Update: Just wanted to put an update in here and let you know that dreams do come true! I am now the offical owner of a Kona Sutra LTD 2020! Such a rad bike that rides like a dream! A big thanks to the guys at Commuter Cycles in Brunswick who sold me this bike. I cannot recommend them enough if you want an adventure bike and you are in the Melbourne area, they have some sick rides!

Are you after a drop bar bike that feels like a mountain bike and rides like a mountain bike but has the speed of a road bike? Then look no further!

I have personally owned the Kona sutra LTD for a couple years now. And it has been my steed of choice over the last few years of my bikepacking adventures. It so good that I use it as my do it all bike. Mountain bike for ripping trails and singletrack, cruising around town for groceries. To overnight bikepacking getaways and its has come along with me overseas for multi month long adventures across countries!

This bike is made from an all steel both frame and fork. Which works well for added bump absorption and ride quality. My bike before was the Surly LHT that I have converted into a gravel grinder, so I guess you could say I am a steel purist. Its a material thats perfect for adventure. Durable, tough and reliable.

When it comes to components you get SRAM Rival 1 hydraulic disc brakes, a 1x drivetrain and beefy yet fast-rolling 700x50c tires. And also does feature a SRAM Rival 1 groupset.

The LTD also does feature a wider bar with a 16-degree flare that made for more aggressive descending. These wider flared drop bars are the bomb! Something to really consider when looking at a gravel bike if you are planning some off-road adventures. This flared style of handlebars is great for added comfort on rough terrain and there are so many other benefits.

Great Things About The Sutra LTD

  • The geometry works well for most types of riding types. It was designed from the Kona Sutra Touring bike but they made this to be a bike that merges between a mountain bike and a touring bike.
  • You get a nice amount of tire clearance. it comes with 700x50c. I was able to fit up to 29×2.3″ without fenders.
  • It comes with the 73mm race face bottom bracket
  • The build kit is rather solid. Includes a rather decent quality drivetrain, crankset, tires/wheels and brakes.
  • Plenty of mounting eyelets / pack mounts.

Not So Great Things About Sutra LTD

  • It is heavier then most other gravel bikes on the market at around 13 kg (although this is expected for a steel gravel bike)
  • The gear ratio is rather unflattering if you want to use this bike for fully packed adventures. (i had to change my crank to a smaller tooth for better climbing)

Keep This In Mind

  • Some say it is a little sluggish when just riding around town without gear. I feel it rides rather amazing on mtb trails and single track. As I am currently using it as my do it all bike. Those 2.3″ mtb tires really turn this bike into a beast! when it comes time to load up with gear it rides like a dream!
  • I was also a little disappointed in how poorly the pain held up on this bike. Maybe it was my own fault for not protecting the frame soon enough. But it is recommended that if you want to keep it in as good a condition as possible to apply some frame protection just incase.

Kona Sutra vs Kona Sutra LTD

So what is the difference between the Sutra and the Sutra LTD? Well put simply the LTD is designed more for gravel/adventure cycling the includes mostly off-road riding. They are still technically classified as both being touring bikes.

Lets start with the more obvious differences. With the Sutra as it is built for long haul bicycle touring, you get a wider range of gearing with a 3×10 Shimano Deore setup. This gearing allows for this bike to be so much better at climbing and descending. Which is very helpful when your bike is fully loaded with panniers and heavier gear then you would be carrying for a bikepacking style of ride on the LTD for comparison. Then you have a rear rack for pannier mounting, fenders, with Schwalbe Marathon Mondial 700x40c tires (better for road riding then the 50c on the LTD). You also get a Brooks B17 Leather saddle which is very comfortable for long days in the saddle. The handlebars have those traditional bar end shifters. When we look at breaking the LTD has Hydraulic Disc brakes and the Sutra touring bike has Mechanical Disc.

However the not so obvious differences with these two bikes is the slight variation in the geometry. The LTD has a slightly higher Bottom Bracket height at 10 mm more. This means the Sutra touring bike has a lower centre of gravity for better control when the bike is under a heavy load. This also make a 10mm overall difference in the stand over height. But that is the only difference in geometry. The prices for these bikes do vary from the Sutra touring bike priced at $1,499 and the LTD at $2,199

Now lets take a look in more detail what makes up this Sutra LTD bikepacking bike.


As we discovered when comparing the Sutra with this Sutra LTD the frames are rather similar with a slight variation in the BB height. The frae is made from a Kona Cromoly Steel Butted frame with a Kona Project Two Cromoly Steel Disc Touring Fork. As we noted the fork come with four mounts on either side for plenty of mounting opportunities. And you also get mounting points at the rear for a rear rack if you wish. The frame color is a favourite this dark green just scream adventure. Again you also do get a nice tire clearance for the stock 50c tires.


There are a few components to go through for this Kona Sutra LTD, the idea behind mentioning what this bike is made up of hopefully will make things clear for you so you can do further research to see if these components are of good standard. But generally with any new bike the standard saddle gets replaced. And this LTD does not come with the Brook B17 on the Sutra Touring bike. This bike however comes with the WTB SL8 Pro saddle. A Kona Deluxe Thumb seatpost with a offset 27.2mm. The Kona Road handlebars which have a little flare. And a Kona Road Deluxe stem. As mentioned before you do get that RaceFace 73mm bottom bracket.


The bike is powered by SRAM Rival 1, the freewheel is a SRAM XG1150 10-42t 11 speed. So it is a 1X11 speed bike. And you also get a SRAM Rival 1 Rear Derailleur.


The wheels are a WTB KOM Light Team i25 TCS with WTB Venture TCS 700x50c tires. A great combination for off-road riding.


1ST LENGTH460485520540560580
2TT LENGTH527540553569585603
7HT LENGTH95105115147168191
8ST ANGLE74.574.073.573.072.572.0
9CS LENGTH445445445445445445
10BB DROP727272727272
11BB HEIGHT293293293293293293
13FRONT CENTER596604613624635648
14FORK LENGTH415415415415415415
15FORK OFFSET505050505050

Final Thoughts

The Sutra LTD has been the perfect bike. I honestly love it. I can take it out on bikepacking trips with all my camping gear and it rides like a dream. But when it comes time to having some fun on mtb trails and singletrack without gear it is just as capable. If you are going to buy this bike specifically for bike adventures i would keep in mind that you might have to change out the crank for better gearing and while you are at it upgrade for some wider 2.3″ tires to make the most of that tire clearance and allow you to explore even further!

Other Kona Bike Options

Kona Rove ST

The Kona Sutra LTD is a great bike but for a little less money you could get something like this Rove ST. And adventure ready drop bar bike that is more then capable to get you where you need to go. Kona also has a product range of different Rove models that are definitely worth looking further into.

Kona Libre

If you want an ultimate adventure bike from Kona you could get the Libre or the Libre DL which are stunning looking bikes. But they are rather expensive.

About The Author



Codey Orgill, a seasoned bicycle adventurer, has been exploring the world on two wheels for over 10 years. Since embarking on his initial cycling journey, Codey Orgill has traversed numerous countries, experiencing a series of epic adventures.