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kona Jake for Commuting

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kona Jake for Commuting

Old 09-11-07, 06:10 PM
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Cowtown Cumuter
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kona Jake for Commuting

What do you folks think of a Kona Jake for commuting? It is fast like a road bike and tough like a mountain bike, best of both worlds. I can get one for around $1000 and I am sure it would last for many years to come. My old Norco Clunker won't last more than another season and is not worth putting any more $$ into.

http://www.bicikli-straus.hr/images/...s/jake_big.jpg
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Old 09-11-07, 07:34 PM
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I commute on its big brother, a Jake the Snake, the one that came in flourescent dayglow orange. Then I added carbon fork, disc brake, fenders, rack, etc.

The Jake is very similar and makes a great commuter.
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Old 09-11-07, 07:35 PM
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I picked one up earlier this year and it makes a nice commuter. I threw some Freddy Fenders and a rack on it and swapped the tires for some Conti Gatorskins. I also ordered a Brooks B17, which just showed up yesterday (it's still taking it's proofide bath).

The list price according to the Kona site is C$950, so you're not exactly getting a deal or anything. You may want to wait and get a 2008, which addresses the one problem most people seem to have with the Jake--they've replaced the Sora brifters with Tiagra brifters! Either that or try to get a closeout deal on the 2007 if you can. The 2008 catalog is up on the site via a screwy Flash interface if you want to look at the new ones. Either way, it gets my vote as a nice commuter.
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Old 09-11-07, 07:44 PM
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I had a Jake the Snake for a while. Bought it nearly new off ebay for around $500.

It's the bike that made me forget flatbar bikes forever. I would have kept it, but I ran across another used cross bike with discs for a good deal. I've always hated cantilever brakes and the discs sealed the Jake's fate.

I enjoyed the Kona frame better than my Salsa. Seemed a little more solid. I think you'll enjoy the bike. The only thing I'd mention is that the resale is low. This makes it a perfect bike to try to buy used. I sold mine for about $600. I haven't followed them lately though.
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Old 09-11-07, 08:14 PM
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I have a 2006 Jake and have been commuting on it for 15 months now with little problems.
Like the guy above said, the 2008 might be a better bang for your buck, unless you can get a 2007 at significantly less than MSRP, due to the upgraded shifters.

This is my first drop bar bike and I love it. Only changes have been smoother 32c tires after 1,500 miles, new brake pads (gonna try Kool Stops when the weather turns), and the usual light mounts. Might get some fenders this winter as well.
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Old 09-11-07, 08:36 PM
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What's with the two sets of brake levers ? Do you owners like the set-up ?
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Old 09-11-07, 08:40 PM
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In line brakes are pretty much standard on any cross bike. They are great for commuting since no matter where your hands are, your fingers can be on a brake handle in case some idiot in a car tries to kill you, run you over, open a door, etc.
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Old 09-11-07, 08:55 PM
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Just about any cyclocross bike will kick ass for commuting under most circumstances. I ride a Surly Crosscheck, but what it really boils down to is component choice and what frame fits the best.

Cross bike are, by their very natire, perfect for commuting, especially if your commute is on the long side. Basically you have the advantages of a road bike - geometry, drop bars, gearing, light weight - but you are not limited to skinny 700x23c tires (but you can run them if you want). I can go fast all summer with skinny tires and come winter, put on 32's and fenders for the rain and muck.
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Old 09-11-07, 10:03 PM
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I see quite a few Jakes on my commute in Calgary. I think that it'll make a great year round ride if your into the winter commuting thing.
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Old 09-11-07, 11:05 PM
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The 2008 MSRP in Canadian is lower than it was for the 2007 model. I would wait for the stores to start stocking them. I didn't see any at Bow Cycle last time I was there.
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Old 09-12-07, 12:00 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by JustBrowsing View Post
You may want to wait and get a 2008, which addresses the one problem most people seem to have with the Jake--they've replaced the Sora brifters with Tiagra brifters!
I bought my Jake earlier this summer, I put on my SPD combo pedals but other than that I haven't done any changes to it -- I love him just the way he is

But can someone please explain the above to me: Other than price, what is the difference, really, between Sora and Tiagra? Honestly, guys?

And another thing I've noticed and have been meaning to ask: does anyone else feel the paint job, the prettypretty blue, is a bit... fragile? As I said, I've only had the bike for a couple of months and it's already got scratches and whatnots. I'm only using it for my commute and some moderate weekend rides, nothing in the woods or on trails, simply roads. Anyone recognize this? I thought it was designed for some abuse, but I can hardly imagine that's what I've put mine through.

It's a great bike... Only trouble is when I saw the GORGEOUS paint on the 2008 I wanted another
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Old 09-12-07, 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by stockholm View Post
But can someone please explain the above to me: Other than price, what is the difference, really, between Sora and Tiagra? Honestly, guys?
As far as the brifters go, there's a huge difference between Sora and Tiagra. Sora has the gimpy thumb shifters, which you can really only reach from the hoods (unless you have incredibly long thumbs). All other Shimano brifters from Tiagra on up have "proper" STI levers, which allow you to shift just as easily from the drops. See the pic here to see what I'm talking about--black part shifts down, whole brifter shifts up (or is that reversed?). Either way, it makes a pretty big difference.
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Old 09-12-07, 07:30 AM
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$1000 is probably too much for this bike. For around the same price, you can get a few 'cross bikes with at least 105 rear deraillers. Take a look at the Fuji Cross Comp. Also, I bought my '06 Jamis Nova new from my lbs for $1100, 105 f/r and 105 brifters.
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Old 09-12-07, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by stockholm View Post
I bought my Jake earlier this summer, I put on my SPD combo pedals but other than that I haven't done any changes to it -- I love him just the way he is

But can someone please explain the above to me: Other than price, what is the difference, really, between Sora and Tiagra? Honestly, guys?

And another thing I've noticed and have been meaning to ask: does anyone else feel the paint job, the prettypretty blue, is a bit... fragile? As I said, I've only had the bike for a couple of months and it's already got scratches and whatnots. I'm only using it for my commute and some moderate weekend rides, nothing in the woods or on trails, simply roads. Anyone recognize this? I thought it was designed for some abuse, but I can hardly imagine that's what I've put mine through.


And all this time I thought it was only me.
I really don’t know whats wrong with the paint but definitely not very good, feels very thin and scratches easily.

When I sold my 05 KJS on craigslist earlier this year it looked like it had taken a lot of abuse, pretty much at the same time I also sold a road 02’ cannondale that had a paint job so shinny and nice that it could pass as new.

Other that that I can concur on the motion that Jakes make awesome commuters.
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Old 09-12-07, 11:37 AM
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Jakes are so common around Missoula it's almost ridiculous. I agree with waiting for an 08, as it has better specs than previous years. The exception would be if you can get a really good deal on a closeout '07.

My next bike may be a Jake the Snake, though it'll be for recreational purposes and I'll keep my touring bike for utilitarian duties.


One note about the 'cross levers: I don't think they are necessary for commuting. They are nice, sure, but they take up valuable handlebar space, so if you want to mount two lights and a computer, it can get pretty crowded up there. For off road use, though, they can't be beat.
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Old 09-12-07, 12:57 PM
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I've got an '06 JTS, and love it. It's a bit heavy compared to my road bike (Giant OCR C2), but it can definitely take the abuse of commuting.

Jarery - what carbon fork did you put on? That's the only part of the bike I'm not 100% happy with (the big CroMo fork is a tad heavy).
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Old 09-12-07, 01:26 PM
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On another note, Kona ditched Easton this year and is using it's own tubing-and carbon forks- on the 'cross lineup. I wonder if this will produce any noticable differences between the 07 and 08 lineup.
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Old 09-12-07, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by M_S View Post
On another note, Kona ditched Easton this year and is using it's own tubing-and carbon forks- on the 'cross lineup. I wonder if this will produce any noticable differences between the 07 and 08 lineup.
I'm pretty sure Kona was using their own tubing on the Jake last year, too. I know the frames for the JTS and Major Jake were Easton, though, so the 2008 models of those will probably be considerably different. For a stock Jake I think it's the same frame as they've been using.
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Old 09-12-07, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by kokomo61 View Post
Jarery - what carbon fork did you put on? That's the only part of the bike I'm not 100% happy with (the big CroMo fork is a tad heavy).
Nashbar has carbon cross forks with disc dropouts. I waited for one of their sales ( they always have a sale) and got it for under 100 bucks i think if my memory works. Its almost an exact copy of a winwood fork, most likely is a rebadged one but im not positive on that.

The fork itself is great and much nicer ride than that straight steel one. I need to take some better pics......

Edit: new pic

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Last edited by Jarery; 09-12-07 at 08:32 PM.
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