We also now have ESI Chunky grips in a custom size for the Loop H-Bar.
I just finished building David’s bike with the ESI grips – they are very comfortable and feel very durable. The grip is good. Use them with or without bar tape.
I custom build all the wheels for the bikes and rolling chassis that we sell. I built my first wheels in 1985 and I still love it. I spend too much time doing it. I have a method and I get the tension very even and the wheel true and round. I seat the spokes and tension again and again for a strong and reliable wheel.
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.
“Took my time putting the bike together this week. So far only 1000% satisfied, but I’m sure that will go up! The truss was a little daunting, but went together very easy. Right now I have 10mm stack height, bars and seat as you can see ~level.
Thank you guys so much! Best bike I’ve ever had”
I have been talking for a while now with a few shops about becoming a dealer for my bikes in the USA. Up until now I’ve been the sole source of Jones bikes – well myself and Sheila. We now have our first USA bike shop dealer for frames and bikes. North Central Cyclery in DeKalb, Illinois (their Facebook and the staff).
North Central Cyclery has been selling my H-Bars since 2011. They have always been a pleasant shop to work with. You just get a good feeling/vibe from them. They are a shop that is community oriented. They know their bikes and are not limited to one kind of bike or ride. They serve all types of riders. They often build up nice bikes for customers instead of just off-the-shelf (out-of-the-box) bikes.
After all our conversations I knew they would be a good dealer to carry Jones because they understand my bike and all the possibilities. They will have a Jones for test riding. They will be building complete bikes for their customers. I have been taking with Tobie and it sounds like he’ll be building up some nice rides. I’m really happy to be working with them – it’s an exciting new chapter for me and Jones Bicycles.
Photograph, courtesy of Grant © www.grantrobinson.com
Grant, a photographer working for Privateer, visited me last week. He was here for a couple of days, seeing the work I do, the shop and things. He took some pictures. There will be a story in an upcoming issue which I’m looking forward to seeing and reading. It should be interesting – we had a fun time.
I designed/developed/evolved the geometry of this bike out on the tight single track trails in the woods and the dirt and gravel mountain roads near my shop here in Oregon. It is a “mountain bike” but is also an All Terrain Bike (ATB). This geometry is really good on the road as well as off. The big wheels are very efficient and ride really well when combined with the rigid-specific frame and fork design. This bike is excellent in the city and for touring.
Touring bikes often have shorter ETT (effective top tube length) and slacker seat tube angles with lower BB (bottom bracket) than road racing bikes. This bike has these attributes and is also stiff enough from front-to-rear to handle a big load. The wide front hub makes for a stiff and strong front wheel and with the stout Jones unicrown fork this means the front end will track very well – with or without panniers.
Narrower tires have always been popular for touring and are probably most common on touring bikes today but wider tires are more efficient and they provide a better ride – more traction, cushioning, control and safety than a narrow tires (which have to be run at higher pressures). There are good articles about rolling resistance, why bigger tires are better and why road racers use skinny tires at www.schwalbetires.com/tech_info/rolling_resistance and www.schwalbetires.com/wider_faster_page
There is much more out there on this subject (eg www.bikequarterly.com/images/BQ64TireTest.pdf) and I recommend you read as much as you can, and decide for yourself what will best work for you.
I believe big tires are more efficient. I think the ride is more comfortable with the lower air pressure and you save energy because you are more relaxed and comfortable with these wheels – it is less fatiguing. This particular bike has plenty of room for Schwalbe 28(29”) x 2.35” Big Apple tires or the lighter Super Moto tires. They are wide and efficient and give a great ride.
As well as frame-fitting packs (which are excellent for off-road adventures) you can always go touring on this Jones with a conventional rack and panniers setup. The frame has rear rack mounts. The rear rack is a Tubus Logo Evo +2cm/29er and the front rack is a Tubus Duo – my fork is built with the mounts brazed on for this rack. The bags are Ortlieb’s Back Roller Classic and Front Roller Classic – excellent panniers. There are also some pictures here with everything fitted at once – overkill but I wanted to show all the options!
My H-bar handlebar is perfect for touring and city riding. You have many good hand positions, from an upright/rearward/tech handling position to a near flat back aero position up front and many positions in between. You don’t need to ride on the hoods of your drops all day or the couple of hand options a standard flat handlebar offers. The Loop H-bar also provides a lot of space for lights and computers (or additional luggage).
This bike can be fitted with full fenders (as shown in some of the pictures). The frame has three bottle cage mounts (and Crud Catcher mounts on the down tube) and comes with gear and singlespeed rear dropouts (and an Eccentric Bottom Bracket). Components here are; Shimano XT 3×10 gearing, Avid BB7 cable disc brakes, Cane Creek headset, Thomson seatpost and stem and a WTB saddle. The wheels are 36° rear and 32° front – Velocity Blunt 35 (35mm) rims (and Jones 135-F front hub). It’s good.