Kona was one of the first mainstream (for certain values of “mainstream”) brands to embrace cyclocross bikes – it’s had various ‘crossers in its range for several years. They’ve always been popular, at least in part because Kona is pretty realistic about what most CX bikes actually get used for – the Jake and Jake The Snake are both described as “cyclo-cross/utility” bikes.
We don’t have prices for the 2008 bikes yet, but we have pictures and specs. The Jake is the entry-level bike, and the one that most plays to the all-rounder tag. It’s clearly CX-shaped, with Avid Shorty 4 canti brakes and Maxxis Locust tyres. But the FSA Gossamer MegaExo chainset comes equipped with three chainrings, marking the Jake out as more of a recreational/utility bike than a CX racer.
Next step up is the Jake The Snake. It shares the butted 7005 aluminium frame of the Jake but teams it with a carbon fibre ‘cross fork (rather than the Jake’s chromoly Project 2). You also get a racier spec, with a CX-specific version of the FSA Gossamer chainset, Mavic Aksium wheels and Shimano 105 drivetrain.
Top of the tree is the Major Jake, Kona’s ‘cross team race bike. The frame is butted Scandium alloy, with an Easton EXC90 carbon fibre fork. Wheels are Mavic Ksyrium Equipes, tyres are Maxxis Raze and transmission is a blend of Shimano Ultegra and 105.