Marin’s Four Corners bikes are equal parts responsible adult and youthful explorer. Whether you’re commuting during the week or exploring back roads on weekends, the Four Corner’s 4130 CrMo steel frame and fork features three bottle mounts, rack and fender eyelets, lowrider fork mounts, and clearance for 29″ x 2.0″ tires. With an MSRP of $1099, you’ll have money left over for a mid-ride corn dog.
Is there such a thing as a truly do-it-all bicycle? Gravel bikes–which are often praised for their versatility–come pretty darn close. Despite their flexibility, however, gravel rigs still share many of the design traits and limitations associated with conventional road bikes. Last summer those limitations became abundantly clear when I began including more technical off-road sections in my mixed-terrain rides. Despite the gravel bike’s wider tires and lower gears, its road-based design placed more emphasis on aerodynamics and smooth surface efficiency than off-road capabilities.
Around the time of my existential off-road crisis, a press release from Oregon-based bike wizard Jeff Jones found its way into my inbox. The press release announced that Jones was now offering a carbon version of his popular Loop handlebar. Having previously tested—and liked–the aluminum Loop bar, I figured the new carbon version might be just what I needed to improve my gravel bike’s off-road capabilities. After a series of email exchanges, Jeff suggested that I give him a call.
The Jones in its natural habitat.