Author Topic: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)  (Read 29302 times)

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Offline livinday2day02

Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« on: April 24, 2009, 10:29:03 am »
I've been on several multi-century tours now.  I 've been riding my dad's Trek 520.  I love the bike but my dad is 5' 9", and I'm just a hair under 6'.  I need a bike that fits me correctly before heading cross country this summer.  I've been looking at lots of bikes but seem to have fallen in love with the Jamis Aurora Elite 2009.  Any opinions on the bike. I know last years model was more like a cyclocross bike but Jamis made changes to this years model to make it more touring specific. I see it still has a slightly shorter wheel base then the 520, and I'm wondering if anyone has been out on some longer rides or even a tour with one.  Let me know your impressions of the bike.
All you are is what you do.....All you leave is your legacy....I want mine to be a smile.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2009, 02:31:45 pm »
I have to do this from memory as I am eating my lunch at work, and our web police will let me go to adventure cycling, but NOT the bike vendors...

There are two Aurora bikes:  The Aurora and the Aurora Elite.  From what I remember, the Aurora Elite has a really nice frame.  The 520 and the Aurora have comparable frames,  although the Aurora has a slightly inferior grade of steel relative to the 520.  So the Aurora Elite is worth buying just to get the better steel frame.  Both the Aurora and the Aurora Elite are geared similarly, and the Aurora Elite has nice components to go with that nicer frame.

I can't turn the big gears I could when I was younger, so the Aurora's are geared for someone with stronger legs than mine.  Maybe this is not an issue for you, or maybe your dealer can swap things around.  You might also see if you can get a deal on an Aurora Elite frame only and a build kit.  The 520 has a little friendlier gearing.  As I recall, the 520 has bar con shifters, and I don't remember what shifters the Elite has.

I will check my facts when I get home (and away from the web police), but the bottom line is that I would buy the Aurora Elite.
Danno

Offline fredlonas

Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2009, 07:18:19 pm »

        If your dad is 5'9, I'm 5'9 he probably has a 23" bike and you may need a 25 and I bet that would solve your fit problem. The Trek 520 is a great touring bike for the price. I've done 4 3 week tours on mine and and leaving the 16ht May for a xcrountry ride. I did have to make some changes in the gearing.

        Fred

Offline livinday2day02

Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2009, 02:24:54 pm »
Thanks to both of you.....I do feel like I have a good Idea of fit, (know my size). I also know that it has STI shifters and not bar ends (witch puts me at risk for breakdowns.  I also realize that it's geared kinda high for loaded touring but i'm a gear pusher and will probably be just right.  What I would really like is some info on the ride itself.  Is the ride smooth, can it handle loaded touring across the country?  I know the 631 is great steel, but I'm also curious about the design of this bike.  I mean do you think the Jamis Aurora Elite can be used for the same type of touring as the 520 and LHT, and perform as well?  This bike is to be used for a x-country trip, future fully loaded tours, and daily commuting.
All you are is what you do.....All you leave is your legacy....I want mine to be a smile.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2009, 07:22:58 pm »
Personally I think a lot of the components on the regular Aurora actually more suitable for touring.  Nicer tube set and wheels are a plus on the elite, I don't think the 10 speed stuff is.

I consider STI to be a plus and the Tiagra stuff is fine.  STI is plenty reliable and much nicer IMO.  Some like bar end shifters and that is fine, but I think you will like the STI if you give it a chance.

On the size issue...  23" for 5'9" sounds big to me unless he is all legs, but I like small frames.  It depends more on inseam than height though.  If your dad indeed has a 23" frame it might be fine for you if you aren't into the big frame thing.  Some folks like the kind of fit Rivendell advises.  They are on the extreme large end of the scale though.  I use their chart as a reality check, but go 2 sizes (that is sizes not inches) smaller.

My point is that none of this is etched in stone.  While I am 5'9" and an 18 or 19" frame is ideal for the riding position I prefer someone else may be happy on a 23" frame even with the same height and inseam as me.

The Elite or the regular Aurora are both OK for a long tour except the gearing is pretty iffy especially on the Elite.  I would recommend at least a smaller inner ring.  Personally I think the regular Aurora is more suitable for a Trans America type tour especially if you fit a 24 or 26t inner ring.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2009, 07:24:57 pm by staehpj1 »

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2009, 09:25:20 am »
I finally got a chance to recheck my facts.

The equipping on the Treck 520 is more suitable to touring than the Jamis Aurora Elite.  I don't know much about the quality of the steel in the bike, as the specs are a little vague.

The Jamis Aurora has similar gearing, but it is a Reynolds 520 frame.  Reynolds recommends 520 for lighter applications.  From my own esperience, I would agree with them.

The Jamis Aurora Elite has that beautiful frame, and silly component choices for touring.

Welcome to the wonderful would of bike touring the none of the sub $3000 bikes come the way you would want.

Obviously you need to do some test rides.  Also you need to find a LBS that will swap things around for you.  Good luck.
Danno

Offline livinday2day02

Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2009, 03:10:36 am »
Yeah I definitely agree the gearings too high, i'll pobably switch out some chain rings and the cassette, also I am glad it comes with STI shifters I prefer them.  I know the bike has eyelets for loaded touring, but I feel like it's Thoroughbred is not tested.  The Aurora Elite while being more touring specific then last years model does have a wheel basethat is on the low end for recommended length for touring and that front fork looks a little dainty. Beautiful (don't get me wrong), but dainty.  I could be completely wrong.  That however is why I'm hoping to speak to someone who got to take it out on a fully loaded ride.  I feel like someone out there must be riding this bike right now making assessments of it.  Also opinions are welcome.  Is the fork to petite? Are the Chainstays to short?  for loaded touring x-country after nessesary changes the gearing?
All you are is what you do.....All you leave is your legacy....I want mine to be a smile.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2009, 07:39:21 am »
Everything about the frame would probably suit me fine for loaded touring.  I like my touring bike geometry a little on the roadie side.

I don't think the component choices on the elite make a lick of sense.  The Elite frame with the regular Aurora's components would be nice if they sold it that way, but I would stick with the regular Aurora if I had to choose between the two for loaded touring.

I don't think that you will find much in the way of 10 speed cassettes with the right range.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2009, 12:23:50 pm »
I once toured on a Reynolds 520 frame, and the frame wiggled when I toured.  I won't say who made the frame.  In defense of the frame, I weigh over 200 lbs, so maybe my weight and the weight of my gear, was too much to ask.  Reynolds is being vague about their tube set properties right now, expecting you to know how to interpret engineering specs.  I could swear that Reynolds used to say that 520 and 525 (same alloy, one is licensed for manufacturing in Asia) should be used for light applications only.  I read that as don't use it to build a touring bike, and don't use it to build a tandem bike.

So the Jamis Aurora Elite is a strange animal.  It has that Reynolds 631 frame, it is equipped for club rides, and Jamis sells it as a touring bike.

If you could buy the Aurora Elite frame and put the Aurora build kit on the bike, you would have something.  If you could get a custom build kit and the Elite frame you would have something.  Not mentioned, beside the limited cassette selection for 10 speed, 9 speed is a lot tougher and that is why you see few 10 speed mountain bikes.

I have a friend the rides a Cannondale T-2000 (now called the Touring-2).  It is in the same price range as the Aurora Elite, and has mostly sensible components on it.  The Cannondale touring bikes have that shorter wheelbase more nimble ride.  So far Cannodale has stayed true and not bastardized the bike with a cheap Chinese made carbon fiber fork.

So perhaps a Touring-2 would be a good alternative.
Danno

Offline staehpj1

Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2009, 01:57:01 pm »
I have a friend the rides a Cannondale T-2000 (now called the Touring-2).  It is in the same price range as the Aurora Elite, and has mostly sensible components on it.  The Cannondale touring bikes have that shorter wheelbase more nimble ride.  So far Cannodale has stayed true and not bastardized the bike with a cheap Chinese made carbon fiber fork.

So perhaps a Touring-2 would be a good alternative.
I agree with all of that about the Aurora and Aurora Elite.  I also agree that the Touring 2 is a nice touring bike.  Not to quibble too much but... The wheelbase is a bit longer on the Cannondale touring models than on either Aurora though.

Offline livinday2day02

Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2009, 02:54:34 pm »
Ok.....I just want to make sure that everybody is talking about he same bike....I have been asking about the Jamis Aurora 2009 model which is pretty seriously overhauled from last year.  It no longer has a carbon fork, they switched to lugged steel. Also the frame is made of Reynolds 631 a nice choice for a touring bike.  Not disagreeing with opinions just want to make sure you know Jamis came out with a new version of the Aurora Elite for 2009.
All you are is what you do.....All you leave is your legacy....I want mine to be a smile.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2009, 03:20:27 pm »
They still have the 2008 on their web site.
Danno

Offline staehpj1

Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2009, 04:36:55 pm »
Ok.....I just want to make sure that everybody is talking about he same bike....I have been asking about the Jamis Aurora 2009 model which is pretty seriously overhauled from last year.
Yep. That is the one I was looking at the specs for
http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/road/aurora/09_auroraelite.html
Too bad they make such stupid component choices (for touring) on the Elite.

Offline livinday2day02

Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2009, 10:23:40 pm »
Well Thanks for your opinions...I guess your right...some not smart component choices for touring.  Hopefully with some changes to gearing and wheel selection i can get this thing across the country with me....I put a down payment on one at my lbs last week. 
All you are is what you do.....All you leave is your legacy....I want mine to be a smile.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2009, 07:48:25 am »
Good luck with whatever you choose.  It sounds like you are going with the Elite.  It wouldn't be my choice, but I am sure you can make it work for you.

Have a great tour this summer.  What route are you taking?