Kona_Jake

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					       Bike test Cyclo-cross bikes




     Kona Jake £770
     Y
                  ou’re probably thinking,        Kona calls a “do-it-all all-the-timer”.       Frame material Kona
                  what on earth are we doing      Indeed, the whole package has a sort          race Light 7005
                  pitching the humble Kona        of friendly, utilitarian charm, right         aluminium
                  Jake up against a couple of     down to the unsexy but street-chic            Fork Kona P2 cromoly
     bikes that retail for hundreds of            battleship grey paintjob, so it feels like    Crankset FSA omega
     pounds more. But if you’re talking           a bit of a natural go-to bike when you        50, 39, 30t
     cross bikes, the Kona range is pretty        just need to jump on and bomb off             Shifters Shimano
     hard to ignore, as various guises of the     somewhere. With relaxed geometry              Tiagra
     Jake line-up have been doing the             and that heavy but springy skinny-            Brakes Kore Sport
     cross rounds for more than a decade          legged steel fork, a great stack of six       canti
     now and they are the established             (yes, six!) spacers under the stem            Wheels Alex AT-450
     standard. What’s more, with some             meant the Jake could be set-up for a          rims
     fairly major changes to the 2011 Jake        very laid-back position indeed. Size of       Tyres Continental
     in the shape of lighter frame material       the handlebar is tailored to the size of      Speedking Cross
     among other delights, the 2010 Jake,         the bike, which meant even more               Weight 10.62kg
     which Kona tells us will be in stock         comfort up front.                             Sizes 47-52cm
     with retailers until at least the end of         A decent chunk of the bike’s weight       Size tested 52cm
     the year, is being discounted by most        came from the tyre-wheel combo, but
                                                                                                                                                   True and blue:
     to around the £600 mark. Cracking.           quality branded hubs (Formula,
                                                                                                                                                   tough yet
         In fact, the value looks even better     Tiagra) and rims (Alex) at this price is                                                         pretty rims
     when you note that the Jake sports the       no mean feat, and as well as finishing
     Omega crankset (albeit in triple rather      the rims in a fetching shade of blue to
     than double guise) and has enough                                                                                 lend a hint of urban fixie-style cool,
     Tiagra shift gear on board to match                                                                               they certainly felt bulletproof. The
     both the more expensive bikes.                                                                                    triple chainset was more gears than
     Undeniably, though it is a bit of a                                                                               we felt the need for either on or off
     weighty lump next to the Crux, not                                                                                road, but we suppose it’s yet another
     helped by a chromoly fork and chunky,                                                                             stab at the Jake’s ultra-versatile brief.
     visible frame welds. There are no                                                                                     Next year’s Jake range is an
     complaints in the handling department,                                                                            exciting prospect, marrying Kona’s
     but the weight is very evident in the                                                                             cyclo-cross bike experience with
     comfortable but not-so-lively ride.                                                                               some much-needed weight-reducing
     Lighter frame material, smooth welds                                                                              updates to spec and materials. As,
     and an alloy fork are all due to appear                                                                           however, this will probably all come at
     on the heavily updated 2011, though, if                                                                           a price, refined it ain’t, but the gritty,
     you can wait a few months into the                                                                                versatile charm of the 2010 Jake still
     cross season.                                                                                                     has plenty to recommend it at the
                                                                                                                       current reduced price.
     A bike for all seasons                                                                       Mud-shedding             Did the Kona feel sluggish next to
     One major attribute of this Jake,                                                            Kore Sport cantis    the gleaming Specialized Crux?
     however, is that its design brief doesn’t                                                                         Definitely. Would we still rather ride a
     limit it to the cyclo-cross course —                                                                              very long way on it? Yes — unless we
     not at all. All rack and mudguard                                                                                 were running late for work.
     mounts are present and correct,
     making it easy to transform into what                                                                             Comfort 18/20

                                                                                                                       VALuE 19/20
     “The gritty,
                                                                                                                       HAndLing 17/20
     versatile charm of
     the 2010 Jake still                                                                                               WoW fACtor 16/20

     has plenty to                                                                                                     BuiLd quALity 17/20
     recommend it at
     the reduced price”
                                                                                                                       oVErALL
                                                                                                                       rAting...            87%
                                                                                    luxury item
                                                                                    Kona Major
       cheaper option
       Pinnacle                                                                     Jake 2011
       eXpede 0.0                                                                   £2,200
       £599.99                                                                      Next year’s flagship
                                                                                    Kona cross bike is more
       There are few cross bikes                                                    than a little bit special
       representing a better bar-                                                   and features a full-
       gain than the last few 2010           in-house brand has been                carbon frame for
       Kona Jakes, but this carbon           reduced by a hefty £200, so            starters. It’s not out yet, but       bit of kit — probably one for the
       forked crosser from Evans’s           undercuts it by a few quid.            let’s just say this is a serious      semi-pros.

68    CYCLING ACTIVE november 2010
november 2010 CYCLING ACTIVE 69

				
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posted:7/10/2011
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