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  1. #1
    I Ride for Donuts
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    Anybody have a Kona Jake the Snake?

    Or better yet, a Major Jake? Pros? Cons?

    Seems the ideal bike for my commute. If I ever sold the stealth bike...

    I have a Kona Dawg mountain bike and I've been really happy with the quality and ride. Two matching Konas in the stable would be pretty sweet.

    I definately like the looks of the 'jake' series better than anything from Surly. Call me a heretic...
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  2. #2
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    I have a Kona Jake that has been great. I bought it for training during the spring / fall and put Panaracer T-Servs and a rack on it this summer and have been commuting.

    It's a nice frame with a budget but decent build. But honestly, after years of riding Klines, I have sworn-off Aluminum bikes. I probably will trade-out the frame for a Cross-Check. No more stiff Aluminum frames for me...

    I would do it again.
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  3. #3
    M_S
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    How long is your commute? Unless very long, it's a little more bike than I'd wnt as a dedicated commuter, unless it also fulfills another purpose.

    They're great bikes though, and extremely popular racers in the local cross series.

  4. #4
    I Ride for Donuts
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    Quote Originally Posted by M_S
    How long is your commute? Unless very long, it's a little more bike than I'd wnt as a dedicated commuter, unless it also fulfills another purpose.

    They're great bikes though, and extremely popular racers in the local cross series.

    I had this freakish goal when I built my current commuter that I could build a bike to use as a commuter AND ride in a century or two in the summer. I rode my first century on my current bike this past summer and it did fine, but my mind is drifting towards lighter/faster bikes that could fill the same purpose. Also, the first part of my commute is on dirt roads, so I need something fairly beefy. And 'cross bikes are just sweet...
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  5. #5
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    I've got one, just picked it up this year off ebay (I think it's the 05 model). I'm a long time MTB holdout and never wanted to go to the "other side" but I figured a cross bike is still partially a mountain bike so OK. Anyway, love the bike. It has a real nice component group for it's price range, and a light but strong frame. The only thing I changed on mine was a new wheelset after I blew a spoke on the old set.

    I upped my commute pace by 5mph instantly just by switching from a 26" heavy mountain commuter to the Jake. It's been my primary bike all summer and I was planning on building a new 29er utility bike just so I wouldn't weight the Jake down with racks and fenders ect. Bottom line, now that I have it I really like having a light & fast bike (roadies are falling over laughing right now because I called JTS light). I even took it on some fairly technical singetrack lately. I didn't especially want to but we were on a family trip and I had all my trail bikes loaned out to other people. I wouldn't want to ride that stuff everyday on a cross bike, but it worked and it was quite a bit of fun.

    Bottom line, I think the Jake would work great for a commuter and a century or two. I ended up going with an xtracycle for my 26" MTB instead of the 29er but that's mostly because I wanted an ULTIMATE utility bike and the Jake is actually a little too light for a lot of my utility duties, but it works great for my rides to work. This winter I'm going to keep the Jake as my speedy work ride and set the X up as a winter/bad weather ride.

  6. #6
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    ^^ thanks for the info. I think it would be an ideal bike. I SHOULD get a used one, but the '09 Major Jake in white just looks soooooo sweet.
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  7. #7
    M_S
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    Hey, it's a great bike, for sure. Might want to look into some steel offerings if you're goal is also along distance bike, but then again those are either cheap and heavy or kinda pricy and niche.

    And I've been riding to work on my cross bike with basically zero changes from when it gets raced on the weekends. Run wat ya brung.

    Orrrrr, since you have a pretty nice commuter from what I've seen, you could build up a dedicated fun long distance bike. More bikes > fewer bikes.

  8. #8
    ONe less gear
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    I want a Jake really bad. There is one for sale at my LBS with racks on the front and the rear has ortlieb{sp} waterproof panniers. If I would have just got back from deployment, it would have been mine.

  9. #9
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    If your considering a Jake the Snake for commuting but are unsure about the aluminum thing, have you considered the Kona Honky Tonk? It's an all steel road bike that uses downtube shifters (I know, I know.) Very simple, and can fit up to 32 tires, or 28s with fenders.

    Last year they offered this as a frame only, calling a "utility road frame." I just bought one with the purpose of putting my old franken-fixed gear commuter out to pasture, and using it for commuting, longer road rides, and errands. I can't wait to get it all dorked-out with accessories.

    It's much cheaper too. Spend the extra cash on some Tiagra shifters.

  10. #10
    I Ride for Donuts
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cabin Fever
    If your considering a Jake the Snake for commuting but are unsure about the aluminum thing, have you considered the Kona Honky Tonk? It's an all steel road bike that uses downtube shifters (I know, I know.) Very simple, and can fit up to 32 tires, or 28s with fenders.

    Last year they offered this as a frame only, calling a "utility road frame." I just bought one with the purpose of putting my old franken-fixed gear commuter out to pasture, and using it for commuting, longer road rides, and errands. I can't wait to get it all dorked-out with accessories.

    It's much cheaper too. Spend the extra cash on some Tiagra shifters.

    I'll look into that frame, thanks. Although I really have no problem with an aluminum frame. My MTB and my current commuter are aluminum, and I've done 85 miles a couple times on the MTB, and one century so far on the commuter...(I've been doing the same couple of charity rides for the past few summers.) Weight is a much bigger issue for me than frame compliance.

    EDIT: looks like they're offering the Honky Tonk as a complete bike for $899. Not bad. http://www.konaworld.com/09_honkytonk_u.cfm
    Last edited by CommuterBoy; 10-24-2008 at 07:57 AM.
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  11. #11
    I Ride for Donuts
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    Quote Originally Posted by M_S
    Orrrrr, since you have a pretty nice commuter from what I've seen, you could build up a dedicated fun long distance bike. More bikes > fewer bikes.
    Can't swing the cost...I'd need to sell something to get into a Jake.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  12. #12
    Double-metric mtb man
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    I'd considered one too....but then I'd be really tempted to get stupid on my long rides...I've done centuries and a 125 (mile) ride on my FS mtb....I'd need to aim for at least a 150 on something like a Jake

    Though to be fair, I am building up an old Trek 610 roadie frame for a commuter / distance / hauler rig so I can free up the mtb for enjoying the dirt more
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cabin Fever
    If your considering a Jake the Snake for commuting but are unsure about the aluminum thing, have you considered the Kona Honky Tonk? It's an all steel road bike that uses downtube shifters (I know, I know.) Very simple, and can fit up to 32 tires, or 28s with fenders.

    Last year they offered this as a frame only, calling a "utility road frame." I just bought one with the purpose of putting my old franken-fixed gear commuter out to pasture, and using it for commuting, longer road rides, and errands. I can't wait to get it all dorked-out with accessories.

    It's much cheaper too. Spend the extra cash on some Tiagra shifters.
    i've got a honky tonk too (last years bought as frame)...right now it's in commuter mode with fenders, rack, lights, panniers. the only thing i would like would be the ability to fit some aggressive tires on it for the winter. with the fenders, i could go 28c, but i can't find any cx-like tires to fit on it. other than that, i love the bike - i like steel bikes and find that they smooth out the bumps on the road very nicely. super good deal.

  14. #14
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    Go for it! I picked up a Jake the Snake 2 years ago as my commuter/long distance road bike/ errand runner. The newer ones are even nicer with stock carbon forks.

    Basically, it is a nice stable ride, not as light as many road bikes, but sturdy as hell. I have had several off-road crashes (riding it as a true cross bike) and two car-bike collisions. No damage to the frame/ p2 fork! Great for long rides, even with the aluminum frame.

    Oh yeah - I agree the '09 Major looks sweet.

  15. #15
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    Had mine a few years. Was an old model which I haggled down to half price. It was my only bike for the first year or so, and I seem to remember that it was easy to keep it spinning at a constant speed (if that makes sense). I have a rack on it, and have used it for some short tours. It's too flexy for heavy touring gear, but that's not really my thing.

    I got more into fixies, and I've converted it into a winter fixie (ENO hub), with heavy wheels and studded tyres. It weighs a ton now, but it's lasted well. I've never felt it to be uncomfortable (got a Brooks saddle on it). Compared with my summer bike it feels a bit ponderous in the corners at times, but my current wheelset won't do it any favours. For faster road use, some slicks (like Conti Sport Contacts) make it much quicker.

    I didn't get on with the standard canti's, despite reading all the stuff on the net to adjust them, and getting my LBS to adjust them. Initially I used TravelAgents with V-brake calipers (really good) but as I'm running it as a fixie I got some of the DiaCompe drop-bar brake levers which are V-brake compatible.

    I've probably spent a fortune on it over the few years I've had it, but most of that was just wear and tear (bottom brackets, headsets), plus upgrades, and getting my LBS to adjust things and swap things around.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy
    I'll look into that frame, thanks. Although I really have no problem with an aluminum frame. My MTB and my current commuter are aluminum, and I've done 85 miles a couple times on the MTB, and one century so far on the commuter...(I've been doing the same couple of charity rides for the past few summers.) Weight is a much bigger issue for me than frame compliance.

    EDIT: looks like they're offering the Honky Tonk as a complete bike for $899. Not bad. http://www.konaworld.com/09_honkytonk_u.cfm

    I know - just bought one!

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