Author Topic: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)  (Read 29317 times)

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Offline livinday2day02

Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2009, 07:57:31 am »
Going west to East....I will be taking the western express to the Transam.....Then at about Kentucky I want to find a different route to get back to NYC.  A route that will go through Syracuse NY.....I don't want to take the transam all the way to virginia and then head north.
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 #16 on: April 30, 2009, 08:13:44 am »
Sounds interesting.  Keep us posted on the route choices.  Do you have a journal somewhere?

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2009, 12:44:14 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. 

Tiagra hubs are not bad hubs.  I don't know much about the Mavic rims, other than a general impression that Mavic thinks no one serious about biking weigh over 160 lbs.  The default tire are 700x32, so may be it is time to commit to ultralight camping. http://

Here is one other twist you will have to watch.  If I am reading the specs properly, the rear derailleur is an Ultegra GS.  I don't think that can cover more that a 27 or 28 tooth cluster.  So if you follow through on improving the gearing, replacing the cluster might involve replacing the rear derailleur too.

It might be less painful to replace the front crank with a mountain bike crank.  I would get second opinions on running a 10 speed chain on it.  I truly don't know if it can be done.  Just a thought.  Other opinions?

Be sure to do some test rides with your gear.  I recommend overnight trips to get acquainted with your bike and its handling under load.  Be sure to do some hill climbs to find out what your gearing limitations are.  It night very well be that you are one awesomely strong dude.

Again, good luck with your trip.

Danno

Offline livinday2day02

Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2009, 01:10:06 pm »
Yeah I think your right about the ultegra derailer......I've checked with my LBS and we decided only to swap out the chainrings in the front but leave the crank itself.  Then using Sheldon Brown's Gear inch calculator I found that I should have 24 gear inches in my lowest gear of 24(front) and 27 (rear).  I've read that you want to have a lowest gear that gets you down to 22 gear inches so I think it sounds like i'm close enough.  Also I do plan to take my bike on two weekend tours out into the deleware water gap to do an equiptment check before the real deal.  Thanks to all of you for your advice and help.  I don't have a journal...but I should look into it...however keeping an online journal mean bringing my laptop  :(  which im not sure if i want to do     :-\  Again thanks to all :)      :P
All you are is what you do.....All you leave is your legacy....I want mine to be a smile.

Offline Red Ridinghood

Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2009, 06:10:27 pm »
This might be a bit late, but I think the plain old Aurora is a fine choice for touring.  I have a 2005 Aurora (check out specs here: http://www.bikepedia.com/Quickbike/BikeSpecs.aspx?Year=2005&Brand=Jamis&Model=Aurora&Type=bike), and the specs you're wondering about on the 2009 model are pretty close to mine-- frame is Reynolds 520, cromoly fork, Tiagra STI shifters.  I've logged thousands of miles on it-- everything from commuting to club rides to fully-loaded touring.  I've used trailers and panniers, and this bike has took everything I've dished out.  Smooth ride and can handle very heavy loads.  Over the years I've upgraded the wheels and replaced worn components, but I still have the original shift and brake systems, frame, fork, headset, etc.  Only thing I would change is to get the right size frame for me-- my LBS should have advised me to go a size down and I'd have been happy as a clam with my Aurora.  She even survived a collision with a car-- God bless steel frames (and helmets!).

Have a GREAT trip!  No matter what bike you use, your trip will provide you with good memories for years to come.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2009, 07:30:47 pm »
My suggestion is to do a journal on CrazyGuyonaBike.com, but not carry a laptop.  You can update it once in a while from public libraries.  Flesh it out better once you are home.  That is what we did and it worked out well.

You can also update via email if you have an email enabled phone or PDA.  On my upcoming trip, I plan to do that using my little N800 (7 ounces) and whatever WiFi I find along the way.  No way would I take a laptop.

Offline livinday2day02

Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2009, 10:31:51 pm »
Thanks for all the advice.....I booked my plane ticket to San Fran tonight :D  I'll get there June 30th....and start pedaling July 1st....Thanks again to everyone and I'll make sure to relay info on a journal if I manage to keep one.
All you are is what you do.....All you leave is your legacy....I want mine to be a smile.

Offline matcherbach

Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2009, 11:09:38 pm »
what a great forum here...i was just googling around and stumbled on this thread. 

i bought a 2009 jamis aurora 2 weeks ago.  i hope this helps you.

when i started my research for a touring bike 3 months ago, i was briefly stuck on the surly thing.  the konas were cool...the navarro...cannondale...fuji...and the aurora/elite.  im 5'10...average build...170 lbs...(working my way down to 165 the more i ride).  i dont have alot of money...ive been a 1 bike guy until now...(mid '90s gary fisher tassajara mtb).  ive owned several bikes over my lifetime....i love steel. 
 
im 37 and never heard the word brevet untill 2 months ago.  this fascination pointed me in the direction of the aurora.  im a gear pusher..jump curbs...take shortcuts....and trying to travel as light as possible, while still self contained...no credit cards.  i was extremely lucky to have met a knowledgeable frame guy who has experience with jamis frames. ( he also sized me for my bike)  his sizing will put him on 60cm trek frames...on the aurora he is a 55cm frame...trust the geometry he told me.....they run big.  im on a 50cm frame...and i have to tell you the fit is perfect. 

if you are a heavy packer..ie bringing laptop..kitchen sink....and other likewise gear, i would not get an aurora...it is wiggley when its too heavy....chainstay is fine for me. i have a toepeak supertourist rack and sunlite fortress panniers....i have tons of room.  keep the weight as low as possible.  i hold on to bikes longer than i hold on to people so anything with fiber is out for me.

ive only got about 250 miles on my aurora so far....but it has surpassed my expectations....the tiagras are fine...the wheels are tough as nails...(ive been punishing them)...the gearing is fine.

the only con i have is my affinity for the old school 10 speed shifting, which i will change.

the aurora is a very crisp, spry and capable bike.  what ive been finding out on this journey so far, is not "whats out there", buts what "in" there....only you will know whats best.


nice to meet you all!


matt

ptc, ga


Offline pedicaber

  • Day Tripper
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Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2009, 04:05:52 pm »
So after doing my research, including this great site. I've pretty much decided to get the 2009 Jamis Aurora Elite. The most determining factor has too be...price. A $1400 bike is pretty pricey esp for a college student like me so It helps that I work at a bike shop that sells nothing but Jamis so I can get the bike at cost (insert your jealousy here). My research included making a spread sheet of all touring bikes (I could find) for under $2000 for 2009, about 15 models. It took me 3 weeks to rank the bikes according to price and components. at the top were the LHT, Aurora, and aurora elite. I did a thorough calculation of gear ratios and found that exluding a bike that didn't have a triple chain ring the Aurora Elite has the worst gear ratios out of any touring bike, that is to say the difference between the lowest and highest possible gear ratios is smaller than any other touring bike. Craptastic. Its interesting to note that most people say that its geared towards the higher end, but compared to other touring bikes thats not true. The aurora elite is geared in the middle-high so most of the other 09 touring bikes have faster gear ratios and ALL of them have better climbing gear ratios than the Jamis AE. So basicly your stuck with 10 speeds, not geared high or low, with no recognizable difference between each cog. It really is laughable.

So in order to fix the gearing this is what needs to be done
option 1 -cheapest
change the cranks
This is gonna be the best option for most people, its the simplest and the cheapest, but not the best. Well anyway, im not most people, I'm a bike mechanic so simplest isn't an option.

Option 2
change to a better ranged 10 spd cassette and derailluer with acceptable capacity
IRD makes a wonderful 10 speed cassette geared 11-32/34t. I discovered this cassette by looking up another 2009 touring bike which it comes on. Its also affordable even to the consumer. Heres the kicker though, Shimano road derailleurs (aka Ultegra on the AE) arn't really rated for the ridiculous 32/34t cassette and if they are, they can't handle the capacity of the large 50t chainrings on the Aurora elite. (despite this, the touring bike that comes with the IRD cassette uses an Ultegra derailluer, but with really small chain rings to compensate for capacity)  While most mtb dérailleurs aren't intended for 10 speeds, It really shouldn't matter. If you look at any catalouge the 9 and 10 speed road dérailleurs are the same model. As a side note there are those who say that 10 spd stuff isnt as reliable as 9 speed stuff most notably that cassette, however if your breaking your cassette your probably doing something wrong........

Option 3
change the entire drivechain to a 9 speed system -what i'm doing
new 9 speed STI Ultegra Shitfers (from 10spd 105), new 9 speed 11-34t SLX or IRD cassette (from 10 spd 105), new XT long-cage derailleur (from Ultegra). This option eliminates all my problems. I imagine if you go to a LBS where high end components move fast you can get them to change out your 10 spd system for a 9 spd at little to no cost, since 9 spd stuff is cheaper anyway. Since im buying at cost, ill end up making a nice profit selling my 10 spd stuff even after buying the new set up. maybe I can afford the bags I want.......

if your confused about the terms capacity, or want to discover the truth about derailuers I recommend sheldon browns site
« Last Edit: June 25, 2009, 01:15:53 am by pedicaber »
"Why do you work in a bike shop if you don't like to ride?"
"Well I can't fix my grades, I can't fix my relationships and I can't fix my pessimism. I'll stick with fixing bikes"
 
"Well pedicaber, your cadence is . . . half that of mine"

7 ppl on a pedicab > half a ton. been there ridden that

Offline tanderama

Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2009, 03:52:25 pm »
did you do your tour on the aurora elite?  what are your impressions of the bike?

Offline bellfurie42

Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« Reply #25 on: September 14, 2009, 06:53:40 am »
did you do your tour on the aurora elite?  what are your impressions of the bike?
I bought Aurora Elite four months ago and I think its a great bike. I usually ride about 60 to 70 miles with a fair amount of weight in my panniers. I weigh about 195 pounds and I don't baby the bike at all.
 I have not yet gone on any tours with it, but I usually ride 3-4 days a week. No problems at all yet. I haven't changed anything on the bike, the rims and tires are whatever came stock when I bought it, again - no issues yet.
 I occasionally read these posts to check on whatever bike accessory I'm obsessing about buying at the moment , and generally speaking , it all comes down to personal preference. I went with the Jamis because it felt
 comfortable and I figured I wanted a bike that I would enjoy in touring and non touring conditions. There are a few things I may replace (rims perhaps) , but so far that bike has been kick ass. I could care less about gear ratios or any other host of upgrades or adjustments one could do to make this bike perfect. I go up some steep climbs and down some steep descents, the gears seem to accommodate whatever nature throws my way. Once again, I haven't toured with this beast yet, but I do at least 250 miles a week with at least 25 pounds ( plus the 195 pounds of Italian on the saddle) and its been a joy. Before I leave for my tour next year from Austin to Cleveland, I plan on getting better rims, but even that is only after reading that I should do so on some post somewhere. If spending a few hundred bucks on better suited rims saves me from repairing my wheels on the tour, I figure it's a worthwhile investment.  Most of the bikes in this price range (under $1,500 ) have similar pros and cons. I will post on this board if the Jamis fails me, but so far its been a blast.
Cheers, Joey