1500 mile Jamis Nova Sport Review
So I've gotten to spend a decent amount of time on my Jamis Nova Sport. I have ridden 6 metric centuries and one mile century on it plus group rides of many miles at least 3 times a week. I also do a lot of gravel grinding and riding dirt roads at my lakehouse. I have endless miles of connecting trails and gravel roads up there. I've got at least 1500 miles on the bike now so I feel like I've got shim idea of what it can do.
As you can see the Nova really is a do it all bike. I ride with a group that consists of mainly carbon bikes with carbon wheels. The majority have a minimum of Ultegra components. I'm able to keep up with them just fine. The faster riders are faster because of them not the equipment. When the weekend roles around I'm either in an organized road event or I'm playing in the mud. I use 2 sets of tires. 28c Conti Sport Contacts and 35c Kenda Qwickers.
As you can imagine having an all aluminum bike will likely transfer a large amount of vibration and chatter from the road. This can wear on you on century rides. However, this has a lot to do with tires! I ride with 28c tires. They have a 102psi max and I ride at 95psi. The ride its surprisingly smooth. In fact the vibration I get is no more than my buddies 4 series Trek Domane with 23s. 28s provide a comfortable ride and allow me plenty of speed to keep up in the paceline.
The geometry of the Nova is similar to an endurance frame. So the slightly upright position will be a nice fit for those looking for that particular frame style.
This bike produces ample speed. That's completely up to the rider. I don't race so I'm not going to get into stiffness and acceleration. But for club rides, even fast club rides, speed is not an issue.
The braking on this bike is awesome. The Tektro disc brakes offer all the stopping power you need in any conditions. Downhill in Mud and rain ids where this really shines.
Shimano Sora will be a detail that catches most people's eye and cause some concern perhaps. It did mine. I really didn't want anything less than 105. So far the Sora components have been nearly flawless. I haven't had any issues and they shift reliably. If you are used to Ultegra then you will notice the shifting is slightly slower on occasion but the Sora has proven a to be a reliable group set. No problems as of yet and I don't even think about it.
One gripe is the thumb shifters. I would much prefer the higher end component shifters so it would be easier to shift when on the drops. I spend most of my time on the tops and hoods do it's nice then but that's my biggest complaint.
No complaints. I find this bike extremely comfortable and do not feel the need to upgrade to a carbon fork. If I were using smaller diameter tires then maybe but with the 28s I'm were I want to be.
Extremely versatile! From centuries to mid/moderate MTB trails this bike just works
Price: in the world of high dollar bikes this is a steal
Looks: personal opinion but it's a simple look that I personally like
If weight is a big concern then this bike it's not for you. Not a tank but not for weight weenies.
Sora: although these have been nearly flawless I would still prefer different shifters. I'm used to them now and have gotten used to them.
Good review! Traditional CX bikes suck because of their high bottom bracket, squirrely handling and their racing heritage, which doesn't make them desirable for all day rides.
Jamis Nova Sport appears to be trying to blend the best of the road bike with the mountain bike and CX bike to create a worthy all-rounder. Looks they succeeded with that here.
Nice review. Sounds like you're getting the most out of the bike. Having two sets of tires can really make a bike so versatile. I always chased dura-ace but after getting Ultegra I've since added tiagra and other lower end components and they work great. People forget that what matters is riding, not the bike...it's just tool.