Author Topic: Jamis Aurora vs. Surly LHT  (Read 15403 times)

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Offline Monk

Jamis Aurora vs. Surly LHT
« on: January 27, 2010, 04:31:48 pm »
This will be my first tour, and unfortunately we will not be able to make it to the west coast from chicago, but will instead head east and most likely follow the northern tier.  My budget for a bike is roughly $1200, and I've been eyeing the Jamis Aurora and Surly Long Haul Trucker.  Which bike is more versatile/durable/more bang for my buck and can get me there with minimal problems.  Or are there any other bikes that i should consider in that price range before I drop the dough.  Any help on this would be great. 

Re: Jamis Aurora vs. Surly LHT
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2010, 05:07:13 pm »
Bang for buck, those are two of the best bikes out there.  The biggest difference between the two is that the Jamis is running Shimano Tiagra STI shifters, while the LHT runs bar end shifters.  If you're going to be on the road for awhile, and away from a bike shop, the bar ends are easier to service than STI, and less finicky overall.

The LHT has some nice built in features, such as a third set of mounts for bottle cages, and spare spoke holders.  The Jamis does include fenders, and they have a neat system for easily adjusting your stem height, although I've read a few reviews from people that have trouble with the adjustable stem slipping.

My personal preference swings towards the Surly, but no matter which you choose, be prepared to swap out the saddle.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Jamis Aurora vs. Surly LHT
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2010, 10:00:40 am »
I love my LHT.  I never hit my knees on the bar ends while climbing.  Never had a problem with the cranks or BB during the more than two years I have owned the bike and ridden it loaded and for general commuting/errands, including many runs in the rain.  I am also on the heavier side--6'2" and about 210 during the height of the season.  I really love the wheelset.  I don't think they have ever needed any major truing or adjustment.  Says something coming from someone who is less of a spinner than he probably should be.  Very comfortable and stable ride.  I did have to swap out the uncomfortable Velo-something saddle for a Terry Liberator, but I hear that Surly has switched to a better WTB saddle.

Offline Bikearound

Re: Jamis Aurora vs. Surly LHT
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2010, 10:42:38 am »
I think you should ride both if you can and then make a determination which one fits you best. The LHT has a long top tube that fits some better than others. My frame is undersized compared to what others of my height ride but with a longer stem and MTB bars, my bike fits my style of riding perfectly. The popularity of the LHT speaks for itself. If you talk to 100 LHT riders you're likely to get 75 different answers as to why they like them. No one bike fits everybody though and you may find that the Jamis is a better fit but it's probably best to approach both with an open mind.

Offline Monk

Re: Jamis Aurora vs. Surly LHT
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2010, 02:06:20 pm »
What about the Novara Randonee Touring bike?  How does it compare to the others.  I just went into REI today and tried it out and the 2009 models are at a discount now.  I don't know much about bikes yet, but this seemed decent, aside from the saddle.  Is chromoly frame really sturdy? 

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Jamis Aurora vs. Surly LHT
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2010, 09:00:39 pm »
What about the Novara Randonee Touring bike?  How does it compare to the others.  I just went into REI today and tried it out and the 2009 models are at a discount now.  I don't know much about bikes yet, but this seemed decent, aside from the saddle.  Is chromoly frame really sturdy? 

Steel alloys can be very confusing because there are so many different alloys.  Some are really good, and some are not so good.  You need to do some research to evaluate the tube set.

Both the Jamis Aurora and the Novara Randonee are made from Reynolds 520.  Reynolds specifies this alloy for light applications.  I once had a touring bike with a Reynolds 520 frame.  If the rider and gear was less than 250 pounds, then it was a pretty good ride.  At 250 pounds, the ride sucked due to frame flex.  I think the 520 tube sets are OK for light riders, but frame flex is why I upgraded bikes.

The Jamis Aurora Elite is made from a better Reynolds tube set.  The 2010 model comes with a more tour friendly component set than prior model years.

Surly does not talk much about the tube set in the LHT other than to say that it is a thicker sidewall tube set.  I don't think I have ever heard of anyone complaining about LHT frame flex.  There are a lot of happy LHT owners out there.
Danno

Offline jl_longstaff

Re: Jamis Aurora vs. Surly LHT
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2010, 09:11:08 pm »
Try a Bianchi Volpe if you can find one.

Offline uncleleedawg

Re: Jamis Aurora vs. Surly LHT
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2010, 12:46:51 pm »
O-kay, so I've decided on the LHT, but what about 700cc vs. 26ers? 

Offline hem

Re: Jamis Aurora vs. Surly LHT
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2010, 02:34:56 pm »
O-kay, so I've decided on the LHT, but what about 700cc vs. 26ers? 
Strictly opinion here. I had two Bruce Gordon's; 700c and 26". I sold the 26" because I am sticking mainly with paved roads. That said I run 40mm tires on the 700c.

Offline BobG

Re: Jamis Aurora vs. Surly LHT
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2010, 09:30:40 pm »
It depends on your size. A frame 42-54CM will be be built for 26" wheels on the LHT. 56-62CM will be built for 700C. The larger 700C diameter actually dampens the vibration of a washboard dirt road better.  That's why stage coaches had large diameter wheels. I also have a 700C Bruce Gordon in the equivalent of a 54 CM frame (actually 42 CM with it's sloping top tube).  If I bought an LHT I'd have to go with their 26er, even though I'd prefer one in 700C.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2010, 09:42:42 pm by BobG »

Offline bismarckgimpy

Re: Jamis Aurora vs. Surly LHT
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2010, 10:07:18 pm »
I just got a Surly LHT. I've only ridden it a few times around town. I am 5'9 and about 150 lbs. When looking for a new bike, I tried out the Bianchi Volpe and Raleigh Clubman also at the bike shop. I felt the LHT was the smoothest ride. I'm a newbie to steel frames, so I don't know all the technical stuff. The saddle on the LHT is poor. I have long arms and a long torso and it fit right. The off-set seat post was nice.

Offline seaside7

Re: Jamis Aurora vs. Surly LHT
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2010, 01:33:04 pm »
I want to purchase the LHT,however, I want to have a straight bar instead of the drop bar. How hard is it to swap out and is it even possible?  How would this affect the shifters and brake levers? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Offline whittierider

Re: Jamis Aurora vs. Surly LHT
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2010, 01:52:32 pm »
Quote
I want to purchase the LHT, however, I want to have a straight bar instead of the drop bar.  How hard is it to swap out and is it even possible?  How would this affect the shifters and brake levers?  Any input would be greatly appreciated.
You would need different shifters and brake levers of course, but you can still use them with the same derailleurs.  What I don't know is if the bar diameter in the clamp area in the middle is the same.  If not, you'll have to change the stem too.

Usually when people say they want a straight bar though, they're thinking it will be higher.  Note that the height of the bar is set by the height of the frame's head tube, and the length of the fork's steering tube above the frame, and then the stem.  Merely changing out the bar will not affect its height.  Drop bars reduce the fatigue by offering more hand positions, all but one of them being on the top, at the same height that a straight bar would give you.  If you want to use a handlebar bag, some, including mine, will only mount on drop bars.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2010, 01:54:20 pm by whittierider »

Offline seaside7

Re: Jamis Aurora vs. Surly LHT
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2010, 09:20:46 pm »
Thanks for the response. You bring up a good point.  I never gave the fatigue issue a thought. I must reconsider the flat bar idea..

Offline bogiesan

Re: Jamis Aurora vs. Surly LHT
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2010, 10:31:54 am »
Thanks for the response. You bring up a good point.  I never gave the fatigue issue a thought. I must reconsider the flat bar idea..

I think the drop-flat bar option is handled well in the A/C's How To Buy a Touring Bike articles.

http://www.adventurecycling.org/features/buyersguide.cfm

The Surly Long Haul Trucker is discussed here often. One could infer it is one of only a few tourers but the lists of great touring bikes in A/C's articles are quite long. If you have not absolutely decided on the Surly, try a recumbent. They're not for everyone, exactly why I run one.

http://www.adventurecycling.org/features/recumbent_bike.cfm

david boise ID
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent