Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) 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.

Calling all Jake the Snake riders!

Old 05-23-08, 09:00 PM
  #1  
HokkaidoRider
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Calling all Jake the Snake riders!

I'm taking the plunge on a new set of wheels but need some advice from any of you who have ridden the JSN.

I am looking at both an 07 and an 08. The 07 is blinding green in color, has the easton forks. The 08 is a little tamer (normal?) color, has better wheels, but kona forks. They're the same price.

Anyone with the 07 notice fading of that neon green? My LBS told me it would fade in time and look horrid.

I ride alot but have done it mostly on my mountain bike. I've done short tours long tours commutes and all in between, so a cross bike seems like the best set up for me. Lastly, is there a better bike dollar for dollar than the JSN? I've researched it to death and it's time to read what real riders say.

ANYONE who can throw their two cents (good or bad) it's much appreciated! Thanks.
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Old 05-23-08, 10:51 PM
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I think your LBS is full of BS.

The JTS is a pretty good value component wise and a proven race frame. Lots of people use it as a commuter too.

I don't know that it would be my frist choice for a long tour though, particularly one with lot of hills. If you want a cross bike but want touring versatility, consider a bike specced with modern 9 speed Tiagra. It's great stuff for the price and you can use a mountain bike rear derailleur and cassette to give yourself some reasonably low gears for touring, even with a double. Just a thought.
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Old 05-24-08, 10:03 AM
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The jake would probably serve you just as well. The 08 Jake comes stock with tiagra plus the steel fork is more comfy than carbon. If you're going to primarily use it for commuting and touring probably no need to go higher than tiagra. Overall, the jake line is really comfy. I've easily spent 5+ hrs in the saddle. Motobecane and redline also make good cross bikes for cheap.
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Old 05-25-08, 09:02 AM
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I have an 06 JTS (the orange one). If it's faded over the last 4,000 miles I can't tell. Perhaps it has finally seared my retinas into submission. I actually got the 06 when the 07s were out because i didn't want carbon.

I just did a self-supported centruy on it yesterday (thread over there in clydes section). For long rides, get another wheelset with raod-specific stuff (I did -- deep Vs with ultegra) or at least put some slicks on it.

Bottom line -- great bike, lightish, very comfy, fine for long distances.

Just bought a jake for my dad. Nice ride, too.
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Old 05-27-08, 08:59 AM
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Thanks for the replies.

So to anyone, if you could buy the 07 JTS or the 08 JTS, which would it be? They're the same price.
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Old 05-27-08, 09:42 AM
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I own the Major Jake. I believe it has the same geometry. I have easlily knocked out 100 mile days on the MJ with no complaints. I have been in the saddle over 10 hours at a time on that bike and still love it. I originally had Dura Ace on it but when my rear shifter went bad I put some Tiagra 9 speed on it. The tiagra is outstanding when set up right. In my opinion, unless you are racing at a high level, there is no reason, other than perhaps durability, to have anything higher than tiagra on a cx bike.

I LOVE the versatility of the bike. I can climb some fairly technical off road trails that have my buddies falling off of their mountain bikes on obstacles that I can clean on the MJ. It does not descend off road well but I have come to peace with that. (I am not saying that the MJ climbs better than a MTB, just that it is possible to ride some pretty technical terrain with it)

On the other hand, I can throw 23s on it and have no problem mixing it up with my road buddies. The bike does seem a bit limited over 25-26 mph compared to my road race bike, but for average road riding, it is just fine.

I run a few different wheelsets on it, depending on what I want to do. I have a set of Ultegra/open pros set up with 23's for fast road riding. I also have knobbies and some transworld cities for mixed riding. I have really come to love the transworld cities. I can ride off road and pretty fast on the road with them. Like I said, the bike does not descend technical terrain well anyway, so riding a semi-slick off road is just fine since I am not bombing downhill anyway.
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Old 05-27-08, 11:26 AM
  #7  
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I would get the 07.

the 2007 has an easton ultralite tubeset in the frame.
the 2008 is regular old 7005 AL

2007 has an easton fork.
2008 has a kona fork.

07 has open sport wheels
08 has aksiums

Last edited by ccv; 05-27-08 at 11:32 AM. Reason: did some quick research
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Old 05-27-08, 01:38 PM
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Thanks for the great input!

Would the weight be very different then..? With the ultralite compared to 7005 AL.

What makes an Easton fork better? I read that many bike manufacturers are leaning away from Easton but havent heard why.

I was lead to believe that the Aksium wheels were a big upgrade on the sport wheels, what advantage would the open sport wheels have?
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Old 05-27-08, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by HokkaidoRider View Post
I was lead to believe that the Aksium wheels were a big upgrade on the sport wheels, what advantage would the open sport wheels have?
I am looking forward to the responses to this question. Personally, I own two sets of open pros and would chose them anytime over aksiums. I prefer having a traditional yet relatively lightweight build that allows me to replace a spoke without issue or even to complete a ride with a broken spoke. have a buddy who owns open sports and loves them.. If you don't get enough responses to this question here, it is worth its own thread, imo. You would get most hits for it on the road bike forum. Those guys LOVE to debate wheelsets.
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Old 05-27-08, 03:21 PM
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i fully agree with sawtooth. propriatary spokes can be a hassle for replacement... especially if you plan on using this bike for any type of touring. if you're stuck somewhere with a broken spoke, an lbs probably has a j bend spoke that is the proper length or can cut one, where as you might be stuck waiting for them to order a replacement askium spoke. plus, breaking a spoke on a 3x 32 spoked wheel won't throw it out of whack like breaking a spoke on a sub 20 spoke radial/2x wheel.

also, the askiums are 1855 grams for the set. that's not too huge of a weight savings over a traditional 3x wheelset.

i'd definitely choose the 07 based on the specs ccv listed.
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Old 05-27-08, 03:37 PM
  #11  
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My 07 JTS rocks when I'm riding it. When I'm looking at it, I still cringe a bit

On the plus side, when you are going through 500 online photos of a cross race trying to find your picture, the bright green bike sure makes it easy!

I'm sure you'll be happy either way. Enjoy.
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Old 05-27-08, 03:58 PM
  #12  
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I'd vote for the 07
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Old 05-27-08, 04:19 PM
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[QUOTE=isotopesope;6769574]

also, the askiums are 1855 grams for the set. that's not too huge of a weight savings over a traditional 3x wheelset.

QUOTE]

If at all........ I estimate mine at ~1850 grams
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Old 05-27-08, 04:20 PM
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[QUOTE=bikeinxs;6769642]My 07 JTS rocks when I'm riding it. When I'm looking at it, I still cringe a bit

LOL. I have the red and black '05 major jake. There is nothing wrong with the paint job, but for some reason, I am not in love with the asthetics of the paint.
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Old 05-27-08, 07:09 PM
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You guys are wicked. Thanks again. I took both bikes out today for a spin on a trail, down a hill and back up. The 07 seemed to feel better, marginally, and the looks don't matter so much when you're in the midst of a great ride! (not that it's that bad).

The lbs workers said hands down theyd choose the 07 over the 08.

I really don't know how to decide my size though. The first day they said 54, today I rode 52's on both bikes and it felt allright. I'm about 173cm (5-8ish?).

As for the wheels, I think serviceability is a priority since I plan on going to different countries with this.
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Old 05-27-08, 07:59 PM
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they run on the big side...so if you'd normally ride a 54 a 52 may well be the way to go.

I ride a 58, and would ride a 60 in a road bike. The key is to make sure the top tube is a good length for you, and that you're comfortable with a relatively small (2-3 inches at most) drop from the seat to the bars.
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Old 05-28-08, 11:42 AM
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I ride a 54 road bike and bought a 54 major jake. There is no question that it feels WAY BIGGER than my road bike. It rides more like a 56. My junk is touching the top tube on a standover. But I kind of like it that way. I like big frames. I have raced it and did not feel like I could not control it.
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Old 05-28-08, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Sawtooth View Post
The bike does seem a bit limited over 25-26 mph compared to my road race bike, but for average road riding, it is just fine.
What do you mean by 'a bit limited over 25-26 mph'? I've ordered some 25s from Nashbar and want to use my 08 JTS to try out road racing.
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Old 05-29-08, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by cupcrazy4 View Post
What do you mean by 'a bit limited over 25-26 mph'? I've ordered some 25s from Nashbar and want to use my 08 JTS to try out road racing.
he probably means it's limited due to the 46/36 cross chainrings. if you're going to road race with it, i'd run a more standard road 53/39 setup.
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Old 05-29-08, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by cupcrazy4 View Post
What do you mean by 'a bit limited over 25-26 mph'? I've ordered some 25s from Nashbar and want to use my 08 JTS to try out road racing.
I am running 48/38 with a mix of different cassettes. On the road I usually use a 12/25 or something like that. Other than crazy long and fast descents, I have never felt limitted by the gearing. Rather, the bike simply does not feel as fast as my TCR. That said, it gets up to speed just fine and it handles just fine at speed. I have had the Major Jake with 23s over 50mph on a screaming downhill and it handled perfectly well. I guess I just mean that it felt like I was working a bit harder to keep it at 25-26 mph than I might have had to on my race bike. There is no question that the super long chain stays make it feel a little more slow to respond than the TCR. The positioning of my body on the bike may make a difference as well (my TCR is set up much more aggressive) Of course, everyone has off days and on days and I could have been having an off-day when I had those feelings. I only felt it was limited once. Most of the time, it seems great.

Maybe if you don't have an actual road racing bike to compare it to, it won't feel limited at all. My guess is that I would be able to mix it up with just about any group ride I could keep up with on my other bike.

Last edited by Sawtooth; 05-29-08 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 05-29-08, 10:13 AM
  #21  
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Overall, I noticed prices went up and component specs went down in the 2008 models compared to 2007. Not just Kona, but most makers.

All other things being equal, it's usually better to buy a non-used 2007 model. Especially now, halfway through '08 when last year's will possibly be priced at "clearance" or closeout levels.
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Old 05-29-08, 02:21 PM
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Thanks again all. I went with the 07, neither would have been a 'bad choice', but this felt right. Love it!
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Old 06-23-08, 10:43 AM
  #23  
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Yeah I LOVE my JTS, you made a good call. mine is a couple years older, still Easton and All. Built her up custom with a nice Bontrager fork, and all Campy. I ride her with Road Chainrings Monday through Friday as a commuter, and she has a bit more relaxed geometry than my Cervelo R-bike, which takes about ten minutes to get used to every time I switch back and forth, but the relaced geometry is perfect for the commuter role, and cross racer role.

So far its been a FANTASTIC bike. Im about to strip her down and have her powdercoated in the Kona orange fading to the metallic blue she was to start with. I figure the orange makes it a tad easier to see me on the road, and I just like orange.

Have fun with it.
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