I upgraded the rear derailleur to XT, the shifters to Ultegra and I'm swapping out the adjustable stem, and going with new wheels with XT hubs an Mavic Open Pro rims. Also getting a Shimano Flight Deck computer (some hate 'em, I like 'em).
Supposed to take delivery in about 10 days. I can not wait. My wife has been accusing me of being obsessed.
I'll post a pic or 2 as soon as I can. Thanks to everyone who offered advice and talked me out of the Elite. I think this was the better way to go. More bike for less money, too.
Bike sounds great but I do have a question about the Open Pro rims. Aren't those 32 spoke rims and are they robust enough for fully loaded touring since most recommend the Mavic 719 and 319's? (or is that even your intention?)
Ivan, that sounds like a nice bike setup for what you want - congratulations! I think the Open Pro's will be fine - they are one of Peter White's recommendations as I recall. After reading these threads that you started I became interested in the Aurora Elite to replace my 520 for day rides and light touring, so I found one in my size and brought it home. It is not a heavy touring bike, but for what I want it will be perfect and I have happily spent time on it this weekend. Very comfortable and a pleasure to ride. Jamis makes nice bikes. Good luck with your Aurora - it sounds great.
I hope you like the Elite! I never got a chance to test ride one, but I'm sure it's a nice bike. If it wasn't for wanting to go loaded, that's what I would have gone with. Since you have the 520 already, you're covered.
Enjoy the bike. I'll try not to be eaten up with jealousy.
As far as the Open Pros, they should be fine. They're going to be set up as 36 spoke in the rear and maybe a 28 in front....I haven't decided that yet and I have a day or 2 before he starts building the wheels.
Apparently XT non-disc hubs have been discontinued, so if you want some, you'd better go get them.
IvanK, I'm sorry I didn't realize that the Open Pros were still available in 36 spoke, but realize these are much lighter rims than a 319 or 719 and if you have any loaded touring in mind, I would definitely consider 36 in back and at least 32 in front. And of course, a lot of this depends just as much on what you weigh and not just how much gear you plan on carrying. BTW, thanks for the heads up on the XT hubs since I'm in need of a couple.