The Kona Jake the Snake started life as inspiration from Kona Bikes co-owner, Jacob Heilbron, " Jake ", who was the national champion from 1978 in cyclocross racing before starting the a fore mentioned bicycle company.
Jake wanted a bike in their product lineup that spoke to his truelove of cycling, the cyclocross bike, thus the Jake the Snake was introduced to the marketplace.
Initially, as a Bicycle Dealer, we thought this was simply a cool bike … a tough, go-anywhere in any condition road bike. We initially sold a small number of the Jake Series bikes to cyclists looking for either a tough commuter or touring bike with the addition of a few cyclocross racers.
Within a few years, consumers realized the versatility of this style of bike, and embraced it as a go-anywhere in any condition option. Serious racers used this bike as an off-season training tool, and many other cyclists in the Golden Horseshoe (Toronto, Hamilton, Burlington, Niagara) realized the opportunity to explore and create endless possibilities of cycling routes in their very own backyards by combining roads with pathways (i.e. rail-trails, local Conservation Areas etc.).
I, personally, started riding a Kona cross bike to extend my riding season and add some consistency to the off season, as trail conditions often prevent the
responsible use of a mountain bike, and the road bike is put away for
I very quickly discovered why at Bicycle Works, we were selling more and more cyclocross bikes. I could get out for rides when road and mountain bike rides were pointless. I found I could design a route that satisfied my off-road needs as they incorporated the trail systems and I filled my need for speed when I jumped back up onto the asphalt.
The Kona Jake the Snake was a pioneer in this category and all manufacturers have followed suit with their specific Cyclocross offerings resulting in some great bikes on the market.
The Jake the Snake to this day brings a winning combination of performance and value to the discerning buyer. Race-bred handling combined with practical frame mounts for fenders and racks, caters to many different uses. A class leading component package including carbon fork, 105/ Ultegra components, and now, high performance and predictable disc brakes, make the Kona Jake the Snake the most popular choice on the market.
The more affordable Jake at $1199 is equipped with disc brakes and a sweet handling aluminum frame and fork, all the more potential for adventure that big brother Jake the Snake offers.
I don't have enough fingers and toes to count the number of cyclists that get one of these bikes as an off-season bike, a Paris to Ancaster racing bike, that end up throwing a leg over all year, because it's fun, because it'll go anywhere, anytime!