Sunday, April 3, 2016

More Jones, and Fleet Update

I had last week off for Spring Break, which consisted of working madly to get our house ready for sale this month (I was almost happy to get back to work this week). In between spreading mulch, loading a POD, and rebuilding our back patio, I had a chance to take advantage of our unusually dry weather and hit the trails. Alum P2 was up first:

This was my first real ride (ie, not just around the local Dublin trails) on the Jones, and it went really well. The handling that I liked on Jonsie was still apparent: it combines stability through rock and roots, with confidence inspiring handling pointed down, and still keeps a nimble feel in the tight and slow stuff. I've never had another bike that could master all of this so capably.

Of course, there were some nits to pick:

- the front cables rattled on the truss fork, which I solved with some zip ties that I had in my Camelback:

(I later trimmed the ends)

- on hard hill climbs when I was in the bottom two gears in back, the chain would lightly rub on the tire. There isn't much clearance here:

I think I solved this issue today by moving my chainring from the inner to the outer position on my crankset.

- I find the through axle to be a general pain, not nearly as easy to use a QR. Though it is super secure:

- my grips slipped on my bars, solved by switching the outermost grip to a lock on grip

- it doesn't fit in my trunk! So I had to break out my trunk rack again, because my roof rack only works with shorter wheelbase bikes with QR forks:

Oddly, I brought home a North American Car of the Year 2016 Civic four door the other day, and the Jones fit fine in the back of that. Even though my Accord is larger, the Civic has more pass through space when the seats are folded.

Niggles, all. I took the Jones to Chestnut Ridge on Thursday, and it rolled around that course just fine:

Even with my spring fitness, I zipped up the climb to the apple barn.

The Jones is very responsive when I jump on pedals and need it to move.

What's also interesting is that early in the season my lower back often gets a bit sore while riding. Even after spreading 75 bags of mulch, I was fine after riding the Jones for an hour. The Loop bars give a great range of hand positions, from very upright to completely aero, from narrow to wide.

I'm very pleased with my Jones Plus (even if I can't get my front tire set up tubeless)

My bike budget was almost back to positive after buying the Jones when I came across another big old Trek on my local CL. I have had some seller's remorse since selling my old 620, so when I spotted this one yesterday, I gave it 24 hours before giving in to go check it out. The 510 is a bit lighter gauged tubing than the 620, though not quite so low trail. The frame felt very lively on a quick test ride, so I talked the guy down a bit and brought it home:

I really like the one sided rear derailer cage:

The bottom bracket was loose, the seat post was too small, the seat binder bolt had been replaced with a standard bolt, but the frame overall is in decent condition. I figured I would set this aside until we moved, but that lasted all of five minutes before I started stripping parts off and cleaning it up. Those white wall tires need to go.

I tapped out the seat binder and put in a metric bolt, and I figure I'll update most of the parts with stuff from my bin. My idea is try a 650B conversion again (!), with maybe something like some Albatross bars. A sporty, fast, comfy all rounder type thing--though when I saw how much longer the rear dropouts are compared to my old Trek, I started thinking fixed gear again. 

Current fleet image:

1) Jones, all things mountain

2) Karate Monkey, kid puller and camper

3) Trek, fast road bike

Which leaves the NAP and my old Raleigh out in the cold. Stay tuned.


  1. Man, I wish I could get my fleet down to 3 or even 4. Jones? Keeper. Waltworks? Keeper. Surly Pug? Keeper. Road bike? Need it. Other bikes are nice to have, but not necessarily a necessity. Fargo, Big Dummy, Cross Check, old GF Ziggurat. Don't use them that much, but just can't give them up. I have a problem.

    1. My problem isn't the overall size, but the turnover. But as they say, the first step is admitting you have a problem...

  2. Did you own a regular Jones previously? If so, feedback on how these two compare? I'm tempted to try out a Plus, but I don't think the cost/benefit is there over my current spaceframe.

    1. No, the Plus is my first Jones experience. I was worried the regular model was a bit small for 6'3" me.
      With already owning a Jones, at least you can share the front wheel for a while--that would give you some savings at the start.

    2. Well, the older (regular non-Plus) Jones are made for 135mm front hubs, not 142 T/A, so no go on sharing wheels. Still intriguing though. Hopefully I can ride one to compare.


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