If you follow Jeff Jones and have been paying attention, you are by now well aware of the new Jones Plus frame. I am a rider who greatly appreciates the Jones brand and the cool products he makes. So like many of you, I ride what he sells.
In my experience riding Jeff Jones, the Jones Plus rides the line between comfort and agility. The fat 29+ (3” wide) tires with its long wheelbase and steel frame certainly offers a forgiving ride. The geometry allows for an “inside” the bike feel that is super stable gobbling up trail features like a monster truck, without sacrificing speed or agility.
Jones bills the Jones Plus as a bike-camping-capable machine and this piqued my interest as I was planning to use this steed to help me conquer 70 off-road miles over the course of two days. For my adventure I was accompanied by five other riders, two of whom rode Jones bikes as well! The vast majority of our loop was single track, with roughly 20 miles along the C&O Canal trail. The beast of a bike, Jones Plus, handled every type of terrain with ease, and never felt sluggish or clumsy. While the handling was not as snappy or sporty as the standard Jones frame, it did not hold me back from really enjoying the ride and fully appreciating the bike.
The front wheel on the Jones Plus is way out in front of the rider. This inspires a lot of confidence over obstacles, which is most appreciated when fatigue gets the best of you. You can plow this rig into most rocks, roots, and logs and let the bike do the work. I had a fear that the front end might feel floppy and wander on the climbs, but this was not the case at all! The frame angles and long wheelbase made the bike very stable. I could have diced onions while riding hands free, even with the bike fully loaded with camping gear and provisions.
Speaking of the camping load, the Jones H bar and Truss fork make packing a ton of stuff an easy task. I strapped my sleeping bag to the bars and my tent and bedroll to the fork legs using Surly Junk Straps (a favorite of mine). To ensure the gear on the fork did not find its way into my tire, I covered the fork with a piece of corrugated plastic. This technique proved to work amazingly well.
I have concluded that the Jones Plus is a great ride that is right at home either fully loaded or stripped down. If you are willing to sacrifice a little bit of sportiness in favor of some long haul stability, sure footedness, and bike camping prowess, then the Jones Plus is a great choice. I often tell people this: If you are intrigued by a Jones (Plus or otherwise) and it seems like your kind of bike, you will love it! If, on the other hand, you turn your nose up at what you consider to be a funky looking rig, then you should probably keep looking.
Either way, we have a Jones rental bike ready for you… if you want to taste the Kool Aid.
More pics in the Facebook album.