While Tom Jones' Kona Jake is the second bike to be featured here on The Complete Jewish Cyclist, it shares the dual distinction of being the first cyclocross bike and the first race bike (yishar koach!). Though mainstream cyclists may not be familiar with the Kona brand, serious enthusiasts and racers have an almost cult-like affinity for the Ferndale, WA-based company. Perhaps the best known Kona is the bright orange Major Jake of newly-crowned U.S. national cyclocross champion Ryan Trebon, and the Kona line of 'cross bikes, including the Jake, are a popular sight on any local cyclocross circuit such as the MAC/MABRA series, which Tom races as part of the Proteus cycling team.
Tom's Jake is the entry-level model amongst Kona's three 'cross bikes, but shares the same geometry and 7005 butted aluminum frame as the mid-level Jake the Snake, differing only in the use of a steel fork versus a carbon fork. Still, even though the Jake is geared towards a broader range of riders than the top-of-the line Major Jake, which is geared towards racers only, the Jake itself is very much a race-ready bike and is the race bike of many local cyclocrossers. With its versatility, however, the Jake also makes for a fine commuter or long-distance touring bike.
Tom himself put the Jake through its paces in his first-ever cyclocross season this year, and pulled it (and himself) through in one piece with some pretty gutsy performances in some very demanding races. He also plans to put the bike to an equally demanding challenge by riding all 186 miles of the C&O Canal in one day later this year, a ride which The Complete Jewish Cyclist is also giving serious consideration to doing. You can follow Tom's riding and racing at his blog (www.528k.com).
Thank you Tom for submitting your rig to Bikes of the Jewish Peleton, and be sure to keep it nice and muddy.
If you have a bike you would like us to feature on The Complete Jewish Cyclist, send an e-mail with some info on the bike and a picture of the bike pasted into the e-mail (sorry, no attachments or downloads) to firstname.lastname@example.org.