B.C. to D.C.
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: between the Popeye's, the liquor store, the funeral home, and the strip club
Bikes: 1992 Miyata Nine 14; 1971 Raleigh Super Course fixie conversion; 2006 Jamis Nova (853 version); 2001 Diamondback Topanga (SS conversion); 1956 Rudge Sports; 1971 Raleigh Competition (processing); 199? Schwinn World Sport (processing)
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hey aaron, I ride a 2006 Nova as my commuter, and a couple folks in the shop where I work ride the '07s.
the nova is a great all-rounder bike, and will indeed do well by you. I think they've ironed out a lot of the kinks that plagued my '06, particularly surrounding the front crank (boo truvativ). I had a frame with very flaky paint, but I think that was just a one-off problem.
The only issue I've seen with the '07s was two bikes that came back with cracked seat tubes, both ridden by pretty big dudes. We sell the hell out of the Nova, and I haven't seen any further probs. In any event, Jamis has excellent customer service and will do right by you.
The Nova with slicks will definitely keep you competitive on the road, but if you're "serious" about triathlons, it might not be the best bike--although I know next to nothing about triathlons. As a cyclocross bike, it's meant to be sized small and ridden more upright in conditions where aero is not that big of a concern--the cantis and big fork will create wind drag, etc. While still plenty nimble, it also has a slacker (slower-turning) geometry compared to a lot of road bikes to help you maneuver through offroad stuff.
All this doesn't mean you can't convert it into a tri bike, but you'll probably have to monkey around with spacers and stems so you can get the bars down and in for an aero position. riding aero bars offroad might not be such a great idea either. But heck, I know a dude that did a triathlon on his mountain bike with knobbies, so again, it just depends how "serious" you are.
Another option is the jamis quest, which is a straight-up 631 road bike with rack/fender eyelets so you can carry your kid. It's not as versatile in the sense that it doesn't have the tire clearance for offroad knobbies, but it's a very respectable bike, equal or slightly better than the nova for road applications.
In any case, I would recommend kid trailers over bike seats or sitting on the rack any day. Way safer, better handling, and probably more fun for the kid, as they can draw or whatever (I have a 20-month old). You can find them cheap on craigslist. Easier for toting groceries/picnics/kid supplies, etc.
Last edited by comradehoser; 09-11-07 at 09:48 AM.