When I got to New Jersey, my brother had already picked up his Kona Sutra from the dealer and had been on a few short trips around town. However, there was a major problem with his bike which he did not realize until I pointed it out to him: the 2013 Sutra comes with a factory front rack which this one lacked. He promptly called the local Kona dealer in Wayne, NJ where he purchased the bike, to let them know of the problem. I know that my brother’s situation was a little chaotic at the time. He was both nervous and excited about the momentous task we were about to take on. He also had to get his finances in order before the trip. And he did not have any knowledge of this particular model and decided to purchase this one mainly because of my recommendation. So I can see how my brother failed to realize the bike was missing the front rack, but I, till this day, still cannot believe that the professionals at the Kona dealer missed that one too (or did they?). Anyhow, they informed my brother that they would call the factory and order the missing rack. My brother also asked them to pack his bike in a box for airplane travel and include some extra spokes for his wheels.
They called my brother a couple of days before the trip and told him that they received the front rack and packed it along with the bike in a box. We were to install the front rack once we get to Frankfurt. I know, I know…I should have known better. These guys screwed up once already, I should have been more cautious. But, we had so many other things on our minds that we simply took their word for it. That turned out to be a huge mistake, as you shall see.
Nevertheless, his Sutra was ready for the trip except for the front rack. My bike, on the other hand, was missing a couple of the necessities. Unlike my brother’s bike, my Vaya did not come with the fenders and racks. I had already purchased and installed a Topeak rear rack. The bike still needed a set of fenders and a front rack. I decided to order the fenders and the front rack from a German company online and have them ship the items to my cousin in Elsenfeld, Germany. I figured there was no point in having them ship the items to the States only to be returned to Germany a few weeks later. It would help lessen the load. After some research on the internet, I settled on a pair of SKS Fenders and a Tubus Duo front rack which supposedly fit my Salsa Vaya 3. Huge mistake number “zwei”!