Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Jeff Jones

I was lucky enough to have a brief time to speak to Jeff Jones and a brief ride of his latest incarnation of titanium rolling art. There has been a lot of chat on the forums with regard the beauty and geometry (and admittedly the price) of his bikes. Here are my thoughts.

The bike in question is a new design based on ultra low standover, ultra flexible in vertical plane and using extending chainstays to tension the chain. The seat angle is fairly lax as is the head angle, with a longer rake on that amazing truss fork. This keeps trail sorted. The chainstays are very short, comparable to 26 inch wheel length. All this gives a super agile bike, adept at lofting the front wheel over obstacles but retaining stability at speed. It's certainly a good way to butter the bread but requires a 'fuselage' approach with a lot of proprietary bits and bobs.

The ride: Admittedly this was a flip-flopped test, but I was left with the very certain impression I would like to try the bike for much longer over much rougher terrain. It handles like a bike. A good bike. The frame is super sweet and stiff to pedal but the amount of travel (if we can call it thus) is *amazing*. It really utilises the metal properties of Ti.

Construction: Top notch, beautiful welds, supreme attention to detail. Certainly as nice as my Seven, but a whole bunch more work involved. You really have to see it to appreciate how much work this thing took to construct.

Overall: Waiting list~? eep. In terms of aesthetics I love the swoopiness. I think I prefer a less pronounced version (see pic below) but then you wouldn't get the insane bump eating flex.

Jeff himself: A great geezer. Very knowledgeable and quite clearly in this for the love of it. A top notch rider too as you may glean if you spend any time on his website or reading others' thoughts.

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