Last week, Jeff and I (Brendon) got out for a ride in the woods here in Southern Oregon.

Jeffinthetrees

 

jeffwheelie

We wanted to go out and ride two very different Jones bikes, and see how they handled on the same terrain: I rode the new thru-axle titanium Spaceframe, and Jeff rode the new brown Plus bike.

b-rockmove

Riding the rocks on the Spaceframe

Coming from the freight train-like feel of the 25″ Plus bike, which I really like, the ti Spaceframe reminded me of the the one Harry Potter movie I have seen, where kids were riding flying brooms.  Those brooms looked ridiculously maneuverable, and though it may seem like a strange comparison, this bike felt a bit like that.  Compared to the 25″ Plus that I’m used to, it’s much smaller, which wasn’t really a problem at all–mostly, I suspect, because of how much the H-bars allowed me to adjust my position fore-aft.  The smaller size also accentuated the already nimble geometry of the Jones 29.  I was able to easily thread my way through trees and around switchbacks that I normally have to really work for.  The particular bike I was riding is a super light build, and that just made the already nimble handling feel even more playful.  I was amazed how much I was able to just float over rough sections and re-position the bike on different parts of the trail as needed.

bswitchback

Switchbacks on the ti spaceframe

Going to the smaller tires (compared to the Plus bike), I was expecting to have a rougher ride at the saddle, but that wasn’t the case at all: the Spaceframe has a lots vertical compliance, and it’s something I really appreciated on the trail as well as on the gravel road on the way back into town.  In the end I couldn’t really say which bike I preferred riding.  The Plus bike is fast in a calm and  collected way (mature might be a way to describe it), whereas the ti Spaceframe was playful, with razor-sharp handling, but without the harshness that I usually associate with that type of handling.  In the end, they both feel great, but I think that were I going to ride super-tight, technical terrain most of the time, the ti Spaceframe would be ideal, whereas for the ultimate long-distance charger, the Plus might have an edge.  At the end of the day, both bikes were great, and it was an amazing day out in the woods!

Jeff negotiating one of many steep switchbacks

Jeff negotiating one of many steep switchbacks

jeffbridge

Jeff crossing one of many creeks on the ride