Kona Jake the Snake Cyclocross Bike

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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!

User Reviews (14)

Showing 1-10 of 14  
ChicagoBikeCommuter   Commuter [Aug 12, 2011]
Strength:

Light, fast, comfortable carbon fork. Good value for money.

Weakness:

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.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Available At:
ocnative1964   Road Racer [Nov 15, 2010]
Strength:

Light, strong, predictable, stylish, proven winner

Weakness:

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.

I love this bike.

Similar Products Used: Lemond TI road bike, previous mountain bikes
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Caruso   Recreational Rider [Aug 11, 2010]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

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
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Paul   Recreational Rider [Apr 26, 2009]
Strength:

Good stiff frame, excellent cross geometry, good components.

Weakness:

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.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
nwmtngoat   Recreational Rider [Sep 26, 2008]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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.

Similar Products Used: Tried a Trek XO, looked at Specialized and could not find a Cannondale or Felt to try.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
bramt   Commuter [Sep 11, 2008]
Strength:

Great ride quality. A "do (almost) everything" bike. Also good value. Most bikes with similar components we more expensive.

Weakness:

The stock saddle just wasn't for me. So I swapped it out.
Not a big fan of the pedals but they work.

Price paid is Australian Dollars.
This is also for the 2008 model Jake the Snake.
I love almost everything about this bike. People complain about the Avid brakes... but really, just squeeze the brakes harder! I haven't had any squealing problems unless it's wet.
I did remove the secondary brake levers and that improved braking a lot.
I commute everyday on this bike, taken it on some pretty rough trails and spent 5-6 hours in the saddle on longer weekend rides. It does everything!
I'd recommend it to anyone considering it.

Similar Products Used: None. First "serious" type bike.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Al   Recreational Rider [Apr 09, 2008]
Strength:

Smooth and responsive ride. Excellent 105 drivetrain.

Weakness:

Brake squealing from Avid cantis.

This is a review of the 2008 (Blue and White) JTS. Love almost everything about this bike. I use it for commutes to and from work and the occasional singletrack trail in between. Very smooth ride over rough pavement, dirt trails. Obviously not as nice as suspension but the combination of fork and tires take a lot of the shock and vibration out. 105 drivetrain shifts accurately and quickly. Bike accelerates and climbs very well. Feels just as responsive than my all carbon road bike.

My only complaint is about the brakes. Avid cantilevers don't deliver the stopping power of road brakes when used with the 105 levers. Front brakes chatter and squeal.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
James Bowland   Road Racer [Jan 18, 2008]
Strength:

Smooth ride, stiff in bottom bracket, good deal.

Weakness:

Sloping top tube, this is a weekness for me because I am 6'4" tall and I don't like to run 12" of seat post on a 60 cm frame. Probably not an issue for 99% of people buying this frame.

This is a blue 2007/2008 Frame and Fork I bought to replace the second Redline I broke.... I got the 60cm frame and the fit is pretty good, has a slightly sloping top tube so I have a lot of post showing. Very smooth ride, due to carbon fork and tuning of frame. This bike is significantly smoother than the Redline I had. Handling is a bit slower and is taking some getting used to, front tire seems to push more in the corners. Bottom bracket is pretty stiff and I don't get any chain rub on the front derailure. Seems pretty well put together and comes with a nice fork for $400.00. Actually rides really well with road tires too. You could have this as your only bike and not give up too much compared to a dedicated road bike. Has full rack mounts on the back for touring, or commuting, won't see that on a Ridley.

Similar Products Used: Redline Conquest Pro two seperate frame sets both broke (chain stay and seat tube) after 2 seasons of cx racing and baby trailer towing.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
syndicate559   Road Racer [Nov 13, 2007]
Strength:

Price. Even at the full retail of $1150 or whatever it is, this bike is a steal. You can go out, ride it and upgrade as you get the money or desire. The frame itself is stiff and sturdy without being excessively heavy.

Weakness:

Some of the stock components you'll want to change. Heavy bar, stem, post, etc. Standover is pretty high. If I had to do it over again, I might go a size down from my normal road size. Overall, though, considering price and performance (bang for the buck) there is absolutely nothing to complain about.

I've had this bike for almost a year now. I got it on a whim last year because a guy had put it on eBay and it was still in the box, never assembled. I like Kona's vibe as a brand and I really fell in love with the neon green frame. Parts spec seemed pretty good for the price too, so I went for it. I didn't race it at all last year, but have started racing some local cross on it this year. Its first race was its first win, so I can't complain about performance. Now don't get me wrong, if you're going to race hard, you have to swap out some of the componentry because of durability issues, not to mention weight. You really notice the extra ounces when you throw the bike over your shoulder 10-20 times per race.

Similar Products Used: First cross bike.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
chris   Commuter [Jun 19, 2007]
Strength:

Aluminum frame rides likes steel. I was raised on steel and was a bit skeptical at first - there is an adjustment to how it handles, but once you are used to it, this bike will take all the abuse you can dish out.

Weakness:

Depending on who you ask, the steel (Kona 2) fork is considered to be heavy, but this depends on the kind of riding you like. Its still fast as hell with the steel fork and personally I like the irresponsibilty/recklessness with steel. If you are racing, a carbon fork my be the thing, but for the street/drinking in the hills the steel is fine. 48/39 rings are aggressive; could see if someone would prefer something more forgiving. I live in San Francisco and don't have issues with it though.

In love with a rocket.

Similar Products Used: Test road a lot of bikes - best value/ride out of the box
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 14