Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What's the difference between the original Jones 29 and the Jones Plus SWB?
A: The Jones Plus SWB is the evolution of the Jeff's original design and geometry, the Jones 29, and as such there are far more similarities than differences between the two. Simply put, the Jones Plus SWB just has more of what makes a Jones a Jones. Jeff likes being able to run large tires, and the the Jones Plus SWB allows for much larger tires than the Jones 29. It expands the options for racks, fenders, and water bottles as well. For an item-by-item breakdown of the differences (which means that everything else is the same!), please check out this chart.
Q: How can I buy Jones Bikes products?
A: Occasionally we get questions from customers about whether they should go to their local shop or order directly from us...and we also get questions from shops wondering why we sell online, so we wanted to talk about it a little bit.
Jeff started building frames and H-Bars one at a time, so each sale was necessarily one-on-one and direct. As we've grown, more and more shops have wanted to stock our H-Bars and frames, so we’ve set up a dealer program to make it easy to get our products. We also realize that many riders have relationships with their local shops that they want to maintain and we fully support that. Because our main goal is to help more riders have the best-possible ride, we will continue to sell through our webstore at the same time that we continue building our dealer network; this way every rider will have easier access to our products. And whether we sell directly to an end-user, or to a bike shop, we recommend that our H-Bars be installed, and our frames be built up by a qualified mechanic, which is one of the reasons that we try to make it easy for bike shops to stock our products!
It’s our hope that as we move forward, there will be more and more bike shops around the world that will learn about our H-Bars and frames, and how to set them up for the best comfort and performance, so that even more riders can experience the great ride of a Jones Bike!
Q: What kind of grips should I use on my Jones H-Bar?
A: Jeff designed the H-Bars to have the controls positioned as far forward as possible (just behind the crossbar on the Loop H-Bar, and just behind the bend on the Bend H-Bar), you have a lot of grip area open to you, and in order to get the most out of the bars, you need to be able to use that area. We have designed our Jones H-Grips to fill the grip area on the 710mm and the 660mm versions of the H-Bars. By using full length grips, you’ll have the maximum range of hand positions which is one of the great things about the H-Bars, and is part of what makes them so comfortable for any length and any type of ride.
Q: Should I wrap part of my H-Bars?
A: Yes! We recommend wrapping at least the crossbar (on either side of the stem) with bar tape. If you end up resting your forearms across the crossbar and loop on a regular basis, or just like to have the bar tape to hold on to, you can also wrap the two sides of the loop portion of the H-Bar, leaving the center section open so that you still have room to mount lights and any gadgets you might have. We have the Jones H-Bar tape that is sized to fit perfectly on the crossbar of the Loop, or the front loop of the Jones Loop H-Bar. If you want to wrap both the crossbar and the loop, you'll need two packages. Check out the H-Bar manual to see what this looks like.
Q: Does the EBB creak?
A: No! For many years we have used a Bushnell featherweight EBB, which was by far the best EBB we were able to find. It has a large surface area where it contacts the frame, and tightens very securely, making it creak-free for the long haul. We have yet to have any issues with one, but because Jeff is always looking for ways to improve his products, he has developed a new, pinch-bolt style EBB. This new version is even more simple than the Bushnell, and there is even less chance of contamination having any ill-effects on it. Its design allows water and debris to flush through and around it, which allows a wet frame to drain, thereby extending frame life. Both designs are the best of their kind, and are extremely solid and low-maintenance.
Q: What size rims should I use on my bike?
A: We tend to recommend approximately 50mm outside width rims for all of our bikes, or better yet the 56mm width of our Jones C-Rim! On the Jones Plus, we pretty much always recommend at least a 50mm outside width rim. The reason behind the wide rims, even on the Jones 29 and Jones Plus SWB bikes build with 29" wheels, is that we have found that as we widen the spacing between the tire’s beads, it increases air volume, stabilizes the sidewalls by making them more vertical, and leads to fewer pinch flats. The increased air volume is just a factor of opening up the tire a bit more, but the other two points might need a little bit more explaining, and work together closely. As you bring a tire’s sidewalls closer to vertical and increase the width of the rim, you have a tire that’s held more in the rim, as opposed to acting like a balloon that bulges out around the rim. This allows us to use lower air pressure because the tire itself doesn’t need to be as stiff because there’s less tendency for the rim to sink into it (think of the tire as soft snow: a thin object sinks in, while a wide one doesn’t do so as easily) due partly to the rim’s larger surface area which needs to displace a lot more air in order to move down into the tire. The result of this is a tire that’s held more securely between the sidewalls of the rim, and a rim that’s less able to push into the air chamber of the tire. There’s more air overall, the rim displaces more air, and the tire needs less air to remain stable and not get squirmy. This just means that you can run lower air pressure, which allows your tires to soak up more bumps, making it possible for you to ride faster, more comfortably, and longer!
Q: Does the Truss Fork flex to smooth out the ride?
A: No! This question comes up constantly, and it’s a completely understandable misunderstanding, but the fact is that the Truss Fork is designed to be light, strong, and very stiff front to back. The curves at the top and bottom of the fork, combined with the small diameter/ thinwall tubes allow for a very small amount of vertical give to take the edge off vibrations without sacrificing overall stiffness. If you compare the design of the Truss Fork to a bridge or a large crane, you’ll quickly see the resemblance; but what, you might ask, has a crane got to do with a fork? The crane or bridge is designed to be as strong as possible, while using the least amount of material, and the same idea makes sense for a bicycle fork. Jeff wanted a fork that wouldn’t flex backward under hard braking—or under any other circumstance, for that matter—and the truss design, paired with the wide flange spacing on the Jones hubs, accomplishes that beautifully. Of course a stiff fork might sound harsh, and it might be on another bike, but a Jones puts the rider in a position that’s centered over their feet, without a lot of weight on their hands, so you can let the front and rear ends of the bike move around without getting beaten-up. When you add to this the larger volume tires and rims that we recommend, you get a ride that’s unlike any other in its precision, comfort, and control.
Q: Can I put Jones H-Bars on any bike?
A: You bet! While the H-Bars are an integral part of the design of all of the models of Jones bikes, they can work wonders for almost any bike on the planet! Especially if you keep in mind our fit ideal (you want your weight centered on your feet, so the bars need to be high enough and far enough back that you don’t need to lean forward to reach them, and the saddle needs to be far enough back that it balances your weight over your feet), you’ll be able to transform an otherwise uncomfortable bike into something fun and enjoyable to ride. The biggest obstacle we find when helping riders set up their bikes with H-Bars, is a combination of low stem height and long top tube. Because of this, we commonly end up recommending stems that are 40 or 50mm shorter than what they have been using. This seems extreme, but most people have their saddles and bars too far forward, so first off we want to move them back to center them on the bike. After that, we need to consider the range of positions on the H-Bar, and adjust the stem length to make it easy to get to all of them. Sometimes it’s not possible, but in pretty much every case, the result is a handlebar setup that’s so much more comfortable than what the riders were used to that it changes the way they think about riding bikes. Just make sure to bring the H-Bars back toward you enough! A good litmus test with the 710mm version, is that when you have your hands in the position closest to the ends of the bar, you want to be sitting fully upright, with no weight on your hands. The rest of the positions should be readily accessible if that’s the case.
Q: I have a new —-(insert piece of revolutionary bicycle technology here) that I think would work great on, and fit with the aesthetic of Jones Bikes. Have you thought about using it on, or making a Jones for it?
A: This is a great question, and Jeff understands everyone’s enthusiasm for groundbreaking componentry and frame design. He’s constantly researching, and experimenting out around the edges of what’s currently available in his continuing search for the ultimate bicycle, but he also doesn’t have the time or the resources to look into everything that comes along. He pursues his ideas, and keeps tabs on new developments in the rest of the cycling industry, and when those developments really look promising— especially after they’ve shown themselves to be good in others’ testing, or when they look like they might be able to help him solve an issue he’s found— he will test them himself to see if they really do live up to their potential. This is why we use Bushnell featherweight eccentric bottom brackets, and why we are moving toward a boost rear end on the Jones Plus, among other examples. So the real answer is that Jeff is always on the lookout for the components of his vision of what a bicycle should be, but those can’t possibly include everything that’s out there.
Q: What kind of headset will work with the Truss Fork?
A: Because the Truss fork uses what amounts to two upper headset assemblies, it won’t work with just any headset. A Jones H-Set for truss forks is a great option, as is the Chris King NoThreadset with the addition of a Griplock assembly to go underneath the lower headset cup/bearing. Check out the truss fork installation guide for more information on headsets for use with the truss fork.
Q: What is the difference between the different Jones models?
A: This is a common and understandable question! The most straightforward way to think about the Jones Bikes line is that we have two basic types, based on geometry: the Jones Plus SWB (the next generation of the original Jones 29 geometry) and the Jones Plus LWB. Within those two types, there are two frame designs: the Jones Spaceframe and Jones Diamond frame. And finally, many of those types and designs are available in titanium or steel.
So you can get a Jones Diamond frame design in either Plus LWB geometry or Plus SWB geometry, and they’re very different, but you can get a Spaceframe or a Diamond frame in Plus SWB geometry, and they are very similar in terms of handling, clearances, and components that they use. The Spaceframe and Diamond designs differ significantly in terms of standover, framepack capacity/fit, looks, and to a lesser degree in terms of weight and vertical compliance. The differences between titanium and steel are mostly weight, but there is a very noticeable vertical compliance in the titanium Spaceframe, while on the steel version this compliance is slightly less pronounced. On the Diamond frame designs titanium saves weight, but the vertical compliance is less noticeable.
The differences between the two types are: the Jones Plus LWB is a long wheelbase frame and fork specifically designed to be used with 29x3” tires. It is long and stable, yet still nimble because the geometry has been tuned to make the most of the larger wheels; it’s a frameset that puts you much more “in” the bike because the wheels are farther out in front and behind you, and this is part of what makes it a peerless bikepacking bike. The Jones Plus SWB, on the other hand, is extremely nimble and playful. It has a short wheelbase that shines in the most technical situations and highlights the precise handling that a rigid bicycle can give when paired with great geometry. Unlike most short wheelbase bikes, the Jones Plus SWB doesn’t feel harsh or unbalanced because it fits and rides like a Jones: it’s balanced, and you—the rider—are centered over the bottom bracket, which allows you to easily move over the front end when climbing, and back over the rear end when descending. The Jones Plus SWB allows you to thread your way through the tightest rock gardens, where the Plus LWB is the bike that just rolls over anything and everything. For those who see themselves spending most of their time riding gravel, doing all-day, all-terrain rides, or who just want a bike that’s calm and collected wherever it finds itself, the Jones Plus LWB has the edge. For those who ride in rocky, log-strewn playgrounds where most of the time is spent hopping up and over rocks while navigating a switchback, the Jones Plus SWB has the edge. The Jones Plus SWB feels decidedly playful, while the Jones Plus LWB feels calm and collected. Both love to go fast, and will leave you feeling fresh and ready for more!
When comparing the Jones Spaceframe design to the Jones Diamond frame design, the major differences are increased vertical compliance, standover, higher cost (because they’re much more complicated to build, and slightly higher weight in the Spaceframe design. The Diamond frame design is lighter, has larger framepack capacity, and costs less because it is less complicated to build. Currently the Spaceframe design is available in some models of the Jones Plus SWB and Jones Plus LWB geometries.
So when thinking about a Jones bike, first, it’s good to decide which type you are thinking about (Plus LWB or Plus SWB), then consider your options in terms of frame design (Spaceframe or Diamond), then move on to frame material (titanium or steel).
Q: Will the Jones Truss fork work on my Surly Ogre (or other non-Jones frame)?
A: They can be fitted, but how well it would work would depend on what size Ogre you have. On a small or medium Ogre, you could put 30mm or 40mm (respectively) underneath the headset and would end up with approximately the correct fork height for your bike, but the offset on the Truss fork is 12mm greater than the fork on the Ogre, which would make the bike a bit more twitchy. On any of the larger sizes, the Truss fork wouldn't work because there wouldn't be enough room underneath the headset to compensate for the difference in fork height. If you were to put a Truss fork on an XL Ogre, it would drop the headtube by about 20mm, making the headtube angle steeper, and on an XXL, there wouldn't be enough room between the two truss clamps to fit the headtube with a headset.
In any case and for other frames, it's important to remember that because the Truss fork was designed in combination with the Jones 29 Frame, it works best with that frame. It has a limited amount of space (about 170mm) between the clamps, limiting the headtube lengths with which it will work, the offset is much greater than most forks currently use, and the overall height is lower because it's not designed for a suspension-corrected frame. This allows the our frames to be stronger, with greater framebag capacity, and keeps the fork lighter and stiffer among other things.
Q: Do you plan on making a unicrown fork for the Jones Plus?
A: We don't have any plans to make such a thing at the moment. Jeff feels that the Truss fork has enough advantages to make it superior--especially on a bike like the Plus, where the fork is long to make room for the large wheels. We currently sell clamps that allow you to install Salsa Anything HD cages to the sides of the Truss fork, and we have packs in the works for the fork as well. Either of these options doesn't have quite the capacity that traditional panniers do, but when combined with a Revelate Sweetroll, they make for a very competent setup that allows you to make the most of the versatility of the Jones Plus (it has a tendency to make riders want to explore off the beaten path, and having a more bikepacking setup is well-suited to that).
Q: What's the difference between the 660mm and 710mm H-Bars?
A: The only difference between the 660mm and 710mm versions of each H-Bar is the overall width: the 660mm is, you guessed it: 660mm wide, and the 710mm is 710mm wide. An important thing to keep in mind that the difference in width comes exclusively from extra long grip-sections, which means that every other aspect of the bars is the same from one width to the other. The 710mm versions of the H-Bars were developed to give an additional position that's very upright. This makes the 710mm H-Bar especially well-suited to touring and bikepacking, where the extra comfort provided by a really upright position is especially helpful. All of the 710mm H-Bars are marked so you can cut them down to the 660mm width easily. For more information, check out the H-Bar Manual.