Originally Posted by tshsieh
I am not going to use the bike for racing at all. But, Iíll be use the bike for the Aids ride from SF to LA next year. So, I guess it's down to Surly and Jamis. How much difference is there between the shimano 105 and Tiagra. My avid cyclist colleague suggested that I would need at least shimano 105 parts for the bike to last.
I have a Surly cross-check and ride it on a daily basis. it's a very handy, fun, versatile bike.
that being said, I think the parts spec on the Jamis is superior. With my Surly I changed the brakes (came with very cheap tektros, not sure what is spec'd now) and changed to STI shifters ( a personal preference that has some trade-offs- STIs are very convenient but have a penalty in weight, cost, and fragility), and eventually changed the rear derailleur.
I think 105 is a lot better than the tiagra, especially over the long haul.
if the price is comparable, I would say the Jamis is a better buy parts-wise. the Surly is thoughtfully designed to accomodate a lot of set-ups- mtn or road hubs, fixed gear, extra wide tires, etc.
either bike will be great for a variety of uses.