Weaknesses: Stock Cranks, Cassette too small, I hate cross crankset gearing
Bottom line? I picked it up used for under $400 and was very impressed with the stock setup. However... I had a bunch of "better" parts in the bin, so I made it a little tighter/ lighter. I LOVE this bike. LOVE. I take it on some rougher trails and it feels solid under my feet. This alu. frame is quite overbuilt. It feels more like steel. Like I said, I love it.
Bike Setup: 2000 Kona JtS in that hideous green color, pink IRC cross tyres, Shimano 105 9 speed shifters, Mavic Aksiums, Sram s300 crankset, sram 11-28 cassette, Fizik Aliente
a Weekend Warrior
from Fort Collins
Date Reviewed: November 8, 2010
Strengths: Strong and tough. Cheap, cool looking.
Weaknesses: None that I know much about.
I got this bike a year ago as a commuter. The knobbies that came with the bike wore out shortly, so I put on some slicks. This bike makes a great commuter! I am not scared to go over curbs at a reasonable speed, and I travel really fast. It feels stable at all times, keeping me up top when I decide to get around pedestrians through bumpy grass or whatever. I have tried a bit of cross riding, and this bike handled excellently. Overall, I would recommend this bike to anyone looking for a good quality and very sturdy commuter.
Similar Products Used: This was my first bike that was over 500 dollars and not a mountain bike.
Bike Setup: Shimano Tiagra components, 32mm slick tires.
a Cross Country Rider
from Mill Valley, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: June 3, 2010
Strengths: Light weight, great fork, fast with road triple gearing, versatile.
Weaknesses: Not as light or fast as a pure road bike. Can't just sit back and bomb on trail descents.
Ordered this frame online as a mixed fire road/pavement commuter because I get tired of riding with traffic all the time and don't want to drag a 30 lb mountain bike when it's not needed. built it up with a mix of used and bargain parts, such as the forte brifters from Performance, less than half the price of Ultegra. Put the whole thing together for under a grand.
The bike has exceeded all expectations- the ride to work is a pleasure over Railroad Grade with the knobby crosswolves, and a quick swap to road slicks produces a road bike lighter and faster than my old steel Trek.
Comes in at just under 21 lbs. with road tires on- cross tires add a half pound. Climbs and handles really well in hilly NorCal. Really recommend it to anyone who wants a road bike but thinks they might dabble in the dirt from time to time.
Similar Products Used: None- have a FS MTB and used to commute on a steel racing bike.
Bike Setup: 2010 JTS frame w/kona carbon fork, mavic aksium wheels, Shimano 105 derailers with Bontrager RaceLIte road triple crankset, Tektro Oryx cantis, 32 mm WTB Crosswolves for dirt, 23 mm Continental Gran Prix 4000s for road
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: January 27, 2010
Strengths: This bike has an excellent initial spec. If you want to spend the money to be serious it can land you in the 1500-2000 range without wasting your cash. Very stiff. Very responsive. Great gravel road/trail or light trail bike.
Weaknesses: Not for serious touring. Not for ultra serious trails unless you love going slow or walking. The chainstays are too short for real rack/pannier setup. Steel is for touring, aluminum is for racing and/or training. Not a ton of tire clearance.
If you want to:
1) Ride light trails
2) Get into cross but be serious
3) Have a great commuter/racer/tourer/trainer
4) Buy a Kona
Excellent do everything bike. Won't ride serious trails, if you say it can, I'd like to see you there.
Bike Setup: 56cm JTS 2009, eno Hub, fixed/free, 42t profile ring, bell laps
a Cross Country Rider
from Calgary, AB, Canada
Date Reviewed: May 3, 2009
Strengths: Comfortable, fast ride for urban commutes over rough terrain, on and off sidewalks. Early season gravel and pot holes are no problem.
Weaknesses: Cantilever brakes don't have the stopping power for quick stops in traffic (to avoid cars). Adjustment period for stopping, and hard to switch between this bike and other bikes with say, hydraulic disk brakes.
This bike is fun and fast to ride. The urban commute through traffic and up and down big hills is no problem. Comfortable riding position and addition of auxilary brakes, helps with lots of hand positions. The 2009 JTS has carbon forks and retro green color looks really hot.
Easy to jump off and on curbs and just feels more efficient than my old ride. Recommend this to anyone looking for a commuting bike where you have some distance and want speed with comfort and reliability.
Similar Products Used: None. Have used an old mountain bike with rigid fork, slick tires and flat bar for commuting.
Bike Setup: Stock
Added rear rack, fenders, mirror and bell
a Cross Country Rider
from Portland, Oregon, USA
Date Reviewed: February 18, 2002
Strengths: Aggresive, Comfy, and Strong
Weaknesses: Nothing Screams out so far...
I almost missed work on my first ride. This bike rocks. I happy to have a new girlfriend named Jake. You can not go wrong with this bike... Beside the usual swap of parts. (Stem, Cranks, Ect) which will only be done if and when the originals bust. You need not change a thing. This will be my Race bike, Commuter, and weekend thrasher. If you ride off road at all. You need not buy a road bike. Buy a cross bike. Buy a Jake the Snake...
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: February 8, 2000
Strengths: Stiff frame works great when you hammer, positive feeling front end, solid package overall.
Weaknesses: Chromed plastic bar plugs pop out when you crash. Straight fork pretty harsh.
I'm using Jake for a 50k return commute on about a 50/50 gravel/pavement route. Big ring and drops on the pavement, smaller ring and hoods for the gravel. About 1000' of climbing and Jake honks up it and feels stable coming down. A great all around bike and I think probably 95% of mountain bike buyers would be better off with something similar.
a Cross-Country Rider
from Santa Cruz
Date Reviewed: June 18, 1999
Strengths: Versatile well-designed great spec - mostly sweet ride
Weaknesses: squeaky Ritchey brake Funky Sugino crank needs bigger cassette front toe overlap at slow speeds Horrible stock saddle Freds think I'm Jake!
I'm quite tempted to say this is the favorite bike currently in my quiver. And that's saying quite a bit considering how much I adore my Klein. But this bike is the absolute bomb! It can handle anything you throw at it. Yes, the 700C wheels wont take brain-dead decents -- you really need to pick your lines, but that only helps improve ones handling skills. It's a tremendous commute bike, fast comfy and durable. I cant wait to race it in next year's Surf City Cyclocross season! Road tires turn it into a pretty fast hotrod. The steel fork is comfy but tracks very well. Okay, heres the nits I can pick. I had to swap out the front brake cause the Ritchey Logic canti would not stop squealing. I had an old pair of XT cantis laying around that solved that. The saddle was this plastic Nitrox number. Might be okay for mud riding cause it just wipes clean, but that was gone after the first day. But who sticks with the stock seat anyway? The stock cassette wasnt geared low enough for me, so I slapped on a 32-T XTR cassette. My toe hits the front wheel at very slow speeds,when the pedal is forward, but it hasnt been a major problem. Finally, the crank - which has worked fine - is a bland Sugino unit. It says High strength and precision on the driveside arm, which I think is kinda cheesy.But overall, this is an excellent riding, cool looking, very versatile rig. I cant understand why anyone who loves the dirt would buy a true roadbike when a 'cross bike offers 90% of the road speed, plus the advantage of dirt-worthiness. 5 chilies, minus one for the brake, saddle and cassette choices
Similar Products Used: Schwinn SuperSport road bike Klein HT Redline Cyclo-X
Date Reviewed: April 7, 1999
Strengths: Light weight, excellent handling, frame comes well prepped from factory, tons o' clearance, sweet orange paint job, excellent service from factory.
Weaknesses: Fork a little heavy(but very precise), down tube cable stops lack ability to have barrel adjusters on frame.
Excellent deal due to quality construction, fiinish work, handling and price. I wish the fork was a little lighter, but then the last fork I had was a Kinesis Cross-Lite. The frame is amazingly comfortable, especially for oversize aluminum. I heartily reccomend it to any one. Just make sure you score some inline barrel adjusters(Klein is a great source) or use a rear derailluer that has one built in,
Similar Products Used: GT cross frame, Redline cross, Bianchi cross.
Bike Setup: Chris King headset and hubs, Mavic Open Pro rims, Race Face cranks, 105 9-speed STI shifters, Sachs derailluers and chain, Onza brakes, Control Tech handlebar and seatpost, Salsa drop bar and skewers, Vittoria tires, Time pedals.
Sneaking in from the fat bike forum..
I went to my LBS to see about getting a summer wheel set for my Mukluk and while talking, looked over and saw the "Jake the Snake" bike. Way Cool and bike lust set in. Guy let my husband and I take two out (he had the smaller orange?red? one) and I had the ... Read More »
This 2013 JtS has a decent overall rating at 8/10, the road.cc verdict being “Fast enough for racing, fun enough for playing”…
Interesting points made about:
- the poor rear mud clearance due to the chainstay bridge (I did experience this yesterday in muddy Normandy…)
- internal cables’ issues ... Read More »
[FONT="Verdana"]Anyone know what's the widest tire I can put on my (09) Jake the Snake with stock carbon fork? I'm currently riding on Kenda SB8 (35C) and on occasion I'll slap on a set of Kommandos also in 35C. After CX season is over I want to stuff the widest tire possible for some trail riding. ... Read More »
I know it's a cyclocross bike, but there are many Kona fans in here. Anyone have a carbon fork Jake the Snake? The front end is noisy and I'm thinking it's the fork flexing and causing noise. Certainly not a lose headset, since I tightened to the point of the bearing not moving freely and the noise ... Read More »