Commuter bike with disc brakes: Kona Dr Dew or Sutra?


New Member
Mar 5, 2011
On my local craigslist site there are these three bikes for sale:

2008 Kona Dr Dew 56cm $600 obo, drop bars w/Tiagra shifters, upgraded to Avid disc brakes and XT rear der; Shimano clip in pedals

2008? Kona Sutra 56cm $850 obo, upgraded to Winwood carbon fork, Avid BB-7 disc brakes, 105 shifters; no pedals

I usually ride on platform pedals, so no advantage there. I'll be trying out both Konas tomorrow (same owner). I usually ride a 54-56cm bike, so these should be in my size range, unless one of them fits large or small for its size.

Right now I'm riding a Felt F1X cyclocross bike for rainy Seattle winter weather; like the bike, but the braking could be better (front mini-V, rear canti, recently adjusted), has a double chainring and it's slightly large at 57cm.

The main attraction of these three bikes are the disc brakes for inclement weather and triple chainring for climbing. I own a Kona mtn bike and definitely like it, so ++views on Konas. I've never owned a bike w/disc brakes; have heard that decent disc brakes will always outperform other brake types in the wet and wonder if it's worth picking up a bike w/discs for rainy Seattle. Thinking this could be true--opinions?

My past experience (a decade ago) with inexpensive hybrid bikes turned me off on those, but I am assuming the top of the Dew line Dr Dew is a much better bike, and that I shouldn't be turned off because it's a hybrid?

Opinions on these bikes for commuting and perhaps short (20-70 mile) rides? Especially interested to hear views on these two Konas as currently outfitted, and their relative values at the asking prices. Thanks for the tips.
I'm a big fan of the Kona brand, they offer a lot of bike for less money then competitors. But I will tell you also that I am bias against aluminum bikes, therefore I'm going to recommend the Sutra because it's steel. I have a Kona Lava Dome and it too is steel, and that bike is as light as any aluminum based mountain bike in that price range...but mine is not shocked. Steel will be more durable for off road use as well, and their using good steel tube set called Dedacciai COM 12.5 Butted cromo. Any long term reports I've read on the Sutra have all been very high. The bike is a dedicated touring/commuter bike, and for this purpose the steel frame will be more comfortable on long miles. The Hayes brake system on the Dr Dew has had lots of complaints, probably why the Sutra uses Avid. If the bars have not been changed the Dr Dew should have flat bars and the Sutra drop bars, on long rides the drop bar will be more comfortable due to the more hand positions one can obtain with the drop bars. Of course you'll get people disagreeing with me and that's fine, ultimately it's your decision.
Thanks for the reply. I decided to stick w/my Felt for bad weather commuting--had a good lbs take a look at it and tweak a few things. Also heard that BB-5 brakes were pretty touchy to keep properly adjusted and didn't want to deal w/that.