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Old 05-30-13, 05:24 AM   #1
WestMass
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Sell my Kona Jake the Snake to buy a Kona Rove???

Hey folks,

I need some insight - hopefully some from people who own or have ridden the Rove.

Right now I have a 2010 Jake the Snake, which I bought new 2 years ago and have been using as a commuter, occasional off-road stuff, some longer rides in less-than-ideal weather (when I keep the caad10 at home!) and have raced in a few cyclocross races. I like the tire clearance, the fact that it can do a lot of things - i can change it from a toury-looking commuter to a mean looking cross bike in just a few minutes. I also love shimano 105.

I feel like I can probably get at least what I paid for the bike (around $750) locally on craigslist, and I can get the Rove through a connection for about $1200 I think.

My concern is that the swap won't be worth it (N+1 is not an option here - I wish). Basically I'd be swapping an aluminum framed, carbon-forked canti-braked bike with 105 for a 3 years newer steel-framed, steel-forked bike with SRAM Apex group, and disc brakes.

Pros: I can mount a front rack and it would probably be better for short tours (which I've never done before - but I did buy a hiker/biker tent and have really wanted to do at least some overnights here and there). I feel like the Rove might be a better choice for doing some riding on local mtb trails (nothing too crazy). The disc brakes (from what I've heard!) are likely to provide better stopping power, especially in the rain. The brakes on the JTS don't have the greatest stopping power. Steel is a smoother ride (?) - I have a steel single speed that I really enjoy. Geometry would a be a little more relaxed.

Cons: 5 pounds of weight, money, my LBS refers to the rove as an over-spec-ed, overly expensive, heavy commuter bike, I think it would be a little harder to race cross with the extra weight. Geometry would be a little more relaxed.

The other possibility is keeping the JTS and buying an entry-level mountain bike for trails, and just hope the JTS will be sufficient for mini-tours.
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Old 05-30-13, 05:59 AM   #2
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If your JTS brakes are lacking stopping power then something is set up wrong or you are using them wrong: they should easily be able to lock the wheels. Are you using the front brake aggressively (a necessity for hard braking) and have you switched the stock pads for decent ones (eg Kool Stop pinks if you want braking power in the rain)?
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Old 05-30-13, 07:53 AM   #3
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I don't have kool stop pads, but did get new pads recently - I just got a tune-up at my LBS - so they should be set up properly. I've never had cantilevers that locked my wheels. they've always just slowed the bike down fairly quickly - this is on 2-3 bikes i've had with that type of brake. None has ever stopped as well as caliper brakes.
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Old 05-30-13, 08:12 AM   #4
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Why don't you go for a cheaper Kona Jake? I presume geometry would be the same. I wanted Jake the Snake but in the end went for Jake as it was more in the line of what I needed and it was much cheaper.

Pros:
- cheaper (than Rove)
- discs (which are worlds apart from cantis on snow or heavy mud)
- compact crankset, you will appreciate it if you climb on light MTB trails

Cons:
- still no front rack mount
- aluminium fork will provide harsher ride (I actually don't agree with that as tires are quite big on CC bikes, but...)
- it's a downgrade from what you currently have (but it is new!)
- heavy (compared to JtS)
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Old 05-30-13, 09:12 AM   #5
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Even if you could sell your current bike for the amount you think, and buy the new one (plus tax?) for another $5-600, it doesn't seem worth it.
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Old 05-30-13, 09:42 AM   #6
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I have a 2009 JTS, and have the same issues with the canti brakes - they're adequate, but not spectacular. That said, my JTS is my favourite bike, maybe because I've never ridden anything nicer, but it's been a good and faithful companion over many thousand miles.

I've not ridden a Rove, so I can't comment on it. After a failed experiment with an IGH-equipped Surly Disc Trucker, looking at the Rove specs, the Rove looks more like what I wanted the Disc Trucker to be. I can attest to the vastly superior stopping power of disc brakes, which is one thing I really like about the Trucker.

Speaking for myself, I would consider replacing my Trucker with a Rove (i.e., a heavy tourer for a light tourer), but I wouldn't replace my JTS with something heavier. You've got a CAAD 10, so maybe that satisfies any light-bike needs, but I know I would regret getting rid of my JTS.
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Old 05-30-13, 10:20 AM   #7
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I don't have kool stop pads, but did get new pads recently - I just got a tune-up at my LBS - so they should be set up properly. I've never had cantilevers that locked my wheels. they've always just slowed the bike down fairly quickly - this is on 2-3 bikes i've had with that type of brake. None has ever stopped as well as caliper brakes.
Go to the cyclocross forum and read the Canti Brake Sticky. Cantis require knowledge to tune and most people do it wrong, but the braking power can be huge. If you don't want to do that or can't get the trick, the sticky also tells you how to fit v-brakes (use mini-vees or a Travel Adaptor.)

New pads are no good if they are crappy pads - Kools and Swiss Stop are the only pads I'd use, except *maybe* for the new Tektros.
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Old 05-30-13, 10:23 AM   #8
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I have a 2009 JTS, and have the same issues with the canti brakes - they're adequate, but not spectacular.
I can lock and skid my 40mm super-grip tyres on my crosser with my standard issue cantis - read the Cross forum canti sticky.
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Old 05-30-13, 10:49 AM   #9
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I will take that thread into consideration -- aside from that.... is it an upgrade? Would it be a better bike for what I do/want to do?
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Old 05-30-13, 11:04 AM   #10
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I will take that thread into consideration -- aside from that.... is it an upgrade? Would it be a better bike for what I do/want to do?
The Rove is probably a better bike for light touring, worse for cyclocross racing, and about the same for trail riding. What's more important to you - racing or touring?
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Old 05-30-13, 11:27 AM   #11
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The Rove is probably a better bike for light touring, worse for cyclocross racing, and about the same for trail riding. What's more important to you - racing or touring?
Do you think it would be better for light touring because of the frame geometry and material? Or ability to mount a rack?

I guess I'm also having a steel vs. aluminum battle in my head
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Old 05-30-13, 11:44 AM   #12
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Do you think it would be better for light touring because of the frame geometry and material? Or ability to mount a rack?

I guess I'm also having a steel vs. aluminum battle in my head
Lots of debates on these forums about frame material. I find my aluminum JTS more comfortable on long rides than my steel racing bike, but it's not a good comparison because of differences in geometry and tires. Instinctively, I would pick the Rove over the JTS for touring mainly because it can take a front rack. I know I would be hard-pressed to fit everything I would want on a tour just on a rear rack. The Rove also looks like it has 32-spoke wheels vs. 20 on the JTS - tourers tend to like more spokes.
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Old 05-30-13, 11:51 AM   #13
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I will take that thread into consideration -- aside from that.... is it an upgrade? Would it be a better bike for what I do/want to do?
I think you really have to ride the Rove. You can't predict a bike's handling from spec or weight - read this

http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/vie...p?f=1&t=258233

plus feel is a VERY personal thing. If you can't test ride the Rove and you love the Snake, stay with the bike you love and know, upgrading the brakes.

Also: some people do tour using either a Wingnut pack (google these - they sit on the lower back and are really cool) or a Pac Designs Messenger Bag with the extra support strap - both these distribute weight extremely well. If your tent is light and you don't want to carry much, they provide an answer for the Snake. Or you could possibly buy a fork for the snake that has rack mounts - this would be steel and a little heavier; Salsa sell stuff like this I think. And/or you can buy a randoneur bag for your handle bars:

http://janheine.wordpress.com/2013/0...randonneuring/

But I would never, ever, jump from a bike that I love to one that I haven't ridden! Not unless I had a reason like "You have to ride 200 miles of mountain bike trail, so I don't think your track bike is going to cut it."

Anything else.... Yes, light mtb trails. I do these on a crosser myself and it's great fun. Advice:

- The Snake is not built for maximum strength becasue it is race oriented. If you are a heavy rider and/or you hammer it, this may be a problem. (I'm 220lb and probably would not ride a Snake on MTB trails... but hey, 220lbs is a lot for a cyclist, and I might be wrong.)

- Upgrade those brakes the way the cross sticky explains

- Consider fitting wider bars with a bit less reach and some flare - they'll transform the handling; a crosser with Bell Laps in some ways handles better on light off road than an MTB

- Obviously, your gear range won't be as much as an MTB, and you'll benefit from the widest tyres you can fit

Last edited by meanwhile; 05-30-13 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 05-30-13, 11:54 AM   #14
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How do you like the fit of the JtS? Have you tried it on trails and found it lacking?

I'd lean toward keeping the Snake unless there is something about it that you aren't happy with.

I have a 2008 Jake, and last year I added a 2013 Jake with disc brakes. The new Jake is a better bike. It doesn't really do anything the old one didn't, but it has a few upgrades (most notably disc brakes and internal cable routing). It was definitely an upgrade, but it was only a marginal upgrade. I still have the old Jake, and in fact I rode it to work today. There was nothing wrong with it.

Moving from a 2010 Jake the Snake to a 2013 Rove is a similar move, and possibly even more of a sideways step than an upgrade. There are some things the Rove will do better. There are some things the JtS will do better. Mostly, they'll be about the same.

On the topic of brakes, it's true that you can get great power out of cantis, but it's a PITA. I've got full sized V-brakes with Travel Agents on my 2008 Jake. They work great, comparable to good caliper brakes. I've also heard good reports about mini-V's, especially the TRP CX 8.4's. Ride a bike with mechanical disc brakes before you make the jump, preferably the Rove itself. Road disc brakes in particular are not nearly as amazing as their MTB brethren. They're very good, but not the game changers you might imagine them to be.
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Old 05-30-13, 12:00 PM   #15
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Another option would be something like this:



I had this fork on my 2008 Jake for a while, and I was quite happy with it. It would solve your braking issues and provide support for a front rack. You'd also need a front disc brake and wheel, so the whole thing might cost you in the neighborhood of $350 or so. It's not a lot cheaper but there would be less unknown and you could go back if you weren't happy with the change.
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Old 05-30-13, 12:02 PM   #16
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Lots of debates on these forums about frame material. I find my aluminum JTS more comfortable on long rides than my steel racing bike, but it's not a good comparison because of differences in geometry and tires.
Whenever people talk about frame material and comfort they are talking bs. I do not blame them, because it is "Everyone believes" stuff, but it is wrong. Read

http://www.ibiscycles.com/support/te...ts/the_basics/

You can make a stiff or flexy bike out of any of the major materials: it comes down to tube size and tube wall thickness, while other characteristics depend on wheelbase, trail angle, etc.

Last edited by meanwhile; 05-30-13 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 05-30-13, 12:53 PM   #17
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All of these is really helpful for me folks - keep the opinions and ideas coming!!
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Old 05-31-13, 12:27 AM   #18
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That Civia fork I pictured also works with a long reach caliper brake, so you could get the fork now and swap in a disc brake solution later if you thought it was necessary.
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Old 06-03-13, 08:16 AM   #19
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I've opted to hang onto my JTS. Put my fenders back on yesterday and rode in the rain to work this morning
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Old 06-03-13, 08:44 AM   #20
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I thought the rove was sluggish and flimsy. The apex components were good. But there is no disc brakes on the rove. The regular Jake I just bought and I really like it. It is light and fast.
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Old 06-04-13, 11:20 AM   #21
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you're thinking of the wrong bike - the rove only has disc brakes.
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Old 06-04-13, 02:29 PM   #22
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The Rove is definitely more versatile. I've got an aluminum framed steel forked monstercross and it is a stiff ride unloaded. My all steel road bike rides smoother even though it has way skinny tires. I would be interested to know how well the Hayes cable discs work. I have some older ones on a 29er and they work well for cable discs.
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Old 06-05-13, 08:05 PM   #23
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Makes no difference at all. Anyone who's been paying any attention at all for the last 15+ years knows that Rove = Snake.
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Old 06-06-13, 10:42 AM   #24
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Makes no difference at all. Anyone who's been paying any attention at all for the last 15+ years knows that Rove = Snake.
I see what you did there.
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Old 06-06-13, 12:16 PM   #25
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you're thinking of the wrong bike - the rove only has disc brakes.
My suggested solution:

Nashbar carbon cyclo fork - $100
Bb7 - $50 (or even better self-adjusting TRP spyres)
Ea70 xc 29er wheel for ~$140.
Origin rotor for ~$10.

Total cost for saving a lb in weight and gaining improved handling: $300.

PS: Getting a front disc brake gives you ~80% of the braking advantage of discs for half the price.

Last edited by spare_wheel; 06-06-13 at 12:24 PM.
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