Ride on-road. Ride off-road. Ride pavement. Ride gravel. Ride mud. Ride Everything. 5000km in, and I thought it was about time to give some more feedback, on the awesome Kona Private Jake.
I gave a low-down of my initial thoughts on 'The Private', after 1000km - in my post: "Kona Private Jake - First Impressions". Another 4000km on, and I've been able to tweak, adapt and personalise the Kona; to be an even more versatile and incredible bike.
So, what's changed on the Kona Private Jake? What has been swapped, replaced and modified? Nothing drastic, but there have been some notable mod's on my long term test rig…
After 1000km, the WTB Cross Boss tubeless tyres that came on the Kona Private Jake were beginning to show significant wear and tear. I have swapped them out, for a set of Schwalbe X-One tyres for off-roading, and a set of Schwalbe G-One tyres (reviewed on the Wiggle blog here) for general commuting and gravel tracks.
Both the X-One and G-One tubeless tyres have proven to be notable upgrades. The X-one hooks up on rough corners, with more confidence than the WTB tyres ever did. The G-One is surprisingly quick on hard-pack and tarmac; but it holds its own on off-road terrain, too. Both sets of tyres work really well on the stock Novatec Thirty 30 wheelset, which comes on the Kona Private Jake; mounting up tubeless without a hint of bother.
Perhaps the biggest change, and the most notable in terms of performance, is to upgrade I've made to the gearing on the Kona Private Jake; with a longer cage SRAM Rival derailleur, and a larger SRAM PG-1130 Cassette 11-42.
The lower range gearing on the cassette, means that I have been able to ride significantly more technical off-road inclines; while also being a god-send on Monday morning commutes, when my legs are weary after a big weekend ride. The real reason for the change though, is that I plan to use this bike for a bikepacking expedition over the Pyrenees next month (read more here about my 'Coasts and Cols Tour'); I'll need those gears for the mountains!
What's not changed?
What about the things that have remained the same? The stock components that have stood up to the test of time?
Well, it's pretty much everything else; aside from the gearing and tyres. The finishing kit, wheels, frame, saddle, brakes, bar tape, and even brake pads, have remained as came on the bike. For a bike of this price, that is an impressive accolade; normally I'd have to at least switch out the saddle and bar tape for added comfort, especially when I'm planning a 1900km tour on the bike!
The stock kit on the Kona Private Jake has remained stellar. It has put up with some serious use and abuse over the last 5,000 kilometres; and it is still going strong.
The Kona Private Jake continues to impress. I've chosen it as my bike for the 'Coasts and Cols Tour', which is testament to how comfortable and capable it is.
I've changed a few elements of the build; but the majority of the stock components remain in use, which shows what a great specification this bike has. I've ridden the Private through anything and everything, and always had confidence in its capabilities and performance.