Getting to know the Jones Plus SWB

Gravel bikes and all-road bikes are all the rage these days. When I jump on board a trend I don’t always follow the status quo. My new all-road bike is a rigid 27.5+ mountain bike. But not your standard mountain bike, it’s a Jones. I bought it as more of an all purpose bike. I have access to IMBA Gold Level mountain trails right in my neighborhood. I have hundreds of miles of dirt and gravel roads in the immediate area, and millions of acres of National Forests within 1-2 hours of drive time. The Jones is my idea of one bike to rule them all.

I plan to use it for some overnight camping and bike packing trips as well. Last year I did the same types of riding on my fat bike. The plus tires on the Jones seem narrow in comparison.

Now that I own a car I no longer have to start all my rides from my house. What a luxury to start an entirely new ride from somewhere other than my house. Every ride since 2003 has begun from my house. But not anymore. Saturday I decided to scout out some new to me gravel northwest of Two Harbors.

I started at the Lake County Demonstration Forest and rode the Drummond Grade north to almost Brimson. It was a good ride and only my fourth ride on the Jones. The road was very low traffic. Only counted 12 vehicles in 2.5 hours.

The Jones no longer looks brand spanking new thanks to lots of gravel dust and some mud. It was April 27th and winter still lingered in the spots that don’t get all day sunshine.

I already have an idea for a short bikepacking overnighter using this route. The route takes you into the Cloquet Valley State Forest.

One of my plans after buying this bike last November was to have it completely outfitted with options for packing by Spring time. I’ve been spending between $100 and $200 a month since then on bags and other things for loading up this bike. I think I have sufficiently acquired everything I need to properly overload this bike. Something I am all too good at doing. One last item arrived today.

It’s a Manythings Cage from King Cage. I have a triple bolt mount on the underside of my down tube on the Jones. This cage will allow me to strap and carry a full size Nalgene bottle, or a fuel bottle or a small stuff sack in that spot. It’s the first piece of bike equipment I’ve ever owned made with titanium. It’s shockingly lightweight. Really weighs next to nothing. Getting fancy here.

This ride let me settle in and really enjoy the ride of the Jones. The biggest take away from my first 2+ hour ride was how incredibly comfortable the riding position is on this bike. The first quarter mile it feels like you’re sitting strangely bolt upright. But then it just starts to feel oh so right. I’ve been using some version of a Jones bar on two different bikes since 2007. So I knew what to expect from the handlebar. This new wider loop bar feels amazing. And I really do move around on the bar and use it’s multiple hand positions.

I’m looking forward to loading it up sometime soon and seeing what it’s like on an overnighter.

8 thoughts on “Getting to know the Jones Plus SWB

  1. Pondero April 30, 2019 / 7:28 pm

    New riding terrain, comfortable riding, and gear nerdery. Simply outstanding!

    Happy to hear your positive comments on the Jones. I know that Tony in DC, and Tim in Louisville enjoy theirs immensely. I tried both of them out briefly, and understand the attraction.

    Wishing you many pleasant outings!


  2. Eric Weesner May 2, 2019 / 7:44 am

    Great post! I really enjoy my Jones as well. What kind of frame bag do you have on it? I think I’ve got the same size Jones Plus SWB as you (small). Thanks


    • fourseasoncycling May 2, 2019 / 10:53 am

      The frame bag is made by Cedaero. Cedaero was started by the same person who started Granite Gear. They are new to making bike bags, but not new to making high quality outdoor gear. My Jones Plus SWB complete is a small. Cedaero made a template from mine. So anyone ordering one for the same bike can get a frame bag custom made from that template. It matches the curve of the seat tube and uses the five down tube bottle bosses to attach it to the down tube. I highly recommend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Eric Weesner May 3, 2019 / 7:35 am

        Awesome…Thanks for the details!


  3. Michael May 11, 2020 / 12:26 pm

    I am thinking of getting the Jones Plus bike not sure if I want SWB or LWB. I am looking for a good bike packing bike along with a good gravel and some single track riding. What bikes would compare the Jones bike to ? I was looking at the Surley Krampus, Bombtrack or Salsa Timberjack. Do you have any recommendations?


    • fourseasoncycling May 11, 2020 / 2:07 pm

      Michael, I have only ridden the Jones SWB of the bike’s you mentioned. I bought it for bikepacking, gravel, and maybe 10% singletrack. I absolutely love it for all the mixed rmterrain riding I do. I admit I don’t need the plus size tires for most of what I ride, but I like having a wide footprint. The bikes I was considering were the Jones SWB, and three Surly’s. The Karate Monkey, Krampus, and the ECR. It came down to the Jones and ECR because neither bike is suspension corrected. As a short rider I don’t want a suspension corrected fork unless I plan to use a suspension fork. The Jones won out, because it’s a Jones, and it is a better singletrack bike than the ECR. It does everything the ECR can and a little bit more.


  4. Tate November 2, 2020 / 7:55 pm

    Hey Michael…I’ve been looking at these Jones SWB bikes for a bit now. I was curious about what your inseam is and how tall you are. I’ve right in the middle at 5’8″ and 30.5″ inseam. I’d be using it 50/50 dirt/chirt roads and singletrack trails at our farm.


    • fourseasoncycling November 2, 2020 / 9:17 pm

      My inseam is 29” and I’m 5’7”. When I talked to Jeff on the phone he said I could go small or medium size frame. I don’t think he was interested in inseam measurements. He said the only real difference in the two sizes is the reach to the bars. If I wanted a shorter reach I should buy size small. If I prefer to be more stretched out I should go medium. I went small due to a lack of overall flexibility. A shorter reach suits me better. My name is Doug not Michael. If you have questions Jeff is more than willing to schedule an hour of his time to talk with you. You should be asking him these questions.


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