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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southeast Nebraska
    Posts
    470

    Jake the Snake? Looking to get one...

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    It's been awhile since I've been on, but while in the LBS I saw the Jake the Snake cross bike and it was instant bike lust. Guy let me take it around the local trail and I really enjoyed the ride to the point that I've saved up enough to get the bike.

    Here's what has me worried other than the price: My last road style bike was a Madone and it hurt so much to ride on it. I'd come back home with my outer sides of my legs in pure agony. Being bent over so far also hurt. I'm worried that if I buy a road style bike I'll have the same issues.

    I just sold my Fargo because I hate bar end shifters and it had other issues; however it was comfortable and mostly upright. My second favorite was the Cross Check, but with deore and bar end shifters like my Fargo, I don't want to deal with it.

    I had actually gone into the store looking to get a 29er wheel set for my fat bike using the money from my Fargo. After he quoted me 500-600 for the set (ouch, but no surprise) I wondered if another bike was a better choice. That's when I saw Jake. It didn't hurt after a 20 minute ride, I got on/off and I wasn't so bent over it hurt. It's the 2012 green one. The one I really wanted..was either red or orange is out of stock at Kona's warehouse and no one around had a size 56. It felt lighter and faster. The green one had a bigger fork for more clearance but the guy said it made the bike more stable.

    Kona's new Jake is all black and boring but I like the idea of disc brakes. He had my size in a box and a huge one out on the floor so I didn't ride it.

    Can the Jake do some basic single track? I'm not looking to race, just ride the highway roads and the crushed limestone trail nearby.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,713
    Hi again! I was just wondering the other day what you were up to!

    It's not a Kona, but a friend of mine takes his cross bike to the local mountain bike trails. He just avoids the most technical one. I love my CX bike. They're awesome do-(nearly) everything bikes. It'll probably have lower gearing and be less aggressive than the Madone, so odds are you'll be more comfortable.
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
    http://wholecog.wordpress.com/

    2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143

    2013 Charge Filter Apex| Specialized Jett 143
    1996(?) Giant Iguana 630|Specialized Riva


    Saving for the next one...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southeast Nebraska
    Posts
    470
    I've actually been doing pretty good despite spending most of the winter sick. I've had a blast riding my fat bike in the snow and ready for the road. My fat bike does well on the open road, but at nearly 40lbs, I wanted something lighter when I felt like it. Flat roads, the fatty is fast and easy. Hills, it's agony. A 29er wheel set seemed the perfect set up for my bike for the summer/mountain biking, but the guy said I really wouldn't notice any difference in weight, just agility. At 500-600 for set up I figured I'd check my options.

    After selling some stuff, I have enough to buy the bike. I also hate being "between" sizes. Now that I have more experience on fit, I'm taking every advantage of it and getting a bike that I enjoy. The Madone was too much bike and wrong fit for someone who hadn't been on a bike since she was a kid.

    The Jake I was looking at only had a double. I'd really like a triple for hills so I'm hoping it's enough to handle them. Hoping to get up to the LBS this weekend and do another test ride.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,479
    Your outer leg hurt? Is it possible your cleats were at the wrong angle, and it caused pressure on your outer legs?

    Maybe you need to find an independent fitter, and not just whomever is available wherever you buy your bike? I've done this, and it makes a huge difference. He can make sure all my bike fit and feel right.

    If you post links or the numbers for the geometry of your old Madone, Fargo, and the Jake, someone may be able to make an educated guess on your relative position. Especially HT angle, HT height, horizontal TT, stack and reach if available, and I like to see seat tube angle.

    One thing, the Kona Rove is a little more $$, but it's steel, and I remember you loved that with the Fargo.

    I'm personally looking at a Raleigh Roper steel X. Also need to sell an old bike to manage it. I think it's around 1300 or 1400, has 105 components, and is very nice looking, too.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 04-10-2013 at 06:39 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,479
    Was your Fargo a medium or large? According to the chart, the medium would have had the 565 TT, but the head tube is only 125 mm, which is quite short. Maybe you were on the large, which has a higher head tube. For comparison, my size 51.5 Pinarello has racing geometry, but the head tube is 130 mm. Of course, a lot of racing bikes have shorter head tubes. Hmmm. The bike should be more upright the higher ithe head tube is. (If you are between sizes on the cross, the larger bike with the higher head tube will make you more upright, and the reach may actually decrease because of that height, as long as you don't end up with a TT that is too long).

    But honestly, there are more things that affect the way a bike feels. So you should go by feel. It is possible your position and core are much stronger now than a couple of years ago. And your arms. You've ridden a lot, and the bikes you've been on are all on the heavier side. Operating a heavier bike builds upper body strength. Especially when it's a 29er and fat bike you are talking about. Upper body strength makes it easier to ride a little more aero, too. And don't you have very narrow shoulders in proportion to your lower body? So likely your upper body was not as strong, in proportion, as your lower body. Could also have caused pain. A couple of years on heavy duty bikes may have fixed that.

    It's also possible the Madone was a little too small, that definitely causes a rider to feel too hunched over, and leads to upper neck pain. (It did for me on my Cannondale). May even be that the leg issues were causing you to hunch forward, and not be seated properly on your sitbones. Or perhaps the bike wasn't set up properly for you. Saddle height to handlebar drop,...there are so many factors. I notice the picture in your album shows the bars raised with the hoods a little back, and the saddle low in relation, so not much drop. Personally, that would hurt me. It would make me arch my upper back to the rear, and jam all the pressure in my neck. I need drop and stretches extension to feel settled and strong. That is the opposite of some people, of course, but it could be that someone just needed to flip your stem, change it, or adjust your saddle. So often, when people experience back pain, they immediately want to try a bike with a shorter TT, or shorter stem. And sometimes, that makes it worse.

    Here are possible geometries for the bikes you mentioned. May not be the perfect numbers as these are all this year's, and geomtries do change. And there may be some variation between other models available.



    Salsa Fargo: Medium
    Top Tube Effective 565
    Seat Tube Length 457.2
    Head Tube Angle 70.5
    Seat Tube Angle 73
    Head Tube Length 125
    Stack 624.2
    Reach 374.2


    Kona Jake: size 56
    Horizontal TT 565
    Seat Tube Angle 73
    Head Tube Angle 71.5
    Head Tube Height 155
    Stack 576
    Reach 389

    Madone 4 Series Sport Geometry (more upright) Size 56
    Horizontal TT 560
    Seat Tube Angle 733
    Head Tube Angle 735
    Head Tube Height 170
    Stack 577
    Reach 387


    Madone Race Geometry Size 56

    Horizontal TT 564
    Seat Tube Angle 733
    Head Tube Angle 730
    Head Tube Height 140
    Stack 564
    Reach 400

    There is a formula where you can compare the geometry of the Fargo against the Jake, but if it is a size large rather than a medium, it won't help much.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 04-10-2013 at 06:33 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southeast Nebraska
    Posts
    470
    My flexibility sucked when I first started riding. I could barely get over the top tube on the Madone. Same with the core muscles. I was SO out of shape. I did have the Madone professionally fit but my fear of falling off and not understanding that you aren't supposed to be able to touch the ground with your toes probably didn't help with that. Clipless pedals made it worse.

    I think my Fargo was an 18 because my Muk is a 19 and it's too big. Only problem with the fit of the Fargo was I kept sliding down on the saddle after I fiddled with it and never figured out how to get it back to the position that worked. Never had leg pain and rode with ease and comfort except for the crappy shifting problems. The Woodchipper bars were amazing as they flared out and I never felt like I was being sucked in. I'll probably buy one to go with the Jake if I purchase it.

    I was shocked when I got over the top tube on the Jake with ease and rode off. Everything shifted just fine and 20 minutes later I was still doing good even when the guy raised my saddle higher after doing some riding in the parking lot and sent me off again. My concern is still the reach. The smaller size is to small and this one feels too big. Smaller Jake I rode was a 53. They size 47,49,53,56,59,61.

    Did some reading on geometry. Some of it made sense and some of it didn't. Does a degree or a couple of centimeters make that much of a difference in sizes/handling? I compared the CC with the 56 Jake and compared how they rode. CC was far nimbler and the Jake was more stable. I don't remember the CC size, but it was smaller than what I thought it would be but fit really well. I wish someone would come up with a computer program that could lay the exact frame on top of another frame to compare.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,479
    On a CC, I'm a size 50, even possibly a 48. (A size smaller than expected, perhaps 2, but probably 1). So, maybe you were on a 54 or so? Unfortunately, Surly doesn't publish Reach, but the horizontal TT is 560 mm on the 54. I thought about getting one last year. Lovely bike. But I want a bike with disc brakes, and the CC doesn't take them.

    Go with the one that fits. Looks like the reach on the Kona is 15 mm longer than the Fargo, if that helps.

    There are many other cross bikes from which to choose. You don't have to limit yourself to those two. What is your budget?

    And shame on that bike shop for selling you the Madone. It clearly didn't work for you (at the time). How discouraging that must have been.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 04-10-2013 at 11:14 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southeast Nebraska
    Posts
    470
    I have almost 1600 dollars saved up. The Jake was 1475 since it was last years model and said with tax was 1575. I've owned a couple of trek bikes and they always hurt, Specialized bikes feel mushy and ride like sludge. I did like the Dolce though. All of them come with horrendous colors. My Trek/Specialized dealer isn't the greatest and that's the closest bike shop.

    I adore my fat bike and really liked the Fargo. Most of Salsa's bikes run 1800-2000. Most of Surly bikes have bar end shifters. They guy at the LBS said Jamis had some nice cyclocross bikes that were similar to Kona. There's a dealer in Omaha. I'm in no hurry to buy a bike and I'll take my time. The Jake was the first bike I've ridden where it didn't hurt and I wasn't constantly shifting my weight.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,479
    This is the cross I think I want. It's steel, has 105 components, and costs 1400.00

    This company also has a lot of alloy framed cross bikes. But I do want steel.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,479
    Here is a list of CX bikes for under $1500.00

    http://mountainbikearea.blogspot.com...ike-under.html

    The Jake is on there, but I think it's the entry-level one for around a grand? Is Jake the Snake the next one up?

    Anyway, when you said the reach was off for the Jake, did you mean for your back, or for your arms? Back is top tube, and arms is reach (I t hink!), notice, those are two different things. If you look at the geoemetry sketch, you can see the line for 'reach.' I guess it depends which is actually off whether the Jake can be set up to fit better. For example, on my last bike, the cannondale, I could adjust stem-length to make my back feel good, but I arms always seemed to be in the way, because the reach on that bike was too short, even though the TT was actually okay with the right stem. Might be hard to tell on a test ride, or if the right stem isn't on there. Just a point. (It was a women's bike, I have long arms, often, women's bikes are set up for people with shorter arms).

    Which is another point. Do you know if you have short arms compared to men your height? If so, you may need to look for a bike with shorter reach numbers, without sacrificing the TT length. (More difficult at your height since you are very tall, but not impossible).

    You could buy a CC frameset, and have it built up the way you want, including the correct shifters and crank-set. And bars. The Bike Hermit could help you if you have no one local. A CC frameset, including fork is around 400.00. Maybe 470.00. Plenty left to build the bike. And they could suggest a very nice group, and everything else. In fact, there are many cross framesets available you could build (another thing I am considering, but the Raleigh is not available as a frameset).
    Last edited by Muirenn; 04-11-2013 at 04:41 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southeast Nebraska
    Posts
    470
    The lower priced Jake is really, really nice..if Kona wasn't out of the size 56 completely and their next smallest size is too small I would have walked out with it. LOL. I called several stores with no availability. The hard part is I don't know about the geometry and where I fit. LOL. I have a sheet with my numbers when I got my Madone fitted for me. I really need to try the Jake again. The article was really great. I'm wondering if the reach is part of the problem.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,479
    FWIW, I'd go back and check Jake the Snake (don't you love the names?), maybe they could set you up on the trainer and try few things to see about the fit. It has an Ultegra/105 mix, the regular Jake has Tiagra/Sora. Not that big a price difference if you get last year's.

    Of course, fit is the thing. Tiagra/Sora on a bike that fits is better than Ult/105 on one that doesn't.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southeast Nebraska
    Posts
    470
    LOL. Well, not a "Jake the Snake", but I came home with a Ridley X-BOW. Yes, lower components but it seemed to fit much better. The Jake was a better deal since it was last year's model, but after going over the geometry, it was the biggest bike out there. Not sure where the Ridley bikes land in coolness or reliability, but so far I really like the bike. I'd better like it cause I'm stuck with it now..LOL.

    I may need to change out the drop bars. They feel awfully long and too short at the drops. The bike itself might fit, but the addition of longer/shorter drop bars is a big factor. I'd like to change the bars to Woodchipper 2's, but not sure how it would affect the handling. He said I might need a shorter stem as well.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,479
    That was fast. Congrats!!!

    Edit: Pictures are a must! Maybe a new thread so everyone and ooh and ah?
    Last edited by Muirenn; 04-11-2013 at 06:09 PM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southeast Nebraska
    Posts
    470
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here's the bike. 2013 Ridley X-BOW. Trying to figure out better pedals, BMX and what color. I'm hoping to get a Salsa Cowbells (mountain drop bars) put on soon. According to the LBS she survived the crash unscathed so I'm impressed with Ridley bikes.

    I can't tell you how nice it is to have a bike that shifts perfectly and fits. Every Time. My confidence on a bike over the past couple of days has improved more than riding a couple of years.

 

 

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