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Old 05-30-09, 02:35 PM   #1
Road Fan
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Jamis Bikes?

Has anybody looked at Jamis Bicycles? Mrs. Road Fan is thinking about a new hopefully cushy bike. Jamis advertises their Ventura as a comfortable bump-smoothing bike and Bicycling seems to have concurred at least when looking at under $1k bikes. Also interested in their steel bikes, the Eclipse (853 tubing) and the Quest (631 tubing), both billed as "Comfort Road Bikes." The top of the Eclipse line is a little dear, but if that's what she wants ...

She's also interested in a Specialized Roubaix, and I'd like to see if there's a budget Ti bike that we can look at, as well.

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Old 05-30-09, 02:54 PM   #2
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Jamis bikes are pretty popular here in Seattle and they are really good values, in my opinion.

The Aurora is a well known, dependable commuter or light tourer.

Even more interesting, IMHO, is the James Aurora Elite. Very nicely equipped for $1500. The upgrade vs. the Aurora gets you a higher quality, lighter frame and very nice components for the price. It's not an all-out, fully loaded tourer, but seems to me to be a very capable around-town, commuter, recreational or light touring bike.

http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik...roraelite.html

Another bike I'd consider in this price range is the Salsa Casserroll.



As far as "budget" Ti - the only "budget" Ti bikes I'm aware of are Habanero Cycles or BikesDirect, which has a Motobecane Ti road bike and a Motobecane Ti 'cross bike, both around $1800. Habenero is sold over the web, and has a very good reputation.


One of the things you might want to consider is whether you want to ride in bad weather. The Jamis Aurora Elite and the Casserroll are very capable of fitting larger tires with full fenders. Though the Roubaix is a popular 50+ bike, it's still a pretty sporty bike and AFAIK will only fit 25c tires and has no provision for fenders unless you mount Race Blades, or other temporary fenders.
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Old 05-30-09, 03:07 PM   #3
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+1 on Jamis bikes. I have a 2007 Aurora with over 5,000 miles that has served me well as 'a very capable around-town, commuter, recreational and light touring bike'. Other than replacing the chain once and the rear tire (both normal wear and tear items), there have been no other issues with the bike. Mine is all stock except for the crankset and bottom bracket which I had swapped at time of purchase to lower gearing (48-36-26) for touring.

The 2009 Aurora Elite is a very nice bike, lighter than the Aurora by about 4lbs, but with the same geometry. Older models of Aurora Elite have a different geometry.
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Old 05-30-09, 05:00 PM   #4
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I can't comment on Jamis BIKES but I can comment on Jamis FRAMES

My current ride is a 2001 Jamis Ventura with 520 steel tubing. I bought her as a frame (new, old stock, never built up) about 18 months back and built my bike around that frame. That frame has a great ride - stiff and just springs over rough surfaces such as broken bitumen or dirt.

But you can't buy that frame anymore. Looking at the frame though, it's really well built and a great ride so on the basis of that, go for it. I can't comment on how they option up their bikes and that can make or break the whole deal of course, but at least I can stay that back in 2001, they were getting the frame right

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Old 05-30-09, 07:47 PM   #5
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Jamis bikes are well built and progressive, their eclipse is very interesting, though pricey.

I have a xenith and think it is solidly built.
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Old 05-30-09, 08:19 PM   #6
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I love my 2009 Jamis Aurora Elite. I initially bought it for its relaxed geometry more than for its touring bike capabilities. However, I now find myself commuting to work on a regular basis because I enjoy it so much. My LBS gave me a decent discount and that also helped me decide on the Aurora Elite over other brands.

Since Jamis bikes are not as mainstream as Trek or Specialized in my neck of the woods, it was hard to find a dealer in these parts that stocked all the models I was interested in so I could test ride them. They have plenty of models under $1k for testing but are reluctant to stock higher end models because they don't want them sitting on their showroom floors for an extended period of time.

I decided on the Aurora Elite based on research and word of mouth, and by corresponding via email and phone with factory reps for more information and about fit. It was a real leap of faith to order the Aurora Elite without testing it first. (I know, I'm breaking the rules here.) Fortunately, it worked out for me.

Hopefully, your Jamis dealer has the models you're interested in to test ride. But, in my opinion, they are a reputable brand that make some quality bikes.
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Old 05-30-09, 08:37 PM   #7
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I've only bought 1 Jamis bike. It was a first bike for my niece, back at a time when most all young girls' bikes were variations on a Stingray. The Jamis was not quite a bmx, but a good solid 20" step through bike in a bright purple color. It was well liked and spent a number of years being given the standard amounts of abuse a child give a bike.

So, for good design and durability my experience was definitely positive.
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Old 05-30-09, 09:05 PM   #8
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I really like my Jamis and I would have no problem when or if I ever upgrade to CF to look at Jamis over many other bikes. In fact I like it well enough to spend the money to upgrade some of the components and we all know it is easier to buy bikes with components already on them.
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Old 05-30-09, 10:21 PM   #9
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I love my 2009 Jamis Aurora Elite. I initially bought it for its relaxed geometry more than for its touring bike capabilities. However, I now find myself commuting to work on a regular basis because I enjoy it so much. My LBS gave me a decent discount and that also helped me decide on the Aurora Elite over other brands.

Since Jamis bikes are not as mainstream as Trek or Specialized in my neck of the woods, it was hard to find a dealer in these parts that stocked all the models I was interested in so I could test ride them. They have plenty of models under $1k for testing but are reluctant to stock higher end models because they don't want them sitting on their showroom floors for an extended period of time.

I decided on the Aurora Elite based on research and word of mouth, and by corresponding via email and phone with factory reps for more information and about fit. It was a real leap of faith to order the Aurora Elite without testing it first. (I know, I'm breaking the rules here.) Fortunately, it worked out for me.

Hopefully, your Jamis dealer has the models you're interested in to test ride. But, in my opinion, they are a reputable brand that make some quality bikes.
We have a Jamis dealer here, but I'll have to get him to get teh bike to test, if we go ahead.

I didn't look closely at teh Aurora Elite at first, because it's a touring bike. What I was worried about is the reputation most touring bikes have for stiffness, due to the heavy-walled tubing often used to support loads. LHTs have this attribute, as do more recent Trek 520s. But looking over the geometry, I see a lot of similarity to the Rambouillet, my Woodrup, and the early Treks, in the TX700 range, which are much more brevet bikes or light tourers. I see with the 32 mm tires, it will show a trail around 60 mm, which I think is good.

I wanted to know about these bikes because Mrs. Road Fan's Cannondale flat-bar road bike is just too harsh over bumps and our poor road surfaces. It's a fairly recent Optima frame with a carbon fork, but I think there's no more aluminum coming to my family unless it's truly exceptional. But still, not all steel is supple. Some steel bikes are just stiff until loaded.

So what about unloaded ride and handling?

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Old 05-30-09, 10:38 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ecrider View Post
I love my 2009 Jamis Aurora Elite. I initially bought it for its relaxed geometry more than for its touring bike capabilities. However, I now find myself commuting to work on a regular basis because I enjoy it so much. My LBS gave me a decent discount and that also helped me decide on the Aurora Elite over other brands.

Since Jamis bikes are not as mainstream as Trek or Specialized in my neck of the woods, it was hard to find a dealer in these parts that stocked all the models I was interested in so I could test ride them. They have plenty of models under $1k for testing but are reluctant to stock higher end models because they don't want them sitting on their showroom floors for an extended period of time.

I decided on the Aurora Elite based on research and word of mouth, and by corresponding via email and phone with factory reps for more information and about fit. It was a real leap of faith to order the Aurora Elite without testing it first. (I know, I'm breaking the rules here.) Fortunately, it worked out for me.

Hopefully, your Jamis dealer has the models you're interested in to test ride. But, in my opinion, they are a reputable brand that make some quality bikes.
We have a Jamis dealer here, but he'd have to get the bike to test, if we go ahead.

I didn't look closely at teh Aurora Elite at first, because it's a touring bike. What I was worried about is the reputation most touring bikes have for stiffness, due to the heavy-walled tubing often used to support loads. LHTs have this attribute, as do more recent Trek 520s. But looking over the geometry, I see a lot of similarity to the Rambouillet, my Woodrup, and the early Treks, in the TX700 range, which are much more brevet bikes or light tourers, than full load tourers. I see with the 32 mm tires, it will show a trail around 60 mm, which I think is good.

I wanted to know about these bikes because Mrs. Road Fan's Cannondale flat-bar road bike is just too harsh over bumps and our poor road surfaces. It's a fairly recent Optima frame with a carbon fork, but I think there's no more aluminum coming to my family unless it's truly exceptional. But still, not all steel is supple. Some steel bikes are just stiff until loaded.

So what about unloaded ride and handling?

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Old 05-31-09, 03:31 AM   #11
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My '08 Ventura Sport by Jamis is doing well for me, but I limit my rides to smoother surface roads and bike trails. It's all aluminum so I knew it was going to be on the stiff side but that's OK by me. No technical or build issues so far after 1 year. This is my first road bike and I stayed with an entry level bike because I wasn't sure if the 700x23 c tires and razor blade seat was for me. This bike converted me to a road bike rider now so my next bike will be a higher end Jamis model. Happy hunting.
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Old 05-31-09, 04:36 AM   #12
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I had a steel Ventura and liked it a lot. The new ones, of course are, AL but I presume the geometry is the same. Bicycle Magazine likes it too. Buy it!
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Old 05-31-09, 06:16 AM   #13
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I converted mine to a road bike. It's a Coda Elite and it has 631 tubing and I like my a lot.

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Old 05-31-09, 06:51 AM   #14
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What I was worried about is the reputation most touring bikes have for stiffness, due to the heavy-walled tubing often used to support loads. LHTs have this attribute, as do more recent Trek 520s.
In my touring bike quest I did not know this. Of course I have not gotten to the point of testing any yet. Thanks for that tip - I will pay special attention. I had assumed the larger tires on touring bikes would compensate for that some but maybe not.
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Old 05-31-09, 07:57 AM   #15
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In my touring bike quest I did not know this. Of course I have not gotten to the point of testing any yet. Thanks for that tip - I will pay special attention. I had assumed the larger tires on touring bikes would compensate for that some but maybe not.
It could be that the tires will compensate as you suggest, but that's why I'm looking for owner experience.

It could also be that touring bike tires are spec'd this way for load capacity, rim protection, and security on a wider range of roads.
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Old 05-31-09, 09:19 AM   #16
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I have been extremely happy with the Jamis Quest, bought four years ago. For me it was an excellent fit, excellent deal, and has proved to be robust. My riding style is 30-40 mile day trips and sponsored tours of the week-long variety.The local bike shop sells a lot of Jamis and recommended it.

My son bought a Ventura for college town commuting and has done well with it.
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Old 05-31-09, 11:16 AM   #17
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We have a Jamis dealer here, but I'll have to get him to get teh bike to test, if we go ahead.

I didn't look closely at teh Aurora Elite at first, because it's a touring bike. What I was worried about is the reputation most touring bikes have for stiffness, due to the heavy-walled tubing often used to support loads. LHTs have this attribute, as do more recent Trek 520s. But looking over the geometry, I see a lot of similarity to the Rambouillet, my Woodrup, and the early Treks, in the TX700 range, which are much more brevet bikes or light tourers. I see with the 32 mm tires, it will show a trail around 60 mm, which I think is good.

I wanted to know about these bikes because Mrs. Road Fan's Cannondale flat-bar road bike is just too harsh over bumps and our poor road surfaces. It's a fairly recent Optima frame with a carbon fork, but I think there's no more aluminum coming to my family unless it's truly exceptional. But still, not all steel is supple. Some steel bikes are just stiff until loaded.

So what about unloaded ride and handling?

Road Fan

Regarding the tires. I initially asked Jamis if I could get a narrower tire for more speed and they recommended that the tire not be any narrower than 28. Otherwise it would sacrifice comfort. However, I've gotten used to the stock 32s because they help dampen road chatter along with the steel frame. Plus, they're a pretty tough tire to boot.

It's great that your LBS can get you a model to test. That will answer a multitude of questions. Good luck.
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Old 05-31-09, 02:49 PM   #18
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Jamis is an undervalued line. I have an Eclipse (carbon/steel) and it's much more bike than I could have purchased for the same dollar from almost any other brand available in my area. While the Eclipse you're looking at is all steel, I can say (having ridden one) that the carbon/steel and full steel are both very comfortable bikes.
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Old 05-31-09, 07:24 PM   #19
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+1 I have a Jamis Aurora and really enjoy the ride and comfort.
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Old 06-01-09, 11:12 AM   #20
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+1 Jamis bikes my Ventura Comp is a great ride
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Old 06-01-09, 11:34 AM   #21
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Jamis sells some great bikes and at value prices compared to many of the big guys.

You can not go wrong with an 853 steel frame. The steel frames are made by MaxWay in Taiwan and are of the highest quality for fit and finish.
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Old 06-01-09, 11:50 AM   #22
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I mostly ride an '02 or '03 Jamis Aurora. It was built up (by another party) as a NOS frame. Bar end shifters, Airline rims (these are really really good rims by a maker you don't hear much about... deep vee's), Deore changers, 24 speed. UPgraded with Nitto Randonneur bars, Nitto stem, Brooks B-17, fenders, rack. just under 9K miles. Bullet proof. Smooth steel ride. The newer bikes are bit more fancy, but this works. My brother has a Satellite which he likes a lot (as a budget priced sport road bike)

I commute on this bike about 9 months of the year and ride some supported tours
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Old 06-03-09, 10:45 AM   #23
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I looked at the Jamis Satellite last year because at first I was interested in a steel frame. I then looked at the Xenith carbon and it looked like a great bike for the money but ended up getting a trek.
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Old 06-03-09, 11:30 AM   #24
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Jamis "Aurora" purchased 5/15/06.........will hit 15,000 miles on my way into work tomorrow....tomorrow will be bike commute day #103 for this year...23 mile r/t commute every day. 197 commuting days last year and 194 days, the year before.

Absolutely problem free!!!!! It works for me.
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Old 06-08-09, 10:19 AM   #25
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A bit late with the reply, but I will add my 2c. Both my wife and I ride Jamis and love them. We both started out with Satellites (the steel version of the Ventura) because they were the only sub $1k steel frame at the time. I have changed our wheels to Neuvations and upgraded my drive train to 105. I commute 25 miles round trip during the summer and have had no problems. (I have over 6000 miles on the bike in almost 2 years).
After a few months we noticed some hairline cracks on my wifes bike. After our bike shop looked at them and contacted Jamis, they sent out a Quest frame as a replacement. I have been looking for cracks on mine since then but have not found any.
When I upgrade to a faster "weekend" bike I will probably go with another Jamis.
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