Kona's Jake The Snake is a championship-winning cyclocross bike ideal for racing and simply enjoying backcountry rides. It's built from butted 7005 aluminum for excellent longevity and a snappy ride perfect for varying terrain. The carbon fork and Mavic wheels are ready for any course or road. And, this super crosser is equipped with reliable Avid, TruVativ and Shimano components for top-notch braking, pedaling and shifting. It even comes with clipless pedals!
Strengths: Light, fast, comfortable carbon fork. Good value for money.
Weaknesses: I may need to get used to it, but I feel like the braking is not very responsive. Seat post creaked terribly in first week, but I cleaned the post a greased now, everything is nearly silent.
So far, I am loving this bike. I was looking for a new commuter that had more of a road bike feel. I was using a Fuji Silhouette, flat bar road bike. The Kona feels light and more responsive. The carbon fork noticeably reduces vibration in the bar. I like having more hand position options for comfort and the Shimano Ultegra/105 groupo shifts smoothly and easily. A key feature for me is that the bike is rack friendly. I was able to put my Topeak rack on easily for commuting about 20 miles each way a few times a week in flat Chicago. The bike spins up to speed quickly, handles corners well, and the stock saddle is comfortable. I am very happy. I kept the knobby CX tires for winter and switched to 25mm slicks.
Weaknesses: it could be TI instead, then perfection.
2008 model. Purchased on ebay used with all but Seat & tires. I purchased this with the thought I might want to try cross racing. a couple months later my road bike was damaged in a wreck with a vehicle, and this became bike #1.
I have found it comfortable on rides up to 55 miles. and on the roads it handles not much different (nor slower) than my road bike. at 21 lbs its about 2 pounds heavier, but I can lighten it up pretty easily with wheels.
I have raced the bike 4 times in the Cross Crusade and have found it lacking nothing. my ability is another matter.
It is comfortable at 10 mph on a dirt trail or at 40 mph descending a moderate hill on the road. it will easily cruise the flats at 20+mph.
Strengths: very solid frame (good taiwanese craftsmanship), handles fantastic even with a rack and panniers on, great all-rounder, enough heel clearance for most riders, great bang for the buck, even the 1200$ 105 shimano stock version is a very decent offer. stiff but not overly harsh on road
Weaknesses: the FSA headset that comes stock is probably too weak to survive a rough season, the seatpost clamp is facing the rear and prone to catch mud into the shaft, for those who prefer 100% cyclocross rigs the Major tops it for the rest seeking a great allrounder the Jake the Snake does the deal,
This is for the 2010 frame that hasn't changed in 3 years anyway! I built this Jake the Snake frame from scratch with the parts i wanted and not having to take what shops offer, got a deal online for the frame for 230$, got a carbon fork and SRAM parts from various sources. The ride is solid, stiff but acceleration is slow compared to my road machines but this bike is not about speed. No carbon used except the seatpost and fork (steerer is alu) for comfort. The bike comes in with SRAM Rival and Apex mix just above 21lbs. No weight weenie but cross is about abuse and carbon parts make you pay in the end. the 34x32 apex gearing let's you tackle the steepest hill off and on road.
Similar Products Used: new to cyclocross, only UCI limit road machines
Bike Setup: EA70 Easton stem and handlebar, easton carbon seatport, EC70X fork, SRAM rival Apex mix, 32 spoke wheels =21lbs
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: April 26, 2009
Strengths: Good stiff frame, excellent cross geometry, good components.
Weaknesses: Weight (it's close to 22lbs), stiff frame makes for not-so-plush rides for those who (like me) enjoy centuries. Also, the steerer tube is cut a bit short, so if you like a really upright position, you have to change the stem for one with more rise.
2008 Jake the Snake (blue and white). As decribed by others; full Shimano 105 with Avid canti brakes. FSA cranks, stem, bar and seatpost. Aluminium body (not the Easton tubeset they had on the 2007 JTS), carbon fork,
Good stiff frame, responsive when climbing out of the saddle and when turning. The stiff all-aluminium body (except fork) means you can feel the road buzz on longer rides, which prompted me to swap out the seatpost for a carbon post. On the trail, the cross geometry is evident with the higher bottom-bracket and wider wheelbase. On the road, with conti Grand Prix 4000S 23's, I can keep up with the road machines.
Strengths: Light, great component mix, and a very stiff aluminium frame. Real nice wheels and hubs. Corners well on dirt and on asphalt. Dig the green paint too.
Weaknesses: Still unsure about the seat - may change to a Selle San Marco like on my race bike. Front brakes shudder a bit with the drops levers, but I gather that is common. Not a big deal to me, still have to increase the toe in on the pads.
Just got this for my birthday - first real new bike in a decade. More than just a recreational rider. I don't race but I ride hard always and needed a bike that was a little more versatile than my little road racer or my Klein Mantra Comp. This bike fit the bill perfectly. The fit was exceptional - I'm 5'6" and I got a 54 cm, my racer is a 56 cm frame. It rides smooth on every surface I've been on, and is almost as quick as my race bike but not as twitchy. It corners incredibly well even on roads with the stock knobbies.