Paulo (AKA @Crankngrind) wasn’t really in the market for a drop-bar bike, but a friendly earworm combined with Logan Watts in-depth review over at BikePacking.com of his personal Kona Surta LTD convinced him a Sutra LTD would, in fact, fill the missing void in his life (a void Paulo didn’t know existed).
“This Sutra LTD is my first drop-bar bike. When I was on the hunt to find the perfect bike for me. there were certain criteria it had to fulfill. These were – It had to be steel, it had to have nimble geometry for having a little fun when conditions get a tad rowdy – but comfy enough for long days in the saddle, it had to come spec’ed with a pretty solid build kit straight out of the factory, and it had to come in an awesome color. Well, the 2020 Sutra LTD checked all those boxes”
Since the LTD comes with such stellar drivetrain already, I didn’t need to swap much out. However, I decided to change out the stock 36T to a 38T ring since I don’t have many prolonged climbs where I live (Guelph, Ontario, Canada). My ultimate chainring preference is the Wolf Tooth Components CAMO system. The CAMO makes it easy to change out ring sizes – something handy when going between general riding to loaded bikepacking trips. Another big reason for choosing a CAMO system is the ability to dial chain line. For the Sutra, I went with an 8mm offset which seemed to help align the chain line better compared to the factory Race Face ring.
In my opinion, there’s something about a dark-colored steel frame that emits a sense of class. To complement this classy ‘Earth Grey’ Sutra, I went with a comfy brown Brooks C17 saddle and wrapped my wide PNW Coast drop-bar with comfortable Brooks bar Tape. I changed out the stock setback Seatpost with an in-line Thomson elite post which is a perfect addition to a classy looking bike.
I’ve never been a ‘gold’ kind of guy. But I found gold was the perfect match to this frame color and the mustard decals. I started out with changing the stock headset to a more durable FSA Orbit MX – and in gold of course. To continue with the ‘gold’ theme, I swapped the bottle mount bolts ith gold-colored steel ones. I think that may the limit to how much gold I’ll add, however.
The rest of the bike pretty much remains the original spec. There really is much more I want to change out at this point which is partly what drew me to the Sutra LTD.
I’m also an avid bikepacker so I can’t wait to take this rig on its first adventure. It’s pretty much perfect for that purpose!
Remember when a Thomson Elite post was the must-have accessory on your MTB? The timeless seat post design is topped with a well broken a sexy dark brown Brooks Cambium C17 All Weather Saddle.
No upgrades were necessary in the hoop department, the WTB Venture TCS 700x50c tires and WTB KOM Light rims are solid performers.
The additions on my Sutra include:
• PNW Components Coast Dropbar 48cm
• Brooks Microfiber Bartape in Honey color
• Truvativ 60mm Stem (Soon being replaced with Race Face Turbine stem)
• Wolf Tooth Components CAMO 38T ring
• KMC X11EL-Ti Nitride Chain
• Brooks England Cambium C17 All Weather Saddle
• Thomson Elite Seatpost
• FSA Orbit MX Headset – Gold
• Wheels are set up Tubeless
• Spurcycle Bell
• Bontrager Bat Cage Water bottle Cages made from recycled fishnets