From what folks may know, is the steel frame a big advantage in the Jamis Coda line (and I like Jamis because they seem to provide a very solid product at a very fair price)? This is what keeps cropping up in my research for a hybrid bicycle - go with a lighter bike (which means no suspension fork) and a steel frame and fork for the most comfort, which is why I am now focused on the Coda Sport and Coda as my priorities as a newbie who wants to get back on a bicycle (50 years old, 6'0", 200 pounds, and in decent shape from two to three weight circuit training workouts per week for over 30 years) to ride mostly on pavement but with the capability to do light (rather than mountain) paths and trails.
In addition, as I continue to pinch pennies in attempting to squeeze this bicycle out as a Christmas present from the family, are the Coda Sport (MSRP $600) components worth the extra $125 over the Coda (MSRP $475) in your view?
Specifically, we are talking about the same frame, headset, fork, tires, rims, spokes, seat posts, tape, and brakes between the two. But the wheels are different (Shimano Road 2200 hubs versus Formula sealed alloy QR hubs), the derailleurs are different (Shimano Deore rear and Shimano R453-A bottom pull front versus Shimano Acera rear and Shimano C-102 bottom pull front), the shift levers are different (Shimano ST-440 for flat-bar versus SRAM TRX Unilever trigger-shift), the chains are different (KMC Z9000 versus KMC Z-82), the cassettes are different (SRAM PowerGlide 950, 9-speed, 11-32 versus Shimano CS-HG40, 8-speed, 11-32), the cranksets are different (FSA Vero Triple, 50/39/30 versus RPM alloy triple, 48/38/28), the BB sets are different (FSA Sealed Cartridge versus Sealed Cartridge BB), the pedals are different (full alloy platform type versus platform type, steel cage/resin body), the handlebars and stems are different (Ritchey Alloy flatbar and Ritchey Comp Adjustable stem versus alloy flatbar and alloy adjustable stem), the saddles are different (Selle San Marco Elba versus Jamis Touring with SL top and satin steel rails), and the weights are slightly different (25.75 pounds versus 26.50 pounds).
I am hoping to use this bicycle for pavement, paths, and trails without having to change the setup. Are the 700x28c Vittoria Zaffiro tires going to be acceptable for this? I almost wish a somewhat wider tire (700x32c or 700x35c or 700x38c) came standard, plus something that was puncture resistant.
I bought a coda sport this past August as I wanted to turn over a new leaf and get into better shape. I test rode both the coda and the coda sport. I don't know much about bikes, but the Coda Sport had a much smoother, more intuitive feel to me. I have used this bike for anywhere between 25 and 100 miles a week since, and have been very happy with my purchase. I like the 700x28s that came stock, but you may want something a little beefier if you plan to ride very much off of the pavement. For the record, I'm 36, 5'9", 180 lbs.
Cilo, Surly Pacer, Kona Fire Mountain w/Bob Trailer, Scattante
My wife has a Coda sport, great bombproof bike. I don't think you can get more bang for your buck in an all around bike. I think the upgrade to the sport is worth it and the comp is overkill. I think you'll be happy however you choose to go. Happy riding.