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  1. #1
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    Jake The Snake 2014, anyone?

    Hi all,

    I'm gonna say goodbye to my old GT Zaskar and looking forward to buy me a all-round CXbike.
    The JTS 2014 looks pretty sick (trough my eyes) and I'm thinking about buying one like that. But I don't find any reviews on the bike so maybe someone here has got something good or bad to say about this bike.

    I'm not going to use it for racing. He has to be capable of doing some singletrack offroading, just riding on unpaved roads, and help me along some 90mile of tarmac on sundays.
    Here in Belgium they use those 29'rs, but I don't like the looks and geometry of those bikes. So a CXbike is the best of both worlds, I guess.

    My questions are about:
    Hayes CX Expert brakes, Internal Cabling, the somewhat longer toptube and it's weight.
    - The Avid BB7 has proven to be some good mechanical discbrakes, but what about those Hayes?
    - The internal cablerouting looks nice but does it works nice? It seems that in and outs are placed on dome places that are easy to catch dirt.
    - How is the handling of this bike? Here in Belgium, most CX bikes or rather short and less high BB.
    Is it a flickable bike like the 2013 model? (found a review of that one)
    - For my roadbike is made out of carbon, it's pretty light. How about and Aluminum frame like the JTS, I can't find any numbers.
    Sizing would be a size 53.


    If any of my questions could be answered here, that would be amazing.
    Thank you guys.

  2. #2
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    I've been riding a 2005 Jake the Snake for over 9 years now, 10 seasons of CX racing on it. I absolutely love the bike, I'll never get rid of it. I've ridden 2013 and 2014 JtS and I find them very comparable to my old one, other than the fact that the front end of the new models is WAY stiffer and thus the turn in is much much sharper. I've always found the Kona geometry to be great, in CX races I'm always quicker through the corners than my main competitors, though I'm not sure if that's the bike or my small size. I found the 2013 and 2014 bikes to feel identical, as I think they are, other than the brakes.

    I don't think the Hayes brakes are the greatest. I tried a brand new 2014 JtS today and was underwhelmed with the braking power. However, they could have just needed to be bedded in properly. If you find you want more braking power later then I'd try the new TRP Spyre brakes. I did a shop test on those brakes as fitted to a 2014 Kona Major Jake. The lever feel was very nice and they seemed to have quite a bit of power.

    Aluminum vs carbon, well carbon will probably be about 450g less, and ride better, but have a higher chance of crash induced failure.

    I've never met anyone who regretted getting a Kona crosser, go for it!

  3. #3
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    Kona have been making great cross bikes forever. Before North Americans even cared about cross.

    but they're plenty of nice bikes out there - Cannondale, Ridley, Specialized, etc. Check them out.

  4. #4
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    The 2014's look nice, I saw both the Jake and the JDS at my LBS.

    I pulled the trigger on a 2014 Giant TCX SLR2 though instead and so far I like the bike.
    Mike
    Toronto, Canada
    2014 Giant TCX SLR2
    2013 Trek Stache 8
    2011 Giant Defy Advanced 0

  5. #5
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    To answer your questions (I got a Super Jake frameset, which, other than being carbon, is the same setup).

    The cable routing has a possibility of picking up mud, but a good sealed cableset (as always) is a good idea. Something with a liner that runs the full length of the cable's run. I think the windows that bolt on for cable routing will help with cleaning too, and they really help when you have to change a cable out.

    The Hayes are decent brakes. I have ridden the JtS around a bit to test ride and they stopped as fine as the BB5s I had before. I really recommend the TRP Spyre brakes since they're pretty cheap to upgrade and they just work awesome the first time.

    It'll be flickable, that's been a hallmark of the Kona cyclocross bikes. My 2001 Major Jake rides pretty much the same as the current lineup. Great handling, and with the carbon fork the JtS comes with it's perhaps stiffer but not rougher for steering.

    Weight is competitive with other alloy bikes in its price range. I'm guessing it hasn't increased much if any on the newest tubeset they're using, so frame weight should still be around 3 lbs (1.4 kg)

    I'd get one if you still are looking! I really like my Kona cross bike, they really know what they're doing!

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