Jamis vs. Surly

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  • 02-22-2008
    slockwoo
    Jamis vs. Surly
    Hi,

    I'm new to this site but not new to cycling. However, I'm looking to up it a notch. I've been commuting for a few years on an old mountain bike with slick tires (theft proof for parking outside in the city). I also ride a mountain bike. This year I've got some new cycling goals and I'm looking to purchase a new road bike or a cross bike.

    I seem to be narrowed down to three bikes.
    a. Surly Cross Check
    b. Quest Jamis
    c. Quest Nova / Supernova bikes

    My cycling goals with this bike are:
    1. ride to three centuries this summer, two supported charity rides, one non supported.
    2. 2009 perimeter ride (500+ miles in one week)
    3. All the training required to accomplish goals 1, 2, and 3.

    About me:
    I'm female and 5'3". I am not a racer and as much as I continue to grow (I never imagined myself running until I started doing 5Ks two years ago), I feel very confident in saying the word NEVER when it comes to road racing. I'm also unlikely to ever race cross, but there is a slim possiblity so I'm thinking the lighter cross bike? The reason I'm considering a cross at all is because I'm told it will be more comfortable for me. I am concerned about toe overlap though. The quest is the only femm specific bike. Does that really matter though?

    The reason I'm posting here and not in the beginner is because I wanted to have some experienced opinions.

    Thanks in advance.
  • 02-22-2008
    wooglin
    Are you going to be commuting on this? Have you ridden these frames to see which is more comfortable?

    I just helped my sweetie pick out a bike, and she went with a Jamis Quest. We thought about the Cross Check, but although she'll be riding centuries she doesn't commute and won't be racing cross. A straight road bike was a better choice for her. FWIW, I really liked the Quest. Good bang for the buck.
  • 02-22-2008
    dphoenix
    Can't go wrong with the Quest. I started to buy a Quest but I purchased an 2006 Eclipse instead from Jenson around the same price as a new Quest.

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...e+Bike+06.aspx


    If you shop around you can find a 2007 Quest for under $1,000.
  • 02-22-2008
    slockwoo
    Thanks -- My boyfriend thinks I should get the quest, my brother thinks I should get a cross bike. Being my size, most bike shops don't have either bike handy for a test ride. I'm going to go do some "shopping" on Saturday.

    I will rarely commute on the new bike if ever. I work in center city philadelphia, brining it inside is not an option. Theft is a concern.
  • 02-22-2008
    PJ352
    If the only reasons you're considering a cross bike are toe overlap and comfort, I would remove it off the list. Toe overlap is only an issue when you find yourself riding at very low speeds while turning the front wheel 9a lot) and having your pedals near the 9 and 3 positions. With even a minute amount of effort, you can avoid that combination. In normal riding, you actually steer more by angling the bars than by actually turning the wheel, very similar to motorcycles, but you know that from riding MTB's.

    Regarding women's specific, if you haven't needed the more compact geometry (not to be confused with compact vs traditional geometry) that they offer, I wouldn't worry about it. Jamis doesn't change their geometry for women's specific like some others do. All that I could tell from a quick glance is shorter reach shifters and a different saddle.

    Bottom line is I agree with the other posters that recommend the Jamis Quest. I think for your intended use and what the bike offers, it's your best option.
  • 02-22-2008
    slockwoo
    Thanks! I apprecaite your feedback. I was actually more concerned with toe overlap on the cross bikes than on the quest.

    I'm not sure if I need compact geometry, this is my first road bike purchase.
  • 02-22-2008
    marc180
    i live in CC too...if you lock up any of the above bikes outside, then you are basically asking for it to get stolen
  • 02-22-2008
    wooglin
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by slockwoo
    I'm not sure if I need compact geometry, this is my first road bike purchase.

    I just checked the Jamis site, and there are geometry differences between the mens and women's models. Its a question of body proportion. Women tend to have longer legs and a shorter relative trunk than men. If that description fits you then a women's model might be your best bet. OTOH, it fits my sweetie as well but she like the men's model because she has longer arms and felt cramped on the women's frame. YMMV.

    Really, especially since this is your first roadie, you should try before you buy.
  • 02-22-2008
    PJ352
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by slockwoo
    Thanks! I apprecaite your feedback. I was actually more concerned with toe overlap on the cross bikes than on the quest.

    I'm not sure if I need compact geometry, this is my first road bike purchase.

    The fitting, which is very important, should be part of the process of checking the bike out, so that should answer the women's specific question.
  • 02-22-2008
    slockwoo
    Yeah Philly!!!! Did you ride in today? It was fun, except for the cars/garbage trucks/buses/fire engines.
  • 02-22-2008
    RoadLoad
    I'll take your comment about continuing to "grow" as a metaphore for your riding, not your actual height and your observation about never thinking you would run until you did a 5K race as an inkling that maybe that cross race is more interesting to you than you let on.

    With those as starting points, I would encourage you to consider a bike that can meet your needs as your skills and experience grow (buy up if you can swing the investment). I also would encourage you to consider the cross bike because a cross bike can do anything any other bikes can. On the otherhand, the other bikes really can't do cross.

    I really think the Jamis Nova line of cross bike are great products. They're well outfitted and look sharp.

    One last thing. Cross is awesome for folks just getting into the racing thing. For the most part it isn't on pavement, the speeds are slower and there is no peloton to get nervous about - its fun! Get out there, I promise you'll get a kick out of it and finish with a smile on your face.
  • 02-22-2008
    PJ352
    Good catch on the geometry. I agree, try (both) before you buy..
  • 02-22-2008
    slockwoo
    I also have long arms (hooray for positive ape index! my primary sport is rock climbing)

    Sounds like I should def try both.
  • 02-22-2008
    marc180
    no, i didn't ride in today...too much ice. at least, there was ice over in old city where I live. it's one thing to commute in snow with 23s on flat, predictable terrain, but add in ice, potholes, manhole covers, idiot philly drivers (i swear, the drivers in this city are the worst) plus a fixie w/ aggressive geometry....not a good combo. too bad my cx bike is in the process of being built up. had it been put together, then i definitely would have ridden to Penn.
  • 02-22-2008
    PJ352
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by slockwoo
    ...my primary sport is rock climbing...

    And you're worried about toe overlap on a bike??!! :eek:
  • 02-22-2008
    Becky
    I've tried both women's specific design (WSD) bikes, and "unisex" bikes. For me, WSD doesn't do much. I have a short torso, but long arms and legs, FWIW. If you believe the advertising, I should be a perfect candidate for WSD, but none of my bikes are WSD and fit perfectly for my body and riding style.

    Where I think WSD really shines are the contact points- saddle and bars. Any bike I buy gets a new saddle and new 38cm handlebars. 42cm or 44cm bars make me feel like I've got wings or something- way too wide! Don't overlook the bars- a properly-sized handlebar (width, reach, and drop) can go a long way to making a bike feel comfortable.


    Good luck with the new bike purchase!
  • 02-22-2008
    slockwoo
    You are correct that I'm finished growing in height and hopefully finished growing in weight. I'm 33 years old.

    As for racing cross... I really would be surprised if I went for it. I'm really not into racing anything. I was just mentioning cross as a doubtful vs. road as an absolutely never. I will never ever ever even consider racing road, the thought scares the crap out of me. Pavement is hard.
  • 02-22-2008
    slockwoo
    thanks for your comment. good to know about the bars!
  • 02-23-2008
    slockwoo
    Thanks everyone for your thoughts and words. It helped me greatly. Bike shopping is not easy, but it sure is fun!! I went to the bike show yesterday and I was shown this... salsa casserole triple. They didn't have my size built but they had it in stock. As soon as next week I can try it out and then purchase if it is comfortable. I think I'm in love with it though. It seems to have all the benefits of a road bike and a cross bike combined into one bike! It comes with shimano 105 and it is quality steel. I can't wait to get on it!
  • 09-15-2009
    BlueGrassBlazer
    Thanks for posting the info on the Salsa casserole...it got me looking at their bikes and now I'm looking at a Pistola.
    How was the test ride?
  • 09-15-2009
    zigurate
    The thread is a bit old by now... maybe pm the user?