looking to buy new commuting/touring bike...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    sbn
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    looking to buy new commuting/touring bike...

    Hi all.

    Im currently looking at different bikes for my daily commute and som weekend touring.

    My bike budget is not the biggest in the world and I am thinking of buying the Kona Rove AL. It seems as if it can be set up with mudguards, front and rear rack. Not sure I will need a front rack but I like the idea of being able to add one if needed.

    At the same time there was a Kona Sutra sitting next to the Rove AL which was also looking very nice. But at first I just looked at the price tag and thought it was to expensive compared to the Rove AL.

    Since then I have done a little research on Konas webpage and now I realize that the sutra frame is steel right? Also it comes with mudguards, rack and those bar end shifters.

    Now my head is spinning... should I just buy the Rove AL and add mudguards and rack or is the steel frame that much better???

    And if wondering between those two bikes wasn't enough, yesterday I passed a different bike shop and in the window they had the Trek 520 disc touring bike. Which looks an a lot like the Sutra. Steel frame, deore gearing, rack and bar end shifters. And here its a little cheaper than the Sutra.

    So now there is a Trek bike in the mix also...

    Kona Rove AL, Kona Sutra and Trek 520 disc... which one would you go for.

    One more question... I never used bar end shifters before. I guess there are there so you can ad a handlebar bag and not having trouble shifting gears or what??
    How are they to ride with??

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I ride a Surly Cross Check, which is a steel frame bike sort of similar to the Sutra. It has bar end shifters and I love them. They're easy to use and are a bullet proof, inexpensive option. If the Trek 520 had integrated shifters you'd need to add another $200 to the MSRP.

    For what it's worth, I think the Kona Rove AL is a good bike. I prefer steel, and since it's already outfitted with the extras, I'd spring for the Kona Sutra.

  3. #3
    sbn
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    thank you cassa89. Im leaning towards the Sutra now. Im beginning to think the extra money for this bike would be well spend.

    Why would you choose the Sutra over the Trek 520 disc?

  4. #4
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    If you only care about a rack and fenders you can easily add those to the Rove for less than the price difference of the Sutra.

    However, if you want to tour the Sutra offers a triple crankset (3x9 rather than 2x8) which I think would be appreciated for loaded touring. The Sutra also appears to have mounts for 5 bottle cages vs 2 on the Rove, for commuting I wouldn't care but for touring I'd want more. The Sutra comes with a Brooks B17 saddle, check out the pricing for those, it's not nothing.

    If they have them locally can you test ride? Being comfortable on the bike should really be the first priority.

  5. #5
    sbn
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    I guess more leaning towards the Sutra then. Didn't even think of the gearing... thanks. I did look at the bottle cage mounts very interesting. Something the Trek does not seem to have. Cant find any pictures to see if the Trek have mounts for more than 2 cages.
    The Sutra at the local store are 2015 models and according to pictures on the Kona webpage the '15 model does not have mounts for 5 bottle cages only 3. Must be a new thing for the '16 model.
    And yes testriding will be done. But something tells me I'll be fine on all 3 models. Im used to my road race bike.

  6. #6
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    I like the Kona options over the Trek 520, personally. Nothing wrong with the Trek persay, just personal preference. I just feel for the money you'll spend on the 520 ($1200-1300), you have several options for bikes in that price range, all of which I would prefer for commuting and some touring.

    Cross-Check | Bikes | Surly Bikes

    Long Haul Trucker | Bikes | Surly Bikes

    Space Horse | All-City Cycles

    Vaya 3 | Bikes | Salsa Cycles

    If you can spring for something in the $1600-1700 range, my recommendation for an end all / do all commuter and touring bike would be the Surly Ogre.

    Ogre | Bikes | Surly Bikes

    You can do anything with it. Drop bars, flat bars, fat tires, skinny tires, SS, geared, racks/fenders/bottle cages, you can pull trailers, run disc or rim brakes, go off road or on road, ride single track...the list goes on and on. You could even venture into the 27.5+ tire/rim category with this frame.

    The completes run $1650 and come outfitted with Shimano Deore stuff, Avid disc brakes, and Jones loop bars. A fantastic bike for the price.

    Check out this thread for more info - http://forums.mtbr.com/surly/surly-ogre-737340.html

  7. #7
    Bedwards Of The West
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    Yay for the Ogre!

    looking to buy new commuting/touring bike...-screen-shot-2015-04-14-9.00.24-am.jpg

    looking to buy new commuting/touring bike...-screen-shot-2015-03-16-8.09.50-am.jpg

    looking to buy new commuting/touring bike...-screen-shot-2015-01-08-3.22.16-pm.jpg

    looking to buy new commuting/touring bike...-img_2252072509872.jpeg

    looking to buy new commuting/touring bike...-picture1.jpg

    looking to buy new commuting/touring bike...-picture1.jpg
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  8. #8
    Bedwards Of The West
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    The ogre has threaded holes in the dropouts for Bob Nutz or other trailer adapters also, just to throw that out there. I use a Bob Yak 29 trailer.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  9. #9
    sbn
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    cassa89 and CommuterBoy you guys really have my head spinning now HAHA. cassa89 those bikes you link to are really nice bikes. But here where I live the price tag on those are a fair bit more than I would like to spend. But seeing CommuterBoy's ogre really makes me wonder if I can't find the extra cash. That bike looks awesome with the dropbars.
    Do you use it for commuting on roads also? Do they make roadtires for those wheels? Would love to see a picture of the bike with the Bob Yak :-)

  10. #10
    Bedwards Of The West
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    I run 29er wheels and prefer fat tires, but any 700C wheel/tire combo would fit. (29er rims are 700c, just usually a bit wider). I built mine up from the frame/fork, so it's not stock by any means. I like the feel of a fat slick tire. I do commute with it on the roads, yes. I have done centuries on it, and I ride it on singletrack regularly. I have a mountain triple crankset on it, so the high gear isn't "road bike" high, but it gets the job done. (44 tooth). I figured the range of a mountain triple would be desirable for loaded touring. I have not toured on this bike (yet) though. I have used a pretty skinny 700c tire on a 29er rim with no issues, there's just the chance of getting a ding in your rim from a rock when you hit the dirt roads, because the rim sticks out there a bit

    I don't have a pic with the Yak on this computer...I'll look when I get a chance.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  11. #11
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    The Ogre has a geometry of a 29er MTB which is pretty much stretched. If you want to ride a dropbar think of the extra reach, that should be compensated by a shorter toptube. It is also made for large tires, with narrower ones your pedals become pretty low. That is a consideration when making sharp turns ;o)) Furthermore it has a steel frame which is about 1kg heavier than an aluminium one in the same size.

    For the rest it is a very versatile frame taking racks, fenders and whatever you want to, ready to ride around the world. And when you arrive, you turn it around and ride back. But for what you describe in your opening post, it would be heavy overdone.

    I would vote for the Rove AL and upgrade as you like it. After a while, you will have to replace chainrings anyway, might as well switch from a double to a triple (will need a change of shifter too, and maybe front derailleur as well).

    Since you are in copenhagen, I would drop by some local shops, get your hands on it, test ride some bikes, see what you like and what you don't. Trying out is better than studying it.

  12. #12
    z1r
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    I had a chance to ride an All City Mr. Pink. I liked it. the one I tried was all kitted out with fenders. Had clearance for large enough tires to make it a good gravel bike too.

  13. #13
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    You also could buy a steel bike in the price range of the Kona Rove Al.
    Check out the Verenti Substance from Wiggle for $650.

    Only two bottle cage mounts and no front rack option though...

  14. #14
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    Both of the Konas are nice bikes and you'll enjoy either one of them. The Ogre gives you options they don't, but if that's not important (IE - you're not interested in winter commuting, off road touring, etc), I'd take whichever Kona you're more comfortable with, and more comfortable on.

  15. #15
    Air Pirate
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    To complicate matters: have you looked at the offerings from Soma Fabrications? They have some built up bikes and frames that might do what you want.

    I personally have a Soma Analog (discontinued 26'er model) that I have built up with Origin-8 Gary-2 off road drop bars. It works well as an all-around mountain bike, decent commuter, and would work well for me as a touring bike. Steel construction, this frame felt a bit livelier when I compared it to a Surly Troll.

    looking to buy new commuting/touring bike...-analog.jpg

    Soma Fab's built bikes:

    For a more cross-bike style check out Soma's Double Cross, available with either bar-end shifters or Shimano Claris "brifters", or a Disc Brake version with SRAM Apex brifters.

    An old-school style Randonneur bike...

    And a dedicated touring bike, the Saga. This is also available as a frame that will take disc brakes.

    As far as frames...building up your own bike or having one built is a great way to get exactly what you want. You will less likely have to compromise or settle for something component-wise that you don't want. This is what I have done on my last 5 bikes.

    Soma offers some great frames....one I have my sights on for a future build is the disc brake monstercross style Wolverine.

    They have the previously mentioned Saga disc touring frame, and some mountain frames that can be utilized for more than just mountain, the 29'er Juice (also in belt drive) and the 650b/27.5 B-Side (also available as a belt drive frame).

    One of the nice things about the Soma mountain frames and Wolverine frame are the rear adjustable sliding dropouts. The stock dropout inserts will allow you to run the bike geared or single-speed. They are compatible with Paragon Machine Works sliding dropout inserts so you can morph the bike into using whatever drive you want, from a Rohloff internal geared hub to a rear wheel using a 12 mm axle.
    "You're messing with my zen thing, man!"

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