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Thursday, September 1, 2022

One Of A Kind - Jones Bikes 20th Anniversary

One of a kind love affair, 
Is the kind of love that you read about in a fairy tale.
Like the sun that shines on a rainy day,
It's a cloud of love.
One Of A Kind, Joseph B. Jefferson (1973).

Jeff Jones recently announced a 20th Anniversary celebration of Jones Bikes. Jones 20th Anniversary. That's quite an achievement for an eccentric tinkerer who fortunately focused his creative energy on bicycle frames and forks. That's also my cue to mark the occasion by linking my various blog posts over the years about the amazing Jones 29+ that I bought in the spring of 2018. To be fair, every blog post on bikepacking the Cloud Peak 500, Black Hills Bounty, and Great Divide Mountain Bike Route involves my Jones 29+. I love this bike.
Not from a catalogue. Jeff Jones sent me this image of my bike before shipping it in 2018.
That fork! That chain stay! That wheel base! Those angles! That upright position!
Even with those 3.25" knobby tires, that clearance, both front and rear!
What in the world?

In early 2015, I started researching mountain bikes for riding single track and rough roads, especially loaded for multi-day bikepacking. I sought to take my overnight rides on my Black Mountain Monster Cross to the next level of rough stuff and distance, maybe even something way out there like the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. Eventually, I stumbled across, where Jeff explained the inspiration, experimentation, and evolving designs of his frames and forks in a series of detailed articles and videos over some years. I loved his innovative thoughts, iterative process, and hands-on trials, but so many individual pieces seemed so far off conventional thought. How does all that come together?

With no Jones bike to borrow or demo and with virtually no used Jones bike market (that says something), I ultimately took a leap of faith and bought a new, custom built Jones 29+ LWB in the spring of 2018. Jeff spent over two hours on the phone with me going through, in great detail, the selection of every single  component for my build. Every. Single. Component. It was unforgettable. A Mountain Bike By Jeff Jones (decision thought process); Jones 29+ The Build (initial build); Jones 29+ What It Is (first month of riding). After 4 1/2 years of riding, I could not be more pleased.

New bike joy on M-Hill.
(photo by Chani Groseth)

For me, the Jones 29+ is a perfect bike for single track and rough back road riding, loaded or unloaded. It has flawlessly carried me over many miles and days, including my 2021 ride of the entire 2,500+ mile length of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. The Jones 29+ performs with exceptional comfort, control, and capacity riding rough stuff all day, day after day after day, fully loaded for touring.

Here's a link to my posts of the Jones 29+ as I prepared for my 7 day ride of the Cloud Peak 500 route in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming in August 2020. Gearing Up For Cloud Peak. After Cloud Peak, I reviewed the Jones 29+ to prepare for riding the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route in the summer of 2021. Cloud Peak 500 - Jones 29+ Next Time. Then I analyzed its performance on the Great Divide for future rides, including a possible return. The Great Divide - Jones 29+ No Change. It's worked out great.

My Jones 29+ about 1,000 miles into the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route in 2021.

So, Happy 20th Anniversary to Jeff Jones and Jones Bikes! Thank you for your unique contributions to the bicycling community. I love my Jones 29+ and hope to still be riding it for your 40 year anniversary.

One Of A Kind, The Spinners (1973).

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