Back in 2019, we tested the $1800, 27+ Jones SWB Complete and broadly speaking, we really liked it. Before the SWB Complete, it had always been a case of building up Jones bikes from framesets, which made them somewhat costly bikes to own. Some time later, the LWB Complete was released – its 29+ big brother. It cost a little bit more but had a similarly inclusive ethos, whilst also offering a wider, more bikepacking-friendly gear range.
As of this month, both these bikes are available once more, albeit in V2 versions – with different colours, builds, tyre choices… and prices.
Sadly, the initial price points – $1800 for the SWB and $2050 for the LWB – that made the original Completes such a great portal into Jones world, and a welcome chance to try its distinct geometry on a relative budget, haven’t stuck. They’re now $2840 and $2860 respectively. In part, we can blame Covid-19 for pushing up prices across the whole of the bike industry, though on a more positive note, both bikes now see much improved build kits too.
Colour apart, the actual framesets are almost exactly the same as before, so the same differences between Jones’ more costly Custom builds and these Completes apply. For a start, the latter uses a standard 68mm threaded bottom bracket rather than a more complicated eccentric system. But unless you have aspirations to run a Rohloff, it’s unlikely to be much of an issue and could even be considered advantageous in some ways, in that standard bottom brackets are inherently lighter and more reliable. Or at least, less prone to creaks. Downside? You can’t tune in the height of your bottom bracket depending on wheel choice and terrain, but seeing as the Completes use a midpoint as their bottom bracket drop – compared to the eccentric on the Custom frames – it’s not such a big deal.
Geometries remain the same across all SWB and LWBs, be they Completes or Customs. To iterate our initial SWB Complete review, Jones has chosen slightly thicker tubing to lower manufacturing costs, and whilst the tubing itself is heat-treated, the finished frames themselves aren’t – resulting in further savings. But don’t get caught up in the weeds, as the frames are still made in the same Taiwanese factory by the same people, with the same CNC machined dropouts. And despite the heavier tubing, they actually end up being 200g lighter, simply because eccentric bottom brackets are actually rather heavy. I’ve ridden a Complete extensively and I can’t say I noticed any difference in terms of ride quality over Custom equivalents. If anything, they promise to be a little bit more resistant to dings, which I consider a good quality in a travel bike.
As before, frame details include provision for a rear rack and three water bottle mounting locations, two of which can accommodate triple-boss style cages. Both come with a unicrown fork, rather than Jones’s distinctive truss design—made from 4130 Chromoly steel, with a machined steerer tube and butted, tapered and oval legs. As usual to Jones, it features a thru-axle dropout with 15 x 150mm spacing, which means you’ll need a custom-made front wheel if you want to build a second wheelset, but also creates a stronger wheel and opens up possibilities for a ‘fat front’, due to the fork’s massive tire clearance. The fork is designed to run a Tubus Duo low rider rack and two water bottles above it.
Wheel size apart, the build kits are now exactly the same.
- Frame Jones Plus SWB/LWB, 4130 chromoly steel with butted tubing, Boost spacing
- Fork Jones SWB/LWB Unicrown fork, thru axle dropouts with 150mm x 15mm spacing
- Headset Jones Sealed Cartridge H-Set
- Drivetrain 1X12 SRAM SX Eagle
- Crankset SRAM SX Eagle, 170 mm on M and L sizes, 165 mm on S
- Chainring SRAM SX X-SYNC 2 Eagle direct mount 30T chainring
- Bottom Bracket SRAM DUB Bottom Bracket with sealed cartridge external bearings, English threaded
- Cassette SRAM SX Eagle 12 speed, 11T – 50T
- Rear Derailleur SRAM SX Eagle
- Shifter SRAM SX Eagle trigger shifter
- Chain SRAM SX Eagle 12 speed
- Front Hub Jones Spec 150x15mm Thru-Axle hub with Sealed Cartridge Bearings
- Rear Hub Jones Spec 32 hole, 148 mm x 12 mm Boost hub, 5 sealed cartridge bearings, steel Shimano driver body
- Spokes 14 gauge stainless steel, black
- Spoke Nipples Brass nipples, black.
- Rims Jones branded, 50 mm wide, double wall, eyeleted, tubeless ready.
- Tires Vee T-FATTY 27.5/29 x 3″ or SPEEDSTER 27.5/29 x 2.8”, 72 TPI, tubeless ready.
- Brake Calipers Avid BB7-MTN
- Rotors SRAM Centerline 203 mm front, 180 mm rear, 6 bolt.
- Brake Levers Avid FR-5
- Brake Cables Jagwire KEB-SL Elite Ultra-Slick
- Brake Cable Housing Jagwire KEB-SL Pro Compressionless brake housing
- Shifter Cable Jagwire Elite Ultra-Slick
- Stem 31.8mm clamp. 60mm small, 80mm medium, and 90mm large, 17 degrees of rise
- Handlebar Jones SG Aluminum Loop H-Bar. 710mm, straight gauge
- Grips Jones Kraton H-Grips for 710 mm H-Bars
- Bar Tape Jones H-Bar Tape on the rear crossbar
- Seatpost Jones Spec 400mm, 27.2mm
- Seatpost clamp Jones Spec, CNC machined aluminum, stainless steel bolt
- Saddle Jones, black with black steel rails
Digging into the spec sheet, we’ve glad to see significant improvements in gear range for the SWB, which was a gripe of ours before. It now matches the LWB, with a hardwearing 30T steel chainring and a Shimano compatible 11-50T SRAM cassette and freewheel. Both bikes use SRAM’s entry-level SX 12-speed drivetrain, with a composite rather than a metal derailleur; note that the LWB actually had NX grade gear before, so in that way, it’s actually a downgrade.
It’s worth pointing out a few less obvious improvements too. The rear hub has cartridge bearings throughout, Jones branded rims are eyeletted, and there’s hex bolt seat collar, rather than the questionable quick release that featured before. The bikes come with inner tubes but are taped and ready to go for changing to tubeless – tyres are tubeless compatible too. Interestingly, the rims are now drilled for Schraeder valves. According to Jones, the use of a Schraeder tubeless valves makes tubeless setup easier, because once the core is removed, there’s a bigger hole for air to be pushed through. And, there’s less chance of the valve core being damaged, as can happen to Presta systems. I’ve yet to try one but having set bikes up with the split tube method in the past, I can see the potential advantages. Just be sure to keep your valve caps on, as dirt ingress is more likely to cause slow leaks than with Presta valves.
It’s also worth noting that whilst parts may be Jones-branded, there are a number of well-considered details, like comfortable grips and high-quality inner and outer cables.
No doubt a boon to some – for commuting and heavy duty touring especially – the LWB now features kickstand plate and there’s even a Jones’ branded double kickstand available too. There’s no room for one on the SWB, due to its shorter chainstays.
Both bikes now feature Avid BB7 stopping power, which we’ve found more adjustable than the Tektro calipers that came before – with monster rotors to make up for the fact that they’re mechanical and not hydraulic.
Both bikes are also available in Knobbly and Smooth tire versions – using Vee Rubber T-Fattys and Speeders – neither of which we’ve had a chance to test. The SWB Complete weighs 34 lb 9 oz/15.70 kg and the LWB Complete weighs 35 lb 8 oz/16.12 kg in knobbly versions. Smooth tire versions are only a touch lighter in both bikes. The SWB has clearances for 29” x 2.3” – 2.6” or 27.5” x 2.8” – 3.25” tires, while the LWB is built for 29” x 2.8” – 3.0″ tires.
Aside from clearance differences, we won’t go into a detailed geo comparison here, as you can read more in our Jones SWB Complete review. But broadly speaking, the SWB has a shorter wheelbase, as the name suggests, and on paper at least, it’s the more agile of the two. However, both bikes are surprisingly light to steer, partly because of their increased fork offset over most other rigid mountain bikes – it’s 55mm in the case of the SWB and 76mm for the LWB. An explanation of the geometries – along with a series of deep-dive videos – can be found on the Jones site and are well worth checking out if these bikes appeal. The one below is especially interesting.
There are three sizes available, which Jones recommends will fit the following rider proportions:
Small, for rider height 5′-5’8″, with a standover of 30.5″
Medium, for rider height 5’7″-6’2″, with a standover of 31.5″
Large, for rider height 6′-6’6″, with a standover of 33″
The LWB is available in tan and black, whilst the SWB has the choice of teal and black. Prices are almost the same – $2840 for the SWB and $2860 for the SWB – which as we’ve mentioned, is a considerable jump up from the Completes that came before.
It’s hard not to be disappointed by these price rises, but we expect such changes are par for the course in the current economic climate. At least these new builds are more dialled in than before and unlikely to require further tinkering, as long as the SX drivetrain proves reliable.
In terms of shipping, there’s a $120 fee in the US to have the bikes shipped from Oregon to your door, there won’t be any state tax to pay, which would normally tack on a fair bit. Worldwide shipping is also available, either via the website or through a limited number of distributors and international dealers, though it’s best to ring and confirm orders first.
Learn more about the Jones SWB and LWB here...
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