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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: corwin1968's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Question for those who have ridden both a Jones 29er/SWB and a Karate Monkey

    I have narrowed my bicycle preferences down to a relatively short wheel-base, lower bottom bracket, fatter 650B tired, playful bike that will mostly be ridden on pavement or hardpacked dirt/grass.

    I've been interested in the Jones diamond frame for some time and the new SWB complete would be a great option for me.

    I am currently riding a 1st generation Karate Monkey with the Jones loop bar and my plan has been to have some 650B wheels built around either cliffhanger or Blunt rims with G-One Speedster 60mm tires. Ideally, I would make wheel/tire changes to my KM and then buy a Jones SWB frameset and transfer everything over but the hub spacing differences make this impossible.

    My question for those who have ridden both a Jones SWB and a KM, will there be enough difference in the two bikes to justify the expense of a Jones Complete over the cost of 650b wheels and tires for my KM?

    I recently got to ride a steel spaceframe set up with huge 27+ tires but I've only ridden my KM with 29'er tires so I really can't compare the two.


  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mack_turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    I can't speak for the ride quality of each, but if you want to compare the stock geometry of two or three bikes, try this:

    Stack and reach calculator

    if you want to know what a different fork will do the the geo, use this:

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Jones doesn’t publish his geometry. Though there are some older charts out there. They run small. Personally, i’d Just buy a new generation KM. In fact, that is what I did last March. I tested an older SWB Jones last year, and ended up with a KM. The 24” Jones, which is approximately a medium, fit about the same as my size small Krampus, which was too small. Find one somewhere to test ride before you buy. I drove 5 hours to Atlanta to test a privately owned Jones. Found one owned by a shop mechanic and asked if I could try it. Found him by calling every Jones dealer within 300 miles. Worth it. I love my KM.

    Edit: I just saw your last paragraph, you hade tested a Jones? You just want to know if the wheels will make a difference? Why spend the money n a Jones for different wheels? The new KM can take 29res or 27.5+. Have the hubs rebuilt in the old wheels. Add a second plus sized wheel set. Problem solved. Transfer your old parts. Have a bike that can take a dropper, is suspension corrected to 120 mm, and designed for disc brakes. (I’m assuming the older KM doesn’t have those things, but I don’t know.

    My wheels are 29”
    Velocity blunts with Maxxis Ardents. 2.4” in front,
    2.25” in rear. The Jones also has 29” tires. And there is definitely room for wider tires than what I have now. When I tested the Jones, I had a too small Krampus at home with a long stem. Though the stem on the Jones was shorter, the overall bike felt the same. It felt as though I were riding my Krampus. I had those same wheels on the Krampus. The original intention was to build up a Krampus frameset as a do anything single speed. I wasn’t worried about plus size. Those wheels and tires are so much more expensive. That entire setup went better with a KM than a Krampus, so when I changed sizes, the KM was a better choice. But I was originally going to get a Jones.

    If you want improved ride quality, you need to look at frameset materials. Gunnar has off-the-shelf sizing available in addition to custom, which costs less. And they have frameset a that will work with your old parts, or you could buy something newer that will hold its value better and be easier to upgrade. Their Ruffian and Rockhound are worth considering. One of those is a dedicated single speed, but I can’t remember which. They have a variety of high quality steel alloys available at differing price points.

    Rebuilding bikes is expensive. I personally thing the least expensive option is to buy a fully built KM, and sell your current ride as is. You will get at least $600.00 for it, maybe more. So total output for the new bike is low.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 10-11-2018 at 04:24 AM.

  4. #4
    turtles make me hot
    Reputation: NYrr496's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    I can add a little something here but not EXACTLY what you're looking for.
    I built a Medium Jones Plus for a friend. He bought it with the truss fork. He wanted it single speed and 3.25" Vee Bulldozers front and rear. I built it up and went for a quick ride around my neighborhood on it. I need an XL. Not a real ride. Bike felt nice.
    I then delivered it and went for a ride with him on my current gen Krampus with Jones Loop bars. Watching the Jones handle the terrain was almost magical. The rear tire never lost traction once. Bike handled really nicely.
    My Krampus also never skipped a beat and followed along beautifully. If I were asked which bike to get, I would suggest the Jones if you don't mind paying top money for a rigid bike. If you're more budget conscious, go for the Surly. I can't imagine being disappointed either way.
    Come to think of it, a guy in the parking lot after the ride asked to ride my Krampus and he came back elated. He then rode the Jones and loved it too but he was truly more interested in the Krampus so it wasn't really a fair comparo.
    I like turtles

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