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markopic

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Hi,

I have 2016 Kona Sutra LTD with Specialized Sawtooth tires, which I enjoy very much, mostly for tarmac and light gravel roads.
Since Sutra is MTB frame in essence, and it is made from relatively heavy tubing, I am considering “upgrade” to Rove LTD.
Can you please share some thoughts regarding:

- difference in frame materijal (Kona Cromoly vs. Reynolds 853)
- Sram Force vs Rival - is there significant difference in brake quality?
- WTB Horizon 650b vs 700C wheels/tires in real world - is there a significant difference?

Many thanks in advance!


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ljsmith

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Reply with quote  #2 
Quote:
Originally Posted by markopic
Hi, I have 2016 Kona Sutra LTD with Specialized Sawtooth tires, which I enjoy very much, mostly for tarmac and light gravel roads. Since Sutra is MTB frame in essence, and it is made from relatively heavy tubing, I am considering “upgrade” to Rove LTD. Can you please share some thoughts regarding: - difference in frame materijal (Kona Cromoly vs. Reynolds 853) - Sram Force vs Rival - is there significant difference in brake quality? - WTB Horizon 650b vs 700C wheels/tires in real world - is there a significant difference? Many thanks in advance!


1.  The Reynolds 853 ought to be a little lighter and stronger. But I doubt you'll notice any difference in ride quality.

2.  Force and Rival are identical internally so they work/feel exactly the same.  Force uses carbon brake levers, which makes them lighter and I have found are a benefit in cold weather riding because they don't get as cold as alloy levers.  

3.  On gravel/road, the diameter of a wheel is not as important as on a mountain bike because you aren't hitting large rocks or other obstacles.  For a given tire width, a 650b tire will likely feel more nimble and spin up faster.  A 700c will roll with more inertia, so once it gets up to speed it will carry that speed better.  The Horizons are more of a road tire, so they won't have the same traction as the Sawtooth tires you are using.  Depending on the terrain you ride that might be good or bad.
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markopic

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljsmith


1.  The Reynolds 853 ought to be a little lighter and stronger. But I doubt you'll notice any difference in ride quality.

2.  Force and Rival are identical internally so they work/feel exactly the same.  Force uses carbon brake levers, which makes them lighter and I have found are a benefit in cold weather riding because they don't get as cold as alloy levers.  

3.  On gravel/road, the diameter of a wheel is not as important as on a mountain bike because you aren't hitting large rocks or other obstacles.  For a given tire width, a 650b tire will likely feel more nimble and spin up faster.  A 700c will roll with more inertia, so once it gets up to speed it will carry that speed better.  The Horizons are more of a road tire, so they won't have the same traction as the Sawtooth tires you are using.  Depending on the terrain you ride that might be good or bad.


Many thanks for quick answer.
I have thought that the new Rove LTD frame should offer better ride quality (without load) than Sutra LTD, particularly since the Sutra is targeted towards loaded touring. If that is not the case, I do not see the need for “upgrade” since on such bike I do not care about the weight.
I would like better brakes than Rival hydro, but if the internals are the same as Force, then there is no improvement also. I find Rival brakes to be inferior than Ultegra hydro on my other bike.
Thanks again!
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RiderFlyin

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The Rove has slightly shorter chain stays, so a little more nimble in handling.
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owly

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Reply with quote  #5 
My thoughts on the tyre size thing:-

I've come from a roadbike background. Did read that 650x47 is around the same size as a 23mm road tyre, but was unsure if that 650b size would be too small a diameter on the gravel.

Turns out I really like the 650bx47-2.0/2.1 size, on the road and gravel/singletrack.

That size makes the bike feel pretty nimble also.

I think the 700x40 or so size would feel a bit too lethargic at slower speed/maneuvering (climbing hilly terrain etc), plus on my bike there would be a bit of toe overlap.
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glen_one_n

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Reply with quote  #6 
One other difference is the BB - on the Sutra it is MTB 73mm standard which forces either 1X crank or MTB gearing although I have found a combination to allow compact road crank use on mine. With low end Tiagra I have 10 speed with a low of 34x34 which for NE OH works for me.
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AlanEsh

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiderFlyin
The Rove has slightly shorter chain stays, so a little more nimble in handling.

But since gravel-specific bikes often have longer chainstays, this is probably a negative if you're looking for stability on gravel.
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GOTA

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Reply with quote  #8 
Shorter chainstays is a relative term.  It's 435 mm.  By comparison by BMC endurance road bike has 412 mm chainstays.  Yes, 435 is shorter than the 445 of the Sutra but it's still plenty long and should have no stability issues on gravel.  What it won't be as good at is being stable fully loaded.  If that's the goal then a real touring bike can't be beat.
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markopic

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Reply with quote  #9 
Many thanks for all for the advices and thoughts above. Here are some of my futrher commnents:

- I am still undecided if Rove LTD is worthy “upgrade” to my Sutra LTD. It seems to me that I will not notice significant difference in between gropusets (except carbon levers are significantly warmer than alloy in cold weather)
- I have found great deal on some WTB Kom i23 650b rims, so I will build myself wheelset to use road plus tires and compare how they feel to my i23 wheelset with Specialized Sawtooth tires
- Sutra LTD is really great under load, probably due also to longer chainstays (I have Tubus rack on mine, and it really works great). I am not especially concerned about stability on gravel, but if I get Rove LTD I will also put rear rack on it and use some kind of rear panniers, probably Thule (which are not the lightest)
- Gearing on Sutra LTD is maybe a little low for me (since I do not carry much load), so the gearing on Rove will fit me well. However, I wonder how soon will Sram present 1x12 road groupset (I am interested in hypothetical 10-42 cassette with smaller jumps between cogs).
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markopic

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Reply with quote  #10 
I have finally pulled the trigger on RoveLTD, so here are my thoughts after few rides:

- bike is significantly lighter than SutraLTD, I do not measure bike weight, but you can feel it by holding the bike.
- frame is really great (compared to my SutraLTD with 42mm Sawtooth tires) in shock absorption, I really like ride feel
- geometry is much more suited to road riding, bike responds to steering inputs very well
- beside the frame, most components (seat post, stem, handlebars) are very cheap, same as SutraLTD
- Force1 is better in feel than Rival on SutraLTD, but the difference is not significant.
- Unfortunately, brakes are almost the same, not as good as hydro Ultegra ones
- Sram 900 hubs are not as good as DTSwiss 350s which I ride on my other bike. I have removed the cassette to check rear hub, and it has completely fallen apart. Freehub design is 4 pawl with relatively large bearings, but outside bearing is almost exposed. Since I ride in all kind of weather, I will have to check them regularely. Also, freewheel is much lauder than DTSwiss, even with significant amount of grease.
- Wear parts (chain and cassette) are NX and Rival level, so I am thinking to replace them to loose some weight, but nothing wrong with them
- I have tried to set up tubeless, but I have given up - I can not separate tire from the rim. Tire holds the rim very strongly, and the tire (Wtb Horizon) is very thin near the rim, so I can not apply proper force to separate them. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
- Can you please suggest some good set of mudguards for RoveLTD? 




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ti473

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Reply with quote  #11 
You're using an air compressor right?
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markopic

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Reply with quote  #12 
No, sorry for my poor explanation, but I can not remove the tire from the rim so that I could take the tube out.
The tire is so strongly fitted to the rim, and so soft on the sidewall that I can not apply required amount of force to separate it from the rim.
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ti473

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Reply with quote  #13 
Well you better get that figured out... What are you gonna do when you get a flat?
I've never seen a tire that doesn't come off the rim
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Volsung

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Reply with quote  #14 

I've had fat bike tires that get stuck like that.  The trick for me is to just squeeze the tire in around the rim in a circle til I find a spot that moves.  Once you can get part of the tire over the ridge the rest comes pretty easy.  Spraying soapy water in might help lubricate the bead some too.

 

I don't have a Kona but my wife is using 26" SKS fenders on her 650b Twin Six Rando.

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markopic

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Volsung

I've had fat bike tires that get stuck like that.  The trick for me is to just squeeze the tire in around the rim in a circle til I find a spot that moves.  Once you can get part of the tire over the ridge the rest comes pretty easy.  Spraying soapy water in might help lubricate the bead some too.

 

I don't have a Kona but my wife is using 26" SKS fenders on her 650b Twin Six Rando.



Many thanks, I will try to do that.
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markopic

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ti473
Well you better get that figured out... What are you gonna do when you get a flat?
I've never seen a tire that doesn't come off the rim


I agree, but the tires are “new” so I stopped before applying too much pressure and asked the people with experience
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