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  1. #1
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Jamis Nova -- why haven't I heard more?

    In my ongoing flirtation with the idea of buying a second bike (a 700c bike to complement my folder), I've seen a lot of nice options. Most recently, I stopped by an LBS a few days ago and saw a Jamis Nova in the window for CAN$1400. I've heard a lot about the Aurora, but a search for the Nova on this forum didn't turn up very much recent information. Anyone have any experience with a Nova? It seems like a pretty good value, though I'm not sure what I think about vertical dropouts...

    http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/bikes/07_bikes/nova.html

  2. #2
    Seņor Miembro JustBrowsing's Avatar
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    While you don't see too many people that own them around here, the Nova is one bike that gets mentioned a few times during every "What good all-around bike should I get?" thread that comes up. Although, it's usually in the form of "If you can afford it--otherwise, look at the Aurora."
    Hey! Get your mouse off my text!

  3. #3
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Hmm... It is more expensive than the Aurora, but it doesn't seem that it's much more expensive (even a bit less) than an equivalently built-up Cross-Check. Plus, it has Reynolds 631 tubing, which I think means it's got like 15 extra horsepower.

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    I don't have the Aurora or Nova, but I have the Satellite.

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    Luggite bsyptak's Avatar
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    It's a really nice bike, and the black/orange color is stunning.

    I think Jamis suffers from the same problem as Felt, Kona, Raleigh and the other second tier bike brands: NO DEALERS.

    When I say second tier, I don't mean in terms of quality. I mean visibility in bike stores. IMO the quality of all brands of LBS bikes is virtually identical at the same price point. Some have slightly better components for the money.

    People always talk about Trek/Giant/Specialized because there's about a 100% chance that you will see at least one of those brands in every LBS you walk into. The others, it might take 10 stores to see the brand..some like Jamis people never see. It's unfortunate. Everybody [thinks they] wants a Trek.

    I do think that the Nova is a great bike. I have 2 Jamis bikes, both steel. I might have bought a Nova had I not scored a Waterford cross bike for less . The Nova is a rare bird anymore, a production steel cross bike, far more comfortable than any rigid aluminum cross bike on the market. Race worthy, yet ridable all day too.

    Kudos to Jamis for keeping at least one steel model in pretty much every category of bike.

  6. #6
    2 Wheel Junkie
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    I called over 7 different LBS's to find the Jamis Satellite to get one. I wanted an affordable steel framed road bike with traditional geometry. I'm beginning to see more LBS's carrying Jamis now.

  7. #7
    B.C. to D.C.
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    I have an '06 (green) in 853 tubing.

    It rules. More than enough bike for road and trails.

    Jamis has the rep. of packing a lot of value and thought into an affordable bike, and they really stand behind them.

    The orange is awesome, and the build is quality. All you might need is smooth tires for road commuting.

    Vertical dropouts are the rule rather than the exception. if you want the convenience of vertical dropouts with the flexibility of semi-horiz., check out steelwool bikes, out of ottawa. There's a thread around somewhere about it. They have a steel campy cross build (truffle pig) with an elliptical bottom bracket. Good idea.

  8. #8
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by comradehoser
    I have an '06 (green) in 853 tubing.

    It rules. More than enough bike for road and trails.

    Jamis has the rep. of packing a lot of value and thought into an affordable bike, and they really stand behind them.

    The orange is awesome, and the build is quality. All you might need is smooth tires for road commuting.

    Vertical dropouts are the rule rather than the exception. if you want the convenience of vertical dropouts with the flexibility of semi-horiz., check out steelwool bikes, out of ottawa. There's a thread around somewhere about it. They have a steel campy cross build (truffle pig) with an elliptical bottom bracket. Good idea.
    That was my thread about the Truffle Pig. I liked the bike, but found it a bit expensive as it is built up. I'm still toying with the idea of using the Truffle Pig frameset, but I'd love to take the Jamis out for a spin.

  9. #9
    Senior Member d2create's Avatar
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    Vertical dropouts is the norm on a shifty.
    You'll need to go fixed/singlespeed if you want horizontal dropouts.
    Normally.
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  10. #10
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    The website says this model is also available as frameset. I can't find the pricing for that on their site nor from google search. Does any one know how much it is? It looks really nice..

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    Luggite bsyptak's Avatar
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    Guessing $500 +/- $100. Doubtful on the -. At that price, it's time to start comparing it to the Lemond Poprad Disc (only) which has True Temper OX (better) steel at $700ish, or the Soma Double Cross made with Tange Prestige (similar) in the low $400s frame only. Steel option on fork, or pick up a carbon cross fork for $150.

    All 3 of those would build up nicely. Pick your price point.

  12. #12
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by d2create
    Vertical dropouts is the norm on a shifty.
    You'll need to go fixed/singlespeed if you want horizontal dropouts.
    Normally.
    Hmm... I've seen a bunch of really nice all-rounder bikes with horizontal dropouts, but you do have a point. I still haven't decided if being able to go fixed is an issue for me: I like the flexibility of being able to do it, but don't know if I'll ever really take advantage of it.

  13. #13
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsyptak
    Guessing $500 +/- $100. Doubtful on the -. At that price, it's time to start comparing it to the Lemond Poprad Disc (only) which has True Temper OX (better) steel at $700ish, or the Soma Double Cross made with Tange Prestige (similar) in the low $400s frame only. Steel option on fork, or pick up a carbon cross fork for $150.

    All 3 of those would build up nicely. Pick your price point.
    That sounds about right. From the price of the built-up bike, I'd expect it would be closer to $450 than $550

  14. #14
    370H-SSV-0773H linux_author's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsyptak
    I think Jamis suffers from the same problem as Felt, Kona, Raleigh and the other second tier bike brands: NO DEALERS.
    +1

    (and the local Jamis dealer won't stock any cross/commute/road Jamis bike because he's too busy selling beach cruisers and three-wheeled trikes to the 65+ crowd down here... i asked!)

    :-(

    p.s. Jamis: allow Internet sales and you'll see more profits...

  15. #15
    sug
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    Oceanic 6 sug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsyptak
    Guessing $500 +/- $100. Doubtful on the -. At that price, it's time to start comparing it to the Lemond Poprad Disc (only) which has True Temper OX (better) steel at $700ish, or the Soma Double Cross made with Tange Prestige (similar) in the low $400s frame only. Steel option on fork, or pick up a carbon cross fork for $150.

    All 3 of those would build up nicely. Pick your price point.
    It's off topic, but I didn't know about Soma. Those simple steel frames are the ones I was looking for. I should check out their shop. Thanks for the info.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bsyptak
    It's a really nice bike, and the black/orange color is stunning.

    I think Jamis suffers from the same problem as Felt, Kona, Raleigh and the other second tier bike brands: NO DEALERS.

    When I say second tier, I don't mean in terms of quality. I mean visibility in bike stores. IMO the quality of all brands of LBS bikes is virtually identical at the same price point. Some have slightly better components for the money.

    People always talk about Trek/Giant/Specialized because there's about a 100% chance that you will see at least one of those brands in every LBS you walk into. The others, it might take 10 stores to see the brand..some like Jamis people never see. It's unfortunate. Everybody [thinks they] wants a Trek.

    I do think that the Nova is a great bike. I have 2 Jamis bikes, both steel. I might have bought a Nova had I not scored a Waterford cross bike for less . The Nova is a rare bird anymore, a production steel cross bike, far more comfortable than any rigid aluminum cross bike on the market. Race worthy, yet ridable all day too.

    Kudos to Jamis for keeping at least one steel model in pretty much every category of bike.

    Exactly. I've visited about 7 different shops around me and only 2 "carry" Jamis, but don't stock many of their bikes. I have an Aurora on order through one of them since I must have that bike. They did have an 06 Nova (green) in stock, but it's too rich for my blood.

  17. #17
    M_S
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    I may have gone for the Nova over the Aurora, but as a student, the latter was already pushing my budget.

    Nova looks great. Steel, carbon fork. Cross race worthy, I've been told, but also a really good do it all bike. And Jamis makes a mean steel frame, according to all sources.

  18. #18
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbcb
    In my ongoing flirtation with the idea of buying a second bike (a 700c bike to complement my folder), I've seen a lot of nice options. Most recently, I stopped by an LBS a few days ago and saw a Jamis Nova in the window for CAN$1400. I've heard a lot about the Aurora, but a search for the Nova on this forum didn't turn up very much recent information.
    Obviously you haven't read many of my posts .
    I have an '05 Nova. Awesome bike.
    It costs more than the Aurora because it is a cyclocross bike and has better components.
    It makes a GREAT commuter. You can see pics of mine in my signature.
    My bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO carbon 105

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    Anyone know the biggest width tire that the Aurora and the Nova can accomodate? I'm debating between the two right now. Also, where can I find information ranking different grades of steel tubing? Bsyptak , you made reference to Tange Prestige being similar to Reynolds 631....I'm looking for more info like that.
    Thanks in advance!

  20. #20
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    There's a bit of discussion about the different steels here:
    What's the deal with all these chrmo alloys?

    Overview of different materials here:
    http://www.strongframes.com/material_tech/specs/

    Much more information (perhaps too much) here:
    http://www.strongframes.com/material_tech/

    The more I read about the different steels, the more I feel that the different grades of steel are more for marketing purposes than anything (at least at the $1,000 - $1,500 price point [Edit: for the complete bike, not just the frame]). On top of that, frames labelled "Reynolds 853" may in fact only use this tubing for part of the frame... the rear triangle is often good ol' 4130.

  21. #21
    Luggite bsyptak's Avatar
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    I've read that ride quality is pretty similar on many of the steel frames. But one thing the numers do tell you is how light a frame is going to be. A lot of people like Surly Cross Checks, but they weigh well 4.9 lbs vs the Soma'a 4.2 lbs. Better steel is lighter.

  22. #22
    Senior Moment ontheroadid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbcb
    In my ongoing flirtation with the idea of buying a second bike (a 700c bike to complement my folder), I've seen a lot of nice options. Most recently, I stopped by an LBS a few days ago and saw a Jamis Nova in the window for CAN$1400. I've heard a lot about the Aurora, but a search for the Nova on this forum didn't turn up very much recent information. Anyone have any experience with a Nova?
    Not to make your choice more difficult, but what do you see yourself primarily using this bike for? I'm asking because if you're mostly commuting on it, the Quest might be a good option as well.

    http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/bikes/07_bikes/quest.html

    Compare the specs side-by-side. The componentry is amazingly similar, with obvious differences in the wheelsets and brakes. But there's almost a 3-pound (1.4 kg) difference in weight.

    I only suggest this because I ride an aluminum "racing" bike to work - 15 miles round-trip - and really enjoy its advantages. I've never thought: "Wow, I need a beefier frame and tires for this." But maybe you do, or plan to use it off-road a bit. Just wanted to throw another idea out there.

    Let us know what you get. I have a Jamis dealer in town here, and I'm seriously considering getting the Quest when they start to clear out the '07s.

  23. #23
    B.C. to D.C.
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    first off--

    semi-horizontal dropouts used to be the norm for shifties up until the early 90s or so (I think)--you might be confused about the fixie/SS association because a lot of people convert bikes with semi-horizontal dropouts because it allows you to set chain tension. the horizontal "dropouts" that open to the rear are actually track ends. On new production bikes, I think the Surly Cross-check is one of the few steel frames that have semi-horiz. dropouts. Can't think of any others off the top of my head.

    On tubing--I thought I heard that Lemond stopped using TT Platinum OX in '06 for the Poprad, but maybe I'm wrong. I can also definitely tell the difference between my old Nova (631) and my special frame (853). Lighter and stiffer, not necessarily better, just different.

    On the width--there was some discussion of how wide a tire the Nova could take on cyclocross. You might want to search there, but if I recall correctly, I think it was 40mm.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by comradehoser
    On new production bikes, I think the Surly Cross-check is one of the few steel frames that have semi-horiz. dropouts. Can't think of any others off the top of my head.
    Bianchi Volpe is another.
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  25. #25
    Luggite bsyptak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by comradehoser
    I can also definitely tell the difference between my old Nova (631) and my special frame (853). Lighter and stiffer, not necessarily better, just different.
    631 and 853 are the same 853 tubes, the only difference is that tubes are air hardened for 631 and the heat treated for 853.

    From the bobjackson.com web site:

    The primary difference between 853 and 631 is the lack of heat treating applied to an 853 tubeset, thus producing 631 tubing

    So there is no difference in weight as I read it. The only difference is that 853 is stiffer. For some that is reason enough to justify the not insignificant price difference. For me, having ridden many steel bikes as well as a few aluminum, I much prefer a softer ride. It is not noodly either if that's the way I make it sound. I have 2 bikes (both Jamis!) made of 631 and both are a magic carpet ride.

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