Author Topic: Aurora or Aurora Elite? and frame size question for short rider  (Read 965 times)

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Offline ianraff

First, if this is double posted my apologies.  The first time I tried nothing appeared in the forum, so I assumed I screwed it up somehow.

After 50 years of department store bikes of one sort or another I am finally pulling the trigger on a proper bike.  Needless to say I have not cycled a great deal since I was a kid, but it is time to change things up.

I am looking at new old stock 2018 Aurora or Aurora elite.  Price difference is about 350 dollars.

My use will be commuting and doing gradually longer recreational rides and perhaps some shorter credit card or camping touring.

I have read everything I can on various forums about these bikes.

At the end of the day I see the differences as follows and in no particular order:

Elite:

1)better wheels Mavic xm 19 rims vs. Alex Ace 19

2)Hybrid disc brakes vs tektro cantilevers

3) somewhat better components (front rear derailleurs are 105 5700 series, dura ace bar ends) vs. Sora 3000 series and micrShift bar ends;

4)  Reynolds 631 vs 520 frame

5) Not sure if this is a plus Jamis adjustable threadless steering system

6)  Shimano 4600 external bb

7) sturdier rack;

8) one pound difference in weight which i consider immaterial all things considered;


Aurora:

1) better gearing.  crank 11-34 and cassette 48/36/26 vs 11-32 and 50/39/30T.  I understand the Aurora is more easily changed to allow lower gear ratios (Mountain Bike derailleurs vs 10 speed roadbike).


The million dollar question is do I spend the extra 350 bucks for the elite.  Are those improvements things that I am really ever going to notice...or do i take the dollars and do things like buy a brooks saddle etc...

I have read some opinions that some do not consider the improvements worth the retail price spread which is about 800 us plus  a set of peddles.   I know I would not buy the elite in those circumstances, but with a spread of 350 us I am a torn.

For anyone with experience with this bike wondering about opinions on frame size i am 5'2 28'' inseam.  That makes me believe the smallest frame 47'' would be best (also sized a little small you can make up for but its harder to shrink a frame - in the covid-19 world trying the bike out may not be an option).

Any assistance or insights would be greatly appreciated.

Offline DaveB

Re: Aurora or Aurora Elite? and frame size question for short rider
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2020, 08:41:37 am »
If the Aurora Elite really has a 105 FC-5703 crank, you can replace the 30T granny chain ring with a 26 or 24T as that crank has a 74 mm bolt circle for the granny ring.  That will get you the lower gearing that seems to be the only negative to the Elite in standard form.  I have two bikes with FC-5703 cranks and have made that change on both and it works well.

Otherwise, the Elite is worth the cost difference.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Aurora or Aurora Elite? and frame size question for short rider
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2020, 09:48:58 am »
I was going to say the standard for the lower gearing.  But as DaveB points out, if you're not averse to swapping the granny for a decent size ring, that'll be a moot point.

Re: sizing, you may be able to get test rides (depending on where your bike shop is and local restrictions, of course).  Some of my local shops are allowing one test ride at a time, by appointment.  (They can wipe everything down in between test rides that way.)  You might be able to test ride the 47 and the next size up (49? 51?) on adjacent appointments, or one a day.

Offline ianraff

Re: Aurora or Aurora Elite? and frame size question for short rider
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2020, 03:03:56 pm »
Thanks for the feedback guys.  My thinking is I  can see how it goes with the gearing and if I don't like it change it later if necessary.

Offline canalligators

Re: Aurora or Aurora Elite? and frame size question for short rider
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2020, 04:58:17 pm »
For touring or commuting, I'd lean towards lower gears and sturdier wheels.

Offline ianraff

Re: Aurora or Aurora Elite? and frame size question for short rider
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2020, 07:39:25 pm »
I pulled the trigger on the elite.  Either bike would have been great, and i could have definitely saved dollars on the aurora, but decided to dive in head first. Call it compensation for years of crap department store bikes and 2 months of being locked down due to covid-19

As for sizing, to help the next person who comes along, if i straddle the bike feet, flat there is just enough room that i am not suffering a self inflicted injury.....

So that pretty strongly suggested that the 47 was the right frame for someone 5'2 and with a 28 (or maybe 27.5) inseam.  I could not have straddled the 50cm frame without being in my tip toes (which i already do on my motorbike and could do without).

Once i have the bike home after it is built i will give a fuller report.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Aurora or Aurora Elite? and frame size question for short rider
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2020, 08:26:43 am »
Congratulations on the new bike, I hope you enjoy riding it many, many miles.

Now that you've got yours, where did you get it?  And do they have some in really big sizes left??  :)

Offline ianraff

Re: Aurora or Aurora Elite? and frame size question for short rider
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2020, 05:05:39 pm »
I bought it from the former dealer in toronto who is now liquidating old new stock. 

Adventure cycle (aka "rbinc").  Yes they did have some big sizes in both models.

However, i think it is pick from store only  in toronto.

So if you are in the gta you are in luck, if not......

If you search jamis aurora toronto his web site will come up.   Note web page ordering no longer active.  Best place to get info is at his instagram which is @jamiscanada.

This is not a plug for this outfit.   I am rolling the dice and taking my chances....


Offline froze

Re: Aurora or Aurora Elite? and frame size question for short rider
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2020, 08:53:01 pm »
What will you be using this bike for?  Touring I assume because this is a touring forum?

If you are wanting to tour I would go with the Elite, however having said that either of the Aurora's are really only light touring bikes, they are not really adequate for long distance touring, though they are very nice looking bikes.  The Elite has the 105 components and they are very durable components, but they are road components as is the Sora, and not intended for carry heavy loads up mountain roads like the Deore.

Not sure what other bikes you looked at but if you want to do some serious long distance touring you should look at the Masi Giramondo 700c, while not as classic looking as the Aurora's but it looks pretty darn good.  I own this bike, and it's very capable and very comfortable to ride.  Plus the Masi is $200 less than the Elite, $200 is not that much but it might help you to spend that money for stuff you need on the bike or for camping.

Otherwise if you never plan on doing any serious cross country type of touring the Elite is a fine bike, but is it worth $700 more then the regular Aurora if you're not going to use it for touring?  Maybe, the Elite does have a better frame, better brakes, and a better drivetrain.

In regards to the frame, will you notice the difference between 520 and 631? not if the geometry of the bikes and the tire widths are the same on both bikes!

Offline ianraff

Re: Aurora or Aurora Elite? and frame size question for short rider
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2020, 10:10:37 pm »
Froze,

Thanks for you response.  In my specific situation I was able to purchase the elite (840 usd) which was 350 more than i could have had an aurora for.  So it was more dollars but not as much as list.

My use will be for exercise, commuting in town (sometimes carrying heavy paper files on the rack), and I am hoping to do a some "several day" as in 2 to 4 day trips.  So I am not anticipating doing 3 weeks in the alps etc....(however a week in languadoc......hmmm....when the covid settles down). 

Now that i have the bike i feel it fits me well.  Had I taken the 50cm it would have been a mistake as it would have been that much bigger....




Offline ianraff

Re: Aurora or Aurora Elite? and frame size question for short rider
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2020, 10:17:45 pm »
By the way the Masi you recommended does look like a beautiful bike though for a shorty like me I notice the standover is 30 inches in the smallest frame so that is tippy toe city i suspect for someone my height.  Funny the vespas also have a very high standover (i used to have a classic px150).

Ian.


Offline froze

Re: Aurora or Aurora Elite? and frame size question for short rider
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2020, 10:37:16 am »
the other bike I put in 2nd place was the Kona Sutra, I think it's standover is 29.33".  The Kona is very well equipped too, the only reasons I deregulated it to 2nd was the gear ratio and the aluminum rear rack instead of the superior Tubus Tara racks the Masi came with.  The Kona does come with a Brooks B17, fenders, and better tires, but by the time I add in the cost of the saddle, fenders and better tires to my Masi I'm still a bit further ahead, plus the Kona weighs about a pound more than my bike, which on mine I can reduce the weight by about 3 pounds going with the lighter Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tires; though you could use Supremes on the Kona but that would only save you maybe a 1/2 pound since the Mondials are not much heavier than the Supremes. 

Since Mondials are out of production for 2020, not sure if Kona has enough of those on hand for their bikes or will they be using a different tire.  But the Kona would be a serious contender especially at your height .

https://www.konaworld.com/sutra.cfm

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Aurora or Aurora Elite? and frame size question for short rider
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2020, 02:35:41 pm »
What will you be using this bike for?  Touring I assume because this is a touring forum?

If you are wanting to tour I would go with the Elite, however having said that either of the Aurora's are really only light touring bikes, they are not really adequate for long distance touring, though they are very nice looking bikes.  The Elite has the 105 components and they are very durable components, but they are road components as is the Sora, and not intended for carry heavy loads up mountain roads like the Deore.

This is all OBE (Overcome By Events) since OP bought the bike already.  But I'm curious, what basis do you have for these claims?

Offline froze

Re: Aurora or Aurora Elite? and frame size question for short rider
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2020, 04:43:26 pm »
What claims are you speaking of?

I bet your debating what I said about the 105 is a road group and the Deore is more of a touring group, but also a MTB group, is that your chief complaint with me?  Really?  most true touring bikes come with Deore because it can handle more gear ranges, why don't you look it up.

Is your chief complaint about what I said concerning the Aurora?  Again it wasn't that the Aurora is a bad bike, far from it, and I said that, it all goes back to the 105 vs the Deore for loaded touring going up steep grades, but as the poster mentioned they're not going to be doing any mountain rides so the bike is perfectly fine.  Of course, I wasn't meaning the Alps, but there are steep grades in the Rocky's and the Appalachian Mountains that a lot of people who tour those areas have to deal with, including someday myself.  I love 105 stuff, I have that component group on my Lynskey with no problems, so I would never bad mouth 105, even Sora that comes with the regular Aurora was at one time higher level stuff that eventually trickled down, so Sora is a great component package as well, only minor thing is that Sora is a 9 speed system and 105 is a 11 speed system, I personally don't think 9 speeds is a deal breaker, god for years I rode on 6 and 7 speeds and I still have 6 and 7 speeds on my older bikes I have, even climbed mountains in California with those, not loaded however, quite frankly I still don't mind the 6 or 7 speeds.

Did that answer your complaints, or is there something else you didn't like that I said?  I hope you're not some forum Rambo looking for a fight on line, if so, I'm not playing, go find someone else to play with.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Aurora or Aurora Elite? and frame size question for short rider
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2020, 04:54:45 pm »
What claims are you speaking of?

I thought that was fairly obvious from my previous quote of your post:

If you are wanting to tour I would go with the Elite, however having said that either of the Aurora's are really only light touring bikes, they are not really adequate for long distance touring, though they are very nice looking bikes.  The Elite has the 105 components and they are very durable components, but they are road components as is the Sora, and not intended for carry heavy loads up mountain roads like the Deore.

I could think of several bases for saying the Auroras were "not intended for carry[ing] heavy loads up mountain roads, and so I thought it was better to ask why you made those claims.  I'm glad to hear you were just concerned with the gearing.  I generally agree with that concern; if you'd added that to your first post I'd not have commented on it.

In the present thread, I'm not sure gearing is a major concern for (a) commuting, (b) gradually longer recreational rides, and (c) shorter credit card or camping tours.  Absent steep climbs while heavily loaded, I suspect many riders can manage touring on road bikes.  And if it's still possible to put a smaller chain ring on 2018 105 crank, even that difficulty goes away.  Perhaps I'm guilty of short people-ism, but I wouldn't be surprised if ianraff starts touring with a total load (bike, rider, and gear) that's half of what I started my first cross-country tour weighed.

Froze, congratulations on buying you Marrakesh; I hope it serves your well.  You are putting lots of miles on it to get ready for your tour, right?