Friday, July 12, 2013

Jamis Aurora Elite

I have never ridden a Jamis bicycle, but friends who have swear by them.  A friend from Connecticut owned one of the touring models and said he rode the frame into the ground when living in New York City.  I can see why people like them.  The equipment packages are well thought out, the prices are reasonable, and the frames look well designed and built.
Jamis Aurora Elite
The Aurora Elite is the top of the line touring bicycle for Jamis.  In 2013 the Reynolds 631 steel frame is painted a burnt orange color they call mahogany, with extended collars for strength welded at the head tube. The bike comes equipped with bar-end shifters, disk brakes, a triple chain ring and low, wide-range gearing, matching fenders and a rear rack.  For gears it uses a Shimano 10 speed 12-30T cassette with a Shimano triple 50/39/30 tooth chain ring for climbing mountains.  Shifting is accomplished with Simano 105 derailleurs front and rear.  The bike rolls on Mavic A119 double wall, 36 hole rims with DT champion spokes and Shimano hubs on Vittoria Randonneur 700 X 32c tires.  The rest of the bike parts are also first class.  Bike sizes include 47, 50 53, 55, 57, 59 and 62 cm.  The geometry looks spot-on with the long wheelbase and I would expect this bike to roll easily all day long while carrying a good load.  Even the bike seat looks fine with a cut-out and chrome rails.  The bike's MSRP is a little high at $1650, but you can find it for hundreds less in the real world.
Jamis Aurora
The Jamis Aurora model is built with Reynolds 520 steel, less expensive Shimano Tiagra and Sora shifters, a 9-speed drive train, and cantilever brakes instead of disk brakes but it looks to be the same frame geometry as the Elite and includes fenders and a rear rack.  The black forest color is nice also.  At an MSRP of $950, this may be a really good deal for touring on the cheap while owning a quality bicycle with parts you can upgrade.
Aurora Bossanova
For the commuter or ultralight tourist, look at the shorter-framed, quick-handling Jamis Bosanova.  It is also a Reynolds 520 chromoly bicycle with a carbon fiber fork, triple chain ring and 10-speeds with fenders, but has no rear rack.
When my time to purchase a new bike comes, I'll be looking closer at these fine Jamis bicycles.

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