Nearly any bike can have it’s parts upgraded to make it a decent ride. But just owning a bike doesn’t have to mean throwing parts at it to make it do that thing. Some bikes are good right out of the box and the Kona Private Jake is a perfect example. This may very well be the best CX bike Kona has ever made, in our humble opinion, and it’s no wonder that Kaia is absolutely in love with hers. It’s nearly a bone-stock build and it kicks serious ass.
The Private Jake has a lot going for it: carbon fork, disc brakes, thru-axles front and rear, adjustable sliding rear dropouts, clearance for big tires and fenders, and it retails for a price point that’s pleasantly surprising for a bike that does so much so well.
Kaia has left much of this bike completely stock, which is to say the Private Jake comes complete with the aforementioned thru-axles around which spin deep 30mm wide Novatec rims powered by a SRAM Rival 1×11 spd drivetrain. Some folks balk at the frame’s inability to run a front derailleur, but we’ve found it’s about all you need for everything from racing, to touring, to Kaia’s daily commutes in from the farm. (It should be noted that this bike does come standard with TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes, and Kaia’s is built up with Shimano calipers instead. This happened for reasons. Don’t read into it.)
Working in a bike shop does prevent most normal person from having a bike completely stock which is why Kaia has added Panaracer Pasela PT 35c tires, blue bar tape, and a stem swap for a little better fit. There are also a couple of commuting essentials like a Light & Motion light, a bottle cage, and a frame pump.
The Private Jake really is an amazingly fun bike to ride and we strongly recommend you check them out.
Just not this one.
This one is Kaia’s.