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Old 01-23-11, 04:40 PM   #1
Bearonabike
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First Ride Report - 2010 Jamis Aurora

I finally got the Jamis I paid for about 2 weeks ago. Took it out today for a short 7 mile ride just to see what I had to fix. The pictures are of the as-tested configuration. During the process of deciding on a bike, this particular model made it to the semi-finals but not my final 2. Those were the Surly LHT and the Rocky Mountain Sherpa. I called the local Rocky Mountain dealer (clear across the state) and asked about proper sizing in order to place an order over the web. The resulting conversation was decidedly NOT helpful as they wanted me to get a 55cm due to advertised stand-over height. The problem was that the top tube length would have had my head in front of the bars. Scratch the Sherpa. I went to the bike shop in my home town (my LBS is great but they deal Trek and I had ruled out the 520 for a few reasons). When I spoke about ordering a LHT and asked if I could pay about $800 cash and the rest on credit, he told me to think about the Aurora as the 2010s were clearance priced. They didn't have one in stock but grabbed another bike with almost the same geometry and sized me to a 59cm. I picked it up last Friday and finally got a clear day for my first ride.

Overall impression - I am incredibly happy with the bike!

Good Stuff
Ride - smooth
Gear shift - smooth
Brakes - smooth and strong
Gears - nice range. I have super low (duh - it's a touring bike) and high gears were sufficient to hang with a group ride for about a mile at 22mph until I had to turn for home.

Cons:

1) The LBS installed the fenders and the cassette side screw protruded too far. I hung up in the highest gear. Not a design problem but the shop should have caught it by running all the gears on the stand. A good washer as a spacer when I got home solved that problem

2) The quill and stem rear view mirror (pictured) was a BIG mistake. It was the first thing I took off. The mirror on my glasses is infinitely better. Can't blame the LBS here. I installed this one myself.

3) The pedals. While the metal is adequate, the straps are a ROYAL pain in the backside. I ripped them off as soon as I could and will likely replace the pedals with MTB clip-in versions.

4) The seat. My Brooks isn't quite broken in and I kept sliding forward. I can raise the nose slightly to fix that problem (it's a bit of a pain with the seat post design but it's a one-time thing so that is forgivable). The rest will come with time, Proofide, and use.

All in all, I say 8.5 to 9 out of 10. The big question is, will it ride better than the S-10-S I have in rebuild?
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Last edited by Bearonabike; 01-23-11 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 01-23-11, 05:37 PM   #2
mbcharbonneau
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Your Brooks looks really low, if it's still set up like that I can see why you'd be sliding forward. I started with mine level (like other seats I've used) but found I was having your same problem and wasn't really comfortable until I tilted it slightly up.

How do you like the cross levers, did those come standard? I've been thinking about getting some for my LHT.
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Old 01-23-11, 06:28 PM   #3
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Your Brooks looks really low, if it's still set up like that I can see why you'd be sliding forward. I started with mine level (like other seats I've used) but found I was having your same problem and wasn't really comfortable until I tilted it slightly up.

How do you like the cross levers, did those come standard? I've been thinking about getting some for my LHT.
The Brooks looks lower than it really is due to the angle but it does need an adjustment. As for the cross levers, they were standard and I love them. I had a set on a road bike I gave to my brother-in-law and had plans to add them to the bike as one of my first upgrades. I was overjoyed when I saw them as standard equipment.
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Old 01-23-11, 08:11 PM   #4
Gus Riley
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Nice bike! Because I prefer a handlebar bag on my tourer, I'd be removing the cross levers. What is the gearing?
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Old 01-23-11, 09:22 PM   #5
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Gearing
Rear: 11-34
Front: 50/39/30
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Old 01-23-11, 10:28 PM   #6
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I hope you have many happy miles... days and nights touring on your new rig.
Lucky to be in Florida where its cycling weather all year.
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Old 01-24-11, 03:54 AM   #7
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Very nice, the cross levers came on my Fuji, a happy surprise, that is almost all I use, I seldom use the drops and had to adjust for the handlebar bag but I like them. I had that same mirror setup, had a hard time adjusting to it though, just change to a Mirrcycle that attaches to the brifters, it is made specifically for the STI's, I'll see how that works out.

Very nice bike, "happy trails to you".
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Old 01-24-11, 07:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus Riley View Post
Nice bike! Because I prefer a handlebar bag on my tourer, I'd be removing the cross levers. What is the gearing?
I love the cross levers on my bike and wouldn't sacrifice them for the sake of a bar bag. I installed a small, cheap front platform rack, and use a rack trunk instead. Works great and allows me to keep the safety, comfort and convenience advantages of the cross levers.
BTW, the Aurora is a gorgeous bike. The flat metal fenders are very attractive. Has anyone had a chance to test their effectiveness? (They look a little skimpy, maybe.)

Last edited by marmot; 01-24-11 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 01-24-11, 08:14 AM   #9
Gus Riley
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I love the cross levers on my bike and wouldn't sacrifice them for the sake of a bar bag. I installed a small, cheap front platform rack, and use a rack trunk instead. Works great and allows me to keep the safety, comfort and convenience advantages of the cross levers.
That's cool, I have a front platform rack as well, but I use it for my sleeping bag or tent. My handlebar bag is way too convient to me. My map, camera, quick munchies, wallet, Ipod, or portable XM radio, external speakers, dog dazer, dog spray, and numerous other things are all within easy reach.

I realize the OP is riding in Florida and while riding there doesn't really require lower gearing, but if it were me I'd replace the 30T granny ring with something around 26T or smaller. If on tour where climbing is required most of the day that 30T might not be a low enough gear for the long run, especially if the bike is heavily loaded down with required tour gear. I know, I know there are those among us who can hammer a 30T all day long. It's just something to consider.
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Old 01-24-11, 08:24 AM   #10
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Congrats on the new bike!
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Old 01-24-11, 09:17 AM   #11
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Nice bike! It has received several positive reviews here in the past.

I have cross levers and an Ortlieb handlebar bag AND a platform front rack on my LHT. Ortlieb sells an extension for their handlebar bag mount that gets it out far enough to not interfere with the levers. It works great for me.

Personally, I don't think a 30-tooth granny is low enough for a tourer. My Sugino came with a 26. I replaced it with a 24 and I'm happy. I rode over a steep mountain pass once on my old tourer, pulling a Bob. All day I kept looking for a lower gear that wasn't there. On my new bike with my new setup, I've always felt I had a low enough low when I wanted it. Last summer I climbed one of the most ridiculous grades I"ve ever ridden. (Old Winchester Grade Road on the Lewis and Clark route. What was ACA thinking?) Though it was an incredibly tough day, I felt like I had sufficiently low gears to do it.

Your opinion my vary, especially if you're young.
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Old 01-24-11, 09:24 AM   #12
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I replaced my 26T with a 24T on my LHT as well. I did that the day I got it home, but only because I had a 24T handy...otherwise I probably would have kept the 26T on it. But yeah, a 30T for me is way too high, I did much climbing this past summer over the Applachains, I was also pulling a BOB (I didn't have my Surly yet). The 26T ring in combination with the 34 on the cassette were much appreciated!
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