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