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  1. #1
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    Loaded touring with Kona Jake the Snake?

    Looking to do a small unsupported tour with a friend this summer going from London to Amsterdam (~350-400 miles). Currently looking for a do-it-all bike that I can use for everything after the tour as well, but only have about £200 total to spend. I've been offered a Kona JTS frameset for £120 and then I can transfer most of my current bike components then sell what's left and buy stuff for the tour.

    The JTS has a carbon fork and Easton alu tubing on the frame. Many reviews describe it as being suitable for light touring. What would be the problem with putting more gear on a rack on the back? Jeopardising the frame? Handling + stability? What if I bought some touring forks and spread the weight across front + back? Like these:

    http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/700c-1-1-...ack-prod15589/

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    ...well not those exact forks because they don't have canti-bosses like the 1" version SJS sell...but you get the idea

  3. #3
    Senior Member mtnbud's Avatar
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    My buddy uses a Kona Jake the Snake. He doesn't have any problems. He did as you're thinking and changed the front fork and added a front rack. He doesn't have any heel strike issues, but he's a bit on the short side (Maybe 5' 7" or so).
    “If You Open Your Mind Too Much Your Brain Will Fall Out”

  4. #4
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    Oh my gosh I would kill for a JTS frame set. ESPECIALLY at that price. As for touring, I am not sure........but it is one badass cyclocross frame. Sorry for not answering your question. I just love JTS.

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    the bike is just a thing to go on the trip upon, touring is the trip taken.


    .. though, store the carbon fork and put a steel one on ..
    if you plan front pannier bags at all.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    The JTS should be OK for what you have planned. While no direct experience with The Kona, my wife and I have done several multi-week unsupported tours on relatively light road bikes. We did not use or need front panniers for those trips. I have also used a Bianchi cyclocross bike to ride across the U.S. five years ago. Most CX bikes will do a respectable job as a "touring" bike. Depending on your weight, and the weight of gear you plan on hauling; there may not be any handling issues. Build the bike using the carbon fork, load it up, and see how it handles. If it does not perform the way you want, then you can change out the fork. Tange makes a pretty nice steel touring/CX fork. A carbon or steel fork will give a little "softer " ride than an aluminum fork. Just make sure the fork rake is the same as the Kona fork.

    http://www.biketiresdirect.com/produ...ged-cross-fork

    I posted this on another thread not too long ago, but it illustrates what a light self contained outfit can look like. My wife has a carbon fork on her bike, but my bike had an aluminum fork at that time (have since replaced it with a carbon fork). There was 25-30 lbs on my bike and 20-25 on hers. I carried the tent and cooking gear. There was no real issues with bike handling. On this trip my wife pulled away from me going downhill when I was going 43 mph


  7. #7
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    Took the plunge and bought the frameset. It's sitting in my bedroom so close yet so far not having any shifters thanks for the advice, I'm going to try it loaded up with just a rear rack and see how it feels then think about replacing the fork. It's going to be well under specced to start with, but I'll upgrade as I go.

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