Barry Wicks introduces the Nasty Jake

This bike was a design as a thought experiment on blurring the lines between on and off road. After the Grinduro event last year I really started fantasizing about what limits I could push on a “cross” bike, and thus the Nasty Jake was born. The versatility and ability of the bike is unreal. Stable, fast, light, and with sliding dropouts it’s pretty hard to get stranded even if everything goes kaboom.

I started looking at the numbers on the Private Jake frame and realized the fork axle to crown and offset where not too far off from a stock 27.5 suspension fork that MRP makes.

IMG_2192 I talked with MRP about the concept, and they where into it. The resulting loop fork is basically a normal fork with the travel reduced to 40mm. Having the ramp control adjustment is a rad feature because I can get super progressive for road stuff, then open it up and get plush for the dirt with a few spins of the knob.

IMG_2193The drivetrain has seen a few iterations, but I’m pretty set on the 1x with a 44t wolf ring and 11-42 XT cassette out back. The Tanpan roller doohickey also let me marry the XTR derailleur to the Ultegra shifter which is great because I get the clutch for added chain retention. I was running a long cage Ultegra derailleur, and it actually work fine and covered the 11-42 without trouble, but was a bit slappy.

IMG_2194The dropper is a KS LevC with 60mm of drop. It really helps when pinning it down gravel and Singletrack in the drops. It is controlled by the front shifter so is very easy to access on the fly.

The wheels are stock Shimano M9000 XTR units wrapped in the Maxxis Rambler 40c EXO tires. I also have a set mounted up with the Refuse 40c slicks, and depending on the track I swap back and forth.

This bike is amazingly capable. 10 years ago I could have ridden this to a podium at a Norba XC event no problem. It really shows how far and fast bikes are progressing.