The cyclocross season is fast-approaching. Earlier this week we brought you news of the new performance focused, and divisive looking, Canyon Inflite, and today we have news from Kona - it has launched an updated version of its Jake cyclocross model with carbon and aluminium versions sharing the same new features that include disc brakes and thru-axles.
Kona is keen to remind us that the Jake - the family name for its various cyclocross models - has been around for 20 years and what began as a race-bred race bike gradually evolved into a versatile all-round number, ideal for commuting and adventure riding. Well now the company has the Rove, a dedicated adventure/multi-surface bike in its range, the Jake can go back to its race-focused pedigree.
There have been some subtle changes to the geometry as a result of this update. The bottom bracket is 8mm lower to drop the rider’s centre of gravity for a bit of extra high-speed stability. The front triangle size has been increased, to produce more shouldering room for tackling obstacles in a ‘cross race that force a dismount, which in turn has reduced the standover height. Chainstays remain at 425mm length but tyre clearance is good for 40mm.
There are three new frames in the Jake range offering a choice of aluminium and carbon, but the top-end Super Jake we’re focusing on here gets the full carbon fibre treatment. Other updates include a full carbon fork, Shimano E-thru axles at both ends and flat mount hydraulic disc brakes - there are no rim brake ‘cross bikes in Kona’s 2018 range, a move we’re seeing across the industry. Frame weight for a 56cm carbon is a claimed 1,080g and the fork is 460g.
That’s pretty light. But despite that race focus, the carbon frame still has mudguard eyelets so there’s still the possibility of adapting for other riding beside racing around a school playing field. And with clearance for up to 40mm tyres there’s no stopping to swapping out the 33m stock tyres for something with a bit more grrr.
Other details include full internal cable and hose routing, with the main entry port on the top of the down tube - we’re seeing this increasingly on the latest carbon fibre road frames. Bike designers do like to follow trends.
The Super Jake gets a SRAM Force 1x11 groupset with hydraulic disc brakes, Clement Ushuaia tubeless-ready wheels and Clement MXP 33mm tyres, and a Kona and WTB finishing kit.
The Major Jake uses the same frame as the Super Jake but with a Shimano 105 11-speed drivetrain with RS500 double chainset and the same Clement MXP tyres on WTB i19 Asym wheels.
Further down the range, the Jake the Snake switches to an aluminium frame but with all the same details as the carbon version. This model is equipped with a Shimano Tiagra 10-speed groupset and Clement MXP tyres on WTB STP i19 rims.
We’ll add prices once Kona lets us know what they are.
David worked on the road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes.