best bikepacking bikes under 1000

2021 Kona Sutra LTD | The Ultimate Gravel Bike?

The 2021 Kona Sutra LTD is what you get when you merge a road bike with a hardtail mountain bike. But whats changed for the 2021 model?

In short, nothing but the slick new gloss metallic champagne paint job that I’m really diggin.

The geometry of the Kona Sutra LTD works perfectly well for every ride and even feels more like a mountain bike while still being able to achieve the high speeds of those higher end gravel bikes. Its design and features make it a very capable bike for dirt, gravel, and even some tarmac.

However, I should preface this review by telling you I might be a little biased because I own a 2018 Sutra LTD.

Kona Sutras have been an excellent choice for long-distance touring since Kona introduced the line back in 2009. The LTD version was introduced in 2016 and has been a head turner since. It was one of the first “dropbar mountain bikes” that has now become a wildly popular style of bike.

2021 kona sutra ltd

If you’re looking for a bike that will serve you well on an assortment of terrain, the 2021 Kona Sutra LTD should definitely be on your short list of bikes to take for a spin. 

These bikes are made of Kona’s proprietary Cromoly steel to allow for compliant rides with improved shock absorption and ride quality.

The steel frame of the Sutra also features mounts for front and rear mud guards as well as mounts for pannier racks.

Helping to aid in your comfort are the tubeless ready and fast-rolling 700×50 WTB Venture tires and the WTB SL8 Pro saddle. 

When I first purchased my LTD I thought I was going to have to invest in a Brooks, and I kinda wanted to, but the WTB saddle is actually pretty comfortable for me. I’ve ridden a total of about 3,500 miles with a few 100-mile days with no bum issues.

The 2021 Kona Sutra LTD comes with the workhorse of groupsets, the Sram Rival 1. The hydraulic 160mm disc brakes respond excellently and the 1x drivetrain is handled by the Sram Rival 1 rear derailleur. 

Helping you churn out the miles is a RaceFace Aeffect crankset with a 36t RaceFace chainring.   

2021 kona sutra ltd

The stock Kona branded dropbars have a 16-degree flare and are pretty deep. I find the drops to be a little to low for my style of riding and will probably opt for something with a shallower drop and a bit more flare.

The tubeless ready WTB KOM Light i25 rims are perfect for most riders but as with almost any bike, a more robust wheelset really helps to give it a little more pep.

The Kona Sutra LTD has ample main triangle space that will accommodate some rather large frame bags without any problem. Inside that main triangle you’ll find two water bottle mounts as well as one on the underside of the downtube. 

Although, I haven’t been able to fit a water bottle into that mount because of the front wheel riding too close, instead this is where I keep my much-needed drug of choice, a jar of peanut butter.

2021 kona sutra ltd

The Kona Sutra LTD doesn’t do anything perfectly but it does do everything well. This for me, is the bike that can prove ‘n’ can equal 1 for a lot of riders.

Read more about the amazing 2021 Kona Sutra LTD over at

best bikepacking bikes under 1000