The UK importer of Jones Bikes, Biff, stopped by the office the other day with this enormous piece of loveliness – a prototype Jones Plus 29er+ (or 29+er? I dunno)…
Like many 29+ bikes, this one looks absolutely huge up close, but it’s surprisingly in proportion. It comes in two flavours, with a 24in and a 25in effective top tube (this is the longer one). You pick a top tube length and tailor it by altering the length of the stem you run. Apparently Jeff is keen not to go down the ‘this is a big bike for big rider’ route, which is fair enough – but that longer bike’s 25in top tube still seems like great news for taller folk who’ve admired Jones’ bikes in the past but felt disinclined to get one to fit by sticking a stem like a toddler’s arm on it.
Here are some words from Jeff’s blog – which also has a bit more info on geometry etc:
I did not design this bike based on market research, a reaction to what other people were making, or because people were suggesting I make ‘this’ bike or ‘that’ bike – their idea of what I should do next. I made this bicycle because I wanted it and I think many others will love it too. I realized that I do not need or want a bike that has the absolute shortest wheel base possible for every ride, and I knew that you don’t need to have a steep head or seat angle to have a responsive bike that is fast, efficient and comfortable.
I designed my 29er bike years ago with a slacker seat tube angle, slacker head tube angle, shorter reach, lower BB and more fork offset than what was considered correct and normal at the time. I did this for a better ride based on what I had learned, not because it was popular. Nowadays many 29ers have more fork offset and slacker seat tube angles etc. Some have even branded and marketed this change in geometry… I never named my geometry, but if I did, let’s call it “JJ1 Geometry”, then this Jones Plus has “JJ2 geometry”. I spent hours working on it – centering the rider, considering the BB height, the angle and offsets, the rake and trail – the ride is everything.
People might try and simplify it – “it’s just a long wheelbase Jones with 29+ tires” but it isn’t. It’s so much more. It is NOT slow handling. I’ve done so much work to make it still ride the way I want a bike to ride. Hours of geometry drawings and thinking. Notes and testing. This is really even more of a ‘rigid specific geometry’ for a ride that is much more comfortable and stable yet still with very quick handling. It is balanced in a way you wouldn’t expect. It’s big but feels right. You ride very much in this bike. There’s no roughness, no “I’m gonna crash” sensation or fears. It’s just smooth! And it climbs. If you stand there’s no wheelie. It’s planted. It delivers excellent traction and a huge sweetspot (and I don’t mean the tire contact area – I’m talking about the big space for the rider to move around (in the bike) and still have their position, the grip and the power transfer working for them).
The Jones Plus is a bike for riding fast, slow, the rough with the smooth; safely, aggressively, laid-back or raging; with a big load or stripped to the bare essentials; on road, dirt, mud, snow; in the mountains, on the flat lands, around town or across the county; around the world or your local loop; for getting rad or just getting away. It sets a new standard for bikepacking yes, but it’s so much more than that – it’s a bike for technical trails and big trips. It really does it all. I’m really excited by this bike. It’s good.
• Unique Jones Geometry frameset – frame and forks designed as one.
• EBB geometry adjustment accommodates rider/tire/use choices
• Steel Diamond frame and Truss fork
• 4130 cromo (custom-butted top and down tubes)
• Excellent clearance for 29+ tires (10mm+ clearance either side with a 29+ tire – with 29er tire you can get a palm in between the tire and stays).
• Ample chainring/stay clearance
• Huge frame pack capacity (Jones bikepacking bags available).
• TIG welded – brazed on cable guides, bottle, rack and fender bosses.
• Multiple rear rack and fender mounts for the best rack/fender/tire size fit (extra bosses allow you to have the rack at a height to suit the tires/wheels) so very versatile and accommodating of different equipment and different set-ups.
• Jones Truss fork – comfortable, precise handling, no brake stutter.
• 135mm front hub for more front wheel stiffness and strength.
• Fork accommodates 29, 29+ and 26 x 4.8in tires
All details from here.
This steel 25in Jones is touring the UK – it currently resides at Keep Pedalling in Manchester and is available for test rides. Price will be £1350 for frame and fork. For more details on Jones in the UK, email Biff.
We’re working on getting one in for test soon. And here’s a video to keep you entertained in the meantime.