By Paul Norman
Photos: Geoff Waugh/Kona
For 2018, Kona has launched a new lighter, stiffer carbon frame for its Super Jake and Major Jake cyclocross bikes and a lighter alloy frame for the entry-level Jake the Snake.
The Jake was Kona’s first drop bar bike, launched 20 years ago. The refresh pitches the range more towards CX racing, with the Super Jake ridden by former UK champion Helen Wyman. But you still get hidden mudguard mounts if you are looking for all-rounder and winter bike capability.
All three bikes have the same geometry, designed for plenty of shouldering space in the front triangle. Although set up with the stem angled upwards, you can easily flip it for a lower racing position.
Kona says that the new frame is over 10% stiffer through the down tube, seat tube chainstays and head tube, but also has a more compliant rear triangle. The Jake frames also feature a press fit bottom bracket, for a stiff shell without excess weight.
The Jake is single ring or two ring compatible. The £4399 Super Jake gets a SRAM Force 1 drivetrain, while the £2999 Major Jake and £1799 Jake the Snake get two ring groupsets, Shimano 105 and Tiagra respectively, although Kona sees single ring growing in importance in the future.
Kona has kept with a 31.6mm seatpost, rather than the 27.2mm which is becoming common. Why? Because it sees compatibility with dropper posts as important going forward. There are four internal channels in the bottom bracket shell, so you can fit a dropper control. Kona has designed the cable routing to ensure that the cables are held under tension and do not rattle in the down tube.
All Jakes now get tool-free 12mm thru-axles, internal cables and flat mount hydraulic disc brakes. They also have a new all-carbon fork, which is shared with Kona’s new gravel bikes. The fork has external hose routing, which Kona says leads to easier maintenance than running it internally.
All Jakes also come with tubeless-ready rims, with the top spec Super Jake getting Clement’s new 23mm internal width Ushuaia rims and the other bikes WTB i19 Asym rims. Tyres are tubeless-ready on the Super Jake and Major Jake, although not on the alloy Jake the Snake.
There’s a frameset-only option too for the Super Jake.
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