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Old 08-26-12, 05:47 PM   #1
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2013 Kona Jake: 88-mile review



Just over a week in, here's my 88-mile review of the 2013 Kona Jake. (More pictures here.)

Numbers

Size: 53cm
Weight (stock): 24.4 pounds
Weight (as pictured): 23.0 pounds
Rear OLD spacing: 135mm
Seatpost size: 31.6mm
Headset: 44mm ID
Rim depth: 24mm
Rim width (exterior): 21.2mm

Frame

I really like this frame. The stack and height were nearly identical on the 53cm Jake to my 54cm 2008 Major Jake, so I knew the fit would be great for me. The geometry is very similar and has always worked well for me both for commuting and CX racing.

You can tell that a lot of thought went into the tube shapes. I tried to capture this in the pictures, but I don't know how well you can see it. The down tube is hexagonal and bi-axial (wider than it is tall at the bottom bracket and taller than it is wide at the head tube). The seat stays are flattened and wide. The top tube flattens out near the seat tube. Most of these features are the kind of thing that makes a frame "Laterally Stiff But Vertically Compliant(TM)." I'm not sensitive enough to feel that kind of thing, but I'm sure they wouldn't make this much effort for no reason. I can tell you that the flat top tube is nice when you put the bike on your shoulder. My 2008 Major Jake has a somewhat flat top tube, but the 2013 Jake feels much better on my shoulder than the MJ.

The internally routed shift cables are nice. I don't know how much of a hassle that will be when it comes time to change the cables, but this is going to be my rain bike so the less exposed cable the better. The brakes use full-length housing and the cable guides on the down tube are actually bolted onto the frame (though in other places standard c-clips are used). The rear brake being inside the rear triangle seems better than the traditional placement.

I like the look of the internal headset, Kona says it makes the frame stiffer. I guess I'll take their word for it. I'm hoping it helps with keeping the bearings clean.

I do have a couple of minor complaints. First, the lower water bottle cage bolt on the seat tube is very close to the front derailleur. I probably won't use a second bottle cage on this bike very often, and I have a cage that will work, but the proximity definitely limits my options. Second, and probably more seriously, there is only one pair of rear eyelets for rack and fenders and it is located beneath a protrusion at the bottom of the seat stay so that I'll need to use a stack of spacers to mount a rack. This adds about 10mm to the needed space on each side, bringing the total width of the rack stays to just over 170mm. I was able to stretch my Planet Bike EcoRack wide enough to fit, but it had me nervous (and I still don't know how it will stand up to actual use). I'm hoping for the best there.


Drivetrain

In the past I've had bikes with 4500-series Tiagra, 5600-series 105 and 6600-series Ultegra drivetrains. This was my first experience with the new 4600-series Tiagra (apart from a cassette). So far, I'm very impressed. The shifting has been great. I did need to tweak it a little after about 65 miles, but that's fairly normal with new cables. My 53cm Jake came with the brake reach shims installed, and I like the minor difference they make.

These levers have nice ergonomics (IMO). The shifting quality is better than with 4500 Tiagra, though I always thought that was good. At this point, I think it's at least as good as 5600 105.


Brakes

I had low expectations of the brakes. I had a pair of road BB7's brakes, one on the shelf and one on my old Jake, ready to go on this bike even before I bought it. I almost didn't even give the Lyras a try because I had heard bad things about them. However, after 88 miles I'm in no hurry to change them. I was the first person to ride this bike, so I had to do the bedding in on my test ride. At first the brakes felt weak, but they got better quickly and continued to improve over about the first 35 miles of riding. At this point, I think they are comparable in power to the setup on my 2008 Jake with a 160mm Avid BB7 in front and an Avid Shorty 4 cantilever in the rear. Front and rear rotors are 140mm on the 2013 Jake. The front brake alone stops me well with a reasonable amount of hand pressure (for reference, I weigh about 205 pounds).

The downside of the brakes seems to be the rotors. As you can see, they're fairly insubstantial. As such, they tend to scrape the pads just a bit from time to time. The mechanic at the LBS spent five minutes or more trying to true one of the rotors. The scrape usually goes away within a mile or so, but it always comes back. I think it's just like that with these brakes. Other reviews have mentioned it. The brakes also tend to "gobble" under hard braking. I read a review which associated this with fork shudder. I haven't had that problem by I definitely hear and feel it (mostly hear).

I read a review that said the pads have to be set up too close to the rotors to be practical and feel stiff. I think the 4600 Tiagra levers pull more cable than SRAM or older Shimano levers did, so maybe that makes the Lyras work better on this bike.


Tires

The stock tires (700x32 Freedom Ryder) seem very grippy. I even have trouble pulling them across the carpet in my van. They roll pretty well on pavement, and seem to have great traction there (at least when it's dry). I tried them a bit on dirt, grass and loose gravel and they seemed pretty good. The sidewall recommends a range of 45-80 psi. The LBS had them pumped up to 90 psi, which felt harsh. I dropped them down to about 60 psi with no noticeable drop in rolling speed. If anything they felt faster.

If I had a mixed surface commute, I'd consider using them, but having 100% good pavement I swapped in the 700x28 GP 4 Seasons from my old Jake. This change along with a saddle swap dropped 1.4 pounds from the bike. I saw a claimed weight of 545 grams for these tires. That sounds about right.


Wheels

Kona says the stock wheels are Alex Black Dragon rims with Formula hubs. The spokes (32 front and rear, 3-cross) are straight gauge stainless steel, 1.8mm front and 2.0mm rear. There's no doubting the rim identification, as it's very loudly proclaimed with graphics on the side. The hubs, on the other hand, have no markings whatsoever.

The rims are semi-deep and so I'd expect them to be strong and semi-heavy. The graphics, which were a bit too flashy for my tastes, are just stickers on the rim and came off with a bit of effort using a hair dryer and Goo Gone. There was one spot under a sticker where the black anodization had been scraped through, but I touched that up with a marker and I think they look nice. I had to use tubes with 48mm valve stems when changing the tires because the 36mm valve stems didn't protrude from the rims enough for my floor pump to latch on.

The hubs seem very orinary. I haven't opened them up to see what kind of bearings they have. They don't spin quite as freely as most of my other wheels (as measured by putting the bike in a workstand and seeing if the front wheel will seek out and oscillate around a center of gravity), but I don't really feel that on the road. They might just need a minor adjustment.

The wheels were definitely machine-built. When I took it out of the LBS for a test ride, the spokes were pinging the way a wheel does when it hasn't been properly stress relieved. The spoke tension generally seems good. I found a couple that were out of balance, but overall it wasn't bad.


Headset

Kona says the headset is an FSA No. 10. The FSA web site lists no such animal. However, there is a TH No. 10 that matches the specs, so I assume we're looking at that headset re-branded. A Kona tech representative confirmed that it uses caged bearings (5/32" x 20).


Handlebar

The handlebar is fairly compact. I measure the reach at 80mm and the drop at 120mm. Mine were 42cm wide, which is just what I wanted and what I'd expect at this size. The bar tape is cork and feels good. The end caps have fallen out a couple of times, but they're gaudy anyway (shiny plastic chrome).


Saddle

I've never been a fan of WTB saddles and this one isn't changing that opinion. I measure it at right around 130mm wide, which is way too narrow for my hips. That was the third thing I replaced (after the pedals and tires).


Stem and Seatpost

I like both the stem and the seatpost. The stem is a fairly basic 90mm 4-bolt model with an +/- 8 degree rise, which is almost exactly what I would have picked if I were choosing each part myself. The seatpost is 350mm long and has numbered markings along it's length to record position. It's longer than I'd need, but the two-bolt clamp makes it very easy to level the saddle so I don't see any reason to replace it.
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Old 08-26-12, 07:09 PM   #2
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nice detailed review!

how about:

cost (as equipped w/taxes)?
would/wouldn't recommend?
alternatives for similar money?
overall rating (A to F/0 to 100/1-star to 5-star/1 to 6)?
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Old 08-26-12, 07:51 PM   #3
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Doesn't the Jake have an aluminum fork? How is the ride, is it harsh or reasonably comfortable?
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Old 08-26-12, 08:06 PM   #4
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cost (as equipped w/taxes)?
MSRP is $1149 in the US. I bought from a big local chain and so got it for $1099. No sales tax in Oregon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
would/wouldn't recommend?
I definitely would recommend it. In fact, I've been recommending Kona Jakes so frequently over the past 4-5 years that people probably wonder if I work for Kona. I don't.

For anyone wavering between this and a 2012 Jake, I'd say it comes down to the disc brakes. That was the reason I upgraded to this from my 2008. If you don't care about discs, I'd probably take whatever discount I could get on a 2012.

Quote:
Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
alternatives for similar money?
That's a good question. The Jamis Nova Race ($1200) or Bosanova ($1275) are comparable. The Airbourne Delta and Motobecane Fantom Outlaw are cheaper but only available by mail order (AFAIK). I hear that Specialized is coming out with a disc version of the Secteur, which should be near this price point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
overall rating (A to F/0 to 100/1-star to 5-star/1 to 6)?
I'd give it an A-.

Quote:
Originally Posted by treadtread View Post
Doesn't the Jake have an aluminum fork? How is the ride, is it harsh or reasonably comfortable?
My 2008 Jake has a steel fork and my 2008 Major Jake has a very nice carbon fork. I don't notice this being any harsher than either of them (though I haven't ridden it with the high pressure tires yet). Frankly, I think once you get over 28mm wide in the tires you'd have to have a really bad fork to impact the ride quality.

The ride of the 2013 Jake is very comfortable.

EDIT: I took my first ride with the 700x28 tires at 90 psi this morning, and I did notice a bit of buzz on rough pavement. I'll have to take one of my other bikes over the same route to compare.

EDIT2: I'm chalking the previous comment up to bad saddle position leading to slight hand numbness. I've since compared the ride on consecutive days with my Reynolds 853 steel LeMond Nevada City with 700x25 tires, and the ride of the LeMond over the same patches of chip seal was much rougher (as you'd expect with the skinnier tires at higher pressure).
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Old 08-26-12, 08:09 PM   #5
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Thank you for the response. This is a very detailed and complete review. In fact, it's probably equivalent to what one would see in a trade magazine.
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Old 08-27-12, 10:16 AM   #6
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Nice review; what kind of saddle did you put on? w/ the discs are you seeing this as a new commuter?
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Old 08-27-12, 10:26 AM   #7
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I do have a couple of minor complaints. First, the lower water bottle cage bolt on the seat tube is very close to the front derailleur. I probably won't use a second bottle cage on this bike very often, and I have a cage that will work, but the proximity definitely limits my options.
Those presta valve stem nut things (must be a technical name, but no idea) make perfect spacers for water bottle mounts. My front derailleur is between the two water bottle mount holes, so a spacer or two provides ample clearance.
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Old 08-27-12, 11:52 AM   #8
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Nice review; what kind of saddle did you put on? w/ the discs are you seeing this as a new commuter?
I pulled the Specialized Phenom off my mountain bike.



It's one of my favorites.

I'm definitely intending my new Jake as a full-time year round commuter. I'm planning to stick with my 2008 Major Jake, cantilevers and all, for CX racing.
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Old 08-27-12, 11:54 AM   #9
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Those presta valve stem nut things (must be a technical name, but no idea) make perfect spacers for water bottle mounts. My front derailleur is between the two water bottle mount holes, so a spacer or two provides ample clearance.
Thanks for the tip. For whatever reason I didn't even think of using spacers there. I used two of the wide washers from an old set of V-brake pads on each side to mount a rack. That worked pretty well.
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Old 09-17-12, 12:47 PM   #10
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Nice review, thanks. I'm hoping to test ride one of these in the next week or so.

Sounds like there could be quite a few upgrades down the line though. Not a big fan of the triple, aluminum fork, or the prospect of "upgrading" to disc brakes that don't really perform that well. I suppose in a few years when hydraulics + road discs get big there'll be a lot more available anyway.
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Old 09-17-12, 01:33 PM   #11
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I suppose the triple is a personal preference. For me, it's absolutely necessary due to the steepness of the hill up to my house. I would definitely want a compact double (or single) if I were going to use this as my CX race bike.

I've got a nicer pair of disc wheels that I'm going to swap in at some point, just because I have them. As I mentioned before, I've also got BB7's that I could put on at any time, but my plan right now is to wait until the Lyras need new brake pads. That plan may change when I see how they perform in the rain. If they work as well as they do dry and are quiet I might just keep them permanently (my BB7's scream like banshees in a fresh rain). I've toyed with the idea of a carbon fork, but that seems like a bit of a waste.

There are definitely a lot of things that can be upgraded, but I don't think there's anything that really "needs" to be upgraded.
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Old 10-07-12, 07:31 PM   #12
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I got one in a 53cm (550 ETT).

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Old 10-07-12, 09:58 PM   #13
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Nice writeup! Did Kona drop the eyleted rims this year or am I missing it in the photos?
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Old 10-10-12, 10:03 PM   #14
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Nice writeup! Did Kona drop the eyleted rims this year or am I missing it in the photos?
Sorry, I missed your question when originally posted. The Black Dragon rims do have eyelets.
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Old 11-24-12, 08:00 AM   #15
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Just thought I'd add another owner's impressions. I've had a 53cm 2013 Jake for over a month now, and I'm using it as one of my main commuters, and for weekend dirt rides. It has 350mi+ on it, including one beginner CX race, and a 80mi gravel/dirt ride.

The bike handles well and the frame and Al fork is stiff enough for me but definitely not as harsh as say, my flat-bar hybrid which is more traditional narrow-tube shaped Al. I can ride no-handed on it fine. I didn't have an issue with the cage mounts - I stole the Elite cages from my compact road frame (which is on the trainer now) and they have a lot of flexibility on mounting. Tire clearances look decent, 35mms would certainly fit and likely 38-40mm. Rear spacing is 135mm.

Handlebars/stem: Wasn't sure initially, but the stock dropbars are a good shape and compact enough for me. My endcaps also fell out twice, and I didn't bother replacing them (also didn't like the faux chrome finish). Didn't experience any flex with the stem/handlebar.
Wheelset: I also took off the Alex stickers. Wheels have stayed true so far. I would like to upgrade though just so I can have a different set of tires to switch out easily, and have a point of comparison for the stock wheels. I suspect they're reasonably heavy but haven't weighed them.
Crankset/shifters: I switched to a CX-70 double (46/36) which works well for off-road riding, CX racing, and colder commuting conditions, as well as 105 shifters to replace the Tiagra. I just can't get on board with the fiddliness of triples on STI shifters.
Brakes: I switched out the Lyras for BB7s as well (160/140), and it was a world of difference. The Lyras really were quite horrible, and even though they were better when worn in they were not as responsive as I'd want on any of my bikes. The BB7s brought the braking power I expected from discs.
Saddle: Never been a fan of WTB either, but the saddle fits me okay. I will probably change it out eventually but it's better than I expected for a stock saddle.
Tires: Work pretty well for all conditions. I feel like the rolling resistance is more than I expected for a "hybrid" tire (the center line tread is actually not that smooth), but they work surprisingly decent on gravel and light off-road surfaces.

I've been using Candy 1s on the bike since my first test ride. The bike's around 23lbs.

The only "upgrade" issue you may have is that (nearly?) all full carbon disc forks are made for 1.5 to 1.125 taper headtubes, and the Jake has a standard 1.125, so at best you can get a fork with carbon legs, but Al steerer. Even the next Kona CX model up (Jake the Snake) has a 1.5 to 1.125 taper with full carbon fork.

I'd give the bike a B+, not an A mostly based on "value". The frame/geometry is really solid for commuting or gravel/dirt riding which are my main uses, but one or two of the stock components need upgrading imo. If you really want a CX disc race bike I'd probably wait a year or two, or look elsewhere - the Jake is a little heavy and really not set up stock for racing. I do value the lifetime warranty which is one reason I went with Kona. I considered Jamis (130mm rear spacing), Redline (no dealers with stock to test ride near me) and Soma (custom builds only) models as well. I didn't consider bikes from the big 4 (Specialized, Giant, etc.) or Performance bikes (Fuji, Scattante).

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Old 04-03-13, 07:58 PM   #16
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Andy, in the full commute picture, what rack and bag were you using for the jake?
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Old 04-03-13, 08:07 PM   #17
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Thank you for the very thorough review! One of a handful of bikes ive lowered my choices down too, please keep us updated if there are any changes!
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Old 05-04-13, 06:07 PM   #18
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I rode one of these today, albeit a size too small, and really liked it. I want a bike for primarily commuting but versatile enough for me to try a few beginner cyclocross races in the fall. Here is a link so that I don't hijack the thread. http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...28or-can-be%29

Why don't you think this is race ready? Does the fact that I will be a newbie racer change things?
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Old 05-04-13, 11:45 PM   #19
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It would be fine for a newbie racer. I raced my 2008 Jake for two seasons, and it's as heavy as this one.

The triple crankset isn't ideal for racing, and the stock wheels are a bit heavy for that, but they won't keep you from enjoying the experience. The stock tires aren't good for most CX race conditions. That's one thing I would change before trying anything other than a mostly grass and hard-pack course.
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Old 05-05-13, 04:55 AM   #20
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I do have a couple of minor complaints. First, the lower water bottle cage bolt on the seat tube is very close to the front derailleur. I probably won't use a second bottle cage on this bike very often, and I have a cage that will work, but the proximity definitely limits my options. Second, and probably more seriously, there is only one pair of rear eyelets for rack and fenders and it is located beneath a protrusion at the bottom of the seat stay so that I'll need to use a stack of spacers to mount a rack. This adds about 10mm to the needed space on each side, bringing the total width of the rack stays to just over 170mm. I was able to stretch my Planet Bike EcoRack wide enough to fit, but it had me nervous (and I still don't know how it will stand up to actual use). I'm hoping for the best there.
I realize you posted this back in August of 2012. Just in case you aren't aware, there are disc compatible rear racks.
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...75_-1___202601
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Old 05-08-13, 08:17 AM   #21
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I bought my 2013 Kona Jake back in January and have done 760 km so far. I must say I really love this bike (I haven't ridden for 20 years, so I am basically a total newbie, and I think it is a good fit). ;-)

All I did so far was change the saddle to a Selle Italia Maxflite Gel Flow (had sciatic nerve problems with the stock WTB Volt), mounted Shimano SPD pedals and changed the tyres to Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 32mm (awesome tyres!), since I use it more on the road then off-road.

I also think that upgrading the brakes would be beneficial (it's basically the final part I could think of that might make a noticeable change, I am happy with the rest). Since I am very new to bike mechanics and not very adept as of yet: Can someone please tell me what I would need to change if I also wanted to use BB7 brakes? Is the front and back brake the same (http://www.wiggle.com.au/avid-bb7-mtb-disc-brake/)? Which rotor sizes front/rear do you recommend (frame size is 56)? Which rotor to go for? Do I need new pads? Can I stay with the Tiagra levers and cabling? And, and, and...

I would get the components online and then have my LBS fit it, since I would never be able to do that myself.

I also have a U-Lock (D-Lock?) bracket mounted to my seat tube, so that I can carry the lock similar to here.

This was just a precaution in case I need to leave the bike somewhere on a commute (I used to leave the lock attached all the time, until I noticed that it is more than 1,000g of unnecessary weight for an exercise ride - LOL... see what Sheldon Brown has to say to that). I would actually like to be able to carry a second water bottle for longer exercise rides, but I think that bracket makes it impossible to mount a second cage. Does anyone have an idea?

Oh, I actually just found this image:



The bracket is a bit higher on the seat tube and a little more turned to the outside and downwards, which seems to leave space for the cage (although the lock seems smaller), and if I take the lock along, I can leave the bottle away. Does that still look safe and "roadworthy"?

BTW - here is another article about the bike that I found quite interesting:
http://www.spinistry.com/upgrades/

Thanks in advance, guys!
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Old 05-08-13, 01:21 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Saphod View Post
I also think that upgrading the brakes would be beneficial (it's basically the final part I could think of that might make a noticeable change, I am happy with the rest). Since I am very new to bike mechanics and not very adept as of yet: Can someone please tell me what I would need to change if I also wanted to use BB7 brakes? Is the front and back brake the same (http://www.wiggle.com.au/avid-bb7-mtb-disc-brake/)? Which rotor sizes front/rear do you recommend (frame size is 56)? Which rotor to go for? Do I need new pads? Can I stay with the Tiagra levers and cabling? And, and, and...
Since what I wrote above, I did put my BB7's on this bike. I went with Avid HS1 rotors, 180mm in front and 160mm in the rear. That's probably overkill, but I wouldn't say it's anywhere near "too much" braking power, so why not. I'm using Avid's organic brake pads to get less squeal in the rain. If you aren't worried about a little noise, the sintered pads last longer.

I believe the current generation of BB7's comes with G2 rotors and the sintered pads. There's really not a lot of reason not to use those to start with. You can always swap them out later if you aren't happy with them. You could also use the BB7's with the Tektro rotors that came with your bike, if you like them. A 160mm rotor will give you plenty of stopping power. Some people use 140mm in the rear (as the stock Jake did) to save weight since the stopping power there is less important and self-limiting. You can't go bigger than 160mm in the rear. A 180mm rotor in front will give you extra stopping power if you are a heavy rider or ride steep hills a lot.

I've probably confused you more with all the possibilities than I've helped. The bottom line is, as long as you are sure to get the road-specific BB7's you'll be fine with pretty much any combination. Your best bet is probably to just use the pads and rotors that come with the brakes.

They will work just fine with your Tiagra levers. There are adapters that you use to mount the brake to the bike. You need to match the adapter to the rotor size and the wheel position (front or rear), but the brake itself is the same either way. As I recall, the brakes come with adapters for front and rear. If not, your LBS probably has a bunch of them laying around.

I was able to swap from the stock Tektro brakes to BB7's without replacing the cables. I was willing to do that since I'm my own mechanic. Your LBS might want to replace the cable to be sure you get the best possible performance without having to come back for minor tweaks.

Speaking of best possible performance, remember that you'll need to bed the brakes in before they start performing at their best.


Edit: I just notice you linked to the MTB version of the BB7's. Those won't work for you. You need these: http://www.wiggle.com.au/avid-avid-bb7-road-disc-brake/ Wiggle only lists rear brakes as being available, but as I said the same brake with a different adapter will work in front. You might want to check with the retailer to make sure you're going to get the right adapter.
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Old 05-08-13, 04:55 PM   #23
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Thanks, Andy_K, for the quick reply. Not confusing at all, very well explained.

I did not know the brake comes with the rotors?! Thought I'd have to buy them separately.

Will probably check with my LBS in detail.

And yes: I noticed the linking to the MTB brakes - thought those were the only ones.

Since we're at it: Any idea for better wheels? Disc brake wheel sets in 700c are quite rare. Or do you think the stock ones are fine?

Cheers!
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Old 05-08-13, 06:07 PM   #24
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The stock wheels are OK. They're nothing special, but there's also nothing wrong with them as far as I can tell. If you're worried about them, maybe have the LBS check them for even spoke tension. That's often a problem on machine built wheels. Mine did quite a bit of pinging for the first few miles, which is a telltale sign that they weren't properly stress relieved (a potential source of spoke tension problems). I did a little tweaking to get them right and didn't have any problems with them in the 500 miles that I used them. I only switched them out because I had better wheels hanging in the garage waiting to be used.

If you go between off-road and road riding very often a second set of wheels and tires makes life much easier. If you go that route you need to take measures (or have your LBS take measures) to make sure the rotors line up the same way, but it makes tire changes quick and painless.

If you have the cash and want to upgrade to something nice my recommendation would be Velocity A23 rims with SRAM X.9 hubs and DT Competition spokes. QBP's Handspun brand makes these for a reasonable price, though I don't know if that means they're available in Australia. I have those rims and hubs separately and like them both a lot. I'm using the X.9 hubs on my Jake with Salsa Delgado Cross rims (discontinued), and those have been great wheels for me. I've got over 4000 miles on the wheels with the X.9 hubs and they still spin like the day they were new and haven't required a bit of maintenance. The A23 rims are a good bit lighter than the Salsas I have, but they're plenty tough. I used them for CX racing last year and had no troubles.
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Old 05-08-13, 07:25 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
The stock wheels are OK. They're nothing special, but there's also nothing wrong with them as far as I can tell. If you're worried about them, maybe have the LBS check them for even spoke tension. That's often a problem on machine built wheels. Mine did quite a bit of pinging for the first few miles, which is a telltale sign that they weren't properly stress relieved (a potential source of spoke tension problems). I did a little tweaking to get them right and didn't have any problems with them in the 500 miles that I used them. I only switched them out because I had better wheels hanging in the garage waiting to be used.
I don't have any problems with the stock ones... just looking for ways to improve performance, since I'll probably use this bike for quite a while until I can afford a BMC road bike. ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
If you go between off-road and road riding very often a second set of wheels and tires makes life much easier. If you go that route you need to take measures (or have your LBS take measures) to make sure the rotors line up the same way, but it makes tire changes quick and painless.
Not really going off-road so far... but if I ever upgraded, I would use the stock wheels & tyres for a little off-roading if needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
If you have the cash and want to upgrade to something nice my recommendation would be Velocity A23 rims with SRAM X.9 hubs and DT Competition spokes. QBP's Handspun brand makes these for a reasonable price, though I don't know if that means they're available in Australia. I have those rims and hubs separately and like them both a lot. I'm using the X.9 hubs on my Jake with Salsa Delgado Cross rims (discontinued), and those have been great wheels for me. I've got over 4000 miles on the wheels with the X.9 hubs and they still spin like the day they were new and haven't required a bit of maintenance. The A23 rims are a good bit lighter than the Salsas I have, but they're plenty tough. I used them for CX racing last year and had no troubles.
It looks like the A23 are available in Australia (see here). I have heard a lot about them, as well as the X.9 hubs. Who would build the wheels for me, LBS or special shop? How much would I be looking at?

Back to the BB7s:

Thanks for the correct Wiggle link. The Q&A confirm that a) I might need a different adapter for the front and b) they come with the G2 CleanSweep rotors, i.e. both as you suggested. Interestingly. Chainreactioncycles sells them for the same price but specifically say the rotors are not included. Might have to double check that.

It sounds like it's a good option to go for 2x the BB7 Road from Wiggle with 160mm rotors. I can then decide if I use the 160mm in the back or the stock 140mm. Unfortunately, I have no idea what kind of post they will be mounted to and where I could get a different front adapter. Can you help out with a link?

EDIT:
After reading this article, I wonder if I could just upgrade the Lyra brakes with 160mm rotors for starters? Which rotor would work? Could I just use G2 ones, or would there be compatibility problems?


Also, I was thinking about a seat post upgrade to carbon. What's your opinion? I checked with Kona directly, the stock one is a 12mm setback. I like the idea of having an FSA SL-K Carbon Seat Post. That comes in 20mm setback or inline/ZERO setback. Which one would be more appropriate? Or do you think it wouldn't make much of a difference? I am looking more for shock absorption than weight save.

EDIT:
I read on sheldonbrown.com that they do not suggest carbon fiber seat posts due to the "inferior material", though I have no idea how old that recommendation is. However, I get the feeling that it's easy to damage a CF seat post by overtightening the clamp and such (e.g. see this post), so I guess I'll leave mine as is... the saddle already made a great difference in shock absorption.


Lots of questions, I know - thanks for helping out a newbie. I might show my upgrade-addiction a little too much here. ;-)

Anyone else an idea about the U-Lock / bottle cage issue?

Cheers!

Last edited by Saphod; 05-09-13 at 07:13 AM.
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