With a name like ‘Sutra’ it has to be sexy, right?
I spend a lot of time on the road. Since I prefer driving to flying – it’s better for the environment, I get to have all my stuff, plus a free place to sleep – I need a bike that’ll be at home in any situation. This could mean bike packing in the PNW, in the redwoods, getting lost in urban sprawl, or cruising nautically themed dive bars on Nantucket… Luckily, my Kona Sutra LTD is up for anything, and then some.
Flossing an iridescent green / purple / blue paint job from a barely street legal Honda Civic, it only took a few tweaks to fulfill my #KonaDreamBuild™ Sutra fantasy.
I swapped out the stock seat with a Brooks Cambium All Weather for stylish, gruntle cradling undercarriage support. Cockpit enhancement came via a Velo Orange ‘LD’ gooseneck stem thrusting upwards into Salsa’s new ultra-wide 52CM Cowchipper Deluxe bars, a combo that keeps my chest open and shoulders squared for yoga breathing in a nice upright position. I like a little squish at the ol’ contact points, so I engorged my Cowchippers with a double layer of Bar Fat and luxuriously wrapped ‘em in soft-touch Fizic tape.
Anybone who knows me will agree I’m far too lazy for proper bike maintenance, especially when it comes to brakes, so I downgraded the stock hydraulics for Spyre’s SLC mechanicals. The 700c/ 29” wheels were replaced with a fresh set of artesian 650b babies built by Analog Cycles in their backwoods, off-the-grid Vermont compound. Smooth and sweet as fresh maple syrup, Velocity Blunt 35 rims are laced like lingerie to a Bitex hub in the rear and Schmidt SON dynamo in the front. This powers a Sinewave Beacon light so I don’t get lost in the darkness, and even has a USB hub to keep my phone fully charged for watching home movies while deep in the backcountry. All this is wrapped up tight ’n’ tubeless with über supple Ultradynamico Rosé Race tires, whose sexy colors and sporty good looks really tie it all together for maximum ‘Grammability.
Additional amenities include two Makeshifter Snackholes, a brace of bendable King Cage stainless water / wine bottle cages, and a much-maligned high-visibility Safety Pizza off the back to taunt coyotes when I make late night house calls. Pedal duty is proudly shouldered by Kona Wah Wah II platforms, wide and stiff enough to ensure not a drop of stroke power is wasted. There are also plenty of extraneous frame nipples for further accessorizing should the need or desire arise. In almost a year of constant cruising, I’ve yet to find a situation my Sutra wasn’t ready to mingle in that didn’t involve deep snow, ice, ladders, or lift access.
Perfection? I think so.