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  1. #1
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    Rando/brevet advice - Upgrade Kona Jake the Snake? Something else?

    What would you change to make this 2013 Kona Jake the Snake an ideal rando/brevet bike? Likely talking about 200-600km self-supported rides, with 500-5000m climbing. Certainly not touring.

    Is this even possible? Or maybe is better to go after something different than "upgrading" this particular Kona. I will consider other options if upgrading this bike is too demanding and/or expensive.

    The specs and some comments are below. Advice coming from experienced rando/brevet riders will be highly appreciated. Cheers!

    Frame Material - Kona Race Light 7005 Aluminum Butted
    Fork - Kona Full Carbon CX
    ---- The steerer tube is actually steel, so I do not think this actually qualifies as full carbon
    Chainset - FSA Gossamer Compact 36/46t
    Bottom Bracket - FSA Press Fit BB30
    Cassette - Shimano 105 12-28t 10 spd
    Front Derailleur - Shimano 105
    Rear Derailleur - Shimano Ultegra
    Shifters - Shimano 105
    Brakes - Avid Shorty 6
    ---- I have to admit that I am not impressed by these brakes
    Headset - FSA No.57B
    Handlebar - Kona Road Bar
    Stem - Kona XC/Road
    ---- The stem is only 8cm long (49cm size bike)
    Seatpost - Kona Double Clamp
    Seat Clamp - Kona Clamp
    ---- The seat post has about 1cm setback. Together with the short stem, it makes for a rather tight cockpit when you compare this with a proper road bike
    Wheels – Shimano RS10A
    Tyres - Maxxis Mud Wrestler 700x33C
    ---- Lots of options in terms of tire widths

    Also… twin bottle-cage mounts, mudguard eyes and seat stay placed rack mounts.


    Edit: geometry is below.
    Last edited by starjag; 08-06-13 at 08:07 AM.

  2. #2
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    Here is the geometry. The bike in question is 49cm size, which is the right size for my height.


  3. #3
    Randomhead
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    I don't see anything wrong with it the way it is. You could consider adding fenders. And find a large seat bag or add a rack and a trunk bag.

  4. #4
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    I agree, the Kona sounds like a pretty good bike for brevets so long as it fits you well. I have heard that Shimano's 105 brakes are a really good investment and improvement. I don't know about 105's but I rode a bike with Ultegra's Calipers and almost went over the bars due to the braking power.

    You mentioned that the cockpit was tight but the reach and stack look generous when compared to the frames I've been looking at for Brevets.
    RUSA #8269

  5. #5
    Old. Slow. Happy. MileHighMark's Avatar
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    Fit and comfort will/should trump everything else.

    That said, if you don't like those brakes, get some mini-v brakes.
    GRAVELBIKE.COM - ride everything

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaHaMac View Post
    You mentioned that the cockpit was tight but the reach and stack look generous when compared to the frames I've been looking at for Brevets.
    Yes, a 100mm stem will get the job done. Standover, reach, stack fit well.

    Quote Originally Posted by MileHighMark View Post
    That said, if you don't like those brakes, get some mini-v brakes.
    Any particular brand/model that you recommend?

    Cheers!

  7. #7
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    Ride it for a few Series, see what you don't like about it and go from there. Assuming it all fit okay, the first thing I would do is get a generator hub on there, though. Most of our local riders use narrower tires than 33's, but that can vary depending on what you like.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  8. #8
    Old. Slow. Happy. MileHighMark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starjag View Post
    Yes, a 100mm stem will get the job done. Standover, reach, stack fit well.



    Any particular brand/model that you recommend?

    Cheers!
    There are inexpensive models available from Tektro that make it cheap/easy to experiment. I've used high-end models from TRP and Paul, and those work beautifully. One thing you need to take into consideration is the length (aka, "height") of the brake arms. Longer/taller brakes offer better clearance for fenders, etc, but require levers with more cable pull. Generally, however, an 85mm brake arm will be compatible with nearly any integrated brake/shift lever.
    GRAVELBIKE.COM - ride everything

  9. #9
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    sorry to dig up the old thread, and excuse the instagram picture, but here's my 2012 JTS (49cm) pretty much ready for a 200k in a few days. besides the fit and accessories, the most notable thing i did was to swap out the inner 36t for a 34t chainring. that, combined with the 28t in the back, should treat me fairly well. i rode a triple crank with a 30t granny + 28t in the back for my first brevet, but seeing if i can step up my climbing game...




    ritchey 130mm stem, fizik arione saddle
    34t ultegra chainring
    topeak bar extender with:
    -planet bike bell
    -niterider lumina 650
    -cateye nanoshot
    planet bike cascadia fenders, front mudflap made out of tvyek + duct tape
    sunlite bar bag w/ map case
    carradice super c audax + bagman2 QR sport support

    still on the fence whether to swap the heavy wheelset + 32c conti touring plus tires (HEAVY) with a much lighter wheelset + 23c tires from my road bike. i wish i had tire options inbetween but i do not.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by seajaye View Post
    sorry to dig up the old thread, and excuse the instagram picture, but here's my 2012 JTS (49cm) pretty much ready for a 200k in a few days. besides the fit and accessories, the most notable thing i did was to swap out the inner 36t for a 34t chainring. that, combined with the 28t in the back, should treat me fairly well. i rode a triple crank with a 30t granny + 28t in the back for my first brevet, but seeing if i can step up my climbing game...




    ritchey 130mm stem, fizik arione saddle
    34t ultegra chainring
    topeak bar extender with:
    -planet bike bell
    -niterider lumina 650
    -cateye nanoshot
    planet bike cascadia fenders, front mudflap made out of tvyek + duct tape
    sunlite bar bag w/ map case
    carradice super c audax + bagman2 QR sport support

    still on the fence whether to swap the heavy wheelset + 32c conti touring plus tires (HEAVY) with a much lighter wheelset + 23c tires from my road bike. i wish i had tire options inbetween but i do not.
    Nicely outfitted. I like the green....

    If the roads are good and you are light, why not 700x23?

    Is there much climbing in the upcoming event? If so, go with the lighter wheels especiclly if it is a 200K.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weatherby View Post
    Nicely outfitted. I like the green....

    If the roads are good and you are light, why not 700x23?

    Is there much climbing in the upcoming event? If so, go with the lighter wheels especiclly if it is a 200K.
    thanks! concentrating efforts on this bike for now because it's in the best shape.

    i am fairly light so usually 23's are fine for 95% of the riding i do. there's close to 10,000ft in this 200k, and i just swapped out wheelsets today and will be taking the updated rig out for a test ride tomorrow. i'm ballparking that i just took off 1.5 - 2lbs or so, should be a pretty big difference overall. the only worry is it might be on-off rain, so i'll really have to watch it on descents.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Steamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seajaye View Post
    thanks! concentrating efforts on this bike for now because it's in the best shape.

    i am fairly light so usually 23's are fine for 95% of the riding i do. there's close to 10,000ft in this 200k, and i just swapped out wheelsets today and will be taking the updated rig out for a test ride tomorrow. i'm ballparking that i just took off 1.5 - 2lbs or so, should be a pretty big difference overall. the only worry is it might be on-off rain, so i'll really have to watch it on descents.
    Blue Mountain 200K?

    Anyways, do you need the seat bag? And the handlebar bag? Seems like overkill for a 200K. You can lose a little more weight, and more importantly, (probably) gain some aero benefits by losing a bag.

    Also, i don't see lights. If its the BM200K, then darkness falls at hour 12:15. What if you need 12:30 to finish? you will be disqualified without front and rear lights and reflective sash, etc.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by seajaye View Post
    thanks! concentrating efforts on this bike for now because it's in the best shape.

    i am fairly light so usually 23's are fine for 95% of the riding i do. there's close to 10,000ft in this 200k, and i just swapped out wheelsets today and will be taking the updated rig out for a test ride tomorrow. i'm ballparking that i just took off 1.5 - 2lbs or so, should be a pretty big difference overall. the only worry is it might be on-off rain, so i'll really have to watch it on descents.
    When you stare at the cyclecomputer going up a really big hill at mile 117, just think of what those heavy wheels would feel like.....on the other hand, wet and broken pavement might make the heavier wheels a better choice. GL and have a great ride. Be careful coming down Blue Mountain, the skiiers turning left into the parking lot won't expect a cyclist at 35mph.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
    Blue Mountain 200K?

    Anyways, do you need the seat bag? And the handlebar bag? Seems like overkill for a 200K. You can lose a little more weight, and more importantly, (probably) gain some aero benefits by losing a bag.

    Also, i don't see lights. If its the BM200K, then darkness falls at hour 12:15. What if you need 12:30 to finish? you will be disqualified without front and rear lights and reflective sash, etc.
    yess. will be my second brevet. it honestly does feel like overkill but the forecast had 50-60% chance of rain, plus it's colder temps than my first 200k in september. for that one, i had the same handlebar bag and a VO barrel-bag on the saddle. perfect space-wise but just having to dig around and re-pack after shedding layers was annoying for sure. i bought the carradice for this year to be able to carry extra clothing and such and have this be less of a headache, and with longer distances in mind. as for the handlebar bag, the map pocket is very handy, and it's just nice to have certain things (camera, food) up front.

    as for visbility, i've got two front lights on the bar extender that shine underneath the handlebar bag. they're both USB rechargeable so i'll try to minimize their use (by hopefully not using either of them at all). they're mounted upside down, which i know is not ideal, but really can't kludge a better solution at this point. will be bringing spare batteries for the superflash in the back on the carradice lid. and the reflective vest is tied to the bagman support via ankle bands

    Quote Originally Posted by Weatherby View Post
    When you stare at the cyclecomputer going up a really big hill at mile 117, just think of what those heavy wheels would feel like.....on the other hand, wet and broken pavement might make the heavier wheels a better choice. GL and have a great ride. Be careful coming down Blue Mountain, the skiiers turning left into the parking lot won't expect a cyclist at 35mph.
    thanks weatherby! i'm hoping it's smooth sailing for the most part. feeling much more prepared for this second time around, at least with handling myself at controles and keeping on top of nutrition and things. and thanks for the heads up, i am not at all familiar with the area and already am pretty slow with descending, maybe for once it won't be a bad thing.

  15. #15
    Randomhead
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    the section from Bloomsbury back to Milford is not my favorite. I am still riding my backup bike which has a pannier, so I'll be more bag-impaired than you. I think this time of year it's nice to have extra stuff along and a place to stow it. I'm not intending to set any speed records, I have finished this 200k in 13:30 when it finished at the Hostel.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Hairy Hands's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    the section from Bloomsbury back to Milford is not my favorite. I am still riding my backup bike which has a pannier, so I'll be more bag-impaired than you. I think this time of year it's nice to have extra stuff along and a place to stow it. I'm not intending to set any speed records, I have finished this 200k in 13:30 when it finished at the Hostel.
    i agree 100%. Who gives a crap about what the bike weighs or narrow width of the tires for a Brevet! Comfort is king as long as you can finish within the time constraints. Fat tires equal ride comfort and the extra gear and the bags to carry it make for a more comfortable experience.
    ~John~

  17. #17
    Randomhead
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    I'm bringing electrolytes tomorrow, and I'll probably need them after Mud Run. The time I finished int 13:30, I started cramping at mile 40.

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