Opinions of Jamis Aurora
Just curious, I don't see the Jamis Aurora mentioned much here, if at all. Even when "entry-level" touring bikes are discussed. Any reason why? I can see it has lower level Tiagra parts, but it doesn't seem all that bad to me. What do you think of the bike?
I have mentioned it on occasion when someone is looking for entry-level touring bike. Compared with Cannondale, Trek, and Fuji, Jamis is a much smaller company--at least I think it is a much smaller company. Anecdotally, I think that less shops carry the brand such that it gets less exposure and chatter.
Originally Posted by halfwheel
I have an older Jamis Nova with 105 components that I use for sport touring. But I have ridden the Aurora on several occasions and it is a fine bike for loaded touring. Reynolds 520 frame with the necessary braze-ons. Last I checked it also had 36-spoke wheels with a wide cassette (11-32) on the rear. I recommend it and the Bianchi Volpe to new riders looking for a commuter/tourer.
Don't worry about Tiagra, it works just fine. I have a bike with Sora that has given me years of excellent service. It's more a matter of maintenence than than anything, keeping cables and housings clean, lubed, and tensioned properly. My Dura Ace bike needs just as much attention as my Sora bike.
The only ***** Jamis pulled with the Aurora is the 52/42/30 crank. It needs a 48/36/26 or 44/32/22, preferably the later for loaded touring. The price is $100 less than the very similar REI Novara Randonee but the Randonee includes a rear rack, REI is everywhere, and the customer service is outstanding.
The Surly Long Haul Trucker is now available as a complete bike for around $900 but I read that it won't be available until April. Surly has a hipster image that the others can't match. Personally, I don't like all the black componentry used on the complete bike so I will buy the frame and build my own. It will cost me more than $900, however.
Picked up an '06 Jamis Aurora on May 15......3,071 issue free miles as of this morning's commute...have done 1 small tour-fully loaded of 441 miles.....a 305 mile trip scheduled in 4 weeks.
Ah, just buy the Aurora and be happy
You might need a lower geared crank for touring, (a MTB one) but it's a great bike out of the box.
17.3" chainstay may be a problem unless you have short feet / long rack / skinny r pannier..
also if you take a 50cm or smaller watch out for toe overlap
the surly lht would be a better choice - the longer (18.1") chainstay is a big plus. 26" wheels are stronger on the sub 56cm sizes. personally i'd prefer the frame and build it my way. also, surly gives you an extended headtube (not a big deal). surly will take big tires (important), jamis specs don't say - so tire choices may more limited for the aurora.
also that crank is too big, as already mentioned (must be marketing against 520). better off with a mtn crank.
Well, the Tiagra parts aren't really scaring me off. Maybe the Sora hubs, especially if I ever load it up and put some serious mileage on it. Realistically, I'd probably swap out the wheels and address gearing after a I've had it for a while and done a few weekend tours. It's definitely a different bike than my Dura Ace road bike setup. Strangely enough, because it's a "lower end" bike, that's what appeals to me--it just seems more versatile.