First Look: 2016 Kona Private Jake & Sutra Ltd
The Kona 2016 launch this year took place over A few days in Serfaus in Austria. With the main focus of the launch on the new XC and marathon range. But, there were two bikes stuck away in the corner that drew our attention.
The first bike, the Private Jake, is the newest addition to the long standing Jake CX range. The Private Jake is bike that Kona designed for the privateer racer with a few touches to really update the range. With through axles front and rear, a slacker head angle and a lower BB than previous Jake CX bikes, the Private Jake becomes more of a do-it-all bike from cyclocross racing to gravel riding.
For me the 1×11 Rival group-set, thick/thin Race Face ring, carbon fork, tubeless-ready wheels and tyres add up to a great package straight out of the box. Add in the ability to easily clear 40mm tyres and a a dropout configuration that allows you to run it as a singlespeed, and you have the do-it-all, try-it-all, ride-it-all CX bike that I’ve always wanted. With plenty of clearance out back and up front, and rack and fender mounts, there is a real call to take a look at this bike for a future test.
The Private Jake will also be available as a frame-only option with the front and rear through axles included. More shots and details when we have them.
From a totally different angle was the Sutra Limited. We’ve seen a resurgence in the kind of bike that was just designed to ride anything, ok maybe not Bender-style drops. But this is what people want. A bike they can pull out of the garage on a Friday morning and ride to work dejected by the idea of another day wielding their mighty mouse, but on the way home they can take that turn they’ve never taken, pull into the weekend with a grin knowing they’ve earned it.
Kona has taken a really good look at this idea and come up with a modification of the ‘normal’ Sutra line with the Sutra Ltd. Powered by a SRAM 1×11 Rival group-set and TRP HyRd brakes, the CroMo frame is designed to be reliable and straight forward so you can just get out and ride with minimal fuss. I really took to the idea of this bike and where it might take you with its cushioning 47c tyres mounted onto the WTB i23 rims.
Unlike the Private Jake, the geometry is more cruise than race. More relax than lactate. If you’re the kinda rider who likes your riding long and varied, you could do a lot worse than look at the Sutra Ltd. The easiest way we can describe it is as Kona do themselves: “A world-touring machine, loaded with everything you need.”
Exact retail pricing for both bikes, as well as availability will come soon. But you can likely expect to see the bikes sometime this fall.