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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 09-09-11, 05:16 PM   #1
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I think I"ve picked one but I have a question...

Ok, LBS's within 3 hours have nothing in my size... So I'll be ordering a bike and largely sight unseen... but I'm not afraid.. as a total noob cyclist I will have nothing to compare it too and thus I'll be thrilled with whatever I get.

Now, I have largely decided on the Kona Jake based on the fact at the entry level price ($1100-1000) point it seems to have the best set of components... (am I wrong?)

I am salivating over the Kona Jake the Snake and considering it despite the fact that at $1600ish it's really in the I can't afford it range... especially since I have to buy a helmet, rack accessory for my Yak bars, and lock (at a minimum).

Now... I noticed that the Kona Jack seems to have 30 gears (50/39/30 - Tiagra Front Derailer)... while the upgrade Jake the Snake only has 20 gears (46/36 crank - 105 Front Derailer)... compact? Still I'm wondering why that is? Isn't more gears better? I recall being advised to get a large gearing range since I live in a very hilly area.

Anyway very confused by this...

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Old 09-09-11, 06:17 PM   #2
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More gears are heavier, and more stuff to go wrong. A lot of CX guys myself included don't even use a front derailleur. 39t 11-28 seems to be good enough for me so far. I can't see any reason why you would need anything more. Tiagra is lower end than 105 too, that's where the price difference would be not the additional gearing. Neither one are very great anyway, they are lower end components. I say get the cheap one, and replace stuff as it breaks. That is what I would do.
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Old 09-09-11, 07:33 PM   #3
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Are you racing this bike, or riding it as a road/commute/touring/winter bike? If it's a race bike, mud + triple crank is not good. Also, the 30t and 50t are worthless for racing CX. The 46t and 36t are race-able gears, hence why they are included on the more race-like bike. If you are using it for general riding, then get the triple (46t/36t is going to limit you on the road). More != better in all cases. Having the right gearing matters, and in some cases that is more, and in other cases that may mean less.
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Old 09-09-11, 07:37 PM   #4
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Cant go wrong with a Kona, if you can pay for it. Even if you think it sucks, you wont lose much money in the resell.
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Old 09-10-11, 05:28 AM   #5
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If the Kona Jake is in your price comfort range, then go for it! You've made a good choice. As a noob, you're going to be doing a lot of learning. It's best to use a less expensive bike for that. Once you have more experience, you can either upgrade componentry, or sell and buy a new one. The Kona's a good one for this. The frames between the levels are very similar, so you can eventually upgrade your components to be as good as the Jake the Snake which is a more race ready bike. Unless you know exactly what you want component-wise, it's better to buy a good frame with decent components (like youre doing) so you can upgrade the components as they break or get tired and end up with a great bike. Do the reverse, and you're trying to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse.

Having read in your earlier thread that you're using this as a multipurpose bike, the larger 50 CR is going to serve you well. It'll be more fun on the road. If you find you don't need a triple, you can either swap the crankset (read upgrade), or simply pull off the CR(s) that you don't use and possibly install a guard.

Enjoy. It'll serve you well.
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