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Jamis Aurora - opinions?

Old 07-24-10, 08:59 PM
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Jamis Aurora - opinions?

Will anyone with experience on this bike give me some pros and cons?
One highly visible review states the following:

Wheelset: a spoke pops after every 150 miles or every 8 hours of commuting

Metal splinters in break pads: Either the pads are too hard or bad wheels?


Chain was too wide: caused shifting problems.


Frame & fork flaws: missing mid-fork rack mount on 5 of 10 '09 Auroras I've seen

Missing reliefs on chain stays, for tire clearance, on 8 of 10 '09 auroras.

It is a good bike for commuting once you replace the rims, spokes, brake pads, and make sure you get one of the rare correctly manufactured frame and forks.


Biggest tire that will fit is 32s; if you can get a correctly made frame, it might go to 37.


I asked the shop if anything could be done to reduce how often the spokes break. They said that they are just cheap spokes.


For the first couple hundred miles I kept finding metal slivers in the brake pads. This does not inspire confidence, when I think about going down a long grade fully loaded on a tour.


It came with a chain that was too wide. I was wider than 9 spds I've seen and narrower than an 8. After a couple hours of riding it would start jumping to the adjacent gear, back and forth. I adjusted it and cleaned it repeatedly.


I can get a 2009, new, at what seems a really great price. But, dang--- if its got all that negative going on, I can see why. If this is what I can expect, I may as well keep saving my money
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Old 07-24-10, 09:11 PM
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Practically every bike I've had in the last 6 years I replace the stock brake pads with something softer, usually CoolStops. the stock pads are usually too hard and scour the rims. There is a tradeoff between rim life and pad life. I prefer to use the pads up.

Other than that, there is nothing specific I can contribute to understanding the Jamis Aurora. I looked at it when I was trying to decide on a touring bike. I decided that the geometry didn't fit me well and the gearing was way too high for loaded touring. For a commuter, it might work just great though.
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Old 07-24-10, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by supersport
Practically every bike I've had in the last 6 years I replace the stock brake pads with something softer, usually CoolStops. the stock pads are usually too hard and scour the rims. There is a tradeoff between rim life and pad life. I prefer to use the pads up.

Other than that, there is nothing specific I can contribute to understanding the Jamis Aurora. I looked at it when I was trying to decide on a touring bike. I decided that the geometry didn't fit me well and the gearing was way too high for loaded touring. For a commuter, it might work just great though.
Im like you - brake pads are meant to be replaced. The best cure for braking issues, all things equal, are replacement pads.

I was more concerned over what appears to be quality issues with the Aurora series for 2009. did you catch that the reviewer found half of them with flaws?

He also added this: It is a good bike for commuting once you replace the rims, spokes, brake pads, and make sure you get one of the rare correctly manufactured frame and forks.

Well, damn, how is one to take that? Im going to have to get this over the net from a shop's stock. Im not going to be able to do all that. I may as well get something like a Windsor Tourist from BD.

So Im asking here to learn if this guy is a fluke, or if the half-price deal Im being quoted is worth it.
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Old 07-24-10, 10:16 PM
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I'd suggest a crappy mechanic and a lack of attention given to the new wheels.... They are machine built and need to be checked on a regular basis until they settle down. I don't know about the fork mount problem so can't comment.

My 08 Jamis Aurora has been a great bike for the money.... I prefer STI shifters. It has a shorter wheelbase that can be a problem with bigger feet and panniers... solution is the Tubus Logo if touring is the plan.

Other than the short wheelbase..... I really can't say anything bad about the bike. Lifetime frame warranty and one year on the bits.. That's as good as it gets when it comes to warranties as far as I've ever found.

Mine now has approx 10K miles... Been in a car/bicycle accident that didn't feel very good. Replaced the fork and trued the front wheel again and it's good to go.

I've also never been thrilled with stock pads unless they came from Shimano. I also run Salmon Coolstops.
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Old 07-25-10, 03:33 PM
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I tink mine is an 07.

I've used it a lot for commuting. 17 miles each way with clothes, books, food. etc.

Earlier this month my wife and I did a B&B 5 day trip in Quebec.

I love the bike. The only thing I've done to it is a couple tune ups. Replaced tires. and it's good to go.

Later this week I plan on doing a 4 day trip in the Adirondacks and am completely confident in it's ability to manage the hills and remoteness.

It's the only touring bike I've ever owned so I can't compare it to others, but I've certianly not had the experiences you describe.
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Old 07-25-10, 03:49 PM
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I've done a few century rides, plus three 500-600 mile fully loaded tours on mine since getting it last spring (2009). No problems until I rode it on a very rocky trail fully loaded, broke some spokes, this on the third tour last week. I blame the rocky trail as much as anything.

Other than that I've had no problems with mine.
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Old 07-26-10, 05:09 AM
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It should also be noted that the guy who wrote the review mentioned here was 250 lbs and the spokes broke mostly because he rode the bike well loaded.

The other thing that concerns me is the really low price and the sellers outright eagerness to have me wire money via Western Union. They won't accept third party transfers (PayPal) and they claim their credit card processing is down "at the moment." So their solution is for me to wire the money. On the surface, they appear to be a storefront bike shop that does some web sales, but I'll check them out a little closer.

I may end up saving a little more for a Surly LHT, even if the price is wildly good on the Aurora. We'll see.

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Old 07-26-10, 05:22 AM
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I bought a 2010 Aurora Elite a a few weeks ago, so maybe it's too early to have noticed these issues, but I have so far been pleased. The Elite has an upgraded wheelset and Avid disc brakes, so no brake pad issues. I may put bar-ends on and swap the handlebar, but that's more a matter of personal preference. After shopping around, it became apparent that there was no stock bike in my budget that wouldn't require some part swapping. The flat fenders I do not like--I keep hitting them with my toe and they bend easily, so I am going to replace them. But I planned for that even before I got the bike home. My fork has low-rider mounts and the supplied rear rack is decent. I did buy it mainly for commuting, and so far it has been great for that.
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Old 07-26-10, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by MacCruiskeen
I bought a 2010 Aurora Elite a a few weeks ago, so maybe it's too early to have noticed these issues, but I have so far been pleased. The Elite has an upgraded wheelset and Avid disc brakes, so no brake pad issues. I may put bar-ends on and swap the handlebar, but that's more a matter of personal preference. After shopping around, it became apparent that there was no stock bike in my budget that wouldn't require some part swapping. The flat fenders I do not like--I keep hitting them with my toe and they bend easily, so I am going to replace them. But I planned for that even before I got the bike home. My fork has low-rider mounts and the supplied rear rack is decent. I did buy it mainly for commuting, and so far it has been great for that.
This is not an Elite. Im not concerned with disc brakes, but I would like top end wheels. Im not after a tourer, but a daily commuter.
Regardless, this particular deal is for an Aurora.

The Jamis name is well regarded, so I was a little dismayed at all the fuss this one fellow made over the bike. Im inclined to go for it, but I do have some due diligence to do on the seller.
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Old 07-26-10, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by dahut
It should also be noted that the guy who wrote the review mentioned here was 250 lbs and the spokes broke mostly because he rode the bike well loaded.

The other thing that concerns me is the really low price and the sellers outright eagerness to have me wire money via Western Union. They won't accept third party transfers (PayPal) and they claim their credit card processing is down "at the moment." So their solution is for me to wire the money. On the surface, they appear to be a storefront bike shop that does some web sales, but I'll check them out a little closer.

I may end up saving a little more for a Surly LHT, even if the price is wildly good on the Aurora. We'll see.
DO NOT WIRE MONEY........ ONCE GONE IT'S GONE. If they will not take paypal or a credit card I would run as fast as I could from this.
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Old 07-26-10, 12:33 PM
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+1, anything where they only take Western Union is a scam. When googling the Jamis Aurora, I saw an ad claiming to sell the 2009 for $400 and the 2009 elite for $750 (and the lht and crosscheck for $650). I wonder if it's the same place.
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Old 07-26-10, 05:07 PM
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I did the same search -- bikeshacklimited comes up

From another online forum I found this:

I'd be *VERY* cautious about ordering from them.

I was about to order a 2008 Jamis Xenith, myself, but the deal was almost too good to be true (such as almost 50% off of "normal" prices and "48 hr" FedEx shipping from the UK to the US... for $50), so I did some checking.

The address that they list on their site is indeed a real address (you can verify the address by going to yelp.co.uk and typing in bikeshack in hertfordshire). You'll find that Yelp's address and that shown on the website "www.bikeshacksonline.com" are the same. So far, so good... right?

So I actually called Bikeshack Scooters in Hertfordshire, UK (thank god for cheap Skype calls!) and spoke to a guy who had absolutely no idea why I was calling about BICYCLES, since they only sell motor bikes. Best 5 cents (on Skype) I ever spent.

The web address for Bikeshack Scooters is here:
https://www.bikeshackscooters.co.uk/
You'll find that they also have an address posted that matches.

The gentleman at bikeshackscooters seemed pretty concerned about the "bikeshacksonline" site I told him about.

I have since asked bikeshacksonline.com about all of this, and have heard nothing back from them. Not a good sign.


Originally Posted by himespau
+1, anything where they only take Western Union is a scam. When googling the Jamis Aurora, I saw an ad claiming to sell the 2009 for $400 and the 2009 elite for $750 (and the lht and crosscheck for $650). I wonder if it's the same place.
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Old 07-26-10, 05:30 PM
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I love my Aurora. I've yet to break a spoke on it. Mine's a '08, and I've put a fair bit of distance on it, mostly commuting, but probably 300-400 miles of loaded touring. I know three other happy Aurora owners who've also had minimal problems. Two of them are the people who got me into touring, and they've put thousands of touring miles on them, and spokes are replaced infrequently enough that they had to double check with the store what size to carry before heading off on their last run.

Of course, our LBS is good and does check spoke tension before sending them out the door. If you don't have a dependable LBS, you may want to verify the tension yourself. The wheels are machine made, and the variation between wheels can be substantial.

The chain is the correct size for the 9-speed. Like all indexed shifters, they require tweaking from time to time. I suspect gear jumping is an adjustment issue, not a chain issue. Adjustments are done by the LBS, not Jamis. Chains don't come in sizes between 8 and 9, so...ummm...that part really doesn't make sense. If someone was comparing two same-sized chain from a different parts makes (or even a different lot of the same parts maker), they'd probably be able to observe a slight difference, but not substantial enough to affect performance.

The only serious problem I had with the bike was my own screw up when I strung the shifting line wrong (I was moving it to provide space for a handlebar bag), and overstressed the shifter. I was able to get a free replacement shifter because it was still under warranty. (I may have left out a few details about how the shifter broke...)

The largest tire thing is correct. However, I don't understand the appeal of going that wide, anyway. I'm quite happy on the '28s that came stock, and will probably replace them with the same when the time comes.

The stock brake pads are indeed stock. Most stock brakes come with mediocre pads. I don't know of any brakes that come stock with truly excellent pads. I never had metal filings in mine...I expect something like that is an adjustment issue, something his LBS is responsible for. The pads did need to be replaced after one season.

As I said, I know several other Aurora owners. No one I know has a defective frame. I also have a friend who co-owns a store that deals in Jamis...he speaks quite highly of them as a good value brand...not top of the line, but well-built, dependable, and midrange. If a defective one does come up...return it. They have a warranty.

All in all, reading the review, I sense either a troll, or someone who has a crappy LBS that blames the manufacturer for assembly and fine adjustment issues. It doesn't match my experience at all.

Last edited by neil; 07-26-10 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 07-26-10, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by sonatageek
I did the same search -- bikeshacklimited comes up

From another online forum I found this:

I'd be *VERY* cautious about ordering from them.

I was about to order a 2008 Jamis Xenith, myself, but the deal was almost too good to be true (such as almost 50% off of "normal" prices and "48 hr" FedEx shipping from the UK to the US... for $50), so I did some checking.

The address that they list on their site is indeed a real address (you can verify the address by going to yelp.co.uk and typing in bikeshack in hertfordshire). You'll find that Yelp's address and that shown on the website "www.bikeshacksonline.com" are the same. So far, so good... right?

So I actually called Bikeshack Scooters in Hertfordshire, UK (thank god for cheap Skype calls!) and spoke to a guy who had absolutely no idea why I was calling about BICYCLES, since they only sell motor bikes. Best 5 cents (on Skype) I ever spent.

The web address for Bikeshack Scooters is here:
https://www.bikeshackscooters.co.uk/
You'll find that they also have an address posted that matches.

The gentleman at bikeshackscooters seemed pretty concerned about the "bikeshacksonline" site I told him about.

I have since asked bikeshacksonline.com about all of this, and have heard nothing back from them. Not a good sign.
That's a bummer. Wish those deals were real, but then those are cheaper than bd prices.
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Old 07-27-10, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by himespau
That's a bummer. Wish those deals were real, but then those are cheaper than bd prices.
$55 to the US for a bike - from the UK!? Gimme a break. It aint happening. Thanks for the info. I had come to that conclusion myself, but it is good to see others come to the same conclusion I did.
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Old 07-27-10, 03:54 PM
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I ran into someone who was attempting a similar scam, trying to get payment via Western Union. Total scammer.

Last edited by Niles H.; 07-27-10 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 06-08-15, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by dahut
Will anyone with experience on this bike give me some pros and cons?
One highly visible review states the following:

Wheelset: a spoke pops after every 150 miles or every 8 hours of commuting

Metal splinters in break pads: Either the pads are too hard or bad wheels?


Chain was too wide: caused shifting problems.


Frame & fork flaws: missing mid-fork rack mount on 5 of 10 '09 Auroras I've seen

Missing reliefs on chain stays, for tire clearance, on 8 of 10 '09 auroras.

It is a good bike for commuting once you replace the rims, spokes, brake pads, and make sure you get one of the rare correctly manufactured frame and forks.


Biggest tire that will fit is 32s; if you can get a correctly made frame, it might go to 37.


I asked the shop if anything could be done to reduce how often the spokes break. They said that they are just cheap spokes.


For the first couple hundred miles I kept finding metal slivers in the brake pads. This does not inspire confidence, when I think about going down a long grade fully loaded on a tour.


It came with a chain that was too wide. I was wider than 9 spds I've seen and narrower than an 8. After a couple hours of riding it would start jumping to the adjacent gear, back and forth. I adjusted it and cleaned it repeatedly.


I can get a 2009, new, at what seems a really great price. But, dang--- if its got all that negative going on, I can see why. If this is what I can expect, I may as well keep saving my money
That review was me... Pretty harsh but what I experienced at the time; I do regret posting it before the problems were fixed instead of posting it while I was fixing them...

I still have the bike and fixed most of the problems sited (except 1 big problem); in hindsight I should have made it the LBS problem and not deal with it myself; I was really disappointed by all the issues.
I had about 10 bikes before this in the previous 20 years that all a lot of hard miles put on them and this one bike had so many issues by comparison... so yeah I was not happy.

The metal shaving in the pads was from the pads being too hard; installed cool-stops and it was like a different bike... The wheels were fine....

Spokes were a bad batch out of China, apparently it affected a lot of bike manufacturers; the LBS restrung the rear wheel with double butted DT Swiss; no more popping spokes...

Replaced the single bolt seat post that couldn't hold the seat in place, with a more common 2 bolt style seatpost off another bike; no more seat re-adjustments.

The FSA crankset chainring bolts "bottomed out" before fully compressing the chainrings which I think added to some shifting issues; it was fixed by adding washers to the chainring bolts.

The shifting problems was/is from a bent derailed hanger (rear); it is a part of the frame and bends really easy. The chain replacement helped because the kmc (?) chain was heavy duty and a little wide per their website.
None of my other steel bikes (6) I have now have or had before had this bending derailer hanger issue. I think it was supposed to be heat treated (hardened) but didn't happen. I was thinking of doing some testing to confirm, but will just keep bringing it back to be straightened; it needs about every 6 months if I ride it a few times a month.

The ride is a nice balance between responsiveness & stability and a very smooth ride. I feel like it transfers power very well. If this derailer hanger bending problem didn't exist it would my primary bike to take out instead of third or forth, and be quite happy with it. I just sucks once it bends again, and you can only get half of the cassette aligned, until I can take it in to get hanger straightened.

I have come to the conclusion that these issues are most likely to the bike being assembled when the world economy was crashing, and it could of happened to any of the other brands.

Last edited by Thattalldude; 06-08-15 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 06-08-15, 04:12 PM
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