I built this bike in 2009. It’s made from 4130 chromoly. It came about from riding the tandem home alone from the school after dropping off the kids and from riding an old heavy Chinese ‘workhorse’ bike I’ve had for an age – both are ‘long’ bikes and both very stable. The Long Ranger was built to test a few ideas. The method here is that to build the best bike you have to go past that point. It’s experimental and bold to go beyond perfect and come back to it rather than inch up to what might seem perfect but you won’t know unless you go too far.

This is a long bike with some careful thought given to fork rake and trail and such – I was looking to get the Jones handling ‘dialed-in’. It is very comfortable and surprisingly nimble. The traction is good. Excellent on steep descents and climbs. The ‘sweet spot’ (where you feel so balanced on the bike) is so much bigger on this bike than others. When I built it I was talking to tire makers about a 29×2.95 tire. Their minimum order quantities meant it was a non-starter for me but the frame was built with such tires in mind. Hence Surly’s (impressive) Knard fits in nicely (front and back).

The Long Ranger name defines its application; big rides, hours in the saddle, with (or without) bike-packing luggage. On both technical trails and dirt roads – paved roads too. It really delivers a smooth, lively ride. It rides nicely even fully-loaded. I’m very pleased with how it has turned out and I’ve learned a lot from it.

I’m hoping to organize a production run in 2014. As I said, it’s experimental and the concepts and characteristics might well be tweaked a little for production. And I have other bikes I’m testing too. It is all very exciting but tricky too for Sheila and I to combine all my ideas with the realities of the business. It’s going well and things are happening – we have plans. The good thing is Jones bicycles are getting made and being ridden. Happy customers loving their bikes (and telling me so) is what I want. The bikes I have available now are excellent.