Pro bike: Ryan Trebon's Kona-FSA Kona Major Jake

US national cyclo-cross champ's massive machine

US cyclo-cross racer Ryan Trebon recently rode his Kona-FSA Kona Major Jake to victory in the US national cyclo-cross championships, and here we take a closer look at his title-winning machine.

At a lanky 1.96m and 76kg (6' 5", 174lb), Trebon sets his saddle height at more than a full metre when measured from the pedal at bottom dead centre and requires a 420mm seatpost even with the 63cm frame. 

There is a roughly 30cm differential from the saddle to the tops of the handlebar; add another 15cm or so to get to the drops. Though his frame uses a standard Alpha Q CX20 carbon ‘cross fork, not much is taken off of the 300mm-long steerer tube to accommodate the 195mm-long head tube.

Thanks to rangy 177.5mm-long crankarms, Trebon’s feet travel over 100m further than someone on more common 172.5mm arms over a typical one-hour ‘cross race– and that’s assuming a relatively sedate 60rpm. If a thief were bold enough to try and ride away with the thing, they’d have a better chance fitting inside the main triangle than straddling the top tube.

Talk about a dream to draft behind.

Not surprisingly, team sponsor Kona doesn’t offer its all-aluminum Major Jake ‘cross racer in a stock size to fit. However, its largest 62cm model is admirably close and Trebon’s custom frame is stretched just a single centimetre in both height and length. 

Any way you look at it, this is a big bike:

Any way you look at it, this is a big bike

According to Mark Matson of Kona, the frame is otherwise identical to production offerings save for the team-only paint job and omission of water bottle bosses on the seat tube. Conveniently, fellow ‘TwinTowers’ teammate Barry Wicks also uses the same frame geometry.

Matson says Trebon’s Major Jake is built with “the same Race Light Scandium butted tubing material, shape and design as the production Major Jake.” As such, it also includes the same machined aluminum driveside chain stay stub for increased chainring clearance, an asymmetrically machined head tube to save a few grams, socket-type rear dropouts for more weld surface area, and a slightly flattened top tube for more comfortable shouldering. In spite of the extra material, Trebon’s giant bike is still a highly competitive 8.3kg (18.3lb).

Kona supplies Trebon with three new frames per season: two for mostly domestic racing and one exclusively for European events. Naturally, each is outfitted with an identical mix of components to maintain a familiar feel.

177.5mm-long fsa sl-k light cranks are fitted with 'cross-friendly 39/46t chainrings:

177.5mm-long FSA SL-K Light cranks are fitted with 'cross-friendly 39/46T chainrings

Team co-sponsor FSA adds some carbon fibre to the mix with its RD-488 tubular wheels and SL-K Light cranks (with MegaExo Ceramic bottom bracket); more ‘cross-friendly aluminum is used for the FR-200 seatpost, Energy T traditional-bend bars and OS-99 stem and a conventional Orbit Xtreme Pro headset rounds things out up front. 

Trebon also taps shimano for his xtr pedals:

Trebon also taps Shimano for his XTR pedals

Shimano’s Dura-Ace label is affixed to the STI Dual Control levers, both derailleurs, chain and cassette and Trebon also uses XTR pedals. The rest of Trebon’s machine is filled out with Challenge tubulars (he used Grifo 32s to win in Kansas), KORE Race+ wide-profile cantilevers with SwissStop Yellow King pads, and Lance Armstrong’s favourite saddle, the Selle San Marco Concor Light.

The fsa rd-488 carbon wheelset is aimed more specifically at the road but trebon uses them with excellent success on the 'cross circuit, too - with just twenty spokes on the front wheel:

The FSA RD-488 carbon wheelset is aimed more specifically at the road but Trebon uses them with excellent success on the 'cross circuit, too - with just twenty spokes on the front wheel

With the US national and NACT (North American Cyclo-cross Trophy) titles in the bag and the USGP (US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross) series now behind him – where he finished second – Trebon is looking ahead to his bigger goals for the season on bike number three: success in Europe on the highly competitive UCI World Cup circuit and a top-ten finish at the UCI World Championships in Hoogerheide, Netherlands.  

Watch out, Europe. Something big is looming overhead.          

Full specification

FrameKona Major Jake custom
ForkAlpha Q CX20
HeadsetFSA Orbit Xtreme Pro
StemFSA OS99, 130mm x -6°
HandlebarsFSA Energy T, 44cm (c-c)
Tape/gripsFSA cork
Front brakeKORE Race+ cantilever w/ SwissStop Flash Yellow King pads
Rear brakeKORE Race+ cantilever w/ SwissStop Flash Yellow King pads
Brake leversShimano Dura-Ace STI Dual Control ST-7800
Front derailleurShimano Dura-Ace FD-7800-F w/ braze-on adapter
Rear derailleurShimano Dura-Ace RD-7800-SS
Shift leversShimano Dura-Ace STI Dual Control ST-7800
CassetteShimano Dura-Ace CS-7800, 12-25T
ChainShimano Dura-Ace CN-7801
CranksetFSA SL-K Light, 177.5mm, 39/46T
Bottom bracketFSA MegaExo Ceramic
PedalsShimano XTR PD-M970
WheelsetFSA RD-488
Front tyreChallenge Grifo 32 tubular
Rear tyreChallenge Grifo 32 tubular
SaddleSelle San Marco Concor Light
Seat postFSA FR-200

Critical Measurements

Rider's height1.96m (6' 5")
Rider's weight79kg (174lb)
Seat tube length, c-c580mm
Seat tube length, c-t633mm
Saddle height, from BB (c-t)933mm
Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem)677mm
C of front wheel to top of bars (next to stem)665mm
Top tube length620mm
Total bicycle weight8.3kg (18.3lb)
James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA
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