This Jones Plus is a sure-footed, classic trail bike built for a customer in Montgomery Center, Vermont, who was looking for an ultra-reliable, low-maintenance build to explore the wide network of trails that snake through the woods surrounding this small town at the northern tip of one of America’s northernmost states.
As a longtime user of Rohloff’s SPEEDHUB 500/14 internal gear hub, the customer was already familiar with the unparalleled reliability of the 14-speed German-made hub. He set out to find a simple, classically-styled steel frame that could easily accommodate the hub from his existing bike and comfortably tackle a range of smoother singletrack and dirt roads. The customer found a match with the Jones Bikes Plus platform, and reached out to Cycle Monkey to complete a custom build around his Rohloff hub.
Jeff Jones has designed steel and titanium framesets in Southern Oregon for years, with a niche for producing high-quality, adventure-oriented frames that are perfect building blocks for custom projects. Jones Bikes are well-suited to a wide range of riders, from dedicated bikepackers to those looking for a stylish, classically-inspired rigid bike they can both ride to work and use to explore the local singletrack.
This particular bike is built around the Plus LWB Diamond frame, one of three options for those looking for a Jones that allows them to enjoy the benefits of wider rubber and 29” wheels. LWB stands for “long wheel base”, and the frame features geometry that’s confidence-inspiring on rougher terrain, but remains comfortable and efficient on longer expeditions or marathon days on local singletrack. It accepts 29” tires from 2.3 - 3.25” wide, letting you easily change the bike’s character from responsive and efficient XC machine to ground-hugging and confidence-inspiring backcountry adventure mobile .
Designed as an exclusively-rigid option, the frame is not suspension-corrected, which makes for a larger, stronger front triangle and shorter fork that combine to offer an incredible amount of frame pack and water bottle carrying capacity. The frame is covered in mounts galore, allowing for easy installation and removal of bottle cages, racks, and fenders to quickly modify your setup to match the adventure at hand.
Jones is also well-known for the Truss fork seen on this bike. The unique, vintage look is always a head-turner, but the design offers tangible functional benefits as well, including an excellent strength-to-weight ratio, precise steering control, and the elimination fore-aft flex under hard braking forces. Because the loads are triangulated, smaller and thinner tubes can be used on the fork without compromising strength while at the same time reducing flex during braking.
The fork is offered with all Jones frames in steel, with an even lighter titanium version available for the most discerning riders.
|Note the eccentric bottom bracket|
The Jones frame also includes an eccentric bottom bracket, which tensions the chain and allows riders to run the bike singlespeed or, as in this case, with an internally geared rear hub. Eccentric bottom brackets tension the chain or belt by changing the relative distance between the crank arms and rear dropouts, and offer an alternative tensioning method to the sliding dropouts commonly found on singlespeed/internally geared frames.
Internal gearing like that offered by Rohloff’s SPEEDHUB offers numerous benefits for off-road riders. Because shifting components and most moving parts are enclosed within the hub shell away from the elements, internal gear hubs offer superior reliability in all conditions, making them an excellent option for those who don’t always have the luxury of riding on sunny days. We’ve seen countless riders put tens of thousands of miles on their Rohloff hubs with no maintenance beyond an annual oil change, confirming their reputation as the most reliable internal gear hub on the market.
East Coast trails are well known for their rugged rockiness and rootiness, which make an unwelcoming environment for derailleurs dangling precariously from the bike’s rear end. Internal hubs and gearboxes eliminate anxiety over ripping off a derailleur or bending a hanger on an inconveniently-placed rock, allowing mountain bikers to confidently take tighter lines through technical sections of trail.
This build complements the low-maintenance nature of the drivetrain with a straightforward parts kit that’s all about finding flow on singletrack. The 29” Plus wheels provide excellent rollover capabilities and a bit of extra cushion for this rigid frame, especially when paired with the Maxxis Chronicle--a tread pattern optimized for the mid-fat tire size,
The chrome components found at the cockpit, wheels, and seatpost give the bike a classic appeal that’s too often lacking from off-road machines, and the parts pop beautifully against the teal frame color. Paul Components offers a range of components “lovingly handmade” in Chico, Calfornia, and while their “inadvertent aesthetic” turns heads on street corners, these parts are built to be put through the ringer. They are designed to offer practicality and serviceability far beyond cell phone range, made from high-grade American aluminum that looks awfully good in polished chrome. They made a natural choice for the chainring, cranks, stem, brakes, and skewers on this build.
|Even the brake calipers are stylish...|
Selle Anatomica manufacturers premium saddles here in the US, with ergonomic cutouts that strike an ideal balance between flexibility for sensitive areas and support while pedaling. Their classic leather aesthetic is right at home on a vintage-looking steel frame like this Jones, but we’ve also found them comfortable on long road rides and for more aggressive trail riding.
It was a pleasure to help this longtime Rohloff user make the most of his beloved SPEEDHUB with a new trail machine properly suited for hours spent exploring the picturesque singletrack surrounding his small New England hometown. Cycle Monkey approaches all of our custom build projects by starting with the rider’s goals and future riding aspirations, and selecting a frame, drivetrain, and components that fit this vision. Drop us a line to discuss your ideas for a custom build, or to get suggestions on a setup that will help you ride the way you want to, however that might be.
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Frame: Jones LWB Plus
Fork: Jones Steel Truss
Headset: Cane Creek 40
Stem: Thomson X4
Bar: Jones H-Bar
Grips: Ergon GC-1
Shifter: Rohloff Twist Shifter
Brakes: Paul Components Klamper
Brake Levers: Paul Components Love Levers
Seatpost: Thomson Elite
Saddle: Selle Anatomica
Front Hub: Paul Components
Rear Hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14
Skewers: Paul Components
Spokes: Sapim Race
Nipples: Sapim Brass
Rims: Velocity Dually
Tires: Maxxis Chronicle
Cranks: Paul Components
Bottom Bracket: SKS Square Taper
Chainring: Paul Components