Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Click the "Create Account" button now to join.

To disable ads, please log-in.

Shop at TeamEstrogen.com for women's cycling apparel.

Page 1 of 6 12345 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 90
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    747

    Jamis Aurora vs. Aurora Elite vs. Something Else

    To disable ads, please log-in.

    Rather than keep piggybacking on old threads I am going to start a new one and you smart people can help me out. I'm getting a new bike (as a reward to myself for having a baby, running a law practice from home without any childcare, going running every morning after the baby wakes up even though I am not managing to lose any weight and thus have no positive feedback coming my way whatsoever, and not killing anybody), and I have very specific wants and needs. I think the Jamis Aurora is the bike I want, but my husband has doubts so I am going to tell you what I want it for and get your feedback. How's that?

    This bike is for pulling a baby trailer, first of all. My mother's group is starting a cycling club for moms and babies, and we'll be riding mostly on a paved trail near my house, but I would like to be able to use a dirt/gravel trail as a short cut to get to the paved trail. A couple of the other moms use cyclocross bikes for pulling their trailers because they like to go on dirt as well as pavement, and that seems pretty brilliant to me.

    I live a couple of blocks from both paved and dirt/gravel bike trails so a bike that can handle both would be dandy. (I have a mountain bike but I really hate to ride it on pavement. None of my road bikes are suitable for dirt.) The dirt trail is mostly hard packed dirt but there are spots with fairly chunky gravel -- it's fine on a mountain bike but I'm not sure how it will work with the Aurora ... my husband thinks the Aurora Elite might be a better choice for that.

    Ideally, what I would like is a road bike with relaxed geometry (so I can easily look around and keep an eye on Penelope), speedy enough to be fun on pavement, able to take wider knobbier tires, with reasonably low gearing for towing a trailer up and down levees, but I'm not looking at any serious hills. Preferably steel because I think that will be a lot more comfortable than aluminum. The Elite has a carbon fork which my husband is pushing me towards. If I get the Aurora I may upgrade the components a bit so the price difference might narrow a bit anyway.

    I can test ride any Jamis but both the Aurora and the Aurora Elite will have to be special ordered so I probably want to have a good idea and choose the one I want before I order. (It's a small bike shop and I'm not going to make them order both for me if I can help it.) Has anyone test ridden both? Any thoughts on which is better suited for my needs? I gather the Elite is a rebadged Nova, a cyclocross bike, and has different geometry than the Aurora -- higher bottom bracket, shorter chainstays.

    Help! I haven't shopped for a new bike in ages and I forget how to do it. (And I can't just go ride lots of bikes because this is a type of bike that shops rarely have in stock.)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Newport, RI
    Posts
    3,821
    I don't know about those bikes, but I'm here to give you some positive feedback anyway!

    It sounds like you're doing an amazing job. I don't have children, but I've watched some close friends have them, and I see how hard it is. That you're finding time to run a business without any help with the baby, well, I'm in awe! One of my best friends runs her business from home, has a full time nanny, a husband who does a lot of the paperwork, a mother who comes a few times per week to help, and she couldn't make it to the gym for the first year! And, no, she's not lazy. She has boundless energy so I know if she can't find time, there's NO TIME.

    Buy your bike, have fun riding, and try to enjoy yourself. Your body has been through huge changes, and will eventually bounce back.

    You rock!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,516
    Wow!! You're amazing

    I don't know much about the Jamis bikes, but 2 of mine would do what you're looking for. I have a Trek 520 (touring) and a Surly Cross Check. Both are steel, and both can be built with pretty low gearing. I rode the Cross Check in the MS 150 last year with skinny tires, and have ridden lots of gravel with wider tires on it. The Trek 520 went over lots of gravel (road construction) with me yesterday. The 520 has a lower bottom bracket and is longer (better for rear panniers) - the Surly is more nimble.

    Our LBS manager has a 20+ mile each way bike commute. He rides an Aurora with cross tires. He LOVES it (completely de-constructs and frame savers every 6 months). He says he plans to keep it forever - I believe him!!

    Good luck!!
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    747
    Aw, thanks, you guys!

    The Cross Check is also on my list and I am only knocking it down a peg for a very superficial reason ... I suspect my husband is going to buy one in the next year, and then we'd have matching bikes, and man, that's geeky. I really like that Trek -- I've seen it before -- and may try to find one to test ride.

    I probably will not need the knobby tires for another year or so ... we just took her out with our mountain bikes, and the gravel/dirt is way too bumpy for her right now. We'll stick with the pavement until she's a little bigger. But I still want a bike that can do both types of surfaces.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,557
    I test rode the Jamis Aurora and the Surly Cross Check.

    Loved them both and came *this* close to buying the Aurora... but then Surly came out with the "complete" CC (complete bike, instead of just the frame) and suddenly at the LBS the price of the Surly was nearly the same as the Aurora (instead of 2x the price for the Surly build my shop did)

    If your DH gets a Surly, too, you could buy different colors? How about a Long Haul Trucker? Or a Salsa Casaroll? (also steel)
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    747
    Actually I am pretty set on the Aurora as the best of these options for me, after checking sizes and geometry on all the bikes I considered. Touring style bikes have such long top tubes that I am really worried about finding one that fits, and the smaller sized Auroras are much closer to what I think will fit me than any of the options I looked at: Surly, Soma, Salsa, Trek, Bianchi.

    I'm going to talk to the bike shop today and see what they think, but I suspect that I will wind up ordering an Aurora that feels a bit small for me because I really want the reach on this bike to be comfortable and I do not want to go the super-short stem route again. Part of the reason I'm not thrilled about hauling a trailer with my road bike is that the short stem plus a trailer makes for really twitchy handling.

    I will report back.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    8,403
    Have you consulted with TE member Elk? She has an Aurora. There are a couple of others too, but I know she has one.
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    2,309

    A customer ordered an Elite..

    And he was pleased as punch! In fact he came back to report in that she was a smooth ride. He did a multi day ride on her, and said he was the most comfortable he's been in awhile.
    So only thrid hand experience, but experience nonetheless..

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    747
    Thanks, Running Mommy, that's the closest I've come to a real-life review of the Elite! I guess I should look for reviews of the old Nova.

    Lisa, yes, I posted on elk's thread before I started this one.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,203
    xeney, you sound like an amazing person! Really! I run my own business from home, but I don't have kids. I also don't make it outside every day!

    I really, really like Jamis bikes. I don't have an Aurora, but I it's on my short list for when the time comes to get a touring/cross bike. The Surly Crosscheck is also on that list. I have a Jamis Coda Comp. It's a flat-bar road bike with 700x28c tires. It was my commuting monster when I had "a real job."

    I love the Jamis frames. I compare mine the suppleness of butter. I think they are very high quality at a reasonable price. I've never had any problem with mine. I now use it as an urban commuting bike.

    Please let us know what you get and how you like it! Good for you for taking care of yourself even with your busy, busy life!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,557
    That was my first impression of the Jamis Aurora, too! "Butter"! Just smooth and wonderful, and a delight!

    I rode to the LBS on my aluminum bike, then test-rode the Aurora over the exact same route, and the difference was just amazing.

    Smooth smooth bike.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    747
    I'm still having some trouble working out the fit on these bikes, and I'm starting to get depressed all over again. The Elite has the higher bottom bracket, and so does the Cross Check, but the Aurora does not, as far as I can tell. I know that affects sizing because the length of the seat tube will seem shorter than it is on a road bike, but it doesn't seem like it would change the actual distance my butt needs to be from the pedal to give me a decent pedal stroke.

    I have a hard time working out in my head how the seat tube angle factors in, and I really wish I could just test a bunch of these bikes. On a road bike, a top tube length greater than 525 is really hard for me to manage, at least without using a really short stem, which I do not want to do on this bike. (That's a dealbreaker.) But I have longish legs ... on my 53cm road bike I have a very tall seat post with a lot of setback. So I am worried about going with, for instance, the 50cm Aurora, because the effective top tube length is 535 (too long for me, most likely) and I'm not sure it's going to be tall enough for me without pushing me even further back (with a setback seat post). The seat tube angle is 74, as opposed to 75 on my road bike, and I gather that buys me about another centimeter. But that doesn't seem like enough.

    The 47cm Aurora has an effective top tube length of 513, which I think is probably too short, and I think overall that bike is going to be too small for me.

    The 49cm Elite might be better ... it has different geometry, with a 74.5 degree seat tube angle, and the effective top tube length is 525. The standover height is about three inches higher than the 50cm Aurora and closer to what I think of as my size. (I know standover doesn't mean much, but it's at least a ballpark on the sizing.)

    Arrrgh. I think this is just going down the same path that I went down with my road bike and I am not going to get a good fit. This is why I ride mixtes. My husband is now suggesting that we just put gears back on one of my mixtes and say to hell with modern bikes, and I think I am going to agree with him.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,203
    All those numbers make my eyes blurry. Which one feels comfortable to ride? Go with that, not the numbers (IMO, some will definitely disagree).

    Nothing wrong with the mixtes if they work for you! Ride what's comfortable, not what the numbers tell you should be comfortable. Sometimes they don't match.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    747
    As I said, the problem is that I can't just test them all out because bike shops tend to not have them in stock, or at best, have only one size in stock.

    I would really prefer modern componetry if possible. I love my single speeds but I need gears to pull the trailer and am not excited about non-indexed shifting.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    S. Dak.
    Posts
    488
    Xeney, I've been encountering all your sizing problems and no inventory to test problems too. I've been interested in testing a aurora, but the closest shop that carries them are very far away. He says he has the bike but hasn't had time to put the bike together after a month. No wonder tour-style bike aren't popular because the bike shops don't carry those models.

    I am taller than you, but do have the long leg-short torso fit problems. I test rode a specialized tri cross that fit my poportions better than most. It has a shorter top tube than the full touring bikes. The down-side it is an aluminum bike so might not be as comfy as steel. I've seen 07 sport models being sold for $700-800. You might want to check out the geomentry.

    I wish you much luck in getting just the right bike.

 

 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •