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  1. #1
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    Is the Jamis Coda Sport for me - or another quick, steel performance hybrid?

    Hiya BikeForums!

    I've been getting into longer rides (nothing outrageous, maybe 20-30+ KM/day), thanks to only recently discovering there's a nice, mostly paved trail that connects my town to the next and the next.

    I've had a 30 pound (?) - just a guess - Giant hardtail (Revel 0) for nearly a year. I've since put semi-slicks on it, which made an improvement, and I'm getting stronger -but I'm noticing the weight and everything else about it that's geared for slower, rougher stuff, when tackling hills, wind, or frequent stop/starts.

    I'd like a bike that's lighter, lets me go further, faster, and can take on acceleration and hills with less of a push on my part (I also travel with a reasonably weighty backpack and heavy-enough lock, so I could use all the help I can get).

    Since much of what I do these days is sidewalk/paved road/paved trail/packed gravel, I've been looking at "performance hybrids". I like the flat handlebars and somewhat more upright position.

    Aside from lightness, speed and good climbing, I'd like a bike that's comfortable. The roads around here aren't too bad. Some curbs, some rough pavement, nothing crazy. I am interested in an all-steel bike. Something about it - from the elegant look of the tubing to the purportedly more-comfortable-than-aluminum ride to the fact that it's somewhat repairable - really appeals to me, hence the interest in the Jamis Sport Coda.

    What I wanted to ask you all (sorry, I'm not good with short messages) is, given what I'm after (reasonably light (maybe 25-26 lbs. max), all steel, fast, geometry that doesn't force me into an "aero" position unless I want it, comfy ride - oh, and tough enough to jump over small curbs, hit rough patches or go on a tame non-paved dirt track - would you suggest that I just go for the Jamis Coda Sport?

    Or are there other bikes you'd recommend on par or better? Budget-wise, a $1000 CDN, max, though would prefer to stay more in the $500-700 range. (I'd love a custom steel bike, but $2.5K just isn't happening right now!)

    A question about the brakes: I've gotten so used to the all-weather reliability of disc brakes (which my hardtail has), that I don't feel confident about linear pull brakes (like on the Coda). Would I have to worry about diminished stopping power in the wet? Pads wearing out fast or wearing out the tire's rims? Any light, steel performance hybrids out there with disc brakes, or just needless worrying on my part?

    One other thing - psychologically, I'm not comfortable with the idea of carbon forks. Just don't want to go there. I know people ride it all the time, but my brain just "feels" safer with the thought of a steel fork. (Bear that in mind if anyone can make suggestions for bikes other than the Coda Sport.)

    Okay! That's it! I'm done! Message complete! Can't wait for your suggestions. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Recreational/Utility bjjoondo's Avatar
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    I've been VERY happy with my 2012 Jamis Coda Sport, picked it up in Sept. and have almost 900 miles on it!! I also have a 2011 Jamis Allegro 1 and between the two bikes my "longer distance" rides are always on the Coda Sport!! LOL, I too decided that IF I was going to use the front fork to carry panniers, I'd rather have "cro-mo" than carbon fiber but it seems the owners of the Coda's with carbon forks haven't had any problems either. I've had both disc and V-brakes and I prefer V-brakes, you might want to switch out the "stock pads" for a more aggressive pad but I've not had any stopping problems. You also might check the KONA brand of bikes, seems I've seen a steel framed/disc brake hybrid and they have a good rep.
    Take care, RIDE SAFE, have FUN!
    B.J. Ondo
    2011 Jamis Allegro 1

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    Sounds like a good endorsement to me! I hadn't considered using panniers on the fork, but that could be a good excuse me for to forego the carbon and convince myself with another reason why steel would be better.

    Glad to hear you prefer V-Brakes. I have read about some pads people consider better for wet conditions...what were they called...Kool Stop, I think, "Salmon" brake pads. I guess if the brakes are set up right with good pads, stopping power or the lack thereof shouldn't be an issue. Thanks for the call on the Kona - I'll have a look at their site, too. The LBS had a steel Kona singlespeed (shiny as all get-out polished steel with white grips, rims and seats, too much bling for me!), but light and very elegant looking.

    Best Regards, thanks for your thoughts!

    Quote Originally Posted by bjjoondo View Post
    I've been VERY happy with my 2012 Jamis Coda Sport, picked it up in Sept. and have almost 900 miles on it!! I also have a 2011 Jamis Allegro 1 and between the two bikes my "longer distance" rides are always on the Coda Sport!! LOL, I too decided that IF I was going to use the front fork to carry panniers, I'd rather have "cro-mo" than carbon fiber but it seems the owners of the Coda's with carbon forks haven't had any problems either. I've had both disc and V-brakes and I prefer V-brakes, you might want to switch out the "stock pads" for a more aggressive pad but I've not had any stopping problems. You also might check the KONA brand of bikes, seems I've seen a steel framed/disc brake hybrid and they have a good rep.

  4. #4
    Recreational/Utility bjjoondo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b.d.gauge View Post
    Sounds like a good endorsement to me! I hadn't considered using panniers on the fork, but that could be a good excuse me for to forego the carbon and convince myself with another reason why steel would be better.

    Glad to hear you prefer V-Brakes. I have read about some pads people consider better for wet conditions...what were they called...Kool Stop, I think, "Salmon" brake pads. I guess if the brakes are set up right with good pads, stopping power or the lack thereof shouldn't be an issue. Thanks for the call on the Kona - I'll have a look at their site, too. The LBS had a steel Kona singlespeed (shiny as all get-out polished steel with white grips, rims and seats, too much bling for me!), but light and very elegant looking.

    Best Regards, thanks for your thoughts!
    Your welcome and YES, the Kool-Stop pads were what I switched too but I couldn't remember their name, (yea, I'm 50+ LOL). My preference for V-brakes comes from having a few MTB's with Mech. Disc brakes and they always seem to get out of adjustment easy and they seem to rub a lot, ect. Now, I'll admit I've not had hydraulic disc's as doing the line bleeding, etc. is just too much PIA for me, YMMV. Both the cro-mo fork and the carbon forks on the Jamis Coda series have the "bosses" drilled in the fork legs to attach the "frame" to hold panniers for more loaded touring capability. Whatever you choose, enjoy!
    Take care, RIDE SAFE, have FUN!
    B.J. Ondo
    2011 Jamis Allegro 1

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    Cheers. Yes, I believe my bike has mechanical disc brakes, and though I love their stopping power, the tiny gap between rotor and pad does make it a bit of a hassle to adjust when they go out of alignment. I remember this one time when it was getting harder and harder to pedal, and I was thinking, "What, am I burning myself out? I should be getting stronger!" Turns out my front brake was rubbing like crazy. There is something elegant looking about V-Brakes, too.

    Best Regards

  6. #6
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    After nearly 8 years and over 15k miles, I'm so enamored of my Coda Comp that instead of replacing it I'm rebuilding it. Carbon fork and all. I've twice hit things big enough to crash me, and the fork has survived. Brakes (after switching to Koolstop pads) are all-weather reliable, although mine are Avid as opposed to the current Tektro OEM; don't know if that'll have a bearing as I've never used Tektros.

    Couldn't recommend a bike more highly.

  7. #7
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    I just can't express my love for the Jamis Coda series enough. I learned to appreciate the Jamis Coda many years ago. I can most definitely understand how it won the Editor's Chioce Award in Bicycling Magazine, for being the best hybrid of 2011.

    IMHO, if your region is not ordinarily subjected to rain and moisture, then disc brakes would just be a waste of time. This is especially so, when you consider the fact that, prior to five years ago, practically no cyclists even discussed them. My god! What were we all doing prior to the advent of disc brakes?....We were all stopping within a reasonable distance, that's what we were doing! However admittedly, they do stop wonderfully under wet conditions and they are certainly a technological advancement to cycling in general. If you're willing to pay a premium, you can still have the Coda with disc brakes, but you'll be expected to pay an addtional four hundred bucks, plus you'll be saddled with a carbon fork. Hardly any hybrid costing anywhere near a thousand bucks, comes without a carbon fork anymore.

    Therefore, the Coda Sport seems to have your name on it partner...Own it!

    You won't regret it!

    - Slim

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    Man - the Coda bikes sure do get a lot of love around here! So far, I don't think I've found any other sub-$1000 steel framed performance hybrids, anyway. I'm glad to hear, SuperDave, that you've had success with the Koolstop pads. If they're as good as they sound, then I doubt I'd worry much about wet weather. Our area isn't particularly subject to wet conditions. Being in Ontario, it's really a mixed bag, but with plenty of dry days thrown in.

    Thanks, everyone! Hey, if anyone has suggestions other than the Coda (I'm not quite ready to jump the ***, anyway), lemme hear them - but so far it seems like my inclination was the right one.

    Cheers

  9. #9
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    b.d. - you may want to look into the Marin Muirwoods 29er. Steel frame and fork, with Tektro mechanical disc brakes and an Acera front derailleur and Deore at the rear.

    I haven't ridden either a Jamis Coda, or the Muirwoods 29er, but both are in my mind as strong contenders for when I get a new bike (though I'd opt for the non-disc standard Muirwoods). I'm not saying you need to have disc brakes, either, but if you prefer them thought you would want to know about the Muirwoods 29er.

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    I'm also a big fan of the steel flat-bar road bikes. I've wondered if there are others besides Jamis so I'll also check out the Kona brand.

    I rode a 1995 Trek 730 multitrack for 12 years before upgrading to an aluminum Trek FX bike. After four years I decided to go back to steel so I spent 3 months watching Craigslist and E-bay and finally scored another 1995 Trek 730 (I had given my old one to my dad). I paid less than $200 and it was in excellent shape and perfectly rideable out the door. Trek's literature lists the bike at 25.3 lbs and I'm planning to make it more road friendly by putting some 32 or even 28mm tires on it and getting a new wheelset so I can upgrade to a 9-speed road cassette for more closely spaced gearing.

    When I'm done, it will be very comparable to a Jamis Coda but maybe with even more road emphasis due to the Coda's wider range cassette.

    Last edited by corwin1968; 04-02-12 at 01:03 PM.

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    Thanks for that suggestion! It does look fairly nice - but I contacted them to ask for the weight, and they said it's 29 lbs. - not far off what I think my hardtail is, so even with the disc brakes I don't know if the extra weight'd be worth it. I'm getting more comfortable with the idea of non-disc brakes with the right pads.

    Drats! I just read the rest of your post and realized there's a non-disc version, too; had I seen that, I'd have asked them for the weight on it, as well - I suspect, though, that it may still top out a bit heavier than the Coda Sport. Thanks for letting me know about them!

    Cheers

    Quote Originally Posted by erg79 View Post
    b.d. - you may want to look into the Marin Muirwoods 29er. Steel frame and fork, with Tektro mechanical disc brakes and an Acera front derailleur and Deore at the rear.

    I haven't ridden either a Jamis Coda, or the Muirwoods 29er, but both are in my mind as strong contenders for when I get a new bike (though I'd opt for the non-disc standard Muirwoods). I'm not saying you need to have disc brakes, either, but if you prefer them thought you would want to know about the Muirwoods 29er.

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    Corwin, congrats on finding that bike! Looks like a nice, comfortable ride - good on you for finding another of the bike you gave up!

  13. #13
    Senior Member EsoxLucius's Avatar
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    Motobecane Cafe Noir

    The Motobecane Cafe Noir for $700 should also get a look from Bikes Direct. Except for the tires, pretty nice components. Since 2009 the downgrades in components in the Jamis Coda series is very disappointing.

  14. #14
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    Since 2009 the downgrades in components in the Jamis Coda series is very disappointing.
    Another of the reasons I chose to rebuild rather than go N+1 with a new Coda Elite, whose componentry is below the level of my 8 year old Comp.

    I'm switching to a front disc, but only because I'm car-free and don't get to choose whether or not to ride in the rain sometimes. The Koolstops are fine in wet conditions, but just a little grabbier than I like and my mind's eye can see my rims grinding down every time I use them in the wet. After throwing $600 into a set of custom RR465's, I'm not gonna allow "grind them down."

  15. #15
    vol
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    What is it that makes Jamis Coda so likable? Is it relatively heavy because of the steel frame?

  16. #16
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b.d.gauge View Post
    I remember this one time when it was getting harder and harder to pedal, and I was thinking, "What, am I burning myself out? I should be getting stronger!" Turns out my front brake was rubbing like crazy.
    If your brakes are rubbing enough to slow you down,something is very wrong. Disc,rim,or otherwise. Either damage has occurred,or they weren't set up right to begin with.

    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    What is it that makes Jamis Coda so likable? Is it relatively heavy because of the steel frame?
    They used to be a really good value for the price(specs have come down since the '05 models I owned). The geometry makes them handle good,and they have a nice ride. They're not too heavy;my Elite was 24lbs 4oz(note,I'd expect the current model to be about a pound or more heavier).

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes/Novato,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Brompton S6L,Dahon Speed Pro TT

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    Based upon your prescribed likes, you can't do much better than the Coda!

  18. #18
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    How is the Coda Sport at climbs? Does the steel frame make it heavier?

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    Good Lord ... might this be the ultimate Zombie thread?
    Based on this, and other recent threads/posts, one has to wonder whether the Hybrid sub-forum might not be in serious danger of passing over the great divide, turning its toes up, etc.
    Too bad; so sad.

  20. #20
    Senior Member koolerb's Avatar
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    The Coda's a nice bike for the money. Especially if you can find a leftover at a nice discount. The Elite is the way to go if you can find one, but the Sport is a solid bike as well. It's not steel but the Kona Dew may be worth a look. I bought my wife a bike for Christmas 2012 and local bike shops by me had super deals on both in December. I ended up buying the Coda because I am partial steel over aluminum, but the Dew looked like a nice bike as well. Off season is the right time of year to buy.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Bicycle Addict's Avatar
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    I would HIGHLY recommend the Jamis Coda series, I work at a shop here in NZ and about 2 years ago we set up 2 Coda Sports for a couple 1 15" for her and 1 21"for him.
    They toured India Pakastan then into China Mongolia etc 15,000 km's (9320 miles ish) on these bikes ran Schwalbe Marathon Mondials, we only built out a stronger rear wheel for both.
    One of the bikes was ruined in a rear end crash just after they got home, hers was OK, she bought it in for a service, the BB Jamis uses in the Coda is not the best, I got hers out(yes it had done 15'000 km too) and cleaned the threads and installed a new BB, serviced the bike and off they went, bike needed minor work considering the km's done
    The Coda is a strong bike that could do heavy touring very very well if the chain stays into BB were wider to accommodate a 40c tyre, that is my only complaint about the Coda. A very worthy buy, only thing I would personally change is the rear wheel in favor of 36 spokes over
    32, a small change really. A magic bike none the less.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member koolerb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bicycle Addict View Post
    The Coda is a strong bike that could do heavy touring very very well if the chain stays into BB were wider to accommodate a 40c tyre, that is my only complaint about the Coda.
    Good point. I was surprised how narrow that area is as well. Comes with 32's, I think you could definitely go to 35's, but not sure how much bigger than that.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by koolerb View Post
    Good point. I was surprised how narrow that area is as well. Comes with 32's, I think you could definitely go to 35's, but not sure how much bigger than that.
    I know you can get a 35c in there for sure, some 37-38's within reason, no side knobs etc. We worked on another customers bike who had taken the frame to an engineer and had it crimped the same as alot of other frames out there. It wrecked the paint which did not worry the customer who just feathered the paint back and sprayed over it with some very heavy primer?!? Works for him not to everyone's thought though.
    Where are the Bikeaholic meetings? . . . . . I need help!? I just don't think I can do this alone.

    Behold the humble bicycle . . .the oldest form of mechanical transport for the individual person.
    It will be the last too.

    Re-Cycle that Bicycle. Fix it, Ride it, Give it away.

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