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Old 07-25-06, 01:03 PM   #1
PossumPower
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To Buy or not to Buy?

I need advice on a Jamis Aurora Touring bicyle. It's a very entry level bik but it seems to have a lot of good features. It also has a very reasonable price range. Does anyone know much about the bike? I want to buy it but I would hate for it to be bad quality.
Has anyone ever ridden it? Or can anyone reccomend another bike for touring?
I am going on a month long trip across Virgina and I need a bike that will carry me and all my gear.
Thanks,
PossumPower
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Old 07-25-06, 02:39 PM   #2
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I don't have any personal experience with the Aurora, but Bicycling Magazine said it's a nice bike in their sound-bite sort of way. I'd look for the ability to run fenders and wide tires on it. A lot of times, tire size can be pretty limited if you put fenders on. Other than that, a test ride or two is definitely in order.

I have a Surly CrossCheck that I paid about $100 more for than the Aurora. It's bulletproof. A great do-everything bike. You may want to consider it as well.

Good luck! A new bike is always a thrill!
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Old 07-25-06, 02:57 PM   #3
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I haven'e seen one in person, but the specs are nice enough. I advised a friend against one though because the gearing is higher than I would want for loaded touring. For a little more, the REI randonee and maybe some others come ready to hit theroad.
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Old 07-25-06, 10:16 PM   #4
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The gearing is a bit high and the wheels may need to be properly tensioned before you set out - other than that it looks like a nice setup.
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Old 07-26-06, 06:48 AM   #5
ctyler
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There was a positive review of the Jamis Aurora in an issue of Adventure Cycling last year.
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Old 07-29-06, 05:51 PM   #6
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I have the 05 model and freaking love it. Only thing I did was switch the brifters for barcons and off I went. The Hutchison Flash tires will be next to go, but not before I wear them out.

It is used mostly as a commuter, but I have done a few longer rides as well. Comfortable, solid, well built. Where else are you going to get a steel frame complete bike for that price?

The only negatives I can think of are: the weight (not a huge deal, it's a touring bike right?), and the crank/bb combo. I was told the BB is a proprietary truvativ model. The brakes are cheapo tektros, but seem to do the job fine.

Lemme know if you have specific questions.

Justin
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Old 07-31-06, 08:12 AM   #7
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Took Delivery Of A 59cm Frame In Late May....have About 730 Miles On It Including 64 Miles This Past Saturday....only Issue I Noted Was An Occasional Gear Skip....went Away After About 300 Miles On The Chain And Sprocket(probably More Me, Than The Bike)...i Had The Bike Shop Change The Tires To Gatorskins And Sub's A Brooks B17 Saddle On Delivery...very, Very Pleased With The Bike....only Negative Is That I Will Throw Away The Std. Pedals Very Soon, And Have Changed The Seatpost Out To Get Me Back From The Pedals About An Inch More...could Not Get The Std Richey Seatpost To Hold The B17 Saddle In A Far-back Position....constantly Had To Readjust Seat.....no Matter How Tight I Had Set It.. ( I Am 6' And 210 Lbs)......again, Very, Very Pleased With The Bike..
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Old 07-31-06, 02:24 PM   #8
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The Jamis Aurora is a pretty nice bike overall-- It does have a road crank on it, but I'd ask the shop to fit it with a cheap MTB crank and see if the indexed shifting still works. I'd like to have both the road and MTB cranks (ISIS B.B. I think)

The Tektro cantilever brakes are the same ones as on Cannondales-- they work just fine. The Tiagra parts work OK. The wheels aren't so good, but then no lower-end touring bikes have *nice* wheels.

If you're going to buy a Aurora, here's what I suggest. Get the bike from your LBS, ask to buy the MTB crank at cost and get the crank puller and training to switch cranks when you need to at home (you'll need 2 chains as well, but this is easy stuff). Buy a full set of racks and touring bags (JANDD is a great value, or Delta), ask about a 2nd wheelset (a good touring one) get a headlight/taillight, fenders and anything else you think you might need.

All of this is going to add up to $1600 to $2000 plus, but I bet you get a great touring setup for great price and really good service as well. It's possible to buy all this stuff online cheaper, but you won't get the service/advice and it takes a lot of savvy to get the right stuff online. By getting all this stuff at the LBS at one time, you become a instant most favored customer-- something that's worth more than money.
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Old 07-31-06, 02:55 PM   #9
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I like my Aurora and it's my best bike and I have some good bikes. The bike was one size too big but it worked out perfect. I hated the saddle, replacing it with a Terry Liberator and put a suspension seat post and now the bike is perfect. I live the way this bike just takes so much of the road shock and really feels like a bigger bike. When roadies pass me, they look so low to the ground even though the rider is taller than me!

I agree with the quite that the spokes need to be tensioned. I had a bike shop do this any my wheels are still true. The brakes and crank are inexpensive and the tires are not for turing. I changed mine to Schwalbe Slicks and only one flat all summer long.

I love that bike and ride it every week. My other bikes are ignored.
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Old 08-01-06, 10:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tacomee
The Jamis Aurora is a pretty nice bike overall-- It does have a road crank on it, but I'd ask the shop to fit it with a cheap MTB crank and see if the indexed shifting still works. I'd like to have both the road and MTB cranks (ISIS B.B. I think)

The Tektro cantilever brakes are the same ones as on Cannondales-- they work just fine. The Tiagra parts work OK. The wheels aren't so good, but then no lower-end touring bikes have *nice* wheels.

If you're going to buy a Aurora, here's what I suggest. Get the bike from your LBS, ask to buy the MTB crank at cost and get the crank puller and training to switch cranks when you need to at home (you'll need 2 chains as well, but this is easy stuff). Buy a full set of racks and touring bags (JANDD is a great value, or Delta), ask about a 2nd wheelset (a good touring one) get a headlight/taillight, fenders and anything else you think you might need.

All of this is going to add up to $1600 to $2000 plus, but I bet you get a great touring setup for great price and really good service as well. It's possible to buy all this stuff online cheaper, but you won't get the service/advice and it takes a lot of savvy to get the right stuff online. By getting all this stuff at the LBS at one time, you become a instant most favored customer-- something that's worth more than money.
Buy a REI Randonee for $799 with their frequent 20% off coupon. Change nothing - Ride it and save yourself $800-$1300.
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Old 08-06-06, 12:12 AM   #11
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vik,

REI isn't going to let buyers use 20% off coupons on bike any longer. (very sad)

The Aurora lists for a little over $800 and can be bought for less (although I like the Randonee a little better) I'd want 2 cranksets if I could work a deal with a shop-- one for commuting, one for loaded touring.

About saving $800-1300-- the really good touring gear is never really on sale. Good handbuilt wheels cost $300 plus a set. Quality panniers and racks run $300 plus. Add top end lights, fenders, computer, pump, multitool---- you're looking at more money than the bike!

Of course it can be done for less-- but if you got the cash, my advice be a middle quality touring bike with top shelf gear.

The reason to think about dropping all this money at once in a local bike shop is you'll get a pretty good deal AND service for life.
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Old 08-06-06, 09:08 AM   #12
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With all of these changes that people are doing, you really have to wonder if the bike's worth it.
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Old 08-06-06, 11:09 AM   #13
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IronMac,

Yes, making changes to a factory built bike is worth it (that's from a guy who works in the industry-- I've tested almost every touring bike on the market)

The only changes I would make to the Aurora is a second, stronger touring wheelset and maybe a second MTB crankset. And I'd be keeping the stock wheelset and crank for commuting. Even with these changes the price of the bike is around $1100 or so. I'd go the same route with any other medium level off-the-shelf touring bike (Trek 520, Novara Randonee, ect)

The other path to getting a nice bike would be to buy touring frame and start building it up. Don't get me wrong-- I love to see a nice Surly LHT-- but for the money, factory touring bikes are much cheaper, (even if you make changes to the stock bike)
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Old 08-06-06, 06:03 PM   #14
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I have a Giant Great Journey and have 1200km on it now
Went through all the catalogues looking for a bike and felt this one was the best value for the money
Upgraded some parts but they were not necessary

The racks are rated for the front 30kg and rear 20kg

I think it is one of very few bikes that you can buy and go touring the next day

Thanks

Robert VanLane
Aomori Japan
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