Coming Soon: Jango 7.1 Bike Review

Way back at Interbike 2007, Moe spotted an intriguing line of bicycles new to the market…check out his photos from back then by clicking here. Jango, a subsidiary of bicycle accessories juggernaut Topeak, has a pretty neat concept going on, and we were eager to get our hands on their products.

Well, after much speculation and hand-wringing, we were finally able to score a test model just less than two years after Jango introduced the bikes at Interbike! Sometimes things move with strange timing in the bike world…

What we got was a Jango 7.1 in 700c configuration:

jango 7.1

The concept is very cool: what if buying a bike was like going to a car dealer? What if you could walk into a shop, select a bike from a range of models and then select pre-configured “trim packages” or choose dedicated accessories from an extensive menu, all based on your needs? Jango offers seven bike models, nine preconfigured “trim packages” and a list of over 30 unique accessories. That’s a lot to digest!

Our test bike is the 7.1. Here’s a little bit about it from Jango’s website:

Bell: Jango integrated courtesy bell, black
Lights: Jango integrated front and rear LED lights
Pedals: Ergonomic Jango Dual Fit safety pedals
Saddle: Pressure free Allay Racing Sport saddle with AirSpan technology
Sizes: XS (430) / S (475) / M (500) / L (550) / XL (600)
Tyres: Jango light weight 700c x 38c
Wheels: Jango light weight wheel system
Grips: Ergonomic grip
Gears: Shimano Alivio 3 x 8 24 speed
Brake: Levers Jango with integrated bell mount
Fork: Jango suspension fork with magnesium lowers. Oil / Nitrogen hydraulic damping with elastomer spring. Variable compression with lock-out function. 50mm travel
Frame: Jango design with patented modular Plug in Play ports and personalized head badge theft deterrent system. Comfort geometry, high strength 7005 alu, double butted
Kickstand: Jango integrated kickstand
Seat Post: Jango with quick mount socket
Bar/Stem combination: Ergonomic Jango Vario Stem with adjustable angle and height. Forged Alu
Brakes: Jango disc brakes with integrated front disc lock
Colour: Jango Silver

With the bike, we also got a large case of assorted accessories, from cargo-carrying bits to lights, security gear, fenders and a computer. We’re going to have a lot to share, so I’ll try to break things down into a series of articles covering the bike itself, the accessories and the overall experience.

In the meantime, check out Jango’s website for a good overview of their concept and their wide range of models, trim packages and accessories. And stay tuned…the test riding has already begun!


  1. Rantwick June 29, 2009 11:05 pm 

    If that’s how it’s going to be offered, why not just go custom, or better yet, get a good frameset and build it yourself, or have your LBS assemble?

    With bikes, “trim packages” are component groups. Other than that, whatever is on the table is BS. I suppose in these days of super expensive bikes it is not that far off from a car purchase, but what is the appeal of applying the same confusing sales practices?

    Apologizing in advance for my crabby mood,

    – Rantwick

  2. Rantwick June 29, 2009 11:30 pm 

    Follow up – I went to the Jango site. It looks to me like an excuse to offer the same frame for every purpose and charge a ton for matching accessories. I didn’t start out being so cynical, but here we are.

  3. Stuart M. June 29, 2009 11:54 pm 

    I have been living in my city for six years now and thought I new it pretty well. Recently, at an environmental expo, I was looking at a very detailed map of the city and surrounding countryside when I saw an intriguing snaky black line that cut through what I thought was dense forest. A dirt road! And only minutes from my house! I took my commuter bike with the 47-622 wheels and went to investigate. It was a beautiful narrowl dirt road through the forest and up and down several hills, even better than I had imagined it. But my bike’s center pull brakes weren’t up to the job and I had some hair-raising descents. Even with the wide tires, the lack of front suspension and the Brooke’s saddle really left me well-rattled. My back still hurts as I write. If I had only had this beautiful Jango bike to ride instead!

  4. Rantwick June 30, 2009 12:01 am 


    Are you kidding me? Do you work for Jango? What can you tell me about these bikes that would recommend them to you for our exhilerating dirt road descent?

  5. Rantwick June 30, 2009 12:04 am 

    Wait, I see. Jango is the exclusive distributor of front suspension and disc brakes. Never mind, Stuart. I get you now.

  6. Rantwick June 30, 2009 12:07 am 

    Hey Stuart!

    I’m just curious. What is your city? When and where was the “environmental expo”? If you can answer me and make me look like a cynical ass, I will happily eat crow and apologize.

  7. Ghost Rider June 30, 2009 2:59 am 

    Rantwick…ease up. Stuart M. is a longtimer around here…not a patsy for a company.

  8. Rantwick June 30, 2009 5:38 am 

    Ghost Rider,

    Your word is good enough for me. I hereby accept that I was indeed being a cynical ass, and I would like to extend honest apologies to Stuart M. I’m not usually that snippy; sorry.

  9. Ghost Rider June 30, 2009 6:02 am 

    No problem, man. We all get a wild hair now and again!

  10. RL Policar June 30, 2009 7:57 am 

    Dang Rantwick…had an extra cup of coffee this morning eh?

    We saw Jango for the first time 2 years back at Interbike and thought their stuff was pretty cool. I’m curious to see how Jack’s review goes.

  11. Ghost Rider June 30, 2009 8:04 am 

    Yes, let’s wait to see how all this stuff does (and there’s a LOT of it!) before we cast any stones.

    When RL and Moe spotted Jango at Interbike 2007, we were all pretty impressed. It is a cool concept for folks who aren’t into DIY — many of our fellow commuters aren’t confident with wrenches, believe it or not — or just want turnkey solutions to their cycling needs.

  12. Quinn June 30, 2009 9:24 am 

    I agree with Rantwicks first comment about going custom, Another bike for the Breezer/Civia category :(

    As a automobile reviewer said of the VW Peaton- “Its the answer to the question nobody asked.”

  13. Ghost Rider June 30, 2009 10:39 am 

    “Another bike for the Breezer/Civia category ”

    Not sure what you mean by that…because Breezers and Civias are selling like hotcakes.

    Custom is not an option for a lot of cyclists, either…but a concept like Jango’s puts some of the custom touches (at least accessory-wise) in the hands of the buyer.

  14. Rantwick June 30, 2009 10:50 am 

    I can appreciate that some people don’t want to build bikes from scratch, and just “customize” to suit their needs with the accessories. I guess the idea of the accessories making the bike feels backwards to me, but wouldn’t to lots f normal people.

    My main concern is that the accessories designed to work with this bike’s “plug n’ play” setup will cost a lot more than regular ones, and people will end up paying an awful lot for the bike and an awful lot more for the accessories to make it the multi-purpose machine it is supposed to be. I look forward to pricing info, especially on the accessories.

  15. Evan June 30, 2009 1:00 pm 

    “The concept is very cool: what if buying a bike was like going to a car dealer?”

    Then I would never want to buy a bike ever again. (really, going to a car dealership is probably near the top of the list of things people hate doing. Why not just write “what if buying a bike was like getting a root canal?”)

  16. Ghost Rider June 30, 2009 1:41 pm 

    Evan, you obviously either didn’t read the rest of the article, or didn’t get the point.

    The idea is not to haggle over price and deal with a guy in a cheap suit, spending hours of negotiating time and filling out endless forms, but the concept itself of selecting trims and accessories from a range of models and choices.

    Surely we’re no fan of cars, but take the carhaters off for a minute and try to understand what I am getting at here.

  17. Evan June 30, 2009 1:47 pm 

    No, I got it just fine Ghost Rider (and I don’t have carhaters, as I’m primarily a driver). I just didn’t think that was the best analogy–what about “what if buying a bike was like deciding what toppings you want on your ice cream?”

  18. RL June 30, 2009 1:52 pm 

    here we go again with the word games….

  19. db June 30, 2009 1:58 pm 

    Wow, of all the posts to set off the vitriol… thanks for making the internet less pleasant, guys. 😉

    Ghost, I’m looking forward to the reviews. For a couple of years, Topeak’s website has had a couple pages devoted to Jango, and I was puzzled by the fact that I could not find any independent info on them. Thanks for tackling this.

  20. Stuart M. June 30, 2009 6:05 pm 


    No offense taken. I was just still on such a high from that great experience on that dirt mountain (okay, hilly) road that I wanted an excuse to tell the world. I saw that Jango bike and thought it was the answer to my sore butt and back. I obviously don’t know the first thing about mountain bikes!

  21. Jon Karak June 30, 2009 6:27 pm 

    Sounds like a marketing plan to upsell prospective customers with lots of non-standard “upgrades.”

  22. RL June 30, 2009 9:56 pm 

    All I have to say is some like their hot fudge sundae with nuts and others don’t.

    I’m glad there are options available for the consumer to pick and choose what they want.

  23. Mike Myers July 1, 2009 4:08 am 

    Jack—do you have any sales numbers on Civias? I know you know your stuff, but I find it hard to belive that expensive commuter bikes are selling well in a recession. As for the Jango—seems like it’s going to be a headache for the dealer and the customer. Too many options.

    Half the fun of bike ownership, to me anyway, is finding the right accessories for my needs. Customization should be a personal thing, IMHO.

  24. Quinn July 2, 2009 10:29 am 

    Civia/Breezer – custom

    last I checked a custom bike and a Civia were about the same price.

  25. Mike Myers July 3, 2009 2:15 am 

    Quinn—you’re correct there. I would buy an ANT Boston Roadster before I bought a Civia, for sure.

    Civias cost just about what I paid for my Gunnar, and that’s ridiculous. My Gunnar was handmade by craftsmen in Wisconsin. The Civias are made in Taiwan, likely by robots. I don’t understand why the Civias cost so much.

  26. Abigail September 21, 2009 1:51 pm 

    I like the concept. I use my bike to commute every day so bought a touring style hybrid. It’s a great bike although a tad heavy but that was budget restricted. I’ve set it up to be modular and quick plug n play using Topeak racks and bags combined with Cateye lights and accessories. Whilst it’ll never be perfect for any particular task the modular set-up does let it be a nice all rounder. Would love to be able to afford one for a city commute together with one for sports but being on an average wage that is not to be. If Topeak can get the price point right this bike could be good but people should be aware that it is possible to do with any other bike with a bit of effort.

  27. Rantwick September 21, 2009 10:16 pm 

    Stuart M. – You are a class act for not being angry with me. I only looked at this post since the full review is out, and never saw your nice comment.


    Cynical Ass

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