The year 2016 was all about going “YUGE”, and no other bike I rode last year inspired me to go big like the monster Jones Plus.
For the uninitiated, Jeff Jones has been designing his own brand of “non-suspended, off-road bicycles” for years, first by hand and now in full production overseas. The secret sauce of his design is in the geometry. While most bikes today follow a cookie-cutter longer/lower/slacker philosophy, Jeff has been concentrating more on rider position and balance. Because the suspension is completely thrown out of the equation, he doesn’t have to work around a fixed number.
Compared to a typical hardtail, the Jones design has a shorter reach, higher stack and a larger fork offset. The Plus model pushes this concept even further, with an upright rider position that puts weight on the feet instead of the hands, and centers the rider between the wheels in an extra long wheelbase.
Instead of a suspension fork, Jones bikes use this amazing steel truss fork. No it’s not some sort of vintage-style springer suspension. It’s actually designed like a bridge structure for extra strength and stiffness. Combined with the 150 mm wide front axle it results in a front end that goes exactly where you point it.
Made from chromoly steel with 29plus wheels and tires, the Plus model seems tailor made for big rides and big adventures. Our test bike, pictured here, came with a set of Revelate Designs bags built specifically for it, a 2×11 Shimano XT drivetrain and Easton wheel that have since been re-branded as Race Face. Price for a Plus frame and fork is $1,375 and the build you see here rings the register at $4,074.
Watch for my long term review in the next issue, Dirt Rag #196.
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