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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 12-23-05, 12:23 PM   #1
Ira in Chi
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Jamis Sputnik review

I've built a few of these bikes over the past week, and on Wednesday the streets were clear enough to take one out on a fast test ride. Here are my observations and opinions:

The Good:

The frame is the best aspect of this bike, hands down. Reynolds 631, clean welds, thoughtfully designed track ends, w/ paul-style tensioners, simple brake bridge, understated paintjob.

Weight is 16lbs w/o pedals. Light! This is quite apparent when excelerating.

A very smooth ride- the combination of carbon fork, quality frame, and alloy cockpit add up to plush handling.

The hubs are Formula, which IMO are the best entry-level track hubs. Cartridge bearings, decent track nuts.

"No-name" parts are absent from this build.

Uncut steerer tube. Your first reaction will be "Ugly!" but then you will be happy that they gave you the option to cut it to your prefered height. This is really a big plus.

The Bad:

Alex rims, while double-walled and light, are not reputed for their quality.

The cog and lockring are not very good. Cog is stamped steel, lockring is soft aluminum. Be careful when you instal these.

Cranks are Truvativ, which means durable yet ugly.

The gearing is a bit steep for street use. Fortunatly the bike is light and responsive, but i would gear it down for daily riding.

Picky - They ship this bike with a chain that is too short! Any good mechanic will fix this problem when building, but pull the wheel off in the shop, just to make sure.


Overall:
Not only do they have the best product name(aren't we a little tired of Italian by now?) out of all the off-the-peg track bikes, but they feel much more like a "real bike" than the scores of entry-level rides on the market. Of course, at $300 over the other offerings, they should. I could see upgrading the wheels at some point, and you will probably want to swap out elements of the drivetrain, but this frame should last you forever. Depending on how much you need to modify, this may or may not be the best thing for your money. As I am a bit of a bike snob and require top shelf parts, so I wish these were availible as a frameset. Decked out with high-end bits,they would blow the competition out of the water. As is, they are a rock-solid value for the rider who wants a ready-made rig with more to offer than the Bianchi Pista.


(This is a quick reveiw, feel free to comment on anything I've missed.)
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Old 12-23-05, 01:04 PM   #2
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whoa ... thanks for the review.

I'm going to be in the market for a new bike over the winter and there are a bunch of choices for me to sort through, and this one is added to the mix.
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Old 12-23-05, 01:11 PM   #3
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i want to ride one of these so bad. my jamis MTB is great, and like you said about the sputnik, the frame is my favorite part of my MTB. Unfortunately around here, i doubt any of the shops will "carry" them...
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Old 12-23-05, 01:25 PM   #4
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How much are shops selling them for?
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Old 12-23-05, 01:37 PM   #5
Ira in Chi
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Sorry, forgot to mention that. MSRP is $825.
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Old 12-23-05, 03:02 PM   #6
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Ira, has your shop seen any of the Exile SS's yet, those are looking like a sharp rig with a sweet pricepoint....
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Old 12-23-05, 03:50 PM   #7
Ira in Chi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invicta
Ira, has your shop seen any of the Exile SS's yet, those are looking like a sharp rig with a sweet pricepoint....
I haven't seen one yet, and probably won't. We are an urban shop and don't sell a lot of mtbs of any sort. I agree that they look rad though.
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Old 12-23-05, 06:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invicta
Ira, has your shop seen any of the Exile SS's yet, those are looking like a sharp rig with a sweet pricepoint....
I was just looking at the exile online and I agree, it is pretty sweet looking.
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Old 12-23-05, 07:23 PM   #9
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most of these companies should discount these bikes and sell them wheel-less because while they can shove 30 gears on a $500 Road Bike they don't know squat about how to build single gear wheels right.
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Old 12-23-05, 07:27 PM   #10
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saw one yesterday and would have to say its the most bang for the buck..
Could it be.... The replacement for the Bianchi pista?????
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Old 12-23-05, 07:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DerekRI
i want to ride one of these so bad. my jamis MTB is great, and like you said about the sputnik, the frame is my favorite part of my MTB. Unfortunately around here, i doubt any of the shops will "carry" them...
I remember the campus bike shop on Thayer Street sold jamis bikes. May sell them to those rich Brown/RISD kids.

Anyways, don't you already have a kick ass Paramount?
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Old 12-23-05, 07:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invicta
Ira, has your shop seen any of the Exile SS's yet, those are looking like a sharp rig with a sweet pricepoint....
we got one in our shop a couple of weeks ago and it is crazy awesome except that the remote lock out fork is a little wacky. hopefully it's just a rare glitch and the rest are right as rain. since it's an "early edition" i'm not sure if it has all the stock features that ones released in spring will have. the complete bike comes ready to run disc brakes only, whereas the frameset we recieved a week ago came with cati bosses. the exile frame also features the paul style tensioners which i have mixed feelings about on a trail bike.
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Old 12-23-05, 08:24 PM   #13
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jamis has always offered the most bike for the dollar. i like this new ride
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Old 12-23-05, 09:00 PM   #14
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It looks like the Jamis is going to be my next ride. It will just take me a little while since my apt. was just robbed of all my cash
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Old 12-23-05, 09:20 PM   #15
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I was checking out the one in the window today, Ira. I think they look pretty fine in person...very sleek.

Were I in the market for something ready to go, this'd probably be it. I bet you sell quite a few come springtime.
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Old 12-23-05, 10:48 PM   #16
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Thanks for the review! I'm shopping for a winter bike to replace my baulky, corroding hybrid, and fixies are most intriguing.
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Old 01-02-06, 11:34 AM   #17
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I see it comes with 700x23c tires. Can you tell if it will take anything bigger?
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Old 01-02-06, 11:57 AM   #18
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my fav bike ever was a jamis dragon. Jamis frames + Reynolds steels, +2 for the win.
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Old 01-02-06, 12:09 PM   #19
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I was sweating this pretty hard when I was in Rapid Transit the other day. Unfortunately, I can in no way afford bikes right now. So I'll stick with the Pista until the time is right.
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Old 01-02-06, 12:35 PM   #20
Ira in Chi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geog_dash
I see it comes with 700x23c tires. Can you tell if it will take anything bigger?
Up to 28 for sure, maybe 32? I'll check on that.
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Old 01-30-06, 07:49 PM   #21
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how hard do you think it would be to take the decals off?
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Old 01-30-06, 08:38 PM   #22
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I want one of these as a frameset...BAD! My 2001? 853 Jamis Eclipse is an awesome bike. I like Jamis.
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Old 01-30-06, 09:33 PM   #23
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Wow, that's a mighty fine looking bike and a top-shelf review.
sadly, even my $300 conversion was too expensive...
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Old 01-30-06, 09:49 PM   #24
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my local shop caries it its a sweet bike off the shelf and looks way better then the pista...
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Old 01-30-06, 10:15 PM   #25
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almost 10 years ago, the guy at rapid transit (i think it was RT) told me that jamis offered new models at marginal profits, just to get footholds into markets. i wonder if this is still the case.

is the frame alone available?
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