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Kona Jake or Giant Invite 1 for small woman, new to road/cyclocross bikes

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 : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Kona Jake or Giant Invite 1 for small woman, new to road/cyclocross bikes

Old 07-17-14, 10:57 PM
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Kona Jake or Giant Invite 1 for small woman, new to road/cyclocross bikes


I posted earlier in the hybrid thread, but since then, my wife took out a few hybrids and was not enthralled. However the shop also has a Kona Jake and she quite liked it. She's pretty much new to biking except for very casual riding, more than 2 years ago. She's quite fit from yoga (but less so for cardio) and is about 5'4" with a 32" inseam and she's about 104lbs.

Goals: ride together reasonably often for exercise and fun, mostly on-road with the occasional packed dirt trails. A good fit and comfort is important.

I ride a Giant OCR 1 (2005) road bike and a Giant Roam 2 hybrid (less often). Clearly I like Giant bikes.

The advantages of the Giant are: women's specific frame (lower standover height), women's specific seat (not sure if this matters), secondary brake levers (this would be nice).
The advantages of the Kona are: it's local and available in her size (49 - the Giant I'd have to pick up in Vancouver without her trying it first), all series components (Tiagra), the shop offers free regular maintenance, limited to lubes/adjustments, $50 less (for pedals, probably). Vibrant orange is very visible to cars. (this might be a stretch as a "pro")

Unknowns: Giant HS rotors? no idea if these are equivalent size or what. Joytech hubs on the Kona (does it matter?) So many non-series components on the Giant. We live in a VERY hilly city so I'm not sure if there's enough gears on either (20) for her to feel comfortable going up and down hills. I am uncertain as to how confident she'll be on a cyclocross bike if we take it on dirt trails, after not having ridden for a while.

I've done up a handy comparison table here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing

And here's the links.
Giant: Invite 1 (2014) | Giant Bicycles | Canada

Thanks in advance!

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Old 07-18-14, 12:27 AM
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Fit is definitely the most important factor with any bike. Can't you take her to Vancouver to try out the Giant?

I love Kona Jakes, but that Giant has a lot going for it. The brakes are better on the Giant. Most of the non-series parts look Tiagra level. The numbering on the rear derailleur suggests it's a step down, which would be weird, but that's a cheap and easy upgrade if you ever felt the need.

My 2013 Jake came with those same wheels. They're decent but not exciting. They've got a higher spoke count than the wheels on the Giant, so if properly tensioned they'll be stronger. You could ask the shop if they would swap in triple shifters and crankset. A lot of shops will do that at cost when you buy the bike.

I'd lean toward the Kona just for the local service, but they both look like good bikes.
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Last edited by Andy_K; 07-18-14 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 07-18-14, 09:37 AM
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+1 for the local service assuming the Kona fits your wife and she likes it.
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