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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking 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 05-25-12, 08:36 AM   #1
richnmib
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Kona Jake

So I am about to pull the trigger on a 2012 Kona Jake. I am looking for, hopefully, some real world reviews. I have read online reviews, and have looked at the bike countless times at my LBS and there is really nothing about it that I don't like and it is in my price range. Is there any other bike that is comparable to this one or will I wished I had gotten something else. I don't plan on making my living off of this bike, just riding and if I knew of a cross race in Florida I might give that a try. Thanks.
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Old 05-25-12, 08:58 AM   #2
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I love the Jake series. I have a Jake but I have a JTS and a MJ and find myself reaching for them almost every time I go for a ride. Unless I am hammering with the REALLY fast boys, I even reach for them over my Tarmac Pro. In short, the Jake is a great frame and can do just about anything.

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Old 05-25-12, 10:21 AM   #3
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I've got a 2008 Jake and have always been extremely happy with it. The 2012 model is significantly updated from what I have, but I can say that Kona makes good bikes and the components on the 2012 Jake are nice.
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Old 05-25-12, 03:44 PM   #4
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I guess I am more curious how the tiagra shifters will hold up and how they function. My road bike has 105 9 speed and my tri bike has 10 speed ultegra. Thanks again.
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Old 05-25-12, 09:48 PM   #5
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I have 2012 Kona Jake 47cm (small frame).

Tiagra Shifters works pretty nice. Shimano usually passes the upper grade components down when they make new Dura-Ace series. So Tiagra Shifter of now (4600) probably performs the same as 105 of the past (5600). Indeed, the shifting is quite smooth for the rear derailleur (also considering that Kona Jake has 105 rear derailleur). Front Derailleur works just fine after I put it through maintenance by myself (because the LBS doesn't really like me), relatively smoother than how I first got it.
Cantilever Brakes are just fine also, it's all about how you change the MA and things. I put Kool Stop and it stops well. It's Cantilever after all.

The frame is cool because the brake cables goes through the top tube. Interesting for aluminum frame.


The whole bike was 11 kg. But I put bike stands, lights, saddle bag, locks. I put Topeak's super tourist as a rack for my bike and it fits well. If you want to use it for touring, I think it's excellent.



If you have more questions, ask me. I got a go work now.
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Old 05-25-12, 11:35 PM   #6
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Ride it and see. My 4500 series Tiagra shifters have held up very well.
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Old 05-26-12, 12:03 PM   #7
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I love mine. Haven't had any problems with shifting and it's always nice and smooth. I couldn't handle the cantis so I put on some mini-vs. 9 cm arms are perfect for the STI levers and they even clear my fenders.
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Old 05-26-12, 04:10 PM   #8
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I have the 2011 Jake and use it for commuting and I love it. I actually prefer the cantilever breaks because of their power and simplicity. Like others have said the shifters are A+. Go for it.
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Old 05-27-12, 09:46 AM   #9
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Regarding tiagra, my MJ came used with Dura Ace 7700. I could not see any need to run 7700 on a cross bike that was serving heavy commuting duty so I put 9 speed tiagra on it. It worked happily for years with absolutely no complaints until I re purposed the bike toward more racing specific uses and put some ultegra on there. My tiagra is still running fine. I think tiagra is great stuff.

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Old 05-27-12, 11:04 AM   #10
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So it seems like Tiagra is good stuff. That is good to hear. Thank you all for your input. I appreciate it.
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Old 05-29-12, 12:27 AM   #11
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My 2008 Kona JTS has 105 & I love it!!!
On the other hand my 2011 Opus Sentiero has Tiagra, but i still find the 105 to be better.
It may be all in my head, but I like the feel of my older 105 drive train a bit better.
I have to admit I ride my Tiagra more often.
The Jake is a great platform to start with.

When my road bike build is done with a Dura Ace drive train, I'll be singing a different song.
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Old 05-29-12, 07:41 AM   #12
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When I first getting into road biking I was settled on getting a cx bike and the jake was at the top of the list. I had read a lot of really good things and test rode a used one- late 2000's model. I ended up buying a pure road bike at that time, but last week sold the madone to get a Major Jake. I love it so far. Mona seems to have a proven race pedigree and I like that everyone and their mother don't ride one. I manged to find the 2011 Major Jake with full Ultegra and Kyserium wheels for $1500 with very minor scratches. I haven't read anything negative about ther jake series - not that everyone loves them, but I didn't find quality issues.
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Old 05-29-12, 07:46 AM   #13
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On a budget 105 equipped Fuji and Scott bikes I considered seems a really good bang for the buck. Specialized seemed to be a bit $$$ but maybe there is a reason. I looked at a CAD cx cannondale - same as specialized, very nice but less bike for the $$$. I think any cx bike from a major manf in the 900-1200 range is going to be pretty nice.
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Old 05-30-12, 07:19 PM   #14
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Love my 2010 Jake. The 11 and 12 have very different geometry than mine, but I'd love to ride them. Kona really does make great bikes, especially the Jake series.
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Old 05-31-12, 08:28 AM   #15
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Love my 2010 Jake. The 11 and 12 have very different geometry than mine, but I'd love to ride them. Kona really does make great bikes, especially the Jake series.
So, that is a very interesting point. It is my understanding that in '11 Kona changed the JTS (and maybe the Jake) geometry to match that of the Major Jake.

I have both an MJ (2005) and JTS (2010) and there is no question that my MJ FEELS faster. It isn't, based on multiple time trials to work on both bikes, but it certainly FEELS faster. Interesting.
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Old 05-31-12, 09:47 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost Ryder View Post
It may be all in my head, but I like the feel of my older 105 drive train a bit better.
I've got an old bike with the Shimano 600 group. I'm sure it's heavy, but it shifts pretty damned nice. I doubt if it's all in your head.
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Old 05-31-12, 11:37 AM   #17
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I've got an old bike with the Shimano 600 group. I'm sure it's heavy, but it shifts pretty damned nice. I doubt if it's all in your head.
3 year old 105 tech, has probably trickled down to the 2011 Tiagra.
I heard Shimano upgrade their components every 3 years.
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Old 05-31-12, 01:55 PM   #18
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... if I knew of a cross race in Florida I might give that a try.
I thought people moved to Florida , to Get away from the kind of weather
that makes for good challenging Cyclocross races ..
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Old 05-31-12, 02:09 PM   #19
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I thought people moved to Florida , to Get away from the kind of weather
that makes for good challenging Cyclocross races ..
Yeah, but like half the state is a swamp so it should work out for them.
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Old 05-31-12, 07:10 PM   #20
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So, that is a very interesting point. It is my understanding that in '11 Kona changed the JTS (and maybe the Jake) geometry to match that of the Major Jake.

I have both an MJ (2005) and JTS (2010) and there is no question that my MJ FEELS faster. It isn't, based on multiple time trials to work on both bikes, but it certainly FEELS faster. Interesting.
Not sure about the MJ, but the Jake and JTS frames changed quite a bit from 2010 to 2011. The only thing I remember for certain is that the chainstays are now much shorter, which should make them feel more nimble.
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