Steve was one of Jeff’s early customers, and he recently bought a titanium Jones Plus 148 rolling chassis.  He sent us some photos of his rides on the new bike, and seeing them made Jeff remember the fairly encyclopedic MTBR thread that Steve kept up about his first Jones experience.  If you’re not familiar with the Aquaholic “And so it begins!” thread (or even if you are and haven’t seen it for a while) check it out!  It’s a pretty amazing chronicle of Jeff and Steve’s riding and the first bike that Jeff build for him.

 

Steve on a ride with Jeff back in 2004 on one of Jeff’s early Spaceframes.

As you can see, Steve really likes technical terrain, and the short wheelbase Jones 29 was built to be about as maneuverable and capable for that type of riding as possible.  Below are some more photos of Jeff and Steve riding here in Southern Oregon before Jeff built Steve’s frame.

 

Jeff riding in the rocks on one of his early bikes.

 

Steve dropping off onto some really steep stuff back in 2004.

 

Jeff on one of the rockiest descents in Ashland, back in 2004.

 

Steve on a big rock roll in 2004.

The bike that Jeff built for Steve was one of last framesets that could be called a “pre-production” Jones 29, and if you look at the bikes that Jeff and Steve are riding early in the thread and then compare them to the bike that Jeff builds for Steve, you’ll notice that the Truss fork on the early ones don’t look like the the current forks, but the one Jeff builds for Steve does.  This is just one of the more noticeable changes that happened at that time, but together they formed an important part of making the Jones 29.  Getting such an in-depth look into the construction process of an early Jones shows just how much work went into making these frames and forks, and it’s worth noting that just because Jeff isn’t doing that himself anymore, each frame and fork still goes through a more streamlined version of the same process: the tubes are still bent, mitered and welded by skilled people.  They are able to make the parts more quickly and test them to make sure they pass the stringent EN Mountain Bike standards, but the essential building process is the same.

 

 

Steve’s 2005 Jones Truss fork.

 

Steve’s 2005 Jones Truss fork.  Note that this early Truss fork had 100mm dropout spacing.

 

Jeff with the fork legs he’s just bent for Steve’s fork in 2005.

 

Steve’s 2005 Jones 29 frame in the Jig. Note that the seat tube is welded, not bent. Jeff later switched to bent seat tubes.

 

Steve’s 2005 Jones 29 frame tacked up in the Jig.

 

Steve’s finished bike as a singlespeed with the Salsa Gordo rims, which were the widest rims available at the time.

 

Steve’s finished bike as a singlespeed.

 

Steve’s bike with custom 3 speed system that Jeff made for it.

Once the frame and fork were done, Jeff built the bike up and rode it (at Steve’s request).  Jeff gave it quite the range of shakedown rides!  We still ride each of the bikes we build today (though we keep it to in town)!   Here are a few photos from that period:

 

Jeff testing Steve’s bike in the snow.

 

Jeff in his shop.

 

Jeff testing Steve’s bike.

Now Steve’s out on his new Plus, and from the photos we’ve seen, he isn’t slowing down!  It’s worth mentioning that Steve is 6’4″, and he really likes the feel of the Medium (24″) Plus because the smaller size is easy to throw around, which is important for the kind of riding he’s doing.  For someone of his height we would almost always recommend the Large (25″) size, unless they are doing the kind of trials-influenced riding he’s doing almost exclusively, in which case the smaller size is a great option.  After years on the short wheelbase Jones 29, Steve said that:

“My first few rides were shakedown rides. The long wheelbase and stays were strange to me at first. It felt like turning a bus compared to my other JJ bikes. But, it was a much smoother and faster ride. I didn’t get bucked and pitched as much as I do on the other bikes. It’s harder to manual and wheelie for me, but, it just takes more thought and effort to loft the front end. BTW, those wheels are strong..I mistimed lifting the front wheel on a curb and smashed hard into the square edge of the curb. That wheel didn’t so much as flinch!”

and

“Another thing I noticed after last wed’s right was that after I got down from ATT, I was far less beat up and tired than normally.”

Steve sent us this photo of his new Jones Plus 148 all built up.

Here are some photos from Steve’s recent rides on his new Jones Plus:

Steve on his Jones Plus.

 

Steve on his Jones Plus.

 

Steve on his Jones Plus.

 

Steve’s new Jones Plus.

 

Steve riding his new Jones Plus.