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Jamis Aurora vs Fuji Touring

Old 04-21-15, 01:26 AM
  #1  
blujosh
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Jamis Aurora vs Fuji Touring

i asked a similar question a few months back, but i finally have the cash to make a purchase and have revised my shortlist of bikes that i'm interested in after doing some research.

i'm basically looking for a bike that will spend:
80% of it's duty as a rear rack+pannier commuter
10% for longish weekend rides (also w/ rear panniers)
10% as light/medium loaded tourer (hopefully increasing the touring time in the years to come)

for all of the above, i'd say 90% of my riding is on the pavement (often rough/potholed), 10% on gravel/trails.

my last bike which was filling this role was a Surly Cross-check outfitted with full fenders, a rear rack and a granny ring, but, alas it was stolen last summer.
while i liked that bike, i'm looking for something of similar quality, but with a slightly higher headtube and stack (i like to ride with my drops at or 1cm below saddle height), and that might handle rack+panniers a little better, and most of all, won't break the bank.

in my research, i've narrowed it down to the following complete bikes, along with the prices that i can get them for:

- 49cm Fuji Touring ($699)
- 50cm Jamis Aurora ($730)

from experience and/or the listed specs, would one be better than the other for the the type of bike i'm looking for? in your opinions, which one has better overall components?

Last edited by blujosh; 04-21-15 at 02:13 AM.
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Old 04-21-15, 08:28 AM
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I have ridden neither, but seen both in bike shops.

I think they are so similar that you should just test ride both and choose the one that fits best and makes you happier. Happiness will be most important during your 80% usage as commuter.

The true component experts should chime it, but if you end up being down to flipping a coin, it looks like you get a little more for your money with the Jamis.
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Old 04-21-15, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Hub Spanner View Post
I have ridden neither, but seen both in bike shops.

I think they are so similar that you should just test ride both and choose the one that fits best and makes you happier. Happiness will be most important during your 80% usage as commuter.

The true component experts should chime it, but if you end up being down to flipping a coin, it looks like you get a little more for your money with the Jamis.
I agree; if you'll be spending lots of saddle time, the ride is important.
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Old 04-21-15, 09:35 AM
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From reading thru each-

- The Fuji looks great, but I have a bias for Fuji Touring since I missed on a craigslist 86 Fuji Touring Series IV.
- The Fuji is a couple pounds lighter.
- The Fuji has a more iconic RD.
- The Fuji crankset is good gearing for what you want, is an iconic touring model name, and looks decent for new cranksets.
- The Fuji wheelset has unnamed hubs.
- The Jamis has a good frame compared to Fuji- might be basically the same, but Jamis is specifically double butted.
- The Jamis wheelset is solid. Good hubs.
- The Jamis crankset is fugly. But it has a good gear range for what you want to do.
- The Jamis is heavy! Its always surprising to see how little has changed in terms of weight over the last 25+ years for touring bikes.

- I think they have the same brake levers- Tektro 340. Both have a Tektro Canti brakeset. The Fuji has better gearing if you are doing a lot of heavy hauling up hills.


Those are all pretty minor differences. Whichever fits better would probably be the one to go with since some of the geometry is different.
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Old 04-21-15, 10:16 AM
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The links in the original post didn't work for me but the Fuji Touring page indicates linear pull brakes. That would tip the scale towards the Jamis for me.

I'm also skeptical about the weight spec difference... I don't see any indication that it's an apples-to-apples comparison. Whats sizes are those specs based on?

Both great bikes.

Disclosure: I have an Aurora.

The Fuji looks to have slightly different geometry and that may help with my one complaint about the Aurora: Toe strike on the front wheel. It might bug you, it might not. If there’s any opportunity test drive either bike, I would. It may not even be an issue in the size you're looking at.

Also of note… The Microshift shifters were actually 10 speed shifters on my bike. They used a alternative cable routing method to make them compatible. I suspect Fujimight do the same. That said, I think the shift on the stock set up isn’t as crisp as it could be. I eventually upgraded to 10 spd gearing.

Last edited by Marc40a; 04-21-15 at 10:53 AM. Reason: clarity
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Old 04-21-15, 10:22 AM
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Wouldn't linear pull brakes work better than cantilevers? I have no experience with cantilevers, but from what I have read, they are a pain to adjust. The linear pull brakes are easy to adjust and cheap to replace.
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Old 04-21-15, 10:38 AM
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My wife's Jamis Coda has linear pulls and I found them to be a pain to adjust properly. I haven't had to adjust my canti's yet and my bike has seen considerably more miles. Admittedly, though, I'm probably not the best person to ask. It's just my limited experience with the two.

Last edited by Marc40a; 04-21-15 at 11:08 AM. Reason: clarity
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Old 04-21-15, 01:40 PM
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No experience with either one of them. I'm in a similar situation, making due with what I have currently, and hoping that it helps me decide what I need to have. To me, the Fuji looks like it would offer lower gears with the 11-34 rear cassett, I'd definitely want those if it were me, but you may be much stronger than i am. That, and it looks like it's a couple pounds lighter...probably doesn't mean a whole lot when you're going to be throwing plenty more weight on there, so just throwing that out there. I wish I had something like the Fuji offered locally for me, though I would prefer integrated shifters rather than the bar ends that seem to be the standard offering on anything off-the-shelf.
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Old 04-21-15, 01:50 PM
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thanks for all the responses everyone.

some follow up questions/comments:

weight:
there were a lot of mentions of the weight difference, which i also noted - it looks like they weight difference is about 1.5 lbs, with the Fuji being lighter. that said, the Jamis Aurora comes with full (alloy) fenders, and that's about the weight of most full (plastic) fenders. i would likely add full fenders to the Fuji, so the weight might actually be the same, in the end? or do you think the weight is measured w/o the add-ons?

toe overlap:
Originally Posted by Marc40a View Post
The Fuji looks to have slightly different geometry and that may help with my one complaint about the Aurora: Toe strike on the front wheel. It might bug you, it might not. If there’s any opportunity test drive either bike, I would. It may not even be an issue in the size you're looking at.
what specifically about the Fuji's geometry might make it better than the Aurora? i did have some toe overlap on my 50cm cross-check, particularly when running it with full fenders, but it was never too much of a bother.


and i hear all of you about trying them both out - i'm currently trying to track down stores that carry them. i think i may have found a local dealer that has the Fuji's (hopefully one in my size), but have yet to find one that stocks the Auroras.

Last edited by blujosh; 04-21-15 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 04-21-15, 01:51 PM
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BluJosh, I don't know anything about the Jamis, but I've been riding a Fuji Touring as my commuter for about four years now. The bike's odometer recently rolled over 13,000 miles.

I really like the bike. It's fun to ride and very comfortable.

I'm not sure what year model mine is, but it has the quill stem, not the threadless. Mine also has a nine speed cassette with Dura Ace (although that isn't shown anywhere) bar end shifters. Boy, I do love those shifters!

Now, when it was new, it had problems.
1. The cantilever brakes were awful.
2. The rear wheel was awful and I ended up fairly quickly with three broken spokes.
3. I was not enamored with the Sora triple crank. It was just ugly, in my opinion. Purely subjective, but I didn't like it based on looks alone.
4. Not surprisingly, the saddle had to go.

Here are my changes:
1. I now have "V" brakes with matching brake levers. Oh, these are so sweet compared to the OEM worthless canti's.
2. Both wheels have been replaced. I now have Mavic A719 rims laced to Deore LX hubs. 36 spokes for both wheels.
3. The crank has been replaced with a Sugino triple crank. Gearing was something like 50-46-30 (I think.) Sugino is 48-36-24. That should be much better suited for touring.
4. Saddle is a Brooks B-17 Imperial (Imperial has the slot cut out in the middle)
5. SKS silver plastic fenders have been added.
6. OEM tires were finally tossed. Rear tire was a magnet for sharp, pointy objects. Now running Schwalbe Marathons. Just the plain version of Marathons. As commuter tires, they have been GREAT!

And I think that's it. I haven't toured on it yet, but I want to. On my commute, I use panniers for toting office clothes, lunch, newspaper, etc... I didn't think I would like the spring-loaded bail on the OEM rack, but that has come in extremely useful. Yea, it adds weight, but that's not a factor in my commute.

This is my daily bike. It's my "SUB" as in Sports-Utility Bike. As for "long" rides, I've done 63-ish mile rides (not very long....) on it, empty, and had no problems. The Brooks saddle is the cat's meow.

The only thing I would wish for would be disk brakes. On my commute, the bike gets a long ride twice a day on front of a bus, running 65 mph for 30 miles each way on an interstate. And it get its share of road grime. Add the constant braking I do on my commute in the city and it takes a toll on the rim's braking surface. Rims are expensive. Disk rotors are relatively cheap.

I can highly recommend the Touring as a Commuter. Dang, I really like mine!

Ray

Last edited by Ray Lovinggood; 04-21-15 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 04-21-15, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
- The Fuji has a more iconic RD.
oh, and forgive the noob question, but is RD referring to rear derailleur in that quote?
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Old 04-21-15, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Ray Lovinggood View Post
BluJosh, I don't know anything about the Jamis, but I've been riding a Fuji Touring as my commuter for about four years now. The bike's odometer recently rolled over 13,000 miles.

I really like the bike. It's fun to ride and very comfortable.

I'm not sure what year model mine is, but it has the quill stem, not the threadless. Mine also has a nine speed cassette with Dura Ace (although that isn't shown anywhere) bar end shifters. Boy, I do love those shifters!

Now, when it was new, it had problems.
1. The cantilever brakes were awful.
2. The rear wheel was awful and I ended up fairly quickly with three broken spokes.
3. I was not enamored with the Sora triple crank. It was just ugly, in my opinion. Purely subjective, but I didn't like it based on looks alone.
4. Not surprisingly, the saddle had to go.

Here are my changes:
1. I now have "V" brakes with matching brake levers. Oh, these are so sweet compared to the OEM worthless canti's.
2. Both wheels have been replaced. I now have Mavic A719 rims laced to Deore LX hubs. 36 spokes for both wheels.
3. The crank has been replaced with a Sugino triple crank. Gearing was something like 50-46-30 (I think.) Sugino is 48-36-24. That should be much better suited for touring.
4. Saddle is a Brooks B-17 Imperial (Imperial has the slot cut out in the middle)
5. SKS silver plastic fenders have been added.
6. OEM tires were finally tossed. Rear tire was a magnet for sharp, pointy objects. Now running Schwalbe Marathons. Just the plain version of Marathons. As commuter tires, they have been GREAT!

And I think that's it. I haven't toured on it yet, but I want to. On my commute, I use panniers for toting office clothes, lunch, newspaper, etc... I didn't think I would like the spring-loaded bail on the OEM rack, but that has come in extremely useful. Yea, it adds weight, but that's not a factor in my commute.

This is my daily bike. It's my "SUB" as in Sports-Utility Bike. As for "long" rides, I've done 63-ish mile rides (not very long....) on it, empty, and had no problems. The Brooks saddle is the cat's meow.

The only thing I would wish for would be disk brakes. On my commute, the bike gets a long ride twice a day on front of a bus, running 65 mph for 30 miles each way on an interstate. And it get its share of road grime. Add the constant braking I do on my commute in the city and it takes a toll on the rim's braking surface. Rims are expensive. Disk rotors are relatively cheap.

I can highly recommend the Touring as a Commuter. Dang, I really like mine!

Ray
thanks for the first hand account - that's very informative!
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Old 04-21-15, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by blujosh View Post
oh, and forgive the noob question, but is RD referring to rear derailleur in that quote?
Yes its referring to the rear derailleur.

I didn't notice the fenders on the Aurora until you mentioned it later in this thread- that would account for some of the weight difference for sure.
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Old 04-22-15, 11:45 AM
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just noticed the difference in BB heights between the two models, both based, i assume on 700 x 32c wheels+tires since that's what each comes with.

49cm Fuji = 268.5mm
50cm Jamis Aurora = 286mm

the BB drop Jamis Aurora is 65mm (the drop measurement isn't listed for the Fuji). does that seem high to anyone for a commuter/touring bike?


what kind of real world difference does any of this make in handling / ride quality when the bike is loaded? unloaded?

Last edited by blujosh; 04-22-15 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 04-22-15, 12:52 PM
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Ridden the touring finally. It's great.

- Andy
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Old 04-22-15, 02:01 PM
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@blujosh

youre aware the Jamie msrp is ~1000, yes?
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Old 04-22-15, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Sullalto View Post
@blujosh

youre aware the Jamie msrp is ~1000, yes?
one of my local bike shops sells the Jamis Aurora (standard, not the elite) for $859 and i get a %15 discount at that particular store, so my price would end up being $730 before taxes.
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Old 04-22-15, 02:44 PM
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Ah, nice.
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Old 04-22-15, 07:51 PM
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The Fuji Touring is pretty much the same bike as the Windsor Tourist ($599) and the Nashbar Touring TR1 ($750). A few components may vary. I have experience with the Tourist and have heard about the Fuji as well, regarding wheels that frequently need to be rebuilt. Most wheels on new bikes are machine made these days. The pedals on the Tourist are throw away. Also as mentioned, agreed that the gearing is too high for serious touring on the triple crank on the Nashbar and the Tourist.
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Old 04-24-15, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Ray Lovinggood View Post
BluJosh, I don't know anything about the Jamis, but I've been riding a Fuji Touring as my commuter for about four years now. The bike's odometer recently rolled over 13,000 miles.

Now, when it was new, it had problems.
1. The cantilever brakes were awful.

Here are my changes:
1. I now have "V" brakes with matching brake levers. Oh, these are so sweet compared to the OEM worthless canti's.
I had to laugh at this. I've got a '98 Fuji Touring that's my prime commuter, and it's been great. But there's only three stock parts left: the seatpost, fork, and (wait for it!) the brakes.

New saddle and higher stem within a few months, retensioned the wheels pronto.
Replaced the 7-speed stock RSX shifters with Campagnolo 9-speed a few years later.
Wore through the rear rim about the same time the neglected rear wheel bearings wore out, so replaced the whole wheel.
Frame broke (replaced under warranty) at the rear dropout after 12,000 miles (new frame's pushing 25,000 miles).
Broken crank replaced.
BB wore out and replaced.
Upgraded to a dyno hub a few years ago with new front wheel (the OEM still works well, and it's in the bike repair garage stores).
Replaced the bars after a fall a couple years ago.

It's like George Washington's hatchet, the original hatched George cut the cherry tree down with, that's had the handle replaced 5 times and the head 3 times, but it's still original! This Fuji is my default, the bike I choose to ride (unless there's a good reason to ride another one.)
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