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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 07-27-09, 01:03 PM   #1
M400
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Kona Jake replacement?

Hello,

I've ridden the Kona Jake as a commuter for a few years. On weekends, I strip it down for longer rides. I am getting a bit stronger (and bored) with the Jake and I would like to "move up". I commute about 15 miles one-way, but I'd like to increase my efficiency, speed, and distance on weekends. I use clipless pedals. I could (a) keep the Jake and purchase a separate bike with better components, lighter weight, etc. strictly for road biking, or (b) pick up a new road or cross-bike to serve both purposes.

The Jake is good for me because of it's size (56) and wheel base. I always feel in control on the Jake. Right now, I feel a bit twitchy on true road bikes. Maybe I just need to get used to them, I am not sure. So, I am looking for suggestions on how to "move up"; key issues to consider, etc.

I have ridden the Treks 2.1 (didn't like). Next weekend, I will try Felts and Specialized. Thus far, I haven't noticed a significant difference in ride quality (except braking), unless I move up to 105 components or higher.

Comments/suggestions are welcome. -- Thanks.
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Old 07-27-09, 02:18 PM   #2
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For a commuter, I don't know if you're going to find much better. As you start looking at pricier bikes, you'll find that you lose things like rack and fender support. So, I would suggest you either get a road bike for the weekends and keep the Jake as a commuter, or just upgrade the Jake.

I upgraded my Jake to Ultegra/Open Pro wheels, Ultegra shifters and cassette, Ultegra SL rear derailleur and 105 front derailleur. That made for a fun project, and in the end I have a pretty nice bike that's still great for commuting.

Another thing I've done for variety is build up a fixed gear bike. It provides a great change of riding style from the Jake and is a lot of fun. I built mine up around an old Gitane road bike, but I'm thinking I might move the parts to either a Salsa Casseroll or Surly Crosscheck frame this winter.
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Old 07-27-09, 06:47 PM   #3
Ken Wind
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I agree with the comments Andy K made. What kind of tires are you using on the Kona? If you are using cyclocross tires, putting thinner, smoother tires will make an enormous difference. Lighter wheels and tires can also have a dramatic effect.
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Old 07-28-09, 05:08 PM   #4
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road bike + commuter

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Originally Posted by Ken Wind View Post
I agree with the comments Andy K made. What kind of tires are you using on the Kona? If you are using cyclocross tires, putting thinner, smoother tires will make an enormous difference. Lighter wheels and tires can also have a dramatic effect.
I have fairly smooth tires: Panaracer Tserv 700 x 28. All in all the Jake is great for commuting. For variety, I have an 1996 Cannondale mtb with 1.5 tires. I think I am sensing the need for a road bike to complete my collection.
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