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Anybody ride the 47cm Jamis?(20 posts)

Anybody ride the 47cm Jamis?dante
Mar 26, 2003 8:17 AM
In the search for a road bike for the GF, a LBS mentioned the Jamis Ventura, a 520 steel frame with a carbon fork, Tiagra components, no-name cranks/tektro brakes. Seems like a deal, but the main question is how does it ride?? The LBS is getting a different frame size in, so we'll be able to check out the components/wheels/fork/etc., but since 47cm is pretty rare, I'm not sure they'd get one in just for her to try it out.

A couple of things: The geometry is *very* close to a Cannondale R500 WSD that she tried (and loved), within half a centimeter on the ST and TT, and within a half of a degree on STA and TTA. Oops, ST is 2cm longer on the Cannondale, but think that the Jamis is a slightly compact frame, same effective TT anyway...

The Jamis has a 700cm rear wheel and a 650cm front. The Cannondale had two 650 wheels.

My question is, does (or would) the Jamis handle significantly different enough from the Cannondale? I'm just leery about buying something w/o it being ridden first. Anybody have any horror stories about horrible handling with the mismatched wheels?


re: Anybody ride the 47cm Jamis?Becky
Mar 26, 2003 11:01 AM
I've never ridden the bike in question, but here's a couple of thoughts.
First of all, Terry ( also makes bikes with 2 different sized wheels. Never ridden one of those, but I've read many comments written by women who adore them. Terry will send a bike to the LBS of your choice so that you may test-ride it and take it back if you decide it's not what you want. See their webpage for more info.
When I was shopping for my road bike, I looked at several bikes- both WSD and standard. I ended up with the 47 cm Cannondale R500 WSD and haven't regretted that choice. It fits well, handles well and I like the idea of being able to carry one spare tube that will fit either wheel.
My 2 cents.....good luck with your search!

thanks, I thought I was anatema... :)dante
Mar 26, 2003 11:43 AM
Yeah, we were looking at a R500 as well, except now Cannondale isn't making the R500 in WSD, they're making the R400 (w/ Sora shifters, bad for small hands) and the R800 which is way out of our price range. Yeah, we looked at Terry's as well, but their bikes are EXPENSIVE!! 1150 for a steel frame/fork w/ Tiagra. Ouch. (Also think they look pretty funny with a 700cm wheel and a 24" wheel)

Thanks for the advice, I guess it all comes down to price and availability, the geometry seems remarkably similar to the R500 so might just get a fit kit done and go from there.

ugh, should be <b> anathema </b>dante
Mar 26, 2003 11:46 AM
is it only wednesday??
I hear ya....Becky
Mar 26, 2003 12:03 PM
....about those Sora shifters (and Terry bikes, for that matter). They're awful unless you have bear paws for hands. I spent another couple hundred dollars (as a poor college student) to get a bike with Tiagra STI levers, rather than Sora. Have you asked your LBS about swapping those shifters for Tiagra (STI) or better? Might be a decent solution..... Or Ebay- I saw an R500 just like mine up there about a week ago...
Anyway, best of luck to you.
yeah, problem with ebay is theydante
Mar 26, 2003 1:12 PM
are always bid up higher than (I think) they're worth. Was watching the R500 but it probably had a reserve of at least 600, then plus boxing and shipping and reassembly it's already up to 700. For that price we're starting to look at new ones...

Too many toys, here's our other passion:
okey dokey, time to trot out my Terry rant againlonefrontranger
Mar 26, 2003 1:23 PM
How, I mean HOW in heaven's name can this egregious marketing ploy continue? Cheap, heavy UGLY crappy bikes designed to solve a problem that basically doesn't exist. With apologies to jtolleson and her Merlin build experiences, 99% of toe overlap cases are extremely minor issues which occur if you are in the habit of turning slow circles in the parking lot. I even learned to trackstand on a bike with about 1cm of overlap without much difficulty. FWIW, my 46cm Colnago has 700c wheels, tight geometry and abolutely NO overlap. Build the bike properly in the first place and it won't be an issue.

Yes dante, I have seen someone SERIOUSLY injured at a rec ride by one of these idiot builds from Terry. She overbraked a bit on a sandy corner at fairly low speed. A normal bike would possibly have washed out and she might have gotten a skinned knee. The Terry endoed and put her face into the pavement, to the tune of a broken jaw and collarbone and much facial surgery.

If you are that small, go 650 all around. You won't have to carry 2 different sized tubes, the bike won't look like a freakshow, and moreover it will handle safely.
wow, tell me what you *really* think of terry... :-Ddante
Mar 26, 2003 1:52 PM
I just thought that they looked dorky. How tall are you if you ride a 46cm bike? What's the top tube, if I may be so bold? Mostly what I've seen of 700cm bikes is that even though the seat post is short, the top tube is still at least 51 or 52. That's completely missing the point of small frames, and especially for women's body-type, which is longer legs and shorter upper body.

650 all around is definitely a possibility, with bikes by Cannondale and Fuji topping the list. The Jamis got on the list b/c it's cheaper than the other two, plus its got a 700cm wheel in the back for easier cruising, but still has a 650 wheel in the front to allow for a 50cm TT.

Sorry about your friend, hoping DH'ing at Killington will have my GF getting her weight back on the hard braking...


(thought the 650 cannondale looked AMAZING the first time I saw one a couple years ago, it was like a miniature bike!!)
serious case of marketing drivellonefrontranger
Mar 26, 2003 2:10 PM
My issue with Terry is that their entire company is based on convincing women that they should ride substandard, heavy, geeky looking equipment for which they pay a premium, and feel empowered and privileged to do so. I also don't buy into the part where most WSD and women's bikes majorly cheap out on the components because they seem to think women either don't care, won't notice or are too busy bargain hunting to understand value and functionality, but that's because I race and was a shop rat in a former life, so I know crap when I see it. I also know and respect the fact that you are trying to keep your search affordable for someone who may not train / ride / race in excess of 20 hours a week as I do.

I'm guessing you are talking about someone really small, as most women I know can comfortably ride stock frames, myself and my 14 teammates included, tho I am at the low end of stock. Something I've seen quite a bit in the racing arena for ladies with particularly small hands who didn't like STI and wanted to save a bit of cash was to use bar-end mounted GripShift; I don't know if there's a stock bike spec'd this way, it was just an idea.

My specs:

5'4", 76cm inseam. Road bike: Dream Plus 46 semi-sloping with 51.3cm TT Cross bike: Dream Cross standard with 51.3cm TT. My old 49cm Giant had a 50cm TT. I had minor overlap with it but as noted above it wasn't a big issue, and I have monstrous feet (41 Euro / women's 9 1/2) for my size.
serious case of marketing drivelrussw19
Mar 26, 2003 2:39 PM
I am glad I heard a woman say this first, so I don't look like another male who just doesn't get it...

I worked at a shop that sold Terry bikes. They aren't that special (putting it lightly) but the fact that the company is owned by a woman just puts the idea into some women's heads that she must know what she is doing since she is a woman making bikes for other women. I tried to use this analogy with a woman before about G. Terry and her design philosphy being parallel to Greg LeMond's philosophy for his bikes. Just because LeMond won the Tour 3 times doesn't mean his bikes will fit every rider out there. Sure he has his ideas on how a bike should fit, and his geometry works for some people, but not everyone! Same holds true for Terry bikes. Woman designed and specific or not, it's just one single solitary woman's ideas on how to build a bike. Sure they work well for SOME women, but they are certainly not the 2nd coming that a lot of women are lead to believe by Terry's marketing hype. And if you think you pay a premium for having the privilege of seeing "Cannondale" written on your downtube, wait till you see the price on an equally spec'd Terry!

I am not a Terry basher, but it would kill me to see otherwise intellegent women come to the shop and say "I want one of those" just because it was made by a woman. And if it didn't fit, it wouldn't matter to some of them, because here I was, some guy telling them that what a woman in a male dominated field said was wrong. I know women and men have different ergonomics, but bike fit is bike fit! It shouldn't make a difference if a woman or man designed the bike, provided it fits the intended rider correctly! But sometimes women get it in their heads that it must be better becuase a woman sat down and sketched out the design.

I think you have your answer already, but you just don't see it. You said your GF "LOVED" the Cannondale. Get it then. Their frames are great, they last for ever, it doesn't matter what parts are on it, you can change them, and you are going to have a hard time finding a bike to fit her, because she is not the ideal body type for what bike designers design around. If she loved the 'dale, buy it! If it's expensive, put it on layaway! Sell some plasma for a month or two. Between the two of you selling plasma twice a week for 2 months at $30 a pop (going rate around here...) you got nearly a thousand bux! If she loves the bike, she WILL ride it, and at the end of the day, isn't that the point and main objective?

Get the Cannondale... and you can get away with only carrying one tube that way too. There are signs pointing to it for you, what are you waiting for crop circles? <-- that was supposed to be funny.

and thanks to LFR for pointing out something a lot of women don't like to say... that Terry is more hype than substance.

Just opinions....
uh, ok, here's the story...dante
Mar 26, 2003 3:05 PM
Cannondale tested was a 2001. Had been sitting at 30% off since at least Oct. (of this year). Finally test rode it on Sat., after my girlfriend decided that she would up her limit to be able to get it. Tested it, loved it, went for a ride to determine whether we should get it (mtn. bike ride, left the bike at the shop), came back with the intention of laying down plastic and it was GONE! In the interim, someone had come in, tested it, and bought it. The owner was extremely apologetic, and said that he didn't even know someone else was looking at it till it was in the back getting prepped. It had been in the shop for 2 years and the day we go to buy it it's gone...

So the reason it was looked at was b/c it was heavily discounted so it was in the price range. Now the real kicker is cannondale doesn't make the R500 in a women's model anymore, they only make the R400 which has a steel fork and Sora components and the R800 which is like $1300. Plus, I can't even upgrade the R400 to Tiagra shifters b/c Sora is 8-speed.

So unless we buy used (and ebay sucks for buying used bikes, they're all going for obscene amounts), we're left looking at other options beyond cannondale. Hence the looking at Jamis and Fuji, and comparing the geometry to the cannondale that's been tested, as most shops don't stock 47cm bikes...

Whew. one thing I can say is I don't fault the bike shop, you have to sell what you can and who's to say we wouldn't have come back and said no thank you.

oh well, thanks for the advice, if I could buy it I would...
uh, ok, here's the story...russw19
Mar 26, 2003 3:15 PM
Seems you are reading as I am writting... read my below post about a 2nd set of wheels. It may be an idea to look into while giving you the time to search for another deal like you had found.

But at least my point was made in the above thread. Make sure she gets the bike she LOVES, not just one that is OK.

Good luck!

well, she has an extra set of rims, and a set of slicks,dante
Mar 27, 2003 7:26 AM
but it's still isn't anywhere as fast or easy as a road bike. Plus, the cannondale was the only road bike she's test-ridden, so it's not like she was comparing it to a bunch of other road bikes. Very few stores actively stock 47cm bikes so it's not like she can test-ride a handful and decide then.

But thanks for the advice, will let you know what happens.
yeah, she's kinda shortdante
Mar 26, 2003 2:45 PM
5'1", actually. With either a 28 or 29" inseam, so she definitely has a shorter torso than you.

My complaint about women's bikes is the complete opposite, they don't usually have lower-end WSD bikes... Up until this year, the lowest Cannondale WSD was 1100. Currently the lowest Lemond WSD is 1100. They'll have a bunch of lower bikes, but that was the lowest that the women's bikes got. Now Cannondale has two models, the R400 which is crap, Sora, etc, and the R800, which is $1300. Nothing in the middle.

Yeah, doubt she'll be racing, or at most a couple of short triathalon's here or there, plus her mileage would get split between commuting (on a cheap ToysRUs bike that will probably get stolen eventually), mtn biking and road...

She seemed to get along ok on the Tiagra shifters, at least on the right hand, anyway, I'm hoping that she's not going to have to be shifting the left side continuously anyway. Terry (I know, I know) makes a bar that's got an indent where the levers clamp on so it brings the levers in closer, which might be a possibility.

I'll keep the grip shift thing in mind, maybe that might work better on the left shifter...

yeah, she's kinda shortrussw19
Mar 26, 2003 3:11 PM
Dante, two things... you don't need a special bar for your GF... just look for one with a shallow drop and reach.

Also, if you GF wants to do some road riding and you want to get her the really nice bike, but need something in between in the mean time, and she's not racing but riding for recreation on the road, build her up a second set of wheels for that mountain bike you posted a pic of. Put a small cassette on it, like an 11-23 to compensate for the mountain chainrings, and but some really narrow slicks on it. I have a set of Hutchinson 26x1 tires that I can run at 140 psi. That makes them essentially 650x25 road tires. If she wants extra hand positions on long road rides, try a few different types of bar ends.

A few years ago, I quit riding and sold all my bikes. After 2 years, I missed it so I decided to buy a new bike and ride again. The problem was that I am a roadie at heart, but if I was only gonna have one bike (small apartment) it was gonna be a mountain bike as they are more versitle. But I missed the road rides so I built a 2nd wheelset and was able to ride on slower rides with my other roadie friends. Eventually I got a 2nd bike (then a 3rd and 4th) but if you are only gonna have one, you can always get a second wheelset cheaper than a 2nd bike. With the right cassette and tires, it will be just fine on the road for all but the most serious rides. And since you seemed to describe her as more of a recreational roadie, it may be an option to look into.

Anyways... just tyring to help out.

In defense of Terry....Alexx
Mar 27, 2003 7:04 AM
I happen to know Georgina Terry, and, while her bikes mostly are a bit on the cheap side, she does have valid points about her unconventional designs. For a woman that is short in stature, most of the "women's specific" designs compromise geometry in order to fit the rider around 2 conventional wheels of the same size. Going for the 24" front wheel solves all those fit problems, but adds some minor annoyances, such as the shortened wheelbase, and the odd tube problem. Georgina says that there really isn't a big problem about tubes, since you can always just fold a larger tube over, inside the tire. This may be lumpy, but it works.
From what I've seen of Terry bikes (and, since they are located here, I've seen quite a few...), most of the women who own them love them. They are really more of a light touring bike than a road bike.
Now, as far as her fly saddles are concerned, that is just a case of pure marketing. Impotence problems in men are rarely caused by just bike saddles. One doctor writes an opinion piece in a magazine, and suddenly it's gospel-just like that whole vitamin C junk back in the 70's.....
Why do you say Sora is bad for small hands?....TFerguson
Mar 26, 2003 5:14 PM
They are the only levers with truely adjustable reach that I know of. Designed for small hands.
Why do you say Sora is bad for small hands?....russw19
Mar 26, 2003 10:26 PM
I think the problem people with small hands have with Sora levers have is not the brake lever reach, but the downshift button on them. It is really small and people with small hands may have a tough time getting their thumb to it. It is designed like the Campy Ergopower levers to a degree, but the button is ridiculously small. That's the complaint I hear about that lever in the shop I work at. Even people I know with Shaq sized hands say that button is almost impossible to hit while riding in the drops. But it's a recreation lever and I guess Shimano figures anyone riding it will only be riding on the hoods.

Depending on the torso of your GF, I'd also look at a Specialized Allez Vita. The shorter top tube may help. Generally solid components too. Additionally, the Allez Sport with a 105rd and Tiagra for everything else would be in your price range. You also get a carbon fork and carbon seat post. Just some ideas that should fit the <$1000 budget.CaliforniaDreaming
Mar 26, 2003 12:09 PM
How'd I do that? :-o nm.CaliforniaDreaming
Mar 26, 2003 2:36 PM