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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    11

    Choosing a bike: Jamis Coda Comp vs. Allegro

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    I walked into my local bike shop today (after months of what I thought was great research) dead set on a Jamis Coda Comp. Shop owner was super attentive and clearly very knowledgeable, so I'm now second-guessing myself - he recommended the Allegro Comp.

    I felt pretty married to the Coda Comp and am still having a hard time opening my mind to something else, so I was hoping to get some objective opinions about which is the right bike for me. I've included some info that I hope will be helpful:

    Primary use: Fitness rides on nearby (asphalt) cycling trails, light errands, ultimately build up to 20+ mile commute (each way but would likely only go one way per day - would drive to work, bike home, bike back in the morning, drive home, and so on).

    Rider specs: Relatively fit but with bulging disk in lower back - that seemed to be the bike shop owner's key factor, other than bike weight, in recommending the Allegro.

    I had thought the steel frame and carbon fork on the Coda Comp were big selling points and had previously felt pretty strongly against getting a bike with an aluminum frame like the Allegro, but like I said, I'm now second-guessing. Any advice is much appreciated and please let me know if I can provide any other info. Thanks very much in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,713
    Did you ride the Allegro? The Coda?

    It looks like the Allegro puts you in a more upright position. That might be better for your back than the (slightly) more aggressive Coda. That's probably your primary concern. The Allegro is also probably lighter than the Coda, so if you have to move the bike up or down stairs, that's also a consideration.

    Here's my opinion, however, on frame materials. In my (limited) experience, aluminum can be just as comfy as carbon (I know you're not looking at carbon, but for sentence construction purposes...) for much less money. (I think my next bike is going to be aluminum!) However, that seems to be dependent on the quality of the tubing and the frame geometry. I find aluminum "endurance" (more upright, similar to the Allegro) road geometry to be unforgiving when it comes to road vibration. Does my hands in, and (for me), I think it would be worse with flat bars...so I'd almost hands-down go with steel.

    Having said that, you could put bar ends on. It also depends on your road conditions and on how susceptible you are to road buzz. Go test both of them out, and buy whichever feels best. Happy shopping!
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,145
    I had a Coda Femme for 4 years. It was my "second" bike, which was used for errands, farmer's market runs, and short rides. But, I also rode up to 50 miles on this bike.
    My personal opinion is that for a moderately priced bike, this one can serve a lot of purposes. The steel ride is smooth and often made me feel like I was back being a kid, riding my 3 speed Raleigh! I had a pannier on this bike and I barely noticed it, even when full. The bike was stable as heck. That said, the Coda is heavy, so if you have to lift it up stairs, etc., that might be a pain. The components are lower end. Now, this is from my perspective as someone who is used to riding a carbon bike. I never could get my average speed up as high as it is on my carbon bike on the Coda. There was a 2-3 mph difference. Since the purpose of this bike for me was not speed, it wasn't really important, but I think it speaks to the weight of the bike. I'm a light weight; I know others have this bike and see no differences.
    I thought the Coda was pretty upright and know nothing about the Allegro. But, I have had aluminum bikes and I would chose the Coda over an aluminum bike any day, if the price and components were equal. The Coda just made me smile.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    11
    Thanks Owlie and Crankin!

    Owlie, I've not been able to test ride either as none of the bike shops I've been to have had the Coda or Allegro available in my size for test riding. One offered to put a Coda together for me just to test and I will probably take him up on that. I agree that the road buzz from the aluminum is one of my biggest concerns.

    Crankin, I do have to carry it up three flights of stairs so weight is a factor but I'd like to be able to install a rack and maybe use panniers at some point so I feel like the Allegro is limiting there. The Coda makes me smile too! I don't know why I just keep coming back to it

    Thank you both for the advice!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Little Egypt
    Posts
    1,886
    I bought a Coda at Christmas to use as my commuter/errand/flat pedal bike and absolutely love it. It's a great bike and you can't beat the feel of steel. I just don't think there is a comparison between steel and aluminum. Yes, aluminum is lighter but steel gives you such a smooth ride. Does the Allegro have braze ons for fenders and a rack? The Coda does which was a big selling point for me. But if you have to carry the bike up steps, the Coda is probably going to be heavier.

    My best suggestion is to ride both of them if you can and then decide. If you keep going back to the Coda, there's probably a reason. Take your time and do some research and study both of them. You will pick the right one. Good luck.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    11
    It does look like the Allegro has rack mounts, now that I look more closely at the specs. I swore the shop owner said it didn't. I will continue to research and hopefully find a place that'll let me do a test ride - thank you!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    So Cal.
    Posts
    508
    I commuted to work for a year on an aluminum bike with a carbon fork (Fuji), and when the road was in good condition I was ok with the ride and the bike was fine for the purpose. But several large areas of construction just killed the roads. They got rougher and rougher, and our city just can't figure out how to do what we do every day when we budget our lives and it is broke. So fixing the street is like eventually sending out a crew to cut square holes and partially fill them in. I would rather keep it all broken up but somewhat level instead of big square potholes. Well, it is just horrible.

    The bike did not have clearance for wider than 28c tires, if it did I would have thrown some 32c or 35c tires on there for the extra cushion. I also wanted fenders as the road dirt was just getting flung on me. So I ended up buying an REI steel bike that took fenders and has 35c tires. Yes it weighs maybe 5 lbs more than the Fuji but between the nice plump tires and the steel frame, it is so stable and it sucks up the chatter. I don't feel beat up when I get home. Yea I am a little slower but I am not looking to race here, just get home feeling good.

    That Allegro comes with 32c Vittoria tires that will help with the road chatter and you could probably go wider for more cush if needed. Unless the roads are really bad I doubt the ride would be harsh. The Coda only has 28c tires and I can't tell if wider tires would fit. The gearing is very different, the Coda has a touring type triple up front and goes to a low of 32 in back while the Allegro has road gearing that does not go down as low. If the roads are really hilly I would give the edge to the Coda as it sits. But if it were me, I would get the Allegro, and if lower gearing were needed I would swap the rear derailleur for a medium cage one and use a cassette that goes to 32.

    Yes this is a tough call and it may be hard to find both to test ride but don't count out the aluminum- it is only one factor of many. My Fuji would have been great if it could have taken those nice cushy 32c tires.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    North Bellmore, NY
    Posts
    1,347
    I think that if at all possible to test ride them both. Even lift both of them to see how it will work for you going up and down the stairs.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    11

    Coda Comp purchased!

    As an update, I was finally able to test ride the Coda and LOVED it. I didn't even try the Allegro because no one had one in stock in my size. I ordered my Comp last week and I pick it up Tuesday - can't wait! Thanks to everyone for the advice!

 

 

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