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In the maket for a CX: Bianchi Axis or Kona Major Jake?(5 posts)

In the maket for a CX: Bianchi Axis or Kona Major Jake?shawniemc
Sep 10, 2002 9:00 AM
I'm a commuter looking for a good year round bike that I can put studs on in the winter; I like a fast bike so I thought cyclocross was the way to go.

I always saw myself as a steel man until test riding the 2002 Bianchi; it was bouncy on the single track, but the responsiveness sure felt nice. I thought I had my winner.

I then test rode the 2002 Major Jake and thought it was equally responsive and yet a little more forgiving on the off-road. I'm not sure though as I was riding in a very different area with less off-road trails (with less loose gravel) and the Jake had beefier tires.

I'm tending towards the Bianchi because I like the cosmetics (yes, I know), but if the Jake is really a softer (and equally responsive) ride then I'll go with it (though I'm not sure how that would be physically possible).

I'll be doing about 90% on road while commuting (including Minnesota winters) and a bit of light off-road riding on the weekends. I'm open to more serious cyclocross riding in the future but life keeps me busy enough as it is.

Another related question-Can you truly compensate for a stiff frame with good tires at a lower pressure when riding off-road?

Thanks for any info and opinions.

p.s. If any of you think that the whole aluminum bit is a mistake, please have at it!
re: In the maket for a CX: Bianchi Axis or Kona Major Jake?atpjunkie
Sep 10, 2002 12:34 PM
you are going to get a load from owners of each. Both good bikes.
Tires can never fully compensate for frame. Buy the one you love, try each one out again and see which one sings to ya.
re: In the maket for a CX: Bianchi Axis or Kona Major Jake?shawniemc
Sep 11, 2002 10:47 AM
Thanks, sounds like solid advice!
As someone who's had both...The Walrus
Sep 11, 2002 10:02 PM
...I'd say go with the Axis. The Axis is more mellow than the Jake--not to be confused with slow or sluggish--which is not a bad thing considering you're intending to do most of your riding as a commuter. The Axis also will have a roomier cockpit; extremely long rides on the Jake left me feeling like I was growing a hunchback. Bianchis are sized bb center to top of seat tube, and Jakes are sized bb center to center of top tube. I rode 52cm Jakes, but my Axises (Axes?) are 55cm. Since the Bianchis were 55, the top tubes were correspondingly longer than the Jake's. I felt more like I was riding "on" the Jake, as opposed to riding "in" the Axis, if that makes any sense.

The Bianchi is definitely no slouch off road; in fact, the "mellowness" makes it better for just about everything I did with it except for extremely tight singletrack. The Axis always felt much better at speed than the Jake. I also appreciated the "real world" gearing on the Bianchi more (48/36 & 11-32 vs 48/38 & 12-25), but that could be my arthritic, diabetic middle-aged carcass talking.

Don't get me wrong--the Jake is an excellent bike, and if you were intending primarily to race, I'd say pick the Kona. However, I honestly think you'll be more satisfied in the long run with the Axis.
Sep 12, 2002 7:50 AM
I'm leaning towards the Bianchi anyway, I guess I just needed a little reinforcment.