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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 10-20-09, 05:19 PM   #1
jrwbike
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Entry Level Rider - Need advice on Jamis bike

I'm new to cycling (ride a vintage single speed Bianchi) and am looking to train for a century early 2010. I need to buy a new bike and have looked at the Jamis Satellite and Ventura Comp. I'm 5'8", 228 lbs. and need advice on what bike would be best for me. I'm looking to build up to between 120 and 130 miles per week over the next couple of months. Any advice is appreciated, thanks.
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Old 10-20-09, 05:21 PM   #2
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Get the one that fits you best.
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Old 10-20-09, 05:50 PM   #3
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Presumably you lean to a 54cm size, the Satellite has a higher standover if that's a concern. The geom. is different too. all this speaks to the question of "fits best".
I'm partial to steel, many agree that chrmly.steel bikes feel better on longer rides, some individuals either don't agree or don't care. These two bikes weigh the same.

Wheels on both aren't too impressive, no worse than any other sub-one thousand dollar bike and at 5'8" , 228 you will lose plenty. Optomistically you'll get down well into a range where fretting over wheels isn't warranted. Untill then they're OK.

It may come down to color or anything. I like any Jamis bike, have for years.
Either choice is a good one. Perhaps you can go up a notch on either model. the quest may be a bit much and the Aurora is sturdier but weighs more.
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Old 10-20-09, 05:51 PM   #4
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Most definitely, yeah:

Quote:
Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Get the one that fits you best.
+1

There are very few difference between them: steel (Satellite) or aluminum (Ventura Comp), triple or compact, and the Ventura is (very slightly) more aggressive in its geometry.

The knock on aluminum has always been it's a harsher ride. I don't know if this criticism still holds true today. But then, this is an entry-level bike, so the greatest engineering/geometry may not have gone into it: it could still be harsh. The carbon fork won't effect the ride comfort much (if it were a seat stay, that's another matter). And, aluminum doesn't rust.

The knock on steel has always been rust, but it always seems to get good marks for comfort. That's because it's also usually flexible. This might be a concern for a clydesdale (it was for me).

I'd personally go for the Ventura Comp.

I'm not a fan of triple cranks: learning to shift them can be a lengthy process. The compact crankset of the Ventura is more appealing to me. It has a slightly shorter wheelbase, making it feel just a bit more nimble. I would expect the aluminum frame to be less flex-y than the steel.

Depending on how heavy you are, you'll probably want to look into getting some stronger wheels. Check w/the shop: it may be cheapest to do it now rather than later.
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Old 10-20-09, 08:51 PM   #5
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I have the Ventura and have no problem with the aluminum frame and do century rides with it. Good luck with whatever you purchase.

Have a great ride!!!
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Old 10-21-09, 04:24 AM   #6
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I've been riding for just 3 months. I've done Metric Centuries on both alum. (Trek FX 7.3) and steel (Bianchi Eros). I like the ride of steel better, but with 700x23 tires on the Bianchi and 700x32 tires on the Trek, there really wasn't much difference in the ride. My guess is if you're going for distance and comfort, the Satellite would be the best choice. However, it would be a close call and fit would mean everything.

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Old 10-21-09, 09:44 AM   #7
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Thanks for the advice guys! I'm going to try to get out and ride both bikes over the next couple of weeks and see what feels best.
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Old 10-21-09, 09:46 AM   #8
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Thanks for addressing the issue of the triple crank. That was a concern that I forgot to bring up. Is it all a matter of preference, or should I be looking for specific gearing for a new century rider?
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Old 10-21-09, 09:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Thanks for the advice guys! I'm going to try to get out and ride both bikes over the next couple of weeks and see what feels best.
Check the length of the crank arms before you test ride them.
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Old 10-21-09, 09:56 AM   #10
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What should I be looking for in the length of the crank arm?
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Old 10-21-09, 10:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrwbike View Post
What should I be looking for in the length of the crank arm?
With all due respect to 10 wheels .. nothing.

Both the models you'd listed have 172.5 lengths in your size range (presumably)

The Aurora has 170, they had used 172.5, even 175 in the past on mid-size bikes.

Cr. arm size is "consistant" with the core size of the bike's frame.
Consider this too : shorter length arms are favored by tourers and spinners, hence the Aurora.
"Long" cranks have become more popular the past few years. I believe that 172.5 even 170's OK
20 years ago, 170 to 172.5 was the norm. Tour riders, tall guys & sprinters use 175.
30 years ago, 165 to 170 was average for 54cm to 58cm frames. Trends evolve.

The appropriate size is spec'd by the designers according to frame size, consistant from brand to brand. It's not like you have (or need) a choice in the matter.
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Old 10-21-09, 10:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
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What should I be looking for in the length of the crank arm?
With long legs I like 175's
When one rides many miles everything is important to a good fit.
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Old 10-21-09, 10:32 AM   #13
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I DO hear you and essentially agree, more than agree. The OP's size seems to be AVG. and there's not much choice in his case, in the bike selection that is.
A custom bike or if one selects the components, the crank length is a major consideration. Anyway, it's good that you wrote what you did. More IMFO. is better.
I've short legs and I even wrestled with the 175 choice. I DO notice that 172.5 works for me, that bit of dif. from my old 170s & 168s is a welcome one.
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Old 10-21-09, 10:35 AM   #14
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Some have said you won't notice the different lengths.
I rode a touring bike with 172's across the country and noticed the differnce right away.
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Old 10-21-09, 03:25 PM   #15
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I have the Satellite. I like it, but I will also say I am waiting on my 3rd frame. The first one cracked on the inside of the seat tube. The second one cracked on two welds where the seat post goes into the seat tube.

I weighed less that 200 pounds when I got the second frame and it still broke. They have been good about replacing them, but steel shouldn't have these problems.
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Old 10-21-09, 05:16 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
Most definitely, yeah:

+1

There are very few difference between them: steel (Satellite) or aluminum (Ventura Comp), triple or compact, and the Ventura is (very slightly) more aggressive in its geometry.

The knock on aluminum has always been it's a harsher ride. I don't know if this criticism still holds true today. But then, this is an entry-level bike, so the greatest engineering/geometry may not have gone into it: it could still be harsh. The carbon fork won't effect the ride comfort much (if it were a seat stay, that's another matter). And, aluminum doesn't rust.

The knock on steel has always been rust, but it always seems to get good marks for comfort. That's because it's also usually flexible. This might be a concern for a clydesdale (it was for me).

I'd personally go for the Ventura Comp.

I'm not a fan of triple cranks: learning to shift them can be a lengthy process. The compact crankset of the Ventura is more appealing to me. It has a slightly shorter wheelbase, making it feel just a bit more nimble. I would expect the aluminum frame to be less flex-y than the steel.

Depending on how heavy you are, you'll probably want to look into getting some stronger wheels. Check w/the shop: it may be cheapest to do it now rather than later.
I agree it would make little difference between the bikes. The Satellite is actually a little lighter than the Ventura, especially considering that it has a triple vs a double on the Ventura. The Satellite does look a little cooler with it's silver finish

I've ridden almost exclusively on triples. Comes with the territory I've never noticed any issues with shifting on the outer rings. They are just a crisp as the few doubles I have owned. Shifting from the middle to the inner is a bit slower but it's not that bad and it usually done when you are going slow anyway.

The compact doubles, on the other hand, suffer from really crappy gear ratios. On a 12-26 cassette (I couldn't find an 11-26 that Jamis lists and it wouldn't make that much difference anyway), the jump from the outer ring to the middle ring is too large. If you look at the gearing, it works out to two independent 9 speed set ups. There's no place on the range where you can make a smooth transition from the inner ring to the outer without having to go through a triple shift (once on front and twice on back) or having to deal with a 20+ gear inch jump. The transition just isn't a smooth as you find on a 54/42 with the same cassette. The difference between the rings on a 50/34 is 43% while it's only 23% on a 52/42. The drop from the 42 to 30 is 40% but that's a bailout gear.
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