesome for bikepacking. Check out the link to learn howto make your very own handlebar harness with only a couple dollars and a few supplies.

 

Considering venturing out on a bikepacking adventure? Be sure to check out the Unit, Unit X, Rove LTD, Big Honzo, Remote, or a Sutra LTD.

Not Far from Home – Destination North

There’s a common saying that life is like a wave and our existence is essentially surfing whatever kind of water comes our way. Metaphorically there may not be a better way to justify the ebbs and flows of good and bad that everyone undoubtedly experiences. What sets certain people apart though, is their ability to ride the waves in their own, unique way. Erkki Punttila knows that the best way to reset is to embrace the tides and sail away into a different mindset.

The setting is the far north of Finland in the Lapland area. It’s north of the arctic circle. It’s dark and cold; exactly what you think northern Finland would be like in the depths of autumn, except it’s also stunningly beautiful. Erkki’s path has led him to sell most of his possessions and move his life onto a sailboat. The S/y Sanibonani was built in South Africa in 1978. She has a luxurious history of cruising the Caribbean and Mediterranean, but now she’s finding her home in the cold waters of Finland. “Living aboard a sailboat has been a great experience,” Erkki said. “Extremely limited storage space makes you focus on the stuff you really need. Enjoying a sunset with good coffee really beats having eight pairs of shoes you never wear and a metric ton of random stuff around you.”

Erkki’s preferred method of transportation while in port is his Unit X. “I had the Unit on deck ready for grocery runs and the occasional bike packing trip,” he said. “In the spring, the boat was still bound in the ice so I had to haul 20-liter diesel canisters for the heater with the bike, which was no problem with a sturdy front rack.” Erkki’s need for adventure runs deep and he recently took his Unit X to explore Finland’s largest national park, Lemmenjoki. Known for its gold digging claims, Lemmenjoki spans 2,850 square km, and is peppered with huts where travelers can spend the night out of the extreme cold.

Follow along with Erkki as he traverses Lemmenjoki National park during Finland’s centennial year alongside herds of reindeer and takes in the astonishing views from one of Finland’s greatest treasures. Sometimes the best way to find yourself is to get lost in the beauty of nature.

Photographer: Jaakko Posti

Autumn on the Rothaar Trail

The Rothaar Trail is a 150 km (90 miles) long hiking trail along the crest of Germany’s “Rothaargebirge”, a mountain range right at the border between the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse.

Not knowing what to expect and having never been in this part of Germany before, Lukas and Sven headed out to explore it on the Big Honzo DL. It turned out much better than what they hoped for. A stunning countryside and perfect weather. There are very few greater ways, to enjoy the beauty of a golden fall.

Curious about their setups? Here’s the lowdown.

 

About Cycling Krauts:
Lukas, 20 and Sven, 23 met at University of Stuttgart, German while studying aerospace engineering. While Lukas stuck to rocket science, Sven left university to later become a student pilot. Since they don’t live close to each other anymore, the rare occasions they meet up are usually for bikepacking trips like this one.

Finding Remote with Graham Agassiz and Matt Stevens

Finding Remote

Your escape. Your secret stash. Your remote. The place you long to be all week, and can’t wait to head out to, even if just for the day. The Kona Remote is the bike to get you there.

What exactly is remote? Well that’s really up to you. For Kona Gravity team rider Graham Agassiz and Kona Canada’s resident fishing enthusiast Matt Stevens, that thing is fly fishing. So, they made a plan, packed up their Remotes, and converged in Lytton, British Columbia to head to their own secret stash. Prepped with fishing and camping gear, Matt’s fishing kayak, and Aggy’s dog Autumn, they headed straight for the goods.
















Find Your Remote

Whether you’re a fisherman, an outdoorsman, or a recreational enthusiast, the Remote can take you where you want to go and get you there quickly. It’s a capable mountain bike with Bosch’s top end Performance Line CX pedal assist system. We equipped the Remote with Bosch’s compact Intuvia display, high capacity 500 watt Power Pack, and a re-keyable Abus Plus battery lock.

With the made-in-the-USA Old Man Mountain rack, you can add accessories to carry just about anything you can think of. The wide range SRAM 1×11 drivetrain and Level T brakes ensure you’ll be happy going both uphill or down. The Remote is an access tool, adaptable to your needs. Swing a leg over one, and find your remote.

The Remote is one of three Bosch-equipped pedal assist bikes in the Kona lineup this year. Get the details on the Remote from Kona Product Manager Trevor Porter:

Kona Remote – North America

 

Kona Remote – Europe

 

Head to Konaworld.com for all the details on the Remote.

Introducing the All New Kona Remote with Bosch Pedal Assist

Your escape. Your secret stash. Your remote. The place you long to be all week, and can’t wait to head out to, even if just for the day. The Kona Remote is the bike to get you there.

Whether you’re a fisherman, an outdoorsman, or a recreational enthusiast, the Remote can take you where you want to go and get you there quickly. It’s a capable mountain bike with Bosch’s top end Performance Line CX pedal assist system. We equipped the Remote with Bosch’s compact Intuvia display, high capacity 500 watt Power Pack, and a re-keyable Abus Plus battery lock.

With the made-in-the-USA Old Man Mountain rack, you can add accessories to carry just about anything you can think of. The wide range SRAM 1×11 drivetrain and Level T brakes ensure you’ll be happy going both uphill or down. The Remote is an access tool, adaptable to your needs. Swing a leg over one, and find your remote.

Get the details on the Remote from Kona Product Manager Trevor Porter:

North American Kona Remote with 27.5 x 3.0″ tires

 

 

European Kona Remote with 29 x 2.4″ tires

 

Remote Details




















Finding Remote with Graham Agassiz and Matt Stevens

What exactly is remote? Well that’s really up to you. For Kona Gravity team rider Graham Agassiz and Kona Canada’s resident fishing enthusiast Matt Stevens, that thing is fly fishing. So, they made a plan, packed up their Remotes, and converged in Lytton, British Columbia to head to their own secret stash. Prepped with fishing and camping gear, Matt’s fishing kayak, and Aggy’s dog Autumn, they headed straight for the goods.

Check out the full Finding Remote story and photo gallery here.

For all the details on the Remote, head over to Konaworld.com, and check out the technical details on the Remote Innovation page.

Introducing the New Kona Unit and Unit X

With new Kona models arriving in your local bike shop over the next couple of weeks, we’re doing a series of posts here on the Cog to introduce the new bikes. Keep an eye here all week for rad new bikes and updates to current models. Next up: the singlespeed Unit and the new Unit X…

What’s Better Than One?

From bikepacking to singletracking, geared up or stripped down, the Unit is a versatile mountain bike made from Reynolds 520 cromoly. From its roots as a singlespeed trail bike, the Unit became even more versatile with the addition of 27.5+ wheels last year, featuring in our short film Not Far From Home – which was selected as a Vimeo Staff Pick.

And now, we have not one, but two Unit models to satiate your desire for a capable steel adventure bike! This year’s Unit frame gets updated shift cable routing – along the top tube and down the seat stay – and a 31.6mm seat post with internal dropper post routing. And both the Unit and Unit X sport tubeless-ready 27.5×2.8″ WTB Ranger tires on WTB Scraper i40 rims. Check them out at your local shop!

UNIT X

The Unit has long been our Reynolds 520 singletrack shredder, adaptable to a wide variety of purposes and only made more versatile with the addition of 27.5+ wheels. For the first time we’re offering a Unit with gears – a SRAM NX 1×11, to be specific – and we’re truly excited about the opportunities this opens up. Whether you’re looking for a fun-loving trail bike or a backcountry bikepacking rig, the Unit X is ready for action.






UNIT

You are an artist, and the Unit is your canvas. Singlespeed singletrack machine? Yep. Loaded up for a quick overnight or an extended bikepacking trip? Yep. Add whatever drivetrain you like? Yep. Reynolds 520 cromoly gives that unmistakable smooth ride, and the simplicity of a single speed drivetrain keeps your options open. Because you want to do it your way, and we’re cool with that.



 

Keep an eye here on the Cog throughout this week for more new Kona models!

Good Living and Good Times in Arizona with the Kona Adventure Team

The Kona Adventure Team has recently published a big photo story from their trip to Arizona for the first of the Epic Rides Triple Crown – the Whiskey 50 – and a multi-day bikepacking adventure on the Prescott Circle Trail. The Adventure Team is predicated on the idea that traveling to races provides the opportunity to slow things down and see another side of the places that host events. So far, it seems to be working!

“We travel for more than just racing nowadays. We travel for mountain biking and seeing the world and bringing our friends along for the ride. For some of us this is a vacation from work, for others, it’s an evolution away from the height of our competitive careers, and for a couple, it’s a route towards the next peak. For all of us, it’s good living and good times.”

Check out a few more photos from Patrick Means below, and the full photo story on Pinkbike.

 

Kerry and Emily’s Blue Ridge Bikepacking Adventure: Beta

Words and photos by Kerry Werner.

It all started during cross season. We were staying at a host house in Sun Prairie, WI, getting ready for the Waterloo CX race, when our hosts started telling us about how they ride tandem. For some reason it clicked. I immediately thought of Emily and myself doing some sort of tandem adventure.

We had talked about doing some thing really cool this summer because in the fall she will start an internship, which will keep her chained to Winston-Salem. She will have little time for extended adventures – the likes of which a standard 4 year college degree and two years of grad school allowed, the latter less often of course.

Then I thought of a conversation I had last summer with a good friend, the Lees McRae Collegiate Cycling Coach. We pondered how cool it would be to do a fully supported Blue Ridge Parkway through-ride, by raising some money for a charity of our choice. This would allow us to simply ride with two bottles and a phone to take pictures then meet the support vehicle at the end of the day, have a good meal, sleep in a bed, and wake up to do it all again the next day.

So with these two thoughts aligned my brain instantly computed that Emily and I should do a Parkway through-ride, bikepacking on a tandem. I dropped the whole support aspect of the original plan because it would be more fun to camp and make an adventure out of it. I like to get out of my comfort zone, it helps me grow and realize I am human. Plus, I was watching my friend Russell Finsterwald’s Instagram, and what not, all fall. This must have lead to an immense amount of pent up jealousy, which erupted into this idea.

From there the plan changed slightly, only in the approach. Instead of a tandem Emily would use panniers and I would pull a B.O.B. Yak trailer, behind my Major Jake of course.

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It was Emily’s spring break, instead of Punta Cana or Cancun, we decided an abbreviated bike packing trip (3 days, 2 nights) from Winston-Salem to Stone Mountain State Park. Stone Mountain State Park, along the Parkway, to Boone, NC, Boone back to Winston-Salem, with a mandatory bakery stop (and later an emergency donut stop).

We strapped on our cold weather gear, loaded up the rigs and headed out into the burliest head wind… and that is how it was for the next 5 hours.

Tall shadows confirming our late arrival at the end of Day 1, which was not a pleasant way to start this journey. It ground our average pace down to 12.8 MPH, which wasn’t planned when we started late at 12 noon.

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It was an expected low of 15ºF that night and the temp was dropping fast when we rolled in. We got out of the saddles and straight into the tent, inhaled some freeze dried food and cookies, then lights out.

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We woke…

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Breakfast…

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Packed and hit the road!

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The night was nice, our gear kept us warm, the sun was out, and we were feeling revived, refreshed, reinvigorated.

Got on the Parkway in the first 5 miles and didn’t have to get off it for the next 60.

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These were the reason the Parkway was added into this equation. Vistas to the right and left for 60 miles.

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The BRP holds a special place in my heart because I trained on it for 6 years while I was in Banner Elk, NC going to college. This is why…

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I can remember doing efforts on climbs and finishing at the top, completely blown, I crane my neck and my eyes focus on layers of pastel blues darkening and deepening as the miles stretch on.

It was just as I remember it.

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We called a friend in Boone because why struggle when awesome people want to help? We were welcomed into a warm kitchen, straight to a bubbling pot of chili, and as much hot tea as we could manage. After warm showers and a great meal it wasn’t long before lights out. Besides, tomorrow was going to be a big day.

Pancakes for breakfast, lots of them, or rather one giant one that would fill your plate like a mini pizza but was half an inch thick and absorbing all the syrup you could throw at it.

Out the door, but first to Hatchet Coffee for a little pick me up and a pastry from Stickboy Bread Co.

Now for real, Boone to Winston, 100 miles! The previous two days were 65 miles. We were a little nervous because the all day head wind and the 60 miles of Parkway forced our average speeds down – below 12 the second day. If we didn’t have a tail wind or wouldn’t have started the ride by dropping Elk Creek Road – a big paved, snaking decent, which intermittently pops on and off gravel as it serpentines next to a gently rolling creek – we wouldn’t have made it before dark.

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Luckily, the bike gods were on our side because by the end of the day we averaged 16.1 MPH. This was after an emergency donut stop just outside of Wilkesboro, NC. As well as a stop at the Amish Bakery in Windsor, NC before the last push home.

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It was a long three days and the temps were certainly unfavorable, thus adding to our post ride exhaustion.

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In hindsight it is comforting to know that we managed to do the trip in the harsh, cold temps that we experienced because this was all just practice for the big hoorah! The real Blue Ridge Parkway through-ride is planned for early June, after the Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike stage race. We plan to use fitness gained from that 5 day MTB stage race to get through the Parkway through-ride.

This mini 3-day trip was crucial to first see if bikepacking is something that we both could enjoy as well as dial in our gear and weed out unnecessary pieces of equipment. I am more excited for the through-ride now than before our adventure. The warmer temps will make the whole ride more tolerable and give us longer days; we started before the time change. Thus, we will have more time to follow the brown signs of the park services to waterfall off chutes, swimming holes, and welcome centers that will be open in the summer, which were not at the beginning of March. All in all Emily and I are both excited for the big trip, though I doubt you will see us towing the B.O.B. trailer across America or down the Continental Divide anytime soon. Baby steps.

Winter Bikepacking with the Kona Sutra LTD and Unit

Words and photos by Morgan Taylor.

This past weekend being a long weekend here in BC, myself and some friends decided it would be a good idea to head out for our first overnight of the year. With overnight temperatures near freezing it was sure to be a cold wake up call, but the weather forecast was for sunny days, and we headed out with good spirits to meander the Sunshine Coast and hang out with good people.

I’ve recently put together a Sutra LTD, which happens to be the perfect size for my sweet polka dot Porcelain Rocket frame bag. Add the matching seat pack, a front rack with Monkey Wrench Cycles basket bag, my trusty Ortlieb panniers, and a set of full fenders, and the Sutra is quite the all-weather hauler!

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My friend Pat was stoked to get out for the first fully loaded trip on his new bike, which happens to be the only European-model Unit on this side of the Atlantic. He’s outfitting the powder blue Unit for an extended trip on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route this summer, with an 11-speed drivetrain on the way and a dialed bikepacking setup coming together piece by piece.

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To see the rest of the portraits from this set, head over to The Radavist.

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