Sunset with a side of Aurora

The Big Yellow Ball returned to the sky yesterday, as did the color blue.

We had a lovely bit of color yesterday afternoon to close out the work week.

If we’re lucky we might be back to what passes for normal around here, weather-wise, for the next few days, anyway.

The Jamis Aurora Elite, ready for its closeup.

This would be useful, as I have a Quick Spin video to finish for the Adventurous Cyclists. It concerns the Jamis Aurora Elite, which I last reviewed in June 2011.

It’s surprising how little the bike has changed over the years, and that goes double for the price, which has been pegged at $1,699 for the better part of quite some time.

That ain’t bad for a steel bike with rear rack and fenders. A small bright spot in an otherwise dark time.

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20 Responses to “Sunset with a side of Aurora”

  1. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Those fenders look like they will work, unlike the 2011 version. Also, I think that is a 105 triple on the front although not sure about what’s on the back. 11-34 with long cage 105 perhaps?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Mmm, looks like 32T maximum, which gives you the fabled 30×32, famed in song and story. Lord, will I be glad when Shimano runs out of that stuff. It’s fine for just rolling around, but for carrying weight in the hills, I need me some more teefers on my cogset.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        The long cage 105 10 speed derailleur will work with a 34, easy sleazy. That’s what I had on the ES and then moved it to the Double Cross. When I sell the Saga, then a IRD super compact, 30×46 crankset is going on the Double Cross. Can’t understand why they didn’t put the Deore 26/36/44 trekking crankset on it.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        It must be exasperating, being a product manager. You know what the bike needs, and what you can give it, and very often they seem to be two very different things.

        This is why I think the serious tourist, like the serious cyclocrosser back in the late Eighties/early Nineties, may be best served by going with a specialty builder and an a-la-carte component selection.

        You can tour on just about anything if you’ve a mind to, but damn, I do like a nice low gear in my golden years,

        • psobrien Says:


        • larryatcycleitalia Says:

          That’s a job I’d never want! In the end you must come up with something that will SELL even if that means it’s useless. Nobody these daze gives a rat’s a– if you ever use the thing (no matter what it might be) it’s the selling that counts. Based on what plenty of fellow mechanics have told me there’s a major component maker whose entire biz model is based on this.
          They tell me most of their stuff is cheaply made junk but since so few use the bikes they buy with these parts attached, the awful quality isn’t revealed to many. Of course these techs know only too well that it’s junk, but they can’t overcome the advertising made possible by the huge profit margins gained from selling this cheap crap at a similar price to what the others get for decent stuff.
          The few bits that actually get used (and quickly fail) are instantly and happily replaced by this company for whom the replacement parts cost almost nothing, while they look like heroes in the process!
          I can only imagine what kind of pressure is put onto these product managers to spec crap like this?

  2. JD Dallager Says:

    Nice bar tape and saddle!!

  3. khal spencer Says:

    That looks like an improvement on the 2011 version. One could hopefully drop a 24 or 26 tooth granny on the crankset and have actual touring low gears. Especially if the 105 can handle a 34f cog. But even a 24/32 ratio ain’t too bad. The 2011 version with that 28 1/2 gear inch low gear is great for hilly centuries but I wouldn’t want to tour on it with a loda of crap and my fat ass on the bike.

    I had a pair of those Vittoria Randonneurs on a commuter back about that time and ended up donating them. They seemed to attract flats like the GOP attracts assholes.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Looks like you’d need a crank transplant to get that 24T granny, K.

      • khal spencer Says:

        What’s the inner BCD on that crank?

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        74, so looks like you could get one of Grant P.’s Sugino 26T rings on, if he had any in stock, which he doesn’t. But you might find yourself with front-derailleur issues if you didn’t rejigger the middle and outer rings too.

        There’s a lot of chatter online about customizing the crank and it all sounds too much like work to me. This is why God rocks a M737 Deore XT subcompact with 42/32/22 rings, same as me.

        • khal spencer Says:

          I’m running 48-36-24 (or I might have put the 26 on it) on the Long Haul Trucker with a 110/74 crank and Dura Ace bar ends. 11-34 on back. It may be hard to find one of those old front derailleurs built to handle an old fashioned touring triple but the bar ends let me shift that rig really easily.

          Yes, a mountain crank would be straightforward swap but if I ever got rid of that Sugino triple I bought from Capt. Bike, aka Sheldon Brown, I would probably be instantly run over by a truck. That crank is almost as important a talisman as the St. Christopher medal my mom gave me when I bought my first motorcycle at 18.

        • Pat O'Brien Says:

          If I was building up a new Saga disc, it would have a 2×11 SLX drivetrain with 26/36 chainrings and 11-42 cassette and Microshift bar end shifters. Add in TRP Spyre SLC disc brakes, and Bob’s your uncle. When riding with full racks and sacks, you could climb most any hill, as long as you’re in no hurry.

          • khal spencer Says:

            Good idea. Only reason I don’t have 2×11 is I think all my bikes would have to have their rear dropout spacing either broken or stretched. Probably broken.

          • Pat O'Brien Says:

            Hi Khal. I don’t know if it helps, but my Niner MCR has a 135mm rear just like my old Saga and new Double Cross. The 2×11 Shimano SLX fit fine on my MCR. As they usually say in the disclaimer, your frames may differ. Chain line might also be an issue.

          • khal spencer Says:

            Thanks! I incorrectly thought the 11 speed cassettes needed more room than a std 135 spacing, which I have on my Salsa.

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