Looking for a new carbon bike , Jamis or Nashbar ?
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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Jul 2011

    Looking for a new carbon bike , Jamis or Nashbar ?

    I'm asking this question because I've done very prelim research and can't tell which one is supposedly better, a 2011 Jamis Xenith Comp 105 or the Nashbar Carbon 105, and I can't tell why one is better than the other. I'd be buying either of these bikes online.

    Can anyone tell definitively and with solid reasoning which bike is more value for money? They're within about 100-200 dollars of each other.

    A little more info if anyone wants to actually read it all:

    - I volunteer at Free Ride Pittsburgh and have thereby learned a LOT about bicycle maintenance. I have no issues maintaining a bicycle, unless I have to build a wheel. I'm gonna take the wheelbuilding course before I leave this city next June. So anyway, buying online doesn't irk me.
    - I have like 4 or 5 bikes purchased with volunteer shop credit, and they're all decent, but none of them fit. Trying to solve fit issues myself on bikes that are probably mis-sized has led to knee injury, neck pain, wrist pain, and I'm sick of dealing with all of these issues. Maybe other people can just pick whatever bike and ride, but my body gives me immediate negative feedback.
    - I test rode the Xenith Comp a while ago and the 51 cm can be made to fit, it's close to dead on with what I need apparently, is my understanding, at least much much closer than my current bike. After I receive the bike, my plan is to make adjustments to the seat, maybe the handlebars, and then ride it about 15 miles a day in the mornings for a week. Then I'm taking it straight to the fitter. If I have to return either of these bikes, I'm okay with paying shipping in exchange for taking a shot at getting something for waaaaay less than retail.
    - I'm now in my last year of residency, so I've picked up some extra change saving and investing the stipend we get. I thought initially that buying carbon would be selling out, but honestly, now that my knee has come around and I wanna get back into cycling, and I have to buy another bike that will fit me exactly instead of the first one which I purchased mostly because it was on clearance...I want something sitting in my house that will make me lose sleep over thinking about how excited I'll be to ride it the next morning. I'm not going to commute with the carbon road bike (unless I have my own office in which it can sit next to me, and even that is pushing it, I feel like this would be an A to A bike). I'm going to commute with the old LG Exalt in the good months (it's closer than my other bikes on fit, but again if I want to be serious I'll need much better imo) and then I'll buy a Jamis Coda Sport for the winter...or a cross bike, I haven't decided.

    - I had a solid bike fit a long time ago ( I think ) and the dude mentioned I need:
    52.5 cm eff top tube
    73 degree seat angle
    160 mm head tube height (I'm thinking I must have written this down incorrectly)

    but anyway, he said those would be optimal , and no bike ever would offer all three of them but it's possible to come close. Both these bikes come in sizes that are close. I don't wanna buy a bike from him because I've noticed that fitters tend to always be connected to bike shops and have this elitist approach toward bicycles, and try surprisingly hard to sell you overstock of a $1500+ bike. I'm unimpressed with this approach.

    Is the carbon super different on one of these? Is there something I'm missing here about buying a brand name bike? Quick scan reveals the seatpost is carbon for the Xenith and alloy for the Nashbar, and then the handlebars and stem are kalloy for nashbar and richey for the xenith (which I'm assuming is better, but way better?)

    Another minor factor here, part of the reason I'm asking this question and not immediately pulling the trigger on the Xenith, is that I kinda like nashbar's all-black no-brand approach. This probably isn't going to matter as much after I've ridden either of these bikes because, let's face it, we're talking about a carbon road bike here. Once I come out of the fitter with it, I'm probably going to be VERY happy riding either one of them, was just looking to see if most on here would make a case for the nashbar for some reason that I'm completely overlooking, or for the other bike.


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  2. #2
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Without saying anything about fit every Jamis carbon frame I've seen has been pretty damn nice.
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  3. #3
    .je is online now
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    Aug 2012
    I very very nearly bought a 2011 Jamis Xenith Comp a couple of years ago, and most of the time since have been thinking it would have been the best thing to do, if I'd known as much as I do now. And for the 4 year price drop? I'd pick that bike.

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Aug 2012
    The Nashbar has a 74.5 degree seat tube angle, whilst the Jamis has your 73.

    Both bikes have fairly short head tubes (120).
    Your best fit number was suggested as 160.
    To me, such a frame (including your best ett number) would suggest the endurance-type frames, rather than the Xenith and Nashbar 105 (race).

    I'm mainly talking about the drop to the bars, here.
    However, if you've ridden the Xenith previously and you believe it can be tweaked for you, then go for it.

    The frames I'm aware of which have anything close to the numbers you listed, all have ett's a cm longer.

  5. #5
    .je is online now
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    Aug 2012
    52.5 cm eff top tube
    160 mm head tube height
    True, that seems very tall for a short ETT? It's endurance tall even for a 54.5 ETT.

  6. #6
    Reputation: Herkwo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Definitely the Jamis over Nashbar.
    The Xenith is a race geometry & if you are looking for a more relaxed upright position as your fitter suggests w/ the 16cm headtube then look at Jamis' Endura line of bikes which at Jensonusa.com are a tad more w/ comparable components.

    Another you might check out dramatically discounted in your size offered thru texascyclesport is the Lapierre Sensium 200. $1030 plus $50 S&H. Check it here:
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  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: David Loving's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Pedal Force super-light carbon bicycle

    I bought an RS2 frame and built it up myself. Love the bike.
    Last edited by David Loving; 08-10-2015 at 08:53 PM.
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  8. #8
    Reputation: jetdog9's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    pittcana just posted in General forum about a Xenith he bought, you may want to check out that thread. He seems very happy with it, and maybe rides in same area as you and could give feedback about the bike on the local terrain.

    The one thing about the Xenith that is a little weird is the brake placement, but it might be becoming more normal, I know the Scott Solace and new Foil have bottom mount brakes.

    I don't know how easy it'd be to find good data on it but you might want to compare the wheelsets, too.
    Last edited by jetdog9; 08-10-2015 at 04:26 PM.

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